Paracord is the cordage of choice among many preppers and outdoorsmen. There are a lot of different cordage choices available and paracord isn’t the best choice for every situation but in my opinion, it's pretty darn good stuff.
Paracord has a lot of characteristics that make it a good cordage choice and I wanted to share with you the three characteristics that I like the most about it.
Strength vs Size
Paracord comes in several different types, but the most popular kind is type 3 or 550 paracord. It is named this because it has a tensile strength of 550 lbs. As strong as type 3 paracord is, it's actually quite small with a diameter of only 4 mm.
Understandably, weight and space are a concern for a lot of outdoor enthusiasts, and being able to pack more cordage without sacrificing strength is a big deal.
As I mentioned above, type 3 paracord is often called 550 cord because it can hold up to 550 lbs. Part of its strength has to do with how the paracord is designed.
It basically has two components, an outer sheath, and an inner core, all of which are made from nylon. When the outer sheath is removed it reveals an inner core made up of seven individual yarns or strands.
What’s great about this design is that you end up with more cordage than you might realize. For example, a ten-foot-long piece of type 3 paracord will produce almost eighty feet of usable cordage when it is taken apart.
This can be obtained by accounting for the ten-foot-long sheath and then adding the seven inner yarns that are ten feet long as well. Of course, taking the paracord apart and using it in this way will reduce the load that can be put on it, but it will give you more cordage when supplies are limited.
Paracord is available in a lot, and I mean a lot of different colors. I was recently looking at a website that sold paracord and they had close to six hundred different options to choose from.
What color your cordage is might not seem like an important factor but when you consider that paracord is used a lot in the outdoors or survival situations, the color becomes important to me.
Paracord is used to tie up or haul gear, it is used to wrap tool handles or create lanyards and a whole host of other purposes. The last thing you want to happen in the outdoors, especially in a survival situation, is to lose a piece of gear because it blends in with the environment. The number of different color options that paracord comes in gives you the ability to have cordage that is highly visible and therefore a lot less likely to blend in with the surroundings.
There is a right tool for every job and I previously mentioned that paracord isn’t always the best option. However, it is great general-purpose cordage that is strong, can be taken apart to provide more cordage, and comes in a variety of different colors.
Prepared4X’s Mirror Sighting Compass comes with 35+ feet of 550 Paracord Neck Lanyard. In emergencies, you can also open up the paracord to reveal 9 life-saving survival strands installed inside its length: 7 triple-braided polyester strands you can use as cordage, 1 fire tinder cord, and 1 fishing line.
If you are wanting to learn more about paracord and the many ways in which it can be used, check out my book Paracord Projects for Camping and Outdoor Survival.
Thanks for reading and stay prepared.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bryan grew up in the Midwest and spent every waking moment outdoors. Learning how to hunt, fish, read the land, and be self-reliant was part of everyday life. Eventually, he combined his passions for the outdoors, emergency preparedness, and writing. Bryan is a published author with Fox Chapel Publishing. In 2019, Bryan authored the book, Swiss Army Knife Camping and Outdoor Survival Guide. In March 2021, he released his second book, Paracord Projects For Camping and Outdoor Survival.