Festival Snobs

The Importance of Paracords

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Paracords in different colors

After a long week being cooked up in the office, it’s likely that you might want to spend some time in open spaces. Bouts of fresh air can help rejuvenate your mind and rekindle your spirit. A weekend spent outdoors can help you unwind for the coming week.

Before heading out for a camping trip, it’s essential that you gather the right supplies. That doesn’t mean that you need to break the bank in the process. When bought in bulk, paracords can spare you from the need to purchase or haul lots of bulky items.

A Brief History

Paracord burst into the limelight during the Second World War after the military sought to replace silk with nylon in parachute manufacturing. As nylon was a synthetic fiber, it made a cheaper and durable replacement when making parachutes and parachute cords.

It also had some other incredible properties that could be exploited in the harsh military world. Nylon is resistant to mildew, rotting, abrasion, and UV-induced fading. That means you can subject it to just about any amount of abuse without wearing it down.

Officially, there are six different varieties of paracords commissioned by the military service. Each of them has different capabilities, but Type III or the 550 cord is the most common. Paracord is a kernmantle rope; it has a core (kern) and an outer sheath (mantle).

The 550 paracord has seven strands, each of which is made of three smaller strands. The outer sheath has 32 woven strands that are available in numerous colors. The term 550 stems from the cord’s ability to handle weights of up to 550 pounds before it can snap. That means the rope can handle just about any load that you throw at it when out camping.

A Handy Outdoor Companion

Different outdoor materials for campingWhen heading outdoors, the last thing you want is a backpack that weighs you down. You certainly could do without the back pain when you return to the office on Monday. Paracords let you head out in style without having to tote heavy gear. Since they’re made of nylon, they’re lightweight and flexible. You can fold them to fit the tightest space without adding any bulk to your load. You can also sling them around your waist if you need the bag space for extra rations.

If you’re looking to make the most of your handy companion, take a moment and brush up on your ability to create strong knots. A quick search on the Internet can unearth a myriad of tutorials to help you perfect this skill.

With a little effort, you can fashion paracord into a myriad of items, including a splint, stretcher, or sling to help a joint or muscle injury. The paracord makes a perfect fishing net or trotline. You can also fashion the rope into snares and have a simple way to gather food. Interestingly, you can make snowshoes from the paracord.

No outdoor adventure is ever complete without a paracord. The sturdy and durable rope will get you out of a sticky situation and save you from the need to haul lots of gear.