There are number of valid reasons why it is important to know some emergency uses for paracord. You are going to find those reasons a little further on in this article. One reason, however, stands out head-and-shoulders above the rest. Having knowledge of emergency uses for paracord can save your life.
What Is Paracord?
You may ask yourself this question. What is paracord and why should I even care? Well, paracord (paracute cord) is a nylon kernmantle rope used in the suspension lines of parachutes since WW2. It has also been found to be very useful for many other applications and is used extensively in the military.
Naturally, it found its way into civilian life and has proved to be very popular for use in do-it-yourself projects, outdoor adventures and even as fashion accessories. The low-down is that paracord has many practical uses. Knowing emergency uses for paracord in the outdoors (especially for making knots) can be an extremely useful skill.
7 Reasons Why To Know Emergency Uses For Paracord
Here are 7 good reasons why you should know emergency uses for paracord. Each and every one of these emergency uses can save your life, depending on the circumstances.
1. Trap Small Game
Make a snare to trap small game on the ground. You will need the following:
- small piece of wood with a sizeable notch carved out of it (top end)
- bigger piece of wood with a similar notch carved into it (for the smaller piece of wood to fit loosely into it). The other end must be sharpened in order to be shoved into the ground like a peg
- some "bait" to attract the animal's attention
- a bent over sapling
Cut open and remove the "guts" of the paracord. Use the thinner string to make a noose. The size of the noose will depend on what it is you have in mind to trap. Tie one end of the noose string to the small piece of wood. Shove the bigger piece of wood into the ground like a peg.
Use more string to tie the opposite end of the small piece of wood (the one with the noose tied to one end) to the bent over sapling. Add the "bait" to the end where the noose is tied. Now fit the two pieces of wood together. You are now ready to trap food for the table.
Source: Creek Stewart
In case you are not successful in trapping a small game, you can modify the snare trap slight to use it for fishing. You will have set the trap up next to the water. Instead of making a noose, you just tie a long string with a sharp hook on the end of the small piece of wood to serve as your fishing line.
Source: Creek Stewart
Alternatively, you can do the following:
- Find yourself a "rod" or use a walking stick
- Tie a long piece of paracord to the rod
- Use some thin "gut" string as a lead line with a hook
- Tie this lead line to the end of the paracord line
- Forget about the "rod" and just use the paracord and lead line (with the hook) and fish with a handline.
3. Make A Survival Tourniquet
Accidents happen and medical care is not always close by. Use the paracord or thinner string from the "guts" of the paracord to tie down injured areas to limit blood loss.
Source: My Medic
4. Use Paracord As A Trail Marker
Maintaining direction while hiking in dense woods during the day or night can be problematic. It is relatively easy to get lost if you don't concentrate on where you are walking. Paracord, especially brightly colored cord, can come in very handy in such situations.
When you leave your camp to hike or hunt, just tie a piece of paracord around various trees along your route. The paracord will act as markers to help you find your way back to your camp.
5. Build A Survival Shelter
There is no reason to sleep under stars and risk getting wet or even worse ... being harassed by unwelcome late-night visitors. Use your paracord to build a shelter for the night.
The Survival Outpost will show you how to go about building a survival shelter using your paracord.
6. Start A Fire
Finding yourself in a emergency situation without matches can be discouraging. In such circumstances you don't have any other option but to try your hand at the age-old "bow drill" method (friction-based fire making).
It is definitely not an easy task, especially if it is your first ever attempt. Fortunately you have your roll of paracord with you and it is going make your task (a bit) easier.
The bow drill is probably the most effective friction based method to use because it’s easier to maintain the speed and pressure you need to create enough friction to start a fire. In addition to the spindle and fireboard, you’ll also need a socket and a bow.
Get a socket. The socket is used to put pressure on the other end of the spindle as you’re rotating it with the bow. The socket can be a stone or another piece of wood. If you use another piece of wood, try to find a harder piece than what you’re using for the spindle. Wood with sap and oil are good as it creates a lubricant between the spindle and the socket.
Make your bow. The bow should be about as long as your arm. Use a flexible piece of wood that has a slight curve. The string of the bow can be anything. A shoelace, rope, or strip of rawhide works great. Just find something that won’t break. String up your bow and you’re ready to go.
Prepare the fireboard. Cut a v-shaped notch and create a depression adjacent to it in the fireboard. Underneath the notch, place your tinder.
String up the spindle. Catch the spindle in a loop of the bow string. Place one end of the spindle in the fireboard and apply pressure on the other end with your socket.
Start sawing. Using your bow, start sawing back and forth. You’ve basically created a rudimentary mechanical drill. The spindle should be rotating quickly. Keep sawing until you create an ember.
Make you fire. Drop the ember into the tinder nest and blow on it gently. You got yourself a fire.
Source: Brett & Kate McKay
7. Make Paracord Handcuffs
You never know when you will be faced with an emergency situation where you are forced to tie someone or something down. It can be a situation where you are being attacked with the intent of bodily harm or where you have to make a citizen's arrest.
Either way, you can use your available paracord to make a pair of handcuffs (also known as "Boatswain's handcuffs").
Here's how to make paracord handcuffs ...
You start of by simply tying a prusik knot around your finger. You take the ends of the cord and slide them in place of your finger. This will form the loops you need to put the wrists in. After that, just pull the ends until the cuffs are very tight (if you seriously want to restrain someone there is no need to be gentle. Blood flow is overrated).
Tie off the ends at least two times (as shown in the image) and you have yourself a nice little restraint. The prusik knot is chosen for a reason. It resist pulling by itself and tying off the end will make a very effective restraint.
Source: Paracord Guild
Paracord are readily available and should be one of the first items to go into your survival bag, regardless of what kind of outdoor activity you engage in. Just make sure you have it - be it in the form of a cord roll or a survival bracelet.
AND last but not least ... make a point of getting to know the various emergency uses of paracord.
NEED paracord? Below is a table with options:
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