OUTDOOR BASICS

Paracord Uses: What You Can Do with Your Paracord When It’s Time to Take it Apart

Uses for paracord
Daniel Carraway
Written by Daniel Carraway

Paracord is one of the first words you learn when you want to know more about survival or outdoor activities. This popularity is due to its versatility and to the fact that it can be useful in a million different ways when you put your mind to it.

Paracord uses show their amazing value when you find yourself in a dangerous situation where you need to use everything you possibly can in order to survive. In such situations, creativity and ingenuity with paracord is highly recommended.

However, creativity is not our strong point in a situation when our very life is threatened. That’s why it’s best to practice and learn about the miraculous things paracord can do before you have to put your ingenuity to the test. Today we’ll discuss the most known uses of paracord so prepare to be amazed!

Medical Uses

Probably one of the worst problems that you’ll face when you’re in a dangerous situation or you’re fighting for your own survival is a medical emergency. These situations can be incredibly problematic because you generally don’t have access to a hospital or even a doctor outside of the hospital.

Medical uses

We all know that if medical needs aren’t cared for immediately they can lead to infection or death. Paracord, however, can actually be extremely useful when it comes to alleviating medical problems, from mild problems with sprains all the way to major problems that require stitches. So let’s see how this thick cord can help in such delicate situations.

Making a Tourniquet

If you have a wound that is bleeding, one of the most important things is to make it stop as quickly as possible. The more blood you lose the more danger you’re in and that’s going to be an extremely big problem if no medical help is around.

To make a tourniquet with paracord, all you need to do is tie your rope above the wound. Wrap it tight and secure it in place and wait for the bleed to stop.

Sewing wounds

For sewing up wounds you always want to use the inner pieces of the paracord, which means not only cutting off a piece but taking it apart to get to the inner strands. The inner strands will be clean and they are actually just the right size to sew up a wound and make sure you’re not losing more blood or getting an infection.

All you’re going to need is a needle to go along with the strand and you can do that with either a traditional metal needle or an improvised one made from a small piece of wood.

Make a sling

If you have a broken bone or a sprain of any kind you want to make sure that you’re not using that part of your body as much as you can. Making a sling can help you keep pressure off it and it’s actually easy to do.

Paracord sling

If you have a piece of cloth already you can put your arm in the cloth and use the paracord to tie it behind your neck. If not, you’ll need a little more paracord to make the sling itself.

  1. Wrap the cord a few times around your arm.
  2. Make sure it’s wrapped from your wrist up (you don’t need to wrap the entire arm)
  3. Take the ends and pull up around your neck to tie a knot.
  4. Make sure your arm forms a 90 degree angle at your elbow.

Splint a broken bone

If you have a broken bone that needs to be splinted it’s definitely important to have paracord.

  1. Take a piece of wood the length of your arm/leg or whatever part of your body needs to be splinted along with a piece of paracord.
  2. Set the piece of wood against the part of your body.
  3. Starting with the center of the cord, wrap it around the piece of wood and your body from one end to the other.
  4. Make sure to wrap tightly and tie a tight knot at the top.

Clothing

Your clothes are going to be important while you’re in the wilderness because you usually don’t have the freedom to carry a lot of them with you. You’re also not going to have the ability to go get more if anything happens to the ones you have.

Paracord belt

That means you need to be careful with them and repair them as much as possible. When it comes to repairing clothes and even equipment, paracord makes wonders.

Replacing a belt/suspenders

If you don’t have a belt or suspenders but your clothes don’t fit quite right you want to make sure that they stay up so you’re not going to trip over them. With paracord, you can do that a lot easier because it can be cut and tied wherever you need it.

Sewing holes/tears

If you get holes in your clothes it’s recommended to take action as soon as they appear. You will need a needle, whether a traditional sewing needle or a small piece of wood that you can use as a needle.

  1. Take your piece of paracord and trim off the very end to get rid of the melted portion.
  2. Pull apart the outside (the part that has color) and you’ll get to the inner strands.
  3. Pull out the inner strands slowly so they don’t break.
  4. Use one-two strands together with your needle to sew together your clothes.
  5. Make sure you pull the sides together as neatly as you can and sew with small stitches.

Making a clothesline

Hanging your clothes to dry is just going to be easy-peasy. Simply tie a piece of paracord between two trees and there you go! A quick and easy clothesline that helps you get your clothes ready to move on.

Make shoelaces

When you’re hiking or climbing, the last thing you need is a wobbly shoe. Shoelaces do break, especially if you tangle then in bushes or simply because they are old. Shoes must fit well and that means if the shoelaces break you absolutely need to be able to replace them.

Make shoelaces

The paracord you carry will allow you to do that easily so your shoes stay tight on your feet and you don’t have to worry about blisters or breaking an ankle.

Hunting

If you’re on your own, the most important thing is going to be getting food. Without food you won’t be able to stay alive or keep the rest of your family alive.

But getting food isn’t always easy because you don’t want to waste all of your bullets on food; you want them in case of danger. So using your paracord can help you get the food without wasting bullets or other valuable stuff.

Making a bow

Hunting is a whole lot easier with a bow then you might think. If you can get a piece of wood like a sapling and you get a piece of paracord you’re going to be all set to build your own simple bow.

Make a bow

This way, you’ll be one step closer to being able to feed your entire family.

  1. What you’re going to be making is called a longbow. You’ll need a slender piece of wood, such as a sapling, that is just a little shorter than you are tall.
  2. Tie one end of your paracord just below the end of the sapling.
  3. Carefully stretch the paracord to the other end of the sapling, making sure to bend it into a wide “U” shape while you do.
  4. You want the wood to be curved and the paracord to be taut. Also make sure that it’s tied on both ends firmly.
  5. You will also need pieces of wood to use as arrows. You can use a small stick that is the same length as your bow is wide. You want to sharpen one end so it will stick wherever you ‘throw’ it.

Making a trap/snare

Trapping food is another way you can get what you need for the family and traps are even easier to set than a bow is to make. What’s really great is that you can continue to set it after you get your first animal and you’ll get even more without having to sit and do the hunting yourself.

  1. Find a small piece of wood that you can whittle down into a stake.
  2. Cut a small notch into the top of the stake (the opposite side as the pointed one).
  3. Take your paracord and open it up to use the inner strands.
  4. You want one strand to tie around the notch in the stake.
  5. On the other end of the paracord (about 3 hand-lengths away) tie an overhand knot and thread it through the opposite side to create a noose.
  6. Hammer the stake into the ground with a slight angle away from the way that the animal will pull.
  7. Find a couple of small, forked sticks that are about one hand tall and set the top of the noose in it. This will hold the noose up so that an animal can get caught when it comes through the area.
  8. You’re ready to catch a small animal.

Video instructions below:

Making fishing line

Going fishing can be a fun way to get some food and it’s not too difficult to make a fishing pole with your paracord.

Make a fishing lines

All you need to do is pull out a couple of the strands from the inside and tie them to a stick and you’re ready to go.

Make trot lines/net

Trot lines and nets will work much the same way as your snares and traps because you can set them up and forget about them until you’re ready to go get the food.

  1. Take your piece of paracord and open it up to get the thinner pieces out of the center. The outer shell you want to keep intact as much as possible and singe the ends.
  2. Slide swivels onto the outer shell. You want to put one surrounded by overhand knots then space them three feet apart and tie the next one.
  3. Take the inner strands and cut sections twice as long as you want the hooks to be. Fold them over and put a hook in the middle before tying the ends and then singing them.
  4. Tie a slip knot to keep the hook right at the middle and then use a slip knot to secure the opposite end of the inner strand to the swivel. Continue with each swivel.
  5. Now tie one end to a branch and the next end to a rock or something else, making sure the drop lines are in the water.

Video instructions you can watch in a YouTube video below:

Bore snake for a gun

If you do have a gun you’d like to use for hunting you want to make sure it’s always going to be clean and ready. If you don’t have a bore snake to do that with then you’re definitely going to want to get one, or use your paracord as a bore snake instead.

  1. Take a piece of paracord roughly 5 feet long, like you were going to make a paracord bracelet.
  2. Tie one end and start making a series of cobra knots until it’s slightly shorter than your gun barrel.
  3. Make sure the piece of cord is long enough (with the leftover piece at the end) to easily go all the way through the gun and give you enough to hang on to as well.
  4. Tie a weight to the opposite end so it will easy drop through the bore of your gun.

Video instructions below:

Food

Once again, food is going to be essential to your survival, but it’s not just about getting the food. It’s also about keeping the food. You want to make sure that your food is protected against anything that might try to hurt it (or steal it) and that means a little more work, work that your paracord can definitely help you with.

Paracord outdoor

Just make sure that you’re using it right and you’ll have plenty of cord to use each time you need to store your food away or you want to start growing a little more.

Tying plants

If the unthinkable happens and the world as we know it ends, survivals will have to start over. Growing plants will definitely be a part of this new start and when you don’t have all that fancy agricultural equipment, you can easily improvise with paracord. This is great to tie plants or guide them to grow in a certain direction.

Hanging food high

If you’re out in the woods and you don’t have a safe place to store your food, the best thing to do is put it up in a tree. Animals are going to be attracted by your food but if it’s high up they can’t reach it and steal it from you. With the paracord you can hoist your food up and out of the way.

Survival/Sleep

Survival is also about where you’re going to sleep and how you’re going to protect yourself during this time. There are a number of ways that paracord can help you with this process and allow you to stay safer.

Paracord Putting up a tent

You can keep other people out of your camp, which keeps you and your family alive a whole lot longer. By figuring out the best ways to put up a tent, set up snares and a whole lot more you’ll improve your own abilities and that’s going to be essential no matter what else happens.

Putting up a tent

A tent can provide you with shade from the sun and protection from wind and rain. But a traditional tent takes a lot of time, space and energy when you’re trying to put it up. With some paracord and a piece of tarp you can have a shelter up in no time at all.

  1. Take your tarp and find a space between two trees.
  2. Tie your paracord from one tree to the next and drape the tent over the top.
  3. Make four stakes out of piece of wood with shaved ends.
  4. Tie your paracord through each corner of your tarp and then to the stakes.

Making a hammock

A hammock can be made with tarp or cloth and some paracord or you can weave one entirely out of paracord if you prefer. That way you have a place to sleep that’s up off the ground and you’ll also have a comfortable place to sit if you stop for a while.

Make a trip wire

Protecting your family from intruders is extremely important but you can’t be everywhere at once.

Make a trip wire

Setting up a trip wire with paracord and something loud like a can will alert you if someone gets too close to where you are sleeping for the night.

  1. Take a long piece of paracord and tie it a few inches to a foot off the ground between two trees.
  2. Tie a can to the cord and make sure it’s tied tightly.
  3. If someone hits the cord it will make noise and warn you.

Other Paracord Uses to Add to Your List

There are a whole lot of reasons that you need the right tools for survival. It’s not just about the needs directly related to your existence like food and medical attention or even shelter. Sometimes it’s going to be about making sure you can walk through the terrain or making sure you’re able to get rid of bad guys or other dangerous situations.

Tying stuff down

Make sure you always know the many uses for your paracord and that you’re using it the right way, because it really can save your life and help you have a better experience in the wilderness.

Tying up bad guys

If someone sneaks into your camp and tries to take your things or is trying to hurt you then you’re going to need a way to protect yourself and the entire family. Being able to tie up the bad guys is important, especially if there’s no way you can call the police.

Making a pet leash

You never want to lose your pets in the wilderness and that’s why making a pet leash can be important.

Making a pet leash

Pets tend to get scared easily and that means they could try to run off if there are loud noises or large animals. Being able to tie them up means they are safer and they stay with you.

Tying stuff down

If there is a lot of wind or if you’re using a raft or even pulling items on a sled you want to be able to tie them off so they aren’t going to fly away or slide off as you’re going. All of your supplies are extremely important after all. With paracord you can keep everything secure.

Dragging supplies

Pulling your stuff is going to be a lot easier than trying to carry it all the time so making your own sled may be the best option. You can use paracord to create a rope to pull it with and all you really need is a piece of flat wood to make a platform.

Provide a better grip on tools

Holding onto your tools can be a little difficult if you’re sweating or if there’s a lot of rain.

Better grip on tools

But paracord can help you get a much better grip so you don’t drop the tools or lose control if you’re throwing an axe, for example.

Make a ladder

Climbing up a tree or into a shelter could be important at some point during your experience and building a ladder is a whole lot easier with paracord. Just tie pieces of wood to use as steps and you’re going to be all set to climb wherever you need to be.

Make snow shoes

If there’s a lot of snow, you don’t want to be trying to slog through it. Instead, you want to make sure that you’re climbing over the top of it and you can use your paracord to help you with that. Just tie it between a couple larger sticks and you can make your own snowshoes.

And in the video below you can watch more:

Paracord Uses for The Future

There are probably hundreds of paracord uses, but these ones will definitely give you enough reason to want paracord with you at all times.

You’ll find yourself a whole lot better prepared and you’re going to really like just how much experimenting you can do with that cord out in the wilderness.

Paracord many Uses

Keep in mind that you should try it out before you get in those situations so you really know what you’re doing when you don’t have another choice. That’s all we have for you, so now it’s your turn. What uses can you find for paracord?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Daniel Carraway
Daniel Carraway

Daniel Carraway joined our team last year. He is a gear freak when it comes to hiking, climbing and camping. He went to REI Outdoor School to meet new people and learn best practices. Don’t even try to argue with him about the latest backpack or ice axe, he tried most of them. Daniel’s dream is to climb Mount Everest.

  • Alex Lauther

    They said paracord is not particularly strong as it stretches a bunch and isn’t really going to help you much. But, I have used it in various situations like for repairing torn clothing. I even remembered that I sew up wounds and tied up by backpack with a piece when the one of the straps broke.

  • Daniel Carraway

    I’ve often come across people who think that paracords are for aesthetic reasons only. They are not. They are very useful and will help you face any situation you might encounter in the wild. They are very compact and easy to carry along anywhere!

  • Meg Gardner

    Paracords are amazing. They are compact, lightweight and can be used for tying many things. I started wearing them and I’ve used them for attaching tents to trees, bundling firewood, mending broken straps etc. I’ve seen people use them to attach to a knife for retention purposes. Some keep spare paracord in their backpacks for emergency situations.

  • Daniel Carraway

    I can’t even leave the house without paracord, because you never know when you’ll need them. They’re great for fishing, too – especially when you’re really hungry! There are hundreds of uses for the paracord and knowing how best to use them is key to your survival in the woods.

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