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What is Parcord: aka: Parachute cord
Parachute cord (also paracord or 550 cord) is a lightweight nylon kernmantle rope originally used in the suspension
lines of US parachutes during World War II. Once in the field, paratroopers found this cord useful for many other
tasks. It is now used as a general purpose utility cord by both military personnel and civilians. This versatile cord
was even used by astronauts during STS-82, the second Space Shuttle mission to repair the Hubble Space
The braided sheath has a high number of interwoven strands for its size, giving it a relatively smooth texture. The all-
nylon construction makes paracord fairly elastic; depending on the application this can be either an asset or a
While the U.S. military has no overall diameter requirements in its specifications, in the field 550 cord typically
measures 5/32" (4mm) in diameter.
All our Paracord is made by an approved vendor of the United States Department of Defense, passing all of the
government's quality control, first-article inspection requirements.
Military-grade paracrod comes in six different types. The best quality one that is most readily available to civilians: a
variation of the military Type III paracord frequently called Mil-spec 550 paracord. Construction of 550 paracord is
done by taking seven two-ply threads of nylon and wrapping them in a shell braided from 32 nylon strands. This
composite construction gives paracord a tensile strength of 550 pounds (the outer sheath with the seven internal
threads removed has a tensile strength of 200 pounds). Not only that, but paracord is mildew and rot resistant, and
it's only 1/8" thick, making it great for a variety of uses. Here are some examples of the uses of paracord, many of
which focus on its use as a tool to help you survive if you get lost hiking, or otherwise find yourself in a survival
USES for Paracord:
1) Bracelets, belts, and lanyards: Braiding objects with paracord that you have on you all the time is a great way to
keep a little safety around your waist or wrist. If needed, say to tie down a load on the roof of your car, all you need
to do is unweave the bracelet and voila! You are ready for the task at hand! This is especially useful for camping
and hiking, where you can wear some safety on you so it doesn't take up room in your pack.
2) Dog collars and leashes: You can braid great custom dog leashes and collars out of paracord; paracord's
strength and rot-resistance make it ideal for this purpose.
3) A saw: That's right! By pulling on a length of paracord fast enough to create actionable friction, you can saw
some things in half, such as two-inch wide tubular webbing! Check out this brief video from Estela Wilderness
Education, LLC for a demonstration.
4) Catching food: Paracord is so versatile it can be used to catch animal food, big or small. You can cut a length of
paracord and remove one of the internal two-ply threads for use as fishing line, or use the in-tact cord for animal
snares and traps.
5) Useful thread: The internal threads are also thin enough to sew on loose buttons or torn seams in clothing or
tents, and even as dental floss.
6) Camp construction and utility: In any sort of camping situation (intended or not) paracord has too many uses to
mention. Because of its strength and rot resistance, it can be used for things like pole lashing, pulling logs, hoisting
food into trees for protection, and for guy strings and shelter ridge lines for tents or temporary shelters.
7) Making fire: Since paracord itself is nylon it won't burn for you but it does catch heat so it can be used as tinder to
light larger pieces of kindling. And, you can use paracord as the necessary string in a bow-drill, a very basic and
primitive way to make fire if needed. Here's information on making and using a bow drill from Nature Skills.
8) Medical emergencies: In the unfortunate instance that you get hurt while camping or hiking, paracord can literally
save your life or the life of a friend. It can be used as a tourniquet, a sling, or to lash splints together on a broken
limb. You can even string the paracord between two sapling trunks to make a stretcher of sorts.
9) Automobile fix: No, really! You can take 550 paracord and use it as a temporary replacement for something like a
fan belt. Just be sure to knot the cord every few inches, otherwise the slippery nature of the cord will cause it to slip
10) Rappelling: No, paracord is not great as a regular climbing rope, but in an emergency situation you can rappel
or otherwise haul your body weight with 550 paracord (provided you don't weight more than 550 pounds).
11) Woven items: With enough skill you can weave things from paracord such as water bottle holders, fishing nets,
bird nets, or other traps.
12) Pulley systems: Around the house or in the woods, having a good block and tackle pulley system can allow you
to haul and lift weights much heavier than you could without pulley assistance; paracord is great in pulleys.
13) Weaving rope: If paracord isn't strong enough for you, you can use it to braid even stronger rope for hauling or
pulley purposes, such as to remove a stuck vehicle. This is an option if you are in a situation where you don't have
proper rope available.
This paracord is ideal for camping, boating, crabbing, indoor or outdoor clothesline, halyard line, garden line & any
other uses requiring great strength & durability.
Contains Seven (7) Removable Inner Strands that can be used for fishing line, sewing thread, tripwire, nets, traps
and other emergency +/or survival situations.
A quote from the manufacturer about this item:
We carry both the commercial and real millitary paracord!!
The commercial version of the mil-spec Mil-C-5040 most popular cord used on the market aka: “military style”
Tested at over 550lb and is great quality paracord. Most of the cord we now use is from "Rothco" who produce
some of the best paracord out there. (we also now carry their new Polyester paracord which is imported and has
great test streng that over 600lbs)
And the real deal: MIL-C-5040H Type III Paracord. (the best paracord on the market)
Don't confuse this 550 Parachute Cord with the numerous copies on the market today. This is the official product
used by the U.S. Military. It's military designation is MIL-C-5040 Type III and has a rated strength of 550 lbs. Our
version, the authentic version, is offered here in a handful of colors. (This is the genuine cord manufactured by a
parachute cord manufacturer for the United States Military. Certifications are available)
Be aware of sellers advertising their paracord as the real "MIL-C-5040H Type III Millitary paracord" In most cases its
a commercial grade or Chinese version (in most cases 350 cord). Always ask for a certificate and test results.
This is a problem that is not limited to just us. This confusion is experienced by all of our competitors that make
either of the cords too. The real shame is that not all of our competitors produce a quality commercial cord that tests
550 lbs. Some use inferior raw materials & just try to undersell everyone else."
|Always be prepared for whatever your next
adventure might bring your way.
Here at HikePro we specialize in the
Ultimate 550 Paracord Survival Gear,
Accessories, and lots more.
All our paracord products are hand-made
from real 550 paracord right here in the
USA, and are designed to help you when