Paracord has been a survival tool for decades, used by the United States Armed Forces and many other groups. This multi-strand cord is thin yet strong, and it is as lightweight as it is durable. These are just three of the reasons you should carry this tough survival-friendly cordage in your emergency kit.
A wide variety of traps can be made with this versatile cord. It can make the nooses on snares, and the triggers on deadfalls. For best results, rub mud or clay into the cordage before using it – to hide the human scent it may be holding in its fibers. And since paracord isn’t as strong as a steel cable, some prey may be able to chew through a paracord noose. For this reason, make sure that spring poles and other trap components are strong and able to kill the animals quickly, before they have time to chew themselves free.
Make a bola, sling or quick bow and arrow set with paracord. Even though it has a slight stretchiness, this cord is tough enough to handle all of these tasks and more. And it’s just the right thickness to work as a bow string with most longbows and recurves. But don’t try to re-string your compound bow with paracord – only a real bowstring is up to that task.
There are two ways that paracord can help us make a fire. First, you can use paracord as a string for a bow and drill friction fire set. Since it is thin and slick, you’ll want to use two strands twisted together so you’ll have enough traction on the drill. And for another fire building option, choose one of the brands of paracord that contains a flammable strand inside the body of the cord. This strand can be peeled out of a section of the cord and ignited as a form of tinder.
These tips, and many more survival tips, are in MacWelch’s books: Prepare For Anything – the Hunting & Gathering Survival Manual – How To Survive Anything – the Ultimate Winter Survival Handbook – and How To Survive Off The Grid
Follow him on Twitter @timmacwelch
And check out more of MacWelch’s outdoor skills and survival articles in Outdoor Life Magazine.