What is a Paracord and why do you need it [with 39 examples]

In this article, you will learn what a Paracord is Additionally, through 39 examples, you will find out what you can do with a Paracord.

from Martin Gebhardt | Gear | reading time 8 Min
Updated on 12 July 2023 61.387 views 98% found this guide helpful
What is a Paracord and why do you need it [with 39 examples]

Martin Gebhardt

From Martin Gebhardt. Check out my “About me” page.

👉 The key facts from this guide

  • Paracord is an abbreviation for Parachute Cord and was originally used by American paratroopers in World War II.
  • It is a lightweight nylon rope originally used in parachute jumps and is subject to the MIL-C-5040H standard.
  • Paracord is very durable and versatile, it is used in various areas such as climbing, outdoor activities, and survival.
  • It is long-lasting, strong, and extremely reliable and can also be used as fishing line, for building rafts, or as emergency rope.
  • Paracord is available in every imaginable color and can also be purchased with patterns or reflective functions.
  • There are numerous applications for Paracord, including securing tents, attaching tools to the body, repairing zippers, and much more.

Have you ever heard the word Paracord? I didn't know it and wanted to find out what it is.

What is a Paracord?

The term Paracord is an abbreviation for the word Parachute Cord. Originally, Paracord was used by American paratroopers in World War II. The cords could also assist other military units in combat and were therefore a very practical tool.

Gradually, further diverse applications have been discovered.

The Paracord has recently benefited mainly from social networks, where it became known.

In this article, you will learn exactly what a Paracord is. I will also show you what sets it apart from other cords and which one you should buy.

In addition, I list 39 examples of what you can do with a paracord.

What exactly is Paracord?

Paracord comes from the USA. It is a lightweight nylon rope that was originally used for parachuting.

Paracord is subject to the MIL-C-5040H standard. This standard defines 6 different classes of the material. The most well-known Paracord 550 corresponds to Type III.

The individual classes differ primarily in the specified minimum breaking load and the number of threads from which the ropes are made.

Paracord in Blue
Paracord in Blue

Since paracord is very durable and versatile, it is becoming increasingly popular in various areas. Especially among climbers, outdoor enthusiasts, and survival fans, paracord has already become an almost irreplaceable material.

It is durable, strong, and extremely reliable.

But Paracord is also used in other areas. For example, it serves as fishing line, helps in the construction of rafts, or is an emergency rope for emergencies.

Due to its beautiful structure and good flexibility, Paracord is also wearable as a bracelet.

What sets a Paracord apart from other cords?

Paracord convinces above all with its multifunctionality. I have compiled the most important characteristics for you.

1. Stability and Robustness

When someone talks about Paracord, they usually mean Paracord 550. This very strong material has a minimum breaking strength of 550 pounds (0.25 t), which is about 249 kilograms.

The material consists of 32 braided strands in the sheath and 7 core strands that give the rope its durability and tear resistance.

2. Ease of Care

Paracord is made of 100% nylon and is therefore lightweight and quick to wash and dry.

Therefore, Paracord is a popular material for dog collars and leashes, among other things. Even if it gets dirty, you can clean it quickly. In addition, Paracord does not develop an unpleasant odor when it comes into contact with fur or moisture.

The ease of care is rounded off by very durable colors that do not fade for a long time and the weather resistance that every Paracord rope brings with it.

3. Free from allergens

The material contains no allergens and is therefore 100% skin-friendly. For people or animals who cannot tolerate certain materials or substances, Paracord is the right choice.

4. Lightweight

Despite its robustness, Paracord is a very lightweight material that is easy to transport or hold for extended periods of time. The comfort of wearing it is unbeatable. This is especially advantageous for outdoor enthusiasts.

5. Appearance

Paracord is available in every imaginable color. In some cases, the ropes are also available with patterns or reflective functions. When designing your Paracord, nothing limits you.

Examples of applications for Paracord

Paracord is used in many situations. I will now present you with 39 examples of applications.

1. Tie down the tent

Experienced campers know the situation when it storms and the tent almost flies away. It would be good to have a sturdy material that can withstand the wind, right? And that's precisely what Paracord is because with this sturdy rope, you can quickly and easily protect your tent from a storm.

2. Attach tool to body

Whether you prefer to hang your tools around your waist or neck, it is easily possible with a paracord. This way, you can quickly access your belongings and nothing gets lost.

Especially for climbers, this is a practical way to transport equipment without anything falling down and getting lost.

3. Attach things to the backpack

If the backpack is no longer sufficient, you have to use the outer sides. With a paracord rope, this is very easy. Simply hang shoes, t-shirts or towels on the outside of the backpack, and you will have more space inside.

4. Make a pressure bandage

In an emergency, you need to apply a tourniquet to a wound and prevent the injured person from losing too much blood. Once again, a paracord rope is helpful as it can be tightened as a blood stopper. This creates a pressure bandage that can be adjusted to fit different body sizes.

5. Injuries seemed

In outdoor sports, sprains and fractures are among the most common injuries. However, it is sometimes not possible to immediately receive medical assistance. To continue, you can create a splint using a paracord and secure it to the body.

6. Arm sling

If the arm is injured, it needs to be immobilized. Use the paracord to make a sling.

7. Make your own belt

From Paracord you can create your own belts. With different colors, patterns, and knot techniques, a rope becomes a stylish fashion accessory that is very durable and adjustable. This puts an end to belts that constantly break or no longer fit.

For outdoor athletes and in emergency situations, it is very useful to have a belt made of paracord. This helps to compensate for weight losses caused by increased sports activities or food shortages.

8. Replace bra straps

Paracord is also useful in everyday life. You can use it to replace a bra strap or the strap of dresses or tops.

9. Replacement shoelaces

There is currently no shoelace at hand? No problem because Paracord is perfectly suited for this task.

10. Repairing a zipper

With a small thread of Paracord, you can repair any zipper.

11. Attach the boat

Small boats are secured with paracord ropes. However, always pay attention to the breaking strength of the material. If a boat exceeds this, multiple layers of rope should be used or a proper rope should be sought.

12. Lanyard

Whether it's for a key, a knife, or a necklace, Paracord bands are versatile and multifunctional.

13. Clothesline

Stable and durable, these are exactly the characteristics that a clothesline should have. That's why Paracord is also a suitable material here.

14. Hang something up

Besides laundry, you can also hang many other things with paracord ropes. How about a cat toy or a beautiful picture, for example?

15. Traps and Pitfalls

Most paracord ropes are relatively thick and are therefore noticed by animals. However, there are also thinner variants that are less noticeable.

16. Replace drawstrings

The drawstring of your pants, hat, or jacket is broken? Don't worry, Paracord is a great replacement material that will last a long time.

17. Storing things

You want to store or give away old things safely, but everything is so unwieldy? Then pack it more conveniently and compactly using Paracord ropes.

18. Making an even stronger rope

Although Paracord itself is already very strong and robust, it can be even better. When you knot different Paracord ropes using the right technique, you get an even more durable rope that is even more resilient.

19. Fishing Nets

Since Paracord has no problem with moisture, it is ideal for fishing nets.

20. Hang up the hammock

With the help of paracord ropes, a hammock can be easily attached. To ensure safety, wrap the rope multiple times around the tree or suspension.

21. Make your own backpack

To make a backpack out of paracord yourself, it takes a lot of patience. But it's worth it because the material is very sturdy and durable.

22. Drying Herbs

To dry herbs or other plants, you hang them up. For this purpose, a paracord rope is also suitable.

23. Fixing Trees

To prevent trees from growing crooked, they are straightened and fixed. Paracord is suitable for this purpose, but it is removed after a while as it does not biodegrade on its own like other materials.

24. Leashes and ropes for animals

As dog leashes or as ropes for horses and livestock, Paracord is also suitable. Collars made of this material are also very popular.

25. Attach rain gear

To be optimally protected even in bad weather, tie your raincoat closer to your body with paracord ropes.

26. Protect things from wind

With strong wind, all sorts of things have already been lost outside. That's why you should secure your equipment with paracord ropes.

27. Tripwire

Whoever sleeps outside must protect themselves from attacks. To detect intruders early on, a tripwire made of paracord can be helpful.

28. Shackles

If you have subdued an intruder or need to restrain someone in any other way, Paracord is a very reliable material.

29. Forming a human chain

On narrow paths, sometimes a human chain must be formed. This way, everyone stays together and the chance of surviving in dangerous situations increases. Paracord ropes are a good choice for this.

30. Identify individuals

Since Paracord is available in different colors, it is convenient to mark individuals with different colors. This way, you can quickly identify each person, even from a distance.

31. Sewing thread

Paracord also convinces as a material for sewing, for example when sewing on buttons.

32. Dental floss

The tear resistance of Paracord also convinced dentists, who recommend Paracord as dental floss.

33. Trading Object

In bad times, Paracord is excellent for bartering or trading. This is especially true for survival situations.

34. Build a raft

To build a raft, you need ropes. So, why not use Paracord?

35. Repairing bed frame

If the slat under your bed is broken, you can repair the bed frame with paracord. The sleeping comfort is even better than with wooden slats.

36. Hairbands

Moreover, to tie your hair together, Paracord is perfect. The material is cheap, so it's not a big deal if something gets lost.

37. Clean small tubes

If you knot paracord ropes and push them through a tube, you clean the interior with it.

38. Rescuing someone from a hole

Furthermore, here, Paracord is life-saving. If someone has fallen into a hole, you pull them out with a Paracord rope.

39. Measure distance

Paracord ropes are either 100 feet (about 30 m) or 50 feet (about 15 m) long. With this knowledge, you measure distances well.

Purchase Recommendations

I don't want you to buy any Paracord.

Therefore, I will now show you my buying recommendations for a Paracord.

The WINGONEER parachute line, a very strong paracord with 7 strands and a breaking strain of 550 lbs. It is 100 ft (ca. 30 m) in length and the color is Olive Green Camo.

WINGONEER Paracord 550 4 mm, Paracord Typ III mit 7-strängigem Kern, Paracord hält bis zu 250kg, 100 Fuß (31 m), 100% Nylon Seil, ideal für Camping, Outdoor, Survival – Olive Green Camon
4,7 (6247)

Daten aktualisiert vor 23 Stunden

WINGONEER Paracord 550 4 mm, Paracord Typ III mit 7-strängigem Kern, Paracord hält bis zu 250kg, 100 Fuß (31 m), 100% Nylon Seil, ideal für Camping, Outdoor, Survival – Olive Green Camon

  • 🎉 IM PAKET ENTHALTEN:Paracord 100 ft (31 m) lang, 4 mm Durchmesser, 7 Litzen Kern Fallschirmschnur, Typ III 550 Fallschirmschnur kann bis zu 250 kg (550 lbs) halten.
  • 🎉 HOHE QUALITÄT: Das Paracord 550 besteht aus 100% hochfestem Nylon, das reißfest, farbecht und waschbar ist und keine Angst vor direktem Sonnenlicht, Regen oder Schnee hat. Das Paracord ist flexibel, stark, verschleißfest und wiederverwendbar. Es ist einfach zu verwenden und behält immer seine Form, ohne sich zu dehnen oder auszufransen.
  • 🎉 MULTIFUNKTIONALES NYLONSEIL: Das Fallschirmseil ist ein treuer Begleiter für alle Outdoor-Entdecker. Auf Campingausflügen, Outdoor-Abenteuern oder beim Transport von Gepäck erfüllt sie zuverlässig ihre Aufgabe. Besonders beim Camping und bei der Erkundung des Dschungels kann sie als Wäscheleine, Zeltleine, Angelschnur, Hängematte oder zusätzlicher Regenschutz im Camp verwendet werden.
  • 🎉 DIY WEAVING CRAFT: Die Schirmschnur kann als Basis für Haus- oder Gartendekoration verwendet werden. Ideal für Accessoires und DIY-Projekte: Schlüsselbänder, Armbänder, Hundehalsbänder, Uhrenarmbänder, Taschenmesserschmuck. Unser Paracord 550 ist in verschiedenen Farben erhältlich, die Sie beliebig miteinander kombinieren können.
  • 🎉 Wingoneer Paracord 550: mehr als nur ein Seil - es ist eine Eintrittskarte in eine Welt voller Abenteuer. Ein Outdoor-Leben voller Abenteuer wartet auf dich!

8,59 €

View Product

The WINGONEER brand is known for their quality outdoor products and this parachute cord is no exception. It is ideal for camping, hiking, fishing and other outdoor activities.

The BROTREE Paracord 550 4 mm rope is made of 100% nylon and is an ideal tool for survival and outdoor activities, as well as for making bracelets or dog leashes. With a breaking load of 280 kg and available in lengths from 15 m to 100 m, this rope is a reliable companion for every adventure.

Brotree Paracord 4mm 9 Strängen 100% Nylon Schnüre (15m, 30m, 50m, 100m) Type III Seil für Survival, Outdoor, Heimwerken - Bruchlast 280kg (Wald Tarnung, 30m)
4,8 (1273)

Daten aktualisiert vor 23 Stunden

Brotree Paracord 4mm 9 Strängen 100% Nylon Schnüre (15m, 30m, 50m, 100m) Type III Seil für Survival, Outdoor, Heimwerken - Bruchlast 280kg (Wald Tarnung, 30m)

  • 100% NylonDieser 4mm Paracord besteht aus Nylon mit höchster Qualität und besteht aus 9 inneren Dreifachsträngen, die von einer 32 geflochtenen Hülle umgeben sind, die verwendet oder separat zu einem dickeren Seil gewebt werden kann.
  • Test auf 280 kgZarter, kompakt und sorgfältiger Strick zeigt die wundervolle Textur an. Und es ist zuverlässig, hart und langlebig, 100% Nylonkabel kann eine Bruchlast von 280 kg (620 lbs) liefern.
  • UV und Schimmel ResistentUV Sonnenlicht und Verfärben Resistent, weder verrottet noch Mehltau, was es hervorragend für das Überlebensbedarf und viele Anwendungen im Freien macht.
  • AllzweckseilIdeal zum Camping, Angeln, Überleben, Handwerk, Wandern und Herstellen von Paracord Projekten wie Armbändern, Hundekragen, Wickelbrüke, Messer und vielem mehr. Nicht zum Klettern.
  • 30M Klettband VerpackungDas Nylonseile ist 30 Meter lang und kann leicht geändert werden, um es an eine Vielzahl von Situationen anzupassen.

14,99 €

View Product

The high-quality standard and the multifunctionality make this paracord an indispensable tool in the outdoor area. Due to the large number of colors available, the rope can also be individually adapted to your style.

The Abma Cord Paracord 550 Nylon Rope is a versatile survival tool that is great for outdoor activities. With a maximum load capacity of 280 kg and a diameter of 4 mm, it is both strong and durable.

Abma Cord Paracord 620lbs Nylon Seil 4mm 9 Kern Schnüre (15m-30m-50m-100m) mit Type III Survival Fallschirm Schnur - Max. 280kg - Forest Camo, 15m
4,7 (1871)

Daten aktualisiert vor 23 Stunden

Abma Cord Paracord 620lbs Nylon Seil 4mm 9 Kern Schnüre (15m-30m-50m-100m) mit Type III Survival Fallschirm Schnur - Max. 280kg - Forest Camo, 15m

  • TYP III COMMERCIAL-SPEC: Dieses 4mm Paracord besteht aus 100% Nylon und besteht aus 9 Innensträngen, von denen jeder aus einem gedrehten dreilagigen Nylon besteht. Jedes Paracord hat eine 32/1 geflochtene Außenmantelstruktur.
  • LÄNGE & FARBE: Das Schnur ist 15 Meter Bündeln und hat einen Durchmesser von ca. 4 mm. Es lässt sich leicht modifizieren, um es an eine Vielzahl von Situationen anzupassen. Verschiedene Farben helfen Ihnen bei der Auswahl der richtigen Farbe für Ihre Paracord-Projekte.
  • SCHWERLAST: Das III-Typ Paracord kann ein Gewicht von 280kg (620lbs) aushalten. Die geflochtene Außenhaut von 32 sorgt für Festigkeit und Haltbarkeit.
  • TOP-QUALITÄT: Zusätzlich zu seiner Zugfestigkeit und nachgewiesenen Haltbarkeit verfügt es über die zusätzliche Qualität von Schimmel, Korrosion und UV-Ausbleichen, die es zum Top-Seil macht.
  • MEHRZWECK: Unser Nylon Paracord ist im Gebrauch fester und glatter. Ideal für Zelte, Camping, Bootfahren, Jagen, Überlebensausrüstung, Herstellung von Regenschirm-Seilartikeln wie Armbändern, Tragen von Paketen, Gürteln, Lanyards und Hunderten von Dekorationsartikeln.

9,99 €

View Product

This rope features a premium construction with 9 inner cores and a 32 series braid outer sheath that provides an added level of mildew, corrosion, and UV fade resistance.

And now my question to you:

Do you find a paracord vital on your trips?

Do you always have one with you?

Take care, Martin
Sources for the guide


Martin Gebhardt

Author of the guide

Martin Gebhardt

Hey, I'm Martin. On my blog, you will learn the basics and numerous details about living in the wild. I think survival, bushcraft and the good life in nature are the keys to happiness. Find me here on Instagram or on YouTube. You can find more about my mission on the About Me page.

Since this is a gear guide, here ...

🤝8 reasons to trust my recommendation

  1. Practical Experience: I have tested most of the products I recommend under extreme conditions myself.

  2. Independence: As a wilderness mentor, I am not tied to any specific brands - this means my recommendations are unbiased.

  3. Expertise: My many years of experience allow me to understand the intricacies and details of various products that a layperson might overlook.

  4. Target group understanding: I understand the needs and challenges of outdoor enthusiasts, from beginners to seasoned experts.

  5. Quality focus: I attach great importance to quality and longevity. These are characteristics that are crucial in the wild.

  6. Clear communication: I try to explain the pros and cons of each product clearly and understandably so that you can make an informed decision.

  7. Currentness: I always keep my guides up to date and adapt them to new findings or products.

  8. Community Feedback: I work in wilderness schools, teach courses myself, attend courses and am active in various outdoor and survival communities and therefore integrate the feedback and experiences of others into my recommendations.

So when I introduce the best survival knives or flashlights, you can be sure that every recommendation is based on solid experience and extensive knowledge.

Was this guide helpful?

51 people found this guide helpful.


4.92 out of 5 points (52 Ratings)