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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 | no comment yet | reading time 8 Min
Updated on 13 June 2024 67.997 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, short for parachute cord, is a lightweight but strong nylon rope originally used in US Army parachuting equipment. It is known for its versatility and is used in survival situations and for various outdoor activities.
  • 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?

Paracord, short for parachute cord, is a lightweight but strong nylon rope originally used in US Army parachuting equipment. It is known for its versatility and is used in survival situations and for various outdoor activities.

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

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

The parachute line from Planet Paracord is a very strong paracord with 7 strands and a breaking strain of 550 lbs. It is 100 ft (ca. 30 m) in length.

Paracord Planet Paracord (50+ Colors) - 1,000 Foot spools - 250 Foot spools - 100 feet Hank

Data updated 2 hours ago

Paracord Planet Paracord (50+ Colors) - 1,000 Foot spools - 250 Foot spools - 100 feet Hank

  • 100% nylon sheath with 7 type III twisted inner strands means this paracord will stand up to just about anything. With a 550 pound tensile strength, you can be sure to be prepared for anything.
  • Made in the USA. Paracord Planet's 550lb paracord is made in the US by certified US government contractors ensuring strength and durability.
  • Resistant to Environmental Factors and Harsh Conditions.
  • Multi-purpose cord ready for whatever you need it for. Paracord Planet's 550 parachute rope is perfect for camping, crafting, hiking, making paracord projects like bracelets, lanyards, necklaces or paracord coasters or cozies, self-defense tools, wrapping hatchets, knives, or tools, it’s great to have at the lake, on your boat, for boy scout and girl scout troops, and much more!
  • Paracord Planet is a US owned business and strives to supply you with the best and toughest cord you need for any situation!


View Product

The Planet Paracord 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 VVAAGG 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 100 FT to 200 FT, this rope is a reliable companion for every adventure.

VVAAGG 550 Paracord 100FT, Strong Heavy-Duty Camping Rope, Tactical Parachute Cord, Outdoor Gear Tent Rope 4mm



Data updated 2 hours ago

VVAAGG 550 Paracord 100FT, Strong Heavy-Duty Camping Rope, Tactical Parachute Cord, Outdoor Gear Tent Rope 4mm

  • 550 Cord easy to use, lightweight and non-stiff camping rope.
  • Black paracord 100 Feet, Black Parachord
  • 550 Parachute cord for emergency rescue, super practical.
  • The umbrella rope is made of 7 strands of core weave, durable and wear-resistant.
  • The multifunctional parachute rope is widely used in Diy projects, camping, hunting, military and active outdoor activities.

List Price: $16.99

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

TECEUM Paracord Type III 550 Army Green – 50 ft – 4mm – Tactical Rope MIL-SPEC – Outdoor para Cord – Camping Hiking Fishing Gear – EDC Parachute Cord – Strong Survival Rope 010 N

Data updated 2 hours ago

TECEUM Paracord Type III 550 Army Green – 50 ft – 4mm – Tactical Rope MIL-SPEC – Outdoor para Cord – Camping Hiking Fishing Gear – EDC Parachute Cord – Strong Survival Rope 010 N

  • PARACORD 550: Paracord Type III (550 lb) has a 100% nylon core. Color: Army Green. Length - 50 feet (15.2 m). Made in accordance with MIL-SPEC. Available in 40 colors options. Packaged according to length: 50, 100, 200 or 1000 feet. Scan QR code to get OD Paracord E-Book. *Please note that colors may vary due to different monitor settings.
  • STRONG & DURABLE: Paracord Type III has 550 lb (249 kg) min strength; 32 strand sheath structure, 7 core yarns each made of 3 twisted nylon fibers. Thickness: 5/32-inches (4mm). Manufactured according to Mil Spec C-5040H.
  • HIGH-QUALITY materials used to manufacture our paracord makes it durable and resistant to damages caused by weather conditions. Sun, rain or snow, it is made to serve you long. UV and fade resistant.
  • MULTIPURPOSE: Versatile, flexible and of a great strength, para cord is very multi-functional. It is used as a tent cord to set up tents, safely secure hammock or hang heavy items such as bikes and kayaks in your garage or basement. Serves as a safety rope in emergency situations. Ideal for crafting custom accessories: lanyards, bracelets, dog collars, keychains, belts, wrapping axes, knives, tools & other DIY projects.
  • MUST-HAVE: A Must-Have for Camping, Hiking, Fishing, Boating, Kayaking, other outdoor activities and sports. The best gift idea for men and women who love sports, outdoors & DIY craft projects, for boy and girl scouts. Travel gear & equipment, EDC.


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.

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Free 35 Survival Hacks you'll love!

You will get 35 easy-to-implement survival hacks so that you don't have to stand aimlessly in the forest from tomorrow when things get tough. Take your skills to the next level!