One of the concepts of personal survival preparation is the principle of redundancy. Having one item that will do two things and having two items that will do the same thing. Some things however have so many multiple uses it takes a book to list them all.
Paracord, or 550 cord as it is also called, is one of those. Originally manufactured in World War Two as parachute suspension cord, the paratroopers found that it had multiple uses. Currently, it is manufactured to a number of specifications and quality levels. The outside of the cord is nylon with a number of smaller inner strands. Various manufacturing of Paracord have different numbers of fine strands inside the outer sheath. These fine strands can be removed and used for such things as sewing thread and dental floss. For the camper, survivalist or military person, 550 cord is not a luxury, it is a necessity. Here are some of the practical uses for this item that I gleaned from another website.
1: Tie tarp to trees 2: Lanyard to hold items (knife, keys etc.) 3: Emergency para cord wrist band, 4: emergency snare (from one of the strands inside) 5: Fishing line (from inner strands) 6: Boot laces 7: Floss with the inner strands 8: Dog lead 9: Emergency suture ( from inner strands) 10:Wrap knife handle 11: Bow drill 12: Clothes line 13: Improvise a seat by lashing a long log horizontally to 2 trees 14: Emergency repair for sail while sailing/canoeing 15: Belt for your trousers 16: Hang kettle/cooking pot over a fire 17: Emergency sewing thread (from inner strands) 18: Make a fishing net from inner strands 19: Make into a net hammock 20: Improvise a sling 21: Hobble your horse 22: Perimeter trip wires (attach to tin cans or anything to make noise) 23: Watch strap 24: Rig up a quick bow stringer when you’ve forgotten yours… 26: Carry gear on your back when you don’t have a rucksack 27: A platypus hose cleaner(by tying granny knots in it and pulling it through. 28: Tie house keys to forgetful children. 29: Emergency tow rope – admittedly you need several strands but it is surprising what a few together will hold! 30: A pulley line for dragging big bits of wood up the side of a hill 31: A standby strop…. for polishing a razor 32: A skipping rope for kids (needs a heavy knot in middle) 33: Hang mesh frames for propagating plants in greenhouse. 35: Rudimentary swing for the kids as and when they become bored. 37: Abseil down a cliff edge 38: Headband/ hair tie 39: Bundling around firewood for easy carry 40: Tie on to a sled so you can drag it during the heavy snow. 41: Hang a light over the designated latrine for night times 42: Replace a snapped pull string on older lights. 43: improvise a fuse 44: hanging mirror or other large objects. 45: Use as strap wrench or Spanish windlass 47: Improvised bore snake for cleaning a firearm 48: Make a tire swing 49: Hanging your hammock 50: Hang an emergency whistle round your neck 51: Pull cord for chain saw 52: Pull cord for boat engine 53: Pull cord for lawn mower/ weed eater 54: Emergency Tourniquet 55: Tying down & Securing the straps & belts of rucksacks when travelling 56: Replacing a drawstring cord in a rucksack or on gaiters 57: Tent guy lines. 58: Tying your rucksack to something solid with sophisticated bush craft knots outside a shop. 59: To tie down a rucksack lid should one or both buckles break? 60: To make an improvised stretcher by lashing poles together and making a net. 61: To lash poles together to make a shelter 62: To lash a blade to a long pole in order to use as a spear (for emergency hunting). 63: To wrap a mini Maglite handle for grip 64: For lowering equipment/packs down cliff edges. 65: Creating a snare
Trust me, there are many, many more! There are a lot of fun things you can do with it too. You can make a world of practical items such as belts and survival bracelets. Just Google “Paracord” or “550 cord” and you can spend the afternoon learning about its usefulness. Just make sure you get some for your kit.