Its typical use is for the suspension lines of parachutes. However today it is also used as an all-purpose provision in many prepper and survivalist packs.
Different Types of Paracord
When buying cord for your projects, you should be aware of what you are looking for to make sure you buy the right stuff.
Since the paracord boom, there are many cheaper versions from China that have flooded the market. They are of lesser quality and often have not had their load strain tested adequately.
Therefore they could break under tension and when you need it most. To avoid making these mistakes, here are some handy tips you can use to shop by:
Rule 1 – Make sure it has at least 7 strands, some even have 8. The 5 strand stuff is generally lower quality and obviously not as strong.
Rule 2 – Where is it coming from? I’m all about buying “Made in the US” products, the reality is however that most of our goods come from China due to the labor rates. Check the seller and look at their feedback if using auction sites or Amazon.
Rule 3 – Do they offer entire spools? If they only offer short lengths and you cannot buy a full spool of 100ft or more, chances are they are a middleman and upping their price by providing shorter lengths from a full spool they purchased wholesale.
If you follow these simple rules you should be just fine and happy with your purchase.
Which brings us onto…
Where to Buy Paracord
There are several options for purchasing the right kind of paracord.
You can try eBay – however, that’s more of a potluck option sometimes
You can go to Amazon – better results and less chance of buying the wrong cordage
You can use a well know supplier who we’ve personally used.
Both Military and civilians alike have taken to paracord due to its strength and unlimited uses. For example, threading beads into a length of paracord to make a pacer or ranger bead is a great way of counting your paces and navigating in poor visibility.
Some more uses include replacing your watch strap with a paracord watch band, there are numerous paracord bracelet designs, including this one that includes a fire starter.
Then there are the less tactical, more fun project you can do, such as paracord dog toys, seat swings, and phone cases.
Next, we get down to the meaty end of paracord projects. Weapons.
These include monkey fists, kubotan’s, rock slings, and survival bows.
First up, let’s take a look at some of the various knot, weaves, and braids.
Below is a list of items you will need before you get started on your first project. This list is designed to help you prepare and plan beforehand…exactly what preppers do 🙂
Paracord Jig – This is the first thing I suggest you start with, see video below for instructions.
Scissors – make sure they’re nice and sharp, cloth scissors work great.
Lighter – this is used to seal the ends of cut paracord to stop it from fraying
Clips and Buckles – depending on your chosen paracord project, you will need something to hold the finished product together
Cutting Mat – this is crucial if you want to avoid destroying your furniture or kitchen counter
Stanley knife – any sharp blade of some sort will do
Making A Paracord Jig
Using a jig for your paracord projects is a really good idea. primarily it will save you a ton of time and if you’re anything like me when it comes to fiddly things I’m all fingers and thumbs.
This video shows you how to make your own paracord jig.
How To Fuse Paracord
Knowing how to fuse paracord ends together will save you a ton of time later on in your projects. This video shows you the best way to do it. Be sure to check out the Permalok Threading Needles further on.
101 Paracord Projects
SO lets kick off this 101 Paracord Projects marathon with taking a look at some Knots, Weaves and Braids. Further on we look at:
I really like this stitch design as it’s different to every other survival bracelet you see out there. Now the red cord is obviously not paracord buy you could use a strong dyneema or thin kevlar paracord to give the same effect.
Probably one of the neatest paracord bracelets you will see. This design is tightly woven with a clean fastener/buckle that doesn’t take away from the aesthetics. I would recommend you make a paracord jig to make this one.
It actually recommends that you soak your to allow it to shrink which makes measuring the correct length more accurate.
For all you water lovers out there, this design is super easy to make and again looks different to all the other survival bands you can buy.
Here’s a nice video and the instructable link above doesn’t do a great job of explaining exactly what is going on…plus he guts the paracord by removing the inner strands, rendering the cord useless in a survival situation!
In 2012, 62% of American households has a pet. In the same year we spent over $50 billion on those pets! Since then those numbers have risen, so there’s a good chance you have a pet AND you understand how expensive they can be.
Making your own products, leashes, collars and toys can save you a ton of time. Plus they can stand up to the toughest of treatments!
Below we have a selection of cool paracord pet projects you can undertake and a couple of hours or less. They are practical and you will learn some great skills along the way.
In the closet I have a bag, it’s my GOOD Bag (Get Out Of Dodge) and I use it for middle of the night emergencies such as a house fire etc.
Hung on the outside is one of the paracord dog slip leashes. I prefer this type of leash to the regular clip leash for a number of reasons, the main one being its ease of use and speed to get on the dog.
When you’re in a hurry, you don’t want to be fumbling around with clips and collars.
For everyday use, my dog has a collar and clip on leash. However once we get away from main roads etc I take him off the lease and he’s free to roam.
Having one of these quick release collars allows me to take it off and on, without unclipping the leash. Plus its yet another emergency supply of 550 paracord when you need it. It could even double as a slip leash if needed by unraveling.
Some dogs walk better on a harness, smaller dogs that can pull and damage their neck are suited to this style of harness. It would be a good idea to add some padding under the leg areas to avoid rubbing too much when they walk.
Who says paracord projects have to be all about survival and preparedness? What about the pratical side of these little DIY exercises?
The skills you can learn and the everyday items you can make when you simply have no other option is vital. Preventing boredness when SHTF will be a vital skill if you have kids (or you’re just a big kid yourself!)
Check out some of these projects for a mixture of household, cool, and downright practical items.
11) Paracord Grenade Keychain
They look cool and pack a nice amount of cordage for when you need it. Sure it won’t help you rappel down a rock face, but it can tie off a wound, replace broken boot laces or but used for lashing.
A little gimmicky but still has it’s uses. If you’ve ever handled a lighter with cold or wet hands, you know it can be tough. By wrapping it in paracord you add grip and increase the width so it’s no so fiddly anymore.
This is practical for todays office worker and student alike. This paracord laptop harness packs in a lot of cordage and is a good started project as you will learn a few of the skills and knots required for bigger projects.
I have my everyday vehicle which is fairly new and great, BUT I love my old truck. Its a beast of a machine and has never let me down. The trouble is it’s getting tatty around the edges, ok more than tatty.
This steering wheel wrap will do the job to hide that and add an element of grip back to the wheel.
Where would any Paracord roundup be without a section on paracord survival projects?
These projects are what initially attracted me to paracord, it wasn’t long before I understood just how practical some of these items can be. If you’re ever in need of cordage, that paracord bracelet or keychain is no longer a fashion accessory, but a survival item.
This is a simple project that is within reach of beginners. It doesn’t require any special buckles or anything…that is because it uses a cobra weave bracelet. You can see the very detailed instruction from IntenseAngler on youtube below.
Having the ability to make fire in a survival situation can be the difference between life and death. This clever guy has come up with a way to carry that means of fire inside of a paracord survival bracelet
My design is meant to be a utilitarian supply of EDC cordage, not a permanent keychain ornament, and because it is SUPER fast to both use and then re-store when done, I find it to be a much more convenient way to carry and store paracord, compared to a typical, woven “survival bracelet” which takes a lot more time. Although I carry it mostly for quick, day-to-day tasks, it’s also on hand for emergency/survival situations, and since no time-consuming weaving or unraveling is needed in its construction or deployment, it’s super easy to learn, use, and teach to others, such as onlookers who often seem impressed at how quickly you’ve gone from fob to rope.
Having equipment that is adaptable for fishing is a great addition to any survival situation. If you don’t have the space to carry the kit outlined here then this is a good compromise. Brought to you by intenseangler and his youtube channel…
This plan calls for 550 cord, 7 strand which you should be familiar with by now. You also need 25 feet of fishing line, weights, and hooks. So technically you don’t have to have the fishing line and can use the inner strands of the paracord, you should have the fishing line if at all possible.
This dispenser is a really good idea for both the projects you are building and also for carrying with you or in your go-bag.
Depending on the size of container you choose you can pack a serious amount of cordage into one of these things. And, like the quick deploy bracelet above, it provides instant access when you need it most.
This is a step up from the regular survival bracelet and although it uses less cord (you could add more if you wanted), it’s very practical.
You should have all of your important documents, contact details and treasures memories stored away on several of these small USB devices. You can then keep it with you at all times by wrapping it in this survival bracelet.
Another nice use of the survival bracelet, this time going all Rambo and adding a small compass. This one is great for wilderness adventures, I mean I’m not sure you would need this in an urban environment, but your never know.
The monkey fist, whilst used a weapon can also double up as a cool bookmark when scaled down in size. If you are thinking of making the larger version for self protection, this would be a good place to start and learn the knots required.
I love hammock camping, my first hammock was a simple net setup which was actually very comfortable, despite being very cheap. I have always thought about making my own hammock, and what could be easier than using paracord?
This tutorial looks a the hammock and also the bottle used to hold it. So not only can it carry water, it also holds your sleeping arrangements, combines with some climbing clips and a roll of Duct Tape.
I’m not sure why you would want to do this, but at least one of the PrepperZine Team like this idea! I suppose it’s a good way to practice for other larger projects and it does make your cables look uber cool.
Considering this is the very first paracord project this guy has done, he did a great job on his alice pack. The straps are thinner and will lighten the load of your pack whilst provide some cordage should you need it.
Unlike the lanyard featured in the previous section, this one is made with a break free buckle which means that if you were to get snagged on something or someone was to pull it, it will pop apart and you can break free.
Unlimited uses, I like this one for a neck carry knife.
Depending on where you live, heavy snowfall may be likely for many of you. Even if you’re backpacking and get caught in a snow blizzard, being able to walk any kind of distance over snow will require snow shoes.
Of course, you don’t need shop bought pieces of wood like in this tutorial, you could always use tree branches or whatever is to hand. A neat skill to learn to get you out of a tricky situation.
The Leatherman tool is one of the most popular pocket tools on the market. There are so many of them that you will need to adjust the size of your pouch to suit, which is as simple as creating a template out of cardboard.
If you follow this tutorial, make sure you include the strap at the back for clipping to your belt or webbing.
As above, this time for an axe handle which does look even better than the knife I must say. If you leave some extra cord at the end you can also make a loop to strap the axe to your wrist and also lash it to the outside of your bug out bag.
This is a neat little pouch for your EDC items. Depending on the size you make it you can sote all manner of items in here. From fire starting equipment, to a small fishing kit, even a torch and your “get home cash”.
I’ve done this project myself on my Mini Maglite and it does look great. It’s a simple weave to construct once you get started and there are a number of ways you can finish it off depending on your personal usage,
This is a cool paracord trick to ensure you never lose your nalgene bottle cap again. It make it easier to drink out of and quicker to take a drink on the go as you are not fumbling around with a cap in your hands.
This is a bit of novelty but can come in handy if you are carrying may items and need a quick grab handle for your torch. When investigating dark places it is easier to carry and rotate with the handle than by just holding the torch with your hand.
In icy conditions, you can whip up a set of snow grips with ease by using just paracord. I’ve not tried these out myself but I think I will come this winter as the rubber and metal ones I have are terrible!
This is a very unique paracord lanyard which gives you a good amount of cordage. It involves zero knotting and braiding and can be a nice break away from all of the finger twisting, cutting, snipping, fusing and melting.
Similar to the bedroll compression strap earlier, this time for the modern sleeping bag. Stuff sacks are great, but what if you lose it?
What if you have a lot of gear and you back busts leaving you with nothing? Well, you could pile it all into the bottom of your sleeping bag, zip it up and use this compression strap to tie it all together and sling it onto your back.
This keyfob combines a small monkey fist which can be used as a self defense weapon should you need it. They are fairly unobtrusive and pack a lot of cord should you need it for something other than fending off an attacker.
Belt clips are good for all of the other tools you need but are not using right now. They aid in carrying, plus, if you are to make the paracord belt from above, you will have a much stronger attachment point.
So there you have it, 101 cool paracord projects, split into 10 sections, include a paracord FAQ and what you need before you get started.
I hope you enjoyed this article and that you will attempt your own chosen project soon.
If you do we’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
Disclaimer – PrepperZine is in no way responsible for your actions as a result of reading this article and taking part in the building of any of these projects. You agree to not inflict harm on any person from the use of the paracord weapons described. These projects are for educational purposes only.
'Mountain Man' John is a Survival and Preparedness enthusiast who loves everything outdoors. He has a passion for learning anything and everything to help sustain his and his families way of life post SHTF.
He frequently shares his knowledge on a variety of topics from his hands on DIY projects, learning new skills such as hunting and trapping along with reviews on his Survival related purchases - Prepping has been in his family for generations, it's in his blood.
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