I love paracord. Whether as a ridge line for the tarpaulin, as guy lines to stop the tarp flapping about, or a small piece hung from the hammock suspension rope to stop rainwater running down into the hammock (as a wick), it’s probably my favourite and most versatile piece of kit.
I always have 100ft of it with me when camping. It’s cheap and versatile, and can also provide entertainment. Paracord crafting is a hobby in itself, and you can make everything from bracelets to fishing line, fishing lure, hammocks to belts.
For the survivalist, inside the paracord sleeve are 7 to 9 nylon cords (depending on the quality) which can be used as snares, sewing thread or fishing line.
Not just a fashion accessory, paracord can be woven into a bracelet to provide a 7′ to 9′ piece of paracord (when you pull the bracelet apart) whenever you need. Add a buckle with a built in whistle, and you give your kids entertainment and a way for them to call for help if in trouble. You can even buy buckles with built in fire starter kits. There are many different designs and knots used for the weave, but the simplest (to get you started) is the cobra bracelet. Glow in the dark paracord bracelets are a great way to keep an eye on the kids at night (I use luminous paracord to hang my torch up at night… handy when it’s pitch black and you need the loo).
There are many other kinds of knots which give different styles. You can even splice together two different coloured cords to give you a two tone bracelet.
Want to make something even fancier. Try the wide dragon’s tongue design!
Fishing… no kit? Paracord to the Rescue
As we mentioned above, inside a paracord sheath are thin cords which can be used as fishing line. What about bait? If you can find worms, you can do a spot of worming. This involves attaching worms to a hook, and then a weight to keep the worms bouncing along the bottom of the stream or river. A problem most anglers will be aware of is conventional weights getting caught on the river bed, and suddenly you’re playing a tug of war game which you’re likely to lose (along with that hook and your worms). Line left in rivers isn’t a good thing for wildlife, so why not rig yourself a paracord slinky weight. The following video shows you how! This is less bulky than normal worming weights, and therefore less likely to get snagged between rocks.
What happens if you dig and can’t find worms though. You’ve got some hooks in your survival kit, but no fish is going to bit on a bare hook! Make a fly from paracord!
No hook? Well, so long as you can find a thorn bush, you can rig this up with a paracord line. Thorns were still being used as fishing hooks at the turn of the 20th Century.
No hook, no bait, no thorns… well the vultures will eat well (just joking). Make a paracord net and make a fish trap!
Paracord can be used to make fishing nets, net bags and even hammocks!
If you want a paracord hammock (we use one slung underneath a tarp to hold our equipment and keep it off the ground), while you can make one (and for the fun of it, why not), they are incredibly cheap to buy.