(SurvivalDaily.com) – You’ve likely heard, or read, about paracord being an essential part of any survival kit. This can seem like an odd addition at first glance. Sure, a bit of rope could be useful, but why do so many people praise this as a vital component to their gear?
Simply put, versatility is a survivalist’s best friend. Any item that has a wide range of purposes is valuable, and reduces the amount of gear you have to haul around. The uses of paracord are limited only by your ingenuity.
Paracord can save your life in an emergency. No joke. Let’s say you get a nasty cut on a hike. This cordage can help slow, or stop, the flow of blood as an on-the-spot tourniquet. The inner strands work for sutures in a pinch as well.
Paracord and a solid, straight branch will also make a great impromptu splint for broken bones. Straighten the limb, place the branch next to it and secure it in place with the cord. This can be useful even if you haven’t broken a bone. A twisted ankle may not be as serious as a broken leg, but you’ll be glad to have the tools on hand to stabilize it nonetheless.
Additionally, it can make an impromptu sling should your arm or shoulder become wounded. Having the ability to limit the movement of an injured limb will reduce the risk of further damage. You can combine this with a splint for more stability.
Not only is paracord useful in a medical emergency, it’s also great for a variety of defensive, and offensive, tools as well. Just as you can use the inner cords for sewing up wounds, they’re also useful in making tripwire alarms. We suggest using the inner strands, because paracord is generally bright-colored on the outside. Using colorful strands for a tool that needs to be hidden would defeat the purpose. Even if your cord isn’t neon green, it is still thick which increases the risk of being seen.
String the cordage between two trees, or two sticks driven into the ground, then add something to make noise and alert you to an intruder. A used soup can with a couple of rocks in it will do the trick.
If you are wanting to go on the offensive, paracord can be used to create multiple weapons. A monkey fist, for example, will add a bit of range to your attack. They are also capable of doing a surprising amount of damage.
The cordage can also be useful for attaching spearheads, arrowheads, or even wrapping the handle of a makeshift knife. In a tight spot, it can even serve as a homemade bore snake for a firearm.
If you ever find yourself in a wilderness survival situation, paracord could prove invaluable. Here are some examples of how it can help:
- Fishing Line – the inner strands will work for fishing line in a pinch.
- Snares – a rock, a slip knot and a few sticks could provide dinner.
- Hanging Food – if you want to dry out your food to help preserve it. Also, it can keep bears from getting your supplies if used to hang them from a tree.
- Firestarter – when cut into small pieces, paracord is a great way to get a fire going.
- Transportation – bundle firewood to haul it back to your camp
- Shelter – tie it to some trees or sticks and a tarp. Instant tent.
- Trail Marker – to ensure you don’t get lost while looking for food or water.
When it comes to your survival, knowing how to improvise is a skill that can’t be overlooked. The ability to take ordinary items and make them extraordinary could be the difference between life and death. Make sure you practice these skills so they are well oiled and ready to be used, should you ever be forced to rely on them.
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