Paracord is possibly the most versatile piece of survival equipment that you can have in your survival kit.
There are hundreds of tutorials on the web explaining different kinds of uses for paracord that you might now have thought of.
Some are just for fun and some should be part of your ever expanding skills set.
But searching though all these results and finding the best can be time consuming. Soo here at Prepared Survivalist we did just that for you.
In this post you will find the best paracord projects that are available on the web.
Since this is a very long post I suggest that you bookmark it so you can come back later if you have to.
And if you find an awesome tutorial that isn’t included in this post, let me know and I’ll add it to the list.
First I’ll talk a bit more about the most frequently asked questions about paracord.
Paracord is a very versatile survival tool.
But what is it exactly? and are there different types of paracord? And what do I need to look out for when buying paracord?
these three questions seem to come up very often when talking about paracord.
This section is dedicated to answering those questions.
What is Paracord?
Paracord is a lightweight nylon rope made from multiple strands of wire wrapped in an outer layer of nylon.
Each inner strand of wire is made up of more inside strands of wire that are twisted together to provide the strength.
Courtesy of ramblinjim.com
Apart from being lightweight, paracord has some flexibility and the smooth texture that make it perfect for a wide variety of survival uses.
The inside wire can be taken out during an emergency situation and can be used for things like fishing, making small game traps or heavy duty rope.
Don’t discard the outer shell since that is useful for things like making replacement bootlaces or tying your knife to a stick to make a spear.
The possibilities really are endless with paracord.
Types of paracord
Not all paracord is created equal. In total there are 4 types of paracord. Each with different properties.
When survivalists and peppers talk about paracord they mostly refer to type 3 paracord or 550 paracord. This is the middle type of paracord in terms of strength and price.
The following table provided by morethanjustsurviving.com shows each type of paracord and the properties.
|Type 1||Type 2||Type 3||Type 4|
|Rated Strength (optimal)||95 LBS||400 LBS|| 550 LBS |
(hence commonly called 550 paracord!)
|Number of core strands||1||4-7||7-9||11|
|Primary uses||Very cheap, both in terms of cost and quality. Usually used for dummy cording, decorative uses, lacing, and other light duty tasks.||Never seen it sold anywhere. I wouldn’t bother looking either: simply skip it and go straight to type III/550 cord. Type III/550 is both cheaper (because it’s more common and available) and stronger.||Middle of the road in terms of both strength and quality. Usable for the vast majority of survival applications. Highly affordable.||Very strong, though cost reflects this. Significantly more expensive than type III paracord. Over 50-100% price increase over the type III alternative.|
What to look out for when buying paracord
Since the most used type of paracord is 550, we will be focussing our attention to this type of paracord.
Obviously you are looking to get the best quality possible when you shop for paracord.
Eventually you will end up looking for “mil-spec” paracord. This is paracord made to comply to the US military complaint specifications.
Since commercial paracord mostly is an inferior product to mil-spec paracord, you have to be able to tell the difference between the two.
Mil-spec paracord needs to comply to at least 4 features that you can visually inspect.
So next time you are shopping for paracord follow the following 4 steps to determine if the paracord is mil-spec or not.
Remember, ALL FOUR of the following requirements must be met to be mil-spec.
Cut one end of the paracord and pull back the “mantle” or outer shell to reveal the inner strands. Then proceed to look for the following things.
1: 7, 8 or 9 inner strands
The inner strands make for the strength of 550 paracord.
Count the inner strands of the paracord.
Mil-spec type III paracord requires that it MUST have 7, 8 or 9 inner strands.
Any fewer than 7 strands will result in loss of strength and will therefore not hold 550 pounds of force.
If your paracord is advertised as 550 paracord and has fewer than 7 inner strands, steer away from it.
2: 3 inside strands
Now that you know how many inner strands your paracord has it is time to check each inner strand to see how many inside strands it has.
Each inner strand needs to have 3 inside strands to be mil-spec.
Most commercial paracord doesn’t have this and as a result loses strength.
If your paracord doesn’t have 3 inside strands in each inner strand the same applies as in step 1. Steer away from it.
3: Twisted strands
Now take a closer look at each inner strand and inside strand of wire in your paracord.
All of these strands need to be twisted to be mil-spec compliant.
Some commercial paracord has straight strands instead of twisted strand.
Or even a combination of straight and twisted strands.
If all of your paracord strand aren’t twisted then your paracord isn’t mil-spec compliant.
4: Colored manufacture’s ID mark strand
Mil-spec paracord requires that the manufactures include a colored inner strand.
This is referred to as the “manufacturer’s ID strand” or “colored marker strand” or “colored ID marker strand” or even just as “ID marker strand”.
This strand has to be used inside all of the mil-spec paracord that the manufacture makes.
The United States military assigned the colours to different manufactures so that they can keep them accountable.
Most commercial paracord doesn’t include a colored ID strand but some do.
Unfortunately, this is a cheap trick to make the paracord look more like the stronger and more reliable mil-spec paracord.
So if you paracord does have a colored strand but doesn’t include the first 3 qualities then steer away from it as it definitely isn’t mil-spec paracord.
To summarise: Mil-spec paracord has 7,8 or 9 twisted inner strands composed of 3 twisted inside strands and has a colored manufacture’s ID mark strand
Following these 4 steps you can quickly find out if your paracord is commercial.
If the paracord has all 4 requirements then it has a high chance of being mil-spec paracord.
But since the requirements are comprised of 2 pages of information, it doesn’t mean that your paracord is mil-spec.
For that to be the paracord needs to be in compliance with Mil-c-5040H.
Paracord550milspec.com does a great job of explaining what it takes for paracord to be Military Specification compliant Paracord.
Paracord project essentials
You need to have some basic tools when you start working on any paracord project.
Below you will find a list of items that are necessary in order to complete your paracord projects with ease.
Take a little time to prepare, just like any prepper, and you’ll reap the rewards.
Paracord Jig – Often overlooked but it will help you out when you need it most. Take a look at the tutorial under this list to see how to make one on your own.
Cutting board – Needed when you want to keep your furniture in pieces. If you have a working bench then skip this.
Scissors – they must be sharp! Cloth scissors work best for cutting paracord so use those.
Lighter – for sealing the end of the newly cut paracord and stop it from fraying.
Knife – also a sharp one. Stanly knives usually work best for paracord projects.
Clips and buckles – when you make bracelets. Otherwise any other item that can hold your paracord project together.
If you aren’t familiar with a jig then this picture is for you.
Don’t let anyone tell you that a jig is a tool for beginners.
Most veteran crafters can benefit from using a jig just as well as someone who just starts out crafting with paracord.
Most beginner weaves like the cobra weave stay knotted but can be made more easily with a jig than without.
For the more advanced paracord weaves, like the fishtail that don’t stay knotted, a jig comes in very handy,
You have both your hands free to be weaving and pushing up and tightening all that paracord.
Bracelets aren’t the only paracord projects that can benefit from using a jig.
Larger projects like monkey fists, gun slings or collars for your pets can be completed much smoother than without a jig.
Lauri from paracordplanet.com covers 3 major benefits to using a jig when working with paracord.
1) Precise measurements. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sized my bracelet against my wrist, checked it after a couple knots and had it be too small. If fact, it happened to me last weekend with my dog’s collar. I measured it against his neck and MADE THE ENTIRE COLLAR only to discover it was far too tight so I had to undo the entire collar and start from the beginning.
2) A third hand. Using a jig will give you steady hands since the jig holds the bracelet for you. No more struggling with bazaar holds and makeshift jigs.
3) Different sizes. Not only are jigs adjustable, but a lot of them come with a couple different size buckles already assembled so you can do different size buckle projects. There are also different size jigs available for projects from a child’s bracelet all the way up to rifle slings and large dog collars. See all the different size jigs we carry!
Should you want a jig, you can always make it yourself.
The video below walks you through the steps to do so.
How to fuse paracord together
Learning how to fuse paracord together is a skill that will help you complete projects faster. With a basic tool you can, with a bit of practice, almost instantly fix broken pieces of paracord. Plus you can create all sorts of amazing designs with fused paracord strings.
The next section is all about the different paracord projects that you can discover.
To make it a bit easier to navigate I’ve divided the projects in to 8 different groups.
Each group links out to different videos and instructions. Just click the link to see the project.
Paracord knots, braids & Weaves
There are two camps when it comes to working with paracord.
Those who are interested in learning how to use paracord for survival situations and this those who use paracord as a crafting material with no real survival purpose.
In this section we start with 7 essential knots that you can use your paracord for in case of emergency, followed by some paracord projects that are more for show that for survival.
- 7 knots you need to know
- Turks Head Knot
- Centered Stitch Weave
- Dragons Tongue Bracelet
- Zipper Weave Bracelet
- Nautical Bracelet (2 Strand Loop Bracelet)
- Corkscrew Bracelet
- Kronos bar bracelet
- Jagged Cacophony Bracelet
- Cascading Ladder Bracelet
- Cobra Bracelet
- Serpent River Bracelet
- Hex Nut Bracelet
- Building Blocks Bracelet
- 4 Strand Fishtail Bracelet
- Lion Heart Sinnet
- Ringbolt Hitch Viceroy
- Pupa Pull Tie
- Hangmans Noose Knot
Paracord survival projects
Paracord us an amazing piece of equipment to have in your survival kit.
This section is dedicated to all the amazing things you can do with paracord that are geared to surviving an emergency situation.
- Adjustable Bracelet
- Survival Bracelet with Firestarter
- Survival Bracelet with Firestarter 2
- Fishing Bracelet
- Compass Bracelet
- Quick Deploy Bracelet
- Quick Deploy Parafob
- Quick Deploy Donut
- Pocket Paracord Dispencer
- Survival Tin Pouch
- Snare Trap
- Climbing Harness
- Paracord Sling
- Emergency Fire Starter Lanyard
- Paracord Duct Tape Keychain
- Paracord Fishing Lure
- Firesteel Wrap
- DIY Firewood Carrier
- Pace Counter
- Emergency Shelter
- Fish Bone Guy Line
- Bootlace Survival Kit
- Zig Zag Spool Your Paracord
- Paracord Rope
- Paracord Survival Raft
- Paracord Tourniquet
- Paddle Wrap
- Paracord Duck Call Lanyard
- Trail Markers
- Game Strap
Paracord Tools & Gear Projects
Paracord can be used to create survival tools and gear or enhance existing tools and gear. The following paracord projects show you how to wrap your survival tools, create slings for things like your weapons, make pouches and all sorts of different tools to make your life around your camp easier.
- Knife Handle Wrap
- Axe Handle Wrap
- Flashlight Wrap
- Quick Deploy Flashlight Wrap
- Bow Handle Wrap
- Paracord Rifle Sling
- Shotgun Sling
- Bow Wrist Sling
- Multi Purpose Sling
- Paracord Deployment Lanyard
- Backpack Straps
- Paracord Bottle Net
- Neck Lanyard
- Coiled Lanyard
- Paracord Fast Rope
- Snow Shoes
- Leatherman Pouch
- Mini Multitool Pouch
- EDC Pouch
- Water Bottle Harness
- Paracord Bandolier
- Nalgene Cap Paracord Fix
- Flashlight Carry Strap
- Quick Release Paracord Holders
- Paracord Snow Grips
- Paracord Donut
- Cargo Zipline
- Bundle Compression Strap/Handle
- Compression Sack
- Ladder With Wooden Rungs
- Rope Ladder
- Emergency Rappel
- Fish Stringer
- Paracord Friction Saw
- Paracord Spear
- Bow Fire Drill
- Fishing Net
- Tactical Maglite Strap
- EDC Bag Paracord Grab Handle
Paracord Weapon Projects
Paracord can of course also be used as a weapon.
Different types of knots can form the basis of some seriously cool types of weaponry.
The next section covers all kinds of weapons made from paracord. From basic weapons like slingshot to blow darts.
You’ll find how to make them here.
I am not responsible for any damage or injury. These projects can be dangerous and should be used with care!
- Self Defence Key Fob
- Giant Monkey Fist
- Paracord Kubotan with Screw
- Paracord Nunchakus
- Paracord Blowdart
- Paracord Practice Bolas
- Kunai Rope Dart
- Paracord DIY Survival Bow
- Paracord Boresnake Alternative
Paracord Clothing Projects
Paracord can be used as a survival tool as well as accessory.
The next section will show you all different things you can do with paracord to brighten up your clothing.
You won’t find a sweater from paracord, I doubt that would be comfortable, but you will find some amazing accessories for your day to day clothing.
- Paracord Watch Strap
- Paracord Belt
- Paracord Belt with Karabiner
- Zippo Lighter Pouch
- Zipper Pulls
- Wrist Lanyard
- Belt Clip
- Prussik Belt
- Boonie Hat Wrap
- Neckerchief Slide
- Paracord Flip Flops
- Paracord Bootlaces
- Survival Necklace
- 10 Clothing Related Uses For Paracord
Paracord Home Projects
These paracord projects aren’t meant for survival purposes but can be very useful for every day life.
Just to keep you busy or have a nice little paracord addition to your home.
- Paracord Koozie
- Double Monkey Fist Bookmark
- Hammock In a Bottle
- Paracord Iphone Cable Wrap
- Drawstring Bag
- Permalok Threading Needles
- Paracord Trivets
- Hammer Holder
- Pot Holder/Wrap
- Beer Bottle Holder
- Paracord Cross
- ID Badge Lanyard
- Paracord Camera Strap
- Repair Birdhouse with Paracord
- Paracord Wire Sleeves
- Hammock Chair
- Vehicle Grab Handles
- Otterbox Case Repair with Paracord
- Paracord Ranger Beads
- Paracord Emergency Sewing Thread
Paracord Pet Projects
Pets, a Preppers and survivalists best friend.
They need the love that they deserve.
The next section is all about creating paracord items for your pets.
I could only find dog related paracord projects but with a little modification your can make them for other pets as well.
- Dog Slip Collar
- Dog Toys
- Dog Collar
- Dog Harness
- Halti Dog Collar
- Dog Leash Handle
- Dog Leash
- Horse Rope Halter Part 1
- Horse Rope Halter Part 2
Paracord Projects for Fun
Last section of this post.
All about fun paracord projects that have little to do with survival or prepping.
These project are neat ways to enhance your paracord skills.
- Paracord Grenade Keychain
- Paracord Wallet
- Keychain With a Secret Compartment
- Sunglass Lanyard
- Laptop Harness
- Paracord Army Man
- Paracord Buddy
- Paracord Snowman
- Zipper Pull
- Celtic Bracelet
- Steering Wheel Wrap
- Pen Holder
- Head Band
- Phone Pocket
- I-Phone Sleeve
- Divided Sine Wave Sinnet
- Dragon Egg Paracord Pouch
- How To Make a Woggle
- Tank Tracks Bracelet
- Paracord Watch Band
- Paracord Jump Rope
- Bound Tower Paracord Bracelet
- Paracord Bullwhip
- Tree Swing
- Wind Chimes
- Paracord Lasso
- Paracord Earrings
- Paracord Elephant
- Cat O’Nine Tails Whip
- Tiny Globe Knot
- Eternity Knot
- Guitar Strap
- Azulejo Key Fob
- Paracord USB Bracelet
That’s it for all the paracord madness.
There are some useful tutorials inside this article that I will follow to be better prepared then I am now.
Do you have any paracord projects that you are missing?
Let me know in the comments below.
If you liked this post then share it with your friend.
Let them know how wonderful paracord can be.