Paracord projects are more than just a fun way to pass the time. Paracord is one of the most versatile pieces of survival gear kit you can possibly own – so having it on you is a huge boon in case you ever get stuck in any sort of survival situation. And while rope can certainly do many of the things that paracord can do, paracord is a few steps higher on the usefulness ladder considering the inner strands of paracord can also replicate the uses that string can.
If you’re new to the world of paracord, and you’re not quite sure about the basics, do take a moment to check out our complete guide to paracord, which explains exactly what paracord is, why it’s so highly revered in the survival and bushcraft community, what kinds of paracord are best, and how to make sure you’re actually getting quality paracord when you shop online.
Creativity is one of the most important characteristics of being a survivalist, and yet it’s one of the hardest to train yourself to learn considering it’s a psychological skill that’s developed over time and not a single thing that can be easily taught.
Yet I’m a firm believer that with greater knowledge comes greater creativity – especially when it comes to bushcraft. Why? Well take for instance being thrown into a survival situation where you have little to no past experience with the environment – say you’re used to forests like we are, but end up lost in a desert – versus being thrown into a situation that’s quite similar to what you’ve previously encountered – say being thrown into a forest just like the ones you grew up around back home. Chances are you’re going to be able to use your previous experiences to work off of and be more creative with in a forest, and you’ll get a lot more stuck with creativity and ingenuity in the desert, since you have little to no relevant experience with deserts.
It’s also a lot easier to remember an idea than to make up a new one up completely from scratch. When you’re in a high-intensity situation where your nerves are most likely frayed and you’re running on adrenaline and just want to get out alive, you’re going to be thankful if that one idea you read somewhere or saw on YouTube flashes into your mind as the perfect solution to the problems you’re encountering.
And so, when you read articles about the many different ways you can use specific items, those articles can prove to be really helpful because they can help you to think in new, creative ways about the items you already carry and use (or would be easy to start to carry and use in your everyday life).
As always, I’ve broken down the different applications/uses into sections so that it’s easier to digest the sheer number of uses, as well as refer back in case you need to remember to teach yourself a specific use.
I’ve also made note of whether the use of the paracord was referring to using the paracord as a whole/completely in tact (with the yarns still twisted into strands and inside the outer shell of the paracord – it’s original state), or whether the use of the paracord was referring to the paracord’s inner strands being used, and thus the original in-tact paracord having been taken apart from its original state so that the inner strands could be used separately.
Please note that some of these uses of paracord do require a lot of cordage to complete, but if you’ve got plenty on you, as well as the time, patience, and skill – you can make any of these work.
Also, some (particularly the bushcraft ones) are much more practical than others (like the EDC uses for paracord). So keep in mind as you’re reading that not all these uses are equally as useful. You of course may not want to waste your paracord on many of these applications, even if you do have the extra cordage on you – especially if you’re using the paracord to help you get out of a survival situation.
Without further ado –
Everyday Carry Uses for Paracord
- Lanyard for keys, EDC neck knife, whistle, etc. to tie around neck. (whole paracord and/or inner strands)
- Replacement shoe or boot laces. (whole paracord)
- Pocket lanyard for keys, EDC knife, etc. to make pulling out of pocket easier. (whole paracord)
- Belt or replacement belt. (whole paracord)
- Suspenders or replacement suspenders. (whole paracord)
- Replacement draw string for sweat pants. (whole paracord)
- Tie to keep rolled up items secure. (whole paracord)
- Neckerchief slide. (whole paracord)
- Bracelet. (whole paracord)
- Watch strap. (whole paracord)
- Zipper pull. (whole paracord)
- Pet leash. (whole paracord)
- Pet collar. (whole paracord)
- Hair tie. (inner strands)
Bushcraft Uses for Paracord
Gear Related Paracord Uses
- Thick lanyard at end of knife to extend handle length. (whole paracord)
- Knife handle wrap. (whole paracord)
- Grip around walking stick. (whole paracord)
- Lanyard to tie bushcraft knife sheath around neck. (whole paracord)
- Tie down gear so nothing is blown away in storm or strong wind. (whole paracord)
- Add extra handles to bags/packs. (whole paracord)
Shelter Related Paracord Uses
- Secure bundles of sticks to make walls and roofing for shelter. (whole paracord and/or inner strands)
- Fasten tarp to trees to use as elevated bed. (whole paracord)
- Tie together a net hammock. (whole paracord)
- Fasten tarp to top of shelter to create roof. (whole paracord)
- Tie tarp to trees to create lean-to. (whole paracord)
- Tie between two trees and drape tarp over, then tie down tarp to create tent. (whole paracord)
Hunting Related Paracord Uses
- Snare line. (inner strands)
- Fishing line. (inner strands)
- Use to create trot line for fishing. (inner strands)
- Tie together a hand fishing net. (inner strands)
- Tie together a gill net for fishing. (inner strands)
- Create slingshot. (whole paracord)
- Make a bola throwing weapon. (whole paracord)
- Tie knife to stick to make improvised spear. (whole paracord)
Fire Related Paracord Uses
- String for bow drill to make fire. (inner strands)
- Pull apart and make fluffy, then hit with firesteel sparks to use as tinder. (inner strands)
Food Related Paracord Uses (Cooking, Consumption, & Storage)
- Tie stick tripod together to create primitive jerky. (inner strands)
- Hang cooking pot/cup over fire. (whole paracord and/or inner strands)
- Floss. (inner strands)
- Hang food from trees to keep away from wild animals. (whole paracord and/or inner strands)
First Aid Related Paracord Uses
- Suture thread. (inner strands)
- Improvised sling. (whole paracord)
- Makeshift tourniquet. (whole paracord)
- Secure splint. (whole paracord)
- Improvised stretcher. (whole paracord)
Movement & Transportation Related Paracord Uses
- Use as rope to tie together a makeshift raft. (whole paracord)
- Tie together a net bag to use for transporting items. (whole paracord and/or inner strands)
- Tie loose items onto backpack or belt for easier carry. (whole paracord and/or inner strands)
- Use to create thong for makeshift sandal. (whole paracord)
- Use to create makeshift snow shoes. (whole paracord)
- Create a pulley system to transport items. (whole paracord)
- Create a ladder by tying together branches for steps. (whole paracord)
- Use as a rope to climb trees. (whole paracord)
- Tie down boat or raft. (whole paracord)
- Tie items together to transport them easier. (whole paracord)
- Bundle firewood for easy carry. (whole paracord)
- Tie to a sled so it’s easy to drag through snow. (whole paracord)
- Tie to trees to create trail markers. (whole paracord)
- Tie around gear to lower gear down first while climbing down cliffs. (whole paracord)
Security Related Paracord Uses
- Create parameter trip wires by stringing up cans with rocks in them or bells. (inner strands)
- Human leash where everyone holds on or tied together so that no one gets lost. (whole paracord)
- Makeshift hand cuffs. (whole paracord)
- Tie intruders to tree. (whole paracord)
- Improvised bull whip. (whole paracord)
- Garrote wire. (whole paracord and/or inner strands)
Signaling Related Paracord Uses
- Tie down bright coloured clothing or tarps to tops of trees to signal location to planes passing by. (whole paracord)
- Tie to glowstick and swing around to draw attention. (whole paracord)
Misc Bushcraft Related Paracord Uses
- Tie around coat or jacket to keep closed if zipper broke. (whole paracord)
- Tie down backpack flap in case of broken buckle. (whole paracord)
- Replace broken bra strap. (whole paracord)
- Tie tarp or garbage bag around you to stay dry in rain. (whole paracord)
Camping/Outdoor Uses for Paracord
- Replacement guy lines to secure a tent. (whole paracord)
- Repair for sail. (inner strands)
- Improvised bow stringer. (whole paracord)
- Improvised rappel harness. (whole paracord)
- Rappling rope replacement. (whole paracord)
- Improvised bore snake for firearm. (whole paracord)
Garden Uses for Paracord
- Tie hammock to tree. (whole paracord)
- Hang mesh frames for propagating plants. (whole paracord)
- Tie bundles of sticks together to move them when pruning. (whole paracord and/or inner strands)
- Tie tall garden vegetables to stakes. (inner strands)
- Tie up baskets to create hanging basket garden. (whole paracord)
- Create rope fence. (whole paracord)
Around the House Uses for Paracord
- Backup sewing thread for clothing. (inner strands)
- Clothing line. (whole paracord)
- A heavy knot in the middle of the paracord to make skipping rope for kid’s entertainment or exercize. (whole paracord)
- Use as toy to play with cat. (whole paracord)
- Hanging objects, including heavy objects like large mirrors. (whole paracord and/or inner strands)
- Crochet basket. (whole paracord)
- Using wood, and tools – create a chair. (whole paracord)
Misc Uses for Paracord
- Braid together to create tow line. (whole paracord)
- Replacement pull cord for chain saw, boat engine, lawn mower, weed eater, etc. (inner strands)
- Improvised fuse. (inner strands)
Did I forget any? What other paracord uses can you think of?
There have to be a slew of paracord applications I didn’t mention on here – but I’m always willing to alter that number in the title! Let me know if I’ve missed anything you thought of and I’ll be sure to add your point to the list!
By the way, to see an excellent Scribd article with many photographs and illustrations that depict the types of uses described here, visit this page here.
I don’t understand why you would use strands to make a recoil rope, it would get tangled up big time.
1. Boat anchor rope
2. I used it with a 300 lb pull magnet to retrieve a couple items out of the lake
3. I also have used it to temporarily mend a split axe handle until I could get a new one
4. Rifle sling
5. You covered so many, there isn’t much left, except one’s imagination!
Elise Xavier says
Thanks for the tip! When I get a chance I will modify the article to take your advice into account. And that’s pretty cool how you used paracord with a magnet to retrieve items out of a lake! Very creative ;).
The Lady Kay says
Hey Elise…great article! A couple years back I made paracord bracelets for all the members of my family as Christmas presents. Not only was it fun craft project, it was also a useful gift. Although most of my family think I’m nuts so they probably just threw it in a drawer!! LOL
Elise Xavier says
Thanks for the compliment about the article!
They are really useful gifts those paracord bracelets! And don’t look too shabby if you make ’em in nice colours. Better in the drawer than in the garbage! Haha!