20 Different Ways to Use Paracord in a Survival Situation

Different Ways to Use Paracord

A paracord is probably the most useful object you can have in difficult situations.

Maybe not the strongest, not the most defensive, not the easiest to cut with, not the best option for setting up and preparing stuff – but it does it all and more without problems.

If you are a hiker, a prepper, a camper, or just an overall outdoor person who wants to increase his/her survival changes in the wild – then a paracord is a critical object to have.

Here we will explain 20 different ways you can use one of these to survive out there.

Let’s start with a brief explanation!

How To Actually Use Your Survival Paracord

What is Paracord?

Paracord is made of nylon, originally created to secure suspension lines of US parachutes back in WWII. That’s why it is called a paracord. On the other hand, that’s also why it is really strong and resistant to almost all kinds of uses.

What is Paracord?

You can find mot paracords in lengths that go from 10 to 100 feet or even more in some cases, in many different colors. They may also come with different types of constructions, strength resistances, and may even offer different thicknesses.

However, the most commercial option is Paracord 550, which means you’ll need 550 pounds of strength to break it.

Despite being initially made for parachuting, you can use a paracord for a wide array of things including linking things together, securing stuff, as pressure for a tourniquet, and much more.

It is one of the most versatile product out there and works for a wide array of situations, including survival ones. Here we will explain which ones.

20 Uses for a Paracord

So you are interested in learning the many applications a paracord offers, here we will explain most of them;

1. Tie Stuff

It’s obvious and probably goes in every use you can think of. But tying stuff up is the most advantageous application for paracord in the wild. Whether it is to keep yourself dry by tying plastic bags to your body, to carry more weight or bring things along, and more.

Remember that paracord can be braided, knotted or looped several times as long as you have enough line to use. This will make it really hard to break but incredibly useful for all sorts of hanging, tying and pulling.

tie stuff paracord

You can even use it as a method to bring things close to you in a river or lake, so they don’t eventually stay behind.

It could even work as a way to tie someone when in a dangerous situation such as climbing or swimming in a river, this way you both stay together and safer. Tying is probably the main thing paracord can be useful in a survival scene.

2. Securing your Tent

Whether it is staking it on the floor with rocks or stakes, securing it with trees or poles, or just using an anchor point you find – a paracord won’t let you down when it comes to securing your shelter.

securing your tent paracord

This way, no matter the weather in the place you are, your tent will be much more protected than before, mainly if you use a strong paracord.

If you don’t necessarily need to anchor your tent somewhere, you may also use the paracord to keep it rolled down. Sometimes, a tent guy line gets lost so you’ll need to something to tie it – a paracord will also do wonders.

One of the additional uses for this nylon rope is to tie hammocks or hanging beds. If you have several or two trees close to each other and you want to make something to lie down or just sleep, then a paracord will also help you.

It is essential to use it correctly if you want to get the most strength and resistance out of it. We recommend looping it around the anchoring points for added safety.

3. Building Stuff

So you are in the wild, and you don’t have a shelter or somewhere to stash your supplies and gear. Or you just need something to either float in water or elevate and secure yourself away from dangers. Well, then you can use paracord without problems.

Build a Better Shelter

One of the most common uses of this type of line is for building bunkers. You’ll just need several logs, stakes or metal tubes and use the paracord to secure them down together. It could also work to create a foundation for just whatever, including a tent or shelter, or something elevated in a tree or rock.

Another option could be a boat. Paracord is not only waterproof due to its nylon construction but also floatable. You can pair several wood logs or plastic tubes together to create something that floats and pass across waterways without issues.

It is possible that you will need at least hundreds of paracord to do so, but it can still be doable.

4. Bows & Arrows

You are in the wild, and there’s little to eat when it comes to fruits, vegetables or nuts and you’re starting to feel hungry and desperate. Well, you can always use a paracord to create a bowstring along with a piece of drywood, a knife and possibly sapling or feathers if you have any.

Bows & Arrows

You’ll need to separate the cord into sections and get only one string for the bow. This is the one that will give the bow the power. So make sure it is tight and ready to cause some damage. Remember to make sure the wood bends just enough without breaking.

It is also essential to produce the right arrows with a sharp point so it can penetrate flesh. This would make it work as a hunting option but also as a defense if needed. You won’t have to use metal for the points necessarily, just use your knife for the wood, and that will be it, but of course the deadlier the point, the better.

If you want, you can attach an extensive line of paracord to the bottom of an arrow and use it as a spear. This could be especially difficult with fish and things that move in trees, so you can have pull force and don’t lose your catch.

5. Animal Capture

Apart from bows & arrows, you can also create a wider array of animal capturing traps, snares or even nets. One of the most useful approaches is to create a trap that works as a snare or with a trigger system.

Animal Capture

Just make sure you know the right knots, and you have a strong & resistant cord according to the type of animal you want to capture. This could also work as a defense or alarm system if needed.

You may also produce a fishing net using paracord. It could be hard because you’ll have to detangle every string from the cord and then knot them down together to create something sturdy that could capture fish.

If you have enough line, you may eventually produce a large net that could be useful for large fish such as salmon or bass.

And if you want to keep fishing and have even more chances with aquatic animals, you can use paracord as fishing line. Here you’ll be detangling a string off the cord and create a rod with a piece of wood that can bend at least just a little.

With the strand and the rod, just pick something that could be used as bait (insect, worm, etc.) and cast it. You will have a beneficial fishing line.

Now that you have the animal, it is time to keep it safe. Here is where you can keep using a paracord to produce a hanging option. Whether it is for gutting and cleaning or just to keep them off the floor or reach from other animals, a nylon cord will be hugely useful without a doubt.

Just make sure to attach the line to a secure place and on a reliable anchor point in the animal, and that will be it.

6. Make a Fire

Maybe not the easiest of endeavors for a paracord, but among the most useful you’ll find. If you can make a fire with one of these cords, there will be nothing else to prevent you from surviving in the wild.

Make a Fire

You’ll just need to use the bow method, which is all about producing a bow-like piece of wood and tie the cord in the two ends. This will help to create something where piecing another piece of wood inside will give leverage to the piece.

Just imagine how you can set tinder on fire by attaching a piece of softwood with the paracord and moving the bow-like section back and forth until the fuel ignites.

It will be necessary to have sturdy but flammable wood such as pawpaw, willow or cedar. This will be the ideal wood for making a fire. And for tinder, just find small twigs, dry leaves, and something that can ignite.

As a last resort you may also use the nylon from the cord as fuel, but it won’t be as flammable as the natural options.

7. Tourniquets

If you get to wound one of your limbs, there will be nothing more useful to stop the bleeding than a tourniquet. Thanks to the strength and resistance of the cord, you can use it effortlessly to make a tourniquet and prevent yourself or a person from bleeding out. This could save a person’s life.

8. Splints

Whether it is a sprain, a broken bone, or just a damaged tendon, you can always keep the pressure on it with a paracord. You can attach a stick or branch, or just any piece of rigid wood or plastic along the limb that’s harmed, and you’ll be able to fix it temporarily with a splint.

In a survival situation, this kind of fast and effective option can be life and time-saving. If you don’t have duct tape or something else to secure a splint, then the cord will do the job.

9. Slings

So you have an injured arm, either broken or wounded that you don’t want to move or just secure and keep safe. Well, then you can make a sling with the paracord.


Just double up and make the knot around the arm or leg, make sure you use the right waiving system and tighten it up hard enough so it can keep your limb strongly on the place. And the best of all is that the paracord will continue working as usual, even if it gets dirty.

10. Sutures and Stitches

This is not the most useful or everyday use for a paracord in a survival situation, but always possible as a last resort. If you don’t have suture material in your backpack, you can use a small strand from the cord to create stitches.

It is not something very safe, and you’ll have to take it out as soon as possible, or else you could end with a piece of paracord in your skin for life.

Remember to always sterilize the cord before using it for something like this. But the only way to do this is with an antiseptic or alcohol so you may need to do it the unhealthy way.

If the wound is also longer than one hour, then you may need to overlook this option even if you have everything ready – a closing wound may eventually get worse if you use nylon line for the suture.

11. Fixing Clothing Items

There’s probably not a better & easier use for your paracord out there. The inner threads of the line can work as sewing thread. It could be time-consuming and frustrating to unravel the paracord, but it will be useful if you eventually need to repair a clothing item.

Just make sure it is tough enough to support the use, either to repair a tear, create a patch, or just whatever.

Among the many other uses, you can add boot laces for shoes, or as suspenders for a wide array of different clothing options. This could also be useful for women who need to repair a bra with no straps, or for dresses, blouses and other that need fixing.

Some people even use paracord to create a zipper. Just tie it in a loop and make sure it works to open and close and it will be perfect zipper without problems.

And if you need any other object apart from clothes, paracord will also be useful. Something like a tent that requires a patch or a backpack with no straps can be replaced with nylon line.

12. Shackle Lock or Net

This type of storage option can always be handy when you are in the wild. Here you can place things with water or items you want to keep visible. If you need additional storage, making a shackle lock or net can also come very beneficial.

You may also use paracord to lock a lid in a cooler, to attach two zippers together, or even to just attach an additional item to your backpack by creating a bag. Using one of these lines can take you a long way when it comes to storage & carrying.

13. Secure & Tie Down Things

There’s always something you need to tie to your backpack, tree or tent, something you need to keep safe or secure away from animals or other people. That something can always use paracord for tying or hanging from any place, making sure it stays on place and can be safe at all times.

It could also be useful if you have several loose items you need to carry. The strength & flexibility will help you bring them all together and tie them so you can carry them more easily. This way you save a lot of effort and time. Just make sure you tie things down securely & strongly, so they are more compact and secure.

14. Towing or Holding Sturdy Stuff

One of the most common usages of paracord is creating a rope with it. While it seems a little obvious as this item works almost as rope, but with more flexibility & a little less strength, you can always piece together or double it to make something thicker & sturdy than rope. This could be valuable for many things, including holding or towing heavy objects.

It is pretty useful, for example, for securing watercraft in the shore. Just loop it around and make the ideal knots and it will work to maintain a boat, kayak or canoe close in the shore without having to take it to deep land.

You may not be able to do the same with large boats, but with enough woven and threading, you may be able to hold small options without problems.

The same happens when it comes to securing things from winds or waterways. In some jungles or forests, winds can be devastating and make your items fly or fall from wherever they are.

Using a paracord, you can secure them tightly and prevent any movement. If you triple the paracord, you may even hold the heaviest objects without problems, or the large but light ones.

Another common use is to secure animals. For example, if you have pets in the trip, you can keep the animal tied to a tree or inside shelter to keep it safe. It could also work as a leash or to keep them safe from predators.

15. Hang Things & Pulley

Whether you want to hang a picture, a useful object, or just whatever from any place or your own neck, a paracord will work wonders for that. Sometimes, you’ll need to hang stuff to a tree or high spot, here you could use a nylon cord for the best results.

But one of the most useful advantages from paracord is that its strength makes it helpful in elevating stuff. Just imagine using a pulley system to bring things from the ground up to several feet on a tree or any other platform.

It is important to note that friction can damage the line with time and too much weight so you may need to make your calculations before to prevent breakage.

16. Tie People Together

It could be due to many things including low visibility, challenging weather conditions, inside a cave or quarry, climbing, or even swimming – the ability of paracord to be looped or braided together and offer high strength is unbeatable.

So if you need to tie people together, for example, this will be the item to use. It could also work as a way of identifying people and add visibility to their bodies. And if someone needs support or leverage to climb, a paracord can always work for pulling or holding without problems.

17. Lanyard & Grip

Most tools and weapons come with their rubberized or similar grip to prevent slippage. They may also come with their own lanyard, so you don’t lose them. However, not all of them are like this, and sometimes you just need to add a little more of holding power or grip to the item.

That’s why you can use this type of line for creating a grip for a weapon or tool. Or just create a lanyard so you can attach something to your body or backpack more easily. Whether it is for defense, for storing, carrying or simple grip – then paracord as a lanyard or grip will be hugely beneficial.

18. Clean Firearms

Not everyone brings their guns to a survival situation, but the people who do almost always end up using it either for defense or hunting. Whatever the reason to use your weapon, you’ll need it to be clean and ready to be fired, especially when it comes to defending yourself.

This is where you’ll want something to keep it clean and ready. Luckily, paracord can work for that.

Sometimes bringing your own cleaning rods can be a problem so a thin paracord with a stick can help you clean inside a clip or bore. Especially after using the gun or after wetting it by mistake, you can always use the nylon cord to dry or clean.

19. Make a Weapon

Maybe you are among the people who don’t want to bring a weapon to the trip or hike in the wilderness, but not because you don’t need it but because you just didn’t want to.

Well, you may eventually need one, either to protect yourself from other people or animals. You’re probably going to need something that can damage living things.

Make a Weapon

What you can do is to attach the paracord to a rock, for example, and use the cord as a handle that can damage things when you throw or swing. Maybe not the most effective of options, but pretty useful if you want to harm someone or something a few feet from you.

You may also attach other things that can be even more useful in dangerous situations, including a knife, stick, or something sturdier and more effective than a rock for hitting hard.

If you can make something straight by braiding the nylon line several times and still get some cutting power, you’ll have a pretty useful option entirely. The straighter & firmer the weapon, the better it will be for you.

20. Negotiating

Lastly but not least, paracord can always be useful for arranging. You are in the wild, money, and gold don’t have much exchange value. Instead, you will be trading with things that are useful and life-saving such as one of these nylon lines.

This nylon cord can be useful for so many things as you know already. So people who understand its value will probably want it in exchange for something else. Whether it is drinkable water, a small weapon, food, or even energy sources such as a lighter for fire or fuel – you can always use this line for bartering.

And if you are the one carrying the thing other people want but they come with the paracord, don’t doubt in getting at least a few feet of it. This line won’t let you down even in the most challenging situations, as previous points showed you.

Conclusion – Get Your Paracord and Survive!

Are you going to a forest, jungle or just hiking in the mountains? Don’t forget to bring a paracord along. You won’t believe how useful it can be until you start using one following the previous options.

There are so many ways you can get benefits from one of these lines that it is almost a stupidity not to get out there carrying one in your backpack. With only a couple or string you can bring will be enough to enjoy half of the different situations a paracord can be useful for.

So start preparing your item and don’t forget to bring one of these. It will make your trip better in every way – and who knows – it could even save your life.

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