550 Cord, What it is & Why you need some!

I love this stuff!


I use 550 or “paracord” on everything I own, it’s just handy to have and for its size, VERY strong. The name “550″ refers to a specific class of parachute cord also known as type III cord and derives it’s name from being rated to have a minimum breaking strength of 550 lbs.  Typically 550 paracord has 200lb test outer shell and each of the inner strands is 50lb test.

Genuine MIL-SPEC MIL-C-5040 Type III Paracord has 7 inner yarns each made up of 3 strands.  Commercial 550 paracord imitations may vary though so know what your getting when your buying cord!

There really seems to be an infinite number of used for this stuff, but just to get your brain thinking, here are just a few:

  • Boot or shoe laces
  • Sewing
  • Friction saw (cuts though plastic like it was butter)
  • Lanyards to retain ANYTHING (I even use it on my USB sticks so they don’t get lost in transport)
  • Emergency para cord wrist band
  • Emergency snare (from one of the strands inside)
  • Fishing line (from inner strands)
  • Dog leash
  • Tie down anything
  • Wrap knife handle or any other item that needs a handle
  • Bow drill
  • Clothes line
  • A sling for your arm if injured
  • A Belt
  • Hang kettle/cooking pot over a fire
  • Make a fishing net from inner strands
  • Improvise a sling for your rifle
  • Perimeter trip wires (attach to tin cans or anything to make noise)
  • Emergency tow rope
  • Hanging your hammock
  • Neck Lanyard (doubles as improvised garrote, should you need one!)
  • Tent or tarp guy lines
  • To lash poles, sticks or anything stick like together
  • To lash a blade to a long pole in order to use as a spear (for emergency hunting)
  • For lowering equipment

So go out and get some cord, if you ever need it, it’s REALLY handy to have around.

Stay safe,
Justin J. Everman


Founder, A.C.W.A.


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