If you've ever spent more than 10 minutes on the interwebs, you've more than likely noticed the growing trends of outdoor/urban survival, exploration, and bush skills. EDC forums are a dime a dozen, and new videos on what to stuff in your Bail Out Bags are popping up faster than you can count them. Yet, they all seem to have one key item in common: 550 paracord.
Paracord is the duct tape of the survival world (well, actually duct tape is the duct tape of pretty much any world...but i digress). The uses for this stuff are virtually endless! Not to mention, it's incredibly strong (550lb test strength...hence the name) and very lightweight/compact. So whether you're stringing up an impromptu shelter to hide from the post-apocalyptic zombies that are roaming the streets, cutting your way through zip tie restraints with a paracord friction saw...or your shoelace just broke, one thing's for sure: you should NEVER leave the house without some paracord.
So, this brings up an important question. How do I carry this versatile tool with me without simply having it bundled up in my pocket?
Well, you've come to the right instructable. In the next few pages I'll cover some of the simplest and easiest ways to keep a good amount of paracord on you, and even look good while doing it! (results may vary)
Along with the different methods, be sure to check out the various links throughout to interesting paracord related videos and how-to sites. Enjoy!
-as much paracord as you're willing to carry
-some free time
-...and that's pretty much it
Step 1: SHOES DON'T FAIL ME NOW!
Probably one of the simplest ways to carry paracord, replacing your shoe laces on average gives you about 7' of paracord at your disposal! The easiest way to do this is match the length of your shoe laces, cut the paracord, and burn the tips to seal them.
So you're probably wondering..."ok, I get that I can now carry the cord with me, but what the heck am I gonna do with paracord shoe laces?"...well, feast your eyes on this little gem from ITS Tactical's you tube channel: awesomeness.
Step 2: COUNT YOUR STEPS
So now that your shoes are cord-clad, you can be sure your new laces will be indestructible. This means plenty of uninterrupted mileage on those bad boys...but wouldn't it be great if you could keep track of how far you've walked? Say, for instance, on a hike, or for exercise, or maybe mapping out the distance between the nearest safe zone and where the zombie hoards were last spotted??? Enter the pace counter. A simple device that does exactly that; keep track of the distance you've walked. Army rangers have used these for decades, and they can be very useful in emergency situations.
Commonly, you'll find that they have 14 beads separated into two groups: 9 on the bottom, and 4 on top. Depending on how you use the pace counter, you can keep track of your individual paces, or a set distance traveled. For example, let's say you've measured the distance you take on an average step, or pace (on flat terrain, a person averages 30"-36" per step)*. Now for every ten steps you take, move down one of the bottom beads. You continue to do this until you've reached 90 paces, or 9 beads. This time, when you reach 100 paces, you move down 1 of the upper beads and reset all of the lower ones. In this way you can accurately keep track of up to 500 paces. And if you already know how large your pace is, you can approximate the distance traveled. You can also measure larger distances if you already know how many paces it takes to travel a set distance. Most people will do this using 100m as "1 bead distance", and following the same process as before you've gone from measuring 500 individual paces to 5 kilometers!
Of course, these aren't the only ways to use a pace counter. You can be as creative as you like, and measure anything you want. Suppose you're walking down a long road, you can track your distance by moving a bead every time you pass a telephone pole. Maybe you need to track how many laps you run, or count how many times your boss annoys you throughout the day. Regardless of what you use it for, the pace counter is a perfect way to always have some paracord on hand!
If you want to see how to make your own pace counter, check out this video from ITS Tactical: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MEynCUua-0&feature=g-user-u
*keep in mind that your pace is greatly affected by the terrain you're traversing, i.e. your uphill/bad weather/against the wind pace count will be higher than your flat ground/downhill/good weather/with the wind pace count for the same distance
Step 3: LOOK NO HANDS!
If you've ever been on a hike or gone backpacking, you know just how useful it is to have things clipped onto your belt/pack. Unfortunately, not everything has a built in carabiner...which either means you can't bring something or you're gonna have to hold it the whole time. Enter the paracord. Not only will wrapping your much needed items give you a better grip, but it can provide an anchor point to clip onto.
You can wrap just about anything in paracord: knife handles, water bottles, flasks, e-kits...etc. Once you wrap it, you can add a key ring, make a lanyard knot/loop, or improvise any other kind of attachment device. So now you're hands free and have some extra paracord handy!
Check out some of these fellow 'ibles for different ways to wrap some common items:
Step 4: SUIT UP!
Want to let everyone know just how much you love paracord?? What better way than to wear it?! The combination of its strength and flexibility makes this stuff perfect for weaving, braiding, crocheting, or knitting some into just about anything.
Here are some links on how to make a paracord:
Step 5: GET a HANDLE ON THINGS
If you don't want to wear the paracord (let's be honest who doesn't??), you can always make it into a handle for a bag or case, a key fob, or simply crochet/knit a pad for storage.
Obviously, the possibilities for carrying this stuff are endless...i hope this instructable got you off to a good start, Post all the different ways you carry paracord in the comments below!
crocheted storage pad