Rapid Unraveling Paracord, or RUP for short.

I was fitting a Camelback reservoir to my Monsoon Gearslinger the other day, and started to think of useful things i could use the water bottle pocket for now that it was obsolete. I turned to everyone's favourite outdoor tool for inspiration. Since getting in to Paracord i have acquired several large rope drums from various places that i am using for storage purposes. If only i could have a way to store a large amount of Paracord tidily on the go. Enter RUP. This is a combination of ideas really, it uses a technique called a figure of eight flake, as listed here;


By laying the cord in a figure of eight motion it becomes completely tangle free, and by tugging the lower end it will come completely unraveled.

Step 1: Step 1

My first version of the RUP uses
     100ft of Black Paracord
     approx 3ft red Paracord
     a 1 litre water bottle (with wide neck)
     A snap shackle

To make things easier i also whipped together a simple jig to make the process easier. Really you only need 2 poles a set distance between each other but i found this is the easiest to work with. The jig is quite simple and i made it adjustable to, im not going to go in to it as you may be able to deduct how it works from the pictures.

Step 2: Step 2

The container, because this RUP is to fit in the water bottle pocket a water bottle is the first obvious choice. I picked this one up from a local store in the U.K. for £7.99, the wide mouth is key. Using a drill (with adult supervision if your small of course) drill one hole in the centre of the lid and bottom of the bottle. I used the mould scar (the little dimple type mark formed in production) as a marker. Then i used the can opener on my leatherman to tidy up the burrs left behind from drilling plastic.

Step 3: Step 3

After your bottle is prepared, i adjusted my jig to the length of the bottle (the very end to the very top) You don;t have to use the jig, you can use tent pegs in the ground or the back of a chair, just anything that is rigid and the distance you need. I then tied the red line to the end of the black so i know which end is the start and which is the finish. Now the flaking begins. Lay your black line over the top of the left hand pole, around the outside of the left hand pole, inside and over the top of the right hand pole, under the bottom of the right hand pole and repeat. (in a figure of 8) as long as you repeat this the same way every time it is quite easy to do. Under no circumstances thread one end under the other as this will cause a fail of epic proportions. Keep doing this until you have used all your cord up (100ft in this case), make sure it is loosely around the poles, if its too tight then it will start to pull the ends in and give un-even loops as one of the picture shows.

Step 4: Step 4

Now pull the poles out (if you used the jig) but keep the cord on it as its easier to work with. Start to bunch it all together, i took out one of the poles and replaced it with cord just so its a bit easier. I then unraveled about 20 turns form the black cord, this will be used to hold it all together. As long as it holds together it doesn't really matter how you do it, i used my Quick Release Paracord Holder design


Do this along as much of the rope as possible to keep it all together making sure you know which end is which. Pulling one end will start the unraveling and the other will tighten the binding.

Step 5: Step 5

The lanyard. For this i used a snap shackle, although not as strong as a carabiner it is a lot smaller and lighter and is still fit for purpose. Take the end that you started with (the one with the red line tied on to it) and tie the shackle in to place, an overhand know or a figure of eight not is good. I always use either a bowline or an anglers bowline also known as a perfection knot. It doesn't slip anywhere and is generally a good all round knot


Then using the Cobra stitch as seen in my other instructables ( simply thread a loop through the shackle and tie around the ends. Under over under over as usual then thread the two ends back under all the knots you made. Tighten and trim to size. A simple lanyard or pull tab.

Step 6: Step 6

Putting it together

Take the end from the binding, the one that doesnt come undone, and thread it through the hole in the bottom of the bottle. Push all the cord into the bottle and pass the unraveling end gently through the hole in the lid. It may be better to attach the lanyard after. This is the RUP.

Step 7: Step 7


For this i used a knot called the Highwayman's hitch. Its for securing a horse in the wild west supposedly, the horse can pull hard on one end and it not come off and the rider can tug once on the other for it to fall away for a quick get away. Basically make a loop behind a pole, thread the long end (the one that you are going to pull on and dont want to move) through the loop, then thread the short end (the one that undoes it) through the second loop. Tighten it all up and its done, i did this on the strap that holds the lid in place just so the cord doesnt accidentally come loose and unravel unintentionally. Then i took the binding end (the one in the bottom hole of the bottle) and passed it through the drainage grommet of the water bottle pocket. Then secure it to another strap so it cant go anywhere, not with a stopper knot, it must be a no-sliding loop!

Step 8: Step 8

In conclusion

The RUP will sit nicely in your bag until you need it, simply pull one end and the whole thing will come unraveled, just make sure the loose end is secured properly. Thanks for reading, any comments and suggestions are appreciated. The next step is 200ft and a molle pouch.



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    13 Discussions


    4 years ago

    Can u please tell me were u got the small snap shackle


    5 years ago on Introduction

    You can do a similar thing even if you are not sure of all the fancy knots and jig making by following this instructable: Your RUP is like Grey Poupon and my Rapid Deployment bottle is like the Yellow Mustard in a squeeze tube. Nice job!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    use a skydiving grade snap shackle and youll get considerable strength out of it. it also includes a split ring so you can attach a cord to the release pin.


    7 years ago on Step 8

    Thats pretty awesome. So for clarification your pulling the cord from the top, or bottom of the bottle?I would assume bottom because the top looks like its there to give resistance when your pulling slack. still awesome design I might make one of these.

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Step 8

    the top of the bottle (the lid end) the loose end out the bottom is for anchoring it to something so that the bottle doesn't come out. It also stops the whole bundle being pulled out when you unravel it. Thanks for the appreciation.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    it's a UK based sailing shop, only down the road from me, not as strong as a carabiner but a lot lot smaller


    7 years ago on Step 6

    Just to make sure, the one that doesn't make it unravel is the one that is used to make the quick release paracord holder right?

    2 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Step 6

    That's right, as long as you tie it off properly. The end that doesn't unravel is the one you use to bind it all together. Make sure you thread the end through the last loop to secure it properly. Check my other instructable for more information on the quick release wrapping


    Reply 7 years ago on Step 6

    thanks a lot, very good idea and will help me every month when i go camping