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How to make use of paracords during disaster
4/8/2017 7:13 PM
Every prepper who earns that title knows how useful paracords can be. Originally produced for use in parachutes during World War II, paracord has become one of the essential tools in any respectable bug out bag. Sold by the length and made into a lightweight, nylon rope, paracords can find application in a dizzying number of situations.
The most obvious use for paracords involve making a shelter. Whether you have a complete tent or need to improvise, paracords offer the tensile strength to secure you shelter in place. For a tent, they can keep the spikes connected to the fabric, stabilize the support, or form the guy line. When time is of the essence, especially if weather conditions quickly sour, paracord can also be used to fashion a simple shelter out of little more than an outcropping and a tarp.
Of course, you will be thankful for your paracord skills in a time of disaster beyond its use in shelter. Another excellent use of paracords comes with first aid. Maybe you or someone you know has suffered a major gash along one of their arteries. Without quick action and right supplies, they could quickly bleed out. However, due to their elasticity, paracords make excellent tourniquets. Simply tie a fixed knot above the wound, and you just bought yourself up to two hours.
Another first aid use for paracords is almost a blend of the first two uses. Broken bones, sprained joints, and torn ligaments are a common injury during disasters. Unfortunately, they can cost precious time when trying to get to safety. While paracords will not necessarily make you faster in the event of an injury that limits mobility, they can be used in conjunction with a splint to stabilize the wound. With a makeshift crutch, you will be able to reach safety much quicker than with an unstabilized injury.
Clothing and Accessories:
Still, there are plenty of scenarios where paracords skills offer convenience--though, during a disaster, that convenience and the time saved can mean the difference between life or death. Protecting your feet is paramount and loose shoes will often fall off in times of emergency. In this instance, paracords can serve as effective laces, allowing you move with alacrity. Moreover, they can also substitute a belt or suspenders to prevent your pants from slowing you down as well.
In terms of logistics, paracords know no bounds. Your bug out bag is probably pretty well stuffed. You have everything you need without room to fit even a pen. However, you still have plenty of space on your body to carry things. Here, paracords can be made into loops to hang things from your neck or belt. By doing this, you can increase your maximum carrying capacity many times over.
Hunting and Fishing:
Say you have made it to safety. The immediate danger has passed, but you expect to be isolated from assistance for a long time. Now you need to start thinking about how to survive for the duration. After finding a fresh source of water and building a shelter, your next thought will be to food. Sure, you have some provisions packed, but they will not last forever and are too heavy to take in bulk. Here, you will be glad you have your paracord for a couple of reasons.
First, paracords can be fashioned into surprisingly effective snares. Their elasticity allows you to pull them taut, so that when small game gets caught, the line quickly pulls tight without giving them a moment’s notice to scurry away. Moreover, you can pull paracords apart and use their inner threads as a substitute for fishing line. Just make sure not to use the elastic thread by accident.
Speaking of inner thread, a paracord’s strong inner-thread is often woven around the elastic. When you take it apart, it no longer stretches or gives. This part of the paracord can be used for anything that require a stiff thread. Aside from fishing line, this inner thread can be used for both medical and non-medical sewing purposes. It will fix a hole in your trousers just as well as it will suture a wound. While a bit thick, it can also function as dental floss in a pinch.
Honestly, there are loads more uses for paracord and this article could go on and on about them. Keeping people together or towing heavy objects is another common use. Pretty much any situation where you might need rope or thread, fixed or elastic, paracords can be used. That is why any quality prepper makes it a point to know its ins-and-outs and keep a length on hand--just in case.
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