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Cordage is one of the most fundamental pieces of any wilderness survival kit. With cordage, you can make shelter, hang bags, and even simple weapons.
My kids like to make tripwires and snare traps for Dad as some of their favorite DIY paracord survival projects.
When you get far enough along you might even consider learning how to make cordage from things like stripped bark and vines. While time-intensive, it can be a very fulfilling process.
There is one type of cordage that stands out amongst all as the popular favorite amongst the outdoor enthusiast crowd. Of course, we are talking about 550 paracords.
Not only is it popular for the reasons already mentioned but legions of creative survivalists and DIYers have used paracord to make all kinds of things.
What is Paracord and Why is it Useful in Survival?
Paracord is simply short for “parachute cord”. So, as you can imagine it is some powerful stuff. It found its way into the military because of its affordability and durability.
Paracord is made from nylon. While modern parachutes do not use the standard 550 cord that was used in WWII most of the materials used in parachutes are nylon. That is because we have not created anything as effective or as affordable since!
The soldiers of the Second World War popularized the numerous uses for paracord. They started cutting it away and securing rucksacks, creating camo netting, and even pace counting with the cordage!
It should be no surprise that kids can find some creative ways to use paracord. A small length can help young hands rack Nerf guns. It can be used to make bows or to lace up boots in a color that kids really like.
The strength and resistance to things like rot and mold make it great for survival. The innards of your average 550 cord are seven 2-ply threads woven together that can be easily unraveled and also used for survival tasks. So, you have cordage within cordage!
What is the Strongest Type of Paracord?
There is a variety of paracords on the market. Most people assume there is one variety because one is very popular but there are many types.
- 550 cord – 550 lb tensile strength, most popular paracord
- 750 cord – 750 lb tensile strength)
- 1/4 shock cord – made to be flexible and elastic while still being strong
- Para-Max cord – biggest and strongest paracord
- Milspec cord – meets the requirements of Military Specification C-5040H
- Tinder cord – jute twine woven inside that can be used as a firestarter
- Mono cord – – includes a monofilament fishing line strand for fishing or stitches
- Survival cord – includes jute firestarter, snare wire, and monofilament
The strongest of them all, however, is BattleCord. It has an insane tensile strength at 2,560 lbs! Each of the 7 fibers within the cord has its own 350lb tensile strength!
While BattleCord is the strongest it might not be what you are after. How many survival tasks require a 2,500lb+ tensile strength? Something like a survival cord would likely be the better option for DIY paracord projects.
Beginner DIY Survival Paracord Projects
These paracord projects are all pretty simple. They work on basic braids and knots to create some useful and fun things.
What kid wouldn’t love to make a rock sling from paracord?
Paracord Water Bottle Harness
The steel water bottle is one of the most important parts of a survival pack. You can boil water in a steel bottle to sanitize it.
This DIY project creates a wide net that will both hold your water bottle and give you a means of attaching this net to your backpack with a carabiner.
Paracord Multi-Tool Pouch
Sheathing the multi-tool in something other than a pocket is pretty cool. I actually purchased a two-pack of multi-tools about a year ago. One was small and one larger. They were the perfect pair for my son and me to carry.
Following a simple process, we have created a cool multi-tool pouch out of paracord.
Paracord Knife Handle
For an older child who spends more time in the world on their own, a DIY paracord mace holder is something worth creating.
If you want something a little more robust you can simply expand on the size of this thing and get a bigger knife!
Paracord Rock Sling
While being able to carry things and lash things to your backpack is pretty cool, nothing is cooler than a weapon! A paracord rock sling will get your kids excited about DIY survival paracord projects.
They will be blown away when you show them how to hurl rocks with it.
Advanced DIY Survival Paracord Projects
These DIY paracord survival projects are a little more involved. You might have to assist your children a little more with these.
There is no kid on the planet that doesn’t want their own paracord bracelet.
Paracord Survival Bracelet
You have probably seen something like this before. These paracord survival bracelets can be outfitted to carry all types of gear wrapped around your wrist.
The paracord bracelet is a simple process that you repeat over and over between both sides of the bracelet.
If you can make a reliable net, then you can eat. It’s really that simple.
You see, nets in the water capture fish while nets on land can be great traps. The paracord net can be a time-consuming undertaking but it will work out in your favor in the long run!
These projects are a great opportunity for you to teach your children how to tie the most useful knots. This is a skill that will come in handy for the rest of their lives!
More DIY Paracord Projects
After creating a few paracord projects I sat down with the boys to discuss some more DIY paracord survival projects. We talked about a number of things that would be cool to create with paracord.
Not sure if you can make a paracord hammock but I don’t see why not. So, we put together a shortlist of other projects that we might like to undertake in the future.
- Paracord Hammock
- Paracord Wallet
- Rifle Harness made from Paracord
- Paracord Dog Harness
This really taught my boys a lot about what simple things can become. At the beginning of this project, they were, frankly, pretty uninterested in paracord.
It was a little bit of a challenge to get them to learn the knots and start the process. In the end, it was a rewarding, and fun, experience!
These DIY survival projects are a great opportunity for some survival bonding with your kids, too. Give them a try.