I am sure you know how useful paracord is by now. It can be used for many things, from lashing items together to constructing shelter to makeshift repairs. You can even use the inner strands as dental floss!
If you’re going to be exploring someplace, be it urban or wild, paracord can be almost as useful as a knife. But unlike a small tool you can slip into your pocket, how do you keep a large amount of paracord handy as part of your every day carry kit?
Well, it is a cord. You can tie it to things, and tie it to itself in interesting ways. And since the ends melt, you do not have to worry about the cord fraying apart after being cut, just expose it to heat for a few moments.
Let’s explore some ways to carry paracord without sticking an easily tangled spool in your backpack.
One of the easiest ways to add paracord to your EDC is to wear it on your person.
A bracelet is easily the most commonly known way of wearing paracord, and can be bought or made, typically with the cobra stitch. You can even add a tiny compass if you’d like.
Not the bracelet type of person? How about swapping out your watch band for paracord? With all of the survival uses of a watch, combined with the uses for paracord, you’d be unstoppable!
A belt is similar yet much longer, and if you need to take it apart but find your pants dropping you can still tie a length of paracord around your waist and still have lots of cordage left over.
For a belt, you want to use the thicker weave, such as the king cobra hitch, which is basically a cobra stitch over another cobra stitch. You can either add buckles or use a knot and loop closure.
It’s dead simple to add a little bit of paracord to your key chain. Just make a knot of paracord, such as a monkey’s fist, and attach it to your key ring. Plus it will make it easier to fish out your keys from your pocket.
Paracord can easily be used to lace up your boots. Just melt the ends of the paracord and you do not need to add aglets.
If you need to use the cord, you can take the insides out and use either the inside or outside to lace your boots.
If you carry something with you frequently, such as a walking stick, fixed blade knife, or ax, you can wrap the handle in paracord. It will improve your grip and open up lashing possibilities in an emergency.
You can also wrap parts of backpacks and other commonly worn items, such as around the handle on top of a backpack. It adds very little bulk, but a lot of functionality when you find yourself needing cord.
What can you wrap with paracord? Almost anything!
Tie on just a little bit of paracord, and those short zipper pulls will be easier to use. Weave more together and you can fit more length of cordage in a tiny space.
Adding a Handle
If you attach a king cobra stitch length of paracord to something at both ends, you have effectively added a handle to that item. I’ve used this to add a handle to my ALICE pack, which otherwise did not have a good way to lift with one hand.
Expanding on the handle, instead of attaching it to the item in question, you can add a series of knots and lengths of cord to securely hold an item which otherwise has no way to attach a handle. Such as a laptop.
Hanging a Lanyard
Do you have an ID card or key card you have to wear frequently? You can use paracord as the lanyard. If you braid together three or four strands, you can fit quite a bit of paracord length around your neck, without wearing a lot of bulk.
As a Lanyard
While we’re on the subject, why don’t you add a short length of paracord to your other every day carry items? Similar to a key fob, it will make them easier to grab, and can be unraveled when necessary.
While you can use paracord to lash a knife sheath to your belt, you can also use paracord to create a sheath for your knife or other tool!
While this will not work for a fixed blade knife (the sharp bit doesn’t go well with cordage), for a Leatherman or other multitool or folding knife, a paracord pouch is pretty easy to make.
Make a length of densely woven paracord over twice as long and just a little bit wider than your item, fold it around your item to cover it and have a flap, then loosely weave the sides together and add a monkey’s fist knot and loop for a closure. Or you can just follow this video: https://youtu.be/KiaxXORxUHM
You can even weave in a belt loop if you’d like.
Like a belt, but for your dog. Plus, you can make it sized perfectly for your best friend! Who says YOU have to always be the one carrying the emergency supplies?
Bonus: Paracord as Tinder (Not the App)
Sure, paracord has many uses, but typically fire starting is not one of them. It melts instead of igniting when exposed to flame.
There is a specialty type of paracord that can be used as tinder, however! It is called 550 FireCord, and is normal 550 paracord, except one of the inner strands has been replaced with a cord of tinder.
The tinder cord is colored differently, and ignites even in wet conditions. An easy way to hide tinder all over your gear!
There you have it! A handful of ways to carry or wear paracord on your person for EDC, without opening your pack to find a tangled mess of cord and regret.
Good luck experimenting and finding out what works best for you!
You can find more of Evan Michaels’ work on his site, Know Prepare Survive. Evan enjoys hiking, learning new skills, and playing with sharp objects. When he’s not harassing his wife and kids about odd uses for household items, he likes to write about prepping and survivalism.