Paracord is a lightweight nylon rope that is initially used as a suspension line of parachutes. Today, it is used in fashion and as survival gear. If you learn how to make various types of paracord knots, eventually, this can be transformed into a hobby that you can also teach your relatives and friends. Also, learning how to do the paracord knots can let you meet new acquaintances. It will also help you develop skills that you will find helpful in your life someday. For example, you can work with your hands, practice hand-eye coordination, give attention to details, and learn patience. Thus, this article will discuss what paracord is, its benefits, and how to do the knot correctly. We will also talk about how to create them to make long-lasting paracord projects.
Why Should You Use Paracord?
Using paracord will give you lots of benefits. First, paracord is from a durable material, and it is very affordable. You can use it when you need a piece of rope, especially if you're traveling outdoors. With paracords, you can have a few feet of cord for tying or fixing something. The paracord projects useful for outdoor survival are belts, bracelets, knife handles, and pouches. Second, paracord is a multi-tool that you can also use anywhere. It offers convenience even for the average user. It is easy to weave, tie, and untie. Indeed, a paracord is more than just a friendship bracelet that looks good on your hand! Now, let's discuss further the uses of a paracord:
Paracord Practical Uses
Using a strand of the paracord will help you catch a fish, especially in murky water. Use stink bait, a cord, and a sharp hook, and then you can indeed find a catfish or any other fish which is not a picky eater.
Making A Fire
The cord can help you make a fire, especially when you don't have a lighter or matches with you. It is suitable for the bow-and-drill friction fire step. Gather some dry leaves to create the fire immediately.
Paracords can help you tie up a shade that you are building temporarily. You can use it on both tents or an improvised tarp for shelter.
Survival Bow And Arrow
If you are in the wilderness without any supplies, a bow and arrow can help you hunt animals for food.
You can build your hunting equipment using a knife
, paracord bracelet, a few tree branches, flexible sapling, and feathers.
Next, the cords can be used as a tourniquet, especially when your arms, legs, or other body parts are bleeding due to an accident in the wilderness.
Apart from making bows and arrows, traps can also help you have some food in a survival situation. You can use the cord of your bracelet for triggers and snare nooses.
Common Mistakes Of Beginners In Tying The Paracord
Here are some of the mistakes that beginners commit when they practice how to make the paracord knots/ bracelets:
Buying Small Quantities Of Paracord
First-timers do not know the best types and sizes of paracords to use in their projects. They buy small lengths of paracord, and they end up running out of cord in the end. Thus, it is best to buy extended paracords so you can always have an extra and practice how to do the knots repeatedly.
Creating A Wrong Knot
The majority of the paracord bracelets must have a knot at the end to keep the cords in place. Thus, if you wish to dismantle the bracelet, you have to untie the knot in the future. If you don't want to end up with the overhand knot like most beginners usually do, you must follow the instructions given by the experts in paracord knots.
Going Ahead Of The Instructions
Sometimes, you tend to be eager to see how your bracelet will look immediately, and you go ahead with the instructions. You miss out on small details, and you end up messing your knots.
Too Much Melting At The End
Some of the paracord knots require you to melt them on end to make them look neat and clean. However, some first-timers often spoil their paracord bracelets by dissolving them too much. The tip that you can try is not to use too much heat, burn a significant portion of the paracord and make it messy.
Two Ends Do Not Meet The Right Way
Another common mistake that beginners make is that the ends of the paracord bracelets do not meet correctly at the end. To do this correctly, you have to meet the location where the two ends of the rope meet. If you didn't do it correctly, you would have a higher chance of hurting your hands when you wear the bracelet.
Different Kinds Of Paracord Knots And Steps How To Make It
There are tons of available tutorials on how to do the paracord knots on the internet. But the secret to success is not just by watching the video tutorials but also by the eagerness to learn the technique. Here are some of the various types of knots and steps on how to do it:
The Cobra Knot
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEtEuwkO9ek In doing the cobra knot, you need to have two strings of the paracord. You can have one color or multi-color paracord for this project. Here are the steps on how to do this:
- Hold the two strings together with your fingers. Make sure that it is straight alongside each other.
- Form a loop by taking the left cord. Next, put the rest of the rope behind the two significant strings.
- Get the correct string and put it under the left strand and back to the loop you created using the remaining line.
- Lastly, tighten the knot.
The Cobra Knot Bracelet
You can also create a bracelet using the cobra knot. You can create one with or without a buckle. To do this, check out the following steps:
- Combine the two ends of the paracord string and hold them at the top of the candle flame. The rope will melt and see to it that the fuse is active.
- Next, take the paracord, fold it into two, straighten it, and wrap it around your wrist to measure your size.
- Make the first knot using the cobra knot. Like the instructions above, take one end of the rope and create a loop beneath the whole cord. Take the other end of the line, put it underneath, and let it go through the loop.
- Continue weaving until you reach the end. In the future, make sure that it is clean and neat.
- You can use a buckle or a clasp to end the knots and let them fit on your wrists.
The King Cobra Knot
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Svms5yhvEF4 Both the Cobra and king cobra knots have the same type of weaving. However, the main difference is the final result. To have a King Cobra type of weaving, you need to take the old Cobra project and weave another one on the top of it. Using various colors to finish it, you can have a better output than the previous knots.
The Lanyard Knot
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBNurIZz8Jo The lanyard knot is more complicated than the other knots, requiring more skills and attention to detail. It is also known as a stopper knot as it wraps up bars and bracelets. However, when you do it the right way, the result will look better, and it holds more robust than any other knots. Here are the steps on how to do it:
- Bend the piece of the paracord. Create a loop and put your two middle fingers through the loop end.
- Next, using the right end, make a loop. Lay it over on the left side of your palm.
- Grab the left end and let it go beneath the right end. Put it through the loop on your hands and ensure that the paracord goes over the circle beneath it.
- End the step with a shape that looks like number eight with a diamond in the center.
- Lastly, take both ends and bring them around counterclockwise. Put it through the diamond shape in the middle.
- You can start tightening the knot you created. Arrange it with your fingers so it does not look out of shape or messy.
Indeed, the lanyard knot is one of the most complicated knots to do. But with constant practice, you will learn how to create one.
The Monkey Fist Knot
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8_AAIH4l5Y The monkey fist knot requires several items, such as a tiny but heavy ball, golf ball, needle, and paracords. You can use this knot to create a keychain or a bracelet that you can use for outdoor activities. If you wish to create a project for self-defense, it is advisable to use a more robust ball, so you can be able to hit the attacker with more power. Here are the steps on how to do it:
- Open your left hand and hold the rope over its edge so that the short tail is in front of your hand and the more significant portion is behind.
- Grab the extended portion of the rope and wrap it around your fingers.
- Slide the looped cord off your hand and wrap the rope horizontally.
- Next, wrap the rope vertically once again.
- Put the ball inside the rope. You can have marble, steel ball, golf ball, or even rock.
- Tighten the knot and secure each string individually.
The Paracord Trilobite Knot
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t383wR-EgzY This type of project will allow you to include more than one paracord at the same time. The knots are very similar to how you braid using four strings. One tip to make your project look right is to use two types of paracord colors bent in half. Here are the steps on how to do it.
- Hang the two pieces of the string on a hook or a nail. Make sure that the size is equal.
- The two middle strings will be used as the core, while the two outer lines will be used to weave the projects.
- The exterior strings will go first around the nearest line. Then, it shall go under and over the two main strands.
The Snake Knot
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-xOwvyrK8o Snake Knot requires intricate weaving, but the result is fantastic when you use two colors for this type of project. This knot will mimic the pattern or the scales of a snake around your wrist. Apart from its uses for survival, this paracord looks decorative too. Here are some steps on how to do it:
- Melt the two different colors of paracord together and bend it to the melting point.
- Create the original loop and tie the circle with a knot.
- Loosen the base knot a little and grab the different string and let it pass through. Then, tighten the knot once again.
- Turn the whole cord over, and you will see that one end has two loops while the other has just one circuit.
- Make sure to lose the knot on one side using one loop and pull using the different string.
- Turn the bracelet on its original side and continue weaving until you finish in the end.
How Much Paracord to Have?
In buying a paracord for hiking or other outdoor activities, you can have as long as 250 feet. This length is enough to keep you a long time. To prevent the cord from being tangled, you can get yourself a paracord winder, dispenser, or spool. Meanwhile, for bracelets, the general rule is one inch of bracelets is equal to one foot of paracord. This is true for the cobra weave. This is the general rule unless you have larger wrists or you wish to make wider bracelets. Remember that you will need a foot and a half of paracord for the center strands. That is why most stores sell the paracords in 10 feet lengths. With this, you can have enough paracord amount to complete your bracelets.
Be Careful in Buying Paracords
A genuine military paracord will consist of a quality nylon outer layer. It also contains an inner layer of around 7 to 9 strands. Each consists of 3 yarns which are made of nylon. If you unravel what is inside the military paracord, you will find an outer shell plus 21 to 27 individual threads wrap together. The military paracords are those used as official military cords. From experience, paracords made in the United States are better than other brands. This is in terms of the weave, tightness, and the materials used. In choosing your paracords, be prudent. Remember, you get what you pay for. The purpose of these cords is to help you in case of emergencies. As such, you must have a cord which you can depend on. Thus, always bear this in mind as your purchase your product. No matter where you buy your paracord, it is best to be skeptical about the product's marketing strategy. Whichever type you get, always test it. This is true before you end up in a situation that can mean life and death.
How to Test the Quality of your Paracord
One of the easiest ways to test your military paracord is to see what makes it unique versus the commercial cords. Again, the military paracords are made of 100% nylon on the inner and outer shells. It consists of three 100% nylon yarn. The commercial cord replaces nylon with polyester. Also, there are only two strands instead of three. Two strands are fine, but it is not according to the military standards. With these tips, you can determine if the paracord you've bought is close to military specifications. First, check out how many yarns are there in the inner core. See if it has three strands because this is supposed to be the standard. Next, check if the inner strands are made of nylon. You can determine if the inner strands are polyester or nylon by joining it with nylon, burning the end tips, and fusing it all. Nylon will join together with nylon. In contrast, polyester will not go together with nylon. If you have an inner polyester strand plus a nylon outer layer, you can have some problems. This will be challenging in creating one line with your strands since the inner yard will not bond with the nylon outer layer. You can also try to conduct a field test with your paracord to test its quality. Use it for anything that you might do in the wild. For example, you can try making traps and shelters from it. To see it can feasibly handle anything, try applying pressure on it. Rip the cord apart and use the outer shell to fasten a knife and stick. You can practice using the stick as a spear. Make sure that the product you get will be good enough for your plans. With this, you can also improve your skills by practicing at the same time. This is indeed a win-win situation. Meanwhile, even if your paracord is not military spec, you don't have to worry about it if you feel that the quality is tight. You can still use it with your projects regardless of where it came from.
Expiration and Storage of Paracord
The quality of paracord degrades with its exposure to UV light. This is true when you leave it out for long hours under the heat of the sun. It degrades in a slow process. Do not use the paracord, even those according to the military specification for rappelling or rock climbing. The lines used for these activities are manufactured differently, and they have a higher breaking strength. Apart from this, there is nothing much you need to worry about. There is actual wear and tear from using it with sand and dirt over time. As such, to prevent its damage, you must see to it that it is properly stored. Keep it out of the reach of the sun. Make sure not to overuse it. Also, it is better to use a new paracord than to use the same one over again. Store the paracord in a cool and dry place. With this, you can prevent it from developing mildew. It is made of nylon, and it can be at risk of exposure to humidity. Place it inside a bag
or container, away from the sunlight. Meanwhile, some paracords do not rot or fade in color depending on their materials. But no paracord is entirely indestructible. Keep your cords away from chemicals. Examples are harsh detergents, cleaning solutions, oil, kerosene, gasoline, white gas, paint, turpentine, and acid. It can react with polyester and nylon and damage the cord. These tips are the ideal storage for any gear for the stockpile. Remember this always if you are planning to stockpile inside your house in case of emergencies. In a nutshell, always check your paracords for any sign of friction or abrasion damage. You'll understand it when you are going to use it for something important soon. Indeed, it is better to be safe than to be sorry.
Tips in the Conservation of the Paracords
You can make the cobra bracelet even if you don't detach the cord from the spool until you are finished. Set up your bracelet core using the 4 to 5 feet of slack found at the end of the line as you weave. As long as you use the standing end as the top cord while weaving, you don't need to fit the spool through a knot. Second, save the 3 to 5 feet segments to practice in doing the new knots. In making keychains, rings, zippers, do this using your leftover paracord pieces. Also, you can use the scrap paracords to weave 3 inches of a project. Then, measure how manyparacordsd have you used. Divide it by three so you can have the per-inch amount for that weave alone. Even though guidelines are available everywhere, it can be challenging to estimate the amount of paracord to use for your projects. Thus, the best solution is trial and error. Tutorials that are available online include how much paracord do you need but not all apply as accurate.
In sum, learning how to do the paracord knots can save you, especially during emergencies. The examples listed above are some of the paracord knots you can do, and there are hundreds of cases. Indeed, learning the paracord knots is enjoyable, and people of all ages can do it. You can start by doing the necessary knot and progress gradually. It might be a little frustrating at the start, but nothing is more rewarding than seeing your first finished project. When you finally master the methods discussed above, you will ultimately forget the frustrations you once had in the process.