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Survival Cord...Which type do you carry?

May 26, 2005
550 Paracord has been my choice up to now.

Recently I switched to braided Spectra fibre fishing line, 250Lbs test; Available in various length spools from fishing supply stores like Cabela's. It is expensive but incredibly lightweight and compact, which means you can carry alot more. It can be wrapped, out of the way, on various pieces of equipment until needed or simply throw a spool in your pack and it will hardly be noticed.

I am curious about other ideas. What type and length do you carry in your pack, BOB, or any other way.
IMO , it is silly to carry anything that is not similiar to 550 in construction. I have only been packing this rope for a couple of years since reading about it on some forum or other.
What other style of rope gives you 80 feet of cordage while only carrying ten feet of it bundled up.

edit , got my length wrong.
While spectra in it's many flavors is a great product, thin, strong, take it from one who has been cut, it's bad news when you put a load on it with your hands. It slips and digs in to your hands in the thin versions. We use it when big game fishing, but add a length of much more hand friendly leader of regular mono for handling the fish around the boat -- about 30 feet to be more precise.

I would think the same would apply to survival line, where you may not have proper gloves and may be forced to use your bare hands. I would stick with hand friendly para-cord, it's what I use.
I use the seven strand 550 cord in various colors, OD, tan, and now camo. I just picked up 200 feet of camo cord yesterday (I'm in the States right now and on a mini-buying spree). The internal strands can be joined together to make one long string and you still have the sheath for tying bigger loads. The 550 cord is good for cord wrapped handles. On some of my knives I just use the sheath for the wrap, it lays flat that way.

I also use duck decoy cord, given to me by a friend.

Down in Brazil I use a good bit of waxed #4 polyester line. The stuff is just good string. I use it braided to make neck cords for my compasses. In the sewing awl I use it for fixing packs, gear, and sheaths/holsters.

Jute twine is nice because it also makes a decent tinder. I have a BSA Hotspark set up with the scraper and ferro rod tied together with a foot of braided Jute. Treat the Jute with a little petroleum jelly, it soaks in and increases the BTU value of the cordage. I wrap the ferro rod and scraper in the cordage and jam it into the handle of my mini-bushman. To use just cut off an inch or so of the unbraded end, fluff it up and strike, fire. Oh, yeah, it also works for tying stuff up.

I carry mostly 550 cord, a few bundles and some tied to my pack frame or tied on the back. I also carry cotton string called cable twine. This is what I have always carried hunting to sew up the body cavity of a deer after field dressing it. I usually have some brass wire, though I have rarely used it, and sometimes waxed sewing thread on a spool or even dental floss.

Like Pict I often gut the the 550 cord and use only the sheath when making lanyards or as when I wrap a handle of something. You may also want to look at Zing-it or other throw line (for tree work). I use Zing-it for my throw line but I've never used it for anything else.
I carry lots (as much as I can)of 550 paracord. I have it pre-cut up to 10', 25', 50', and 100' lengths and label the length with a cardboard pricing label.
For snars, traps, and where a lot of strength is needed I has a spool of 7 strand stainless deep sea fishing line. Not as easy to use as 550 but is really strong when I need it.

550 cord and waxed dental floss. I have some stuff called synthetic sinew that is basically dental floss and beeswax. Good for tying up small things.
I purchased 100 ft. of this cord at a climbing/camping store. I carry it in the trunk of my car. I'm not sure what it is but I have used it for all kinds of things, and just can't wear it out, it's tougher than nuts. It has numerous stands of nylon with this grey, red and green covering. Great Stuff.
7 strand 550 cord (50 to 100 feet) when available. 5 strand when the 7 strand is not available, and some braided fishing line (25 to 50 feet) in the 30 to 90 lb test range. The amounts vary somewhat as I usually cut off short pieces for various uses during several trips.
I did try a Kevlar variant on para cord a few years ago, but it was difficult to cut and excessively stiff.
I purchased 100 ft. of this cord at a climbing/camping store. I carry it in the trunk of my car. I'm not sure what it is but I have used it for all kinds of things, and just can't wear it out, it's tougher than nuts. It has numerous stands of nylon with this grey, red and green covering. Great Stuff.

Beautiful QMM. Got one of the S&M versions that I enjoy quite a bit.
I have about 50' of some lighter Spectra fishing line (50# test?) in my PSK for repairs and survival fishing. I carry another 50' chunk of braided nylon seine twine.

The stuff that really works for me is Mule Tape. That is a brand name as well as a generic term for flat-braid pulling tapes used for installing fiber optic cable. Some is polyester based and the really cool stuff is Aramid fiber-- Kevlar. I have bought some of the polyester stuff on Ebay, but I really want to get some of the Aramid stuff. It is only sold in long rolls-- like 3000 feet so it is a big investment. If you know somebody who works with fiber optic cable, find out what kind of knives they like and start trading :)

Anyway, you can get tape that is 3/8" of an inch wide that is 1500-1800 pound test. There is larger/stronger too. Some comes with a tracer wire-- you don't want that. Most of it is pre-lubed and I just wash in the laundry tub and hang it up to dry. I originally got it for hanging bear bags. The wide tape doesn't slice through the bark on tree branches. A lot of guys use it for tie downs. It is one of those things that you will toss in the trunk or under the seat in your truck and use all the time.
There is a Kevlar rope available at amateur radio places such as www.radioworks.com 1/8" has 150 lb working load , it does NOT stretch .Center is braided Kevlar , cover is braided Dacron polyester . 100' for $ 15.
Hey guys,

Since we're on the topic of 550 cord, maybe you can help me out. A couple of days ago, I went out to buy some more but my regular supplier was out, so I went to an Army Surplus that recently opened up. I picked up some 550 but I'm curious about the label information:

Type III Commercial
Nylon Paracord
Made by a Certified US Gov't Contractor
550 lb. test, 7 Strand Core, 100% Nylon
Made in the USA

What is Type III and how is it different from Types I & II?
Why is it designated as COMMERCIAL? Is this different than the type the military uses? And if not, why do they make this differentiation?

Any insight on this would be appreciated.

About 29 years ago i found a small (2"x5") spool of braided (nylon?) strap/tape string sitting out in the desert outside of Tucson AZ. It was about 1/8" wide and less than a 1/100" thick, INCREDIBLY strong with easily over 300 feet on the spool. It took me 25 years to use it all up and I have never seen its like since.

Any ideas what it was and how I can get some more??