Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Why A 550 Paracord Is A Must Have In The Toolkit

By Ines Flores

Sometimes, it is difficult to understand how some tools that may look simple and useless can turn out to be lifesaving. One such tool is the paracord. It comes up as a very simple yet practical tool that can find its application in virtually everything at any given time. This is simply a versatile-filament nylon cord that consists of 7 strong cords made of nylon. These are woven together and then wrapped with a branded nylon. The resulting cord is very strong with a combined breaking force of 550 lbs. The cord is in fact widely known as the 550 paracord, thanks to its breaking strength.

It was first widely used to contract parachutes during the World War II. In fact, this is how the cord drove its name 'para' cord. Other than its wide military applications, the cord is now common in our homes. Other organized troops like the police, the scout, the coast guard, research stations, forest guards, and wildlife guards also find it very helpful. For this reason, there are other non-military or commercial varieties.

There are no specific standards when it comes to the civilian markets; however, this is not the case with the military varieties. The military cord is distinctly marked as MIL-C-5040 Type III with a rating of 550 pounds. The military cord must have 7 inner yarns, each coming with 3 separate strands.

The civilian varieties are not strict on the number of cords, in some cases; five yarns are used instead of seven. The strands can also be two but not three. The result is that the commercial varieties might not be as strong as the military ones. However, they still serve very well in most of the applications that they may be needed for.

Both the military variety and the commercial variety come in many colors, hence there are many options depending on an individual's own preferences. In addition to colors, it comes in several lengths to choose from. One can also be cut to smaller sizes for specific purposes as demanded. However, after cutting one, the ends must be burnt to avoid fraying.

A cord with a length of 225 feet, weighs only 1 pound. This makes it easy to carry around. The cord is also resistant to the outside elements like water and mildew, drying very quickly in case of contact with water. Lastly, the inner strands can also be removed, a factor that makes it extremely versatile.

In addition to this, the cord is very flexible and light in weight. A cord that is 225 feet, weighs less than 1 pound, a factor that makes it the cord of choice for campers, climbers and other operations that call for carry many tools. Today, it is commonly used to build tents and for other support activities.

The areas of applications are indispensable. In addition to commonly used like cloth lines, life line, survival kits, lanyard, fire bow, and tarp tie among others, the individual strings can be used as emergency stitches after they are boiled, for dental floss, ordinary sewing, fishing lines, and even shoe laces. The areas of applications are just endless.

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