About Paracord

What is Paracord (Parachute Cord | 550 Cord)

550 paracord (also known as 550 cord or parachute cord) is a strong, thin, lightweight rope, usually made of nylon. (It is sometimes misspelled parachord.)

It was developed by the military and originally used for parachute suspension lines. Over time people discovered it could be used for all kinds of survival, outdoor, home and craft situations.

Today there are two primary types of paracord on the market:

Mil-spec paracord certified to be up to military specifications

Commercial paracord, which is essentially the same but is not certified

Both types are the same size, have the same breaking strength and feel/look basically the same.

Paracord History

Paracord was developed as "parachute cord" - the thin strands of cord that support a paratrooper under his parachute. It was widely used by the US military during World War II.

Parachute cord is made from nylon so it is thin, strong and lightweight. The military established standards for its production, with the most common type comprised of 7 strands having a collective breaking strength of 550 pounds. Thus, most cord produced is 7-stand, 550 paracords.

Troops in the field quickly found many uses for the cord, from tying down equipment to suspending items from packs to first aid uses including tourniquets. The cord is still used extensively by the military. It has even been used in space by astronauts as they repaired the Hubble Space Telescope.

As soldiers returned home they sought sources for paracord so they could continue to use it in everyday life. Military surplus stores have sold it for years.

Today many manufacturers produce cord to military specifications and also in a "commercial" grade. As consumers discovered the cord, demand went up and a wider variety of cord has been produced. Today we are able to offer hundreds of colors of cord in several different sizes.

The 7-strand 550 paracord is still our best selling item. All of the 550 paracords we sell is manufactured to military specs but only some are made in a mill that has been certified to meet us military specifications. We sell some "mil-spec" cord that is certified, and it tends to be a little more expensive.

Paracord Uses

parachute cord

Because of its versatility, paracord has long been valued as an important item for survival kits. A roll easily fits into a kit and adds very little weight.

Ingenious people soon learned that you can weave paracord into products useful in everyday life, that can also provide a ready supply of cord for use in an emergency. For example, paracord survival bracelets have become very popular. Choose from many, many patterns and you can create an attractive bracelet that is fun to make and also to wear. Then, if needed, you can unravel the weave and have a length of cord available for use in a survival situation.

The same is true of belts and other items. In fact, when unraveled a belt may provide more useful cord than a bracelet.

Paracord is much like duct tape - it can be used for hundreds of practical applications. Many people find it enjoyable to discover new uses, and to weave or otherwise create useful items from the cord. Like knitting, it can be therapeutic to create items by weaving paracord.

Many people create items from paracord that they give as gifts or sell during fundraisers. Many veterans groups, school clubs, and other organizations make and sell paracord products to raise money.

Many people have developed successful businesses making and selling products using paracord. The market for finished products has become large and appears to be growing.


Used for kindle to easily start your fire. The wax keeps it dry and ready to use.


Use for ultra strong and low-stretch applications such as animal snares, hoisting or emergency situations.


Use for cooking over a fire using a rotisserie method, cut through materials using friction saw or to repair a dragging muffler on your car.


Remove from sheath for additional cordage with varying purposes.



Catch your fish and survive the elements.