paracord uses in bushcraft and survival

Paracord Uses in Survival and Bushcraft

Last updated on December 5th, 2020 at 06:44 pm

I cheer whenever I see someone bring rope on a Naked and Afraid challenge. In a survival situation, paracord uses are numerous. With the right level of creativity and combination of available resources, cordage can fulfill almost every facet of survival: fire, shelter, and food. It can help create containers for water, but I’m not stretching that far to praise the glory that is paracord.

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Paracord Uses to Make Fire


Living in California, there’s no shortage of dry tinder. You folks in the rainy areas, however, may have a more difficult time finding dry tinder. You could make fire sticks from fat wood or standing dead trees, but you could also tear out the insides of your paracord and use the inner strands to make tinder. Separate out into a fluff for easy spark catching.

Bow Drill

One of the obvious paracord uses is as cordage for a bow drill. I add a length of paracord lanyard on knife handles specifically for this reason.

bow drill divot on a pocket knife
Using a paracord bow drill and a pocket knife with a bow drill divot

Use Paracord for Shelter and Gear

Make Paracord Sandals

Here’s one of the paracord uses that is less thought about, but a game changer if you decide to take a swing at a Naked and Afraid challenge. Making shoes with paracord can be done a few different ways, from weaves to minimalist reinforcement to the the pads of your feet.

Paracord Wrap a Handle

Busted your handle while batoning your knife through a car? A common paracord use would be to make a handle of it.

paracord bk2 sheath modification

Make a Hammock

Cordage for shelter building by lashing sticks together is a no brainer. How about we get off the ground and make a hammock out of paracord? A simple weave, similar to a gill net, will get you off the ground and keep the bugs off of you.

Use Paracord to Catch Fish

Make a Gill Net from Paracord

If you’re a fan of Alone like I am, this is one you’ll want to remember. Making a gill net with paracord from the inner strands of paracord would be both string and almost invisible in the water.

paracord uses - how to make a gill net

Fishing Line

The inner strands of paracord can be used to weave together very effective fishing line. You can carve a gut hook from wood or bone and leave some bait in the water as a passive fishing tactic.

Make a Paracord Fishing Lure

You can make a paracord fly lure or rooster tail by taking a segment of paracord, combing the inner strands, and putting a hook on it. Full details here on how to make a survival fishing lure.

survival lure from paracord

Paracord Uses for Hunting and Trapping

Make a Paracord Bola for Bird Hunting

The goal here is to create a throwing weapon that will entangle birds as they try to fly or run away from you. Start by tying three separate lengths of paracord to separate weighted objects, like rocks. Then on the other end, join the three lengths of paracord with an overhand knot.

Make a Paracord Bow String

With its 550-lb tensile strength, paracord can be used as a bow string to complete a primitive bow build.

Make a Paracord Sling Weapon

If you’ve heard of the story of David and Goliath, David used a sling weapon to slay his opponent. By using cordage and a pouch, you can whizz a rock at insane speeds. Accuracy requires practice. Here’s how to make a primitive sling weapon and a video of me hucking a rock.

Hurling a rock at insane speeds using a primitive sling weapon

Paracord Traps and Snares

You can make various traps and snares using paracord. Here are a few ideas on how to make traps for wilderness survival.

paiute deadfall trap
A Paiute Deadfall Trap

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