Paracord (parachute cord, para cord or 550 cord) is a lightweight nylon rope that was first used in World War II by the US military. Paratroopers as well as other militants found this light cordage to be very versatile due to its strength and elasticity. Although strong, its construction provided a smooth surface.
Type III – 550 Cord
True 550 paracord has a tensile strength of 550 lbs and consists of the braided outer sheath with seven inner strands. This specific composition is widely referred to as “military grade”. Although no longer officially active, MIL-C-504OH technical standards are still used to compare varying grades of paracord. 550 paracord is described as Type III and is typically thicker than commercial grade. The braided sheath comes in a variety of colors and its 7 inner strands provide a multitude of uses.
Today 550 cord and commercial grade paracord types are used as general purpose utility cords by both the military and civilians. The inner strands can be removed when finer string is needed for sewing, fishing line, tripwire, nets, traps, and other emergency and/ or survival situations. Paracords are often used by outdoor enthusiasts for camping, hiking, and survival situations. In addition to purely utility uses, paracord is also popular for recreation and even style – bracelets, keychains, belts, and lanyards.
Stay tuned for an upcoming blog on how to make your very own paracord bracelet!