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When it comes to must-have’s for my go bag, rope is definitely on the list. The options multiply 100 fold when you have access to good rope or cord in an emergency situation. There are many choices for good rope but like most other things, it all depends on what you are using it for. The material that it is made from, it’s strength, even it’s color choice have an impact on the rope that you choose. In most cases, there is never one type of rope that is the answer for every task.
One of the most versatile types of cord that I always have with me in the field is 550 cord or Paracord as it is also known by. 550 Cord was initially used in the suspension line of military parachutes. As usual, since this was an awesome piece of technology, Marines & Soldiers starting using 550 cord for all sorts of applications. As a matter of fact, my first exposure to 550 cord was as a U.S. Marine. I was a brand new Marine, a Boot, and was out in the field training. A few of the senior “salty” Marines were tying things up with this cool “rope” that I had never seen before. Once we got out of the field I went to the PX and bought a few feet of 550 Paracord. It has been part of my gear ever since.
I have all sorts of applications for my 550 cord. I use it for lacing on some of my boots & shoes. I dummy-cord all my gear to my packs with it so that I do not lose anything when I am on the move; especially at night. I use paracord as pigtails on a lot of carrying cases which works as a handle but also a way to always have extra paracord on hand. Even when I am in a camping situation, my go-to rope is 550 cord. Whether I am lashing up a tripod for my dutch oven or setting up my tarps, 550 cord is usually what I reach for first. It holds knots quite well and stands up against the weather. It also packs well and is light.
With the recent popularity of 550 cord, things have gotten a bit confusing. It’s no secret that the trend started with the paracord bracelets and then branched off into.. EVERYTHING being made of paracord! It’s great to have all the new color choices and relatively cheap pricing but there is always a caveat. It seems like everyone manufactures paracord these days and claim their 550 cord to be the real deal. Unfortunately, not everyone is telling the truth about their cord being of military specification.
However, do not let that deter you from other applications for the non Mil-Spec paracord. As long as you get & know what you are paying for, it’s all good. There are many uses for non military spec. paracord in the field. Not everything requires 550lbs of tensile strength but it’s also important that you pay for what you think that you are getting. Once again, with the ever changing format of the Internet, it is tough for me to recommend one specific vendor or manufacturer. What may be good today, may not be the same tomorrow.
I did some searching and came across this company that I have gotten paracord from in the past. Their 550 cord is good to go & is Mil-Spec. I will monitor this link to make sure that they stick with their current specifications. But always be sure to read through the manufacturers description so that there are no surprises.
SPECS ON THE TITAN MIL-SPEC 550 PARACORD:
- Titan Paracord has a Minimum Guaranteed Tensile Strength of 550lbs
- 100% Bump-free, Bulge-free, Kink-free
- Made to Military Specifications w/Colored Government Contractor Marker Inside
- 100% Nylon
- 5/32″ in diameter, and contains 21 individual strands, braided into seven seriously-strong 3-strand yarns
- Official military designation is MIL-C-5040H, Type III, 550 Paracord
- Veteran Owned Business
- Made in the U.S.A.
- 100% satisfaction, no hassle, money-back guarantee
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