Backcountry Forum
Backpacking & Hiking Gear

Backcountry Forum
Our long-time Sponsor - the leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear
 
 
 
Amazon.com
Backpacking Forums
BackcountryGear.com
backcountry gear

---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store
 ULTRA-LIGHT 

Ultralight Backpacks
Ultralight Bivy Sacks
Ultralight Shelters
Ultralight Tarps
Ultralight Tents
Ultralight Raingear
Ultralight Stoves, Cookware
Ultralight Down Bags
Ultralight Synthetic Bags
Ultralight Apparel


the Titanium Page
WM Extremelite Bags

 CAMPING & HIKING 

Backpacks
Tents
Sleeping Bags
Hydration
Kitchen
Accessories

 CLIMBING 

Ropes & Cordage
Slings & Webbing
Protection & Hardware
Carabiners & Quickdraws
Climbing Packs & Bags
Big Wall
Rescue & Industrial
Ice & Snow
Helmets
Climbing Shoes
Climbing Accessories

 SNOWSPORTS 

Snowshoes
Avalanche Gear
Shovels
Tele-Accessories
Hats, Gloves, Gaiters
Accessories

 MEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 WOMEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 FOOTWEAR 

Men's Casual
Men's Climbing
Men's Trail
Women's Casual
Women's Climbing
Women's Trail

 CLEARANCE 

Backpacks
Mens
Womens
Climbing
Footwear
Accessories

 BRANDS 

Black Diamond
Granite Gear
La Sportiva
Osprey
Smartwool
all brands

 WINTER CAMPING 

Shelters
Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen

 WAYS TO SHOP 

Sale
Clearance
Award Winners
New Arrivals
Top Rated
Lightweight
Shop Green

 SHOP ECONOMICALLY 

Outdoor Gear Daily Deals
Outlets, Bargains, Sales

 SIBLINGS 

Backpacking Lite Home
Backpacking & Hiking Books
Backpacking Food
Backpacking Recipes


Stay Healthy--Eat Well

MARY JANES FARM ORGANIC MEALS

Mary Janes Farm Organic Backcountry Meals

NATURAL HIGH GOURMET MEALS

Natural High

 

Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#163123 - 03/02/12 12:06 PM Paracord - what it can be used for
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Since we are on an educational binge how about being specific?

Newbies are told paracord or other light cord or rope is a good thing to have. What are some of the things it is used for, and what are some things you won't use it for? Why?

_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

Top
#163126 - 03/02/12 12:18 PM Re: Paracord - what it can be used for [Re: lori]
BarryP Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1566
Loc: Eastern Idaho
Iíve only used paracord for PCT bear hangs. The black stuff snags on me but the rainbow color cord glides easy over bark and doesnít knot up in storage.

-Barry
The mountains were made for Tevaís

Top
#163127 - 03/02/12 12:26 PM Re: Paracord - what it can be used for [Re: lori]
OregonMouse Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 5243
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I don't use paracord; I take 50 feet of a lighter (but more expensive) Spectra line which has a relatively soft finish just in case I have to attempt bear bagging (it won't cut the tree bark). I also use it as a dog tie-out (or extra long leash) (only works if your dog doesn't chew things), clothesline (for airing sleeping bag when the trees are still wet) or any use that might be needed for cord (shoe laces, repair, whatever).


Edited by OregonMouse (03/02/12 12:28 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top
#163128 - 03/02/12 12:32 PM Re: Paracord - what it can be used for [Re: lori]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1553
Loc: San Diego CA
First let me say not all "paracord" is equal as Barry noted. On my last trip to the Winds, one of the guys wanted to pick some up for hanging bear bags. He picked up some inexpensive white paracord at Wallmart and that stuff couldn't handle even rubbing against bark. We really had to baby the stuff, then in the trash it went!

Personally I rarely use it, but find it good for hanging bags, fish stringer, general repairs, and for a clothes line for drying out stuff.

Top
#163130 - 03/02/12 12:48 PM Re: Paracord - what it can be used for [Re: skcreidc]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2404
Loc: California
I usulally do not carry extra, but my tent lines are very long (so I can tie around huge rocks) so I cut off them when I need emergency cord to repair stuff. Sometimes I take about 20 feet to lower my pack if I anticipate I would need to do that. Once when I did not take extra cord, I just took the tent cord off the tent, tied them together, and used this to lower my pack. It was a bit tedious and time consuming, but it worked.

Top
#163139 - 03/02/12 01:02 PM Re: Paracord - what it can be used for [Re: wandering_daisy]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
I have mentioned one good use- shoelaces. It makes good tent cordage, although I am going to braided mason's line (in bright colors) for that application.

The trouble with paracord is that it is just strong enough that some people will attempt to use for rappelling or some similar life support application, which is a good way to die. Years ago, the AAC, in one of their yearly Accidents In American Mountaineering reports, commented that pcord had no legitimate application in climbing (other than shoelaces and tent cordage, presumably). Despite that, you will see internet discussions about rappelling on pcord.


Edited by oldranger (03/02/12 07:53 PM)

Top
#163146 - 03/02/12 02:25 PM Re: Paracord - what it can be used for [Re: oldranger]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
I use braided mason line as extra guy lines, and only carry paracord for search and rescue (it's on the mandated gear list). I would also use the mason line for a shoe lace or other gear repair that doesn't involve load bearing, if I had to. Mason line is lighter and packs smaller than paracord.

I use Zing it for bear bagging - it does not stretch, is very strong, and since it is an arborist specific line it doesn't shred bark or saw into limbs the way some paracord does. It's also lighter than paracord and in a pinch I could put it to other uses. It's not expensive - a large (for our purposes) spool can be ordered online for 15-20 bucks, or lengths of it can be purchased by the yard by some of the hammock cottage gear makers. I've seen paracord snap when someone tried to get their bear bag down and leave them SOL for hanging the next night. Zing it snags less and hasn't snapped yet. It has a listed load max of 50 lbs. It's hollow core, and can be spliced into itself to make closed loops.

I store rope or cord by doubling it until it's in a bundle about 12" long and then tying a loose clove hitch in it, or by looping in half three or four times and making an electrician's braid. My paracord and tubular webbing for SAR are braided this way. A few minutes of braiding when I am packing saves a lot of time untangling when I'm setting up camp.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

Top
#163162 - 03/02/12 07:52 PM Re: Paracord - what it can be used for [Re: lori]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3913
Loc: Bend, Oregon
I guess the term paracord has been used for enough things that all it means is - nylon rope up to 550 cord. I'd like to note that those 100 foot rolls of rope at the hardware store for ten bucks are only rated for a few hundred pounds and should not be employed for anything but tying the canoe to the truck.

As far as bear bagging, I found that a cordage with a woven shell and straight inner fibers works best as its strong, light, about 1/8" diameter, and doesn't stick to tree bark. If need be you can wrap it around a branch to pull harder.

I've never lowered a pack backpacking. But I have hauled packs up and skinny cord doesn't cut it, or rather it does cut... frown

Anyway paracord is just another of those gotta have items that are pretty much worthless, or rather highly specialised and therefore of limited general worth. Sometimes I only take about 6 feet of it - just enough to tie my food bag off the ground in camp. Like Lori, I have long pieces of cord tied to my tent loops to tie it out.

I think about 80 feet of 4mm or 5mm kermantle "climbing access cord" would be nice, along with 4 carabiners and one double length spectra sling. This combination has allowed me to get into some very awkward situations.
Jim smirk

ok well you could build a neat bed by stretching paracord between rocks, and you can snare food with it.
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

Top
#163165 - 03/02/12 08:35 PM Re: Paracord - what it can be used for [Re: Jimshaw]
Gershon Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 990
Loc: Colorado
I use gutted 550 cord to tie my sleeping bag onto my external frame pack.

I also use it to make ranger beads for pacing.

You can use the string inside for thread. Or to make a gill net in a survival situation.

I also use it for my bearbag which is usually pretty light. I don't think it harms trees any.

_________________________
http://48statehike.blogspot.com/

Top
#163169 - 03/02/12 09:44 PM Re: Paracord - what it can be used for [Re: wandering_daisy]
BrianLe Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 916
Loc: Washington State, King County
I'm with whoever said that paracord isn't a good choice for backpacking. Too heavy and bulky for use as cord, not strong enough for use as rope. So IMO "what it can be used for" is car camping or various things around the house. Or parachuting, of course, though I wonder if they still use paracord for the risers? Probably not!

For a lighter, less bulky cord option it certainly is good to have some, and "how much" depends on whether you expect to hang food with it or not, and if so, what you're protecting your food from (bears, or rodents).

As wandering daisy said, sometimes extra cord for tent/tarp/whatever-shelter stuff can be useful. Some limited repairs (to include shoelace replacement, but I find that I replace the shoes before the laces go). Infrequently to hang food. For 3-season backpacking, that's about it for me.
_________________________
Brian Lewis
http://postholer.com/brianle

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >


Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
 
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
 
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
NOOB - One versus Two Packs
by Noonie
10/22/14 04:30 PM
Okay gearheads, what worked/didn't work this year?
by Rick_D
10/21/14 07:33 PM
PahaQue hammock rainfly
by Blue_Ridge_Ninja
10/16/14 12:46 PM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
It Officially Backpacking Season in the Ozarks!
by billstephenson
10/20/14 02:41 AM
Flare Pans
by billstephenson
10/13/14 11:23 PM
Backpack for Petite Girl??
by Porleander
10/12/14 07:02 PM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
Online Fabric Retailers
by 4evrplan
06/11/14 01:08 PM
How to add permanent volume markings to a kettle
by PerryMK
03/03/14 12:33 PM
Featured Photos
Breakneck Ridge, New York
May 2012 Eclipse, Lassen Park
New Years Eve 2011
Trip Report with Photos
Oat Hill Mine Trail 2012
Dark Canyon - Utah
Welcome to the Trip Report with Photos Forum
Who's Online
0 registered (), 16 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Aaron Blain, cwrandolph, Skier mike, Noonie, billyjaxin
11214 Registered Users
Forum Links
Disclaimer
Policies
Site Links
HOME
Backpacking.net
Family Hiking
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials
 

Outdoor Gear Daily Deals
Outlets, Sales, Bargains

Our long-time Sponsor, BackcountryGear.com - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:

Backcountry Forum
 
 

Since 1996 - the Original Backcountry Forum
Copyright © The Lightweight Backpacker & BackcountryForum.com