Paracord has become my new obsession

by Andy Amick on December 21, 2011

in Gear, Paracord

Various paracord lanyards

A few of the recent paracord projects

It all started with an idea to get paracord on the bike by wrapping the handlebars and it has grown into a mini-obsession.  Learning to tie the knots and thinking up new project ideas has been addictive and keeps me thinking “just one more”.

 

Pictured above are a few of the recent projects I have worked on.  (top to bottom)

1. Paracord “chain” tied using cross knots.  This was more of a play project but it could be turned into a leash or long lanyard.  The cross knot has become my knot of choice.  It’s decorative and easy to tie.

2. Lanyard using Double Tatted Bar.  An interesting knot because of the loops on the sides.  Carabiners or clips could be attached to the loops.

3. Lanyard using Cobra Knot.  This is the standard knot you see on survival bracelets and it is a simple technique to learn.

 

Getting Started with paracord and knots

Stormdrane’s Blog – Simply the best resource I have found for getting started with knots and paracord.  Very easy to follow instructions in pictures and videos.

Paracordist – Kevin has some cool products and a bunch of helpful videos.  If you like firestarters and survival bracelets, this is a site you will want to visit.

Tying It All Together – Another great source of easy to follow videos.

 

Starter Knots

 

Cobra Knot

http://www.tacticalintelligence.net/blog/how-to-make-a-paracord-bracelet.htm

http://www.instructables.com/id/Paracord-bracelet-with-a-side-release-buckle

 

Cross Knot
http://www.instructables.com/id/Cross-Knot-Paracord-Lanyard/

This has become my go to knot.  Simple to learn, functional for these types of projects, and decorative.

 

Lanyard

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faO3rY9G_Ns

The lanyard knot requires more practice to get right because there are a few more steps.  However, it is worth the effort and makes a very nice knot.

 

Double Tatted Bar

http://www.survivalogic.com/2011/12/double-tatted-bar.html

This was the hardest knot for me to work on.  The tying is not hard, but getting the paracord to look uniform and tight was difficult.  It worked better once I fastened the clip so I could pull the cord tight as I tied the Double Tatted knot.

 

A few more recent projects

Paracord neck lanyards using cross knot

Paracord neck lanyards using cross knots

The orange lanyard is a Kid’s Safety Kit redone with paracord and a breakaway connector (not pictured).  This version may make it’s way into the Store because the paracord is much stronger than a standard lanyard and the knots look much better.

 

Crosses made out of paracord

Crosses constructed using cross knots - Red with full paracord, black with gutted paracord, green with 3/32" tether cord

Instructions on how to make the crosses can be found at http://stormdrane.blogspot.com/2011/05/cross-knot-paracord-cross-pendant.html.  The crosses take a bit more time than the lanyards because you have to work the cross knots close to each other.  You can complete one of these is 10-30 minutes once you know how to tie the cross knot.

 

Zipper pulls made out of paracord

Paracord zipper pulls using cross knot and cobra knot

Where to purchase paracord

If you want to get started, you need some paracord.  The following online stores have paracord in 25′, 50′, 100′, and event 1000′ foot lengths.  There are also many many colors to choose from.

CampingSurvival

CountyComm

ParacordStore

Amazon

Army Navy stores

 

A knife wrap

Paracord knife wrap and paracord lanyard

Paracord knife wrap and firestarter with paracord lanyard

There has to be at least one knife project for every paracord lover.  It reminds me of the old Alabama song with the line – “If you’re gonna play in Texas, you gotta have a fiddle in the band”.

For paracord, it’s “If you’re gonna play with paracord, you gotta have a knife wrap in the bag”.

 

The technique for this wrap came from a County Comm video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rr8xHABUIE4

 

This may be my first and last knife project.  I enjoyed researching and doing the wrap, but I’ll admit that I’m not much of a knife guy (although I can see how this could turn into another obsession).  In place of knives, I keep my bike multi tool and a small razor blade in my ultralight kits.

 

One Final Project

paracord lanyard using cross weave knot

Cross Weave paracord lanyard

A Cross Weave lanyard is another easy project.  It is more decorative than functional but you can have some fun with color combinations.

http://www.lighthound.com/Cross-Weave-Paracord-Lanyard_ep_41-1.html

 

What’s Next?

There are a few other knots and projects that I would like to try before I satisfy my paracord obsession.  Ok, I may never completely satisfy it, but it’s worth a shot.

 

1. Sailor’s Cross Knot – http://knottool.com/CrossKnotInstructions-v1.2.pdf.  This is a much nicer looking knot, but much more involved.

2. Practice and perfect the Lanyard knot

3. Complete a full paracord handlebar wrap.  Still trying to work out the details on this one.  If anyone has ideas on a good knot, braid, or wrap technique, please let me know.

4. The latest idea is a chest or waist strap for my hydration pack.  This would replace the standard strap and it would be a way to get 10-20 feet of emergency paracord  on my pack that I always wear when mountain biking.  The strap would probably use the cobra knot instead of the double tatted bar.

 

Final Note

Don’t forget about the end of year challenge.  Help make me run more miles in January so I can break this paracord obsession.  Each new Twitter follower, Facebook Like, and blog subscriber increase the mileage requirement for January.

About Andy Amick
A little bit nutty in general, a lotta bit nutty about bikes. Each of his boys received a bike helmet for their first birthday and the three of them have been biking together ever since.

Follow me on Twitter ·

  • What an excellent, informative post. I too love paracord and all of its many uses. Once you have something made with it you can use it for emergencies for all kinds of stuff.
    For instance:
    Tie down a tarp.
    Make a tourniquet.
    Replace laces for boots and shoes.
    Make thread for repairs.
    Make a bow drill for fire starting.
    Make snares and traps.
    Wrap around a knife handle for a better grip
    Make a lanyard.
    Secure gear to your pack.
    Make a shelter.
    Hang food out of reach of animals.
    Catch fish.
    Make a ridge-line for a tarp shelter.
    Repair equipment.
    Make a anchor line.
    Make a clothes line.
    Tie down items to your vehicle.
    Tether rafts.
    Make a trip line to alert you about strangers walking into your camp.
    Make a splint.
    The inner strands can be used to make a net.
    The inner strands can be used for dental floss.
    And probably dozens of other uses that I haven’t thought of. Great post!

    • palespruce

      James, yes there are endless ways of using it. And probably endless ways of tying and carrying it.

  • I am also addicted to paracord crafts :).
    I especially love making useful items. My favorites so far are belts and paracord water bottle holders.

    • Andy Amick

      Markwell, thanks for stopping by. I’ve seen some of the water bottle holders but have never tried them. Do they work really well?

  • Hey!

    Yeah they work amazingly well for me. I made a blog post about how to make one Paracord Central. It is not that hard to make, stores a decent amount of paracord for future use and looks great!

    I personally recommend using the cow hitched or half hitched knot.

    Greetings, Mark

Previous post:

Next post: