First used as a suspension line in parachutes, paracord is now a prepper favorite because this item has many survival uses. If you want to keep a length of paracord in your gear without having to worry about getting your cordage tangled, try making a handy paracord “donut.” (h/t to SHTFBlog.com)
Making a paracord donut
A paracord donut makes a handy “donut” spool for your cordage. You can also use a paracord donut as a makeshift weight if you need to throw it over a branch or to another person when setting up a shelter.
It takes a bit of practice, but once you’re used to the technique you can easily make your own paracord donut.
Before you start tying paracord, think about how long your cord is. As you continue to wrap the cord around itself, it will get thicker and the hole in the middle will get smaller.
Take about 25 feet of paracord, then wrap it around four fingers of your non-dominant hand four or five times as if making a daisy chain. Start tying the cordage near the end of the paracord to “lock” it in place.
Make a loop, with the tail of the loop near the hole in the middle. Pull the tail to make another loop, then pull this second loop through the first loop tightly.
Take the cord, bring it around, then pass it through the loop you created. This forms a daisy chain.
Keep looping the paracord in on itself until you form a donut-shaped roll of cordage. As you continue looping the cord, cinch it down to keep the paracord organized.
When you reach the start of the loop, keep going. Wrap the paracord around the place where you first started tying the donut. Keep the loops neat to prevent the cord from twisting and making bulges in the donut.
Once you reach the other end of the paracord, poke it through the donut so you can find it easily if you need some cordage.
When you’re done, label your paracord donuts with what length they are if you plan on making several. If you need a longer length of paracord, you can even make a 200-foot donut once you’ve mastered the looping technique. Keep a paracord donut in your everyday carry (EDC) kit or bug-out bag (BOB) for sturdy cordage that won’t get tangled up. (Related: Don’t forget these 53 items when stocking up for emergencies.)
Survival uses for paracord
Replace regular rope with paracord for sturdy cordage that won’t snap easily in a survival situation. Here are other prepping uses for paracord:
Firestarter – If you know how to use the “bow” firestarting method, paracord can be turned into a bow by tying it to both ends of a flexible branch. Use a stone as a socket. If you’re unfamiliar with this method, use paracord as a makeshift tinder instead.
Fishing – You can use the core strands of your paracord to make a trotline to catch fish. Alternatively, you can tie a makeshift lure and cast a line. Another option is to remove the outer yarns to weave a net for fishing.
Hauling – You can use 550 paracord to haul heavy loads. Use paracord to haul prey or to carry firewood to your camp more efficiently.
Rescue line – If a member of your survival group gets trapped in quicksand or falls down a ravine, you can use paracord to rescue him. Tie a figure-eight knot in your paracord, get in position, then toss the rescue line to the person who needs saving.
Shelter – With sturdy branches, tarp and paracord, you can set up a makeshift shelter in the wild. Find 10 adequately sized, strong branches, remove seven inner core strands of paracord, and use the strands to tie knots that will secure the tarp to the branches you’ll use as a frame for the shelter. Alternatively, you can secure a tarp with eyelets to two trees to make a simple hammock.