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Paracord is a commonly used word for parachute cord. There is a rich history behind this name. According to a report, the paracord name came from its use by American paratroopers at the time of the second world war. However, in this topic an international debate can happen as it is a very complicated topic. Paracord is a specifically designed lightweight rope that can be used for hundreds of different purposes. They are very thin and lightweight rope made from nylon Kernmantle. The paracord 550 is actually considered the real paracord that can be used for both indoor and outdoor purposes. The original purpose of the manufacturing paracord was to provide a better solution to the suspension lines of parachutes. Today, it is a general-purpose utility cord that can be used as one solution for hundreds of things. And this is why paracords are the most versatile and useful tool. According to Wikipedia, this versatile cord was used by astronauts to repair the Hubble space telescope during the 82nd space shuttle mission. This fact proves the importance of a paracord.
Today, the manufacturing technology and the use of the material has changed a bit to manufacture the most versatile paracord. A paracord mainly has two parts that are the inner part and the outer part. The braided inner part is made of inner stands (also called kerns) while the outer part is made of outer sheath (also called the mantle). The inner part of the cord is twisted in a pattern using small yarns and the outer sheath of it includes 32 interwoven strands. The outer part gives a paracord smooth texture and a smooth outer surface. On the other hand, the material used to manufacture a paracord like nylon and polyester make it somewhat stretchable. The inner kerns provide the strength to cord while the outer part protects the core and provides a smooth texture to comfortably hold it.
According to the experts, nylon is the best material to be used in the manufacturing of paracord and those cords that are made of nylon are actually the original paracord. From cord 95, 100, 425 to paracord 550, and 750, all are made from nylon. Most cord manufacturing companies prefer to use nylon for the manufacturing of parachute cord as nylon is waterproof and mildew-proof material. It is also somewhat elastic which makes it better and versatile for different uses. On the other hand, polyester is another material that can be used to manufacture paracord but it is not very prevalent among the paracord manufacturing companies.
Generally, all types of ropes are made by either using the technique of twisting together the fiber strands or braiding them together. Braided ropes are usually considered the stronger ropes compared to twisted fiber strands ropes. However, both types of rope are very useful for different purposes. Paracords are made based on the Kernmantle rope manufacturing technique. The Kernmantle ropes are mainly made of two major parts that are kern and sheath. Kerns is the inner part of ropes while the sheath is the outer part of the rope. Kerns provides the strength to ropes to lift heavy weights while the sheath acts as a shield for the core part of ropes. The sheath protects the kerns and bears the abrasions. The modern climbing ropes are the perfect examples of Kernmantle rope manufacturing techniques.
Initially, paracords were used for only military purposes. Until 1997, there were only six types of paracord available in the market as per the technical standard described by the US military. However, paracord 550 was considered as the original paracord for survival and outdoor circles. Those six are 95 lb, 100 lb, 425 lb, 225 lb, 550 lb, and 750 lb. Today, these are available in so many different colors, thicknesses, sizes, and patterns and they can be used for so many different purposes. It can be used for tying knots, making a bracelet, replacing shoelace, rope deck railing, and many more.
Paracord 550 is the only type of paracord that can be used for survival and outdoor uses. The other types of paracord (like 95 lb, 100 lb, 425 lb, and 225 lb) can only be used for basics at homes like replacing shoelace and making a beautiful bracelet. Unlike the 550 cord, others cannot be used for survival purposes and outdoor uses. It is considered the best paracord because it is capable of lifting or towing 550 pounds. Most buyers prefer 550 paracords for their personal uses, outdoor, and survival uses.
Parachute cord was originally manufactured for a single purpose but today it is used as a general-purpose utility cord at every home. It can be used in hundreds of situations. Using a paracord, you can make an emergency shelter for you. It can help you to tie and tighten the shelter material like sticks and bamboo. It can be used in rope deck railing, camping, and trekking. At home, it is like a multi-purpose tool. Using a paracord, you can make a bottle carrier in your school and college bag, replace your broken shoelace, make a hangable carrier for fruits, veggies, spices, and other material, etc.
As an adventurer, if you are going for an adventurous trip like mount climbing, camping in dense forest, trekking, etc then you should buy paracord 550 as it will help you a lot in many ways. You never know what kind of situation you can face in your adventurous trip. So, be prepared with stronger paracord as it is one solution for hundreds of situations.
550 paracord can also be used for fishing. However, using a paracord for fishing, you will have to separate the inner and outer part of the paracord. The inner part (called kern) can be used as a strand of fishing equipment. So, anytime you feel like doing fishing, just take out the kern of your paracord, take a hook, make fishing equipment, and have fun at the brink of the river. On the other hand, it can also be used as a sewing thread. You can sew your clothes with paracord strands. It is also used in dentistry. It can be used as a piece of dental floss to remove the food and dental plaque from teeth areas where a brush cannot reach.