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#13380 - 03/03/03 12:37 AM Re: My Kit(s)...anyone want to make changes/additi

Notes on cordage.

Paracord is workable for everything. You can use it whole for light climbing but I wouldn't unless there were no other option - it's really too weak for that. You can pull out the inner strands and use them for tying out shelter tarps or fishing or even unravel it an use the individual strands for sewing. For all these reasons it is wonderful stuff!

Masons twine is close to equivalent of one of the inner strands of paracord. It is much cheaper and will serve many light uses. Much smaller diameter makes it possible to pack more in less space. Also it is usually availabe in neon colors which makes it useful for trail marking and the like.

Spectra cord is much more expensive than paracord and much stronger. You can get spectra cord the diameter of masons twine that has tensile strength around 2500 pounds. If you used this for climbing you would probably be stopped in a fall for just as long as it takes the cord to slice through you. If you have a climbing harness then you might do well with this.

Don't forget the other cordage equivalents that you will probably want to be carrying, nylon thread, snare wire, dental floss, wire-ties and zip-ties.

I carry some generic nylon twine for lashing and general purpose use such as lashing Christmass trees to the top of the car or constructing a debris hut shelter that might stand a chance of surviving a storm. I also carry some light weight masons twine for tying up packages for mailing or marking trail or repairing / replacing broken belts or straps. I also carry some real paracord, around 10' around my PSK because of it's versatility. I also carry around 20 yds of HD nylon thread wound around the needle in my PSK. I also carry a small spool of dental floss and 50 yds of monofiliment line (haven't gotten around to replacing this with spiderwire yet. I also carry around 10' of snare wire. My larger kits all have a selection of wire-ties and zip-ties and coat hanger wire and in my BOB I have some real climbing rope and my vehicle kit contains tow-straps and tie-down straps.

#13381 - 03/03/03 01:15 AM Re: My Kit(s)...anyone want to make changes/additi

I doubt EMS will have it. It is not considered climbing rope or mainstream outdoor cordage. It is pretty much an army surplus type thing. EMS will have cordage similar and may even have stuff called paracord but it ain't.

Remember the 7 inner strand test. It should look like 7 individual little cords inside the outer sleeve.


#13382 - 03/03/03 04:58 AM Re: My Kit(s)...anyone want to make changes/additi
AyersTG Offline

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 1272
Loc: Upper Mississippi River Valley...
Quick note - (now, climbers don't jump on me - this is not about double ropes and single ropes) - the smallest line diameter - regardless of fiber - used for that sort of thing is 8mm "personal rescue line" or "self rescue line". And not any old 8mm kernmantle will do. And they are NOT fall-rated.

I have some of it - enough to egress my office from my windows - and it's tiny enough to scare the bejabbers out of me. If I ever use it - window or wilds - I guarantee I'll have that coppery taste in my mouth, complete with rocketing blood pressure and pounding pulse... I like my 10.5 and 11mm ropes just fine, thank you, and I'll stick to 12mm for rescues if I have a choice.

I can and have broken 550 cord - easily - I would not trust my life to it, period. I'll find another way...

Whew! Makes me break out in a sweat thinking about it, LoL! I love 550 cord - been using it for almost 30 years - but not for lowering anything heavier than my rucksack. Although I carry 550 cord... as I've stated before, I prefer Dacron cord of slightly larger diameter than 550 for general utility cord. Not as "SAK" a cordage as 550 cord, but it has many virtues that endear it to me.

I think I carry about the same stuff you do - a bit more cordage, but same things (love that bright mason's twine) plus the Dacron as my "workhorse" for non-climbing apps. Plus waxed linen (floss), carpet thread, and a hank of very heavy nylon thread used for repairing cargo parachute webbing. (No, not all in my PSK!)

#13383 - 03/03/03 06:32 AM Re: My Kit(s)...anyone want to make changes/additi

Ayers, how could you not expect a climber not to pounce when rope is under discussion....

Rope, like so many things we discuss, comes in many different sizes and types. It all depends on what you want to do.

About the only climbing use for paracord, even the real stuff, is for shoelaces. In the early 60s, there was a minor fad in the climbing community involving the use of paracord for rappel anchors. Even tripled or quadrupled, several people died. Rappel anchors don't have to be that strong, either.

8mm cord could be just fine, if used properly. One important point - ropes often fail, not because of overloading, but from abrasion. It is amazing how fast a rope can abrade, especially under load (as when your bod is haning from it as you rappel). One jerky, poorly performed rappel can slice a rope much thicker than 8mm. So padding the rope, as you exit your building, is super critical - not just the lip, but very likely any point where the rock touches the building.

Don't even think about Spectra (previous post). It is strong but it has virtually zero elasticity. This is a critical attribute for climbing purposes. I don't think I would want to try to handle something as thin as mason's twine in any climbing situation I can think of.

I would agree with you, thicker rope is better than thinner unless weight and bulk is really critical. Some cavers, I understand, are dropping on 7mm rope, but they treat it right.

How far do you have to rappel from your office to reach the ground? FWIW, it seemed to me from SAR experience that groundfalls of more than forty feet (four stories) were generally fatal, while shorter drops were typically survivable, unless you impacted very badly.

Climbing has a lot more to it than just getting a rope, especially if you want to survive.

#13384 - 03/03/03 09:48 AM Re: My Kit(s)...anyone want to make changes/additions?
frenchy Offline

Registered: 12/18/02
Posts: 1320
Loc: France
On this forum, many members proposed to use plastic straws to store vaseline impregnated cottonwool.
I thought it was a "bizarre" idea, but I tried it today : seems a perfect solution for small amounts and really easy to do :
- I took plastic straws at Mc Donald's (No, I don't want to start a thread on gastronomy <img src="images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" /> ...) ; they are large enough ;
- I cut these in 4 pieces, each about 5 cm long (so they fit in my PSK) ;
- with a BIC lighter I heat one end and immediatly seal that end with the pliers of my Leatherman ;
- then I stuff the vaseline impregnated cottonwool inside the tube ;
- and repeat the sealing operation at the open end ; seems to be a good seal, waterproof and vaselineproof ... to be confirmed ;

I still have now to test this tinder : is a 5cm long straw stock enough to light a fire ? I guess it should be, with practice ...


#13385 - 03/03/03 01:34 PM Re: My Kit(s)...anyone want to make changes/additions?

By rights 1 vaseline cotton ball should start about 5 - 10 fires easy. I have about 25 cotton balls in 1 film canister so I am good to go for MANY fires.


#13386 - 03/03/03 08:13 PM Re: My Kit(s)...anyone want to make changes/additi
paramedicpete Offline

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
This is from an early post, it may be of interest. Pete


#13387 - 03/03/03 08:52 PM Re: My Kit(s)...anyone want to make changes/additions?

It seems to be all guys replying in this thread, so I don't know if you'll be able to help me, but if you were a woman (just go with this!!) then where in your survival kits would tampons go, and do they even have a place in survival kits for us gals?? It's not the easiest thing to plan for e.g. quantity, so any suggestions / help would be appreciated!

cheers for some great ideas from your list by the way!


#13388 - 03/03/03 09:26 PM Re: My Kit(s)...anyone want to make changes/additions?


My wifes small fanny pack kit has half a dozen tampons and a couple of pads.

She plans on using a product called the "keeper" when and if needed.

Don't ask me any more cuz I don't know haha.



#13389 - 03/03/03 10:26 PM Re: My Kit(s)...anyone want to make changes/additions?
paramedicpete Offline

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
I would suggest going with sanitary napkins, as they can double as a trauma dressing. Pete

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