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#164021 - 01/20/09 11:43 PM Paracord...how much is too much?
TeacherRO Offline

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 2471
Am I the only one who carries little or no para cord? I just read where one hiker carries 100' - just in case. I'd rather use the space/$/ weight in my pack for other items...

#164023 - 01/20/09 11:57 PM Re: Paracord...how much is too much? [Re: TeacherRO]
bsmith Offline
day hiker

Registered: 02/15/07
Posts: 589
Loc: ventura county, ca
as a day hiker i carry about 50' of paracord in my pack. it doesn't take up that much space and doesn't weigh that much. its uses are endless. i also have about 50' of manila rope on my hiking staff.
“Everyone should have a horse. It is a great way to store meat without refrigeration. Just don’t ever get on one.”
- ponder's dad

#164026 - 01/21/09 12:01 AM Re: Paracord...how much is too much? [Re: TeacherRO]
Mike_H Offline

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 612
Loc: SE PA
Originally Posted By: TeacherRO
Am I the only one who carries little or no para cord? I just read where one hiker carries 100' - just in case. I'd rather use the space/$/ weight in my pack for other items...

Since I'm the one who carries 100' of it... I find it has many uses, is relatively cheap (only costs about $7 for 100'). I rather have more than less, especially when building improvised shelters. Space take is also relatively minimal without sacrificing anything else.

Seems that Doug also packs about 50' - 100' in his aviation kit.

But, since I raised the question in my post, and you started this thread, which makes complete sense, I'm very curious as to how many paracord others pack with them.

So, question, what would you use that extra space, weight, $ for?

"I reject your reality and substitute my own..." - Adam Savage / Mythbusters

#164033 - 01/21/09 12:13 AM Re: Paracord...how much is too much? [Re: Mike_H]
scafool Offline

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
See my comment on Mike's thread.

OK that was a bit too abrupt of me TeacherRO.

One of the things I see all the time is people underestimating how long lines have to be.
When you start adding up the cordage just to pitch a normal tent people are surprised at the amount of cord involved.

I suggest you think of it in individual lengths first.

Just as an example you should guess how long of a piece is needed to lace a pair of boots, and then measure it.
Now look at a tent and add up the amounts of line involved.

I just bought 20 meters (65 feet) of 400lbs test cord.
It cost 10 dollars and could fit into a coat pocket.
It is just about enough to pitch a small tent, but that would be a waste of strong cord...
If i was to double this cord it could maybe hold 800 lbs.
4 strands of it would give a breaking stress of 1,600lbs(3/4 ton)but a safety allowance of 4 to 1 drops that back to 400 lbs again.
Just enough for me to be suspended from.

EDIT NOTE: People are getting confused about this and think I am recommending Paracord as a rappel line. It is not possible to use Paracord as a rappel line, even if there was no strength problem.
You could no more rappel down Paracord than you could rappel down a steel wire.
Even though you can use it to hang yourself from a parachute just fine.
I was only using my weight as an example of a load.
So substitute anything you want as the weight, OK

And a special thanks to everybody who thinks I might really weigh 400 pounds

Now lets look at the length again. 65/4 =16.25
So after allowance for knots I might be able to use it to lower myself about 10 feet.
If I was to accept a 2 to 1 safety factor (no thanks, emergency only) I might get 25 feet out of it with a breaking stress of 800lbs. Any slight bounce could snap it.

It might be worth trying as a tow rope though.

So you see TeacherRO, cord is funny stuff.

When you really need it you need a lot of it,
and when you don't really need it you still need a bit.

Edited by scafool (01/21/09 10:36 AM)
Edit Reason: clarification
May set off to explore without any sense of direction or how to return.

#164036 - 01/21/09 12:48 AM Re: Paracord...how much is too much? [Re: ]
BigToe Offline

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 81
I usually carry 40' in my bag, and since I saw this Paracord Bracelet posted here, 9' on my wrist.
Men have become the tools of their tools.
Henry David Thoreau

#164040 - 01/21/09 01:07 AM Re: Paracord...how much is too much? [Re: TeacherRO]

I don't carry paracord... For the past several years, I carry a type of nylon rope that works good for my needs and it is cheap, 50' for 1.99. Besides quality paracord is tough to find here and I no longer support Ebay.

#164042 - 01/21/09 01:15 AM Re: Paracord...how much is too much? [Re: ]
Desperado Offline

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
I have at least 100 foot in each family member's BOB. I was in the army too long to not have 100 MPH tape (GOOD duct tape) and 550 cord around most of the time.

However I have rejected the 550 cord "jewelry" and sweaters.
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.


#164047 - 01/21/09 01:21 AM Re: Paracord...how much is too much? [Re: Desperado]
2005RedTJ Offline

Registered: 01/07/09
Posts: 475
Loc: Birmingham, Alabama
I carry 100' in my bag. 50' of it is just carried in the little bag it came packed in. The other 50' is wrapped around the handle of my Buck camp axe.

#164050 - 01/21/09 01:25 AM Re: Paracord...how much is too much? [Re: 2005RedTJ]
Bear_Claw_Chris_Lapp Offline

Registered: 08/23/07
Posts: 227
Loc: Sector 16
I just bought 100 feet of blaze orange 550 for my car kit.
In omnia paratus

#164054 - 01/21/09 01:38 AM Re: Paracord...how much is too much? [Re: Desperado]
Be_Prepared Offline

Registered: 12/07/04
Posts: 530
Loc: Massachusetts
Always have mil spec 550 cord along in the daypack, min 50ft. Have 2 100' lengths in the vehicle kit. It's just so strong and useful for so many things.

I won't hang from it though. Someone was talking about multiple runs of 550, but, you run into a bunch of other problems, like how to belay, abrasion on small diameters, blah blah blah. If we're hiking in the mountains, even if we don't expect any technical climbing, but, are exposed to areas where someone injured might need assist, or we could "fall into a bad situation" then at least 2 members in the group will carry a 70M length of 10mm dynamic dry climbing rope, locking 'biner, a figure 8, and harness, maybe an idiot proof belay like a Gri-Gri too. Obviously we'd have more if we were planning a technical climb, this is for the, oh %$#@ we are in trouble situations.

Cordage is cool stuff, 550 is awesome for so many things that I always carry some. Just wanted to make the point that it's not a good choice for supporting humans.

- Ron

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