Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Top 5 Ways to Store Paracord

Frederick of Paracord Planet
Keeping it Simple: The Top 5 Ways to Store Paracord
Paracord can be a little tricky to handle at times, today I present you with the top 5 ways to store it

You love having Paracord with you in the field, but how to properly store and travel with it? Paracord is obviously one of the best survival tools to have on hand, the only problem with carrying Paracord is how likely it is to get mixed up with any knives, food or other tools you might have in your pack. Trust me when I say it is not fun to have to try and ‘quick deploy’ some hideous tent stake-Granola bar-Paracord combination. To make it a little more fun, I employed a ranking system along 4 dimensions: time to store, time to deploy, ease of redeployment and aesthetics (we Paracorders are a stylish bunch) on a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the highest. These methods are ranked from 5 to 1, with 1 being the overall best method.

Image Source: Trekker Outdoors
The Paracord Donut
Time to Store: 3
Time to Deploy: 4
Ease of Redeployment: 2
Aesthetics: 5
Score: 14

The Paracord donut comes in at our 5th spot mainly because of the time it takes to store and redeploy it. The donut knot is a very good way to store Paracord in terms of both speed of deployment, and aesthetic appearance once finished. However, the chief problem is wrapping the donut initially and re-wrapping it once deployed. It is easy to imagine trying to use this method in the field and getting your Paracord caught on a variety of branches, leaves and rocks. If you are looking to store your Paracord in this way, click here.
Image Source: Wikipedia

Fast Rope
Time to Store: 5
Time to Deploy: 4
Ease of Redeployment: 5
Aesthetics: 2
Score: 16

Also known as the ‘Quick Rope,’ the Fast Rope method of storage is the king of simplicity in the Paracord world. No complicated weaving pattern here, simply extend one hand and do a figure eight pattern between your thumb and pinky finger. Although this method is simple, it does not look particularly good and is much more prone to snagging and accidental deployment than other methods of storage. Instructions on how to make it are provided by YouTube user WheeliePete.

Peanut Butter Jar/ Pop Bottle
Time to Store: 3.5*
Time to Deploy: 5
Ease of Redeployment: 5
Image Source: Field and Stream
Aesthetics: 3
Score: 17

The peanut butter jar method may have won out entirely if not for two factors: preparation and aesthetics. Using a peanut butter jar or pop bottle to store your Paracord is a great idea, but not quite as simple as tying a not. You are definitely going to want to clean the containers out thoroughly beforehand to prevent your Paracord from becoming a sticky—although tasty—mess.  Furthermore, to make the jar as effective as possible you must drill a hole in the lid/cap which can be a pain if you do not have a drill in addition to the likelihood of you breaking a cap before you get it right. The last aspect is appearance, obviously no one really wants a glaring peanut butter label in the field with them, but with a little additional preparation and some camouflage Duct tape, your container will look right at home. Idea Credit: Jim Ratermann.
The Daisy Chain
Image Source: aplusssurvival
Time to Store: 4
Time to Deploy: 4
Ease of Redeployment: 5
Aesthetics: 4
Score: 17

This method is also mentioned in our Shock Cord blog post as great way to store Paracord while making a usable storage chain out of it. The Daisy Chain ranks #2 on our list because it is a nice, simple method that can be made and deployed quickly while looking rather stylish. The main disadvantage is similar to that of the quick rope in which you still risk it getting caught and tangled on things in the field or in your pack. Overall, the Daisy Chain represents a great storage method with simple and straight forward instructions by Reality Survival.
The Spool Tool from TricornE

The Spool Tool
Time to Store: 5
Time to Deploy: 4
Ease of Redeployment: 5
Aesthetics: 5
Additional Functionality: +5
Score: 24

One of our favorite products here at Paracord Planet, the Spool Tool is a great addition to any Paracord arsenal. Ok, so I may have cheated in creating a new ranking dimension just for the Spool Tool, but as the author and fan of the Spool Tool, I can do that. Not only is it extremely easy to quickly wrap your Paracord around the quality-constructed tool, but it also looks sharp and keeps everything neat and tidy. In the spirit of equality I did take off one point because it doesn’t deploy quite as quickly as some of the other methods, but it is still rapid. The Spool Tool receives its bonus because it possesses lighter storage, a cutting blade, fusion notches and a handy spot to clip a carabineer. The Spool Tool is the ultimate mobile Paracord storage method.

Feel free to comment below with your own ranking or tweet us @ParacordPlanet using #ParaStorage to tell us what method should have won. As always, ‘Like’ our Facebook page to stay up to date on our latest deals and giveaways and visit Paracord Planet for the best Paracord available.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Polyester Paracord

Image Source: Paracord Planet
Polyester Paracord
This week we breakdown Polyester Paracord, is it really just an afterthought to Nylon?

            I have written about unknown and misunderstood products in the past, but perhaps none are quite as maligned as Polyester Paracord. Polyester has long been considered the black sheep of the Paracord family with no real home, always playing second-fiddle to Nylon. The general public assumes Polyester Paracord must in some way be inferior, but today I will explain that although they have their differences, it is how you use the Paracord that determines its value. You may want to start adding Polyester to your Paracord adventures immediately.

Image Source: Camping Life
            So what are the real differences between Polyester and Nylon Paracord? The first characteristic Paracorders notice when working with the two cords is the difference in feel. Many users believe Polyester is ‘rough’, making it less comfortable to work with. I am not here to say anyone is incorrect in feeling this way, only to point out that my marketing intern hands have no problem working with it. There is a difference in the material texture, but in my opinion it is slight and certainly does not impair the use of Polyester Paracord.

            Another difference the user will notice is the ‘stretch’; this is not necessarily a negative characteristic, in fact, depending on how the cord is being used, it can be a definite positive. Nylon has far more ‘give’ or stretch than Polyester; thus both are highly practical, depending on the situation. In instances where elasticity is a necessity such as mooring lines on a sailing vessel, Nylon is preferred. On the contrary, when hoisting supplies as most campers do to keep them away from bears; Polyester Paracord is preferable because it will not stretch out overnight.

            The last key difference between Polyester and Nylon is the price. Both cords are extremely competitively priced from Paracord Planet with Nylon at $9.25/100 ft hank and Polyester costing $8.49/100 ft hank, but Polyester has the added incentive of saving you around $4 every 500 feet! Add the price difference to the fact that like Nylon Paracord, Polyester Paracord does not rot, and you can begin to see the merit of Polyester.

Image Source: Paracord Planet
            Ultimately, when choosing your Paracord it is imperative to have a clear picture of what you intend to use it for. Paracord planet offers eight different types of Paracord ranging from standard 550 Nylon to 550 Polyester and Micro Cord so you will be properly outfitted for every project. It is important to keep in mind the weight tests of each Paracord you are considering as well as the difference in elasticity to make sure you will not be surprised by anything. Make sure you think of Polyester when considering your next Paracord Project!

Please comment below with your thoughts on Polyester or any other type of Paracord you like to use and be sure to ‘Like’ our Facebook Page to stay up to date on all the best daily deals!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Paracord, a Look Back

Image Source: Kiss 925
Paracord, a Look Back
Paracord has taken quite a journey to get to where it is today
            “What walks down stairs, alone or in pairs, and makes a slinkity sound?” Sound familiar? This famous jingle belonged to the Slinky, one of the most beloved children’s toys of all time; the Slinky shares a very similar lineage with Paracord. Both the Slinky and Paracord began their life in service to the Military, but became immensely popular consumer products over time. The Slinky was born out of Richard James’ desire to develop a naval battleship horsepower meter using tension wire, when he dropped the wire he noticed how it kept bouncing and moving forward and the rest, as they say, is history. Similarly, Parachute Cord began its life in the Military well before it was popular worldwide and the famous sobriquet ‘Paracord’ was born.

            Originally used in Parachute suspension, the utilitarian ability of Paracord was quickly realized and spread throughout the entire military. Military units understood the litany of uses Paracord possessed and used it to greatly simplify their lives. Paracord was a workhorse, being used for everything from dummy cord to keep track of random equipment to pant fastener; in addition to tying down pretty much anything and everything. Once the cord was split open the fibers were also frequently used to stitch torn garments and the gutted Paracord was used as boot laces.

Image Source: Space Telescope
Following Paracord’s WWII genesis, Paracord swiftly became popular in the civilian world among outdoorsman. However, it was never really in the national spotlight until NASA brought it to the nation’s attention. In 1997, during STS-82 the Space Shuttle Discovery’s 22nd flight, Paracord was used in congruence with Teflon coated copper wire and Velcro to repair tears in the Hubble telescope’s insulation material. If nothing else, NASA’s incredible use of Paracord served to verify the cord’s prowess and establish it as preeminent survival gear.

Fast forward to today, Paracord represents a rapidly growing industry that is beginning to permeate the national conscience as an everyday product. As might be expected when a product as functional as Paracord becomes globally popular, an incredible number of uses have been realized. Uses range from your typical survivalist carrying daisy chains of the stuff to be ready to make a snare, lean-to, or splint at a moment’s notice to veritable fashion industry. Paracord can now be bought in every form from bracelet to belt and appeals to every demographic. Paracord’s home use has expanded to include dog collars, horse bridles and water bottle cozies.
Image Source: Customer Submissions

As a product, Paracord has diversified from the most popular 550 lb test Military designation MIL-C-5040 III to include 425 lb test, Polyester and Micro Paracord. All of these varying styles have different sizes and weight limits, however most are available in a variety of colors. Colors are perhaps the category in which Paracord has exhibited the greatest growth; originally being offered with minimal variation from olive drab, Paracord Planet offers over 300 colors ranging from solid colors to glow in the dark.
Image Source: Paracord Planet

It is evident Paracord has taken quite the journey to get to where it is today, but I for one am glad that it has. Paracord continues to grow in recognition and product diversity and will only gain popularity as more uses are discovered.

Thanks for reading, if you would like to share where you think Paracord is headed next or any of your thoughts on Paracord, please comment below. If you enjoyed this article please share it and as always be sure to check our Facebook page for the latest Paracord deals.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Shock Cord

Shock Cord from Paracord Planet
Shock Cord
Finding flexibility in an uncompromising world
            Do you ever find yourself wishing your Paracord were just a bit softer or more flexible? One of the most common complaints we hear about Paracord is how it can be uncomfortable to wear at times, especially for young children. Additionally, customers often request a greater range of flexibility, explaining that while Paracord strength is tremendous, it does not offer much ‘give’ which can make it tough to work with both in the field and when making projects at home. So this week seems like a great week to highlight a Paracord product that has been one of the fastest trending subjects in the Paracord World lately, Shock Cord.         
Shock Cord is becoming increasingly popular as Paracorders are realizing all the possibilities this cord possesses. Shock Cord, which is also known as Bungee or Elastic Shock Cord is anywhere from 5%-25% smaller in diameter than standard 550 Paracord, thus it feels roughly the same to work with only ‘tighter’. Like most Paracord, it is surrounded by an abrasion, mildew and UV resistant Nylon sheath; the difference lies in the core. The heart of Shock Cord is a rubber core that provides approximately 100% elongation. The ‘bounce’ is clearly the most noticeable difference between standard Paracord and Shock Cord and can be just what is needed at times.
The famous 'Paracord Pete' of Paracord Planet
One of ‘those times’ is with a hammock. Paracord hammock’s are notorious for being a somewhat uncomfortable to lie on, the lack of flexibility in the Paracord can be harsh against the back. Similarly, Paracorder’s sometimes enjoy finding an old chair with the bottom worn out and replacing it with Paracord. In both these instances, Shock Cord is the ideal substitute for Paracord; Shock cord still possesses strength while its rubbery nature makes it far more comfortable to put weight on.
Frederick is being tied down with Shock Cord
The uses of Shock Cord go far beyond relaxing in the sunshine, if you enjoy camping, Shock Cord can be a great addition to your pack. Shock Cord is frequently used to make additional storage on packs, while storing extra cord through a daisy chain, which is essentially adding more loops to your pack; perfect for storing water bottles or a hatchet (Video Credit: Reality Survival) . It can be further used in camping to stow cargo whether it be in a canoe or at a campsite. And if you plan on hitting the water, sailors utilize Shock Cord all over the boat from stowing gear to tying down essential ropes.
Shock Cord has also found its way into the hearts of the brave Men and Women who serve this country. Members of the Military commonly use Shock Cord in their Boonie hats to hold foliage or ammunition in place. And to maximize the uses of shock cord, it can be a great replacement for the uncomfortable drawstring found in sweatpants, athletic shorts and other pants; shock cord will give you form-fitting comfort.

Image Credit: Stormdrane
So if you guys are ready to try a new cord that is changing the game, pick up some Shock Cord from the best retailer around Paracord Planet and our unparalleled selection of over 30 Shock Cord colors. As always, be sure to like our Facebook Page so you never miss one of our daily flash sales and please leave a comment letting me know what you are going to use shock cord for!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Paracord Olympics

The Paracord Olympics
Wishing you could do an Olympic event? Now you can with our Paracord Olympics!

            Every two years the world is blessed with what is arguably the greatest sporting event on our planet, the Olympics. Tomorrow, the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi begin and it forced me to think about what events I would most like to compete in. Naturally, when you have Paracord woven (pun intended) into your life as much as I do, your thought lines converge and I began to wonder what Paracord Projects were analogous with specific Winter Olympic events. Here are a few of the best. (If you are looking for some patriotic Paracord kits, look no further than right here!).

Olympic: Figure Skating 

Paracord: The Celtic Heart Knot (TIAT)

Big Celtic Heart Knot.jpg   
Image Source: AP/ TIAT
            Although figure skating is not my personal favorite, according to a recent poll by US News Figure skating is the most watched sport in the Winter Olympics. With that in mind, I do think figure skating is incredibly elegant and graceful. Figure skating takes strength, but also extreme muscle control and grace, somewhat akin to the Celtic Heart Knot by TIAT. This knot can be tricky, but don’t go Tanya Harding; if you pay careful attention to the instructions you will come away with an elegant knot that is great for a necklace or bracelet. Try our Rose Pink, or any of our other 300+ colors!

Olympic: Speed Skating 

Paracord: Quick Deploy Bracelet

Speed Skating.jpg   
Image Source: AP/Para King
            Watching Speed Skating with Apolo Anton Ohno has to be one of my favorite Olympic Activities. If you have never had the opportunity to watch, it is somewhat akin to sprinting in track except that the athletes all share one lane and have giant razor blades attached to their feet. It is an awe-inspiring combination of strength and determination. Ohno is one of the most decorated speed skaters in U.S. Olympic history and has been in his fair share of spills, but he always comes out on top. That is where I drew the comparison to a Quick Deploy Bracelet, the one pictured here is created with 100% Paracord Planet Paracord by the Para King and can be fast and taken apart faster to have a large amount of Paracord readily available in an instant.

Olympic: Biathlon 

Paracord: Making a Gun Sling
Image Source: Ammoland/TACummings
            The Biathlon has to be one of the most unique events in all of sports. Born of Northern European hunting tradition, the discipline combines the endurance of cross-country with the precision of a world-class marksmanship competition. I found its closest analogy to be that of crafting a Paracord gun sling (video from gearsNtools). Similar to the cross-country aspect of the Biathlon, creating a Paracord rifle sling creates an incredible amount of patience in pursuit of a bigger dream. They also draw on firearm technology in that the Biathlon uses some of the most precise firearms in the world and slings serve to protect and make using your firearms as comfortable to use as possible. If you do endeavor to make a gun sling, keep in mind the cross country aspect of the Biathlon and stay patient, the results will be well worth it.

Olympic: Hockey 

Paracord: Monkey’s Fist
Miracle SI.jpg  Monkey's Fist.jpg
Image Source: Sports Illustrated/Para King
            Few events in Olympic history are as iconic as the moment pictured above, The ‘Miracle’. In 1980, viewed as unimaginable underdogs going into the Semifinal against the seemingly unbeatable Russians, Team USA came up with one of the greatest upsets in the history of modern sports. Team USA went on to win gold and as sports so often do, the significance of the victory transcended the game and had major political implications as the U.S. was still in the middle of the Cold War. Just as Hockey is a game of intricate play design and huge hits the Paracord Monkey’s Fist represents both skill and power. Designed to emulate the unique way in which monkeys whip their arm when striking, the Monkey’s Fist is more than just a neat key-chain, but a capable self-defense weapon in dangerous situations. The weave is not overly difficult to do, but the project is far easier to complete with a Monkey Fist jig from Paracord Planet where you can find all necessary supplies, including ball bearings (The pictured Monkey's Fist is created by Para King using Paracord Planet Paracord).

Olympic: Curling 

Paracord: Ultimate Survival Bracelet
Image Source: CBS
            Alas Curling, one of the most maligned sports in the Olympics for being simply put: ‘strange’. As a native Minnesotan, Curling holds a special place in my heart (Minnesota is a Curling powerhouse!), I myself have never participated, but respect the sport and those athletes that participate in it. People may not see the connection between Curling and Paracord, but trust me it is there. Curling is very unique in the range of skills is requires, teams must be athletic enough to push the rock precisely down the ice at a specific target, but must also have an excellent grasp of strategy and tactics. Curling simply has so many variables ranging from strength to knowing how hard to sweep to which rocks to aim for, that you really need to be prepared for anything. That is why it compares favorably with the idea of the ultimate survival bracelet. Pick Paracord, your array of survival buckles such as a compass, whistle or storage container from Paracord Planet and any Paracord weave you want and make the Ultimate Survival Bracelet so you will always be prepared. (And try Curling!).

I hope after reading this you feel inspired to take on some of these Olympic challenges, maybe while you cheer on Team USA? As always, please like our Facebook page and comment with the Olympic Paracord challenges you are taking on! Let the games begin!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Valentine's Day Victory

Big Celtic Heart Knot.jpg
Image Source: TIAT
Valentine’s Day Victory
This week we not only remind you that Valentine’s Day is in a week, but help you out with a few great Paracord ideas that the special person in your life is bound to love.

            If you guys are like me, the coming days are likely to be filled with worry, trepidation and fear and that is not just because football is over for the year; Valentine’s Day is next week. But what must not be lost in our wailing and gnashing of teeth is the idea that this might just be one of the most important holidays of the year. You may laugh in the face of danger and think of Valentine’s Day as a simple corporate gimmick designed to make you spend what little money of yours survived Christmas, but to the special someone in your life—it is no laughing matter. Valentine’s Day is something akin to a tryout, not only are you judged against your peers (trust me this happens), but fail to make the cut and you may find yourself back in your parents basement, for much different reasons than high school.
            So this Valentine’s Day, we at Paracord Planet have you covered, let’s make the team. If anything is true about women it is this: (1) They love getting thoughtful gifts that you either took the time to make or otherwise picked out in a way that shows your thoughtfulness (2) They love getting gifts. So we are going to put both of these facts to work you this week, you are going to make your special lady a Paracord Product. Women will love the fact that you took the time to make this yourself, it will look great and if you the two of you are into the outdoors at all, it is an extremely practical gift as well.

Solomon Heart Bracelet.jpg
Image Source: HypKnotic via
            For the advanced Paracorder that is looking to really give their loved one something nice, JD the great guy from Tying It All Together (TIAT) offers a tremendous video on how to tie a ‘Celtic Heart’ knot. He shows both a large and small knot version of the video, the knot is sure to capture the heart of your lady. As JD himself explains: “...The knot looks amazing as the center piece to a necklace or bracelet,” I could not agree more myself.            Regardless of if you are a rookie in the Paracord game or a Pro, not to worry. I advise       buying Paracord from Paracord Planet in two of your significant other’s favorite colors, otherwise ‘Rose Pink’ and ‘White’ are two great Valentine’s Day colors. For beginners I recommend this video  from YouTube User tovamos816, which should clearly explain how to make a basic Paracord bracelet. For those that are a little more advanced, I recommend this video on the ‘Solomon’s Heart’ Bracelet, provided by YouTube UserChaoticThinking1. It is a beautiful design that will remind the woman in your life of Valentine’s Day every time she wears it.

Image Source: Paracord Planet
Be sure to share and comment what option you went with as well as like our Facebook page, thanks for reading! I almost hate to say it, but for those of you out there who suffer from clumsy fingers, a lack of time or simple apathy, there is a solution for you. This Paracord Planet page offers a multitude of bracelets that come with several great options. Most notably, the bracelets allow you to pick your colors and even get custom engraving. However, when choosing custom engraving, please allow extra shipping time for the engraving process. No matter what Paracord need you have, Paracord Planet has you covered and is sure to make your Valentine’s Day a huge success.

Be sure to share and comment what option you went with as well as like our Facebook page, and please subscribe to our RSS feed so you never miss an update, thanks for reading!