Thursday, May 29, 2014

Gap Year Gear

Gap Year Gear

Three reasons you should pack some paracord

Image from Naimakka

What do you want to do with the rest of your life? No question has haunted me as frequently as this over the years. How do you aptly encapsulate an array of your life ambitions into one brief statement? How do you narrow your scope to a singular ambition? I guess I’ll take a stab at it: I want to enjoy life. A recent trend among college grads is to take a “gap year” upon receiving their diploma. In essence, a gap year is a twelve month period of time for young adults to check items off of their bucket lists—a twelve month period of time to see the world. With the increasing attractiveness of the gap year route, this blog is dedicated to the practicality of packing paracord in one’s travel bag. Listed below are three of the most pertinent reasons for you to bring paracord along for your journey.

Reason #1: Paracord can pack a punch.

Image from SurvivalLife

Mark Twain once said “it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in a dog.” The same logic applies to paracord. When you look at a paracord bracelet, it’s hard to imagine that so much functionality can reside in such a compactly-sized accessory. The creative uses of paracord bracelets are continually expanding as crafty corders innovate more and more functions for the rope around their wrists. Today, paracord bracelets serve a multitude of purposes for traveling men and women—everything from rigging a makeshift fishing line to being used as a tourniquet to treat unforeseeable injuries. Paracord can even be used to saw wood. No matter what part of the world you are traveling through during your gap year, you will be exposed to unpredictable climates and landscapes. By simply wrapping a paracord bracelet around your wrist, you have access to your own quasi- survival kit. Let’s say during your hike through the Black Forest in Southern Germany you get tired and cold and need to prepare a fire for the night. Aimlessly forgetting to pack a lighter, you luckily have a flint rod buckle (watch this video) attached to your bracelet. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned through my research on paracord products, it’s that the capabilities of a paracord bracelet are limitless.

Reason #2: It's (k)not too hard to store your paracord.

Image from Biohazard John

Before every family vacation since I was eight years old, my mom told me “remember, Jack, pack lightly.” That advice applied to vacations that lasted less than a week in length. Spending twelve months traveling, the guidance of my mother is even more applicable. It’s important to pack lightly as you will be frequently changing locations; the last thing you want to deal with is the burden of lugging around heavy bags. With a finite amount of room in your suitcase, fitting in a massive survival kit is impossible. Paracord, however, is quite easy to store. If you choose to wear paracord around you as a jewelry item, you don’t even have to worry about storage. However, if that’s not quite your style, the flexibility of paracord becomes an asset to you as you try to make room for all of your essential travel items. Easy to knot into compact items such as key fobs, paracord can also be cleverly stored in containers as shown below. The fact that paracord is so easy to store and adapts to your requirements becomes a major blessing as you travel during your gap year.

Reason #3: Are you going international? So is paracord.

Tom Hardy, British Actor

My buddy, Matt, recently returned from a semester abroad in Scotland. When asking him about his experience, he only had one complaint: he felt like an outsider at times. Adapting to foreign cultures and customs is the most notoriously difficult part of traveling across the world. Luckily, paracord can bridge that gap as it has become universal commonplace over recent years. Paracord—formally known as “parachute cord”—was originally solely used by the United States military. At the turn of the Second World War, paracord was utilized as the suspension line in parachutes, and military personnel began finding additional uses for this rope while in the field. Eventually making its way into the lives of the civilian population in the United States, too, in recent years paracord has also emerged on the international landscape. If you search “paracord” on Twitter, you’ll get a vivid picture of paracord’s massive fanbase across the world. With huge markets for paracord sales across Asia and Europe in particular, you are bound to see paracord bracelets being worn virtually anywhere you travel during your gap year. The community of paracord lovers is a tight-knit one, and it is not too farfetched to think that you will create a bond over paracord during your travels. Paracord’s popularity abroad is a blessing for travelers wearing paracord bracelets, necklaces, or earrings. 

As a young, healthy adult, now is the time to travel the world. When you do so, however, allow paracord to prepare you for anything you might encounter. Make sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, add us to your Google+ circle, and check out our Pinterest boards to stay up-to-date on all things Paracord Planet, including contests and giveaways for FREE merchandise!!

Written by: Jackson Yakowicz, Paracord Planet Intern

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For more of Jack's work, visit his full blog