Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Camp Paracord

Camp Paracord

What paracord bracelets can teach kids about survival

It’s a Sunday afternoon in early July. I’m in the backseat of a 2002 Dodge Durango as my mom and dad discuss mundane matters in the front seat. I feel an ironic blend of everything—nervous, excited, anxious, ecstatic, fatigued, awakened. We’re driving east on 94 from the southern Twin Cities towards Amery, Wisconsin, home of “Camp Wapo.” This is summer for me. Eleven years removed from my first stay at Camp Wapo, the memories are engrained in my brain indefinitely. Wapo is where I discovered my independence. Everybody has their own camp story. Summer camps began emerging in the late 1880s in North America as a means for children to become more acquainted with nature. Growing exponentially in popularity, the summer camp tradition is as strong as ever today, and programs continue to expand and adapt based on modern trends. When I was attending summer camp, for example, we didn’t have the luxury of paracord during our bracelet making sessions. We were left with measly yarn to braid. Don’t get me wrong, I still tried to woo the ladies with those prehistoric bracelets, but I regret not being able to craft with paracord. The superior look, on top of the infinite survival applications, makes paracord crafting a necessity for children attending summer camp. Listed below are a handful of situations in which a paracord bracelet can teach summer camp attendants about survival in the great outdoors.

Building a Campfire

Image from Kickstarter

I would equate the moment a child learns that his/her bracelet can create a fire to the moment a caveman discovered fire in the first place. Wide-eyed with possible salivation, children will be fascinated to learn that the rope around their wrists has the power to ignite an orange glow. The seven strands inside the paracord shell are perfect for kindling, and the flint rod buckle, as shown here, can create a spark to ignite that kindling. The fire that will ensue will teach children about building a campfire, but more importantly, about surviving in nature in the future.

Rigging a Makeshift Fishing Pole

Image from High Country Bowhunter

If you went to summer camp away from a lake or ocean, did you really go to summer camp at all? Summer camp for a handful of children is the first time they ever learn how to fish. Whether an amateur or self-described pro, making a fishing rod out of a paracord bracelet is presumably a new craft for all levels of fisher[child]. In an actual survival situation, it’s rare that you will have the luxury of a rod and tacklebox to help you gather fish to eat. However, if you have a bracelet you are able to construct lining as well as make bait out of paracord. With paracord, a branch or woodblock, and a hook, you have all you need to catch some dinner. Summer campers will love this fishing lesson! 

Being used for First Aid

Image from Team OTG Survival

The first real injury that I witnessed was at camp. A group of us guys from the same cabin were playing some soccer in our free time one afternoon. Ben, a member of this cabin gang, went to retrieve the ball and ended up tripping on a stick, nearly impaling his chest. The stick was sharp enough to cut him up pretty good, and we rushed him over to the counselor to tend to his injuries. If we had had a paracord bracelet, we would have been able to treat the injury a little better right then and there. The first aid uses include, but are not limited to, building a splint, sewing a wound, making a tourniquet, and constructing a stretcher. Camp-goers should learn just how useful their paracord bracelets can be in the wilderness when a first aid kid is not available. 

Summer camp is not only a time for fun and entertainment, but it's also an opportunity to capitalize on children's fascination. Allow paracord to make your camp experience a fun and informative one! Make sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, add us to your Google+ circle, and check us out on Pinterest! ALSO, we are now on Snapchat, under the username "ParacordPlanet." For opportunities to win free paracord products, make sure to check out all of our social media outlets!!

Written by: Jackson Yakowicz, Paracord Planet Intern

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For more of Jack's work, view his full blog.