Parachute cord, otherwise known as 550 cord or 550 paracord was originally used as the suspension lines which held a paratrooper to his parachute during World War II. Faced with harsh conditions and limited resources the soldiers would use whatever they had at their disposal. They soon found that the parachute cords which helped them safely reach the ground were useful for many purposes. Quite often the soldiers this cord useful for many lightweight purposes such as repairing and securing equipment, making shelters and uses in first aid.
The 550 designation is to signify the breaking strength of the cord. This cord has a tensile strength tested to 550 pounds.There are also other strength designations, however, the 550 paracord has proven to be the most versatile and popular among those who use it.
Today paracord is still in use, but not only for military purposes but has been found to be a very versatile resource in civilian life too. Mainly used by outdoorsman this amazing cord has found many uses around the house and yard as well.
Today many items are being made out of paracord for the outdoorsman. These items come in the form of survival bracelets, survival belts, lanyards, rifle slings and many more. It can be wrapped around a knife handle to give it a better grip. The inner stands of the cord can be used to make fishing line, snares and can even be used as dental floss!
Other uses can be, but not limited to, Trail marking, hanging food from wild animals, string for a bow, guy lines, tying up a boat, securing tarps, building shelters by tying line between trees and placing a tarp or other material over it and on and on, the list is endless. Basically you are only limited by your own imagination.
This amazing product has even made it into outer space. In 1997 aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery the astronauts used some parachute cord to affect a repair on the Hubble Space Telescope! In places where the insulation had been worn away patches were applied and secured using parachute cord. As I said, you are only limited by your own imagination. I personally have found parachute cord very useful around my house. I use it to secure a tarp over my Jet Skis during the winter, I use it to hang items up in my shop and I always have a spool of it handy when we go boating or on vacation because it is so easy and functional.