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One of the essentials items in your bug-out bag is the rope. Or better yet, the paracord. It’s a multi-functional item that can save your life in so many worst-case-scenarios, that not taking it with you when you bug out is insane. There are situations when you simply cannot survive if you don’t have a good, strong rope with you, so my advice is to get a good length of 550 paracord or even 750 paracord (mil spec) asap, if you don’t already have (at least) one.
As I said, there are plenty of ways in which you could use a paracord. In fact, some even made a “Top 100 functions”, but I wouldn’t go that far. You can’t even remember all of them and the whole point here is for you to know exactly what situations call for the paracord. So I thought of 15 essential uses of rope/paracord in survival. Memorize this list or print it and put it in your bug-out bag, it might save your life one day.
#1: Build a shelter
I find this to be the most crucial use of rope or paracord. You need to make a solid shelter for your family, to protect them against cold, wind and animals that may attack. Rope can help you secure bundles of sticks, so you can improvise walls and a roof for your shelter.
Also, you can…
#2: Tie down a tent
If you plan on taking a tent with you when bugging out (I suggest you do, I’ve got one tied to my bag with – guess what? – paracord), then rope or 550 paracord will be of great use to you. You can tie it down steadily to make sure the wind doesn’t blow it away.
#3: Tie things to your bug-out bag
I’ve already given you a personal example: I’ve tied a tent to my bag. You can tie anything else that doesn’t fit in the bug-out bag, but is essential to survival.
#4: Tie down objects
If you want to make sure no one steals your belongings and that no storm will blow them away, you’ll have to secure them with rope.
#5: Carry heavy objects
When you’ve got a full bug-out bag on your back, having some extra heavy objects to carry with you will slow you down a lot. And that can compromise your entire survival plan and put your family on the line.
So if you want to ease your work, strap those objects securely and make a comfortable handle out of your paracord. It will help you a great deal.
#6: Go up/down a cliff
I don’t recommend this if you’ve never done rappelling in your life. It’s quite dangerous, but if someone in your family happens – God forbid! – to fall off a cliff, you’ll need to use your paracord to go down the cliff and be the hero.
I strongly advise you watch some rappelling videos, so you can learn the right techniques:
#7: Make a ladder
If you need to go up a tree to get fruit, for example, you’ll need a ladder. In case you don’t have one, you can use a paracord or long rope.
#8: Make a trip wire
It’s pretty simple: you throw a few rocks in a can and strap it with rope so you can hear if animals or other people are trying to approach your shelter. It will only take you a few minutes to make, but it’s a lifesaver.
#9: Make a tourniquet
Ok, it’s not the ideal tourniquet, but you can improvise one out of paracord threads or a thin rope to stop the bleeding. When you’re in a survival situation, what you want is to keep yourself alive and going until you can get medical help, so an improvised tourniquet should do the job.
#10: Build a stretcher
You can use your tent, old clothes, a blanket, tree branches or wooden boards to make a stretcher. Just tie the scraps together with rope to secure them together and then it will be much easier to carry the injured with you while you’re looking for medical help.
#11: Make a splint
You can use paracord to tie sticks or pieces of board around a broken limb to keep it in place until you get medical help. Remember you need to tie it very tightly, even if it slows you down even more.
#12: Make an arm sling
You can also use a shirt or a shemagh to make an arm sling, but in case you want something really resistant, then use rope or paracord.
#13: Fishing Line
You can take individual strands from the paracord and use it fishing line. Now all you need is a long stick, some bait and patience.
#14: Start a fire
You can use rope to build a bow drill and start a friction fire. You can find more about making a bow drill and starting a fire with it here.
#15: Repair broken equipment and clothing
You can pull it apart and use individual strands to sew; or tie pieces together. If you need a sewing needle, you should have one in your first-aid kit. If you don’t have one, then make sure you add one asap!
If you want to add any essential uses of rope or paracord in survival situations, please do in the comments section below. Any idea is highly appreciated. Remember to stay safe!
Note, here’s a link to the 750 paracord that I purchased recently, it’s awesome and getting a string of rave reviews on amazon.
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