29 Uses For Paracord In A Bug Out Bag (Survival Cord)

Paracord is a great tool to keep in a bug-out bag because it is flexible and can be used in so many survival scenarios.

The most common uses for paracord in a bug out bag are for shelter building, but it has many more benefits. With paracord, a survival knife, and found materials make just about any tool or convenience needed in a survival situation: from shelter to camp furniture. Let’s take a look.

#1 Tinder

Separate the paracord into strands and use it as fuel for starting a fire.

Black Bear Eating Camp Trash

#2 Hanging Food

If you camp in an area with black or brown bears, you know how important it is to keep food off the ground.

6 Steps to keep your food out of a bear’s crosshairs

Keep your food bag at least 10 feet from the tree trunk (bears can climb) and 15 feet off the ground. If you have an extra stuff sack for food, use that bag; if not, use your bug-out bag.

  1. Tie paracord to a rock or heavy stick
  2. Throw the stick over a tree branch
  3. Untie the stick and tie it to the food bag
  4. Pull the other end of the paracord to raise the bag towards the tree branch.
  5. The ideal height of the food bag is fifteen feet up and 10 feet from the tree trunk.
  6. Tie the other end of the line off to the tree to keep the bag suspended

Make sure it doesn’t come back down and hit you when you throw the stick over the branch.

Growing up, we camped, backpacked, and canoed in The Boundary Water Canoe Area (BWCA) in Northern Minnesota. Over the years, we had black bears roam the camp at night (scary), looking for the food they could smell. When we started cleaning up after cooking in camp and hanging food bags, we had fewer issues with black bears.

#3 Snares (Poachers or Slipnot)

In a survival scenario, a paracord snare traps game animals around the neck. Typically loops are made from wire, but paracord works. Place a paracord snare in a heavily traveled area like a game path with droppings or the opening to a den where the brush flattened. Also, look for trails and animal tracks around natural water sources and water access areas.

5 types of paracord snare

  1. Paracord neck snare
  2. Spring snare
  3. Spring pole fish trap
  4. Squirrel pole snare
  5. Deer snare

To learn more about bug-out bags read the Ready Squirrel article, What is a bug-out bag?

#4 Fishing Line

Disassemble a strand of paracord and use the interior strands as a fishing line. For ease of use and strength, consider keeping a coil of fishing line in your emergency kit.

Best Type of Fishing Line For a Bug out bag

A braided synthetic fishing line is ideal for a bug-out bag because it is the most robust fishing line you can get, 10x the strength of steel.

#5 Splint Tie

For broken fingers, use the paracord to wrap the damaged finger to the finger beside it, or use it as a splint for a broken or dislocated arm or leg using a cut sapling or straight stick.

Belt or harness

Paracord makes a good emergency belt and can be used with found materials to create a rain poncho. Cut a head hole in the tarp, stick your head through and tie paracord around the waist Rambo-style.

#6 Eye Glass holder (sunglass-holder)

Use a piece of paracord like a sunglass strap to keep your glasses from falling in the brush or water.

Survival Shelter

#7 Shelter Building

Set out a tarp ridgeline and other configurations to make a tarp shelter. Also, used to ad natural materials and framing to a survival shelter.

#8 Drip Lines (hammock or tarp shelter)

Tie drip lines onto the guy lines of tents and shelters, so condensation drips onto the ground instead of the cover.

#9 Extended Zipper pulls

Tie small pieces of paracord to zippers for easier purchase of zippers for opening and closing, especially for jackets and packs.

#10 Tourniquet

Combine a piece of paracord and a stick to make a tourniquet to slow or stop bleeding.

#11 Frogging Gig (spear)

Make a frog gig with paracord, a survival knife, and a 6-foot stick.

  1. Find a 6 ft branch 2″ in diameter.
  2. Wrap the paracord around the branch 6 inches below the top of the stick (this will keep the stick from splitting beyond the paracord wrap in step #3.)
  3. Split the top of the stick by buttoning, and place a small stick in the crack.
  4. Work the stick down the crack to spread the split.
  5. Sharpen each split side with a knife, and voila, a frog gig.

#12 Water Crossing

Paracord works as a guide for crossing small bodies of water by tieing one end of the paracord on either side of the water. Send the strongest person across first, find the easiest path, and tie the paracord to the tree.

To do a SAS-style river crossing (on top of the rope with a leg dangling), use rope (550 paracord will hold the weight but would be painful because of the small diameter.)

#13 Trail Marker

When bushwacking through unmarked trails, use small pieces of colorful paracord to mark your path.

Do not mark the trail if you are traveling through an unpermissive environment and trying to stay hidden. Instead, rely on navigation equipment in a bug-out bag: compass, ranger beads, and topographical maps.

#14 Trotline

A trotline is a top fishing line with smaller baited lines hanging off it.

What you need to make a Trotline (Bug Out Bag Kit)

  • 550 paracord
  • Fishing hooks
  • Barrel swivels (Optional barrel swivels keep the line from getting tangled)
  • Braided Synthetic Fishing Line (Optional)
  • Bait

How to make a paracord Trotline

Make a Trotline From Paracord

#15 Emergency Rifle Sling

Paracord will work as an emergency rifle sling to replace or repair a broken one.

If you are using one strand of paracord for a rifle sling, it will be uncomfortable. If you are looking for a functional paracord rifle sling, it is possible to make one with multiple strands

#16 Bag Hangar (bug out bag)

Place a sizeable piece of paracord onto the top of the bug out bag when you roll into camp, and tie the bag to the tree at chest level, so it’s easy to get to gear for setting camp.

Drying Fish

#17 Game Lift (game hoist)

Use paracord to hang game like a deer for processing or to sun-dry fish.

4 Steps: Paracord Game Hoist

  1. Tie a rock or heavy stick to a long piece of paracord
  2. throw the stick over a substantial tree limb
  3. tie the back legs of the animal to the paracord
  4. Lift the animal to chest height for processing

#18 Suture Wounds

Use inner strands of paracord to suture wounds; each strand has a breaking point of 50lbs and will fit through the eye of a needle. Learn how to disinfect wounds and the why and how of suturing to avoid causing infection or additional injury.

#19 Fishing Net

Use paracord in a long-term survival scenario to make a fishing net.

Make a Fishing Net From Paracord

#20 Hammock

Paracord works well for the rigging used to tie a hammock between two trees.

#21 Shelter Ridgeline

Paracord is used to make a ridgeline for poncho and tarp shelters and the construction of shelters built from natural materials.

Read the Ready Squirrel article, How To Build a Survival Shelter.

#22 Rescue Line

Paracord can be used to make a weighted rescue line by attaching a rock thrown past the person rescued so they can grab the line.

The rescue line typically has a loop at either end so both persons can hang and is used in a water rescue scenario. The line is weighted, so it can be thrown far regardless of weather or wind.

#23 Bushcraft Items (cooking)

Paracord can be used to lash together a tripod for cooking, camp chairs, and shelter frames.

#24 Lanyard for tools

Make lanyards for essential tools like a Ferro rod or survival knife.

We’ve all done it, laid a knife or other small tool in a brush pile, and then couldn’t find it. To remedy this, tie a piece of orange paracord onto each critical piece of equipment. Lay a tool on the ground, and the bright orange paracord will draw the eye. Problem solved.

#25 Carry Strap

Make a carry strap for the gear you use to navigate, like ranger beads and a compass. A lightweight compass hung around the neck with a long enough piece of paracord that you can take bearing without taking the compass from around your neck.

#26 Knife Necklace

Tie a piece of paracord to a survival or bushcraft knife and hang it around the neck for instant access.

#27 Clothes Line

Sweating like a pig all day, get to camp, rinse your clothes in a natural water source and hang them on a paracord clothesline to dry.

#28 Boot Lace

Use paracord to replace boot and shoe laces. A new paracord shoelace could be a life-saver if you are in a rough country. It beats walking around with one boot or shoe.

#29 Tripod

Create a tripod for hanging a pot over a campfire or a lantern for reading or working.