Material Monday - Paracord (with guest counselor Matt Petersen)
There can be an overwhelming amount of information to learn about paracord, its practical applications, the various weaving styles, and it’s place in EDC. I learned, and want you to know, that all cord is not created equal. The major suppliers of paracord offer commercial grade nylon, polyester, and a true milspec (MIL-C 5040 H) cord. Each differs in their form and functionality. For a length of cord to be considered "Milspec" it requires outer nylon sheath (kernmantle) and inner nylon strands (seven, 3-ply twisted nylon strands). This has the same properties utilized in the military grade parachute suspension lines since WWII. This cord will also have a 550 lb tensile strength, so it is both durable and super strong. Though it is more difficult to utilize in weaving, I incorporate true MIL-C 5040 H cord in my paracord creations.
It was after the War that lighter weight, commercial grade cord found uses in everyday situations such as, securing tent lines and replacing bootlaces (which I did for my 6 year-old daughter last week). The major difference between this and Milspec is the inner core: commercial grade is formed from 2-ply twisted strands, instead of the Milspec 3-ply. Polyester paracord is great due to it’s durable outer sheath, but does not have the same load bearing properties as nylon.
My addiction to weaving started out with the super rad hemp jewelry of the late 90’s (insert hard laughter here). I created copious amounts of this wearable art. Fast forward to 2010, paracord bracelets have boomed into the mainstream market. I wanted to use apply my previously learned skills to this trending new material. After purchasing some paracord I attempted to make a bracelet, and it did not end well. I gave up after a few frustrating hours of wrestling with tangled cord. Determined to overcome the defeat, I finished my first bracelet in October of 2017. This triumph didn’t lessen the difficulty, but has led to an obsession that I nurse daily.
My addicition definitely pushes me to continually discover new and complex ways to introduce paracord into your functional EDC. You can know find CordMD bracelets, lanyards, zipper pulls, and even a dog collar here at EDCaddiction.com.