Posted on October 13 2015
Paracord is exceptionally helpful on outdoor adventures, but it is something that gets frequently neglected in an everyday carry loadout. Granted it's not as usable as a knife or flashlight, it can come in handy.
550 Paracord has seven strands and comes in diverse colours.
One of the most versatile kinds of cordage is 500 parachute cord (AKA paracord or 550 cord). It is a particularly useful cordage, with applications exceeding what you may imagine at first glance. Looking at 550 paracord, you can be forgiven for mistaking it for a shoelace. You wouldn't think that it has a tensile strength of 550 pounds. While it is not meant as climbing rope, I have held my body weight with a single strand of 550 cord.
Standard 550 paracord also has seven white inner strands, which can be used for smaller tasks: sewing, fishing, even flossing. If you were to undo it you would effectively have eight times the length of cord: 7 inner strands + the outer sheath.
Tensile force breakdown of 550 Paracord:
Outside Sheath - 305 lbs
Inner Strand - 35 lbs each x 7 strands
Total Tensile Strength - 550 lbs.