Knotted Up

In Articles, Technical by Glyn DemmerLeave a Comment

The concept of “everyday carry” has its origins in the US of A and simply put see individuals sharing pocket dumps where they submit photographs of their everyday essentials, the content varies due to the individuals profession or activity at the time but typically features the following,

  • Torch
  • Mini Tool
  • Cellphone
  • Watch
  • Wallet
  • Multi tool
  • Daily knife

Add to this mini cameras, flash drives, power storage and the sky is the limit (http://everydaycarry.com/)

Pretty common in most cases is the use of Paracord, to those of you who served in the old SADF Paracord was that green “rope” that we were issued with for general use but used mainly as a wash line. There are various versions available but the best is the variety that fulfills the MILSPEC rating- C-5040h (US Military Specification/Parachute industry Association) often referred to as 550 Paracord due to its ability to hold 550 lbs. The cord comes in a variety of colours (a braided outer sheath) with a number of internal interwoven strands (these can be unraveled for emergency use as well).

We have always advocated carrying duct tape and cable ties for emergency use but I am know seeing Paracord selling in outdoor and sports stores in a variety of guises, some being pretty practical and common and others being more for emergency use, in this case I would refer to the following items,

  • Paracord bracelets
  • Keychain holders
  • Spooled Paracord
  • Rolled coil of Paracord in a jiffy bag

These all allow you to access a length of Paracord in an emergency- so lets see how this could be used in daily life.

Grips.

A length woven around an axe handle, knife handle or even a trekking pole makes a comfortable grip and allows you access to a reasonable length of the material when necessary.

Recognition

Often when packing and unpacking kit there is so much commonality that it is difficult to identify your personal stuff, a brightly coloured braided length attached to a carry bag, recovery kit or even a camera bag makes identification so much easier- and still allows you to use a reasonable length if required

Grabbing

You often need to get to a multi tool, torch or knife in an emergency, it may be in a rucksack or even in the patch pocket of a pair of cargo trousers, a length of Paracord attached to any of these items makes it so much easier – especially if it’s a day-glow colour at night which just makes things more visible.

Emergency use?

  • Well you collect a largish item and your tie downs are at home, Paracord with its strength and flexibility is an excellent way to secure it.
  • Paracord has numerous emergency medical applications, making a makeshift splint, rigging a sling or even as a tourniquet (medical applications should only be carried out by suitable qualified medical personnel).
  • Lifting and lashing around campsites with suitable carabineers and s-biners.
  • Emergency repairs to tents and awnings.
  • Rigging of portable camp showers.
  • Rigging windbreaks or shade cloths in a campsite.
  • Replacing the broken pull tab on a zip fastener.

The list is endless; one can replace broken shoelaces in hiking boots, drawstrings in shorts or duffle bags, repair damaged straps and handles.

So do yourself a favour, keep a good length close at hand, generally in the same container as the duct tape and cable ties. You never know when it will come in handy! And it does not take up much space.

About the Author

Glyn Demmer

My first 4x4 was a Nissan Hardbody thereafter I started travelling all over the country. In 1992 we held a big 4x4 day with hundreds of Nissan families, and then the 4x4 bug really bit. A friend Monty Brett and I started running 4x4 courses at the Hennops Off-road Trail just outside of Johannesburg. At first we offered day-and-a-half courses that started on Friday afternoon and finished on Saturday afternoon. Hannes Grobler the Rally Ace regularly assisted, and we reached a nice balance between our two styles and our skills.

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