Wonder in the Woods

Living and Learning in the Pacific Northwest

Survival Science

I am preparing for our Survival Science class this week.  Kelly is teaching about knots, para-cord and simple shelters.  I am noting some details from this article below.  The three knots we will teach the kids are a square knot, a clove hitch, and a Prusik knot.  Kelly is going to demonstrate how to make a simple shelter using a black garbage bag.  These links are for me.  Kelly is a mountain man, and he already knows all this.

Another good blog post.

Real paracord is made of seven strong nylon cords with each cord made of several smaller woven strands, all wrapped in a flexible outer braided nylon wrapper. The combined breaking strength of real paracord is 550 pounds. For this reason, some call it “550 cord”.  The cord was first introduced and applied in parachute construction during WWII and was quickly recognized for its use in other tasks. Today it is used by both military and civilians for countless general purpose tasks.  There are many copies in the civilian market today but true military grade cord will be designated MIL-C-5040 Type III and rated for 550 pounds.  Genuine MIL-SPEC MIL-C-5040 Type III Paracord has 7 inner yarns, each made up of 3 strands.  Commercial/Civilian 550 paracord imitations might not have 7 inner yarns or the inner yarns might not have 3 strands each. The cord comes in a variety of colors and lengths (when cut, the ends should be burned or singed to prevent fraying). The inner strands can be easily pulled out for many additional uses.


The 5 Benefits of Parachute Cord

(In just a 1/8 inch diameter cord, an incredible breaking strength of 550 lbs.)

(It can be used over and over again while remaining flexible and durable)

Light Weight
(The Mil specification requires that 225 feet of cord weigh 1 pound or less)

Water and Mildew Resistant
(Outside elements are not a problem and it will dry very quickly)

Inner Strands
(The unique ability to remove the inner strands make this cord extremely versatile)

Uses for Parachute Cord

The list is really endless and up to your imagination, but a few ideas include the following.

  • Braiding for even more combined strength
  • Tent and Pole support, building shelters
  • Clothes Line
  • Tow Line
  • Tarp Tie Down
  • Equipment Guy-lines
  • Pack Strap, Fasten, lash and secure gear to backpack
  • Shoe Lace, Boot Lace
  • Garden Lines
  • Shelter Making
  • Fire Bow
  • Lanyard
  • Survival kit
  • Knife Handle Wrap
  • Lifeline, since it will support the weight of a human
  • Inner strands for sewing, fishing line, trapping and snares, dental floss, emergency stitches (boil first)

2 comments on “Survival Science

  1. Linda
    January 20, 2014

    Is this class in your Charlotte Mason co-op? Sounds very practical and I’m sure the students will have fun while learning! I’m going to suggest such a course for our co-op next year. Thanks!

    • Wonder in the Woods
      January 20, 2014

      It is for 4h but it is great because if the kids’ excitement! We can slip in terms like tensile strength. One kid is begging to come to the class while his parents have a date:) It is a hit.

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This entry was posted on January 18, 2014 by in Handcrafts, Nature, Science.



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