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Parachute Cord Management and Storage


a tangled mess of parachute cord
A Tangled Mess!
How many times have you found yourself untangling a knotted mess of parachute cord? Before I came up with a system for parachute cord management, I would often just throw a one hundred foot bundle into my bug out bag before heading out. I would then cut sections off from the main bundle for whatever task I encountered. The problem was that when it came time to pack up camp and leave, I was more inclined to just throw all the loose lengths of cord into my pack and “deal with it later” because I did not have a system in place. The result was a tangled mess that often took a long time to organize when setting up my next campsite. On top of that, having all the oddly cut lengths of cordage was confusing because I had to sort through them to find a section that was “close enough” to the length I needed. The good news is that I now have a system that is functional, organized, intuitive, and will even allow you to find the right length of cordage in pitch darkness. Keep reading if you’re interested!

different ideal lengths of parachute cord
Choose Your Lengths and Stick to Them
After having so many random lengths of cordage floating around in my backpack, I noticed that most of them were either short or medium pieces. With that in mind, I converted all of my cordage into five foot and ten foot lengths while separating them into different colors to make them easily distinguishable. Five feet of cordage is enough to handle any small task, and ten feet is enough to handle 99% of everything else. If a need should arise for longer cordage, I can simply tie separate pieces together.

ends of parachute cord tied together to prevent knots
Never Have a Tangled Mess Again – Step 1
In wilderness survival, every little thing you can do to increase efficiency will save precious time and calories… and one huge time waster is dealing with a horribly tangled knot. It took me a long time to figure out that the most difficult knots to untie are the ones where the ends of the cordage somehow get tangled into the main bundle. Once this happens you know you are in for a time commitment, especially if multiple lengths of cordage are tangled together. Well, there is a simple way to never have a bad tangle again: just find the two ends of any given piece of cordage and join them together with an overhand knot. This way neither end can work itself into the main bundle… and even the worst knot that could occur will still be easy and fast to undo.

a bundle of parachute cord that is tangle free
Never Have a Tangled Mess Again – Step 2
Now that your ends are joined and you have formed a big loop, start folding that loop into halves while keeping the ends nice and even. If you are using a five foot length, you will fold the loop two times. If you are using a ten foot length, fold it three times. Once the folds are complete, secure the entire bundle by making an overhand knot with all of the strands. This process makes a bundle that is tangle-proof, self contained, and easy to take apart.

parachute cord tied into an x like pattern
Storing the Parachute Cordage Bundles Together – Step 1
Now that we have our individual bundles, the final step is to create a cordage bundle management system so that we don’t lose track of them while packing, unpacking, or using them around camp. The easiest way to do this is to take two separate lengths of two foot long parachute cord, and then join them together in the center with an overhand knot. If done properly, you should be able to lay the rig out into an “X” shape.

the parachute cord storage system complete
Storing the Parachute Cordage Bundles Together – Step 2
Now grab any one of the four strands and start feeding it through the loops of all the individual five foot bundles. Once you have done that, take a second strand from the “X” and join it to the first with an overhand knot. Now you have all of those bundles contained and organized in one place. Do the same for your ten foot lengths and your system is complete!

parachute cord management system hanging on a tree
Using the Parachute Cord Management System
You can easily find the size that you need because the parachute cord bundles are color coded. To access a bundle, just untie the overhand knot, slip it off the main rig, and then retie the knot to keep your unused bundles organized and safe from the potential of loss. If you are setting up camp, you can hang the entire system on a branch or gear line. Once you are familiar with this technique, you will be able to access the cordage in pitch black darkness because the entire thing can be done just as well by “feel”. Hope you enjoyed the article and video… stay tuned for more!

  Best always,
Paul Scheiter

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