How Much Paracord for A Bug out Bag? (Read This First)

How much paracord for a bug out bag? It is best to keep approximately about 300 feet of 550 paracord in your bug out bag at all times that is cut into common lengths to be used for different things easily and quickly. You should have some cut into 5 foot lengths, 15 foot lengths, and one 100 foot length that you can reach quickly into your bag to get without having to dig everything out of your bag. If these are pre-cut then you won’t have to bother with trying to cut it in the moment as you already have some of the most common lengths.

Gone are the days of carrying a simple paracord bracelet in your pocket. Today, preppers and survivalists carry around various amounts of paracord for any situation that could arise.

So, how much do you need to be fully prepared? This blog post will go over how much paracord should you carry in your bug-out bag and why.

What Is Paracord?

The word paracord is an abbreviation of parachute cord. This special cord was used as a very strong weight-bearing rope in a parachute, which became popularly known as paracord.

Soldiers later found that the cord was not only good for parachuting but for thousands of different purposes.

Extremely light and small in size, this paracord made of nylon has a breaking point of 550 pounds. These qualities make paracord a must-have item in your bug-out bag or survival kit.

In addition to Survival Techniques, this paracord has spread to the fashion world.

Paracord continues to add a whole new dimension to the collection of fashion lovers, as well as earrings, key rings, and even necklaces. As it is very light, there is no problem in carrying it.

how much paracord for a bug out bag

What Are the Sizes of Paracord?

Paracord comes in many different sizes and different strengths. You can buy it in a small 3-foot section or buy it in a 1,000-foot spool, it really is up to you on how much you want to purchase.

There are so many uses that you can get from one piece of paracord that it becomes hard to just have one or two around your house at any given time.

TypeMinimum StrengthWeight Inner Cores
I95 lbs / 43 kg950 feet per lb1
IA100 lbs / 45 kg1050 feet per lbno core
II400 lbs / 180 kg265 feet per lb4-7
IIA225 lbs / 102 kg495 feet per lbno core
III550 lbs / 250 kg225 feet per lb7-9
IV750 lbs / 340 kg165 feet per lb11

What Is the Most Common Paracord Size?

The most common paracord size or thickness is 550 paracord as it offers a great deal of strength and reliability.

It can be used for a variety of different things including making your own bracelets, repairing articles of clothing, wrapping handles on weapons, hunting, fishing, trapping, camping, and many other uses.

550 paracord is so popular that you can get it at a ton of different stores including sports and outdoor stores like Academy, and even Wal-Mart.

It is very easy to just pick it up when you are picking up your normal camping supplies, or even groceries.

What Is the Working Load of 550 Paracord?

550 paracord is capable of holding up to 550 pounds of static weight meaning that it can hold that weight without being under the stress of moving or pulling that weight.

It is also rated to carry a safe working load of about 110 pounds.

This paracord is strong enough to tie down loads on trailers, put together a temporary shelter, secure supplies in a tree so that bears can’t get to it, make a bow to start a fire with, and more.

Despite paracord being available at a variety of different stores, the quality doesn’t seem to vary too much between the different stores.

Even the paracord at Wal-Mart and other places that you wouldn’t think to carry this item has quality paracord that held up well during tests.

What Type of Paracord Is Best?

The best type of paracord for preppers is mil-spec 5col type III MIL C-5040H Nylon Paracord. It is strong, durable, and performs well in load tests.

It has a great texture with a solid structure which makes it easy to use and reliable.

The most suitable paracord to use for preppers is mil-spec 5col Type III MIL C-5040H Nylon Paracord. The paracord, which is reasonably priced, performed excellently in our load tests and stood out in our tests of abrasion.

It has a pleasant texture and a solid structure, making it simple to use.

The most important thing is that the 5col paracord is one of the few included in this roundup we’re certain is genuine mil-spec from a US government-certified manufacturer, as stated. 5col boasts that the cord is approved to be used in parachute lines.

It also offers certification of conformance from the manufacturer upon request. In a world flooded by fraudulent claims and bait-and-switch products that are not genuine, this is the real deal and will be the standard cordage we’ll use in future editions in this report.

Why Should You Carry a Paracord?

In a world where emergencies can arise at any moment, it’s important to be prepared. One way to prepare for an emergency is by carrying a paracord on you wherever you go.

Paracord has multiple uses and comes in various colors and patterns. It can help you survive, make repairs around the house, or even build a shelter if necessary!

Carrying paracord with you everywhere will ensure your one more step towards being prepared.

How Is Paracord Used for Survival?

Paracord is truly a multipurpose rope that is durable and strong, making it perfect for survival situations where you need to get out of tough spots.

There are literally thousands of different uses for paracord for your homestead, while camping, while you are bugging out, or even trying to make it home.

Here are just some of the uses for paracord:

  • Stringing up a Tarp
  • Tarp Tie Down
  • Tent and Pole support, building shelters
  • Tow Line
  • Wrap handles for walking sticks, knifes, or other weapons/tools
  • Pack Strap, Fasten, lash and secure gear to backpack
  • Garden Lines
  • Suspend a hammock
  • Replace broken shoelaces, boot laces
  • Fire Bow
  • Lanyard
  • Livestock leads and dog leashes
  • Bowstring
  • Sling
  • Bundle wood together to haul back to camp
  • Nets
  • Snare, Traps, Fishing
  • Belts
  • Splint, Sling,

How Much Does a Paracord Cost?

Paracord costs between a few cents per foot to a couple of dollars per foot depending on where you purchase it from. It is cheaper anytime that you can buy it in bulk where you are getting several hundred feet at one time.

It depends on the brand, type, and where you purchase it from. Some stores charge more based on their individual costs from their suppliers.

If you buy in bulk where you get 500 feet of paracord in a spool like this, you can get it for about .14 cents per foot. As long as you have a place to store this spool of paracord it is a great buy at that price.

How Much Paracord Do I Need for A Bug-Out Bag?

You should carry between several lengths of paracord that is already cut or sectioned off into easily accessible lengths for different purposes. I recommend carrying the following:

  • 10 – 15 foot lines of paracord
  • 10 – 5 foot lines of paracord
  • 1 – 100 foot line of paracord

That totals about 300 feet of paracord which is enough to cover most situations that you would experience.

Separating a majority of the paracord into discrete units allows certain commonly used lengths to be accessed quickly and without the hassle of untangling a large bundle, then cutting it to length.

The 5 foot lengths are good for replacing shoelaces, pulling the guts out of for sewing, and making lanyards. 15 foot lengths are good for building shelter as well as raising or lowering backpacks.

This allows the 100 foot line to be reserved for unusual circumstances where a long continuous line without knots is required.

How Much Can a Single Strand of Paracord Hold?

It’s no secret that paracord is a great tool to have around. With its many uses, there’s almost no reason not to keep some in your car or bug-out bag at all times! 

One of the most popular questions I get asked about paracord is how strong it actually is? Well, let me tell you…it can hold up just about anything. Here are some examples of what a single strand of 7-strand 550 cord can support: 

The weight limit for each type of cord will be listed below in the “what does this look like” section!

How Much Paracord Do I Need for A Belt?

You will need approximately one linear foot of paracord for every one inch of the length of belt you want to make, plus a piece that is twenty-four inches.

You will need these initial pieces in pairs plus one additional piece that is approximately thirty-six inches long.


If you are looking at putting together your very own bug out bag or if you just need to add a few things to your current bag, then you should consider adding paracord to your kit.

It is durable and can be used in a number of applications in both survival situations and everyday tasks. Every bug out bag should have paracord in it.

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