Survival Kit Paracord – How Much To Include Or Take With You?

Last updated on January 31st, 2019

How much paracord for a survival kit?

Paracord is a popular item for an emergency survival kit. There are lots of practical uses for cordage and it’s pretty much mandatory to have a length thereof in a preparedness kit.

The question is:

“How much paracord do I need for a survival kit?”
“What length of paracord should I have in my survival kit?”

Each time that I put together a kit or go through an existing kit, I ask myself the same question, how much do I need?

So, what’ the answer??
(You do have at least ‘some’ cordage in your kit, right?)

1,000′ Spool #550 Paracord


What Are You Going To Use Paracord For?

Before we can figure out how much or what length of paracord to bundle in your survival kit, we need to consider what we might use it for.

Note: Paracord (cordage) is one of The 5 C’s Of Survivability

What might be the most likely uses, given the purpose of your specific survival kit?

The uses for paracord are countless. I could sit here and brainstorm 100 uses for paracord. But I’m sure that you could too…

Just a few:

Stringing up a Tarp
Tarp Tie Down
Tent and Pole support, building shelters
Clothes Line
Tow Line
Braiding for even more combined strength
Wrap handles for walking sticks
Equipment Guy-lines
Pack Strap, Fasten, lash and secure gear to backpack
Garden Lines
Shelter Making
Suspend a hammock
Replace broken shoelaces, boot laces
Fire Bow
Hang sunglasses around your neck
Knife Handle Wrap
Hang a water container (with spigot) from a tree branch
Lifeline – it will support the weight of a human
Livestock leads and dog leashes
Suspend a field communications antenna in a tree
Bundle wood together to haul back to camp
Pet collar, leash
Rope ladder

Inner strands: sewing, fishing line, fly lures, trapping-snares, dental floss, emergency suture

How Does #550 Paracord Hold 550 Pounds?

Real Mil-spec #550 paracord has 7 inner strands (nylon) within a woven nylon outer shell. Evidently the woven nylon outer shell has a 250 pound tensile strength and each of the inner nylon strands has approximately 35 pound tensile strength. Note that each inner strand can also be unwound into 2 smaller strands.

Rothco Paracord (100′ shank)


Small Diameter, Light Weight, High Tensile Strength

The nice thing about paracord is the small diameter compared with it’s tensile breaking strength (typically 550 pounds). While the repetitive ‘working load’ is less, paracord makes an efficient use of size & weight versus usability for an emergency survival kit, bug out bag, whatever…


How much Paracord ??

I’ve listed some uses (add your own below). So how much should we include in our kits?

You can wrap up 20 feet into a fairly small coil.
Even 100 feet of it doesn’t take up too much space in a pack.

I would suggest AT LEAST 20 feet of paracord as a general minimum. That’s probably enough for many typical uses.

With that said, I would sure feel better with 100 feet of it. It’s so ridiculously light weight that stowing a 100 foot shank of paracord in one’s pack is no big deal in my opinion.

(UPDATE) Having tallied up the comments below from the original post date of this article, a common length of #550 paracord that people tend to keep in their kit is 100′.

(This article was originally posted early in 2018, though I’ve just updated some info.)

I typically buy a 1,000 foot roll of paracord and feed off that until I need more. That’s the best price per foot compared to getting smaller quantities. In fact I need to order another roll soon!

1,000′ Spool #550 Paracord

How much paracord do you include in your kits?

More: Survival Kit List Of 10 Essential Items


  1. poorman 01/04/2018
    • me 01/05/2018
      • Ken Jorgustin 01/05/2018
        • INPrepper 12/05/2018
  2. Papa Smurf 01/04/2018
    • Papa Smurf 01/04/2018
      • me 12/05/2018
        • Papa Smurf 12/07/2018
        • Papa Smurf 12/07/2018
    • Papa Smurf 01/04/2018
      • INPrepper 12/05/2018
    • NRP 12/07/2018
      • Doc Jackson 12/12/2018
  3. Minerjim 01/04/2018
  4. anonymous 01/04/2018
  5. Grey 01/04/2018
  6. thelittle 01/04/2018
    • anonymous 01/05/2018
    • INPrepper 12/05/2018
  7. Broadwing 01/04/2018
  8. Nailbanger 01/04/2018
  9. Mrs.USMCBG 01/04/2018
  10. whoppo 01/04/2018
  11. RoadWarrior 01/04/2018
    • Grey 01/04/2018
  12. preparednana 01/04/2018
  13. Skeezix 01/04/2018
    • RoadWarrior 01/04/2018
    • Ken Jorgustin 01/04/2018
      • me 01/05/2018
    • DAMedinNY 12/05/2018
  14. Texasprepper 01/04/2018
  15. CR 01/04/2018
  16. NRP 01/04/2018
  17. James Gumb 01/05/2018
  18. Steve 01/05/2018
    • Ken Jorgustin 01/05/2018
      • INPrepper 12/05/2018
  19. Papa Smurf 01/05/2018
    • INPrepper 12/05/2018
    • Papa Smurf 12/05/2018
  20. Chamele0n 01/05/2018
  21. Jerry 01/06/2018
  22. Tommyboy 12/05/2018
    • INPrepper 12/05/2018
  23. me 12/05/2018
    • Ken Jorgustin 12/05/2018
      • Grey 12/05/2018
  24. old lady 12/05/2018
    • NRP 12/05/2018
      • Anonymous 12/05/2018
        • old lady 12/07/2018
          • NRP 12/07/2018
  25. tango 12/05/2018
  26. country 12/05/2018
    • Grey 12/05/2018
    • Papa Smurf 12/05/2018
      • Papa Smurf 12/05/2018
    • Tommyboy 12/06/2018
      • me 12/06/2018
    • Bluesman 12/06/2018
      • Anonymous 12/07/2018
        • Papa Smurf 12/07/2018
  27. Calirefugee 12/06/2018
  28. Defcon 12/07/2018
  29. Tommyboy 12/07/2018
  30. YOLO 12/08/2018

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published