Creating Paracord Bandages

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    If ever there were a miracle survival supply, it would be paracord. Considering the many abilities it has and functions it can serve, paracord has a place in every survivalist's life. With its extremely powerful tensile strength as well as an inability to rot or mildew, you'd be hard pressed to find a reason not to like paracord or want to keep some around.

    In survival situations, we sometimes find ourselves up the unsanitary tributary with no means of propulsion. Although the preference is to avoid this, there will come a time that it happens despite best laid plans. It is times such as this that you should plan to have paracord.

    Photo: G. Sanders

    Take for example a cut on your finger. Perhaps it is minor and only a slight inconvenience or maybe it is bleeding heavily. Either way, it is going to require a little bit of attention and it just so happens that you do not have a Band-aid handy to cover it. Leaving it open is not really an option, so what are you going to do? You are going to make a bandage out of paracord, of course!

    The process of making a paracord bandage is actually quite easy and is a job that can be done one-handed. However, it is worthy to note that having some loose paracord will make it much easier as taking apart a paracord bracelet with one hand is not the fastest thing, especially if the burned ends have created a really tight bond that is hard to break. With that in mind, you might want to keep a few feet of loose paracord around for occasions such as this.

    In order to begin bandaging with paracord, create a fold in the cord with about six inches of slack on one side of the bend and the rest of the cord on the other. Lay that fold against your injured digit, keeping the folded end near to the tip. With the cord against your finger, take the long piece and begin to wrap it in a circular motion, beginning at the end away from the fold. The goal is the formation of rings that are snugged up to one another to create a consistent barrier all the way down your finger or at least across the injured area. Take care to make these snug but not so tight that they cut off circulation.

    Photo: G. Sanders

    Photo: G. Sanders

    Once you've created an ample number of rings to cover your injury, take the length of your cord and pass all of it through the folded end. Then grasp the short end of the cord you left sticking out at the other end and give it a gentle pull. This will shorten the folded loop at the opposite end, cinching it down on the slack you just passed through it. You can then tie the two cord ends together to secure your bandage in place. The wound will be protected from dirt, debris, and further injury as well as having constant pressure applied to help cease bleeding.

    Photo: G. Sanders

    Photo: G. Sanders

    Photo: G. Sanders

    Photo: G. Sanders

    This technique can also be used on other, larger body parts provided you have an adequate length of cord to do so. It is for reasons such as this that it is wise to simply throw a whole 100' hank of paracord in your BOB as opposed to relying only on a bracelet. If you have a cut on your shin, for example, and the paracord bracelet on your wrist that is only 6" long, it may not be enough to get the job done. Plus, you're still going to be bleeding in the time it takes to undo that bracelet, so quick access to a large length of paracord is something to think about.

    Have you ever had to use a paracord bandaging technique? Was it this style or something else? Tell us about it in the comments!

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