How to increase the strength of 550 paracord

Paracord Tow Rope550 paracord is rated to withstand the force of at least 550 lbs of force before breaking.  But what if you find yourself in a situation when you need to pull 10000 lbs of cargo?  Well there are several methods that might work in this situation.

You could try looping the 550 cord 19 times (550 x 19 = 10450) around the two objects you are trying to secure together.  You will lose some of the strength at the end points where they attach. Those kinks in the paracord will be the weakest point can limit the strength of the paracord anywhere from 30%-50%. At 50% you only have 5000 lbs of strength. Luckily there is a better way.

Any type of rope or cable is made stronger by combining many smaller strands to make a larger rope. If you ever notice a large rope you see that it is made up of braided smaller ropes or strings. Think of your 550 cord as one of those smaller strands. Back to our math from above, if you now take 19 strands and braid them together into one larger rope you will have a rope that doesn’t lose strength at its end points. You generally want to braid three cords together at a time. In this case you can have one group that has 4. After you’ve done that you now have 6 cords. You can group them in twos and then braid together the 3 groups into one single rope. Keep in mind that when you braid 550 cord you make it shorter. Depending on how tightly you are making your braids, you will probably want to start with single lengths of paracord that are roughly 3 to 4 times the length of the final rope you will produce. Also consider that under stress paracord will stretch up to 30% of its original length.

Making a specific length that looks nice will take a little practice but this method can be a quick and easy lifesaver in an emergency situation. The only thing that can hold you back is not having enough 550 cord with you!

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