Gladding is a braided products manufacturer located at the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York. With recent improvements in computer technology and raw materials, they have designed paracord. They are an approved United States Department of Defense vendor who provided paracord for the United States Armed Services. Their manufacturing, testing and quality control often exceeded government standards.
Parachute cord or paracord or 550 cord as referred to by the Army is extremely tough and versatile nylon cord measuring 1/8 inch in diameter. The nylon outer core is rated at 300 pounds and the 14 (7 x 2) inner strands are each rated at 17.5 pounds. It was first used by sailors on Yankee Clipper Ships who demanded the very highest quality of cordage available. They provided paracord for parachute cord, tow lines, bomb lanyards, shroud lines and survival kit items in World War II by both the United States and Allied troops. Military personnel wear extra paracord as a bracelet in the field for emergencies and to designate their unit and location of operation. It has accompanied the astronauts during STS-82 on the second Hubble Telescope repair mission.
Paracord has many uses when camping, hiking or backpacking and should be at the top of the list in every survival kit. Stay away from the cheap knock off brands that are sold in the big box store chains and hardware stores. It is inferior and of very poor quality and not intended for use in critical situations. Paracord is designed to be much stronger as a result of its continuous filament nylon shell and the 7 smaller strands on the inside of the cord shell. Each of the 7 inner strands are made up of 2 separate strands wrapped together. Paracord has a soft feel but is of very high tensile strength. The 7 smaller strands on the interior have many uses.
Paracord has many uses such as cloths line, a fire starter bow, anchor rope, rifle sling, knife handle, a wick to gather drinking water off of a wet rock wall, bow string, lanyard, whips, anchor line, venetian blinds, tourniquet, snow shoes, garden line, tying a raft together, shoe strings, handle grips, crafts, jewelry, knot making, headstalls, reins, leads, breast collars, sling shot and an emergency shelter (cord and poncho).
The inner fibers of paracord can be used for dental floss, emergency medical stitches, attach arrowheads to arrows, tripwire, fishing line, thread for tent and clothing repair, snares for small animals and fishing net.
Craftsman have fashioned paracord into soda can koozies, hat band, watch band, belt, dog collar, handle, handcuffs, monkey fists, keychain and a walking cane decoration.
A pair of scissors, surgical clamp, lighter and an awl are helpful tools when working with paracord. It is available in 1,000 foot, 300 foot, 100 foot and 50 foot rolls. There are 38 solid colors and 14 camo colors to select from.
http://www.tadgear.com (glow in the dark here)
http://www.lighthound.com (many colors here)