Thursday, August 11, 2011

Paracord Stuff

"Wyatt, come here and check this out,"I said.

Three minutes later the video had finished. That's cool. I wanna make one. You have any Paracord," he asked.

I hesitated. The answer was yes but I only had 25 feet, it was the good kind, and I had ordered it for one specific reason, and that reason did not happen to be letting my nephew experiment with it. It was going to be used to make a rifle sling. But I needed Wyatt to make it for me and he knew nothing about braiding Paracord. Yet. So I acquiesced.

Yeah, I said. I guess you can use it, but you owe me 25 feet. Of the good stuff.

OK. He agreed.
Now for those of you that don't know what Paracord is, Paracord is to the outdoorsman what duct tape is to the homeowner. You can do nearly anything with it. It is extremely lightweight, it is very strong and it has 14,219 uses. It is a lightweight rope consisting of an outer sheath and inside the sheath it has seven inner strands. The outer sheath has a breaking strength of 300 pounds. Each of the seven inner strands has a breaking strength of 35 pounds. And each of these seven strands can be unraveled into two strands, each of these with a breaking strength of 17 pounds. All of these together add up to 550 pounds of weight that it can hold. Paracord can be used as rope for holding up a tent, as a shoelace, as a clothesline, as a trot line, you can make a hammock, anything you can do with rope or string you can do with Paracord. You can pull the inner strands out individually and use them as fishing line, you can weave them together for a net, you can use them as dental floss, you could even weave them together into a bikini and thong, damn near anything you want to do.  If you have a 10 foot length of Paracord you can pull the seven inner strands out, tie them together and have 70 feet of fishing line with a breaking strength of 35 pounds. Or you could divide each of the seven strands into its two pieces and have 140 feet of 17 pound test line. If you're camping way out in the boonies and think you can get away with it, you can even use Paracord to strangle your camping partner if they start snoring too loud or if they become prone to outbursts of extreme flatulence at inopportune moments.

We drug out the Paracord, he cut off eight feet of it and got busy and 30 minutes later had produced his first Paracord bracelet. He promptly snapped a picture of it with his phone, sent it to one of his friends and a few minutes later announced he had sold it. Now all he had to do was to make another. Just like that, he was in business.

So he made another one for him.

Wyatt was excited. School is getting ready to start up again and he suddenly wanted to go into the Paracord bracelet manufacturing business so that he would have a stock built up before classes started. So we did some checking around on the net, crunched some numbers and sent off a couple of orders. A week later we had two new packages. One of them contained Paracord and one of them had all kinds of beads, even some cool little skull beads. Wyatt had ordered four different colors and I ordered six different colors. Let the experiments begin.

Wyatt, his little sister and his little brother all showed up the next day and we split up the order. Then we proceeded to the dining room table where Wyatt showed his siblings how it was done and all three of them got busy constructing their own bracelets according to their own wishes. All afternoon they snipped, weaved, tied and burned Paracord into different colored bracelets. Pretty soon they had the hang of it and the results were encouraging. Then it was time for them to go home.

The next day Wyatt and his little brother were back for more of the same. Wyatt got to do whatever he wished with his Paracord and his beads. I made a business deal with his little sister and little brother. They could use my Paracord and my beads to make their bracelets and then they would go sell them. I would get $5.00 for each bracelet and whatever they sold it for over that amount, they got to keep the rest. If they sold it for $15.00, they would keep $10.00. If they sold it for $10.00, they would get $5.00 and I would get $5.00. It was a win win situation. They made a wonderful mess all over the dining room table making bracelets and key chains. But it was a necessity because Wyatt was learning how to tie different knots and different weaves of Paracord and I'm going to need him in the future to make my rifle sling. And it was kinda neat to watch and fun for them. It was a learning experience for all of us. Good deal.

So far it is going well, their enthusiasm is holding up and we're getting low on several different colors. We may have to fire off another order in the near future and even add some more colors. Here are some of the things they've done so far.

Three bracelets, sneaky pink, neon green and red

Four more bracelets

This is what they look like on their hands

Mostly key chains

So that is where we are now.  The best thing about it is, now Wyatt has the knowledge to construct me a rifle sling.

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