It's Not Just Fashion! How To Start A Fire With Paracord

Jul 11, 2017

It's Not Just Fashion! How To Start A Fire With Paracord

Paracord might just be the most popular piece of survival gear…

Bracelets, keychains, Monkey Fists, axe handles, drawstring cords…

It has so many different uses as an EDC tool or in a survival situation, plus…

It’s really cool stuff.  There are hundreds of colors and designs you can choose from so you get totally custom pieces of gear that are useful and fun to show off…

In fact, we found it so valuable, we even engineered it into our emergency sleeping bag, the Life Bivy, to turn a useless drawstring into something of value in an emergency.

What I’ve found, however, is with so many uses, one of the most practical and valuable paracord uses is often overlooked…

As in, never even mentioned…

And it could be one use for paracord that actually saves your life in an emergency!

If you’re ever facing a survival situation, the nature of the beast likely means things aren’t pleasant …

Natural disasters, bugging out, treacherous storms…

There is a real chance it will be cold, snowing, or raining down on you… and starting a fire to keep your core body temperature warm is absolutely critical if you’re going to stay alive long enough to worry about gathering food and water.

Even in the worst conditions, getting your hands on dry logs to burn is actually relatively easy, but locating dry tinder can be a real pain...

Because you’re looking for really tiny pieces, moisture easily seeps through fallen trees, branches, dirt, nearly everything… and soaks the small stuff.

So even if you have found dry enough logs to burn once your fire is going, it can feel like all the tinder you find is soaking wet…

That’s where this post comes in…

In this post, I’m going to show you how to use paracord as tinder to start a fire… even in wet treacherous conditions.

This method is fast, easy, and reliable.  Plus…

Now you have another great excuse to pick up another paracord gadget to keep as an EDC, in your car, or with your survival gear.

Here’s how to do it.

Step #1: Cut A Strip Of Paracord

It’s time to put that paracord to use, which means unraveling the cord from one of the numerous paracord tools you have lying around…

Once you’ve chosen which you’re willing to actually put to use, unravel the paracord and then cut a piece off that’s two to four inches in length. 

There’s no perfect length, but the more you use, the more tinder you’ll have to get your fire started.  So if you have plenty to spare, I recommend using it… your life is on the line after all.

If you don’t have a pair of scissors or knife handy when you’re doing this, you can cut paracord without a knife using a sharp object such as a rock or piece of metal, or the paracord itself by creating friction and burning through it sawing the paracord against itself.

Step #2: Remove The Inner Core Strands

Paracord didn’t get its popularity just by being fashionable, its usefulness is what’s made it so popular over multiple decades.

And one of the most useful features are the yarns of the core, also known as “the guts

Remove the inner strands from the piece of paracord and set them aside until you’re ready to get your fire going.

Those strands will serve as the tinder for your fire.

Step #3: Construct Your Fire

Once you have your paracord tinder ready, it’s time to get your fire going.

Start by finding a flat surface and gathering any additional wood if you haven’t already.

There are multiple kinds of fires you can build, so choose your favorite and the one most suitable for the conditions you’re faced with.

Once you’ve gathered your twigs, sticks, logs, and other material you can use to fuel your fire, set your paracord on your flat surface and place the smallest pieces of fuel on and around the paracord.

You want to be sure once you light your tinder you have something else to catch that will burn longer than the tinder strands so you can continue building.

Now for my favorite part…

Step #4: Let It Burn

Once you have all of your materials gathered to fuel your fire and you’ve constructed the first pieces to light, use your lighter or survival fire starter and light the core strands from the paracord.

Position the small pieces of fuel on your fire as necessary to be sure they catch and then grow your fire to the size you desire.


Paracord is one of the most useful pieces of survival gear.

But it often gets branded as “just another gadget” or fashion accessory…

Which is a shame, because some of the most practical and valuable uses get overlooked.

Paracord can help save your life in some of the most common survival situations...

Which is why I put this post together for you…

So you can add perhaps the most valuable paracord use case to your survival skills knowledge base.

Have you ever used paracord to start a fire?  I’d love to hear about your experiences and recommendations in the comments.


About the Author

Kevin is the co-founder of Go Time Gear.

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