Pharos-Tribune

Columns

October 25, 2013

WOLFSIE: Sorta saving lives

Imagine finding yourself stranded in the forest, with no food or water. Or caught in an avalanche, freezing to death beneath a mountain of snow. Sounds scary, doesn’t it? But you’d have absolutely nothing to worry about if you were wearing your Paracord Survival Bracelet. (Also required: a cell phone, your GPS, warm blankets, a week’s supply of food and a Coleman stove.)

Yes, this is the hottest thing in survival gear since the lit match. Technically, it’s called a 550 Cord, which confused me because that’s also the name of the Levi’s I wear. The bracelet is made of 90 feet of intricately woven thread crafted into a nifty piece of rope jewelry. The material was first used in World War II by paratroopers. The manufacturer describes it as having a “32-strand woven nylon outer sheath with an inner core of seven 2-ply yarns.” I know, I know, it sounds a lot like Charmin.

Think how lucky James Franco would have been in the movie 127 Hours if he had been wearing one of these. There he was with one arm under a 6-ton rock. ... Let’s see, he would take the cord and ... well ... OK, I have no idea how this item could have possibly helped him.

Here are three uses suggested by the manufacturer:

1. Replace a broken zipper pull: Nothing would be more embarrassing than being rescued after 12 days on a deserted island and being caught with your fly open.

2. Detain a person: When you are shipwrecked in the middle of nowhere and help finally comes, isn’t that the first thing you’d think about: Who do I need to tie up?

3. Fishing Line: “Our white cord will rarely catch fish in clear water,” admits the bracelet company, “but you may have a chance in murky water if you have stink bait and a hook.” Not a problem. A lot of hikers who forgot to bring even one protein bar have a jar of chicken guts and beef liver in their backpack.

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