Paracord, also called parachute or 550 cord, features a strong, fibrous core surrounded by a woven nylon outer casing. Wilderness explorers often carry paracord to help them set up shelters or make weapons and survival tools in an emergency. Others wrap knife and hiking stick handles with it or weave bottle holders and bags from it. Paracord is as versatile as it is strong; you can even make bullwhips from it. Paracord bullwhips are harder to make than other paracord projects; however, if you have the right tools and some patience, you can make a paracord whip.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 1-foot-long, ¾-inch-thick dowel rod
- Hand drill
- Rubber band
- Laundry line
- Plastic tarp
Drill a horizontal hole through the end of your dowel rod about ¼ inch from the end of the rod. Slip a rubber band through this hole. Pass the left side of the rubber band through the right, and hold the dowel up by the left side of the rubber band. Slip a carabineer through the rubber band. Hook the carabineer over a laundry line. Your dowel should hang perfectly vertically.
Spread a plastic tarp out under your dowel. This prevents the paracord from getting dirty, wet or tangled in debris while you braid.
Cut six lengths of paracord about 50 feet long. Gather them together and slide them through the open space in the carabineer so 25 feet of cord hangs down on either side of your dowel rod. Gather the top three cords and push them up over the laundry line and out of the way for now.
Grip half of the remaining three paracords in each hand; think of them as six separate 25-foot cords. Bring the left three cords over the right three cords. Slip the right three cords to the left under the left three cords. They should wrap snugly around the base of the rubber band.
Bring down one of your top three cords. Bring the right side of the cord over the top of the cords, pointing diagonally to the right. Slip the left side of the cord between the first and second cords, pointing to the left. Bring down the second of your top three cords and repeat, weaving on the right side and overlapping on the left this time. Repeat with the third reserved cord, weaving on the left and overlapping on the right.
Continue braiding your cords together, weaving and overlapping on alternate sides with the outermost two cords. Continue until you get to the end of the dowel rod; your whip will become narrower here. It will narrow by itself two or three more times as you continue braiding; it should end in a single cord trailing away from the others. Melt the ends of the cord to this single cord to secure the whip. Leave the single cord unmelted to get the cracking sound.
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