Paracordist's Blog

Paracordist on pre and post shrinking paracord / 550 cord - why you should do it and how!

posted Oct 8, 2012, 7:08 AM by Kevin Gagne   [ updated Oct 8, 2012, 7:13 AM ]

I prepared this video in response to the numerous inquiries regarding statements I've made in videos about pre-shrinking paracord. Here's the bottom line - preshrink size-sensitive items. A bracelet for example, will shrink over time if the cord is not preshrunk. If the bracelet was a perfect fist to start, it will become too small. Don't fool yourself into thinking it won't shrink if you don't get it wet. Sweat, rain, humidity, condensation etc. will eventually wet your items and all it takes is a bit of heat like the sun, to shrink. On the flip side; post shrinking (either by carefully pouring hot water over the project, or dipping in hot water) will tighten your knots beyond what you could comfortably do yourself! Great for hatchet, knife and hiking staff wraps as well as monkeys fist knots.

The quality, USA made 550 cord I use (and sell) from Gladding Braided products will shrink approximately 5%, but lesser brands will shrink even more - so best to do your own test to determine how much more to pull off before shrinking so you don't come up short.

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Paracordist How to make a two color paracord bracelet (Cobra Weave) / Solomon Bar

posted Sep 28, 2012, 3:15 PM by Kevin Gagne   [ updated Sep 28, 2012, 3:17 PM ]


The cobra stitch or solomon bar is by far the prevalent paracord "survival" bracelet style. Americans making these for a bit of extra scratch are now being sideswiped by Made in  China versions selling everywhere for a couple bucks. One thing is certain, all that I've seen without exception are poorly made. Ugly burned ends in the worst places mar the product. Dual color bracelets are made without a secure and aesthetically pleasing way of integrating the two cords.

With my first paracord cobra stitch bracelet video “Paracordist's How to make a paracord bracelet (Cobra Weave) / Solomon Bar w/ no burns & Ultimate Jig” I sought to teach you how to make the solid color bracelet with efficiency, consistency, quality and pride using the Ultimate Bracelet Jig and paracord fids. Now I give you the latest installment "Paracordist How to make a two color paracord bracelet (Cobra Weave) / Solomon Bar".

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Paracordist how to tie the Taut-Line Hitch - ultra-light backpackers must learn! No mechanical device needed to adjust tension on guy lines for camping tents, tarps and other shelters

posted Sep 28, 2012, 2:35 PM by Kevin Gagne   [ updated Sep 28, 2012, 2:45 PM ]

The Taut-Line Hitch is an awesome knot. With this basic knowledge, you can lighten your camping gear load. Ultra-light backpackers take heed! This knot replaces mechanical devices used to adjust tension on guy lines for tents, tarps and other shelters. My video shows you how, and the graphic below reinforces it.

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Paracordist how to tie the loop knot on a paracord monkeys fist keychain fob

posted Sep 27, 2012, 12:21 PM by Kevin Gagne   [ updated Sep 28, 2012, 2:40 PM ]

This is the third and final part in a two-color Monkeys Fist fob video series! Checkout the playlist on my YouTube Channel.
These fobs have unlimited uses, and this secure loop makes lots of them much easier and interchangeable! Heave a line, hang a bear bag, add weight to a self defense keychain, make a boleadora (bolas), go nuts. If you prefer to purchase a few, I offer them for sale in a variety of sizes [click to shop].

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Paracordist how to throw accurately with a DIY paracord rock sling - Introduction

posted Sep 27, 2012, 12:09 PM by Kevin Gagne   [ updated Sep 27, 2012, 12:10 PM ]

In another video, I've shown you how to make a rock launching sling with a single 25' piece of paracord, a jig, and a celtic button knot release grip. The following video is my favorite technique for slinging with power and accuracy. I think it most closely mimics a natural throwing motion. I viewed a video like this several years ago on slinging.org. I studied it, grabbed my sling (rock free) and began going through the motions. I learned it and no time and moved on to throwing rubber balls, golf balls before rocks. I realize not everyone is inclined to attempt this without more detailed instruction - so I'll break it down in future videos. Everything from fine tuning the loop and release knots, to grip, stance, drawback, release and followthrough. Stay tuned!

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Paracordist How to make a Sailor Knot Bracelet, Turks Head Bracelet, Part II w/ paracord

posted Sep 27, 2012, 11:48 AM by Kevin Gagne   [ updated Sep 27, 2012, 11:49 AM ]

This video is the followup to one of my most popular YouTube videos -

Paracordist How to make a Sailor Knot Bracelet, Turks Head bracelet, Part I w/ paracord

I made this Part II because many people who successfully followed it to tie the first round of the turks head knot were not able to make the leap to finishing the bracelet. This video literally follows it through! I plan a short video on the final finish/burn and perhaps the addition of a second color. 

A lifetime before I was the Paracordist, I wore the traditional cotton versions bracelets every year. I grew up on the coast and these were to be had in every gift shop. they remain very popular today. I learned to make them myself and show how in this video series. Now I'm happy to expand my offerings to includes these traditional, cotton, handmade in the USA "Sailor Knot" turks head bracelets for sale on my website!

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http://i795.photobucket.com/albums/yy239/kevingg_2000/Paracordist%20Creations%204/AB1E34DA-B582-492E-A86F-41C66F65BBB4-13515-00000C0984B5019F.jpg
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Paracordist how to install the original firesteel toggle on a paracord bracelet

posted Aug 31, 2012, 6:29 PM by Kevin Gagne   [ updated Sep 11, 2012, 9:20 AM ]

 
The Paracordist is the inventor of the firesteel paracord bracelet toggle, now inferior copies are offered by many. The Original Firesteel Toggle is the foundation of the BSB - Best Survival Bracelet. At 3/8" x 1" it is large enough to allow thousands of strikes, yet not too large and cumbersome for EDC. Only available here at Paracordist.com! We keep the hole very small, at first glance you may feel it is too small for the installation of a piece of paracord! I assure you that it is not. The small hole ensures a secure, no slide fit when installed properly. I have worn my original BSB (shown in the video) for nearly two years and the toggle is as secure today as it was the day it was installed. This video shows you the proper technique for installing my Original Firesteel Toggle on your own paracord creations.

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Paracordist how to tie the Highwayman's Hitch - quick untying multipurpose temporary knot

posted Aug 15, 2012, 5:33 PM by Kevin Gagne   [ updated Aug 15, 2012, 5:57 PM ]

This is a very useful knot. At one time, it was used to tie a horse to a hitching post whilst the owner went into a store, post office, saloon etc. There is nothing but a firm tug required to untie and be on your way. I've used this countless ways. The most frequent use for me that comes to mind is for tying my backpack, or grocery bags etc. to the handle of a carriage or a stroller, so I can quickly remove. It works best when tied to smaller diameter, round objects.

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Paracordist how to throw the triple monkeys fist practice Bola, Boleadora

posted Aug 15, 2012, 4:37 PM by Kevin Gagne   [ updated Aug 15, 2012, 5:58 PM ]

This very simple bola can be made in a few minutes and provide hours of fun! I started with 15' of 3/8" rope from the cordage aisle at any hardware store (comes in a 100' bundle for around $13). Starting about 5' in, tie a monkeys fist knot (click to see my video if you need help). Only three passes will be required. Leave a short piece of working end at the end. Before tightening, tie an overhand knot in it and insert into the core. Now work the monkeys fist tight; the knot forms the core and prevents the end from pulling out. Repeat on the other end. This will leave approximately 5' between monkey fists when complete. Obviously you can adjust the starting length to preference. The third "leg" of the boleadora is made with a standing end just over 5' long. Taking the "double" bola, form a bight in the middle and tie in the third leg with a sheet bend knot. At some point, I'll do a more detailed video on throwing. For know, just watch and practice. Like throwing a ball, just good timing of the twirl and stepping into the throw. The kids love "bola games" where they run across the lawn and try to avoid getting taken out by me!

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[CLICK TO BUY] Monkeys Fist products!
 
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How to use the ORIGINAL Firesteel Toggle & the Scraper Plate / Engravable I.D. Tag (as seen on the BSB)

posted Jul 6, 2012, 2:31 PM by Kevin Gagne   [ updated Aug 15, 2012, 5:59 PM ]

I've been contacted a couple times since I started selling the ORIGINAL Firesteel Toggle & the Scraper Plate / Engravable I.D. Tag (as seen on the BSB); by people who feel that the scrapers don't work. First, let me assure you that they work. They don't work as well as a scraper that is designed solely for scraping - because they must serve other functions. The scrape must be soft enough to be pliable to take the shape of the bracelet, and it must be thin enough to be engraved easily; and have a shiny surface that has reflective ability. This requires a compromise on scraping ability. You can improve the scraping ability every so often by using a file to square the edge from top to bottom, creating tiny burrs that will bite into the firesteel. You don't need to sharpen the edge, just square it up. Finally, a strong pressure and quick stroke are crucial. Now watch the video!
 
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