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  1. #1
    Boothill's Avatar
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    550 paracord stretch test

    so there are a lot of new people that bring up the idea of using paracord for part of their suspension or to string their tarp and the fine folks on here tell them about the stretch of paracord (rightfully so) and how it's isn't the best thing to use

    so i devised a little experiment yesterday to see how much paracord really did stretch to maybe give an example to new people so they can see what we all are talking about

    i started with a 10' piece of 550 paracord and tied a 10lb weight to one end and hung it off the deck to see how much it would stretch, i made sure that there was exactly 10' between the knots

    the cord immediately stretched to 129" so a 9" stretch from the weight right away

    after an hour i checked it again and it had stretched another 1"

    checked it again 2 hours later and it was still the same

    i then saturated the paracord with water and let it hang for an hour and a half before i measured it again and it had stretched an additional 1.5"

    left it over night and checked it again this morning and it was still the same as the last measurement

    so a 10' piece stretched at total of 11.5" with only 10lbs of weight, image if was on a hammock suspension

    or say you are using paracord for your tarp set-up and have 30' for a ridgeline and another 5' on each corner for tie-outs, you are looking at a potential for quite a bit of stretch in your set-up

    now obviously you are going to string things tight, but even after that over some time you will get stretch with paracord and if it rains you will get even more, so even though the cord was tight when you stung it your going to experience some more stretch

    hope this helps someone out when they are thinking about using paracord, of course like all things i'm sure there are people that use it and happy with it which is great, but like they say HYOH

    boot
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  2. #2
    Moderator raiffnuke's Avatar
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    Nice test. Thanks for posting the results.

  3. #3
    New Member whitejb's Avatar
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    Just out of curiosity did the paracord return to it's normal length after the weigh was removed, if so after how long, and if not if you run the same test did it stretch again. Just curious, if it returns to its normal length then you could expect stretching every time it's used but if not it may not stretch again after the first use. Figured I would ask since you already ran the test.

  4. #4
    Senior Member thegreatjesse's Avatar
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    On a recent trip, my 'new-to-hanging' friend forgot his webbing straps. Going to ground on the snowpack wasn't an option, so we had to improvise. He uses paracord for his bear bag line, but since I had also brought my own Zing-It bear line, he decided to try using the paracord to secure the whoopie to the tree.

    We managed to tie the hammock up, but even with 4' of clearance from the ground, the suspension would lower him to the snow almost instantly. The only way we were able to make it work was to larkshead the hammock through the whoopie loop around one tree and minimize the length of paracord used to attach the other sling to the tree. In a pinch, it worked, but not before we spent an hour after dark wrestling with his setup.

    HYOH, but there is no place in my kit for paracord.

  5. #5
    New Member knowmad's Avatar
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    I use 550 for a ridge line on my tarp, got the cord for free from a buddy that works for sierra national forest off there 1000 foot roll,

    I use home made tree straps with key chain in each end and a extra key ring that i tie inline on the ridge line and use the key rings like a truckers hitch yes i have to stretch it like 4-5 feet depending on length between trees.

    I hang a 10-8 harbor freight camo utility tarp on it, also acquired free.

    I know I dont have the best gear, but 550 cord works for me but i do stretch the cord as tight as I can.

    I have been making my own gear lately and plan on getting good rope, I just keep using the 550 cause its here.

    I have used a piece of 550 to pull a civic out of a ditch once it was looped over but it almost doubled in length before the car started to move.

  6. #6
    in it for the naps oldgringo's Avatar
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    I don't know that I would tell the world that I'd been ripping off the feds. Just sayin...

    I've still got some 550 that I use as general utility cord, but when it's gone, I won't replace it. In addition to the stretch, it doesn't hold some knots reliably.

    The stuff was developed for shroud lines on 'chutes...it's designed to stretch. since there's enough of it in the federal supply system to go to the moon and back several times, it gets used for just about everything, but that doesn't make it good, just available.
    Dave

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  7. #7
    New Member knowmad's Avatar
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    I didnt "rip any thing off" I got about 100 feet of cord off a roll they use for boot laces. the cord was given to me by one of the LEOs. I am a father of three kids not the paracord bandit

  8. #8
    in it for the naps oldgringo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knowmad View Post
    I didnt "rip any thing off" I got about 100 feet of cord off a roll they use for boot laces. the cord was given to me by one of the LEOs. I am a father of three kids not the paracord bandit
    Whoa. I didn't mean that in a pejorative way. It was just a caution.
    Dave

    http://www.uark.edu/misc/xtimber/rna/pattonsbluff.html

    It has always been my private conviction that any man who pits his intelligence against a fish and loses has it coming.
    John Steinbeck

  9. #9
    Senior Member Mouseskowitz's Avatar
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    Thanks for the testing info Boot! I knew it stretched but now I have numbers

  10. #10

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    Interesting. Nothing beats data! Thanks!

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