Saturday, January 16, 2010
"Handy Hundred" - Good Alternative to Paracord
Cordage is one of those great, inexpensive, multi-use items that we're always glad we've packed when we've needed it. It's great for bear bagging, adding extra guy lines to our tents, rigging tarps, replacing shoelaces, and a whole host of repairs. I wouldn't be caught dead without it.
In my early years of backpacking, I always carried a 50 ft. length of the standard paracord you can find at REI (because that's what everyone told me I should carry). While it's great stuff, I eventually realized how bulky it was and started searching for something more compact. I settled on mason's line for a while. It's thin and strong; however, it tangles easily since it's so pliable. Plus, the cut ends are difficult to cauterize with a lighter to avoid fray. Ever since, I have been on a mission to find something that had the thinner diameter of mason's line with the properties of paracord and have finally found it.
Handy Hundred is basically anorexic paracord. It looks & feels just like regular paracord, but is a lot thinner; meaning that you can reduce the bulk by about 1/3 for the same functionality. Even though it's significantly thinner, it still handles well. The strength is 100 lb. test--more than strong enough for typical camp duty. The best part? It's $1.99 for a 100ft. spool. That means I get 2 usable lengths for 1/4th the cost of the heavier, bulkier standard paracord. And, it comes in a variety of colors. I got mine at my local army surplus store but you can find them here if you can't get it locally. 50 ft. weighs 1.1 ounces and it's rigid enough to inhibit tangling. NICE! Have you tried this stuff? What for you carry for cordage?