Parachute Cord

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Parachute Cord

Postby ForumSn0w » Wed May 04, 2011 10:06 pm

I was wondering if any of you have used parachute cord to secure your tarps and shade structures to the playa before? Nothing large 20x20 max for the shade. It would suck majorly to have my "home" blown away while I was gone. Any suggestions for a different type of rope besides used climbing rope (only because its a pain to find) would be awesome, thankyou.
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Postby Trishntek » Wed May 04, 2011 11:14 pm

The variables you leave in your question are infinite. Is it shade netting? Or is it actual Tarp? What kind of frame are you using? Are you planning to support posts only with rope between? Is in a monkey hut?

With my rigid-frame shade structure, I would say parachute cord is probably sufficient. If you are simply tying shade netting between two vehicles, use 3/8" rope.
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Postby Bob » Wed May 04, 2011 11:21 pm

Parachute cord or parcel twine, just learn how to tie a knot.
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Postby Sail Man » Thu May 05, 2011 11:46 am

Bob wrote:Parachute cord or parcel twine, just learn how to tie a knot that will keep my fingers from abusing the keyboard.


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Postby ForumSn0w » Thu May 05, 2011 12:27 pm

Trishntek wrote:The variables you leave in your question are infinite. Is it shade netting? Or is it actual Tarp? What kind of frame are you using? Are you planning to support posts only with rope between? Is in a monkey hut?

With my rigid-frame shade structure, I would say parachute cord is probably sufficient. If you are simply tying shade netting between two vehicles, use 3/8" rope.


Sorry for the lack of pics, but I know google images can help.

The first shade structure is a Coleman event '14. It has 4 lightweight steel poles going from each floor corner which then connect to the center. The canvas on it reminds me of parachute material, mabye a bit thicker. I was going to rebar the 4 feet in place then use parachute cord on the shade covering back down to the rebar as extra support. I think the covering is velcro'd to the poles.

The next shade structure will probably end up like a monkey hut with thick silver tarp over the skeleton. I have no idea about anchoring this one because I haven't built it yet. Some of the pics online are hard to judge as to how the unit is anchored down.

Bob, I know i need to learn a few knot typing techniques.
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Postby wraith » Fri May 06, 2011 3:43 am

550 cord is pretty good stuff. I've used it a lot for building tarp shelters, and the grommets will tear out of the tarp before it will break.
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Postby Trishntek » Fri May 06, 2011 5:17 am

For both applications you mention, parachute chord will work. Make sure your grommets are NO Further apart than 18 " from each other. The use of T-posts or rebar for ground stakes make your structures much more robust.
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Postby TomServo » Fri May 06, 2011 6:15 am

wraith wrote:550 cord is pretty good stuff. I've used it a lot for building tarp shelters, and the grommets will tear out of the tarp before it will break.


put duct tape, or gorilla tape over both sides of the grommet. 1999 was the last year I lost a grommet.
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Fri May 06, 2011 9:23 am

Climbing rope is usually deisgned to stretch rather than break. It might be good in some apps, but it's not the best choice.

Always keep a few rolls of paracord handy for emergencies.
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Re: Parachute Cord

Postby Lord Of Ruin » Fri May 06, 2011 9:31 am

ForumSn0w wrote:I was wondering if any of you have used parachute cord to secure your tarps and shade structures to the playa before? Nothing large 20x20 max for the shade. It would suck majorly to have my "home" blown away while I was gone. Any suggestions for a different type of rope besides used climbing rope (only because its a pain to find) would be awesome, thankyou.


Just want to comment here that there's "paracord" and there's PARACORD. The real stuff can be found in 250lb test and above. There are lots of places that sell stuff that looks just like it that has something around 40lb strength. Worse than useless for this application.

Home big box retailers have tons of rope available both prepackaged and by the foot. Do a little Google fu and research what ropes stretch vs. float vs. are good wet vs. are good in UV situations.

Finally, learn how to quickly tie a few GOOD knots. Taut line hitches, half hitches, clove hitches and bowlines have all come in mighty handy out there for me. My family and campmates bow before my uber Boy Scout-ed-ness.

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Postby FIGJAM » Fri May 06, 2011 9:50 am

Electritions Mule tape. 9/16 of an inch wide has 2500 pound strength.

If you check with some electrical contractors, you may get some free.

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Postby wraith » Fri May 06, 2011 3:53 pm

TomServo wrote:
wraith wrote:550 cord is pretty good stuff. I've used it a lot for building tarp shelters, and the grommets will tear out of the tarp before it will break.


put duct tape, or gorilla tape over both sides of the grommet. 1999 was the last year I lost a grommet.


Last one I lost was on a 12x20 shelter that blew over a ravine in a 2 inch/hour rain storm. That was a -lot- of water. :D
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Postby Bob » Fri May 06, 2011 7:55 pm

West Marine is good for cordage.
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Postby ygmir » Fri May 06, 2011 8:14 pm

sportsmans guide has it, too, pretty cheap.
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Postby ForumSn0w » Sat May 07, 2011 2:12 pm

Thanks for the reply's everyone. I think I'll be picking up a small spool of it. Pretty soon here i'll start building everything and testing it out in the backyard. I've already picked up some rebar that i will be bending too.

Oh yeah, I should probably pick up a grommet gun and extras too.
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Postby TomServo » Sat May 07, 2011 2:51 pm

The "hangman's noose" is a good knot to learn! Even if it's only 3 or 4 turns. The harder it pulls, the tighter it holds. I use that knot on the shade structure end of the rope.

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