After the Fall: Using Your Parachute Parts for Survival


Parachutes and activities that involve them, like BASE jumping and skydiving, can send your imagination and adrenaline shooting skywards. The life-saving device has a way of making you think about excitement, danger, and adventure.

Imagine leaping out of a plane thousand of feet in the air. You have your parachute, a helmet, and essential parachuting equipment. The air roars around you as you plummet, closer and closer to a vast wilderness. At the right moment, you pull your cord and your parachute expands behind you, protecting you from the fall.

But as you drift earthward, how are you going to survive? You’re actually wearing a device that can save you from on high and on the ground. Find out how your parachute’s components can help you survive.

The Nylon Canopy

The largest part of your parachute is the canopy, which is made of nylon thread. Parachute manufacturers use specialized weaving techniques to create a square pattern with the threads. This technique prevents the canopy from tearing easily.

The canopy has many properties that can be useful in a survival situation. Nylon is waterproof, lightweight, and even resistant to mildew growth. With a sharp object, you can cut the canopy for different uses. The large size of a parachute canopy can give plenty of nylon to utilize.

A large square of the canopy can serve as a tent or bedroll. The material can keep you dry and comfortable in case of rain. Alternatively, you can fashion a poncho made of the canopy to keep you dry as you explore.

You can cut threads of nylon for lures and fishing lines. You can use more threads to stitch close a wound or make a tourniquet for a broken limb if you get injured,

The Suspension Lines


The cables that connect your harness to the canopy are made of very strong material. They’re usually composed of paracords that can carry up to 550 pounds safely.  These wires are can be used in many ways during a survival situation.

Their high tensile strength means you can use them as tow lines if you’re dragging anything along. You can tie the end of one cord into a monkey fist. This knot creates a large ball at the end of the cable, and you can use this to help you climb trees for better vantage, scale rock walls, and, if you weave the knot around a rock or heavy object, as a weapon.

Accessories and Gear

You can also find uses for other standard parachuting gear. The parachute’s bag can hold the canopy as well as other items that might be useful. Hook knives are special cutting instruments designed to help saw through cords in case of entanglement. Fighter pilots carry one in case they need to sever their ejection gear. You can use the knife to cut your suspension cables to any length you need, and it can serve as a cutting tool for other uses.

Going into free fall is already a very exciting experience. In case you encounter more excitement on the ground, at least you now know that your parachute has got your back.

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