BOB Essentials Series: Paracord Lightstick Wrap (Many Pics)

Items to keep you alive in the event you must evacuate: discussions of basic Survival Kits commonly called "Bug Out Bags" or "Go Bags"

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BOB Essentials Series: Paracord Lightstick Wrap (Many Pics)

Post by Gunny » Sat Dec 29, 2007 11:42 pm

For this part of my ongoing BOB Essentials Series, I'd like to show the members and visitors of ZS how to better utilize two of your BOB's necessary components, Paracord and Lightsticks.

COMPONENTS

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Here's all the components you need for this little project. I daresay you have everything you need lying around your house already.
-Paracord
-Lightstick (still in the wrapper as to preserve freshness)
-Tape (90mph tape for this demonstration)
-Lighter or matches
-Knife

STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS

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Start by burning the loose end of your paracord to prevent fraying.

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Take your lightstick

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And bend one end of it down in order to remove excess air volume within the packaging (which will keep your wrap tighter later)

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Place one end of your paracord in the center of your lightstick's new fold like so

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Make one wrap and tuck your loose end through your new loop (like so).

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And wrap like so.

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Keep wrapping

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Mind the cat

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Well done, we're at the end. Leaving a little unwrapped space is a-okay, as that last little bit is damn near impossible to wrap the entire stick.

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Cut the end of your paracord free from the spool.

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Burn this end as well to prevent fraying.

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Tuck this end through just like the other end.

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Now, tear yourself a length of tape, about as long as the light stick and then tear in half lengthwise.

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Now take the two lengths of tape and cover the exposed ends of your paracord wrapped lightstick like shown above.

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Cut yourself two lengths of tape about as long as shown here.

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Wrap like so over your two previous pieces of tape. This will secure your two previous pieces and later, will give you about 1.5' of usable duct tape.

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Take a magic marker and mark on the outside of your new wrap. This will help you in picking out which stick to use when later on.

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Here's a before and after. The top represents a standard lightstick, the bottom is your new and improved light stick.

WHY WRAP YOUR LIGHTSTICKS?

Simple:

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It's super simple to remove your tape (and still use it later)

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This particular wrap generated 1.5' of usable 90mph tape and 10.16' of usable paracord.

Not only is this an easy way to carry more paracord, you can also use the paracord + lightstick + tape for several distinctive and beneficial purposes.

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After unwrapping your paracord from the stick...

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And tie a simple knot in the hole most light sticks have in one end.

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By holding your 10' length of paracord in the middle and swinging your lightstick as shown, you can make a damn huge signal visible for miles.

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Signaling someone on your horizontal plane.

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Signaling rescue aircraft or someone at a higher elevation than yourself.

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Tie it around your neck to mark the tail of a convoy of hikers like so.

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Or to someone's back to mark the lead hiker.

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This also works well to mark locations such as buildings, trails, vehicles and so on.

Well guys, that's the concept in a nut shell. I've laid it out as simply as I can for ease of translation when you go to make a few of these for yourself in between commercials.

Thoughts, comments and similar are always welcome. Thanks for the read :)

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Post by Tetra Grammaton Cleric » Sat Dec 29, 2007 11:54 pm

Good post(s) Gunny... this BOB Essentials Series is shaping up to be something both cool and much needed. Something for the ZSS Feed too, I'm thinking.

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Post by jeepinbandtrider » Sun Dec 30, 2007 12:33 am

excellent write up.
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Post by TheFreakinBear » Sun Dec 30, 2007 12:41 am

That looks familiar...Just saying. Anyway, the pictures do NOT do this trick any justice. It looks great, saves a lot of space, and when you use the chemlight with the 550cord or any other cordage, you can use it in a variety of different signals to get attention, if it's wanted.
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Post by SweetTea » Sun Dec 30, 2007 1:01 am

Good idea! Where can I get a mega-spool of paracord like that?

P.S. I like your cat

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Post by Gunny » Sun Dec 30, 2007 1:13 am

SweetTea wrote:Good idea! Where can I get a mega-spool of paracord like that?

P.S. I like your cat
You can buy those spools for between $60 and $450,000 at most local surplus stores.

That's TFB's cat, I'm more of a beagle guy.

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Post by SamuraiBobX26 » Sun Dec 30, 2007 2:01 am

Thats awsome Gunny. Great post. I now have a new idea and something to add to my BOB.
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Post by JIM » Sun Dec 30, 2007 6:00 am

Uhm, a tiny comment: don't put paracord around your neck without some sort of break-away thingie.
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Post by Buddha » Sun Dec 30, 2007 6:12 am

Thanks Gunny, I'm typeing this as I wrap duct tape around a business card. I guess when I finish I'll grab some light sticks out of my fishing kit and wrap some para cord around them. WOW this bug out stuff is becoming a job in it self. I wonder if my wife wll let me stop working, so I can do this full time. :?:
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Post by Apollo-11 » Sun Dec 30, 2007 6:25 am

Well done, Gunny.

I have used paracord a million times... I have used cyalume a million times... I have hung cyalume with a bit of paracord half a million times... but I would have never thought of swinging it around like that for signaling aircraft, in a million years. Good post!

FYI, the expiration date on those things is real. If they are more than a year past, they are probably well and gone shot to heck, or certainly on their way there. Don't forget to rotate them! I usually find some reason or another to use the old ones, like for halloween or power outages or something... which provides a real world test of their viability past the exp date, and also provides me with an excuse to buy new ones and stock up. I had a bunch that were 4 years past and started ripping them open and cracking them... no light... no light... no light... sh*t... no light... it was a little disconcerting.

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Post by Politenessman » Sun Dec 30, 2007 10:32 am

I keep one that looks almost exactly like that in my truck FAK and each hiking pack, for emergency signaling reasons. Good to know I'm not the only one.
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Post by TheLastRifleMan » Sun Dec 30, 2007 1:19 pm

I am doing this. Going to do a couple of these for my BoB and the survival kit I use as a demo when I teach Hunter's Safety classes.

Great post Gunny.
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Post by Gunny » Sun Dec 30, 2007 2:38 pm

JIM wrote:Uhm, a tiny comment: don't put paracord around your neck without some sort of break-away thingie.
Agreed. Sorry it was cold and I was just trying to show a few ways you could use this setup. In a real hiking situation you'd more likely attach your stick to either your pack's shell or your pack's shoulder straps (Hell I've even stuck one to my hat from time to time).

Thanks for the reads guys :)

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Post by Milkboot » Sun Dec 30, 2007 2:58 pm

TFB's Cow cat FTW, but only one of his lasers were fully charged :?




and ofcourse thank you Gunny and TFB :)

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Post by Molon Labe » Sun Dec 30, 2007 3:02 pm

I'm really starting to enjoy your 'Essentials' threads. Though I already know of these methods (and even employ most of them), I still enjoy reading of others using them as well. That and your posts are put together very well.

I wonder, has anyone has ever published a 'PAW Survival for DUMMIES' handbook?
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Post by CommonHighrise » Sun Dec 30, 2007 4:55 pm

"Dude, fire up a lightstick! The zombies are coming and I cant see a fucking thing!"

"Im trying, but I cant get this duct tape off quick enough!"

"Why the hell is there duct tape on it?!?"

"Gunny told me to do it. There, now...aw crap, wait, lemme take off the paracord..."

:D

I put a popsicle stick along mine with a bit of duct tape. Not 18", just a bit. That way, being jostled in my bag wont snap them and make them light prematurely, but I can snap the light and the stick when I need them.
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Post by Gunny » Sun Dec 30, 2007 5:26 pm

CommonHighrise wrote:"Dude, fire up a lightstick! The zombies are coming and I cant see a fucking thing!"

"Im trying, but I cant get this duct tape off quick enough!"

"Why the hell is there duct tape on it?!?"

"Gunny told me to do it. There, now...aw crap, wait, lemme take off the paracord..."

:D

I put a popsicle stick along mine with a bit of duct tape. Not 18", just a bit. That way, being jostled in my bag wont snap them and make them light prematurely, but I can snap the light and the stick when I need them.
Lightsticks really suck pretty hardcore when you need them to light your way. Stick with their original intent and use them as markers/signals/military faux-shuriken.

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Post by Apollo-11 » Sun Dec 30, 2007 9:19 pm

CommonHighrise wrote: I put a popsicle stick along mine with a bit of duct tape. Not 18", just a bit. That way, being jostled in my bag wont snap them and make them light prematurely, but I can snap the light and the stick when I need them.
Good idea. I also double up twice as many as I think I need. If you need a minimum of 1, you really need two. This is for redundancy. Kids like to snap them while they are still in the store hanging on the shelves. If you get a dead one and you need it, you have a backup. The extras don't take up much space and they are worth it.

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Post by CommonHighrise » Sun Dec 30, 2007 11:18 pm

Apollo-11 wrote:
CommonHighrise wrote: I put a popsicle stick along mine with a bit of duct tape. Not 18", just a bit. That way, being jostled in my bag wont snap them and make them light prematurely, but I can snap the light and the stick when I need them.
Good idea. I also double up twice as many as I think I need. If you need a minimum of 1, you really need two. This is for redundancy. Kids like to snap them while they are still in the store hanging on the shelves. If you get a dead one and you need it, you have a backup. The extras don't take up much space and they are worth it.
Thats why I also take them out of the wrappers. If you hold a bright light to it, you can usually see the small glass tube inside, and the separate bit of liquid. That way you can toss out spent lights.
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Post by I_AM_LEGEND » Sun Dec 30, 2007 11:31 pm

One thing I didn't see noted is that if you heat up a burned out light stick it will glow again, probably even so if it has expired and is no good anymore... I learned this night fishing one night, we tossed one into the fire after it was cashed out and not glowing and the heat made it glow again..
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Post by Milkboot » Mon Dec 31, 2007 12:03 am

I heard once before, that the foil wrapper was there because one of the chemicals inside of a light stick was sensitive to UV light and would weaken it.


Maybe, I dont know. Anyone else hear it? or maybe it was what happens to cheaper brands of lightsticks.

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Post by Gunny » Mon Dec 31, 2007 4:34 am

Milkboot wrote:I heard once before, that the foil wrapper was there because one of the chemicals inside of a light stick was sensitive to UV light and would weaken it.


Maybe, I dont know. Anyone else hear it? or maybe it was what happens to cheaper brands of lightsticks.
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Post by ninja-elbow » Mon Dec 31, 2007 12:48 pm

Just as a side note - the liquid dosen't glow very long when it is out of the tube either.

Glow sticks do show up very well at night in the open sea though. You can see them from miles (about 13 is my record) with the naked eye. A sailor could actually get into quite a bit of trouble for throwing glow sticks into the ocean since that indicates a man over-board.
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Post by canuck » Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:49 am

I'm worried that it'd be kind of annoying to go through that much tape and paracord, and be practically impossible if wearing winter gloves (at least my scenario).

....8 sticks and two pieces of duct tape, easy as can be AND opposingly positioned so they don't break when jostled.

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