This story was originally published on OFFGRID. Words by Patrick McCarthy.

Whether it's an extension cord in the garage, a charging cable for your phone, or a fishing line in your tackle box, few things are more frustrating than pulling on a loose end only to watch the remainder tighten into a jumbled rat's nest. Sometimes, it seems like tangles are all but inevitable, but if you're diligent about storing your cords in an organized fashion, you won't need to waste time unraveling a labyrinth of knots.

how to store knot-free paracord

Paracord that's stored loose like this won't stay neat for long. Photo: OFFGRID

Paracord is an important resource for any survival kit, since mil-spec varieties contain many useful inner strands and are capable of holding 550lbs of weight (or more). However, you'll need to establish a carry system that will avoid tangles and provide quick access to as much cord as you need. We've previously discussed the basic cord bundle method, but we recently came across another convenient type of paracord storage: the paracord donut.

how to store knot-free paracord

The paracord donut. Photo: OFFGRID

The paracord donut looks like it might be complicated to make, but it's surprisingly simple. Just wrap the end of a strand of paracord around your hand a few times, and begin pulling the long end through loops in an up-down-up-down pattern. The video below from Paracord Guild shows how it's done:

This process can be continued indefinitely, with each pass around the circumference making the donut thicker. This shape can easily be retained on your existing gear by running a strap, carabiner, or post through the donut hole. Then, when you need some cordage, just pull on the loose end until the amount you need has unraveled. No more tangles, and no more digging in your pack for a long, thin bundle of paracord.

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