Of the many survival situations that one thinks of, broken shoelaces probably isn’t very high on the list. It should be, though. Good laces go hand in hand with good shoes. Don’t believe me? Try hiking all day in your favourite shoes or boots, but with broken laces!
The risk of breaking a lace on the trail should be just one more reason to bring along some kind of cordage on your next hike.
About a month and a half ago, while I was tightening up my Treksta Assault
hiking boots, the lace broke. No problem. I managed to repair it with two knots and I was up and running.
Fast-forward to last Friday. My wife called me to let me know the 4×4 had lodged itself wheel-deep in a roadside problem, so I quickly sprang into my boots. Unfortunately, I sprung too hard and broke the lace a second time. Sadly, it couldn’t be fixed and I had to retire my boots until a replacement lace could be found–except, I couldn’t find one.
As I puzzled over solutions, I asked myself the question: what would I have done if this had happened on a hiking trip? The answer was clear: paracord (Yet another use! It really is the hiker’s cure-all, like duct tape).
I always bring paracord along with me on a hike. Proper military grade paracord can support 550 lbs of weight and is very versatile. I use it for a lot of projects. In this case, my Olive drab paracord would have to serve as new laces for my hiking boots. It was a straight-forward project and easy do do.
All I needed was: paracord, a knife and lighter.
I started by pulling out my good lace and measuring out a length of paracord against it. Then, with my knife I cut off the length of paracord.
Next, I took the lighter and melted each of the ends of paracord down by running the flame up and down the last half of inch of it. Using the lighter, I shaped it the tip into a point that would fit through the laces.
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Then, I simply laced the Paracord through the eyes of the shoe. The end result was very satisfying. They look decent enough to wear around town, they are much stronger than my previous laces, and in an emergency I can sacrifice them or at least part of them to gain a lot of good cordage.
TELL US. What’s your cord of choice for backpacking or hiking? Do you wear paracord bracelets or belts on the trail for use in emergencies? What stories can you share of how you’ve used cordage in an emergency?