Jute Twine – Para-Cord’s Old School, All Natural Cousin

Cordage is an important part of any Tactical Handyman’s EDC (every day carry) or survival kit. The cordage of choice in these types of kits is often para-cord due to its compact size, decent tensile strength, multiple uses, and relatively low price. I carry para-cord whenever I am in the woods just because it has come in handy so many times, but, recently, I have found myself using jute twine just as often.

Jute twine can be used for many of the same survival applications as para-cord.

Jute Twine is useful for many of the same tasks that you would typically use para-cord like lashing branches when building shelter, or stringing up a tarp or poncho. In fact, I have found that it stretches less than para-cord under load. I actually prefer it for keeping the lines on a tarp shelter taught even though I might have to double up the lines to keep them from breaking on windy days. It weighs less than para-cord and costs less too.

Jute Twine’s versatility comes from the fact that is an excellent fire making aid. It can be shredded easily with a knife or sharp rock. Once the jute twine is sufficiently frayed it can be lightly folded into a bundle that will readily catch fire when it catches a spark. You can also add small wood chips, twigs, fatwood, pine resin, shredded bark, or other tinder to the  jute twine to make a tinder bundle. A few feet of jute twine and a ferro rod make an excellent fire starting combination.

Cut a short section of jute twine.

Shred the twine by mincing, scraping, and slicing with your knife.

Roll the shredded twine into a bundle. You can add other tinder to the bundle if you wish. This bundle will readily catch a spark like those from a ferro rod.

Sadly, jute twine is not perfect. It is not as strong as para-cord and it can begin to rot in just a few days, especially if it gets wet. The ends can also fray very easily and can not be melted to control the fraying like para-card. However, given its versatility as both cordage and a very efficient fire making aid, there is definitely room for several feet of jute twine in anyone’s kit.

4 Responses to Jute Twine – Para-Cord’s Old School, All Natural Cousin

  1. Ben February 1, 2011 at 02:41 #

    It never really dawned on me but couldn’t para-cord also be used to start fire? I know when I melt the ends it makes fire, and a napalm like goo.

    • Matt February 1, 2011 at 07:40 #

      It might work as a flame extender. I guess I’ll have to give it a try.

  2. Doug Bishop February 1, 2011 at 09:05 #

    Matt is definetly right on the jute twine. It makes fire starting easy enough that my 8 and 6 yr old kids have used it to do so.


  1. Igniter Zipper Pull from RE Factor Tactical | Jerking the Trigger - April 1, 2014

    […] RE Factor Tactical’s new Igniter Zipper Pull is an easy to carry cordage/fire kit that has 3 main components: 4′ of paracord, a small ferro rod, and an 8″ piece of jute twine. It rides on just about any zipper until it is needed. The paracord is to be used as emergency cordage. The ferro rod can be used to spark a fire with the jute twine (see this post for how to use jute twine). […]

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