Shoelaces are an often-overlooked component of any outdoor gear loadout. Virtually all shoes and boots already come with laces, and for many of us, they get the job done. As long as they stay tied and don't fray or snap, we tend to forget they're even there.

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Some experienced survivalists replace their boot laces with 550 paracord, as it provides an accessible source of emergency cordage. Others will take it a step further, and use flammable Fire Cord as laces—this special paracord contains a waxed internal wick that can easily be ignited with a ferrocerium rod or flint and steel. However, Wasatch Outdoors has combined all of these concepts into a single purpose-built pair of survival laces.

These second-generation Survival Laces from Wasatch Outdoors are composed primarily of 550 paracord, but with some important additions. Each set of specially-made laces contains all of the following items:

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  • Standard paracord with 550lb tensile strength, 7 braided nylon strands, and an outer sheath
  • Metal aglets sealing each end of the laces
  • Inside one lace: fishing line running the entire length
  • Inside the other lace: red waxed tinder strand running the entire length, plus a 1-inch ferro rod

The survival laces can be ordered in sizes from 48 inches to 84 inches, and in your choice of black or olive drab coloration.  Wasatch Outdoors also offers a survival lace for hoodie sweatshirts, so you can replace the rarely-used hood pull cord with something much more useful. The MSRP of the boot laces is currently $18, and the hoodie lace is available for $12.

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Our only concern about the design of these laces is the glaring omission of a striker for the ferro rod. Sure, most users will already have a knife on hand to generate sparks, but if you ended up stranded with only the clothes on your back, you'd have a hard time finding a suitable striker in the wild. A sharp rock fragment or piece of glass or ceramic would get the job done, but you'd still have to search for it. A hard edge on one of the metal aglets would work well, but the current design appears to lack this element.

Aside from this one potential issue, we could see these survival laces serving as a useful backup tool in your loadout. They take traditional paracord or Fire Cord laces to the next level. To learn more about these laces, visit

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