The cord I’ve been using for a decade is finally available online. I got tired of paying the high prices for paracord in the 1990’s and switched to using commercial fishing twine. It’s tough and much cheaper than paracord. The place where I get it recently added an online store.
To check out the cord, go to: New England Marine And Industrial. This link takes you to their rope page. Scroll down to the “Twine” heading. The stuff I use for general use is the #550 braided nylon and the #550 poly dacron.
Unlike paracord, the #550 here doesn’t indicate tensile strenght; it’s a measure of how many linear feet are in one pound of it. Armed with this knowledge, you should also know that the #400 braided nylon is great for setting up heavy canvas tents (big base-camp tents such as 12×14, etc. – the #550 is all I use for my 10×12 tents). And that the tarred twine is great for making nets, with the tar giving it an extended life span. They price all the cord by the pound, weighing each spool.
This outfit also sells oilskin tarps at really low prices, but while I’ve seen them at the store I couldn’t find them on their site. You could always call or email if that’s what you’re looking for.