A Parachute is a large canopy of cloth or other material held to the jumper's body by lines attached to a harness. The simple parachute affords only a small degree of control of the direction and rate of descent, for it is largely at the mercy of the wind and drift effects.
Please see Grav Parachute for a higher-tech, related device.
Parachutes can use either static cord releases (the chute is tripped automatically as the individual jumps) or ripcord release (either activated by the individual or by an automatic device preset for a given altitude). A static cord jump must be made from a minimum of 100 meters altitude and results in immediate deployment of the chute. The ripcord deployment requires 200 meters minimum altitude, but it also permits jumps from much greater heights with the chute opening delayed until the 200-meter level is reached.
A basic parachute weights 10-15 kilograms; when packed, it fits into a pack worn either on the back or the front of the jumper's body. Many parachute packs incorporate a reserve parachute for use in case of faulty deployment of the main chute.