Survival Skill: Make Your Own Paracord Bracelet

Woven 550-cord bracelets are great, but do you think you’ll have the requisite five minutes to unravel the thing in an emergency? You might not. A hank of cord and a few simple knots will produce a survival bracelet that you can deploy in mere seconds. Here’s how to put one together.

Start with an 8-foot section of 550 cord. Melt any cut ends with a lighter to keep them from unraveling. Fold the cord in half and tie the two ends together with an overhand knot. Drape the cord over your wrist and thread the knotted end through the bend (loop). Wrap the doubled cord around your wrist several times, leaving it a little bit loose.

When you have about 8 inches of doubled cord remaining, wrap the doubled cord around your bundle and underneath itself, then go back in the opposite direction. Continue wrapping around the bracelet until you reach the bend that started the bracelet. Tuck your knot through the loop and the bracelet is secured.

My best time I’ve clocked so far with one-handed deployment is 39 seconds, but I’m hoping to get my unravel time down to 30 seconds or less with a little more practice. Of course there are many options in cord length and knot choices for things like this. Try this survivalcraft for yourself and then devise your own configuration. Just because our primary concerns are secure cord storage and rapid deployment, that doesn’t mean it can’t look cool too.

Do you have a practical way to carry your 550 cord? We’d love to hear about it in the comments.

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To read more from Tim MacWelch, follow him on Twitter (@TimMacWelch) and purchase his survival manuals, including the latest: How to Survive Anything