Having paracord bracelets can save your life in different ways: signaling, building a shelter, and a lot more!
RELATED: How To Make A Survival Bracelet
In this article:
- Who Uses Paracord Bracelets?
- What Makes Paracord Bracelets Worth It?
- Reasons Why You Should Learn to Make Paracord Bracelets
10 Ways to Use a Paracord Bracelet to Save Your Life
Who Uses Paracord Bracelets?
The materials used for paracord bracelets are not new. I first learned about the paracords (or 550 cords) when I was on active duty as a United States Marine.
Our gear was always “dummy-corded” using it. When we were out in the field, the military paracords was our go-to cordage.
I immediately appreciated its durability. What impressed me more are their multipurpose applications.
To understand the essence of paracord bracelets, learn a part of its history. It was the US military who first used the paracord in parachute suspension lines.
It's also how it got its name. A nylon sheath enclosed the cords made up of individual strands.
The military paracord (military-spec Type III) had a minimum breaking strength of 550 pounds. It's the reason why its other name is 550 cord.
Paracord is so versatile the astronauts even used it to repair the Hubble Space Telescope on one of its missions. It is also a favorite of our military community.
Lately, the doomsday preppers and other survivalists greatly embrace its benefits.
When it comes to emergency preparedness, cordage is one of the top items on my list. It’s a must when I need to build a shelter or even to lash some poles together for Dutch oven cooking.
The survival community uses it to as their preferred cordage when SHTF. The integration of 550 cord into everyday items is now a staple for those focused on emergency preparation.
What Makes Paracord Bracelets Worth It?
I own several different pieces of gear with paracords. I constantly see hundreds more! It's pretty impressive how popular they've become.
There are dog leashes, rifle slings, belts, necklaces, and even iPhone cases made from the 550 cord. The one item that tends to be the most common is the paracord bracelet.
It is likely there is always a paracord bracelet for sale online and offline. Most big-box department stores carry them. Oftentimes, they are right at the checkout stand.
First, they are pretty cool and you can choose from different paracord bracelet patterns. You can find a military paracord bracelet where you can add dog tags.
There is also a custom paracord bracelet, where you can include your company logo. If you don't want to buy one, you can teach yourself how to make a paracord bracelet.
In fact, YouTube is full of easy paracord bracelet instructions and DIY guides. Since they are easy to personalize, they appeal to diverse markets.
In the process, they obtained worldwide exposure. These paracord bracelets will go a long way in helping you to express a bit about yourself.
Most importantly, it can save your life in a pinch! People also want to show their peers they take preparedness seriously.
Some of these paracord bracelets have become pretty ingenious small survival kits. There also comes with many useful features.
A braided paracord bracelet may have whistles, Ferro rods, fishing line, and compasses. These “extras” are visible, although sometimes you can hide them in the paracord sheath.
Reasons Why You Should Learn to Make Paracord Bracelets
Now you know how something as simple as a fishtail paracord bracelet can appeal to our ego. It's time to know some of its essential applications:
Being able to use ropework (lashing) to build the necessities during a crisis is imperative. Shelters, cooking stations, and even gateways can go a long way in improving an SHTF scenario.
In the field, we usually have little trouble finding wood to assist us with our projects. When it comes to the actual rope, we have to make sure we have enough to accomplish our goals.
Paracord bracelets can have anywhere between 8 and 12 feet of cord. If you were to take the sheath off and expose the inner strands, you can tie those together to have even more rope at your disposal.
Whether you are wearing your bracelet or attaching it to the webbing on your bug-out bag, having access to cordage can be the difference between life and death during a crisis.
2. Fishing with Paracord
I have seen a few of my peers utilize an inner strand of a 550 cord as a fishing line — quite successfully, I may add. There are various paracord manufacturers who integrate a strand of 15- to 25-pound of test fishing line into their cords.
You still get all the benefits of a Military-Spec 550 cord. You also have the fishing line which bodes really well in an emergency.
3. Fire Building
As I mentioned earlier, the buckles on paracord bracelets can offer some additional features besides just being a clasp. I recently reviewed a paracord bracelet containing a small Ferro rod and scraper in its buckles.
The rod is small, but it does the job. I was able to get a spark onto my tinder within a couple of strikes.
If I lose my Ferro rod or even my lighter, it is good to know I can count on the bracelet to help me start a fire.
There are also paracord manufacturers who bundle a strand of jute twine. This material is an excellent source of tinder.
It can help to get your fire started in less-than-ideal conditions. Once again, I look at paracord bracelets as a source of insurance.
If my main tools are unavailable for whatever reason, I still have the redundancy in my bracelets.
Certain scenarios, though, such as waiting for rescue, will need you to do the opposite. You need to do whatever you can to alert would-be rescuers.
Signal mirrors and whistles are a common feature found in many paracord bracelets. These devices are small and may not be ideal.
In an emergency, though, “ideal” is not something you can expect. In fact, it rarely manifests.
What you need is access to something that works. It's better than having none at all.
5. Shelter Building
A rope is harder to come by or even make during an emergency. Once again, having paracord bracelets can give you enough rope to get the job done.
I keep a great deal of 550 cord in my bug-out bag. But if the SHTF, I may not have time to grab my pack.
In addition, I may have lost my pack in the process of getting to safety. Wearing a few items, like my paracord bracelet, on a daily basis gives me a fighting chance.
6. Paracord Trap and Snare
Food may not be available after a crisis. We may have to gather, fish, hunt, or trap and snare.
Paracord bracelets will go a long way toward helping you with your trapping and snaring. Some of them already have a snare wire.
It is an excellent feature since it does a better job than a nylon strand. You can also maintain the integrity of your 550 cord by leaving it intact.
7. Field-Expedient Handcuffs
Being able to call 911 and get a response will most likely not be an option when SHTF. They will receive a high volume of calls. Another problem is the jam-up cell towers. They may prevent your calls from getting through.
The need to restrain individuals until the proper authorities arrive may be in your future. Handcuffs may not be something we will have access to during an emergency.
Being able to make your own may be your best bet. You do not want some idiots lurking around your family at basecamp.
Things will be tough enough as is. You can learn how to tie a paracord bracelet and make it into cuffs.
The person in handcuffs will need to be compliant, but there are plenty of methods to make it happen.
Being able to navigate or orient yourself during an emergency is vital. Having a GPS or compass in your kit is a priority.
In a crisis, though, things almost never go as planned. Many paracord bracelets come with a compass.
It may be attached by a clip or embedded into the buckle. These are not the best choice for finding your path.
It's better than nothing, however. Be sure to test the compass in the paracord bracelets with your primary one.
It will let you know if you have a valid source to find the magnetic north. If the paracord compass is part of a buckle or clasp, remove it in an emergency situation.
This way, no metallic items are interfering with your reading. Even a simple Ferro rod present can throw off your compass reading.
Give yourself the best possible chance of finding your way when the SHTF.
9. Paracord Shoelaces
Shoelaces may not seem like a big deal. When you are moving out on foot and one of them snaps, these laces become important.
Without it, it feels like having a pebble caught in your shoe. The discomfort can lead to an even greater risk in accomplishing your goals.
Those paracord bracelets can also function as shoelaces. Many people even choose to use them instead of the standard ones today.
You can take apart these cords and convert them into shoelaces. You can also reuse the paracords in a time of need by undoing them.
10. Sewing/Gear Repairs
Being able to patch up your gear while on the move is a must if you want to survive during a crisis. Unserviceable gear usually becomes a useless one.
If you need to sew, you can unravel the paracord bracelets, then you can use the strands as your thread. As long as it passes through the needle, you can make a damaged gear as good as new!
Whether it’s your backpack, harness, or even clothing, having the option to sew will extend the life of your gear. A paracord bracelet can provide plenty of sewing thread for diverse projects while in the field.
Find out more on how to make an outstanding paracord survival bracelet in this video from BoredParacord:
Paracord bracelets have a lot of uses, especially during emergencies. Remember, though, you can have all the designs available. If you do not learn how to work these tools, they can still be useless.
It is as if you don’t have them with you, to begin with. Train hard as if your life depends on the paracord. It is what preparedness is all about.
Do you know of other uses for paracord bracelets? Let us know in the comments section below.
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If you’re looking for useful survival gear that you can’t make at home, check out the Survival Life Store!
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Editor's Note: This article was originally published on August 6, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.