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Watch out duct tape, there is a new survival wunderkind on the block …. paracord. Type III paracord or 550 cord is so tough and dependable that it has been used to aid American heroes for decades. Long before the first paracord bracelets were braided together, it was used in military grade parachute cord suspension lines during World War II. Even by astronauts on the eighty-second mission of the Space Shuttle to make repairs on the Hubble Space Telescope.
Paracord bracelets are made from the 550 cord version of this lightweight nylon kernmantle rope because it is such a dependable multi-purpose utility cord. The “550” references the amount of pound pressure it can hold before snapping.
550 cord is also highly weather resistant. Even when exposed to rain and dampness, the cordage you use to make survival paracord bracelets will not mildew or rot.
All The Things We Can Do With Paracord
Preppers love survival tools and multipurpose emergency gear, that is why paracord is a staple in bugout bags. The durable and dependable characteristics of paracord, combined with its lightweight nature, are exactly why it is a perfect material for all types of survival gear, bushcraft, and homesteading projects.
Paracord bracelets are perhaps the most popular use for 550 cord. Initially these bracelets were just a basic weaving or braiding together of the cord, similar in style to the “friendship bracelets” little girls make with embroidery floss.
But, 550 cord bracelets designs have evolved greatly due in no small part to the materials ever increasing demand by the survival community.
Us, at The Atomic Bear, we make a great paracord bracelet. If you want to make your own and feel free to be inspired by our adjustable system. Some people even get our bracelets to see how they are made and made their own. Indeed, there is a buckle to adjust the bracelet size to fit almost any wrist size.
Make Your Own Simple Paracord Bracelets
To make a paracord bracelet you will need approximately 1 foot of 550 cord for every inch of knotted bracelet. The sheet bend knot and the cobra stitch knot are most commonly used when making paracord bracelets.
Type III 550 paracord is composed of seven core yarns - commonly referred to as ‘the guts’ by parachute cord bracelet makers. When you need a more fine piece of string in an emergency situation, you merely break or burn the ends of the bracelet. This will get them to open up, and then carefully peel apart the gut layers.
To comfortably wrap a typical adult human wrist, you will need enough parachute cord to fit around a roughly seven to eight inch wrist. It is essential to cut the paracord pieces to be used in braiding, weaving, or knotting to make the bracelet a couple of inches longer. This is needed so a side release buckle can be attached or a cinch knot can be applied.
Paracord Bracelet Making Tutorial
Advanced Paracord Bracelets
Not only can you buy paracord and make your own simple survival bracelets, you can also purchase a wide array of styles readymade - complete with built-in emergency gadgets.
Paracord bracelets can include a compass, fire starter, emergency knife, emergency whistle (bear bell) and a grand total of 12 feet of paracord. A paracord survival bracelet with a bear bell whistle is a favorite among survivalists and bushcrafters who anticipate spending time in wooded areas where these wild and majestic, yet deadly predators call home.
550 paracord bracelets also can double as emergency fishing tools. You can use the paracord to create not just a trotline or a fishing line, but also to craft a makeshift lure and to weave a fishing net. The more fine inner strands of the paracord bracelet material can even be used as a casting line, during an emergency scenario when you are trying to catch a protein-rich meal.
2. Snare Traps
Instead of using a loop of thin wire to make a simple snare trap, you can use a length of paracord. By opening ends of the Type III 550 cord the bracelet is made of, you can quickly and easily replace the thin wire commonly used to make a snare trap with the paracord.
Gather a rock and a few sticks and with paracord in hand you can make a trap that pulls tightly around the animal that becomes ensnared in your trap. Make the slipknot from the inner strands pulled from the paracord bracelet.
Paracord Snare Trap Tutorial
3. Emergency Shelter
Paracord is durable and dependable enough to be used to improvise an emergency shelter. A Type III 550 cord bracelet can be taken apart and used to connect fabric, a tarp, or emergency Mylar blankets to a tree to make an emergency tent-like shelter.
Creating a simple ridgeline system with paracord and any fabric type material you have on hand takes mere moments. It does not require any tool other than a sharp knife to cut the paracord into the desired lengths.
If you happen to carry The Atomic Bear emergency bivy sleeping bag, you can quickly make a shelter.
Paracord and Tarp Shelter Tutorial
4. Bow Drill
Possessing the ability to create fire is vital during an emergency disaster scenario. Using a lighter or matches is of course the easiest way to start a fire. There is no guarantee however that such handy survival tools will be available when you need them during a SHTF event.
Using the bow drill method (also commonly referred to as the fire drill method) relies upon the generation of friction to spark a flame and ultimately, heat. By attaching the 550 cord to a bow and wrapping it around a few times, covering the bow’s spindle in the process. The spindle will then be used to drill into your base board directly to spark the friction necessary to a fire.
Paracord Bow Tutorial
5. Trail Markers
Cordage from a survival bracelet can also be used to mark a path along a trail (rural or urban). This will either help prevent you from getting lost or so a loved one can find their way to you.
6. Water Guide
Tying the 550 cord across a body of water can serve as a guide that can be held onto when crossing deep or fast moving water. Or to create a makeshift pulley system to relay survival tools and supplies across.
7. Hanging Food
The Type III cord can be used to hoist food and wild game into a tree to protect it from ground predators and to help seclude it from prying eyes.
8. Rescue Line
A quickly deconstructed piece of parachute cord can be used as a rescue rope to help save someone from drowning, to move something or someone through deep mud, or even quicksand.
9. Tether or Picket Line
Use the survival bracelet to make a tether to secure your horse or other livestock to prevent them from running off when startled or to deter theft during a SHTF situation.
A paracord survival bracelet can be unknotted and unwoven and cut into smaller sections and used as handcuffs.
11. Rock Throwing Sling
The durable military grade cord can be knotted together to create a sturdy sling for throwing rocks at prey or predators. This basic survival tool takes only a few moments to make and can be used over and over again.
12. Emergency Medical Supplies
Paracord can also come in handy when an injury happens while out in the wilderness and during a long-term disaster. The 550 cord can be used as a tourniquet, to make a sling or splint, and the “guts” removed to get thread thin enough to be used for suturing.
Paracord survival bracelets can be the most effective and versatile survival tool in your bugout bag or as part of your EDC - every day carry gear. The many feet of cord woven together around your wrist do not weigh anymore than your average piece of jewelry. You can wear a 550 cord military grade bracelet on your wrist anywhere you go without drawing undo attention to the fact that you are packing a prepper device that could potentially save your life.
13. Survival Whistle: Alert Wild Life to Avoid Dangerous Encounters
Advanced paracord bracelets with a whistle built into the buckle offers a potentially life-saving survival tool right at your fingertips. There is no need to take the bracelet apart to quickly take advantage of the survival whistle.
You can whistle to alert a bear or other dangerous wild animals to your presence and scare them away from the path you are traveling. The paracord survival whistle can also be used to help loved ones or a search crew to find your location if you have become lost in the wilderness.
The whistle is also useful to alert potentially dangerous wild animals such as bears or mountain lions from a distance. This way, they'll know to avoid you. To find more about wild-life self-defense.
14. Dental Floss
Ok don't laugh here! You ask how can a paracord be used to floss? You'll need to first cut your rope and see the different strands inside. Each of them can be used as a fishing line... or a dental floss...
15. The Last but Not the Least: Start a Fire
The Cobra bracelets by The Atomic Bear has a fire starter ferrocerium rod hidden inside the buckle. The little metal part on top of the buckle is a striker. You can use this bracelet as a backup plan to start your fire. Survival is all about redundancy...
Survival bracelet is not only cool to wear, quick to 'pack' but above all very useful. It does not take much room in your backpack... in fact it is on your wrist. It is a perfect way to be prepared quickly when heading on a hike or to a camping trip. This is why we love helping outdoors enthusiasts to be prepared and having fun doing it.