How to Make Survival Bracelets

Written by chrissie reinhart
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How to Make Survival Bracelets
Nylon cord has many uses. (Coils of a cord image by Alexander Oshvintsev from

When exploring the wilderness, it's important to be prepared. You can't simply stop by the store if you find that you need something. One useful thing that you might not think to take is a bit of rope. Rope stands in for a broken shoelace, binds broken gear, ties food out of reach of animals or lashes injured limbs to splints. If you make and wear a survival bracelet, you'll never be without rope again.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Scissors
  • Lighter
  • Tape measure
  • 550 paracord, 10 feet

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  1. 1

    Measure and cut 2 feet of cord. Light the lighter and hold the ends of the rope briefly to the flame. The nylon will melt, preventing fraying.

  2. 2

    Fold the cord in half and wrap it around your wrist. Slip the loose ends through the loop on the folded end and tie the loose ends with an overhand knot. Adjust the knot placement so that you can slide a finger under the cord. Remove the cord from your wrist and set it aside.

  3. 3

    Cut 8 feet of paracord and burn the ends to prevent fraying. Lay the length out horizontally on your work surface. Find the middle of the 8-foot cord and place the tied 2-foot section of cord there to form a 'T' with the looped end up and the knot forming the bottom of the 'T'.

  4. 4

    Hold the 8-foot section and the vertical looped cord down with your left hand and pull the cord from the right over the two-foot section so that part of it is on the left side, making a backward S or a curvy Z.

  5. 5

    Loop the left portion of cord over the middle leg of the Z. Bring it under the vertical cord then thread it between the vertical cord and the horizontal cord, bringing it over the horizontal cord so it looks like a pretzel. Grab both ends of the horizontal cord and pull them tight, leaving a loop exposed on the end of the vertical cord. The overhand knot at the bottom of the vertical cord should fit through this loop.

  6. 6

    Reverse the knot-tying process by taking the cord from the left arm of the T and curving it over the top of the vertical cord so it looks like an S.

  7. 7

    Loop the cord from the right over the middle section of the S, under the vertical cord, then up and over the horizontal cord. Pull tight, creating a knot on the other side.

  8. 8

    Repeat Steps 4 through 7 until you're about a quarter inch from the overhand knot on the vertical cord.

  9. 9

    Test the fit of your bracelet by looping it around your wrist and slipping the knotted end through the loop on the opposite end. Adjust the position of the knot as needed.

  10. 10

    Cut the loose ends and melt them so they don't fray. To use, slip the ends of the cord out and unweave the series of knots.

Tips and warnings

  • You may add a button, toggle or other closure method if the knot is insufficient to keep the bracelet fastened.

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