Preppers and survivalists are known for their discipline and self-sufficiency, but that doesn’t make them immune from having one or two guilty pleasures like the common sheeple.
For instance, many preppers can’t resist adding to their collection of survival gizmos — whether it’s heavy-duty backpacks, high-tech self defense weapons, or the latest and greatest 99-in-1 multitools.
Yet amidst the razzle-dazzle of shiny new toys in the market, one humble prepping gear has stood the test of time: the paracord bracelet. This lightweight tool can save your butt in sticky situations, all while adding a touch of flair to your look.
Curious what the fuss is about? In this blog, we’ll share some of the best paracord bracelet patterns to try out so you can learn how to make a paracord bracelet like a pro.
Let’s get to it!
Originally developed as parachute suspension lines in World War II, the paracord has since evolved into a functional accessory for preppers and non-preppers alike. Whether you need a quick fix for minor inconveniences or a lifeline for dire situations, the paracord bracelet is a simple tool you’ll be glad to have on hand.
Here are the things you’ll need if you want to make this a permanent addition to your EDC kit:
- Paracord – Prepare at least two lines of 550 paracord, measuring 20 feet each. This may seem like a lot, but beginner paracordists often underestimate how much paracord is needed for a basic weave. Different patterns also require varying lengths of paracord, so it’s best to err on the safe side, especially if you want to try more advanced paracord bracelet patterns. Plus, you can always store the excess for later, should you wish to work on more paracord projects in the future.
- Scissors – Get a good pair of stainless steel utility shears to avoid fraying the ends of your paracord when you get to crafting. Frayed edges can expose the nylon fibers inside the paracord, compromising your survival bracelet’s integrity.
- Lighter – Have a lighter on hand to singe and seal off the ends of your paracord bracelet or bond two cords together after completing your weave. The Manny Method is another way of joining two lengths of paracord using a canvas needle. It’s more complicated for beginners, but it’s something to consider if you want a more secure hold. Otherwise, a lighter works just fine.
- Buckle or Clasp – Some paracord bracelet patterns don’t require a buckle or clasp to secure the bracelet onto the wrist. Still, we recommend attaching one to your paracord bracelet for practical purposes. A buckle or clasp lets you put the bracelet on and off with ease, making it more convenient for emergencies. It also holds your bracelet in place, so it doesn’t fall off when you’re doing strenuous activities.
- Attachments (Optional) – Paracord bracelets today come with all sorts of bells and whistles, like a flint and steel firestarter, a whistle, and a mini compass attached to the buckle or clasp. They’re like little trimmings for your tactical bracelet. Ultimately, they’re not necessary, but give them a go if you’re eager to save some room in your survival kit.
Paracord Bracelet Patterns
Once you’ve got the materials down, it’s time to decide which paracord bracelet pattern you want to make. The level of difficulty depends on which type of weave you choose. You may select your desired weave based on functionality or aesthetic appeal. The choice is yours!
To help you out, we’ve listed our recommendations for the best paracord bracelet patterns to make:
The cobra weave, also known as the square knot, is the most popular and basic weave for paracord bracelets. It consists of a series of interlocking knots that create a tight and durable weave. The cobra can be an excellent starter for beginners as it commonly sits as the foundation for more complex paracord bracelet patterns.
Once you master this weave, it will be easier to follow through the rest of the paracord bracelet patterns below.
King Cobra Weave
As the name suggests, the king cobra weave is a more advanced iteration of the cobra weave. This weave can hold a good amount of paracord on your wrist, perfect for incorporating small survival trinkets like a ferro rod or a fishing line seamlessly woven into the paracord. To recreate it, you’ll only need a single strand of 550 paracord measuring 18 to 20 feet long.
You may have already realized this, but there’s no shortage of snake-related variants in paracord bracelet patterns. What can we say? It’s nice to take inspiration from our slithering pals.
Create a visually stunning pattern using two different colors of paracord, as demonstrated in the paracord bracelet tutorial above. This viper weave, also known as the snake weave, is named for its resemblance to snake scales. It’s a more intricate type of weave that requires two strands of paracord woven together using a series of half and overhand knots.
The caged solomon is another tactical favorite. To create this bracelet, you’ll need two distinct lengths of paracord — one measuring 12 feet and another measuring 8 feet.
This paracord weave stands out because the shorter line of paracord can be removed and used independently without disassembling the entire bracelet. This way, you’ll still have a 12-foot-long paracord on your wrist if needed.
In the paracord bracelet tutorial above, the tutor takes his caged solomon weave up a notch by using a reflective cord to enhance the bracelet’s patterned look.
The fishtail weave is an excellent addition to your paracord bracelet collection because of its uniquely patterned look. This pattern is achieved by alternating knots over a midpoint, creating a pattern resembling fish scales. For a more striking look, you can play around with two contrasting colors of paracord.
Leveling up from the two-strand weaves, the trilobite weave uses three strands of paracord in a series of interlocking knots to create its braided look. The pattern uniquely resembles the exoskeleton of a trilobite, hence the name. With three lines of paracord, the finished product will give you a more substantial and durable bracelet for tactical use.
Fun fact: Paracord enthusiasts were thrilled to see a trilobite weave paracord bracelet featured in the 2015 film Mad Max: Fury Road. Dive into the paracord bracelet tutorial above to make your own Mad Max-inspired survival bracelet.
Diamond Knot Weave
The diamond knot is a decorative weave added to the center of a paracord bracelet. To create it, tie a series of loops to form a tight diamond pattern that’ll add a neat touch to the bracelet. This relatively simple weave can add more durability to your survival bracelet, making it a good option for everyday wear.
You can even use this knot to jazz up your other paracord projects.
Quick Release Wrap
The quick release wrap is excellent for tactical situations, making it the last must-try on our list of paracord bracelet patterns. As you’ve probably guessed, this weave allows you to quickly deploy the full length of paracord in critical situations. Likewise, you can easily rewind the cord back into the same pattern to remake the bracelet.
Apart from bracelets, you can apply the quick release wrap to make key fobs and decorative handles for your EDC gear.
Tactical Uses of a Paracord Bracelet
So we’ve checked out some cool paracord bracelet patterns, but do you really need one? The answer is a resounding yes! Since its inception, survival enthusiasts have discovered that the paracord can be a lifesaver in more ways than one.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the tactical uses of a paracord bracelet.
First off, the versatility of a paracord bracelet makes it a useful tool for building shelters. If you’re in a pinch, your trusty paracord can help you create a makeshift shelter using any of the following techniques:
- Use your paracord to fasten some branches and leaves together to build the main frame of your shelter.
- Unravel your paracord bracelet to make a sturdy ridge line from which to hang your shelter or hammock.
- Anchor the corners of your tarp shelter by fastening a paracord string to the ground or tying it from one tree branch to another.
Once you’ve constructed your shelter, you can even use your paracord to secure your gear or keep your food off the ground and away from critters.
In medical emergencies involving broken bones, a paracord bracelet can be handy for first aid purposes if professional help is unavailable. Unravel the paracord to create a makeshift sling to support injuries or use it as a temporary splint. For hygienic purposes, the nylon strands inside the paracord can also be used as a substitute for dental floss.
As a word of advice, don’t fall for the common misconception that a paracord can be used as a tourniquet to stop wounds from bleeding. A thin line of paracord won’t make an effective tourniquet and will only add unwarranted pressure to the injury. If you need to bind a wound, use a shirt or a thick towel instead for a more even application of pressure.
Paracord bracelets are more useful for hunting than you may think. While it may not be a standard hunting tool like your long-barreled rifle or Swiss army knife, seasoned hunters would agree that a paracord can be just as helpful, if not more. Here are some ways you can utilize a paracord bracelet in hunting:
- To hang a bear bag
- To create a bow drill
- To build a fishing lure
- To fashion a rock sling
- To create a makeshift bowstring
- To tie up and hang game for processing
- To make a snare to trap small animals for food
- To create a tripwire alarm around your campsite to warn against intruders
A paracord bracelet can also be a lifesaver when starting a fire. Many store-bought paracord bracelets already come with built-in flint and steel firestarters, but if your bracelet doesn’t have one, you can still use the nylon strands inside the paracord as tinder to start a fire. Fluff up the strands and ignite them with a lighter or matches.
Another way to start a fire with a paracord is by creating a makeshift bow drill. Use the paracord to create friction and generate heat from a stick and spindle, as demonstrated in the video above.
Carry Strap for Tools
Lastly, 550 paracord can double as a carry strap for tools, thanks to its impressive tensile strength of 550 pounds. Creating a loop through your bag handle or zipper saves some room inside your backpack. You can use it to securely attach your whistle, compass, bushcraft knife, or tactical flashlight.
This is especially helpful for tools you need quick access to, so you won’t have to dig through your bag in urgent situations. You won’t have to worry about the cord breaking, either, since a good paracord can withstand the weight of heavier tools.
A paracord bracelet offers practicality and style, making it a valuable accessory for anyone, whether you’re a seasoned outdoorsman or just a casual prepper. With a myriad of uses for hunting, first aid, and shelter-building, it’s more than just a fashion statement.
Knowing how to make a paracord bracelet can prepare you for unexpected situations and take you from point A to B someday. Plus, it’s simply a hassle-free tool to keep on hand.
So next time you’re out and about, don’t forget to rock your trusty paracord bracelet — it might just save your life (or at least make it a little easier)!
What are your favorite paracord bracelet patterns to rock? Share your thoughts in the comments below!