Whether it comes in the form of a paracord lanyard, bracelet, watchband, belt or rifle sling, paracord is hands down one of the most useful and versatile accessories. And not only for preppers and survivalists, but for just about anyone.
Even if you’ve never heard the term, you must have met Her Majesty the Paracord. Basically, it looks like a round, smooth-surfaced lace made of interwoven nylon strands. That’s why this type of cord is extremely durable but also elastic to a certain extent.
The “para” in paracord comes from the parachute world, where it was used by the US military. And when the military uses an item, there’s gotta be something special about it. In the case of paracord, the special flavor is reliability.
A beautiful thing about it is that you can tie or untie and reuse your paracord lanyard, weave a few strands to make it even stronger, or even unravel it if you need narrow or finer thread. And you don’t even have to to haul a 1,000-feet spool of paracord around just because it’s such an awesome survival item. No need to even allocate some room for it in your bug out bag. A lanyard, bracelet or any other item that you can wear on your person at all times will usually suffice. And you know the old prepper’s rule: any survival item that you can wear on your person is priceless. Especially if it’s made of paracord!
It comes in many weights, but you’ll only be interested in 550 and 750lb paracord. In plain English, it means it breaks at 550 or whopping 750 pounds. That’s what I call tough!
How to Make a Paracord Lanyard?
To make your own paracord lanyard or bracelet, you only need three items: some five feet of 550 paracord, a nice and sturdy snap hook, and a lighter. The only tricker thing is the cobra knot, but this video takes all guesswork out of the process.
So there’s your five feet of safety line neatly tucked into a paracord lanyard for your survival knife, keys, or any other item you tend to carry everywhere.
The process is similar for a paracord bracelet, except you’ll need an ordinary plastic clip.
If it brings you some more peace of mind, you can always make one (or more) of each. In that case, make sure to use different colors. Sometimes, black, gray or camo work best. Other times, you’ll need bright colors so your paracord could stand out and be easily detectable in nature.
You can also use the even tougher 750 paracord, which is a true tactical beast that can even tow a car!
29 Ways to Use a Paracord Lanyard or Bracelet for Survival
- Build a shelter or tent. Of course, you can’t make it exclusively from paracord. You’ll at least need a piece of tarp. But paracord will help you fasten many things, tie or secure poles.
- Fishing line. You can’t use the whole thread for fishing. But if you unravel it, you’ll get (at least) 32 nylon lines.
- Fishing lure. Bright-colored paracord lanyard will work best for this purpose. Take a small scrap of the paracord, melt one end and unravel the other.
- Fishing net. This is the last fishing use, I promise! A nice thing about it is that you can make it entirely out of paracord. And since there are multiple strings woven together, you’ll surely have enough.
- Measure distances, dimensions and circumferences. You need five feet of this magic rope for your paracord lanyard. Even though using it for measuring is not very precise, it will give you a rough picture.
- Tourniquet. This elastic rope will do an excellent job of stopping the bleeding. Just make sure not to overdo it or else you might end up damaging the soft tissue.
- Splint. If there’s a severe limb injury, wrap the limb in a soft piece of clothing, put a stick and secure it with your paracord.
- Wound suture. Note, however, that this is not recommendable unless it’s your last resort. And you should really know what you’re doing! Just like the fishing line, this one needs a thin thread, so you’ll have to unravel your paracord lanyard. (Check out how to suture wounds here.)
- Sewing thread. If a paracord lanyard works for stitching wounds, it will also work for mending your clothes or underwear. Don’t worry about the looks – when SHTF, no one will care about such trivialities!
- Tow rope. Like I said above, it’s ideal to use the stronger 750 paracord. But even if you only have the 550 weight in your paracord lanyard, it can do the job, especially if you weave a few lines together.
- Ladder. With the help of a few sturdy sticks, this is not a particularly difficult DIY. You can even make the ladder out of paracord entirely. Just make sure to master your paracord knots first!
- Fastener. While in the city, you can use actual shoelaces, drawstrings, straps and other fasteners. In the backcountry, however, your paracord can double as any of these items.
- Binding things together. Shoving various bulky items in your bug out vehicle sounds easier than it is. But if you use the paracord to tie them up, you’ll have more room for… more stuff!
- Leash or collar for your dog or livestock. There isn’t a pet store next door in your bug out retreat!
- Make snowshoes. You know how impossible it is to walk through deep snow. Well, if you tie some tree branches together and fasten them to your shoes, your winter hike will be much easier.
- Hang stuff on tree branches. Maybe you want to secure an ample supply of food that could attract wildlife. Or maybe it’s the wildlife itself after you hunted it down. Unless it weighs over 550 pounds, it will hang there for as long as you need it to.
- Make a spear. Just pull a piece of paracord through your knife’s hole so as to tie the knife to a wooden pole, and there you have it.
- Attach various things to your neck or belt. This is the most obvious use for any lanyard. But a paracord lanyard will help you keep your keys, a knife, or your credit card at hand, in a convenient and safe place.
- Fire tinder. Some manufacturers such as Titan are deeply aware of paracord’s many survival uses, which is why they add more in-built functionality. In this case, the paracord contains strings of fishing line, wire, and fire tinder.
- Self-defense. Of course, your paracord lanyard can’t replace a defense weapon. But it can serve as a garrote and can even help you restrain an attacker or tie them to a tree until you come up with a solution.
- Bow drill. This friction-based method of starting a fire has been around since forever. Well, you can use paracord for the bow.
- Survival slingshot of bow string. I remember doing it as a kid, while I was practicing primitive survival in my own, primitive way. But I won’t hesitate doing it as an adult again if need be – this time, using my paracord lanyard.
- Clean hollow tubes, pipes or hoses. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the easiest and most precise way of cleaning hardly accessible parts. For example, it works great on my rifle bore when I can’t carry my bore brush.
- Make traps or snares. Due to its weight, paracord is not the best solution for this. But if you unravel it and use individual strings, it can do the trick with smaller animals.
- Dental floss. We all know how vital oral hygiene is wherever you are. Improvise a floss out of a single paracord string. Paired with DIY toothpaste, it will keep your dental health a notch closer to what we’re used to in regular circumstances.
- Wrap your handles to make them non-slippery. That way, you’ll be able to use that awesome knife of yours even when you’re all sweaty or wet.
- Rescue rope. If someone is drowning or fell into a hole, this beast of a tool will come in handy.
- Tie your hair. When you think of it, most hair ties are similar to a paracord.
- Set up a primitive alarm system. You can encircle your shelter with some paracord and add a bottle full of stones to function as a rattle. When someone or something ties to sneak up on you, it won’t protect you, but at least you’ll know they’re coming.