Monday, December 16, 2013

Paracord Bracelets: How to Save Your Character's Life


paracord bracelet
 (Photo credit: Carriagehouse2011)
Here's a fun project and very useful.

Paracord comes in all kinds of colors from pink to blaze orange and camo.

What you'll need:
Paracord - 10 feet
Bracelet latches
a lighter

Video Quick Study This is the tutorial you will need to put it together - very very simple clear instructions.


Add a key chain ring and small carabiner so that when not able to use it as a bracelet (because it wouldn't be office or Sunday wear, for example) then someone could still slip it into their pocket and have help at hand. This is also a great addition for the person who throws their keys in their backpack or purse and is forever losing them - they can just snap the bracelet over the strap, and they are now easily accessible.

You can incorporate a tiny compass towards the clasp.

If your recipient is a fisherman or camper or hiker, you might want to go to a little extra time and expense to make them a survival bracelet with fishing gear incorporated. - won't they be impressed? Video Quick Study (23:46) Watch the basic video first.

Fire Starter Survival Bracelet - Video Quick Study very cool indeed.

These can also be made into belts like the one my son made for my husband last Christmas. This provides 1 foot of survival rope per 1" of belt so a 34" waist offers over 10 yards of cordage which could come in very handy. (Do not buy small packages as above - buy it by the yrd.)

How to Save Your Character's Life with a Paracord Bracelet.

A paracord bracelet provides two five-foot sections of cordage when needed. Simply unravel the bracelet and voila! 

It's called 550 paracord because it is supposed to be able to support 550lbs before it breaks. That's pretty impressive.

Well chances are in the everyday world people would run into NORMAL problems that could be remedied with some paracord:

1. Replace shoe laces while your out and about.
2. Lowering objects down inclines - pulling things up when hiking.
3. Basic first aid when out for a walk like tying on a splint, creating an arm sling, or tying cloth to an open
4. Make-do lead if you find a dog and need to walk it home.
5. Tie down the trunk when you bought too many Christmas gifts
6. Tie the tree to the roof of the car when you forgot your bungees
7. Tie your hair back when you get hot and sweaty (actually just wrap the braclet around 2x and clasp.
8. Replace a zipper pull
9. Inner strands can be used for dental floss 
10 Secure something to you such as a water bottle or other object you're afraid to lose

There are all kinds of uses for the paracord bracelet and as long as you don't cut the line, it can be quickly and easily re-tied for the next need.

But your character probably isn't getting off that easily. Knowing you, they are hacking through a jungle or left for dead at the bottom of the ravine. Now let's get them home safely so they can pour out their heart to the one they love, kiss, and live happily ever after.

Remember there are FOUR things to put in place for survival: Shelter, Fire, Water, Food

* Traps for food 
* The inner strands can be used for fishing.
   Video Quick Study (14:43) This uses the fishing
   paracord bracelet from above. If your heroine
   doesn't have this particular kind, she can use a bobby
   pin, paper clip etc.   

* Use for your tie down on a poncho tent
* Tie together sticks to form a debris hut

* Help create a bow drill to start a fire.

*Clothes line
* Inner strands can be used for sewing to repair clothes and equipment
* Hang a bear bag
* In a car accident it could tie a door open when on an
   incline, allowing the heroine to work on the victim
* String a trip wire to protect an area especially if your heroine can tie cans on the line
* For a trip line if your heroine is being pursued.
* Garrote for choking out the villain without breaking a nail. 
* Tying up the bad guy until the authorities can get there
* Rig a pulley system to raise heavy objects (maybe your heroine loved her physics class)
* If your heroine has to get the injured hero out of the woods she can use the paracord to create a
   branch drag to move the person. (I'm not saying this is going to be easy - I'm just saying it's better than
   leaving him in the woods with the predators)

EDIT - a reader asked me how to un-ravel the bracelet to have access to the ropes, so I made this video of me gnawing on the paracord, LOL!

And what if the paracord roping is not long enough, and your heroine needs to join the two pieces together securely?

Video Quick Study (14:04) Man goes into the woods with only the clothes on his back and his paracord 
                               bracelet to start his fire, create shelter, and provide his food.
Video Quick Study  (14:19) 101 uses(ish). 

And there you have it - handy-dandy piece of EDC for your hero or heroine.

Thank you so much for stopping by. And thank you for your support. When you buy my books, you make it possible for me to continue to bring you helpful articles and keep ThrillWriting free and accessible to all.

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  1. I finally got around to making one of these things. It took longer than I thought. The instructions on the video from that guy in Arkansas are pretty clear for the most part but I did have to modify a couple of things for myself to make it work better. Once you figure out how to get it going it goes pretty smoothly until the end. I did have an issue with my bracelet being too big at first. The thing nearly slipped off my hand when I put it on the first time and I had to unwind it a bit to go back and tighten it up.

    How do you add the keychain or compass to it? I just looped it through a keyring for the moment. Also, how would you unwind it to actually use it? It occurred to me after I put it together I'd have no idea how to use it to do anything if I had to. It'd be hard for a heroine (or me) to use it to lift tree branches, trip and tie up the bad guy, make a fire, strangle her mother-in-law, etc. if she can't unwind it.

  2. I LOVE that you try out my blogs and then give me feed back. Thank you so much!

    I'm going to get some more materials and put a video together showing just that. I'll give you a heads-up on Twitter that it's been added in.


  3. Great post. I've made these as gifts for years. Although I've never made one for myself, I always carry paracord when I'm out and about. Your list of uses is spot on, as I've used it for at least half of the things you mentioned. Mostly to replace shoe laces, though.
    Again, good job with the post. Outdoor survival info doesn't show up on writing blogs as much as it should.

    1. Thanks so much Erik. I always love it when someone can confirm that this information really works in real life situations.


  4. I am so going to use one of these tricks for my protagonist, a cat burglar. I think it will add a lot to her expertise. Thank you!

  5. I am speechless. You are da bomb, plain and simple.

  6. My paracord bracelet just started unraveling today at one end. Any idea what could have caused it after nearly 6 months?

    1. You probably wore down the place that you melted to make a stopper. Just tuck everything back together and melt it again and it should be fine.

    2. I never did come back and tell you, I ended up having to cut the ends that came unraveled off the bracelet. There wasn't any way I could work them back into the bracelet without taking the whole thing apart and I thought it was easier to just lose a couple of inches of paracord than to do that. If you know what one looks like you can tell it's missing a loop at the very end but I don't think it was too big a loss. If it starts coming unraveled again though I'll know I should've done something different with it.