Any survivalist worth his salt knows the value of paracord in an emergency situation. Used in everything from emergency shelter to stitching up wounds, parachute cord is a versatile tool, packing high tensile strength into a shoelace-sized package. A paracord bracelet keeps a significant length of cord in a compact accessory, so you'll never be without it when crisis strikes.
Paracord is a shorthand name for military-grade parachute cord, usually rated with a minimum weight bearing of 550 pounds. It can easily be found through army surplus stores, outdoor and camping stores and online. Paracord is highly useful in survival situations, having the strength and versatility to be used in emergency tourniquets, traps for food, lashings for makeshift structures, improvised clotheslines, tie-downs for tarps, tents or equipment, and a variety of other uses.
Bracelets made from paracord are a simple way to keep a length of this versatile stuff with you all the time. In addition to bracelets, many people will also use paracord to fashion key chains, zipper pulls and lanyards for other uses.
Making the Bracelet
Start with a single length of cord, about 10 feet long or more. Cut the ends and melt them to prevent the cord from unraveling. Be careful, as melted nylon fibers are hot enough to seriously burn.
To make the main bracelet, you will braid the cord using a sinnet, a plaited braid. The most common version used in this style bracelet is the Portuguese sinnet; however, other styles may also be used, such as the chain sinnet or crown sinnet.
You may also make your bracelet using a Turk's Head winding pattern. This is a winding circular braid which derives its name from its resemblance to a wound turban, worn in the Turkish style. Repeat the steps of your chosen pattern until you have sufficient length for your bracelet.
Clasps and Closures
Now, you will need a method of closing the bracelet. Some choose to close it with a simple square knot, while others will prefer a closure that can be easily opened and reused without knotting. For these closures, put a loop in one end. On the other end, tie on a large button, a toggle made of wood or antler, or use a large decorative knot, such as a monkey fist.