Updated: Jun 2, 2020
In recent years paracord survival bracelets have become as much a fashion statement as a survival necessity. Their origins are practical; carry extra cord for emergency use, in such a way as to be easily accessible, lightweight and comfortable. The idea has now blossomed into a multi-million-pound business market for soldiers, law enforcement, emergency responders, to amateur walkers, hikers and campers.
What is Paracord?
Parachute cord is a lightweight nylon rope used in the suspension lines of parachutes. This paracord is useful for many other tasks and is now used as a general-purpose utility cord by both military personnel and civilians.
Paracord comes in a variety of strengths such as 550 or 425. The number refers to the breaking strength of 550lbs or 250kg for example or 425lbs/193kg. Five hundred and fifty is the standard cord used in British army parachutes for a man, plus kit, plus spare weight. I use 425, 3mm cord in my products as it is more than sufficient for outdoor camping and hiking activities.
I have a handy graphic that explains the different types in the Wild Club resource library on my website.
Love them or Loathe them.
In my Wild Camping and Outdoor Enthusiasts group on Facebook, I asked other members for their thoughts on wearing paracord bracelets. Here are some of the responses.
Ashley: I’ve got 4 :) One was taken apart and used for tying up some tarp and some branches, definitely a must-have for camping :) better to have and not need than to need and not have.
Stu: I do, but not as part of my survival gear. My dad was in the household cavalry, so I wear their colours, as a memory to him.
Ben: Yes I have one on me all the time last used 2 weeks ago when I forgot my dogs lead and used one for a guideline on my awning.
John: Yep, I wear one, especially when travelling. Mine has a little Ferro rod in the clasp and it gets through airport security. Never needed it but bet I will the day I leave it at home!
Art: Never wear one don't see the point in them.
Sandy: I have two and attempted to make one but don't wear them.
10 uses for paracord other than as a bracelet.
Use to string a bushcraft bow or as snare noose or trap trigger for hunting food.
Bowstring for a bow-and-drill friction fire.
Spare / replacement boot laces.
Shackle buckle can be used as a ‘lock’ for your backpack/tent.
Guy line for tent or tarp shelter.
Inner strands as a thread for sewing repairs.
The plastic buckle can be used to repair rucksack or broken belt buckle
Pulley food cache up a tree.
Reins to keep a group together in adverse weather conditions.
We are sure there are lots more uses, and in fact, had many suggestions offered, but we chose not to include several as we are a family-friendly business and blog. If you have other top ideas you would like to share, please comment below or find us on social media @AdventureAcces using hashtag #AdventureWild.
Paracord Bracelets - Cobra and Trilobite Weave
There are many amazing weave patterns you can create using paracord. You can make a range of products too such as lanyards, key chains, belts, straps, dog leads and collars.
The two most common weaves that I use are cobra weave in single and bi-colour options and the trilobite weave also in one or two colour varieties.
The Cobra Weave bracelets use approximately 3 metres of cord, whereas the Trilobite pattern uses almost 5m. Which is why there is a price difference between different weaves and cord strengths.
Often these lengths are not long enough to be of use in some of the situations we have mentioned, but if other group members also wear the bracelets you can use them together for the bigger projects.
I also offer a range of dog collars so that you can adventure wild with your pawsome pal. You can even have matching paracord accessories if you wish. Paracord dog collars are handwoven using a macrame technique to create a trilobite weave and they include a side release buckle and metal D ring for your dog's ID tag. They are available in a variety of colours and you can choose single or bi-colour options and there are three sizes:
Small to fit neck sizes up to 30cm
Medium to fit neck sizes 30 - 50cm
Large to fit neck sizes over 50cm
Are Paracord Products a Gimmick?
I personally love my paracord bracelets and all three of my dogs wear their individual paracord collars. I have several styles of bracelets myself as does Mr AA; in different thicknesses and we wear them while hiking, but as all the ones I own are handmade gifts. I would not want to unravel all the hard work that went into making them. Although, I am sure I would think differently in a survival situation and that begs the question:
Is there a better or easier way to carry emergency equipment than around your wrist?
Of course, you can carry a reel of paracord with you in your kit, but where is the fun in that? Yes, I hear you shout, it is practical and I am all about functional gifts, so if you would prefer to have a go at making your own paracord bracelets I also sell DIY, do-it-yourself kits and instructions for those that would like to have a go themselves.
Even our youngest son has a paracord bracelet, which he chose as a present one Christmas. His is a gimmicky one with whistle, flint and steel incorporated into the buckle. You can also buy ones with compasses built-in, but we find that these extras do not tend to work as well as separate items do.
Paracord bracelets and keychains are available in my Adventure Accessories online store. Featuring plastic or adjustable metal shackle buckles, in either cobra or trilobite weaves. If you are feeling crafty I offer a free paracord instruction leaflet when you sign up to the exclusive VIP members Wild club and there are make-your-own kits to buy from my online store.
Over to you.
Do you wear a paracord bracelet? If you have any thoughts/opinions or funny stories you’d like to share regarding paracord bracelets, we would love to hear them. Comment below or find us on social media @AdventureAcces and use the hashtag #AdventureWild.
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