What is a Paracord Bracelet?

Borrowing the primary concept behind the “butterfly effect,” the paracord bracelet is a prime example of how something so small as a bracelet, can pay massive dividends later on. That’s exactly what the paracord bracelet does. We’ll explore some of the real-world use cases of it and how it can become a life-saving accessory.

There’s a good chance you’ve either probably never heard of a paracord bracelet or seen one and simply mistook it for a friendship bracelet you might have worn as a kid. Well, you’d be wrong. So, that’s why we’re here to help answer two key questions: what is a paracord bracelet? What is a paracord bracelet used for?

The simple answer here is that a paracord bracelet is no ordinary bracelet. In fact, this survival bracelet that can be used for many different purposes and can even help save your life. The word paracord, is derived from the 550 cords used in parachutes, dating back World War II when it was first used (source).

Today, the paracord bracelet has become both a fashion statement and a life-saving tool. It’s perhaps one of the most versatile survival tools to bring with you on your next extreme outdoor adventure or even on one of the world’s most dangerous hikes.

Ultimately, our goal is to inform and educate you you should never leave home without this simple yet essential tool.

What is a Paracord Bracelet?

Paracord bracelets are often known as “survival bracelets” or “parachute cord bracelets.” They are made essentially made up of two objects: nylon threads and a release buckle. The nylon thread is woven and braided together to form the cord.

Braid, weave and diamond knot your cord into a survival tool and wearable accessory. Beat that MacGyver!

You might often see “550 cord” when looking up paracord bracelets. The term 550 figure refers to that particular cord’s breaking strength measured in weight (pounds).

Atomic Bear Paracord Bracelet (2 Pack) - Adjustable - Fire Starter - Loud Whistle - Perfect for...

What gives the cord in a paracord bracelet features is its toughness and durability. It has a tough outer sheath but the inside of the cord is what matters most. Depending on the grade of the cord, there will usually be a few inner yarns made up of up to three nylon or polyester strands.

A good rule of thumb to calculate how much nylon cord you have, is to measure the bracelet length. Every inch equals roughly one feet or cord (or 12 inches). Thus, if your wrist circumference is seven inches, you’ll have roughly seven feet of cord available to you.

Key Tip:

Don’t make your paracord bracelet bigger in order to get that extra foot or two of cord. This causes the survival bracelet to become too loose and may even fall off your wrist. To combat this, many paracord bracelets today can be adjusted for size to make it looser or tighter.

Atomic Bear Paracord Bracelet (2 Pack) - Adjustable - Fire Starter - Loud Whistle - Perfect for...

If you’re looking to buy your own paracord bracelet, pay close attention to the breaking strength of the cord. Obviously, the higher the number, the higher the quality of the cord.

Generally, there are four types of paracord bracelets,, measured in terms of their breaking strength:

  • Type I: has a breaking strength of approximately 100 pounds.
  • Type II: has a breaking strength of approximately 400 pounds.
  • Type III: is the standard and is most popular among outdoor enthusiasts with a breaking strength of approximately 550 pounds.
  • Type IV: has a breaking strength of approximately 750 pounds

Now, you may be asking yourself, why does everyone always talk about “550 cord” and not “750 cord?” That’s because it ultimately comes down to functionality and price. 750 cord is significantly more expensive than 550 cord and is really unnecessary for most outdoor activities.

You could make the case to buy a Type IV paracord bracelet but only for the most extreme outdoor activities. If you don’t fall in this category, we highly recommend purchasing a Type III paracord bracelet.

What Can You Use a Paracord Bracelet for?

So, what exactly can you use a paracord bracelet for? Turns out, the answer is really anything you can imagine when you’re out in the wilderness. We’re really just scratching the surface in terms of all the things you can use a paracord bracelet for.

We have a handful of the more common use cases. Skeptical, here are a few survival paracord bracelets that contain 5 survival gear essentials in just one bracelet: fire starter, reliable compass, loud emergency whistle, ferro rod striker and 12 feet of military-grade paracord.

First Aid

If you’ve been on a long, treacherous hike, you know there can be a number of different obstacles that can be dangerous. A sharp branch happen pokes and pierces you. You fall on something really sharp.

Your paracord bracelet can unravel and turned into a tourniquet, to help reduce the level of heavy bleeding.

Follow the Always Be Prepared mantra. Prepare for scenarios like this to happen. The best way to prepare is to bring your own first aid kit. If you don’t own a first aid kit yet, here are some of the best ones you can buy today.

Another first-aid use case is when someone falls and badly injures or breaks their arm. The paracord bracelet cord can be used as a sling to help stabilize that person’s broken arm until you make it to the ER.

Fishing Line

If you’re stranded for a day and need to do something about that growling hungry stomach, go fishing with your survival bracelet. Starving isn’t an option. One of the ways you can do this is by creating your own fishing line. While it may not be a proper fishing line, the inner strands from a paracord bracelet can make for an excellent fishing line. All you’ll need to find is some bait and a hook!

This PSK paracord survival bracelet has one built in it:


While this may not be the best use of a paracord bracelet, it is a heavy-duty string that can be used to replace that broken shoelace on the trail. That can be considered a life-saver, especially when you need to keep your shoes on!

Attaching Gear

If you’ve overpacked for long camping trips, you’ll either bring more gear than you need and will run into the problem of not having any more space in your bag to store it. Here, the paracord bracelet is the perfect solution to help tie and secure extra gear onto your backpack. We can assure you, the cord won’t break, but the key here is to make sure your gear is securely fastened to your backpack first.

Starting a Fire

It may be hard to believe but you can actually start a fire using your paracord bracelet. In fact, some companies purposefully include flammable strands in the cord in case you need to make an emergency fire.

Some of the newer and more advanced paracord bracelets like the Atomic Bear Paracord Bracelet, allows you to start a fire more easily with your paracord bracelet and without having to drag strands out of your cord.

Can I Make My Own Paracord Bracelet?

One of the coolest things about a paracord bracelet is that you can actually make one yourself. It only requires some cord, a buckle, and a lighter to help prevent the edges of the cord from fraying. It might also require a bit of patience as well as the process can be quite tedious!

There are plenty of resources online that explain how to make a paracord bracelet, but the best way to learn is by watching how it’s done and practicing. Check out this video that provides a step-by-step account of how to make a paracord bracelet.

The great thing about making your own paracord bracelet is that it gives you flexibility to use the buckle and color cord you want. The downside to creating your own paracord bracelet is that it does require a bit of time and effort to do so. Also, a paracord bracelet is a very inexpensive accessory to purchase and you can easily get a Type III bracelet for under $15.

Final Thoughts

If you know about a short camping trip or a treacherous and extreme outdoor adventure, don’t leave things up to chance and bring with you a paracord bracelet. It’s impossible to deny the overwhelming usefulness and versatility of something as small as this survival gear and one that you can easily wear on your wrist.

As something that you can choose to make on your own or purchase for an incredibly affordable price, it really is a no-brainer that you need to bring a paracord bracelet with you the next time you decide to go on your next trip.

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Last update on 2021-06-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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