Friday, 21 December 2012

How To Make 550 Paracord Bracelets Using A Single Length Of Cordage

So how do you make paracord bracelets out of a single length of 550 cord and why would you want to ?

Well, in my mind there are 2 reasons why you would need, or want to learn how to make a 550 cord bracelet. And be more inclined to use a single length of cord, rather than 2 separate pieces as shown in many video tutorials you can watch on Youtube.

Firstly, lets look at why you would need a 550 parachord bracelet...

As we all know, any bushcrafter worth his salt, will carry some form of paracord in his or her pack. The uses for paracord are endless and here are just a few for starters :

1. Tarp/Basha Ridgeline
2. Tarp/Basha Guy lines
3. Bow Drill Set (Bow String)
4. Securing Items To Rucksack
5. Securing Debris Shelter Framework
6. Repairs To Broken Straps, Bootlaces etc.

I could go on, but you get the idea and have no doubt already been shouting out other ideas (Please include them in any comments you may leave).

So lets imagine you have your paracord in your pack and you have used it to setup your tarp ridgline, along with some guy lines. But later on in the day your bootlace snaps or you decide to have a go at the bow drill...

"Damn It ! No More Paracord"

You can see where I'm going with this cant you... If you were wearing a bracelet with 550 paracord, problem solved. Simply remove your bracelet, untie the cord and away you go.

Wearing the bracelet has got you out of a sticky situation, which is what surviving is all about. Getting through challenging situations with what you have on you or can find around you.

In this example it was just to repair a bootlace or try your hand at the bow drill. But you never know when it could be used in a more serious situation. You may HAVE to create fire, to keep warm or cook a meal. You may HAVE to fashion some sort of splint on an injured person.

With this still in mind, it brings me onto why you should use a single length of paracord.

You have no idea when or for what you are going to need that paracord which is around your wrist. And likewise you have no idea what length of cord you are going to require to get you out of that sticky situation. So it makes sense to have the longest piece of paracord you can possibly have built into your bracelet.

If the bracelet is made up of 2 pieces, as is commonly demonstrated in a lot of video tutorials, you may find that your cord is just a couple of inches short for what you need to complete your task, which would be a great shame. And could potentially be the difference of creating a strong and rigid debris shelter or one that may collapse when you need it most.

I'm talking extremes here, but you see my point. Why have 2 shorter lengths of cord when you could have one long length which can be cut down to size, if required. The 550 paracord bracelet that I carry contains 2.5m of cord, which is a reasonable amount of cordage for a lot of tasks you may find yourself needing to carry out.

I generally keep the paracord complete, when making my bracelets i.e I leave all the inner strands intact, rather than removing them. Reason for this being, my bracelets are for practical use, not just to look nice.

If you want to make a bracelet, just to look good, by all means remove the inner strands, as it makes the bracelet more comfortable on your wrist.

There are also different buckle (or fastening) options. I use the contoured buckles, which are curved and shape to your wrist better. But the straight versions are fine and are more readily available. Some buckles even have a small emergency whistle built in, which is a great addition to have.

If you don't want to use a plastic buckle or cant get your hands on any, simply use a loop and knot method, which is equally as good as a means of fastening the bracelet to your wrist.

The stitch or weave used to create the bracelet is called the Cobra Stitch (Weave) and once learnt is really easy to do and you will be rattling these bracelets off in no time.

To create a more striking pattern, use 2 different colours of cord. Yes, I know this means using 2 lengths of cord, but this is aimed at the more fashion conscious bushcrafters... LOL

The Cobra Stitch is a really easy skill to learn and once mastered, allows you to create other projects that you may find usefull when bushcrafting or short of something to do on those rainy days.

These projects are great for kids too and I have already taught my 7 year old how to make key rings and bracelets for her friends at school.

If you would like to learn how to make a 550 paracord bracelet and how much cord you will require, feel free to watch my video tutorial below.

If you find the tutorial usefull, I would be interested to hear how you got on and maybe see some of your photos of your creations.