Picture of How to make a Paracord Rescue Belt
This is my first Instructable and i would appreciate your votes in the Paracord Contest!

I will be showing you how to create a Paracord Rescue Belt. While bracelets can be useful they simply do not contain enough cord for a real emergency. 8-12 feet can certainly be handy in some situations but think of what you can do with 50 feet!

The belt essentially has two main functions. 
1. The buckle is a high decibel whistle for attracting attention
2. The Belt section itself is a single length of 550 Paracord which can be unravelled literally in seconds for a whole manner of rescue techniques. 

In my opinion speed is what makes the difference in a survival situation. You can unravel the entire belt with one pull, there is no need to undo a whole series of knots or weaves.

Depending on the method you use to weave and the size of your waist, the belt can supply you with a length upwards of 70 feet of cord, This particular belt used 50 feet for my 32" waist  however i will explain how to increase or decrease the amount of cord you can carry while maintaining the same length of belt. 
Although the side release buckle means that the belt is not adjustable, there is about 15% elasticity in the belt so you need not worry if you put on a little holiday weght, your belt should be able to acommodate you.  The elasticity also means it will remain tight but flexible if you are wearing it during  outdoor pursuits.

Its worth noting that this same technique can also be used to make a bracelet which i have pictured at the end of the instructable.

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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
For best results use genuine 550 Paracord. I purchase mine from supplycaptain.
As with anything in life you get what you pay for, if you are intending on using this as a rescue belt you want to have the best cord available and with suplycaptain they guarantee the quality and authenticity of their cord. Many online retailers sell similar looking but poor quality cord with no guarantees on the breaking strains.

1. 550 Paracord 
    You can use any colour you like. You will need approximately 50 feet of cord for the belt shown.

2. Fastener
    Im using an emergency whistle side release buckle which can be picked up online or in any good outdoors store.

3. Scissors 
    To cut the cord

4. Lighter
    To seal the ends of the cord so they dont fray.

5. Forceps (optional)
    Depending on your dexterity you may benefit from using forceps or needle nose pliers to help pull through the cord, i managed the whole belt without.

Step 2: Threading Your Buckle

Picture of Threading Your Buckle
FIrst of all make sure youve sealed the end of your cord with the lighter so it doesnt fray.
You do not have to cut the length of cord to size beforehand as the weaving method used means the cord doesnt need to be cut from the reel until the desired length of belt is reached, this saves wasting cord.

Take your buckle and from left to right make 4 loops through the belt loop..
Ensure that the loops are loose enough to pass some cord through the centre.

Leave a tail of cord on the end a few inches long and secure this to the buckle to prevent the cord working loose during the next steps.  ( i passed it through the small hole on the orange section of the buckle to hold it in place)

Ive highlighted the 'working end' of the cord in the picture, This is the piece you will be using for all further knots.

Step 3: Your First Loop

Picture of Your First Loop
Take the working end and make a loop in your hand.

Now thread this through the centre of the 4 loops you made on the buckle.
Leave a couple of inches sticking out the end on the right.

Once you have fed this through then tighten up the 4 loops round the buckle. For consistency you should tighten them from RIGHT to LEFT.

Step 4: More Loops

Picture of More Loops
Gently ease apart the 4 loops you have around the buckle.

Using your fingers or your forceps,  pull through the running end of the cord to form a total of 4 loops.
This should consist of three that you pull through and the loop left from the end of the last step.

Twist the loops slightly in an ANTI-CLOCKWISE direction (so the left side of the loop is to the front)

Feed the running end of the cord through all 4 loops as before leaving a few inches sticking out the end again.

Step 5: Complete your first row

Picture of Complete your first row
To complete the first row simply lighten the loops from RIGHT to LEFT

Once you get to the left you pull on the loop sticking out of the end on the right to tighten completely.


Because of all the loops we are putting in the cord it naturally becomes twisted. You need to un-twist the cord as you are tightening each loop. If you dont do this the finished weave will look  very messy.

Also do not over tighten your loops. If you do, it will distort the final weave pattern and again your belt will look a mess. Over tightening will also make it harder to pull through the next row of loops.

Step 6: Repeat Repeat Repeat.................

Picture of Repeat Repeat Repeat.................
To continue your belt simply repeat steps 3,4 and 5 over and over and over until you get your desired length.

This 6.5 inch length of belt used 10 feet of cord. So for an average 32inch waist you will use approximately 50 feet.

Step 7: Finishing your belt

Picture of Finishing your belt

Once you have reached the desired length of belt you can cut your cord from the main reel.  
Pull the working end all the way through so its sticking out from the right. 

Seperate your loops again slightly

Get the other half of the buckle (make sure its orientated the correct way for fastening)

Loop the working end through the buckle then back through the cord you exposed when seperating the loops. Once you have looped it through the buckle and belt 4 times you are ready to finish the belt. 

You have two options for finishing.

1. You can thread the end through any of the loops you like and using the lighter, melt it in place onto the belt.

2. Thread the end through any loop you like and tie an overhand knot in the end to stop it passing back through, 

The benefits of the second method are that you do not need scissors or any other item to release the end of the cord if you need to unravel it in a hurry, you simply untie the overhand knot.


Step 8: How to use your belt in an emergency

Picture of How to use your belt in an emergency
To utilise your cord in an emergency simply untie the overhand knot on the end of your cord. 

Undo the loops around the buckle ( keep the buckle for attracting attention)
Pull the length of cord back through the first 4 loops to release your working end

Pull hard on the working end and the whole belt will begin to unravel. From start to finish you can undo the entire belt in about 20 seconds (a painful thought when you realise how long it took to make)

Alternatively if you have a knife or a pair of scissors simply cut where shown, remove the end with the  buckle and pull on the cord you cut to unravel.

Dont forget to use your emergency whistle to attract help if you need it!
Paracord is fantastic stuff but its no substitute for another pair of helping hands!

Step 9: Bracelet and knot diagram,

Picture of Bracelet and knot diagram,
As i mentioned at the start of the instructable you can utilise more or less cord to make the belt.

If you would like a longer length of cord and more width in your belt simply use 5 or 6 loops in each row instead of the 4 i used. In theory you can use as many loops as you like as long as your buckle is wide enough.

Similarly, if you would like a thinner belt with less cord use 3 loops as demonstrated in the bracelet i made.

I made my belt after finding this diagram on the internet. I would recommend anyone interested in paracord crafts buy some of the many books on decorative and functional knots available.

Also if your interested in more of my paracord crafts check out my website. Its still under construction but it shows a lot of the custom items ive made for people in the past.

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DanG193 hours ago

Excellent tutorial!

G134 months ago
does anyone know what this weave is called?

usually referred to as "Slatt's Knot" or Slatt's Rescue Belt"

DBlaser made it!3 months ago
The instructions and pictures helped me a lot.
FabioS36 months ago
Thanks for this tutorial.
In this picture unfortunately I can't see the 'few inches tail' you mentioned, though. Where is it? Mamy thanks.
FabioS3 FabioS36 months ago
Nevermind. It shows a few pics later. Thanks
SERVOJO8 months ago
Used a standard belt buckle. Started with 6 loops. Buckle works great with the pattern. I get compliments every time I wear it.
ngriffin28 months ago
My son needed a belt.
JosephG19 months ago

Will this weave work with a standard belt buckle like a braided leather belt? Thanks.

TylerR110 months ago

Just an FYI this isn't genuine paracord. If it was it would have a colored tracable cord running through it meant for identifying the manufacturer.

ssokolow11 months ago

My camera is crap but the belt I made isn't. It's only a 4-loop weave and my waist is narrow, so I've only got roughly 40ft. of paracord on it, but I chose a buckle that's not only a whistle, it's also a flint and striker.

...now I just need to decide on the best way to put a compass on it, given that I tried and failed to weave it on.

jrohr111 months ago

I just finished mine.


Waist Size: 33"

Belt Length: 48" or 4 ft not stretched.

Using a 6 loop weave its about 8-10" per weave.

This results in 96-120 ft of paracord being used in the on belt.

Thanks for the great 'ible!

You know? I've tried to hang myself with many different kinds of belts at "low points" in my life. However, now that I've seen and learned to weave my own belts and other things I have a new sense of hope. I would like to thank you so very much for this post it is a breath of fresh air to me. Now, I can rest assured knowing that when I wrap that belt around my neck I'll truly appreciate the strength, durability, and craftsmanship that's gone into it.

I'm struggeling to tell weather this is sarcastic or not...

kz1 skyparrot199911 months ago

If we never hear back from him again I guess we'll know. :-)

Thanks you for the info. well done.. :)

The method of the loops used in this belt are very similar to the way knitting works, except that you are starting on the left for each row, whereas for knitting you would start on alternating sides for each row. If someone knows how to knit, it might be a little faster for them, once they figure a way to anchor the weave to the buckle. I like the idea. I just made a strap for a messenger bag, using 50 feet of 8mm paracord. Good job on the instruct able.

I keep thinking that it looks like Tunisian Crochet.

The first time I heard of this kind of belt, I thought it was
awesome and tried to track back the source. The earliest I could find
was referred to as the "Slatts Rescue Belt", using a knot apparently
developed by Philip Slattery. At one point, I saw a reference, I
believe from Slattery, that the knot was based on a modified crochet

The first time I heard of this kind of belt, I thought it was awesome and tried to track back the source. The earliest I could find was referred to as the "Slatts Rescue Belt", using a knot apparently developed by Philip Slattery. At one point, I saw a reference, I believe from Slattery, that the knot was based on a modified crochet stitch.

That would definitely explain the the similarity to knitting, too.

I thought that myself and will be trying a knitted one next.
elliemae611 year ago

Great instructions. Thinking of adapting to make a 4" wide guitar strap. I will need to have multiple colors (making for a friend). For survival purposes just fusing together the different colors would not be strong enough. What would you recommend?? Fusing and then stitching with micro cord?? Please advise. Thank you. and Thank you for the inspiration!!

You CAN splice paracord, though I have not found an easy way to do it.

1) Heat the edges of the cut outer shell so it doesn't fray. (don't over do it)
2) Fuse the inner cords and mash it into a tight cylinder.
3) Slide one side of the shell over the fuse (1/2 inch) then heat the shell slowly and compress it. (it needs to be tight and stiff about 1/2 inch long)
4)Now you can slide the other side over the first cord giving yourself at least 1 inch (this is the tough part)

You pinch the base of the stiff inner shell, push into the outer shell, pinch OS over the tip of the IS and slide the loose end of the OS over the cord of the IS (like a snake eating a rat, it's slow going and a little at a time) Now pinch the base of the IS again driving the OS onto it. Pinch the ON at the tip of the IS and... well you get it.

5) Once you have 1 inch heat the edge of the outer shell and crimp it onto the inner shell. When the two cords are pulled the outer shell works like a Chinese finger puzzle and wont let go.

It's not terribly flexible so it should be used in a straight area. I use this in the middle of my bracelets for multi color version.

Beautiful work!!!! I'm gonna give it a try.

Bongmaster1 year ago

ooh nice :)

kemcolleen1 year ago
do you know how to finish if you use a regular buckle ?
jryan271 year ago
Explain the begging better
debschell1 year ago
I love it!!!! You Know I'm gonna try this one. Thanks. Looks easy you did a great job describing each step.
Awesome! It's easy to make and use! I'm going to make a gun sling this way.
What size buckle did you use?
How well do you think this would work for using a standard belt buckle? I'd think that if you made it over length, in the same style as a normal belt, it could function quite well, but I'm not sure how well the weave would hold up to being tugged at by the pin. Any clues?
chadr772 years ago
This is by far my favorite belt weave! I have only been working with paracord for a couple months but I picked this one up in no time. Idk if anyone has put thought into a two color version, but i think i figured it out.

I stopped here due to lack of paracord, and well i don't like these colors together. The process doesn't really change, but I do think that it is more tedious. This is the back side; on the front the colors are more balanced.
gbmaster1373 years ago
where can i buy good paracord on the internet that ships worldwide, and where can i buy that buckle?
I found mine on Amazon, £5.95 plus £2.70 postage UK for 100ft of 550 paracord type III 7 strand camo, also bought 5 clips (22mm x 57mm) £1.25 plus £2.70 postage UK. Both sold by wild elk. Seems like good quality and great delivery and service.
I've found a great, inexpensive source of Type I and Type III paracord on ebay.com. Search for a seller named 5staredc, who has many solid, camo and neon paracord available.
stuwegie (author)  rlagill3 years ago
For anyone looking for cord i have about 90 colours available in a variety of lengths as well as side release buckles, shackles, belt buckles etc. . Just drop me an email.
frazeeg4 years ago
I just finished my first one. I used 5 loops instead of the 4 in the Instructable because I had a 1" buckle and also wanted more cordage on the belt. For those of you wondering some specifics, here's the statistics:

Waist Size: 32"
Actual Belt Length: 37"
Total Construction Time: ~4 hours
Paracord Used: ~70 feet, woodland camo
gmadman frazeeg3 years ago
I used 50 feet like the dude said but (not thinking!) did 5 loops with a 1" buckle and mine was only 28" long. I have a 32" waist and if I suck in my gut I can get it on. So much for 2.5 hours work! Next time I"ll start with more paracord. Don't make my mistake!
make another short belt (bracelet size) with same type clip... then attach both together and you will have a full size belt. If you make the bracelet part another color or weave or wider it will make a great center design.
That is great idea, will definitely be using that idea, thanks.
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