Introduction: Paracord Hiking Belt

I enjoy hiking and being in nature but I hate having to cram my pockets full of the things that I like to have easy access to while out on the trails.  I created this simple system for quickly attaching and releasing my favortie tools onto my belt using paracord.  Check out the following steps to learn how to make a paracord hiking belt of your own.

Step 1: What You're Going to Need

Materials and Tools

-Leather Belt
-Ruler
-Knife or Scissors
-3/4" Wooden Beads
-About 10' of Paracord
-Leather Hole Punch
-Two Cord Toggle
-Lighter

Step 2: Making the Belt - Marking and Making the Holes

Starting on the side of the belt with the holes for buckling the belt, mark sets of holes that are about 1" to 1.5" apart, (I alternated the sets of holes I punched doing one set 1" apart and the next 1'5" apart and so on and so forth, but you could just space each set an equal distance.) Continue marking and punch holes until you have an odd number of hole sets as shown in the picture, ( I marked and punched 9 sets of holes but if you want to carry more things you can punch extra sets of holes.)

Step 3: Making the Belt - Weaving the Paracord

Once you've marked and punched the holes the next step is to weave the paracord through the holes.  Start weaving on the back of the belt and continue weaving as shown in the picture until you have woven the paracord through all the holes that you punched.

The ammount of paracord that you will need will depend on the number of holes you punched and on how far apart you decided to place the holes.

Step 4: Making the Belt - Adding the Toggle and Finishing the Ends

After you've finished weaving the parcord through the belt secure the loose ends using your double cord toggle on the front side of the belt as shown in the picture.  At this point you can also seal the ends of the paracord using a lighter to keep them from fraying.

Step 5: Making the Tool Lanyard - Cutting the Paracord

Start by measuring roughly 15" of paracord.

Step 6: Making the Tool Lanyard - Adding the Wooden Beads

Lace a 3/4" wooden bead onto one end of the 15" length of paracord and use overhand knots on either side of the bead to hold it in place.

Step 7: Making the Tool Lanyard - Tying the Loop

Next, tie a loop onto the end of the paracord opposite the end the wooden bead was tied onto as shown in the picture.  Continue this process until you have made enough tool lanyards to suit your needs.

Step 8: How to Attach the Lanyards to Your Tools

To Attach tool lanyards to your tools:

1.  Start by passing the loop end of the tool lanyard through the lanyard loops on your tool (in this case a Leatherman Wave Multi-             tool).
2. Next, pass the end of the tool lanyard with the wooden bead through the loop end of the lanyard.
3. Lastly, pull the wooden bead end tight to fix the tool lanyard in place.

Step 9: Attaching the Tool Lanyards to the Belt

To attach the tool lanyard to the hiking belt start by releasing the double toggle.  Next pull some slack into the loops where you want to attach the tool lanyard creating loops as shown in the picture.  Lastly, pass the bead end of the tool lanyard through the loops and pull the slack out of the paracord laced through the belt to lock your tool in place.  Once all of that is done, you can retighten the toggle to make sure everything stays fixed in place so that nothing gets lost while you're hiking.

Step 10: Done

Thanks for checking out my instructable.  I hope you enjoyed the project!

Comments

author
Dhouck85 (author)2015-08-11

Very nice work. I used an old leather Dickies brand belt that already has two rows of holes punched all the way around for mine. Works great so far

author
RescueHiker made it! (author)2015-02-04

Thank you so much for sharing this great idea. My leatherman and harbor freight survival knife now have a home

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oneshot12 (author)2014-03-31

Hi there... not sure if you "created" this system as you mentioned above! If you'd like to give credit to the original author, it would have to be Ötzi himself. But I think I was the one to rediscover it! I posted this idea on my blog in Jan 2012, and instructions for it on Buschraft USA in July 2012 which can be found here http://bushcraftusa.com/forum/showthread.php/7162... . I also published a paper about it this past spring in the Bulletin of Primitive Technology if anyone would like to know a little more about this 5300 year old system.

I really like your version, the addition of the toggle at the end is a great one. Here are a few tips that might help: Disc shaped toggles tend to hold better because of their shape and can be cut from branches or saplings. The distance between the holes should be slightly less than the width of the toggle to prevent loss. As mentioned below, the paracord holding the tools etc. could be a little shorter to prevent swinging. Aim for about 1 inch between the toggle/bead and the attachment point on the tool. No loop is required. A knot called a buntline hitch works well for this, rather than the cow hitch posted above. Hope this is of some help! Thanks for posting and all the best.

author
sjsquirrel (author)2014-03-03

Great idea adaptable to many uses and circumstances. A similar technique could be used for connecting things to a backpack, and different methods could be used to attach tools to minimize the risk of them falling off.

Also I find the comments from other guys about 'danger to the family jewels' very amusing. Seriously. Move it further back on the belt, shorten the cord, its not hard to solve that issue.

As a volunteer leader with Cub Scouts this gives me lots of ideas. Thanks for the inspiration.

author
myeomans (author)sjsquirrel2014-03-07

Thanks! I'm glad you found this instructable useful. I also found the comments about the "family jewels" funny. You explained the solution to the swinging problem quite well, as I had hopped others would have come to the same conclusion.

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bcavaciuti (author)myeomans2014-03-22

it would be cool if you did a add on stage on some modifications suggested by people might clear it up a bit :P

author
bcavaciuti (author)2014-03-22

Its a cool idea but from experience on a long hike you start to notice every little annoyance and niggle of your equipment, one main problem with this would be the heavy items like the leatherman would bounce against your leg as you walk which would be distracting and possibly uncomfortable/painful. I think the heavy items should either be placed on the sides where there is less movement or with a very short cord to prevent movement. personally i would have the leatherman/(whatever knife i have) in a pouch/sheath just to protect me, and it from the weather/ dirt and grit ect. other than that its a nice idea and maybe ill make one that fits over my backpacks waist straps. another problem with this is if you have to go through rough/built up area top get to your nice walk your eqipment is all to easy to slip of and steal.

author
n4nln (author)2014-03-03

​Clever idea! Maintaining positive control of your tools can be hugely important, especially when dropping one could lose it overboard or seriously endanger people below like when on a ladder, up a mast in a bosun's chair, or on an antenna tower. Size the tool lanyard right and no need to disconnect to use it.

You might consider using a "figure-8" knot for your "stopper" knots such as on the end of your tool lanyards. They are just as easy to tie but won't slip out like an overhand knot can. www.animatedknots.com is a great resource.
Happy hiking.

author
myeomans (author)n4nln2014-03-07

Thank you for the comments and the resource site!

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dlucier1 (author)2014-03-03

Almost as good as batmans utility belt ... Nice idea ...

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myeomans (author)dlucier12014-03-07

Thank you!

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Doom and Destruction (author)2014-03-04

you could use this to attach pouches to a belt then you don't have to deal with swinging objects at all

author

Exactly, this is what works best for me. It's a basic idea and that you can adjust it to your specific needs. Fantastic ideas and great feedback appreciated!

author

yes then its just a matter of getting the fanny packs or pouches or making them and then coming up with spacing that is comfortable.

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vladivastok (author)2014-03-04

GREAT DESIGN. WHAT KIND OF TENSION DOES THE TOOGLE HOLD?

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myeomans (author)vladivastok2014-03-07

Thank you for the positive comment! As for the tension the toggle holds, the paracord fits snuggly in it, and I've not had a problem with it slipping so far.

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Blaise_Gauba (author)2014-03-04

Great idea. Question: Do the wooden balls ever get in the way because they tend to hang out a bit from your waist?

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myeomans (author)Blaise_Gauba2014-03-07

Thank you for the feedback! The wooden balls really do not get in the way as much as you might think.

author
Cat00x (author)2014-03-04

Really clever design and execution, I like the idea of elastic cord instead and not needing the balls. I also wanted to say your photos and explanation are very clear and well done. Thanks.

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myeomans (author)Cat00x2014-03-07

Thank you! I worked very hard on this instructable. It's nice to hear positive feedback!

author
rustygray (author)2014-03-04

I did something very similar while in the Army in the 80's and 90's. I tied up little nooses, (yes those nooses) and would secure my gear, such as first aid pouch, compass pouch, angle head flashlight, rolled poncho etc etc. I never lost gear. I now do the same thing with bright yellow cord for kayaking and hiking. I also have discovered that using the ball or a large button, you can simply push the button up under your belt and let the item hang in your pocket. I do this with my cell phone as I do not like when it sits deep in the pocket. Also the benefit of the tether helps prevent dropping the dreaded cracked screen.It is easy to deploy and so far 100% secure.

I like this idea. It is cool and a well done instructable.

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myeomans (author)rustygray2014-03-07

Thank you for your support! It's nice to hear!

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DennisTheBald (author)2014-03-05

Very nice. Good idea and well presented.

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myeomans (author)DennisTheBald2014-03-07

Thank you, I appreciate your support!

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snakelips1 (author)2014-03-06

Why has no one mentioned that even the best multitool is almost usless? I realize most people aren't able to pack 100 pounds over any real distance. but a few real items will replace it an be of actual use. If your a guy with a multitool, your junk getting smashed is probably the least of your worries. As someone who would use your grown is avoiding you and your Leatherman. multitool! ha!

author
DTOM_Bear (author)2014-02-27

As much time as I spend pushing through brush, the last thing I'd want is snaggable things dangling from cords on my belt. I'll stick with pockets and belt pouches.

(And hint: No guy is going to want that multitool swinging wildly about his groin. Great grappping Ghu, will I stick with pockets and pouches.)

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Bushie (author)DTOM_Bear2014-03-05

I agree wholeheartedly with DTOM_Bear ~ I want nothing swinging "wild and free" against my body while out walking (or riding..).

AS well as the risk of whacking yourself in the nether-regions, the excessive noise tends to scare off the wildlife, and ruins the natural ambience..

BY the number of replies 'chomping at the bit' for the chance to hang as many loose things off their body as possible, I can only assume that there must be a lot of "jingle janglers" out there among the Instructable site's would-be hiking crowd ?

author
spark master (author)DTOM_Bear2014-03-03

Absolutely, learned the hard way with free flying things, one wack is all it takes to wake you up to the issue. A fanny pack for me is better. but this could be good for small items, I guess.

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mlevitt (author)DTOM_Bear2014-02-27

Women don't have bug pockets, we need this sorta thing.

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myeomans (author)mlevitt2014-03-01

You both make good points, I guess it depends on your preferences. like mlevitt said, the pockets on most of my pants are barely big enough to hold a pack of gum let alone a full sized Leatherman, but I can also see the point about this getting in the way if you want to go pushing through the bush (I tend to trail hike in national parks so there isn't to much bush pushing so this system works well for me and my paticular needs.)

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Arghus (author)myeomans2014-03-03

nice idea but bad execution, i would hate those things dangling every step..

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ManifoldSky (author)2014-03-04

If you made it with elastic cord and widened the space between holes, you could do away with most of the wooden beed and hangers, and just secure them directly to the belt (which also eliminates the swinging items banging on your hips),

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bethmwl (author)2014-03-03

I love the idea and design. Very unique method for holding things. I hope to make one myself someday.

author
Gryzio (author)2014-03-03

As mentioned, there may be a few ball backs, I mean draw backs. It has potential? Maybe everyday use, may hold a cell phone, water bottle I not sure, it would need to be customized to the individual and need more thought. ;-) Regardless, it is a good idea that may need more individual thought to cater more on a personal use. Which is up to us to do!

When I seen the title I was thinking it was a belt made from paracord? :-/

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mlevitt (author)2014-02-27

Great idea. May use for cosplay!

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myeomans (author)mlevitt2014-03-01

awesome, thanks for liking the project, I think it would work great for cosplay!

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Morte_Moya (author)2014-02-27

Had you posted the first version of this on Bushcraftusa?

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myeomans (author)Morte_Moya2014-03-01

Hi Morte_Moya,

I did not post a version of this on Bushcraftusa but it sounds like you might be able to help me out. I found this project several years ago when a friend showed me a picture of it he found on the web. When I decided to make this instructable I went looking for it to pay credit to the original source but was unable to find it. If you have a link to the version you saw I would like to see it. Thanks for your post.

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TheNinthDoctor (author)2014-02-28

This is an awesome idea except for the fact that a leather man swinging toward the family jewels is not a good thing. Also any bushwacking will be made much more difficult by the fact you have dangling things.

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myeomans (author)TheNinthDoctor2014-03-01

Ha you make a good point, I would generally shorten the length of the lanyards for things like multi-tools so that they would wear closer to the belt and therefore swing less. Shortening the lanyards would also help with them getting in the way when you get into the thick of it out on the trail. Thanks for your post.

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Railes (author)2014-02-28

I think this is a great idea, Although, I would find a way to immobilize those items from bouncing and swinging, it can be become quite irritating to have them rattle about during a long distance hike.

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myeomans (author)Railes2014-03-01

Good point Railes. The simplest way to take some of the movement out would be to shorten the lanyards.

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cifer (author)2014-03-01

Just like Otzi's 5,300 year old calf-leather belt.

http://www.primitiveways.com/Iceman.html

I like the design. I'll have to give it a try once I get a leather punch.

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myeomans (author)cifer2014-03-01

Hi cifer, Thanks for posting that link, this project was inspired by another project that I saw several years ago based on that design. I have been trying to track down that project since writing the instructable to pay credit where credit is due but I couldn't think of the name.

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RaFaFaFanu (author)2014-02-28

the belt is a great idea and for bushcraft you could use clips with pouches or smaller cords with carabiners or close to that nature. just some ideas

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destrong123 (author)2014-02-27

Is*

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destrong123 (author)2014-02-27

This I'd awesome

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DragonQuestor (author)2014-02-27

yeah cool idea gives me some ideas of my own thanks :D

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audreyobscura (author)2014-02-27

Great idea!

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