In the world of Paracord, it is a big statement to claim to have made The Ultimate Survival Bracelet. However, I feel justified in saying this due to the fact that this bracelet has several features that are not found on any other bracelet. This bracelet combines the two great loves of survivalists; PARACORD and ALTOID TINS! See below for what makes this bracelet unique, and below that for a list of items included in this survival bracelet:
1. No need to destroy Bracelet
Unlike other bracelets where the “kit” is contained inside the weave, you do not have to disassemble the bracelet to get at what you need (and then have no place to put it afterward). Here, you can get to what you need, and then close the tin back up when you are finished. You only need undo the bracelet when you need actual rope (or not – more on that below)
You can quickly and easily switch out kit items as wanted depending on your current needs. With many of the essentials outside the tin on the bracelet (compass, whistle, flint, tinder, etc.) there is actually a lot of room to work with in the tin. Also, your gear is not permanently hidden inside the weave, so you can see if you need to replace any components over time.
3. Special Paracord used
This bracelet uses the new SurvivorCord by Titan*. It is the same diameter as normal paracord, but has a breaking strength of 620lb, and includes an extra 3-ply braid made up of waxed Jute (fire starter), 25lb-monofiliment fishing line, and copper wire for snares etc. This is a HUGE advantage over other cords when it comes to survival. NOTE: Unlike crafting paracord which only has two nylon cords twisted together for each of the seven inner strands, this has three, which gives you 7 more lengths of 16.5lb test cord if you need it. This bracelet has over 375 ft of line available!!!
4. Spare length of cord
This bracelet includes a short, 3-ft length of rope with a quick release feature from the main bracelet. In many of the more mundane survival tasks (or non-survival tasks, for that matter), you do not need your full length of rope. Examples; tying two branches together, some Jute for fire starting, mending a shoe lace, and so on. This length detaches in seconds and leaves your bracelet intact, and if needed, can by re-incorporated into your bracelet later (with the help of a paracord needle).
5. Fast-deploy weave
This bracelet uses the Blaze Bar weave, which is a wide weave giving you lots of rope, and also has the advantage of unravelling in seconds when you need it (e.g., rescue situation). While other designs use a D-shackle to allow quick release, this uses a buckle. Not a big deal, it just requires breaking the small plastic bar on the end to allow quick release, which does not affect the functionality of the whistle or flint.
15 Ft 25lb Monofilament line
15 Ft Waxed Jute (fire starter)
15 Ft Copper wire (snares, circuits, etc.)
15 Ft 620lb test paracordOR
One 200lb sheath and seven 50lb lines (165 ft total) OR
One 200lb sheath and 21 16.5lb lines (375 ft total)
Flat head screwdriver (in striker)
Altoids Tin (customizable):
12 Assorted Fish hooks
4 Split Shot Sink
3 Light Sticks
Qt Bag For Water
8 Water Purification Tablets
4 Razor Blades
2 Snare Locks
4 Matches (backup to flint)
3 Safety pins
1ft Electrical Tape
While a bit large, it is no different that wearing a bulky wrist watch. I would not call this an EDC (every day carry) bracelet, but one that you would clip on and take on a day hike, along with a stick, first aid kit and water bottle, when the trip does not warrant the burden of a pack. I made a second bracelet as a more EDC bracelet, with the tin painted and minus the spare cord to make it more narrow, so feel free to modify!
Ready to get started? Here we go!
* I am not affiliated with Titan paracord, and am not sponsored or promoted by them (I just think their paracord is neat), and recieved permission to use their image in my Instructable.
Drill with 5/64 bit
Needle nose pliars
Flush wire snips
Paint (I used black)
15ft Titan Paracord, $24.99/100ft (LINK)
Whistle/Flint Buckle – multiple sources, $10.77 for 2 (LINK)
Compass – multiple sources, $6.45 for 6 (LINK)
Picture hanging wire, to attach kit to bracelet
Altoids Mini tin
Kit (all items are optional, and can be substituted or left out)
Assorted Fish hooks pack
Assorted Split Shot Sinkers
Mini Light Sticks - $5.52 for 50!! (LINK)
Qt Bag For Water, free from grocery store produce section
Water Purification Tablets
Straw, for tablets
Disposable Box cutter with scored blade
Washers for snare locks
Plastic cut-to-fit mirror (LINK)
Strike anywhere matches, or normal matches with striker included
As always, remember to be safe. Even though it is just a paracord bracelet, you will be using power tools, fire, and razors. Use everything in a safe manner, and use gloves/goggles when appropriate. For instance, when drilling for the snare locks, use a pair of vise grips to hold the washer while you drill.
1. Set your Altoids tin open on a piece of scrap wood, and using a hammer and nail, lightly tap where you want the holes to be for the attaching wire as shown in the photo. This will keep the drill from wandering in the next step.
2. Using a 5/64 drill bit (or whatever works for your size wire), drill out the holes for your wire to go through (2nd photo)
3. Thread the wire though the holes as shown in photos 3/4. Needle nose pliers help a lot with this. Do not make the loops too small yet, we will tighten them up later.
4. You can paint your tin if you want to. You can use black to make it more fashionable, or neon orange or glow in the dark for added survival usefulness.
Credit where credit is due; my thanks to AnthVale for his excellent instructable on the Blaze bar bracelet. I reproduce the directions here since this is a modified version with the additional length of rope, and the additional steps midway through to attach the tin.
The numbers below match the numbers on the photos.
1. Take your 15ft length of rope in the middle and loop it through one end of the buckle. Needle nose pliers help with this. Pass the free ends though the loop to fasten it to the buckle.
2. Pass the free ends through the other buckle (make sure the buckle is turned correctly to fasten in the other buckle half when you are finished). Pull the rope through until the buckle halves are the correct distance for your bracelet. Go ahead and clip it around your wrist now; there will be weave above and below the strands, so it should be just a bit loose at this point to allow for that. My personal wrist circumference was 7.25”, but everyone will be different.
3. Blaze bar part 1; see composite photo. I could try to write everything out here, but it would just get confusing. I have ID’d the two ends with yellow and green arrows to help it be more apparent what is going on.
4. Blaze bar part 2; this is the same as the first part, just on the other side. It is basically just an overhand knot, capturing the vertical cords each time. Do not pull these knots supper tight; it will just make bracelet too hard to wear comfortably, and reduce the amount of rope. It is more important that each step gets pushed UP as far as possible to allow the most number of weaves.
Steps 3 and 4 will be repeated all the way down the bracelet. (but read the other steps before you keep going)
Using a 4ft section of cord, we will use a series of loops to attach it to the outside edge of the bracelet as we go along. This will allow it to be detached from the bracelet when needed by grabbing on end and giving one, long pull. For this first portion, I used a different color paracord for clarity (Grey). However, after taking the photos for this step I replaced it with the Titan cord for the finished product. In future steps I will show the spare cord using a BLUE line on the photo.
Follow the arrows on the photos to weave in the extra cord. Keep in mind to carefully pull the loops tight as you go. As you are weaving the main bracelet, you will insert another loop of the spare cord in the side right before you firm up the current weave on the main bracelet.
As you get to the middle of the bracelet, it is time add the tin. As you are making the next weave as normal, thread the ends through the wire loops on the bottom of the tin as shown.
After completing 2-3 more weaves (making sure you are keeping up with the spare cord as you are doing this), it is time to thread the ends through the other two loops on the next weave. Firm up the weave as normal and keep going.
You can, either at this point or when you finish weaving all the way to the end, fasten the tin down to the bracelet. To do this, use needle nose pliers to pull the free ends of the wire up hard, cinching the tin to the rope underneath. Then use the pliers to twist the ends together like a twist tie. Snip off the excess with wire snips, and push it down flat in the bottom of the tin. At this point if you want, you can add a few drops of glue at the wire entry points to maintain the waterproofness of the tin.
About two weaves past the tin it will be time to add the compass. This is fairly self-explanatory; make your next weave as normal, then slide the compass clip over the cord as you pull it snug. The compass is wide enough that you can slide the cord from the next weave in their as well, which really firms up the compass on the bracelet.
Keep weaving until you reach the other buckle. Once you have every weave possible, take the free ends underneath and out, and cut/melt the ends there. This prevents the rough ends from being against your wrists.
For the spare cord, on the last loop instead of pushing through another loop, push through the entire free end and pull it tight. This “sets” the knot and keeps it from unraveling. Cut and melt the end. This is the end you will use wo detach the spare cord; just pull the end out of the loop, then pull hard like a zipper.
What you put in the tin is entirely up to you; below is just what I did, along with a few hints on how I did it. Once you have your tin packed, use electrical tape to seal up the tin (which can also be used as need in and of itself).
12 Assorted Fish hooks, wrapped up in a 2”x2” square of Aluminum Foil, which can also be used as a lure.
4 Split Shot Sinkers
3 Light Sticks – these are surprisingly bright, enough to see and read by, and last all night long. Can also be used for signaling.
Qt Bag For Water – though not needed, I used a paperclip just to keep it flat as I was packing. Good to store water in as you purify it using the tablets.
8 Water Purification Tablets – cut a 1.5” section of drinking straw. Pinch the end with a pair of needle nose pliers, with just a 1/8” sticking out. Use a lighter to seal the end together. Fill the straw with tablets, and a little bit of cotton from the original bottle in the end to keep it dry, and then seal off the other end the same way. Air tight container!
4 Razor Blades – I used the snap off blade from a disposable box cutter. This is great, because if your point gets dull in a survival situation, just snap off the top part and there a sharp edge and point!
2 Snare Locks – using small washers, drill holes opposite each other through the washers large enough for your snare wire. Use two pairs of pliers to bend the at 90 degree angles to make them ready to use. Very useful for trapping small game.
4 Matches – I had to cut a little bit from each match to get them to fit in the tin. Then I turned them head to tail (to stop them rubbing against each other) and used a piece of scotch tape to hold them together.
3 Safety pins
1ft Electrical Tape wrapped around the tin.