Intro: Paracord Survival Necklace
Paracord survival necklaces? What are those?
You probably have heard of paracord survival bracelets. They hold paracord on your person, but nothing else. Now, there is a way to hold cord AND some survival tools on your person without stuffing your pockets. These necklaces hold about 9 feet of cord and hold a split ring to add other survival essentials. Let's get started.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
For this necklace you will need:
* 12 feet of 550 Paracord (You actually need more than what's in the finished product or you'll come up short)
I got mine at http://countycomm.com/550cord.htm. They have other cool military surplus items. Click the link in the upper left corner that says "Whats New" to see everything they have.
* Tiny split ring (1/4" should be good)
I got mine on ebay
* Larger split ring (What your tools will hang off of.)
* Hemostats or needle nose pliers(Not absolutely necessary, but it helps.)
* lighter or matches
I use the countycomm stainless peanut lighter at http://countycomm.com/sslight.htm.
* Mini firesteel or other 2" long, thin object
I got mine at http://firesteel.com/products/FireSteel-Mini.html. It's 2" by 3/20". $0.49 with $4.00 flat rate shipping or free shipping on orders $100,000 (I'm not kidding you, read the top of your cart)
I used the ones at http://countycomm.com/premiumshears.htm. They cut quite well.
Step 2: Measuring
Use a scrap piece of paracord to wrap around the widest section of your head. Measure the distance between where the paracord meets the end. Divide that by two. For example, I ended up with 11". Add a half inch so it's not too hard to take off. If you want to add a safety release (look at step 8) add a full 2 inches. I got 1'1"
Take your 12' long piece and fold it in half. Measure the length you got from the scrap cord from the fold point and pinch with your hemostats at that point. You cannot use needle nose pliers for this. If you don't have hemostats, you can tie a knot around that point with some thread tightly.
Step 3: Tying the Lanyard Knot
Next, we will tie a lanyard knot directly under the hemostats or thread. Start by putting the hemostats or thread behind your index finger and make the ends go around your finger. We will call the cord under your index finger cord A and the other end cord B. Next, make a loop with cord A and twist it counterclockwise. Put the loop over cord B so cord B is under the middle of the loop. Pull cord B behind cord A and over the loop. Weave it under the vertical cord in the middle of the loop in an over- under- over fashion. There should be a diamond in the middle. Pull cord A under the loops and through the diamond. Do the same for cored B, which should be on top. Tighten the knot while it is still on your finger until it begins to take shape. Take it off your finger and continue to take out the slack until it is up against the hemostats or thread. Tighten it as best as you can. Congratulations, you just finished the lanyard knot.
Step 4: Construction of Cobra Stitch
Next, we will start storing the cord on the necklace. Insert the firesteel or any other object you will use in the center of the lanyard knot. Make the top of it visible, but not protruding from the top of the knot. The length of cord on the left will be called cord A, and the other will be called cord B. Bring cord B over the firesteel. Wrap cord A around cord A and behind the firesteel. Pull it through the loop made by cord B and tighten. Cord A should now be on the right and cord B should be on the left. Bring cord B over the firesteel again, and wrap cord A around it. Bring it behind the firesteel and through the loop again. Tighten that down as well. Repeat until there is no more firesteel remaining. Insert a tiny split ring over cord B and tie again around something else, then slip it out. Slip cord A over the spit ring before tightening. The split ring should stick out from the bottom of the last stitch. Congratulations, you are done with the cobra stitch.
Step 5: Tying the King Cobra Stitch
A king cobra stitch is a cobra stitch tied over another cobra stitch. Tie another cobra stich around the cobra stitch, but try to make the coeds that run behind the stitch line up between the bumps of the cobra stitch below it. I know this sounds complicated, but just follow the pictures. Tie until you have no more bumps to tie between, then turn around and tie another one over it. This allows you to hold a large amount of cord in a small(ish) space.
Step 6: Finishing the Knot Tying
There are two ways to finish the knots off. You can either cut the remaining ends short and melt the ends into blobs of solid nylon, or do it the other way. The other way requires hemostats or needle nose pliers, but looks better. Insert the pliers or hemostats under a loop of cord and pinch one of the remaining ends. Pull it under the loops and let go. Do the same for the remaining end under the same loop. Do this again under the next consecutive loop. Cut the ends short, and melt into blobs of nylon. Do not melt the cord to the other loops or each other as this will make it too hard to undo when you need the cord.
Step 7: Attaching Survival Items
Put whatever small survival items onto the larger split ring. The tools can't be too large or it'll be uncomfortable to wear. I would recommend a nice quality keychain knife like the spyderco bug or ladybug. I never owned either of them, but the bug is only $8. It has no lock, but the slightly larger version has a lock for $45. I would also recommend a striker for the firesteel (http://firesteel.com/products/FireSteel-Super-Scraper.html) and a small magnesium rod (http://firesteel.com/products/Magnesium-Tinder-Rod-with-Lanyard-Hole.html) to aid in firestarting. The split pea (tinier version of the peanut lighter) from countycomm would also be good (http://countycomm.com/splitpea.htm). Lastly, I put on a whistle, also from countycomm (http://countycomm.com/ITWWHISTLE.html). You can add anything you want as long as it fits on the split ring and doesn't make the necklace too uncomfrotable to wear. After you put everything on the split ring, put the larger split ring on the smaller one.
Step 8: (Optional) Safety Release
Since paracord can support close to 550 pounds (knotting the cord actually weakens it), if something catches onto the cord while you are falling, it can exert enough force to break your neck. This safety release will create a weak point that will snap off when something catches onto the necklace. This step is completely optional, but if you decide to do it, your legnth of cord will not be a single piece. Practice it on scrap cord before doing it on your necklace.
Start by cutting the center of the loop. On one end, melt the cord and quickly shape it to a point. This can be done by quickly running it between your fingers while it's still melted. It you do not squeeze it too hard, it shouldn't stick to your fingers. Do this quickly, or the cord will burn you.
On the other end, pull the core of the cord out of the sheath and cut back about an inch or two of inner strands. Let go, and the core should retract back into the sheath. If it doesn't, pull the sheath over it. There should now be a section of cord with no core. Insert the pointy end into this, and melt the loose strands together. While it's still melted, run it in your fingers so it sticks slightly to the pointed end. The ends should be fused together slightly, but not too much. It should be able to snap apart when tugged firmly.
I'm sorry, but my computer is suddenly having logoff hangs and also won't access any removable storage devices to add pictures. I'll add them as soon as the problem is fixed.
Step 9: Final Thoughts
Your necklace should now be complete. I would prefer if you voted for this in the paracord contest if you liked it, but if you don't it's okay.
This necklace will hold some, but not all survival essentials. Remember, when adding things to the split ring, shelter, water, fire,and food is needed in a survival situation.