If you regularly spend time in the wilderness, it’s (literally) vital that you prepare for emergencies. Most survival stories start with an ordinary or mundane situation that quickly takes an unexpected turn for the worst. Maybe someone falls and breaks an ankle, or they get turned around after missing a vital fork in the overgrown trail. In extreme cases, perhaps they get attacked by a bear or other wild animal. Whatever the case may be, it never hurts to be prepared, and a simple survival paracord bracelet is one of the cheapest yet most valuable tools you can add to your arsenal. Most of these bracelets have anywhere from eight to twelve feet of paracord rope that you can use for all sorts of purposes. You can wear them on your wrist or quickly attach them to a backpack or tackle bag.
For hikers and campers, it’s a little extra peace of mind knowing you have something useful to construct a shelter with, bind a wound, or start a fire in a pinch. In truth, the only limit to how you use one of these bracelets is your imagination. They are a precious tool that will make bushcraft much easier in survival situations. These bracelets have become so popular that many people keep them as part of their everyday carry (EDC) kit just in case something goes wrong.
So, how can you utilize one of these bracelets? We’ll recommend some affordable, valuable options before your next outdoor adventure.
How Can a Survival Bracelet be Used?
The truth is the possibilities are endless for this survival tool. One of the top reasons people carry one is to use it as an emergency fire starter. Many of survival bracelets and lanyards have a flint fire starter for sparking flames built into the buckle. You can use the fibers of the parachute cord material to help get the fire going with the striker when there’s a lack of suitable tinder nearby. That helps provide warmth, a way to cook a meal, and even a way to boil water to make it safe to drink. But the function goes beyond that. For example, if your survival kit includes fishhooks, the fibers can be used to craft a makeshift fishing line and catch a meal. Some even come with fishing line standards for just this purpose. You can also use them to help construct an emergency shelter from logs and sticks. It’s easier to use a cord than natural materials for that purpose, saving you needed energy and time in a critical situation. The cord is excellent for doing repairs to clothing. That kind of thing is vital in cases where you might be in danger from exposure to the elements.
While it’s not an ideal material for climbing, most paracord survival bracelets are made with cords that can support hundreds of pounds of weight. That means you could use it to rescue someone who has fallen somewhere from which they cannot climb. For more skilled survivalists, the inner strands of the cord can provide the means for a makeshift bowstring or the mechanism for constructing a snare trap to capture small animals for food.
You can make a DIY-style bracelet yourself. As a bonus, many commercial survival bracelets have many other things built into the buckle, like a simple compass for telling direction or even an LED light. Others may contain a small knife or a whistle that can be used to alert rescuers to your position. Finally, as we already mentioned, paracord is extremely valuable for injuries. It can help you place a split on a shattered limb or put maximum pressure on a wound to stop bleeding in a pinch. The possibilities for this piece of survival gear genuinely are endless, and because these bracelets are so light and affordable, there’s no excuse not to have one with you in the outdoors. Now, let’s look at some of the options on the market today.
Outdoor Element Kodiak
The Kodiak is one of the highest-rated survival bracelets on Amazon, and for a good reason. It’s a high-quality 550 paracord bracelet braided right here in the U.S.A., so you can feel better about buying American. We also appreciate that this one comes in three distinct sizes, so you can get one that perfectly fits your wrist. That’s something that’s not always an option with other brands. Other features include an emergency reflector, a Ferro rod, and a striker for making a fire. As a bonus, they have a 20-pound braided fishing line, a hook, seven strands of nylon cord, and a strand of jute to serve as fuel for a fire. Simply put, this bracelet has plenty of gadgets for the serious hiker or camper who spends lots of time in the backcountry. It’s a little more expensive at $20-$24, but you’re getting excellent quality with this option.
Atomic Bear Paracord Bracelet
With this option, you get two of these for one. You’re looking at 12 feet of paracord ready for whatever outdoor survival situation you might face. These bracelets have the usual fire starters. Unfortunately, there are no different size options. However, they are adjustable so that you can fit them perfectly to your wrist. There are two other excellent features to this bracelet in the compass and a loud emergency whistle for signaling to rescuers. The compass is relatively simple but should work in a pinch. Just make sure the buckle is undone when you try to use it. The metal of the firestarter will likely interfere with it otherwise. For $22.99, this is a solid deal. Plus, you get two different colors, orange and black, to suit your tastes. Keep one on your wrist and the other on your pack. It’s also a solid option for a backpacking couple who wants to double up on survival equipment.
NVioAsport 20 in 1
If you want more functionality from your survival bracelet, this camo paracord option might be for you. It’s only $10 but packs in a lot of functionality. This one also has a compass, but it is slightly larger than the Atomic Bears, so it’s more visible if your eyes aren’t quite what they used to be. This option also includes a thermometer for monitoring weather conditions. This is another adjustable bracelet, but it has some other excellent features we appreciate, like a magnesium fire starter and stainless steel striker. There’s also an SOS LED light with three different modes for working in the dark or signaling a rescue. There’s also an emergency whistle to double your odds of being found.
PSK Paracord 8-in-1
This option only costs $7 and looks rather sharp for a survival bracelet. This one is packing 12 feet of paracord. This one has the usual firestarter and scrapper to light a fire and an emergency whistle. But it also has a small signaling mirror, a fishing line, and a hook. Another feature we like on this one is the addition of a glass window breaker. For that reason, we like this one for ice anglers who regularly drive their vehicle onto frozen water. This tool could help you escape through a window quickly if your truck happens to go through the ice.
Titan Survival Survivorcord
This option comes with approximately 11 feet of mil-spec 550 cord rated to 584 pounds woven in a trilobite weave pattern. Titan Survival includes a 25-pound monofilament fishing line, waxed jute for starting fires, and even a short length of wire meant for simple snares. We also appreciate the fact that five different colors and sizes are available. It is a little more expensive than the other options at $24.99 each. However, as an additional bonus, the company is American and Veteran-owned. They even contribute some of their profits to Wounded Warrior, so you’re helping to support vets while enjoying a quality product.
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