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  • What It is

    A Faraday cage, also known as a Faraday shield, Radio Frequency Cage, or EMF (Electromotive Force) Cage, is simply an enclosure built to protect electronic devices from electromagnetic radiation and electrostatic discharges. It can be anything from a small box to a large room, covered with conductive metal or wire mesh, which prevents surges from damaging the equipment inside.

    The sources of these surges can be powerful lightning strikes, destructive solar flares (CMEs, or Coronal Mass Ejections) directed toward earth, or the effects of an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) from a nuclear bomb detonation high in the atmosphere.

    The device is named for Michael Faraday, who observed in 1836 that the excess charge from a conductor remained on the outside of a container and had no effect on the interior contents. He experimented by building a room coated with metal foil and allowed high-voltage discharges from a generator to strike the outside of it. He used an electroscope to show that there was no electric charge present on the inside of the room’s walls. Though the device bears Faraday’s name, Benjamin Franklin is believed to have been the first to discover the principle.

    Faraday cages, or shields, are used all throughout our society. Some are used in the scan-rooms of MRI machines, in which the “cage” effect prevents radio frequency signals from being added to the data from the patient’s image. Some electrical linemen wear “Faraday suits” when working on live, high-voltage power lines to prevent accidental electrocution. Military planners and politicians who have reason to keep their communications private often meet in Faraday-protected rooms that are impervious to electronic “eavesdropping.” In 2013, the Vatican even used the technology to shield the Sistine Chapel from curious listeners during the deliberations to select the new Pope.

    Many people buy Faraday bags to protect their cell phones and laptops both from electrical surges and from unwanted surveillance or tracking.

    According to the National Weather Service, an automobile is essentially a Faraday cage, and it’s the metal surrounding you, not the rubber tires, that protects you from lightning (as long as you’re not touching metal inside the car).[i] A smaller example is a microwave oven, which is a Faraday cage in reverse, trapping the waves inside the device instead of keeping them out. In fact, an old microwave oven makes a good Faraday cage for small electronics!

    Typical items that can be stored in a Faraday cage include

    • Laptop or notebook computers
    • Thumb drives or external hard drives
    • Cell phones
    • Ipads, iPods, and e-readers
    • Portable AM/Shortwave radios, ham radio equipment, and walkie-talkies
    • DC/AC inverters
    • Battery-powered radios

     

    Why You Might Need One

    Why, you may ask, would it do any good for you to have working electronics when everyone else’s would be down or destroyed? First of all, you might still be able to communicate with people outside the affected area (and it may be very difficult at first to determine how large that affected area is).

    Second, you won’t be the only “techie” who thought to protect valuable electronics in a Faraday cage. Some preppers do this as a matter of course, and eventually you would probably be able to communicate with them. (Cell towers, however, would likely be “fried” and need to be rebuilt).

    Communication at such a time would be extremely valuable. Unless there had been well-publicized warnings of impending CMEs in the days before the event, many people would have no idea what had happened to our world. Ham radio operators, who could communicate with other Hams around the globe, might become the new heroes of the day.

    Many AM/FM and shortwave radio stations believe that they’ll still be able to broadcast after an EMP or CME event, and without all the usual “noise” of our plugged-in society, their waves may be able to travel farther than they do now. Hopefully there would be Faraday-protected radios out there to receive their signals! There is, however, a likelihood that the earth’s electromagnetic field would be seriously disrupted by such an event, and it might take quite a while for things to settle down and not cause static on the airwaves.

    How to Make a Faraday Cage

    To be effective, a Faraday cage must:

    • Be covered with conductive metal or mesh. Copper is the most conductive metal, followed by aluminum. (Well--gold and silver are better, but we assume you won’t be covering your cage with those!)
    • Be properly grounded (according to some experts, to prevent shocks when touched)
    • Adequately surround whatever it’s protecting.

    In addition, whatever is inside should be adequately insulated from the cage itself, such as being placed on wood, in a cardboard box, or on a rubber mat so that it doesn’t touch any metal.

    Faraday Box # 1—The Galvanized Trash Can

    A Galvanized Trash Can can act like a Faraday Cage

    You will need

    • A galvanized metal trash can with a tight-fitting lid
    • Several boxes of heavy-duty aluminum foil
    • Enough metal screening or mesh to wrap around the top of the can and fit over the lip
    • Cardboard boxes of assorted sizes that fit inside the can
    • Plastic garbage bags or plastic wrap
    • Cloth pieces to wrap items

    Wrap the items you wish to protect first in cloth, then plastic, then 3-4 layers of heavy-duty foil, being sure that the foil is molded to the shape of the item and that each layer completely covers the previous one, with no tears or holes.

    Place your wrapped items in cardboard boxes. Tape shut, then wrap the entire box with 2 layers of foil.

    Line the trash can with cardboard, including the bottom, making sure there are no gaps. The foil-wrapped boxes must not touch the metal of the can. Set the can on wood or cardboard, not touching any other metal.

    Several experts say that simply putting the lid on the can, even if it fits tightly, is an insufficient seal. They suggest folding a sheet of metal screening around the top of the can and over the top lid and then forcing the lid over that to maintain a constant, tight-fitting metallic connection.

    Remember, this is for long-term storage of the appliances inside, not something that you can take your appliances out of to use and then return to the container without a great deal of trouble. A good idea is to look around for good deals on duplicates of things you use every day. Another important thing to remember is that you will need some type of charger—hand-cranked or solar-powered—to power up your devices once a crisis has passed. If you can wrap and store one of these in a protected Faraday container, you’ll be glad to have it. 

    Faraday Cage # 2—A Metal-Clad Box

    Any box made of non-conductive material such as plywood, and then totally covered with metal, metal mesh, or metal screening can serve as a Faraday cage. The metal must touch at all the corners and over and all around any opening for the protection to be complete, as an electrical charge will find its way through any gaps or crevices in the construction. The smaller the holes in the mesh or screen, the better the protection—but either mesh or screen is believed to work better than solid metal. The metal can be attached to the wood with staples or screws, whichever seems to work best for you. You might consider applying the metal mesh so that it folds around the corners. Then let the next piece overlap the edge of the first, securely fastened together and to the wood so that there is no break in the conductive shield.

    Updated: Living Off the Grid

    For those who don’t rely as heavily on electronic equipment for day-to-day life, the idea of Living Off the Grid is more realistic. Those who live off the grid don’t need to worry quite as much about EMP’s or CME’s causing havoc and chaos to their daily routine because they have already given up a lot of the equipment that would be affected by those electromagnetic pulses.

    However, living off the grid doesn't always mean going completely electronics-free.  In this case, living off the grid may not protect you from the aftermath of EMP’s or CME’s even if you produce your own electricity from an alternate source.  Faraday cages can benefit a variety of lifestyles to protect you and your electronics.

    There are many uncertainties about exactly what would happen in the case of an enormous release of electromagnetic energy in our civilized, plugged-in world. We can hope that nothing will happen to damage our electronics, but in case our hopes are vain, we’ll be happy for every measure we've taken to prepare!

    For more DIY projects, check out the articles below:

    DIY Tent Lamp

    Guest Post: Make a Paracord Bracelet

    Baby Steps: DIY Felted Wool Dryer Balls

    Emergency Essentials' DIY Laundry Detergent

     

    Sources:

    www.ehow.com/info__10047811-things-keep-faraday-box.htm

    www.ehow.com/how_8796313_make-faraday-cage-html

    www.thesurvivalistblog.net/building-a-faraday-cage

    www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faraday_cage

    www.science.howstuffworks.com/faraday-cage.htm

    http://thesurvivalmom.com/2012/10/09/skill-of-the-month-make-a-faraday-cage/

     

     

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: emergency power, skills, disaster, preparedness, emergency preparedness, DIY, disaster preparedness, Faraday Cage

  • Savannah Calls 9-1-1

    |1 COMMENT(S)

    Teaching children how and when to call 9-1-1 just might save your life

    You may remember our guest post from earlier this year about teaching young children how and when to call 9-1-1 (“Who They Gonna Call”). In the original article, found on babysittingjobs.com, the authors emphasize making sure your little people know their critical information (name, age, address) and what kind of circumstances really warrant an emergency call. It’s a helpful article and worth another look.

    A great example of these principles at work has gone viral. The video below shows the conversation between 5-year-old Savannah and a 9-1-1 dispatcher, after her father’s chest pains make it too difficult for him to speak.

    When instructing kids on 9-1-1 protocols, be sure they know to stay as calm as Savannah does. She speaks clearly, listens well, answers questions, and repeats the dispatcher’s questions to her dad verbatim—more than many of us might manage in a frightening situation! She also does a fantastic job of following directions, even when she first wants to do something else (the whole pajama issue is priceless!). It’s pretty standard for dispatchers to tell the caller to unlock a door for the EMTs and then stay close to the person in trouble, but if other circumstances necessitate more specific actions, kids need to listen calmly and do exactly what the dispatcher tells them to do.

    One of the best ways Savannah helps the professionals is by offering specific information readily. Not only can she give the dispatcher her name and age, but she describes the problem accurately and even gives him a heads-up about the family dog. A useful role-play might involve a parent acting out an emergency (heart attack, fainting, fall and injury) and having the child describe exactly what they see. Model a call, giving details of the victim’s situation (not breathing, not moving, can’t talk), then have kids take turns observing an accident and making pretend calls.

     

    If you need more ideas and resources for family 9-1-1 training, check out the links below.

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: skills, preparedness, family, 9-1-1, emergency preparedness

  •  

    Kelly Kettle combo - Stainless Steel

    A few weeks ago, we purchased a Kelly Kettle Stainless Steel Base Camp.  This purchase was made after many trips to the store to look at it, and some hours spent researching it on the internet.  We purchased the kit, which includes the kettle, pot stand, cooking set and fire starter.

    Our main purpose for the purchase was to use it for camping and hiking.  We take many day trips, and it’s perfect for heating the water for camp meals or coffee.  The first time we used it on our back patio, just to try it out.   We boiled water in about 4 minutes, which I thought was awesome, considering the fact we were using the kettle in a blocked area, with not a lot of airflow.

    After using it just once, you realize just how amazing this product is.  The great thing about it is you don’t have to carry any special type of fuel.  All you have to do is round up some sticks and twigs and you’re ready to go.  We have access to pine cones, so we use small ones.  Not only is it good fuel, but it smells great too.

    After using the Kelly Kettle, and thinking about it a bit, I realized that it has many uses other than just camping.  Earlier this summer, an auto accident caused the power to go out at our home for about 24 hours.  Now, we have electric appliances, so, making meals during this time required some creativity.  If we would have had the kettle, we could have easily made emergency meals since we keep them around for camping and hiking trips.

    When hiking, you can also get your water from a lake or stream, especially if you carry a water filter system as we do.  Not to mention you are boiling the water anyway.  This will save you from packing water around.

    Give the Kelly Kettle a try; it’s an awesome product.

     

    Jeff W, UT

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: warmth, guest post, water, Survival, Customer Reviews, emergency cooking

  • Datrex Water Pouches

    I received this guest post a few weeks ago, and I've been excited to share it with you. Jeff has found some fun and unique ways to use Datrex Water Pouches in his daily activities. It’s always nice to have some water on hand, and Jeff uses them for more than drinking.

    Thanks Jeff!

    --Kim

    WS-P100

    We purchased a case of the Datrex Water Pouches with the intention of using them for camping trips.  We keep them in the refrigerator so they are ready to go whenever we are ready for a trip.

    However, we have discovered so many more uses for them than just camping.  We also hike, bike, raft, and walk in the great outdoors.  We are able to make great use of the water pouches for all of our activities.

    We pack lunches when we are biking and hiking, and freeze several of the pouches to keep our lunch cold until we are ready to eat.  Then, after eating, we can drink the water that is in the pouch.  The pouch is usually not completely thawed, so we use the frozen portion as ice for our water bottles.

    The pouches take up very little space in our packs and bike bags, and are very light, which makes them perfect for outdoor activities.

    When we take MRE’s with us on our trips, one pouch is perfect for filling the MRE heater.

    The pouches are easy to pack after they are empty, which makes sure nothing is left behind when we leave the area where we stopped to eat.

    One other thought that we had about the pouches is that if they are frozen, they could be used for emergency ice packs for a sprain or injury while in the great outdoors.

    We also use them for our lunches for work, as they work as great ice packs to keep our food cold until we are ready to eat.

    These little pouches of joy are good for so many uses that the list could go on and on.  I am sure that we will continue to find new uses for them.

    Give them a try – You will not be sorry!

     

    -Jeff W, UT

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized

  • We recently moved to Salt Lake City from Nebraska. We have purchased online from Emergency Essentials, and love the fact that we can go to a retail store. We purchased several MREs from one of the scratch and dent sales. We also purchased heaters to go along with them. We love to mountain bike, hike, walk, and just enjoy the outdoors.

    Couple hiking on a trail

    On one of our recent hikes in the mountains, we took along a couple of the MREs. We stopped along the way, and spread out our blanket, made some coffee with our ultra-light stove, and cooked the MREs. They were wonderful and tasted awesome. They were also light and took up very little space in the backpack. The heaters also served a dual purpose. We were able to utilize them to heat up water to clean up our utensils and coffee pot.

    MREs with MRE Heaters

    MREs are easy to pack for a mountain bike excursion, as they take up so little space in a bike bag or hip pack. You can stop anywhere along a trail and have a meal, giving yourself the energy and nutrition to continue.

    Light weight, convenient, tasty, multi-purpose, and easy to pack. So many benefits from such a small and inexpensive product. One other benefit of the MREs is that you can use the box that they are in to light a fire if necessary. The box and plastic sleeve that is left over are easy to pack out and clean-up is simple.

    It is really hard to believe that these things can taste so good, considering it is a pre-packaged food product. We will continue to purchase MREs and use them in our adventures. I am sure we will discover new uses for them as time goes on.

    Jeff and Sherry, UT

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: food storage, camping, MRE, backpacking, emergency food, meal ready to eat, hiking

  • Oat Recipes to LOVE

    |1 COMMENT(S)

    I received this guest post submission a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve been looking forward to sharing it with you ever since. It was submitted by Kate from Missouri, and I have to say, I can’t wait to put these recipes to use. I’ve been making wheat berries since Don Pectol taught me the easiest way to use wheat, and I think I can use the same method to cook some oat groats for these recipes.

    Thanks, Kate!

    --Sarah (aka, Urban Girl)

    Oatmeal is a staple storage food for many families, and for good reason. It's easy to prepare, inexpensive, has great nutritional value, and lasts for years when stored properly.  It is also extremely versatile: oatmeal is mild-tasting enough to act as a base for hundreds of other foods. Maintaining variety in your meals is an important part of your mental health and overall happiness during a survival situation.

    Here are some of my favorite ways to enjoy a big bowl of oatmeal, adapted to include foods that you probably already have in your storage. Most of these ingredients are available on the Emergency Essentials web site.

    Note from the Editor: These recipes will all be equally delicious using whole Oat Groats if you don’t have a mill to turn your stored oats into oatmeal. Simply cook them in a rice cooker or on the stovetop as you would rice, with 3 parts water to 1 part Oat Groats. Our notes are included in italics below.

    Apple cinnamon - add some dehydrated apple slices and a dash of cinnamon sugar to your bowl of oatmeal. It tastes like those instant packets you can buy from the store...but BETTER. Use cinnamon apple chips if you want an extra punch of flavor.

    Brown sugar oats - this "recipe" is as simple as it sounds. Drop a big spoonful of brown sugar in the middle of your oatmeal and let it dissolve before eating.

    Creamy oats and honey - cook your oats with milk instead of water. Dissolve an additional tablespoon of milk powder into 1/4 cup of milk, then heat this "cream" until hot. Pour over your bowl of oatmeal, and add a drizzle of honey.

    Chocolate peanut butter - stir a packet of MRE chocolate peanut butter into your bowl of oatmeal. OR, if you want a very long-term storage option: mix together a scoop of powdered peanut butter, a tablespoon of cocoa powder, and a tablespoon of white sugar. Stir into your oatmeal.  This one is a hit with kids!

    Tropical oats - Rehydrate a few pieces each of freeze dried pineapplebananamango, and orange.  Stir into cooked oats, and top with a sprinkle of brown sugar. 

    Banana bread oats* - rehydrate 1/4 cup of freeze-dried banana slices. Mash them with a fork, and mix with 1/2 cup dry oats, 1tsp cinnamon, 2tsp white sugar, and 2/3 cup milk. Cook as usual.

    Mock Muesli* - Muesli is a breakfast food that is very popular in Europe. Mix together 1/2 cup dry oats, 2Tbsp raisins, and 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar. Add 1/2 cup of milk, and eat like cold cereal.

    * To adjust for oat groats, simply add the same ingredients to the cooked oats; start with 1/3 cup milk and add more as needed to achieve your desired consistency.

    Homemade granola** - mix together 2 cups of dry oats, 1/2 cup raisins, 3 Tablespoons brown sugar, and a dash of salt. In a separate bowl, mix together  1/3 cup oil and 1/3 cup honey. Pour liquids over the oat mixture, and stir well.  I usually bake the granola at 200 degrees for an hour and a half, but you could try using an alternative method. Campfire granola sounds pretty cool!  Eat with cold milk, or dry for an on-the-go snack.

    **This recipe is best with oatmeal, not groats.

     

    These are just ideas for oats you can eat in a bowl. You can also make pancakes, muffins, cookies, and breads from my favorite grain! Oats can be ground into flour and used in conjunction with wheat flour in many recipes.  As an example, here's my basic oatmeal pancake recipe (best made with oatmeal, not groats):

    Basic Oatmeal Pancakes 

    Ingredients:

    1/3 cup oats

    1/2 cup milk, reconstituted from powder

    1/3 cup oat flour

    1Tbsp brown sugar

    1/2 tsp baking powder

    Dash of salt

    1/4 tsp vanilla powder

    egg, reconstituted from powder

    Directions:

    Soak oats in 1/2 cup milk while you prepare the dry ingredients. Mix oat flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and vanilla powder in a medium bowl. Stir the oats and milk into your flour mixture, and add the reconstituted egg. Place an oiled skillet over medium heat. Pour pancakes, and flip to brown both sides. Serve with honey or brown sugar.

    Optional:

    Try some variations! Mix dried fruits into the batter, use cocoa powder to make chocolate pancakes, boil some sugar to make homemade syrup….you're only limited by your imagination.

    Storing oatmeal and a few of these add-ins is an easy way to ensure that your food storage won't ever get boring. I have been eating oatmeal for breakfast every morning for YEARS, and I still look forward to them because I change the ingredients so often. Experiment with your favorite flavor combinations now so that you can stock up, then enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you have months of inexpensive breakfasts stored in your pantry. 

    --Kate, MO

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: food storage, Urban Girl, recipes, Oats, groats, oatmeal, wheat, guest post, apple cinnamon, brown sugar, creamy, honey, chocolate, peanut butter, tropical, banana bread, mueseli, homemade, granola, pancakes

  • Who They Gonna Call?

    |1 COMMENT(S)

    It turns out that it’s not too early to teach your toddler what to do in an emergency. Today’s guest post shares several solid ideas that will help you teach your child about crisis situations.

    Teaching small children how to reach emergency services is less of a practical challenge and more of an emotional one, though there are some ways to simplify the process even further to make sure that they gain this much-needed skill.
    You’ll definitely want to read the whole post here: http://www.babysittingjobs.com/blog/ways-to-teach-your-child-to-call-911/. Let us know if you’ve tried these techniques at home and if you have any other suggestions.


    Two other helps: 
    1.  Click here to download our Emergency Information for Caregivers. It’s a great way to inform and prepare your babysitter.
    2.   Even if this does nothing more than prove to your kids that you can’t get any nerdier, incorporate this song into your discussion. Have fun! 




    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: guest post, disaster, Emergency, 9-1-1, 911, babysitters, children, crisis

  •  



    During the first week of Preptember™, we published a guest post about making a paracord bracelet. I followed the instructions and made myself a bracelet. It was fun, easy, and it

    felt good to have some back-up cordage.
    We received a comment on the blog post that said, “Not to sound stupid, but what would I use this for?” That’s a great question.  Remember that a paracord bracelet is supposed

    to be extra cordage. It’s good to keep at least fifty feet of paracord in your emergency kit.
    Paracord has seven thinner strands of nylon string inside a sheath. Each inner strand is made of two or three strands. This gives it a tensile strength of 550 pounds. Theoretically,

    you could get about 120 feet of cordage from the eight feet of paracord in your bracelet (if you take each inner strand apart). Of course, the strength of the cord diminishes as you take it apart.



    Tip: If you need to cut the cord but don’t have a knife, you can use paracord to cut itself. First, find the point you want to cut. Next, tie the cord to two sturdy objects with the cut point in the middle (leave plenty of slack). You can also use your feet for this; just make sure the cord is held firmly in place. Take a length of cord and run it behind (or under) the point you want to cut. Pull against the cut point with one end of the cutting section in each hand. Rub the extra length of cord back and forth vigorously at the cut point until the friction melts through the cord.

     

    So, what can you do with a paracord bracelet? Here’s my surely-not-exhaustive list in no particular order:
    1.   Tying just about anything to just about any other thing. Like a bottle or knife to a backpack or belt, or a rack on a bike, motorcycle, or car.
    2.   Repairing broken items like bootlaces, belts, backpack straps, rifle slings, zipper pulls, camera straps, or just about any kind of strap.
    3.   Lashing things together. This would be particularly handy for building an improvised shelter, raft, spear, etc.
    4.   Carrying stuff. I learned the hard way that carrying a heavy bundle by a single strand of thin paracord can be very painful. Try braiding or improvising a handle if you need to do this. If you have other paracord with you, a paracord bracelet actually makes a nice handle.
    5.   Traps. There are several types of traps you can make to catch wild animals. I don’t know how to make any, but there are plenty of books and videos on the subject.
    6.    Making a bow for a bow drill. See #5 above to find out what I know about making fire with a bow drill.
    7.   Hanging stuff. You can hang food up in a tree to keep in away from sneaky critters. I saw a guy rig up a hammock with paracord and it actually held his weight.
    8.   Making lanyards and “dummy cords.” Attaching useful items like keys, cell phones, flashlights, knives, compasses, etc. to your pack or clothes can help you hang onto them longer and keep them easily accessible.
    9.   Making a net. You’ll need enough cordage and some skill to do this. You probably couldn’t make a very big net just from your bracelet, but the seven inner strands add up to about 56 feet of cordage plus the eigh-foot-long sheath. Dave Canterbury (of Dual Survival fame) has made an instructional YouTube video on making a rope hammock (which is essentially a net).
    10. As a guyline or ridgeline (the main support) for a tent or tarp shelter.
        11. Anything else you can think of.
    The point is, paracord is useful. You can find tons of information and instruction for making paracord items on the internet—some more practical than others. I don’t like wearing bracelets, so I watched a bunch of videos online and was inspired to make my belt. It took a lot of time and trial and error, but it was worth it.
    You can make plenty of useful items out of paracord. I think it’s fun. If knot-tying isn’t your thing, it’s easy enough to wrap the cord in a bundle and throw it in a bag. Either way, you’ll be glad to have cordage in an emergency.  

    - Prep-Daddy

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: paracord

  • Make your own paracord bracelet to help you survive an emergency

    Paracord is a great addition to any emergency kit.  It was originally used as parachute suspension cord during World War II.  Since then, hikers, campers and other outdoor enthusiasts have praised its versatile uses in emergency situations.  Paracord can easily be woven into bracelets, belts and other compact wearable items.  It can later be unraveled and used for any number of emergency applications.

    A common, commercially-available paracord is known as “550 Cord,” which means it has a minimum breaking strength of 550 pounds.  This heavy-duty, yet lightweight, nylon military grade rope has 7 inner yarns made up of 3 strands.  It can be purchased from online and retail stores in a variety of colors.  I bought 100 feet of pink paracord for only $10 at a local military surplus store. [Editor's Note: You can also purchase from Emergency Essentials by clicking here.]

    Here I will teach you how to make a survival bracelet using a total of 10 feet of paracord.  At a cost of only about a dollar a bracelet, this is a great activity for scout troops, church groups, and families.  As an additional activity, see how many uses you can think of for the paracord or its inner yarns and strands.

    You will need a 2-foot long piece and an 8-foot long piece of 550 paracord.  You will also need a pair of scissors to trim the ends and a flame to singe the ends to keep the cord from unraveling.  Singe the ends before you start.  You can use a lighter, candle flame, or flame from a gas stove – just be careful not to burn yourself!  You can view the attached photos for help with each step.

    Step 1: Begin with the 2-foot long piece. Fold it in half and tie an overhand knot with the two loose ends. Wrap the doubled-up cord around your wrist and slide the knot through the loop (see Image 1). You should be able to fit a finger between the cord and your wrist. Adjust the length accordingly.

    Step 1

    Step 2: Place the 8-foot long piece of paracord in front of you horizontally. Place the base cord, with the loop at the top, over the middle of the 8-foot cord, forming a “T” shape.

    Step 2

    Step 3: Make a cobra knot. Do this by taking the right end of the 8-foot piece and bring it over the top of the base cord, like a “Z” shape.

    Step 3

    Step 4: Take the left end of the 8-foot piece and thread it down through the loop on the left side of the base cord. Weave it under the base cord and up inside the loop on the right. Pull the cord tight.

    Be sure the overhand knot will fit through the loop you’ve just created at the other end of the base cord. Adjust the loop as necessary.

    Step 4

    Step 5: Next, starting with the left piece, reverse the process by first making an “S” shape instead of a “Z” shape.

    Step 5

    Step 6: Finish reversing this step by bringing the right end of the cord down through the loop on the right side of the base cord. Weave it under the base cord and up inside the loop on the left. Pull the cord tight.

    Step 6

    Step 7: The first cobra knot is now complete! Continue making cobra knots until you are about a quarter inch from the overhand knot.

    Step 7

    Step 8: Check the fit by pulling the overhand knot through the loop at the other end. Adjust the knot to fit your wrist. The bracelet should fit snugly without being too tight. Trim the ends again and singe them again as needed. (There is no need to knot them as long as you have pulled the cobra knots tight and flattened the ends after singing them so they don’t slip back through and loosen on their own.)

    Step 8

    To wear your new survival bracelet, simply pull the overhand knot through the loop around your wrist. To use the paracord, just unweave the bracelet.

    As a variation, you can add a buckle or button.  You can also use longer lengths of paracord to make an ankle bracelet, belt, pet collar or leash!

    --Carolyn, CA

    Urban Girl says: I made a bracelet following these instructions, and it actually worked! I didn't doubt Carolyn, but more my ability to follow the instructions. However, they were very clear once I got started and had the paracord in front of me. I increased the size of my overhand knot (it kept slipping out of the loop). I created a normal overhand knot, but before tightening it, I took one of the loose ends and re-looped it through the knot. It increased the size of the knot just enough to keep it in place.

    Stay tuned—we’ll be back soon with more ideas for using paracord.

    Thanks, Carolyn!

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