Watches are one of the most practical pieces of gear to own. They help you keep track of time and days, and have many other useful functions (especially if you’ve invested in an outdoor survival watch). For outdoor enthusiasts in particular, having a watch band made out of parachute cord will be useful in the event of an emergency.
Paracord is a durable piece of cordage that can be your saving grace in any survival situation. This article will outline the usefulness of paracord and give a step-by-step guide on how to make your own paracord watch band.
Usefulness of Paracord
Parachute cord, or paracord, is a type of cordage originally used by the military during World War II. It is now widely marketed and used because of its strength and durability. The most common type of paracord you’ll find on the market is 550 cord, which has a breaking strength of 550 pounds. Not only is paracord strong, but it’s also lightweight and easy to carry around. For example, 225 feet of paracord can weigh only a pound. Parachute cord is also great for the outdoors because it dries quickly and unlikely to grow mildew.
Having a paracord watch band is useful to have because you can quickly disassemble it from your watch to use in any outdoor survival situation. They can help you build shelters, set up traps, strap items together, be used as a washing line or guy-line, be made into makeshift shoelaces or a bow, and the individual strands can be used for sewing. These are only a handle of the ways in which paracord can be useful for outdoor survival. With paracord, the possibilities are endless!
Step By Step Guide on How to Make a Paracord Watch Band
1. Gather Supplies
The first thing to do is get all of the necessary supplies and tools to make your paracord watch band.
What you’ll need:
- Approximately 10 feet of paracord (this will depend on the cord, your wrist size and tying technique)
- 5/8” side release buckle
- Tape measure
2. Attach Paracord to Buckle and Watch
On one end of your paracord measure approximately 20 inches of length. Use this portion to loop onto one end of the side release buckle. The long end of the paracord will be your working end. Take the working end and thread the strands over the first watch pin, under the watch, then over the other watch pin. Afterwards loop the paracord twice around the other buckle end.
3. Measure Your Wrist and Adjust Accordingly
Once you’ve attached paracord to both ends of the buckle, it’s time to measure the buckle ends on your wrist. The distance between the buckle ends (excluding the prong section) should be the same as the circumference of your wrist. Don’t be worried about the watch band being too tight because the spacing will be stretched another inch or so from the weaving process and after tightening everything at the end. Once you’ve measured correctly, bring the paracord ends back through the watch pins, beside your first thread through, and bring them back around the starting buckle piece.
4. Time to Weave
To start the weave, begin at the long end of the paracord and make your way to the shorter end. Take the long end and weave it over the outer cord, under the two center cords and over the other outer cord. Then thread it back over the two center cords and back under the outer cord again. Repeat this weave until you’ve made it to the watch pins. It’s important to keep the weave consistent and tight. Avoid leaving too much slack or your watch band may not fit your wrist.
5. Thread the Watch
Once you’ve reached the watch pins, ensure that everything is centered. The watch needs to be pushed up against the woven paracord. Take the remaining paracord of the working end and bring it through the pin and towards the watch pin on the other side.
6. Weave the Other Side
Continue with the same weaving technique until you reach the other buckle clip. Make sure that your weave remains tight against the watch to keep a tight and consistent weave. As you get closer to the buckle you can use a pair of hemostats to help you weave in the remaining paracord.
7. Finishing it Off
Take your working strand of paracord and weave it around the piece from the outer cord. Bring it through the underside of the watch band. You will deal with the excess paracord once you have the perfect fit around your wrist.
8. Try it On for Size
Once you’ve finished be sure to try on your new paracord watch band. Make sure that it fits comfortably on your wrist. If you find it too tight you can go back and loosen your weave. If it’s too large you can tighten it further.
9. Tuck and Fray Prevention
Now that you have a perfect fit, it’s time to deal with any excess paracord. Use your hemostats to bring three of the center weaves closer to the buckle end. Then use the hemostats to grip and pull the working strap back through the center weaves. Once the working strap has been pulled through, trim the excess paracord and melt the tip using the lighter. Melting the tip ensures that the end won’t fray and cause the strands to come apart. Repeat these steps with the shorter ends that you had at the beginning from attaching the paracord to the first buckle piece. Then tuck all of the melted tips under the weave.
Once you’ve completed your paracord watch band and have it fitting comfortably on your wrist, now you’re free to wear it anywhere you please. And always be sure to have it on you when you go out on wilderness adventures. Preparedness is your key to survival, and having a paracord watch band could come in handy in the event of an emergency.