How Much Paracord Do I Need (GUIDE)

A survival bracelet may come in handy when you go out for adventure. This handy accessory is made of woven paracord, a nylon cord which has been used for parachutes since World War II. It serves many different purposes, especially during emergencies. However, the question still stands: "how much paracord do I need?” 

There are many possible answers to this question since paracord bracelets come in many braid styles, colors, and sizes. Here are some of the things you need to keep in mind when choosing one for yourself:

  • It depends on the size of your wrist. Usually, we follow a certain ratio of about 1 ft. of cord for every 1 inch of knotted bracelet length (1ft: 1inch). If your bracelet length is 7 inches, you should use a cord that is approximately 7 feet long.
  • You should keep in mind that a 7-inch bracelet will not fit a wrist that is 7 inches in circumference. It will be too small for you since we need to consider the thickness of your bracelet.
  • To get the size of your wrist, get a strip of paper and wrap it around your wrist. Then, mark your wrist size on the paper. A bracelet of the same length as the paper strip will not fit you at all.
  • Look for the length of the bracelet for a specific wrist circumference. You should measure this by laying your bracelet out and measuring all the parts that add to the length of it including the weave and the buckle.
  • Measure the thickness of your bracelet. It's all up to the thickness you prefer.
  • Identify the kind of fit that you want. It comes in two types:

Close fit – It is also known as the snug fit. This will make the bracelet tight. Make the bracelet length exactly as calculated using the equation below, if you want this fit.

Loose fit – It is when the bracelet is larger than the wrist. ​You should add anywhere from 1/16 of an inch to 1/4 to the length of the ​close fit to get a loose fitting bracelet.

  • ​Use the correct formulas above to know your bracelet size (as an example, we will use a 7-inch wrist and a 0.5 bracelet thickness):

Close fit bracelet

The length of the bracelet= Wrist size + (3.14*thickness of the bracelet)

The length of the bracelet= 7 + (3.14*0.5)

The length of the bracelet= 8.657 inches

Note: You need to make an 8.657-inch bracelet. Since it follows a ratio of about 1 feet of cord for every 1 inch of knotted bracelet length (1ft: 1inch), you will need a cord that is about 8.657 feet long.

Loose fit bracelet

The length of the bracelet= Wrist size + (3.14*thickness of the bracelet) + (anywhere from 1/16 of an inch to 1/4 inches). Let’s use ¼ of an inch.

The length of the bracelet= 7+ (3.14*0.5) + 1/4 of an inch

The length of the bracelet= 8.57 inches + 0.25 inch

The length of the bracelet= 8.82 inches

Note: Follow the same ratio mentioned above. For this fit, you will need a cord about 8.82 feet long.

For further reference here are the standard bracelet sizes:

  • Extra Small (XS) bracelets about 6.5 inches in size fit a small woman's wrist.
  • Small (S) bracelets about 7 inches in size fit average woman's wrist.
  • Medium (M) bracelets about 8 inches fit average man's wrist or woman with the large wrist.
  • Large (L) bracelets about 9 inches fit a man with a large wrist.

The simple equation above will help you make bracelets of proper length and find out how much paracord you'll need. As an alternative, you can also use the standard bracelet size as a reference by just looking at your wrist.

Paracord bracelets come in different styles, colors, designs, and sizes. If you want to make a plain bracelet, it would be easier since you only need to measure just a long piece of paracord. However, making a multicolored one requires you to measure not only a piece of paracord but two or more that are of different colors.


It's your wrist size that matters when finding out how much paracord you need to make a survival bracelet. It's either you measure it by the given equation above or by simply estimating your wrist size. Hope you'll find this article helpful. Enjoy making your DIY paracord bracelet! 

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