Survival bracelets = mall ninja?

Other provisions not covered above that may make survival easier if your life is tossed out of the norm. This section is for discussing everything from arc welders to underwear.

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Survival bracelets = mall ninja?

Post by Forever4Hire » Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:39 pm

You see survival bracelets on uniformed military personnel so often that they're practically part of the uniform. But on civilians, they always strike me as a bit mall ninja (although I'm willing to give military veterans a pass -- they can make it work without looking like posers).

Which is kind of too bad, because the damn things look like they could come in really handy.

What's ZS's position? Are survival bracelets a useful bit of gear, or a mall ninja fashion accessory?

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Re: Survival bracelets = mall ninja?

Post by interrogate » Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:46 pm

It to me really depends. I am military and base it on how the person holds themselves I can tell a prepper from a soldier in civis. And then there are the mall ninjas in 5.11 from head to toe. And now I wear tacti-cool stuff for work I am a defense contractor when I am not playing soldier for the national guard.

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Re: Survival bracelets = mall ninja?

Post by majorhavoc » Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:47 pm

If it fits your EDC needs, then I say go for it. And really, who among us isn't better for having five or six feet of paracord handy at a moment's notice?

Escape that vexing feeling of somehow copping out to popular fashion by making the damn thing yourself; and out of honest-to-gosh 550 cord. Tons of how-to videos out there on YT and instructables.com. Not only will you learn a couple of knots in the process, but anyone who makes their own gear has instant street cred in my book.

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Re: Survival bracelets = mall ninja?

Post by itzybitzyspyder » Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:04 pm

I don't wear noticable tactical gear. The shoelaces on my hiking boots are paracord though. I don't like for anyone to be able to gauge me as anything other than a regular dude. I wear jeans and t-shirts. Standing out as someone who has an interest in the military, weapons, prepping or bushcraft is IMO foolish. If you feel like you are seen as a mall-ninja when you have the bracelet on then wear it on your ankle. Don't advertise youself and the wrong people won't notice.
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Re: Survival bracelets = mall ninja?

Post by charadeur » Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:11 pm

Well my watch band broke so I made a survival bracelet watchband. It was as much out of need as anything. I think both mall ninjas and legitimate outdoors people can wear them. It is a false dichotomy to say it has to be either one way or another.
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Re: Survival bracelets = mall ninja?

Post by Sworbeyegib » Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:18 pm

I don't have a problem with them, I have a few non mil friends that make and wear them a lot, and I don't see it as mall ninja, I just see it as them keeping busy. I personally don't like wearing them, but its more so because I dont like jewlery or bands on my wrists/hands. If I want a few feet of cordage it'll usually be a small hank or lanyard on my key carabiner.
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Re: Survival bracelets = mall ninja?

Post by majorhavoc » Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:02 pm

charadeur wrote:Well my watch band broke so I made a survival bracelet watchband. It was as much out of need as anything. I think both mall ninjas and legitimate outdoors people can wear them. It is a false dichotomy to say it has to be either one way or another.
You should do a photo how to for us, charadeur.

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Re: Survival bracelets = mall ninja?

Post by crypto » Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:11 pm

I made one a decade ago and I've been wearing it ever since. people can think what they want, I like the way it looks.
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Re: Survival bracelets = mall ninja?

Post by charadeur » Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:13 pm

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It is not very hard. I watched a YouTube video ad just added the watch. The pictures are pretty self explanatory. The only hint is to melt the ends and squish them flat with needle nose to get them between the watch and pins.
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Re: Survival bracelets = mall ninja?

Post by majorhavoc » Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:17 pm

charadeur wrote: It is not very hard. I watched a YouTube video ad just added the watch. The pictures are pretty self explanatory.
Nice. I've see you're using a side release Fastex type buckle. I've seen variations that actually use a frame and prong type belt buckle. But the arrangement you have certainly makes the project more accessible.

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Re: Survival bracelets = mall ninja?

Post by charadeur » Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:20 pm

That buckle takes some getting used but in short order you can put it on without even looking.
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Re: Survival bracelets = mall ninja?

Post by JayceSlayn » Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:42 pm

I don't often make much of survival bracelets on people I see. They have become a minor fashion accessory lately, so it is starting to get to be difficult/irrelevant to gauge someone's mentality from that alone. If you pay attention to the whole, you can still start to sort people into "prepper" and "mall ninja", I guess.

I am sort of divided on whether or not a survival bracelet is a good idea anyway. I understand the benefit of EDC-ing some cordage, but from principles of good rope care, it grates me to think of it ever being relied upon anywhere near its rated capacity. 550 paracord is basically just a small diameter kernmantle rope, like what one would typically use for climbing. Unlike climbing rope however, it is not intended for climbing, and a single strand by itself should never be relied upon as life-critical equipment. Similar to climbing rope though, we (should) all know what constitutes good rope care, and unfortunately wearing a bunch of rope knotted up tightly on your wrist 24/7 is pretty much a textbook example of all the things not to do.

Mind you, my reservations are mainly from a longevity and strength standpoint, so I still think that as long as you understand the rope may be compromised and use it for utility functions, then it is a good idea.
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Re: Survival bracelets = mall ninja?

Post by 74 or more » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:49 am

If you want to wear it, then wear it. People are going to give you shit no matter what, for whatever reason, so you might as well do what ever you want anyway. I agree with majorhavoc that you should make it yourself though. Aside from the all around good feeling of accomplishment it'll give you, it'll put you above the mall-ninja types.
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Re: Survival bracelets = mall ninja?

Post by Silent Kube » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:51 am

I made one for my brother for christmas in his college colors just because he spends a lot of time running and biking in the woods and takes no gear whatsoever. I'm working on a small knife for him too.
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Re: Survival bracelets = mall ninja?

Post by Dave_M » Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:24 pm

They sell these at the local dollar store. Seriously.
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Re: Survival bracelets = mall ninja?

Post by ninja-elbow » Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:09 pm

Yep, stopped wearing one myself for many reasons. One of them was because I saw some at the Plaid Pantry store 2 summers ago and Sportsman's Guide sells them in 3 packs:
http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/3 ... ?a=1100991" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Main reason why I quit wearing them was because it became a "deployment thing". One of my buddies is a reservist CeeBee and they all grew 'staches and got "deployment bracelets". I have fobs and stuff like that if I need 3 feet of cord now.
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Re: Survival bracelets = mall ninja?

Post by omega_man » Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:48 pm

Awww man, I guess I'm a mall ninja poser now. Shit. :vmad:
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Re: Survival bracelets = mall ninja?

Post by xd dude » Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:05 pm

I didn't know that the hipster cred thing translated to preps. "Everyone has one so its not cool anymore." Wear it if you like/need it.

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Re: Survival bracelets = mall ninja?

Post by Browning 35 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:15 pm

I've almost bought one a couple times. I also quit caring what most people think a long time ago, so I wouldn't have a problem wearing one.
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Re: Survival bracelets = mall ninja?

Post by Boromokot » Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:02 am

meh, my gf made me one that i wear around my ankle. I get to keep my preps and avoid looking mall ninja :clap:
i've used them to lash gear and a few to make dog collar/leashes when i came across lost dogs. they come in handy so i say keep them and wear them how you want. what someone else makes of em is their problem.

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Re: Survival bracelets = mall ninja?

Post by -Jason- » Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:07 pm

What does paracord on my left wrist combined with the G-Shock on my right wrist mean? Epic level mall ninja? :shock:

Honestly though I don't care what anyone thinks of it. Much more important things to worry about broadcasting to the public, I wouldn't consider a commercially available bracelet as one of them.

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Re: Survival bracelets = mall ninja?

Post by MacWa77ace » Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:58 pm

JayceSlayn wrote:
I am sort of divided on whether or not a survival bracelet is a good idea anyway. I understand the benefit of EDC-ing some cordage, but from principles of good rope care, it grates me to think of it ever being relied upon anywhere near its rated capacity.
***
Mind you, my reservations are mainly from a longevity and strength standpoint, so I still think that as long as you understand the rope may be compromised and use it for utility functions, then it is a good idea.
I'm sure that 550 is a straight pull test on an apparently unblemished line. But, at max 12' of line wouldn't make a great climbing rope given the diameter. That extra cord IMO is more for lashings and what not. And if you wrap it multiple times your multiplying the strength. Additionally the individual strands can be used as fishing line, snares, dental floss, sewing thread, etc.
-Jason- wrote:What does paracord on my left wrist combined with the G-Shock on my right wrist mean? Epic level mall ninja? :shock:
I'd read that as a lefty.

What does this mean? EDC. :oops:
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Re: Survival bracelets = mall ninja?

Post by JayceSlayn » Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:37 pm

MacWa77ace wrote:
JayceSlayn wrote:
I am sort of divided on whether or not a survival bracelet is a good idea anyway. I understand the benefit of EDC-ing some cordage, but from principles of good rope care, it grates me to think of it ever being relied upon anywhere near its rated capacity.
***
Mind you, my reservations are mainly from a longevity and strength standpoint, so I still think that as long as you understand the rope may be compromised and use it for utility functions, then it is a good idea.
I'm sure that 550 is a straight pull test on an apparently unblemished line. But, at max 12' of line wouldn't make a great climbing rope given the diameter. That extra cord IMO is more for lashings and what not. And if you wrap it multiple times your multiplying the strength. Additionally the individual strands can be used as fishing line, snares, dental floss, sewing thread, etc.
Yeah, undoubtedly the test for 550 cord is as-manufactured product. In-fact the MIL-C-5040 specifies FED-STD-191 method 6016 as the test method, which I assume looks quite a bit like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVRI45AXOHA. The drums reduce the likelihood that the clamps will cause critical stress concentrations on the cord, and helps to ensure that it breaks in the middle of a single rope strand for an accurate test. The MIL-C-5040 didn't seem to lay out any specifics on the tolerance of the strength test, and basically said it was the responsibility of the manufacturer to perform and supply certificates of compliance, but I am guessing they probably adopt something like: 550 lbs +5%/-0%.

I definitely agree, that for utility, paracord is hard to beat. And I'm sure that even after being subjected to daily sweat, dirt, and abrasion, that it still retains a great deal of that functionality. Just expressing my displeasure with how carrying it exposed to the rigors of daily abuse is not an ideal way to carry good cordage that you might want to rely on later. Admittedly, I can't think of too many ways that are better and are just as convenient, so I think it's a good compromise. Calling it 550 cord after that kind of treatment is probably a little optimistic, though, that's all. :P
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Re: Survival bracelets = mall ninja?

Post by angelofwar » Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:52 pm

Browning 35 wrote:I've almost bought one a couple times. I also quit caring what most people think a long time ago, so I wouldn't have a problem wearing one.
That's pretty much me in a nutshell. My mother in law bought me one (hey, at least she's buys me stuff like that...), and while I don't wear it as an EDC item, I will wear it on my outings, when I'd be put in a real survival situation, and not just have it around for some Macgyver stunt. I also wear tactical pants every where I go, just because the comfort level of them with my EDC stuff. Because, as stated above, I don't care what people think.
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