Soldiers' Survival Bracelets

Every soldier and veteran knows the value of military parachute cord. Dubbed “550” for its burly breaking strength, this versatile cord is a warrior’s duct tape, with almost no end to the number of possible uses. The Survival Bracelet by SurvivalStraps takes a time-honored military tradition—weaving emergency-use bracelets out of 550—one step further, by attaching a stout clasp, implementing a break-away safety pin, and lacing the bracelet tightly with over a dozen feet of cord. Unravel it to temporarily fix a broken tent, string up food away from bears, or strap loose items to your pack. Whatever the application, you’ll have a handy tie-down and repair tool right there on your wrist. The best part? Use it in an emergency situation and SurvivalStraps will send you a new one for free. The company also makes 550-woven belts, keychains, zipper pulls, rifle slings, dog collars, and many other useful items. $25-$28, depending on size; survivaltraps.com.

For a less practical, more fashionable adornment, check out the From Soldier to Soldier paracord bracelet. Basically the designer version of a standard 550 wrist-wrap, this cool accoutrement has two clasp options and a streamlined, stylish look. While it too can be unraveled for emergency use, it’s intended more for wearing around town. This gentleman’s (and gentlewoman’s) look comes with a correspondingly genteel pricetag—although $25 from every sale does go to support wounded veterans. Available at the Jewelry Studio in downtown Bozeman. $95; www.fromsoldiertosoldier.org.