Slatts Rescue Belt (paracord belt upgrade)

For those of you who are regular visitors to this site, you know how often I stress making 550 Paracord an essential item in your bug-out-bag, survival kit, car and so on — the more the better.

Given the strength of paracord (550 lbs of tensile strength) and its many applications (tiedowns, lashings, shelter building, friction fire making, fishing line and nets, splints, repairing equipment, tooth floss and many more) it’s one of those things you should never leave home without.

In my article on How to Put Together a Survival Kit I talk about my three-tiered survival kit system, with the first tier being what you always have on your person. Part of my first tier is the paracord bracelet that I wear. While it was good that I had some amount of cordage on me at all times (around 12 feet) that small amount of cordage has only minimal applications. Now enter the paracord belt…

My Journey to Find the Ultimate Paracord Belt

Originally I had posted an article about the first paracord belt that I made. Although you get about 100 feet of paracord, it was difficult to unwrap if you needed it quickly in an emergency and most of all it looked dang ugly — not something I wanted to be wearing, which I didn’t.

At that time I began looking for other belt ideas. I had three requirements. One, it had to be able to unravel quickly. Two, it had to contain at least 100 feet of paracord. And three, it had to look nice enough that I’d actually wear it. The cobra weave for example, while it looks great, is not ideal for quick access and you don’t get around 100 feet of cord.  

Well I finally came across a belt pattern that is not only nice to look at, but it unravels as quick as a crocheted blanket (in fact it’s nothing but a modified crochet stitch) and it contains around 120 feet of cord! It’s called the Slatt’s Rescue Belt (invented by Philip Slattery). Here’s another image of the belt I made:

How to Make the Slatt’s Rescue Belt

The stitch, while it may appear complicated, is actually quite easy to do. And once you get the hang of it, you’ll be making your belt while you watch television. Here’s an excellent video put together by TyingItAllTogether on YouTube that details the process in making this (I plan on creating an instruction set on how to start the knot on a belt loop soon. UPDATE: Please click here for instructions on how to start the belt loop): 

video link for email subscribers

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46 Comments»

Comment by mike
2010-12-08 15:43:10

Iv’e been using this style of Paracord belt for a while now, I love it.
I also found that by modifying the beginning of the belt you can make good gun slings out of this stitch. I also came up with a way to add a small loop any where in the middle of the belt to add a carabiner, by skipping a loop.
The only down side i found with this style of stitch is it tends to stretch out under load, making its belt function iffy at times.

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2010-12-10 06:31:57

Mike,

Thanks for the comments. I’d love to see how you add the loop. Do you have a site or somewhere that you can post that?

Comment by mike
2010-12-13 19:45:58

I don’t have any way i can post it.
To add the attachment loop you have to start 1 loop wider than you want to end with. you will want to place the attachment loop at least a couple rows from either end of the belt.
After you’ve twisted your loops and before you pass through them with your working end of the rope, you attach your carabiner to one of the center loops, then proceed to pass the working end through all the loops except the 1 you’ve attached your carabiner to. When you’re tightening the loops leave the 1 with the carabiner as loose as you desire it will be your attachment loop.
If you have an email i could send you some pictures of how i did it, sorry i’m not terribly tech savvy.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2010-12-15 16:09:00

Hey Mike,

Thanks for the details. I’d love to see pics. If you can send them to tacticalintelligence.net [at symbol] gmail [dot] com I’ll be sure to post them.

- Erich

 
 
 
 
Comment by DaveyBoy
2010-12-09 09:00:05

Thanks for posting. I will be attempting to make one of these belts soon. It’s been on my list of things to learn for a while, and this makes it easier. Thanks again!

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2010-12-10 06:33:38

Davey,

You’re very welcome. I know how it is. It’s been on my todo list for quite some time as well and finally now just got to it. Let us know how yours turns out.

 
 
Comment by Anderson
2011-01-05 19:45:31

This is a horrible idea. Your belt is there for more than to hold your pants up. Although holding my pants up is key–in any real combat environment I use suspenders anyways. It allows you to keep your pants up without having to cinch your belt down, thus allowing for proper blood flow and lactic acid to dissipate. A well made cobra/riggers belt offers advantages for carrying, using the belt as a hasty harness, etc. 550 cord has its place, on the body is not it. What happens if you need to use a ton of lashings/etc and now you’ve got no belt and need to keep moving? Same thing with super high speeds who put their ID tags on em. Hopefully you don’t lose your head or get grabbed by a bad dude and not be able to break away. And I hope your sweet paracord bracelet doesn’t get caught on anything, because whatever it is, you’re hand is going with it. Additionally, I keep other survival items behind the velcro on my riggers belt.

The same tenants which guide common sense in combat frequently apply survival situations.

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2011-01-05 21:35:15

Anderson,

Appreciate the comments but I’m still keeping the belt. However you make a good point with the bracelet and will give that one some thought. I’m thinking a breakaway clip that would prevent the bracelet snagging on something and taking my hand with it.

Thanks again! Some good feedback.

 
 
Comment by Ben
2011-01-09 13:49:12

How do you get the tapered end on the belt?

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2011-01-09 18:14:22

Hey Ben,

The stitch actually creates it when you tighten it at the end.

 
 
Comment by Sasquatch
2011-01-21 10:46:14

Anderson et al,
Why not make a pair of suspenders and a belt in the slatts fashion?

Comment by TacticalIntelligence
2011-01-21 11:53:38

There ya go. :)

 
 
Comment by Sasquatch
2011-01-21 10:48:59

Anderson et al,
I neglected to mention I use a seat belt from an old car for my riggers belt it works great

 
Comment by DieDaily
2011-02-03 18:00:12

Just made a rifle sling with super thick (5mm or about 1/5″) dollar-store paracord-like rope using just two loops plus the pull-through loop. Worked like a charm, only needed about 12 yards or so. The resulting strap is well over an inch wide and nice and elastic, really comfortable. I agree that the resulting “belt” is far too elastic to be very effective as a pants-belt but it sure made a pretty decent sling. And it’s not like you’d have to be without your sling to use the rope, you’d just save a yard of it for a single-cord sling and use the other 11 for your other needs. The point is now I don’t have to remember to carry rope, it’ll just be there with me. Even as a means of storing rope in your pack, this is a great knot. The resulting shortened rope can’t get tangled in storage and it dispenses flawlessly by just pulling what you need out from an end as you need it. The video was the best and least confusing of all the ones that I found. Thanks Tac Int!

 
Comment by Garlick
2011-02-14 04:15:40

Hi I know how to make slatts belt, but someine tell me how or give me like to make the first belt. (the belt that has more space between rows)

 
Comment by nearlywild
2011-02-18 02:54:30

I’m looking to buy some 550 cord but how do I make sure that it is quality cord and not some knock off?

 
Comment by tintedgrey
2011-03-07 19:38:41

Can you tell us how you attached the buckle? I still can’t figure it out. :(

Comment by TacticalIntelligence
2011-04-11 05:55:16

tinted,

I just recently wrote an article about that. Check it out here:

http://www.tacticalintelligence.net/blog/slatts-rescue-belt-part-2.htm

 
 
Comment by Dann
2011-03-26 20:18:45

Using this method, about how long a belt would a 100 foot section of paracord produce? Thanks in advance.

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2011-03-28 23:15:34

Dann,

In my experience, 100 feet makes about a 38 inch belt. This is with six loops and after stretching the belt some.

 
 
Comment by ukeman
2011-04-09 10:29:30

So when i saw this it reminded me of my mother knitting, making a mistake and then unravelling the mistake.

Lo and behold- using paracord and thick needles, make a 5 stitch “knitted” belt. Once you remove the loops from the “needle” the paracord just totally unravels just liek a Slatts belt.

Now i just need to figure out how to sell the idea of guys knitting with paracord!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uw-nUvGrBY

 
Comment by TacticalIntelligence
2011-04-11 05:54:01

Good observation. I believe the Slatt’s knot was in fact inspired by knitting.

 
Comment by Fatcat
2011-06-20 09:47:39

I’ve starrted this belt. I have about 6 inches made. The left side seems to be longer. With each row of loops the left side grows longer, I can’t keep them straight across. What am I doing wrong?

Comment by TacticalIntelligence
2011-06-20 11:06:46

You’re doing it right, so no worries. It appears to be growing only in one direction but as it gets longer and you pull it a bit you’ll notice that it is straight but the pattern is slanted.

 
 
Comment by Allan
2011-08-06 09:25:31

Why a video tutorial? WHY? I hate them. I personally prefer written instructions with diagrams that I can print off, sit in a comfy chair and follow at my own pace, Rather than having to sit at a computer, in a stiffback chair, constantly reaching for the mouse,

I can’t make this “weave” work anyway. I can’t work out how to tighten the rows up, and each row gets successivly looser. Pulling on the live end just makes the belt unravel.

 
Comment by Todd
2011-09-27 16:08:03

The simplest of belts only takes about 4 feet of paracord. Maybe 8 feet if you think your gut might exert more than 550 lbs. of pressure :)

Unravel
Stash buckle
Cut off 4 feet and tie up your pants
Use what you need
Wrap and stash the remainder

Especially as an EDC, I’ve gotten away from putting anything on a belt. It’s awkward, and does not lend itself to daily work (my job does not require a signficant carry of equipment on-body). Sure, this belt may not be ideal for combat, hiking, camping… But being able to EDC over 100′ of paracord as an item of clothing I already wear for emergency purposes? I don’t call that a horrible idea.

 
Comment by Ben
2011-11-12 12:46:22

Where do i get the buckle?

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2011-11-14 03:31:23

Hey Ben,

If you’re looking for standard buckles, a good resource is: http://www.moonshineleather.com/beltbuckles.cfm.

Otherwise if you want something more custom, just do a google search on “men’s belt buckles” and you’ll find some pretty crazy ones. Good luck!

 
 
Comment by wonks
2011-12-23 20:43:55

Do this while watching TV!?!? You must have watched all 550 minutes of Planet Earth twice before the belt was done.

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2011-12-28 12:22:10

lol. Pretty much, yeah.

 
 
Comment by T.W.
2012-04-26 10:54:58

I am using break-away 3/8 buckles to make my bracelets. I believe they seperate at 20# but not sure.

 
Comment by T.W.
2012-04-26 12:15:56

I buy mine straight from a military surplus store

2012-04-26 21:44:33

T.W., that’s good to know. Do you have a link to those buckles? I’d like to take a look…

 
 
Comment by wookieleash
2012-07-09 21:21:02

The 3/8 inch side release buckles from bucklerunner.com break away pretty easily and they are fairly inexpensive…100 qty for $25

 
Comment by wookieleash
2012-07-09 21:23:57

Have you seen how to make a bracelet with 2 separate cobra stitches joined side by side?

 
Comment by Dan
2012-08-01 02:36:04

For those of you who want the belt and para cord check out the Tactical IOA Paracord Belt in the NRAStore.com You can unravel about 40 feet of cord and still have a usable belt afterwards.

 
Comment by Lou Scarano
2013-02-17 12:42:33

can 100 feet of paracord make a belt to fit size 38 t0 40 waist

 
Comment by David
2013-03-22 02:06:52

You have to take the cord coming to the inside and cross it over to the other stitch. I ususally use the back cords and always cross the same cord on the bottom(from the same side). This gives a better looking weave. If done right you have a crossover on one side of the weave and straight lines on the other. I have done these for wide bracelets and also for dog collars for larger dogs. I have one to make soon as my Mastador Sheperd pup is growing up and will need one. Actually he will get two, one in black to match him and his leash and another in blaze orange for when we go woods running.

 
Comment by Meg
2013-05-18 21:52:05

Oh my goodness, this made me laugh so hard I got dizzy. I just wanted to point out that even a foot of cord will hold your pants up. You just loop around two belt loops, tighten as much as you need, and voila!

 
Comment by Julie A
2013-07-07 11:13:44

Hmmm.. I knit. I have para cord…. Wonder what size needle to use?

 
Comment by Julie A
2013-07-07 11:19:17

This is actually very similar to a crocheted afghan stitch – minus the single crochet back across. I’m thinking about starting this today for my don. Might try using a crochet hook (size n?) to assist in pulling the bight through.

 
Comment by Jess
2013-09-08 10:20:16

I’ve made two of these belts now using paracord, with a six-loop stitch. On the first belt, I noticed the paracord had multiple twists due to all the loops facing the same direction. You don’t notice this on the video, since it uses braided cord. I spent a lot of time getting the twists out, and realized that I would have a bunch of twisted cord if I had to unravel the belt. So, I alternated the twists on the second belt. This yielded a completely different yet equally attractive design. The belt was also both narrower and longer. I would recommend that second technique as both faster and more usable if needed. Using 100 feet of paracord on both, the first belt was around 41 inches and the second, 49 inches (after a bit of stretching out). I would also use an eight-loop stitch with the second technique to make it wider, which I estimate would result in about a 36-inch belt using 100 feet of paracord.

I also started the second belt with two loops, then four loops and then went to the full six loops for the remainder. This made the buckle end straighter and easier to attach.

 
Comment by chicken dog treats
2013-12-02 04:27:46

Generally I do not learn post on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very pressured
me to try and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me.
Thanks, quite nice post.

 
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