MYOG – Paracord sternum strap with emergency whistle

by Andy Amick on February 8, 2012

in Gear, MYOG, Paracord, Tips

Sternum strap made from paracord using an emergency whistle buckle - make your own gear

The latest make your own gear (MYOG) project is a replacement sternum strap that uses paracord and an emergency whistle buckle.  It’s yet another way to have some fun with paracord projects, but also a good way to get paracord onto your gear in a functional way.  The idea came from seeing Mary Collier-Metcalf use the whistle buckle in Ride The Divide and thinking about different ways to get that onto an existing pack.  Since it was going to require a new strap, that strap might as well be made of paracord.


Each side of the buckle contains 3-5 feet of paracord for a total amount of 6-10 feet depending on the strap length.  The only drawback of this type of strap is lack of adjustment.  Make sure you have measured the correct length before you build it.


The 3/4″ whistle buckle can be purchased from DIY Gear Supply or other online stores.  I haven’t seen these buckles in any local camping stores.


Making the strap

Before starting the knots, be sure to measure and then measure again to get the correct length for each side.  Once measured, each side is constructed using the King Cobra stitch that is found in many many paracord bracelets or lanyards.


(Sorry in advance for the poor quality of the step by step photos.  What seemed like a good idea when taking the pictures was obviously a bad one due to the lighting and background.)


For additional information on the cobra knot:

See Stromdrane’s post for better details on the cobra knot and better pictures.

See Tying It All Together’s YouTube video showing the cobra knot in detail.



Attaching the strap to an existing pack

If a pack comes with an existing sternum strap, that strap needs to be removed and replaced with the paracord version.  Some patience is required to work the loop of the strap onto the sternum buckle.  The following video shows the technique used.


There are also Quik Attach sternum buckles that could be used for this project.  They would allow the paracord strap to be built directly onto the sternum buckle and whistle buckle and alleviate the need to loop the strap onto the sternum buckle.  Unfortunately, these buckles only come in bulk and I have not been able to find any small quantities to test out.


The finished product

Full view of paracord sternum strap - make your own gear

With both sides completed and attached to your pack, you are ready to head out.  The 10 feet of paracord and emergency whistle keep you prepared in case there is an “Oh crap, what just happened?” moment.


What other paracord projects would you like to see?  Does anyone have bike specific projects they have been thinking of or completed?

About Andy Amick
A little bit nutty in general, a lotta bit nutty about bikes. Each of his boys received a bike helmet for their first birthday and the three of them have been biking together ever since.

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  • Great post! I had done this on my edc/hydra pack a few weeks back. Always looking for good ways to incorporate more paracord in my life.

    • Andy Amick

      Paul, its fun to find more uses for paracord. Did you attach yours the same way?

      • I’ve been making parraocd belts. Instead of using the clip like you have I’ve been using S-biners. I haven’t been making them fancy, instead taking one long piece and folding it over six times making three double strands to braid. One end has three small loops that go into the S-biner. The other end I fold over on itself and braid back into itself. This makes a loop at the end for the s-biner. I’ll post a picture over at my site.

  • Lydia

    Where do you get your paracord? I’ve been wanting to try out some different knots and stuff, but I can only find it in massive bulk. Is there some place I can get it in smaller quantities?

    • Andy Amick

      Lydia, I get mine from or Amazon and you can order 50ft or 100ft amounts. Check those places or your local Army Navy store to find the colors you want at the best price.

    • This is great. You need to start selling these. Especially the belt idea. So much more prcraoad, and perfect for guys that don’t want a bracelet. Great gift idea too home made, practical, and inexpensive. I personally would love one of these as part of my edc Nice Job guys.

  • I make paracord belts. Look up Slatt’s recuse belt it’s easy to make and you can unravel it in a short period of time. I have about a hundred and twenty feet of paracord around my waist right now. If you want more cord you can either put on more weight or get a rodeo championship buckle and make it wider.

  • Andy Amick

    Rodeo buckle – yeah, that’s exactly what I need for my cycling setup. But it would provide for a much wider belt/strap :)

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