Survival Lanyard: How to Make One From Scratch

The other day I watched an episode of “I Shouldn’t Be Alive” where a man was riding his ATV and lost control of it. He was thrown from the vehicle only to have it land on his back and legs, pinning him to the ground. 

Ironically, he had a lot of emergency supplies strapped to the ATV but due to the circumstances, he could not reach them. However, he did have a necklace or lanyard, with a few items on it. The primary item was a signal whistle, but it looked like there may have been a few other items on there as well.

This got me thinking about survival lanyards and I thought it would be a worthwhile topic to discuss as well as how to make one. 

What is a Survival Lanyard?

A lanyard is a piece of cordage that hangs around the neck and serves a purpose other than aesthetics. You are probably most familiar with seeing ones that display a company employee’s badge. 

Instead of displaying a badge, a survival lanyard has emergency supplies on it, which provides quick and easy access to those items. 

Survival Lanyard: Pros & Cons 

When it comes to a survival lanyard there are some good things and some not-so-good things about them. I always like to start with the good. 


  • Access. Items on a neck lanyard provide quick and easy access.
  • Hidden. The lanyard can be worn on the outside of clothes or tucked underneath if you want to carry them discreetly. 
  • Organization. A lanyard provides a way to keep several critical items organized.
  • Availability. Even in extreme situations, some emergency gear will always be with you and within arm’s reach.  


  • Uncomfortable. The comfort of a lanyard will depend on the type of items on it, how many items are on it, and your comfort wearing a lanyard. 
  • Bulky. Again, this will depend on the type and number of items placed on the lanyard. A few small items will not be noticed all that much but it is easy to quickly overload a lanyard. 
  • Safety. The location of the lanyard requires special consideration regarding the type of cordage and hardware used. If this is ignored, then there is a real possibility of strangulation. 

Making a Survival Lanyard


The lanyard can be as simple or as complex as you like in both the items and cordage used. Any old piece of cordage can be used if it is strong enough to support the items. 

A popular cordage option is 550 paracord because it is strong, comes in an assortment of colors, can be braided into custom designs, and the cordage itself is a useful item. 


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