Urban Survival Class: How to Make a Bug Out Lanyard

Easy To Make Bug Out Lanyard

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Today, it’s all about how to make a bug out lanyard. No matter where you go, having extra protection is essential. It is the reason you should make a bug-out lanyard that you can carry around with you anywhere. Whether you are on a camping trip, spending time with friends, or alone in an unknown area, your lanyard may come in handy just when you need it. All you need to do is make sure you put the right items on the lanyard to access them when you need them.

I have a friend, Wendy, who talked about making these as a group where she lives. So I wrote out the ones I wanted and ordered all of them to make sure they were what I thought would work for all of us.

I bet a lot of you have several of these items in your home, so why not make a lanyard to use with your 72-hour kits or bug-out bags? All these items will be right at your fingertips if and when you must leave your home if you must evacuate. This would also be perfect to use with your Get Home Bag. I’m going to hang my lanyard over the headrest in my car so it’s always ready to use.

Urban Survival Class: How to Make a Bug Out Lanyard

Purchase a Bug Out Lanyard

The first step to making a bug-out lanyard is to purchase a lanyard. You can find one in stores that sell keys. You may find better options while looking online. The price of a lanyard varies tremendously and will depend on the size and material it’s made of. Regardless of the option you choose, make sure it has the durability to hold the number of items you plan to attach to it. You don’t want your lanyard to break when start using it after you’ve attached the essential items.

Choose the Right Items to Add to Your Bug Out Lanyard

Urban Survival Class: How to Make a Bug Out Lanyard

Bug Out Lanyard

Once you have your lanyard in your hands, it is time to start adding the essentials to it. While you get to decide exactly what to attach to your lanyard, these are some excellent suggestions to consider. The goal is to keep things on your lanyard that can come in handy during emergencies. This is the one I purchased: A lanyard

Urban Survival Class: How to Make a Bug Out Lanyard

Lee, a reader recommended a ParaCord Lanyard, so I ordered this one that Lee suggested: WALNEW 25-inch ParaCord Lanyard

Urban Survival Class: How to Make a Bug Out Lanyard


The carabiner is one of the most important items to add to your lanyard. You will hang all your other things from it. I used three carabiners as hooks/holders. These are the ones I purchased: Carabiner


Mini Flashlight

A mini flashlight is a great addition to the lanyard. You can find mini flashlights available at low prices. Consider using an LED option that will shine bright for hours instead of quickly dying out. You can even save money by purchasing the mini flashlights in bulk and adding a new one to your lanyard each time an old one dies out. This is the one I purchased: Mini-Flashlight



Get a whistle online or in one of several chain stores, such as Wal-Mart. Having a whistle will come in handy if you are trying to scare off a wild animal or let people know that you are stranded in a specific area. It is an essential item to include in your lanyard. This is the one I purchased: Whistle. This whistle is AWESOME and LOUD!



You never know when you might need a compass. If you get lost in the wilderness while camping, you can use the compass to guide you in the right direction. Make sure to include a durable compass on your lanyard. This is the one I purchased: Compass


Miniature Can Opener

Look online for a miniature can opener that you can attach to your lanyard. If you are camping and need food, you would get to easily open canned food without frustration. The miniature can opener is easy to find on Amazon.com for a reasonable price. This is the one I purchased: Mini-Can Opener

Military Can Opener

Small Swiss Army Knife

You might need one of these knives to cut something while out in the wilderness. It helps to attach one to the lanyard just in case you might use it. This is the one I purchased: Swiss Army Knife

Urban Survival Class: How to Make a Bug Out Lanyard

Lip Balm/Chapstick

Keep a stick of lip balm on your lanyard to keep your lips from chapping. Cold, dry weather can quickly cause lips to become parched when you are outside for extended periods. This is similar to the one I have: Chapstick Sleeve

Chapstick Holder

USB Drive

Load your identification and other vital documents on a USB drive. Attach the drive to your carabiner on your lanyard. It might not seem important, but it is an essential item to carry with you. Here is a 32GB Flashdrive. I’m sure you have one at home, just make a copy of it.

USB Flashdrive


Keep your hands clean and get rid of germs with a bottle of hand sanitizer. You can attach a miniature bottle (in the holder as shown below) to your lanyard and fill it up again when it’s empty. This is the one I purchased: A Hand Sanitizer Holder

Hand Sanitizer

Name Tag

Include a name tag that lets people know the lanyard belongs to you. It is possible to laminate a name tag before attaching it to keep it from getting damaged. I opted for this one: Name Tags

Name Tag

Nail Clippers

Another reader recommended some nail clippers. We all know we love to have some nail clippers when we have one of those nasty hangnails, right? I chose these because they had a hole in the end so I could add them to the lanyard. Nail Clippers

Nail Clippers

Fire Starter

Another reader suggested a Fire Starter, this is the one I ordered. Swiss Safe® 5-in-1 Fire Starter with Compass Paracord

Read More of My Articles  Family Cloth-How To Make Reusable Toilet Paper For Survival

This is how you use it, according to the box and I quote:

  • Gather kindling, dry grass, pine needles, small twigs, or small branches.
  • Use the serrated edge of the striker to shave some magnesium from the rod onto the pile of tinder. Keep the shavings close together.
  • Strike down on the rod quickly and forcefully with the smooth edge of the striker to create sparks and ignite the magnesium pile and tinder.
  • Gently blow on the flame and feed it with kindling until you have a full fire.
  • Burns at 5500 Degrees F.
  • Wind/Cold/Water-Resistant.
  • Lasts up to 16,000 Strikes.
  • Built-in Emergency Whistle.
Fire Starter

First Aid Kit

There is something awesome about having a first aid kit attached to a lanyard. I’m going to put this lanyard in my car so it’s easy to grab when I need these items quickly. This is the one I purchased: First Aid Kit (this one is too big for the lanyard but great for the car). So then I ordered this one: First Aid Kit (this one is sold out)

Urban Survival Class: How to Make a Bug Out Lanyard

Updated Lanyard w/ParaCord

Updated Lanyard

In case you missed this post, How To Make Your Own Emergency Car Kit

Urban Survival Class: How to Make a Bug Out Lanyard

Final Word

If you purchase a lanyard and assorted essential items, you can create a custom bug-out lanyard to use. No matter where you decide to go, you will have things that can keep you safe and help you get out of a bad situation. You may have other items you feel are important to add. Let me know what different or additional items you would be sure to have on your lanyard. May God Bless this world, Linda.

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  1. Fantastic idea, Linda! I’m going to make one for my dog’s necessities: license & rabies tags, treats, poop bags, pepper spray (for coyotes & aggressive strays), etc.. I use a wheelchair to walk her, and your lanyard idea will keep everything very handy for me. Thanks for solving a big problem I’ve had.

      1. Strapworks.com is a good source for lanyards.
        They have a wide variety of color webbing and printed webbing.
        They can even print custom designs on webbing. Very sturdy & comfortable to wear.
        Sturdy hardware components.

  2. Linda, I really like this! What an awesome idea. Lanyards aren’t hard to make either. I have several from traveling. But, do need to get the Carabiners. I may to make several of these for family for Christmas. Thank you so much for sharing this with us! You are awesome, and my Survival Hero!

  3. Happy Monday morning, Linda,
    The only two things I will do differently is to place a short piece of lightweight chain on the end of the lanyard. That way, you do not have to put all the carabiners in the same loop and have them bunched up and jammed together. The other thing that I will do is to replace the P-38/P-51 can opener with a pierce and pour type can opener, what we used to call a church key. It can be used to pierce numerous times around the edge of any can and get it open. Plus, it can be used to open beverage bottles as well by using the other end. In a pinch, the sharp point can be used as an improvised weapon if someone is threatening bodily harm. And, it is a little larger and easier to use. Just my two cents worth.

  4. Linda, nice ideas! I would put some kind of cover over any compass to prevent scratching or breaking it, even a thick rubber band would help. Also, if you are where it might be cold, consider a plastic whistle. A metal whistle can be very cold to blow on. You would want one of the pealess kinds, so that it could not freeze and then would not whistle. I am curious what hooks you are talking about for the carabiners? Did you mean you would want at least four carabiners? Thanks for all you info!

    1. Hi Jan, I only used 3 carabiners. You could use more or less. I like the plastic whistle idea. When I wrote this, I thought I would use four carabiners as “hooks”, but ended up only using three. I need to go change that in the post. Thanks for catching that. Linda

  5. Very timely! I had a small bag with similar essentials that I used to switch between various packs and shoulder bags but recently came to the conclusion that each bag should just have it’s own collection of items based on the most common use of that bag. This involved a detailed look at just what to consider necessary so this definitely helps. Now I’ll probably go with the lanyard for each bag. I would also add a lighter or other fire starting device and a basic sewing kit as essentials.

  6. I like the idea of this but having something like this hanging around my neck is just not something I am comfortable with. Instead, I have an EDC with these items in it but it is my cross over bag. It carries all of these things as well as my wallet. And a couple of other things that no one needs to know about!! What I like about my bag is that it is RFID proof, large enough to carry other things as well AND it has a reinforced strap that cannot be sliced though. I have had it a number of years now and cannot recall where I bought it but most likely on Amazon!!

    As to the comment on the “church key” opener, I would strongly suggest both the “church key” opener and the P38/P51. More than one way to open things.

    One other thing that I do carry is pepper spray. If it is allowed in your state!!

  7. There are a bazillion videos on making lanyards from paracord on youtube.
    For people who don’t want to wear it all on their neck, a belt would work too, with the carabiners. My Mom was a Girl Scout leader back in the dim and distant past. She had 10 feet of rope ( pre paracord) a flashlight, compass, first aid kit and pocket knife all on a row of split rings on her belt. When she wasn’t wearing it, she had it hung nearby for access. The only thing around her neck was her whistle.
    She had 2 more split rings with mini song books and identification books on them.
    Another alternative would be a bum bag.

  8. It’s a neat idea. I have a carabiner for keys and I often put a whistle, little Swiss Army knife, tiny utility knife, tiny flashlights on key rings and then attach them on carabiners.

    I always carry a pocket knife, but at one time I wore a fanny pack and then a waist pack (Basically the same) and I carried a pocket sized raincoat, two pocket knives, a folding shovel, a Bic lighter or two, a flashlight, a key light, etc., and it all fit into a small pack.

    It’s good to try different things so that you always have some items with you.

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