I live and work in Manhattan, so I don’t consider myself to be much of an outdoor person. As a kid, I grew up in Norfolk, Virginia and went camping every summer, but I have very minimal understanding of how to overcome a situation that is more dangerous than a hurricane. So, here is my attempt to learn some survival skills.

Traditional handcuffs are made from steel, but today I learned that you can restrain someone with much less. In case a situation ever arises wherein you need to bind someone’s hands or feet, paracord or twine will do the job. All you really need to know is how to tie a prusik knot.

Start with paracord, and cut enough to wrap around the average wrist twice.

Tie a double prusik knot around your pointer finger. In case you, like me, have never been a Boy Scout or tied a knot that wasn’t a shoelace, there are about a thousand YouTube videos that will show you this technique.

Now that you have the knot tied, take the two ends and loop them through after removing your finger. These two loops become your cuffs.

After slipping their hands through the loops, you can use the ends to tighten the cuffs.

It seems simple enough, right?


The cuffs aren’t the hard part. It would be much more difficult, at least for me, to subdue someone long enough to be able to restrain them in the first place. But, should I find the time to also take some sort of self-defense class and move away from gentrified Williamsburg, this might be a lucrative skill to have.