How to Build a Trap: 15 Best Survival Traps
In a survival situation, traps can capture animals that provide us precious calories from meat and fat. Think of them as little hunters that you put out to do your work for you while you are off accomplishing other tasks. There are seemingly as many different traps as there are creatures to catch, but we’ve selected 15 for you to try and master.
Grave’s Bait Stick Snare
This bait-activated spring pole snare comes to us from a little-known and long out-of-print book called Bushcraft, by Richard Graves. The Grave’s bait stick snare is my go-to trap for most animals and occasions. To build this trap, you’ll need a spring pole, a forked stake to drive into the ground, a pencil-diameter toggle stick, a snare line with an attached trigger line, a bait stick, and some bait.
Tie the snare line to the end of your spring pole. Bend the pole down until the snare line touches the ground and mark the spot. Drive the forked stake into the ground at that spot. This keeps the snare line more or less plumb, which is vital to setting the trap. Tie your pencil toggle to the end of the trigger line, which is attached to your snare line. Run the toggle under the fork on the stake in the ground, keeping the toggle parallel to the ground and at a right angle to the stake. Next, set your baited trigger stick out at the end of the toggle, which should set the entire trap. Now, set it off to test it. If it springs quickly, set up some twigs to support the noose, then reset the trigger.
Warning: Never handle the noose of a snare line with your bare hands or fingers AFTER the trigger is set. If the trap misfires, the noose can close on your hand or fingers, ripping off skin or even a digit.
Grave’s Motion Triggered Snare
This is a variation of the Grave’s bait stick snare that can be set for motion activation, no bait required. You’ll need all the same things as you would for the standard Grave’s bait stick setup: spring pole, forked stake, toggle, trigger stick, and snare line.
The difference in this set is that you place it near a trail or run, and your snare line is tied around the vertical trigger stick. The action of the trap is simple: When the noose tightens and pulls from the animal getting caught, the trigger stick is pulled out from under the end of the toggle, setting off the trap. Just make sure the snare line or toggle line don’t get hung up under the fork of the stake in the ground, which would hang up the whole trap.