How to Build a Trap: 15 Best Survival Traps

Categories: Survival

Fixed Snare
The fixed-loop snare is made from solid wire—or better yet braided steel cable—for a combination of strength, rigidity, and flexibility. These are usually single-use traps, as the caught animal often bends and kinks the wire making it vulnerable to breaking. Flaws aside, the fixed snare can be the fastest snare to create and set.

Find a twig that is 1/8 to 3/16 inches in diameter that is breakable. Wind one end of your wire around the twig two or three times, then twist the twig like a propeller, which will twist the end of the wire closed. Break the twig and remove it to reveal an eye that you use to make the noose. Place these snares over burrows and in small-game trails, or attach them to spring pole snares for a more secure snare line.

Peg Snare
The peg snare can give neophyte trappers some trouble if they don’t know which side of the peg to tie the line, but this trap is relatively easy to set. You’ll need a spring pole, a peg driven into the ground, a snare line with noose, a peg to act as a trigger, and maybe some bait. That last part will depend on whether you plan to make the trap either motion- or bait-activated.

Carve a hook near the top of your peg and drive it deep into the ground. If you had a saw of some kind, you could also saw off the top of a standing bush or sapling. This woody plant and its extensive root system will provide an exceptional anchor for your trap, which is especially valuable in sandy soils where pegs and stakes are often yanked out of the ground by the spring pole. After you set your ground peg, carve a matching hook in your trigger peg, which will grab onto the hook in your ground peg. Tie your snare line to the spring pole and tie the trigger peg into the line. Make sure you tie the knot on the trigger peg on the side of the peg you have cut the hook into. Tying the line elsewhere on the peg will pull the trigger at an odd angle and you’ll never set the trap. You can attach bait to the trigger peg with the noose hanging around the baited part. Or you can set the noose in a trail near the peg trigger.

Drowning Snare

This simple trap can acquire food for you and put the critter out of its misery faster than other traps. The drowning snare requires a snare line with a noose, a heavy rock, a float stick, and a stick to prop up the rock in a precarious position.

This is often the easiest trap to set, providing you have a steep-banked waterway that is frequented by creatures of habit, using the same runs to get in the water over and over.

To make this trap, simply tie the snare line to the rock, leaving a length of line free to tie the float. Set the noose in a run or slide that is heading straight into the water. Prop up the rock so that it will fall if the noose is tugged. You can also tie the prop stick in line on the snare line. The animal pulls the rock in after them, drowning. The float lets you see where the rock and animal are located underwater. In cold conditions, this trap makes the most sense of all traps, with the cold water keeping the animal intact, chilled and away from scavenger animals.

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