Bug Out / Wilderness Skills / Knowledge

7 DIY Survival Traps to Know

Animal trapping includes the use of devices to capture animals for various purposes like food, fur trade, hunting, pest control, and wildlife management. But, most importantly, animal trapping is an essential part of survival in the wild. In a survival situation, one burns calories very quickly, and physically chasing your food is not always the best idea. The DIY survival traps consume far fewer calories, and you can set your trap while you are resting or doing other tasks.

Along with animal trapping, hunting is an excellent activity for all, especially at night. However, hunting at night can be very dangerous. In poor lighting conditions, the sense of sight is limited. This can cause countless accidents and even death. Hence, it is crucial to have all the necessary equipment if you are going to hunt at night, such as night scopes, hunting, and safety kits. Some good options of night vision scopes for coyote hunting, bear hunting, or hunting of other wild animals are present nowadays to choose from before going out for hunting at night.

Here you will find primitive and modern techniques to make the best survival traps. Here are the details of the seven best DIY Survival Traps of all time.

What are the Best Types of Survival Traps?


Snares are hollow wires that can be used to catch wild animals such as squirrels and rabbits. In the United States, they are most often used to capture and collect food. They are also widely used by commercial hunters for bushmeat consumption and trade in the African forest region and Cambodia. Snares are one of the most comfortable and most effective traps. A snare catches an animal on its neck or body.

Deadfall Traps

A deadfall is a massive rock that is tilted and secured by branches, one of which functions as a trigger. If an animal moves the trigger, a stone or carcass falls and smashes the animal. While building deadfall traps, it is essential to note that the rocks or tree trunks must be minimum five times larger than the captured animals.

Body Gripping Traps

Body Gripping Traps kill animals quickly. They are also referred to as “Conibear” traps. The general category of body traps can include ostrich and mouse traps. The animals can be coaxed into the body’s grip by bait, or traps can be placed in the animal’s path to catch the animal as it passes. In each case, the animal must be directed to the correct position before the trap is activated.

Traps are designed to cover the neck or the upper body of an animal. When closed in the neck, it closes the trachea and blood vessels and often breaks the spine. The animal loses consciousness for a few seconds and dies soon after.

Cage Traps

Cages are designed for hunting and trapping live animals. Cage traps usually have a trigger on the back of the cage, which causes the door to close. Large, high-performance enclosures are also suitable for capturing large animals that are dangerous for transportation.

Glue Traps

Glue Traps are made of adhesives that are applied to cartons or similar materials. Glue traps are mainly used to control mice and insects. Pets accidentally caught in a glue trap can be released by gently applying cooking oil or baby oil to the contact area until the animal is released. 

What are the 7 Best DIY Survival Traps?

1. Grave’s Bait Stick Snare:

Grave’s Bait Stick Snare is one of the most popular traps when it comes to catching animals.

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To build this trap, you will need:

  • A spring pole
  • A forked stake
  • A pencil-diameter toggle
  • A snare trap with an attached trigger line
  • A bait rod
  • A bait


  1. Tie the snare trap to the end of the spring pole.
  2. Bend it until the snare touches the ground.
  3. Aim the stake in the trap.
  4. Tie the toggle to the tip of the fork.
  5. Keep it parallel to the ground and perpendicular to the pole. 
  6. Set your bait at the end of the toggle to test the trap.
  7. The Grave’s Bait Stick Snare is ready.

2. Grave’s Motion Triggered Snare

This is a variation of Grave’s Bait Stick Snare. With this snare technique, you can set a trap in motion without a bait. 

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You need the same things as the Grave’s Bait Stick Snare: 

  • A spring pole
  • A forked stake
  • A toggle
  • A trigger stick
  • A snare line


  1. Place the trap near a trail.
  2. Tie the snare line around the trigger stick vertically.
  3. The trap acts by tightening the loop and pulling out the trapped animal.
  4. The Grave’s Motion Triggered Snare is ready.

3. Fixed Snare

With a fixed snare, you can catch an animal and prevent it from running. You can make fixed snares of almost any flexible and durable material, such as a wire, or braided steel cables, etc., making it an ideal trap for emergencies. However, this snare is usually a one-time trap because cables tend to bend and weaken when an animal is captured. 

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To make a fixed snare, you need:

  • A wire or a cable cord


  1. Make a small circle at one end of the wire to keep the snare working. 
  2. Pass to the other end of the wire through this small knot to display the knot. 
  3. Place the knot above the hole and wait. 
  4. When the animal comes out, pull the cord. 
  5. The knot gets tightened and traps the animal.

4. McPherson Spring Deadfall

One of the most complex traps, McPherson Spring Deadfall, is immensely popular for capturing animals.

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To build a McPherson Spring Deadfall trap, you require:

  • A two to three-foot-long spring pole
  • A two-foot-long cord
  • A one-foot long cord piece
  • A small peg which must be driven to the ground
  • A sharpened toggle
  • A deadfall support rod
  • A few inches of twine or string
  • A bait


  1. Find two small trees or bushes a few inches apart and tie the ends of your spring pole to both. 
  2. Tie the two-foot cord to the end of the spring pole and the sharp toggle. 
  3. Pull the toggle, which results in the bending of the spring pole. 
  4. Wait until the spring pole bends about two or three feet. 
  5. Insert your peg into the soil. 
  6. Dig a little around the pin so the loose twine can be tied to the end. 
  7. The sharp toggle is locked and then enters the small string around the peg on the ground.
  8. Position the deadfall weight in the trigger area carried by the support rod. 
  9. Tie the one-foot cord to both the support rod and the two-foot wire.
  10. In the end, the leading cable would pull the support rod from under the deadfall when the trigger gets pulled.

5. Greasy String Deadfall

Our ancestors have been using the Greasy String Deadfall trap, for several years, to capture several animals.

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To make a Greasy String Deadfall trap, you need:

  • A forked rod
  • A deadfall weight
  • A long thin twine or cord
  • A small bait


  1. Tie one end of the cord or twine to the roots in the ground.
  2. Tie the other end of the string to a shorter fork. 
  3. Place the weight of the deadfall.
  4. Now, you can determine where to position the bait. 
  5. Dip the bait deep into the twine.
  6. Soon, replace the stone.

6. Pine Pitch Bird Cup Trap

The Pine Pitch Bird Cup Trap includes a small birch bark cone that is sewn together to look like ice cream.

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If you want to make a Pine Pitch Bird Cup Trap, you would need:

  • A cone or a funnel
  • Sticky pine sap
  • Lots of seeds


  1. You have to cover the inside of the cone or funnel with sticky pine sap.
  2. Push the birdseed into the funnel.
  3. Set the cone aside.
  4. Scatter additional seeds around the cone to attract birds.
  5. Once the bird has eaten all the seeds outside the cone, it will start moving inside it.
  6. The head and feathers of the bird get stuck to the funnel walls due to the prior application of the sticky pine sap.
  7. The bird fails to fly anymore and gets caught.

7. Figure 4 Deadfall

Figure 4 Deadfall is one of the simplest primitive traps, and it would work amazingly if you live in an area with lots of large, flat rocks. The Figure 4 trap is best for small animals like squirrels or raccoons.

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To make the most challenging trap, Figure 4 Deadfall, you need:

  • The weight of the deadfall
  • Three sticks
  • A small bait


  1. Carve a screwdriver point on a stick to make a vertical pole. 
  2. Drill another screwdriver point at one end of the stick and a hole near the opposite end, to make a diagonal pole. 
  3. Carve a spot at one end of the third stick.
  4. Make a point with the opposite end to get the bait. 
  5. Place the sticks in a perfect order to make the number 4 sign. 
  6. Take the vertical pole and cut a hole in the horizontal bait pole.
  7. This will result in capturing the edge of the square that you carved into the rod. 
  8. Now try to place the three sticks together. 
  9. The three holes would get together and hold the weight of the deadfall.
  10. Lastly, put the bait and capture the animal.

How to Make a Survival Kit for Trapping?

Primitive trap

Primitive traps are mainly made with natural resources. They are very flexible but require lead, bait, and experience. The most significant advantage is that you can make many traps with only a knife. However, the disadvantage is that they have to be built patiently, which requires time and energy. Practicing primitive traps is a great way to gain experience for long-term survival in the desert. The smaller your survival group, the more you must rely on simple, reliable, and effective methods.

Snare Wire

Snare wires can be an excellent short-term aid, but you cannot use it for a long-term purpose. It only works with small games.

Cable Snares

The cable snares are excellent for trapping animals. They are lightweight and straightforward to use. The only problem that lies with cable snares is the issue of durability.

Body Gripping Traps

Body Gripping Traps are very popular because they are relatively easy to use and are very reliable. The only body traps worth the long-term survival purposes are the 330s, 280s, and 220s.

Leg Gripping Traps

The Leg Gripping Traps have a more straightforward design that makes it more reliable than other traps. They are classic steel traps, which are widely used to trap animals.

Portable Traps

For portable traps, you should also consider additional items that you must carry, such as pegs, weights, or chains, to prevent traps from being lost. An advantage of portable traps is that they are effortless and reliable.

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What is the list of Equipment needed for Survival in the Wild?

When it comes to survival equipment, these are the tools that are an absolute necessity:

  • Lighter: Carry a cheap light and keep them dry, always.
  • Mobile phone: Even though you won’t often get a signal, it has become the essential modern survival tool. Also, carry extra batteries or an external charger.
  • Water bag: It is crucial to bring a water bag. A proper bag will prevent any leakage.
  • Folding knife: A folding knife is lightweight and can be easily used for safety reasons.
  • Emergency Bag: A waterproof thermal bag helps you keep your body warm and doesn’t expose you to cold air.


Now, you have an accurate idea about how to survive in the wild with your DIY skills. With a little practice, you will always improve more in the trapping and hunting techniques. Tools and devices are the most critical elements when it comes to making survival traps. Apart from the essential survival kit, you also need some necessary tools and skills to survive in the wild.

Take up new activities like archery or camping, and know how to use the primary survival gears, before you commence your journey to the wild. Have a separate kit with chords, knives, ropes, whistles, gloves, scarves, and, most importantly, water bottles. These will help you to survive any situation you might encounter in the wilderness. 

Also, it is imperative to know about plants and trees, and you need to differentiate the poisonous greens from the edible ones. With the appropriate knowledge, skills, and the knowledge of making the DIY Survival Traps, you would undoubtedly be successful in trapping as many small or large animals as your target.

[Note: This was a guest post.]

By Damian Brindle

How To Effortlessly Get Prepared For Emergencies Of All Kinds In Only 5 Minutes A Day... Fast, Easy, And Inexpensively... In Less Than ONE Single Month... By Following An Expert In The Field: Discover My 5 Minute Survival Blueprint To Get Yourself And Your Family Better Prepared Right Now.

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