The Pack Report

The Art of Snare Traps

The Art of Snare Traps

Whether you find yourself lost in the wilderness during a routine backpacking trip gone wrong or just want to hunt in a more primitive fashion, snare traps are the most effective and simple way to hunt game. Understanding the basics of a snare trap should be a must for anyone who spends extensive time in the backcountry. While creating a snare trap is relatively simple, it can often be confusing when looking at limited pictures or reading short how-to guides. After finishing this post, you should understand the basics of snare traps.

Identifying Your Target

Before you do anything, your first goal should be determining what exactly you are targeting. While this trap design can be scaled up and used for larger game, it is much more practical to target smaller game for several reasons. First, you can set up many smaller traps in the same amount of time as one larger one, and the more traps you set up, the higher chance of success. Second, the resources needed for a larger trap could lend you several smaller ones, making them more efficient. Finally, smaller animals, such as rabbits or squirrels, are easier to catch and clean, a very important aspect of survival. Always work smarter, not harder. When surviving is the game, these tips become even more important. Now that we’ve identified what animals we should be targeting, it’s time for the creation process.

The Trap

With literally hundreds of different trap designs we could cover, we are going to discuss one of the simplest, the trigger spring snare. Not only is this trap simple, but it also consists of four basic components that can be salvaged in almost any environment. A trigger spring snare consists of the following: 1. A noose 2. The two-part trigger 3. The leader line 4. The engine.

The Noose

The noose does exactly what you’d expect, it nooses the animal. While the most effective nooses are made of wire, we can get creative when resources are limited. Common items like headphone wire, fishing line, and bootlaces will do the trick. Now, make a small loop in one end of the noose, roughly the diameter of a pencil. Fold the end back onto itself and tie an overhand knot to secure the loop. Finally, run the other end of the string through the loop and bam, our noose is ready to go.

The Trigger and Leader Line

The trigger consists of two parts, the hook, and the base. Taking two sticks, carve a hook into each of them. Imagine linking your hands together and pulling your elbows apart. We will emulate this tension. Place the larger and sturdier stick into the ground near a bendable sapling, or our engine. Next, attach a leader line to the hook and the sapling, which will be the engine. Any type of sturdy cordage will do for the leader line, but some great resources here could once again be a thick lace, a headphone wire, fishing line, etc. Use your resources and environment to your advantage. Now we can attach the hook and base and voila, our trap is set. Attach the noose to the hook and this snare trap is ready for action.

The Engine

What if there is no standing bendable sapling nearby? Well, if there is no bendable sapling nearby, you can make one. Simply cut down a sturdy branch or sapling and plant it firmly into the ground and you’ve got yourself an engine. Another option is the weighted option, where you attach the leader line to a 10ish pound rock and hang the line over a branch to act as your engine. One beautiful thing about this trap design is how adaptable it is to your situation. One caveat here is the engine needs to be strong enough to support a small animal weighing roughly 6-8 pounds. You can test your trap with a heavy rock to see how it stacks up.

And there you have it, folks. A step-by-step guide on how to create a simple but effective snare trap that can be constructed just about anywhere and with basic, readily available resources. So next time you’re stuck in the wilderness, you won’t have to worry about going hungry. Remember to continually check the blog for more helpful survival tips and check our website for tools to help you when you’re roughing it in the backcountry.

Happy snaring, friends!

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