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spring snare - survival skills

Everything You Ought To Know About Spring Snares

Spring snare components

Manmade and natural disasters, such as floods, earthquakes, pandemics, and terrorist attacks, can occur at any time, so learning the vital survival skills necessary to protect you and your family is very important. Food, unlike water and shelter, is not a critical concern for the first few days of survival, but if you find yourself in a survival situation for an extended period of time, knowing how to find your own food is essential. However, without significant experience, hunting game can often expend more energy than it gives back, so most survival experts suggest using traps and snares instead.

What is a Spring snare?

Spring snares are among the most basic of snares setups, and because of this they are also one of the most effective. Once you have set up your camp and collected enough water, you can begin setting up your snares. The more you set, the more likely you are to catch something. You can use the time waiting for a catch to do other important tasks like foraging for edible plants or strengthening your shelter.

What Animals Should You Target?

The best animals to target depend both on your level of experience and the resources you have available. Small game, such as rabbits, squirrel, quails, and geese, are a more realistic target for relative newcomers. You can also set up many small traps instead of one large one with the same resources.

Where To Place Your Snare

The placement of a trap has a significant influence on its success. To maximize your chance of catching an animal, place your spring snares across game trails and the entrance to burrows. These can be spotted by looking for footprints, droppings, scratches, and nearby water sources.

Materials Needed For Spring Snares

The materials you are most likely to need when creating spring snares, are a knife and some wire. Fortunately, these tools are staple components in most survival kits because they have such a wide range of uses in addition to snaring. Here are the materials you will need for the various components of the snare:

  • Noose – Strong but flexible string, cord, or preferably wire, it should be about 50-60cm long
  • Hook and base – Carved from two separate pieces of hardwood to form the trigger mechanism
  • Engine – Bent over sapling
  • Leader line – Any sort of cord, the length will depend on the engine

If you find yourself needing to make the snare without these materials, there are a lot of natural and manmade alternatives available. Consider using shoe laces, fishing wire, headphone wire, or natural cordage for your noose and leader line. A weighted rock strung over a tripod setup can replace a sapling.

Step-By-Step Guide To Creating Your Spring Snares

To create the noose:

  1. Tie a small loop, about the diameter of a pencil, at one end of your wire.
  2. Thread the other end of the wire through the loop to finish the noose.

To create the trigger:

  1. Cut a notch out of one hardwood stick near the top to create the ‘base’
  2. Carve a notch near the bottom of the second stick to create the ‘hook’. This should slot into the notch in the ‘base’ when the two are held end to end.

To assembly the spring snare:

  1. Drive the bottom of the ‘base’ into the ground
  2. Tie the ‘leader line’ to the top of the ‘Hook’ and tie the ‘noose’ to the bottom.
  3. Bend the sapling over so that its end is directly above the ‘base’
  4. Tie the free end of ‘leader line’ to the top of the bent over sapling
  5. Slot the ‘hook’ and ‘base’ together
  6. Position the ‘noose’ in the game trail

After setting your traps it is wise to check them regularly. Not only does this reduce the suffering of the animal, but it will also reduce the chance that your catch is eaten by another predator.

There are many variations on this snare, so if you need to, experiment and think outside the box to suit your surroundings.


Suggested spring snare variations. On the left: use a natural base. On the right: create a hook using a pin or a fishing hook.

Some expertise and skill are needed to create a spring snare so it is a good idea to practice making them before you get into a situation where your life may depend on them (check that this is legal in your area before you begin). Pre making some triggers and packing them into your survival kit is also a time saver.

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fishing equipment

Survival Kit Component: Fishing Equipment

Whether it is for leisure and adventure, preparing for brutal wilderness areasĀ or steeling yourself for TEOTWAWKI, an appropriate survival kit may mean the difference between life and death. The basic stuff usually come in handy in emergency scenarios, especially if it is in dire situations. You may have warmth, safety and direction but without food, these items don’t mean much if you cannot fend for yourself. If and when your food supply runs out, fishing gear such as fish hooks, lures, and split shot leads will go a long way in keep you alive and healthy.

The best way to acquire the necessary survival skills is to appreciate Murphy’s Law that “anything that can possibly go wrong, will go wrong“.

Real expertise comes from knowing how to use each item in the kit and learning all there is to know about fish and fishing. Most people know how to use a hook with live bait; but the conventional miniature kit usually catches few small fish that may not make a sufficient meal. Only strong reliable yet lightweight fishing equipment will help in an actual survival situation.

Fishing Line

A superior line catches sizeable fish without breaking or losing hooks. An 800-meter line weighs about 200 grams and reels up to the size of a tennis ball. Before you compromise on quality, you should know that strength is the essence of the line. A single-thread line cannot hold bass or catfish without snapping, whereas smaller fish are startled by thick lines. Fluorocarbon lines with 20-plus breaking strength form a multipurpose alternative because they are virtually obscured in water. A braided line is tougher and supports more weight than fluorocarbon with constant abrasion.


Survival kits contain excellent fishing hooks with diverse strength, styles, sharpness, and applicability. Straight and treble hooks are extremely effective and reliable. If you find yourself without a hook, handcraft a few from wood, wire or bone. In a future post, I’ll explain how to make primitive but reliable hooks.


Most commercial kits are complete with fish hooks, lures, and split shot leads but very few people know how to use lures or how to improvise if you have none. Enticing prey towards the snare has excellent bonuses; fish are no different.

Without worms, bugs or raw meat for bait, proper use of artificial lures can efficiently fool fish. Using nylon with frayed edges at the hook and constantly tugging the line usually resembles several fish delicacies. Also, paperclips are very effective lures. Learning how to pitch the lure now when your life does not depend on it, is a sure way to survive when the tables are turned.


Split shot leads for fishing in survival situations are invaluable when there is no raft. Sinkers have multiple uses, mostly renowned for providing weight to the end of a trot line being tossed into the water.

A substantial length of a strong line tied to a tree on the bank and securely fastened hooks with bait or lure, sank into the water catches fish in no time. It is not only easy but also allows you to complete other tasks as food streams in.

In Summary

You may have an all-inclusive fishing kit but if you haven’t got the first clue how to use it, you are certainly a sitting duck. Nothing can be more precious than understanding fish behavior, practical experience in using fish hooks, lures, and split shot leads, and more importantly how to improvise if need be.