In a survival situation, finding food can be critical. While shelter and water are more important in the short term, food becomes critical once you’re exposed for a day or two. Otherwise, your energy levels start to rapidly decline, leading to bad decision making, depression, mental fog, and inability to act to further your chances of survival.
In many locations, finding food will be quite difficult. Unlike the Garden of Eden, most landscapes on this planet are not rich in easily accessible foods. The exception may be certain areas on the coast, and certain tropical environments, but in most places getting enough calories to keep going is hard.
One method for capturing high-quality, protein-rich foods is using snares. Now, before we go any further, it’s important to note that snares are illegal is many countries and jurisdictions. However, they would be allowed in a survival situation, so don’t let the law stop you if your life is on the line.
What is a Snare?
A snare is simply a piece of wire, cordage, or string that tied into a loop with a slipknot. The free end of the snare can then be secured to a bush, rock, or stick to hold it in place. Positioned along an area where small animals regularly travel, a snare is designed to slip over the neck of a passing animal and tighten as they travel forwards.
The loop should hold tight even as the animal feels the loop and begins to struggle.
The downside of a snare is that it often doesn’t kill the animal, but can cause injury and extended suffering. This is why snares are often illegal. However, they are also highly effective, easy to improvise, and simple to position and erect.
The best material by far for a snare is small-gauge wire. In an emergency, wire can be found in a number of places. One good example is the wire found inside power cords. Simply take any device with a power cord (MAKE SURE it’s not plugged in first), cut the cord, and slice or peel away the plastic/rubber coating. Inside, you will find a strong, flexible metal wire that is ideal for snares.
Small rope and cord can be used for snares, but it’s a more difficult material to work with since it won’t hold its shape very easily. To set a snare using limp rope or cordage, you may need to use lightweight sticks or dry grass stalks to hold the round noose shape. Make sure this is sturdy enough, but not too sturdy—you’ll need the noose to collapse once the animal sticks it’s head inside.
Types of Prey
Generally snares are useful for quite small animals, especially squirrels, rabbits, and creatures of similar size. While the can be used on larger animals, snares are more effective for smaller creatures, as the rope or wire must become bigger—and more visible—to catch large creatures. For catching smaller animals, a trap is usually more effective.