Survival Snares: How to Make a Basic Survival Snares & Traps

Survival Snares

Survival requires that you develop a variety of skills some of which may sound strange to the civilized world. One such talent is the ability to find food in the wilderness. Food provides us with the energy to perform both physically and mentally.

Without it, we could go a couple of days or even weeks, but we’d be too weak and feeble to do anything to increase our chances of survival. After a day or two of starvation, your energy levels begin to dwindle leading to poor decision making quickly, mental fog, depression and inability to physically act to survive.

The process of gathering food from the wilderness  may seem easy if you have not tried to catch a wild game in its natural environment. So, we must learn some ingenious ways to get a reliable supply of food for the period of the emergency.

Can Survival Snares Help?

Although the food may be available in many locations, getting it to your place can prove far more difficult.  Unlike the sacred Garden of Eden, most landscapes and geographical regions in the world are not that blessed with easily accessible foods.

However, coastal areas, water sources and certain tropical environments can give you enough calories daily making survival much more comfortable. In such places, you can readily access edible freshwater or saltwater fish, edible herbs and fruits as well as consumable birds and wild game. But, you must first hunt, fish or forage for it. Read more how to catch fish in a survival situation.

An innovative method for capturing high-quality protein-rich foods is using survival snares. Now, before going any further, it is crucial to note that survival snares are illegal or are under tight regulations in many countries and jurisdictions. Nevertheless, several states in the US allow you to use them in a true survival situation.  So, do not jeopardize your chances of survival if your life is in the line.

What is a Snare?

We can define a snare merely a piece of cordage, wire or even a string that you tie into a loop with a slipknot. You can then secure the free end of the snare to a bush, a tree limb, a massive rock, or sturdy stick to hold it in place.

If you position it along the regular path of the small edible wild game, the chances of catching a game are significantly increased. Snares are all designed to slip over the neck of a passing wild animal and then tighten as they travel forwards.

The animal will the feel the loop around its neck and then begin to struggle. This activity will tighten the loop even further. With time and further struggle, the loop may asphyxiate the animal to death.

In most cases, the snare does not always kill the animal but cause neck injury leading to prolonged suffering. This is partly the reason why snares are often illegal because it is unfair to the animal. Unfortunately, they offer an extremely efficient, easy to improvise and effective way to obtain food. They are very simple to position and erect as long as you know how to tie a slipknot.

The best Snare Materials

It would be catastrophic if you set a snare and catch a small game only for the snare material to break off to let your catch go. You will not only lose potential food but also put the animal at risk of severe suffering for extended periods.

Therefore, you must use the best material to make this hunting tool. The commonest elements are small-gauge wire, small rope, and cordage.

    • Small-Gauge Wire:

      A small-gauge wire is the best material for making snares. You can find this kind of wiring in most emergencies. For instance, you can find an excellent small-gauge copper wire inside electricity power cables.

      To get the wire, take any device with a power cord (ensure it is not plugged in the power supply first). Cut the cord to the appropriate length and peel or slice away the rubber or plastic insulation. Inside, you will get one or some firm, thin and flexible metal wires that are ideal for snares. You can then tie a loop and a slipknot, and you have your snares.

    • Small Rope or Cordage: 

      Where you cannot find a small gauge wire, you can use a short cord or make the trap. The problem is that such materials are a more difficult material to use because it would not hold its shape with ease.

      To be effective, you may be forced to support their shape with lightweight sticks or dry grass stalks. These supports will hold the round noose of the snare to shape. To set a trap using limp rope or cordage, you may need to use lightweight sticks or dry grass stalks to hold the round noose shape.

      Make sure the support sturdy enough, but not too strong. This is because you will want the noose to collapse once the target animal sticks its neck into it. The rope should be firm to overcome the strength of the struggling prey. When it comes to cordage, you might want to use a strong one such as a parachute cord (paracord).

Also Read: Paracord: A Survival Necessity

Types of Prey

In general, survival snares are effective only on smaller consumable wild animals such as rabbits and squirrels. These animals may not be able to see the rope, cordage or wire. They also cannot mount enough strength to break free.

While you can set snares for larger animals such as impala, antelope and Thomson’s gazelle, your chances at success are much smaller. You will need a larger and stronger wire at the risk of visibility. An animal may be too curious but not foolish.

You must be careful when you set a snare. The animal might be trapped as it tries to get away from its predator. In such case, the predator might celebrate to see the prey incapacitated. So, be careful not to fight for food with a deadly predator such as leopard, lion, hyena, bear, and wolves among others.


Obtaining food should be one of your priorities if you find yourself in a survival situation. Your MRE’s may last only so long because you have consumed them or they have expired. A survival snare offers you an incredibly easy and effective way to catch small animals that can guarantee you high-quality protein-rich food. Learn how to catch a game with a snare, so you perfect the skill before disaster strikes.

Survival Corps

The team at Survival Corps prides itself on sharing over 70 years of combined knowledge. We enjoy showing, telling and doing all things survival and emergency preparedness.

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