Survival Gear Series: Animal Traps

When assembling your survival gear, don’t forget to include — traps! While traps may seem archaic to some, they are a sufficient means to acquiring game.

For centuries traps have been considered part of man’s survival gear. Native Americans were known to make traps for both fish and fur-bearing animals. By using natural materials Native Americans made a variety of snares, deadfalls and fish weirs.

As early as the 17th century steel jaw leg hold traps were made by blacksmiths and became part of the lore of North America’s mountain men. Later, traps became mass-produced and could be purchased at frontier trading posts. Historically traps have always played an important part in the survival of early frontiersmen.

Throughout early America traps were known to be an effective way to catch a wide range of game and even bear. While some states restrict the use of certain traps and the forbid the trapping of certain animal species, trapping is still a viable means of survival.


When choosing what traps to add to your survival gear, consider owning a well-rounded collection. While snares are the most economical and versatile, consider adding additional types of traps to balance out your survival gear.


Snare traps provide an efficient means to catch a diverse range of animals. Whether you are targeting small game such as a rabbit or larger game, snare traps can be used in a variety of ways. Due to their affordability, a large number of snares can be added to your survival gear without spending a fortune.

Snares make for an ideal piece of survival gear due to their size. Even if adding several coiled snares to your survival kit, they will not be adding excessive bulk or weight.

Snares are usually regulated, so be sure and know state and local laws that apply to trapping with snares.


Conibear or body grip traps are ideal for trapping varies species of game. They have a long history of quick and humane harvest and their superior design prevents game from escaping.

Using the same principal as a snare, Coniber traps are designed to catch the animal as it passes through the trap. Bodygrip traps are triggered by a pair of wires attached to the jaw of the trap. While they can be used with bait, it is important to set Conibear traps on or in the ‘run’ or ‘travel corridor’ of the target-species.

Conibear traps are available in several different sizes and are designed to accommodate the size of animal you will be trapping. From larger furbearers such as beaver to small edible animals like rabbits, body grip traps can be used across a wide range of species.


Where legal, foot hold traps can be used on a multitude of game species. Whether trapping for fur or food, leg hold traps are still a very effective method of trapping.

If trapping furbearers, leg hold traps can be used for foxes, raccoons, muskrats, mink and beavers. Small leg hold traps can even be used on rabbit and squirrel.

Leg hold traps are also manufactured in various sizes and strengths. This style of trap can either be used with bait or placed where animals are traveling. Like with all forms of trapping, leg hold traps must be scent free and disguised with natural foliage.


While trapping is a reliable means of securing food, it is very important to know state laws that pertain to trapping. In most states trapping is heavily regulated and only allowed seasonally. So, be sure to know when it is legal for you to trap and what types of traps are legal in your state.

Even if trapping season is several months a way, you can still prepare your traps by removing human odor and watching some video's on the art of trapping.

Preparedness is key to any type of survival.

If you want to know more about trapping, feel free to call us with any questions.

Be safe and stay alive. 

Post a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published