Understanding how to survive outdoors when you're stranded or the worst-case scenario has come to pass essential for many of us. Natural disasters, human error, and emergencies that can't be predicted can happen to anyone, and being prepared is the best means of ensuring you'll see it through. Though not everyone is an expert, and we all need to start somewhere.

If you're new to learning how to survive on your own, we've got some tips on the most straightforward DIY traps to set when you're in dire need of food during a situation in which the worst has happened.

Deep Hole Trap

This is one of the most uncomplicated and most simple traps to create. The deep hole trap, or bottle trap, can capture various animals, including mice, rats, frogs, lizards, snakes, and crabs. To create this trap, you'll need to dig a hole that starts with a small opening, and as you dig down deeper, you'll want to widen the area beneath to be increasingly more significant than the hole you dug at the top, roughly going down 12-18 inches. Essentially, that's it for the trap, but there are some tips to improve it if you have time:

  • Make an elevated cover. Pile some rocks at either side of the opening and lay a flat rock or a log. This encourages small animals to try and take shelter under the cover and ultimately fall to their demise in the trap.
  • If you have any bait, you could put it at the bottom of the trap. But use it sparingly, as any food you have that you can eat you'll want to keep.
Deadfall Trap

Sticks and heavy rock or object and something to cut a notch in one stick are all you need for the deadfall trap. A rule of thumb is to make sure the rock or heavy object is 5 to 6 times heavier than the prey you are looking to catch.

  • Large rock.
  • Two sticks roughly the diameter of a C battery and at about 5" long if possible.
  • 1 strong, thinner stick about the diameter of a pencil.
  • A knife or something that can cut.
How to build the Deadfall:
  • Cut a grove in one of the thicker sticks, around ¼" wide and 3/16th deep. Cut the same groove in the other thicker stick.
  • The thin stick is your trigger stick; if needed, thin the first inch or so until it fits snugly in the grooves of the thicker sticks without moving. You want it to be tight.
  • Balance the rock on the two support sticks. Try and angle them in toward the rock instead of straight up. Be patient and be careful not to injure your fingers or hands.
  • Make sure the grooves in the support sticks are aligned.
  • Bait the trigger stick if possible with food.
  • Insert the trigger stick into the grooves of the support sticks.

All that's left to do after either of these simple traps have been made is to wait. We hope we've been able to help you brush up or maintain your survival skills with these different types of DIY traps.

TDM Developer