Why Trapping Is Essential for Long-Term Survival

We’ve all seen those “survival” shows, claiming that one dude can wildly run around the woods, procuring all the necessities of sustenance through fashioning a makeshift spear from an old boat propeller and skewering a 10-point buck …but entertaining as that is, it just doesn’t work like that.

Securing meat sources is not one of those parts of bugout life you simply leave to chance “because we saw them do it on TV”, so thinking that we’ll be able to remain fat and happy only off an abundance of hares might not be productive. And, even if this were possible for the best of the backwoods experts, the rest of us need to consider the fact that we may not be that good. Being forced to learn such a craft during a survival situation is certainly not an optimal scenario.

However, even thinking that we’ll be able to make the tree line by the crack of dawn, carrying only ye olde’ Ruger 10/22, and taking home enough meals to feed the mobile homestead may probably be a disappointing fallacy, as well. Depending on where you live and how abundant game may be in your area, there’s a good chance you’re going to have to throw out all the stops in your quest to feed you and especially your loved ones.

trap

This is why learning the ancient art, wilderness methods, and backwoods traditions of trapping should be one of your top priorities. That is, if you want to sustain yourself on more than just the MREs you brought along for the ride.

Trapping Depends on Your Kit

It should be said right off the bat that not every type of bugout bag requires a comprehensive trapping kit. In fact, you might even be doing more harm than good if you load up your 72-hour emergency bag with heavy traps, depending on your fitness level and skill.

The reason I would not ordinarily advocate bringing along a long-term trapping kit in your 72-hour bag is simply because of the philosophy behind the scenario. Your 72-hour bag is simply meant for a temporary survival situation, in which you are hoping to be found and rescued shortly thereafter. Carrying along a large trapping kit doesn’t make sense, and that weight would better serve you if it were replaced by medical supplies, food, and signaling options.

However, that’s not to say that a modestly small trapping kit isn’t worth the weight entirely. Though, snares are considered a ‘low-probability’ trap, meaning that it is unlikely you’ll snag Peter Rabbit with one…if you set 20, you might just snag his brother too.

The strength of using lightweight snares is that these traps are nothing but rigged metal wires or cables (depending on what cable-weight suits your strategy). This shouldn’t take up large amounts of space and won’t weigh you down. In addition, they can also be used for other applications.

In the event that you lose your cordage, snares would do just fine in a pinch. They can be great for making shelter, trip cords, hafting, and if you were good enough to bring only stainless steel containers, you can use snares to hang your water bottle over the fire for boiling and cooking.

The weakness of using snares is their tendency to serve as a ‘one-time-use-only’, kind of trap. If the wrong critter happens to wander into the snare, which was set to catch a meal half its size, then you can pretty much say goodbye to that setup. Especially in freezing temperature scenarios, snares can even become brittle. When that happens, all bets are off.

Long-Term Sustenance and Heavier Traps

While snares are a great way to go in a short-term scenario, your long-term strategy should include substantially more trapping gear than that. Remember, even if you brought along 30 snares, depending on the kind of game wandering through your area (which isn’t always possible to know off the bat), you might tear up all your snares within a week.

One of my favorite kinds of traps is the Conibear, which is considered a ‘body grip’ trap. Fortunately for those of us who are lovers of the backwoods and of the creatures who dwell therein, Conibear traps offer one of the most humane methods of the craft, offering almost a total likelihood of instant dispatch for the critter. Simply put, it wanders into the trap, trips it, and our furry MRE wakes up in small game heaven.

In addition, these traps are considered a ‘high probability’ trap, meaning that if something wanders into it – well, then that critter’s goose is definitely cooked. Unlike snares, where the animal has a fairly high chance of escaping (or being taken by a hawk, who’s probably laughing all the way back to its nest), Conibear traps will kill instantly, and secure the animal until you come and harvest.

It is usually recommended that you carry an assortment of #110, #120, and #220 Conibear traps, as each number indicates its size and spring-strength. The smaller #110’s are usually good for little critters, such as squirrels and rabbits, but the heftier #220’s will even snag a beaver. Strategize accordingly, but be aware that the bigger the trap, the harder it snaps, which increases your likelihood of broken fingers and lots of cussing–if handled carelessly, that is.

Also, bear in mind that if you bring along a trapping kit for sustained wilderness self-reliance, then you will need to be mentally and physically prepared to carry the additional weight. While the #110’s are a pound, and #220’s only weigh in at 2lbs, that weight can add up quickly.

Trapping Beauty

In this glorious age of modern trapping methods and gear, we now have traps that are rather easy to set, will last two decades if maintained, and are far more reliable than in the olden days. Of course, we’ve all heard the legends of Davy Crockett-types, ramblin’ through the woods with a musket and moccasins–but even these guys trapped to survive and make a living.

Simply put, trapping offers the survivalist, backwoodsman, bushcrafter, and explorer the means by which to hunt… without being present. Set enough traps (the proper way of course), and you’ve increased your chances of harvesting meat from the land. Do this while hunting or fishing, and you’ve increased your chances even higher. If you don’t use traps and rely only on hunting, then you’ve left your survival to the hard chance that game will just so happen to blunder into your sights–within range–and present you with a somewhat clean shot.

By the way, it might also be worthy to mention: traps will kill silently. Food for thought.

The understanding behind trapping is that it’s based on the concept of residual returns through increasing your chances, elevating your probability of acquiring meat sources. The more traps you bring, the better your chances. If frontiersmen thought this was important, then it must have been. Of course, I’d trust a Davy Crockett over “survival dude” any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

 

[source] – American Preppers Network

 

5 Tips to Learning How to Hunt

 

Hunting is a favorite pastime of many. In fact, people have been hunting for years and it is a sport that has been able to bring family members together for centuries. In addition to bringing people together, hunting provides a great deal of food for one’s family and also helps the environment with natural population control. While there will always be some that do not believe in the hunt, there are cultures that rely on it for survival and see it as a way of life. If you have never gone hunting before, this article will provide some tips to help you learn how to hunt.

 

  • Slow and steady wins the race. No matter what you are hunting for, it is important to be slow and steady in your approach. The reason for this is that animals have a keen sense of smell and can hear things from farther away than humans can. New hunters tend to find the notion of staying still and moving slow to be a hard concept to grasp at first. One of the best ways to get the hang of being still or moving slow is to use your watch. Find a place to perch or hide and stay there for at least 5 minutes before you decide to slowly creep to another area.

 

  • Stop when you hear noise. Whether you hear a deer, squirrel, or a group of ducks, when you hear a noise, it is best to stop and be still for a few minutes. When you stop and can be still, you can take in what is going on around you. If you make a sound and an animal is around, they will stand still and look around for a period of time. A duck may fly off into the distance while alerting others of the same species.

 

  • The environment can make a difference. Whether you choose to hunt during the day or in the early morning hours, the environment in which you seek animals or ducks makes a big difference. For example, if you are seeking out a duck, check to see which direction the wind is blowing. In addition, look for water holes as ducks are typically attracted to them. Setting up decoy ducks and using a good set of waders are important recommended tips for hunting ducks that should not be overlooked.

 

  • Bring proper tools. When hunting, it is important to field dress your prey right away or you will risk spoiling the meat. This is particularly true for deer meat but also for other smaller game. Make sure to bring along a pair of skinning shears as you should skin the fur off of smaller animals such as a rabbit or a squirrel as soon as you kill it. The reason for this is that the fur will come off easier when the animal is still warm. One of the most important reasons to handle this right away is that many animals carry fleas. Fleas can carry disease. When you skin the animal, you can get rid of the fleas before it has time to attach to the meat.

 

  • Dress warm and bring a canteen. It is important to dress for the weather and stay hydrated while you are out hunting. If you are out hunting for a full day you don’t want to get cold or dehydrated. Make sure you wear enough layers and bring waterproof clothing if you think there may be a chance of rain. It’s alway a good idea to workout how much fluid you need for the amount of hours you intend on hunting and pack appropriately.

 

 

REVIEW: Survival Hax Fire Starter Flint w/Waterproof Tinder Holder

Here’s the recent review on the Survival Hax fire starter flint w/waterproof tinder holder by our guest blogger OmegaMan:

We recently got to try the new survival hacks firestarter flint and waterproof tinder holder kit. It doesn’t yet have a fancy name but that’s what it’s called.

Survival Hax

It came in I slim 1″x 1″box that is 6 inches long. Inside it contained a 6 inch long/quarter inch thick spark stick rated for 20,000 strikes!

It comes with a beautiful durable para cord wrist strap. We wish it would’ve said how long the para cord is if you unwind it.

Attached on the wrist strap is a handheld stryker tool with a concave edge to easily slide down the rod without slipping off. Also on the striker tool is a built-in can opener stamped with a small ruler. Because the striker rod comes with a beautiful black coating on it we found it took a few strikes to wear off but finally produced some amazing sparks by holding the concave edge of the striker tool and running it down the side of the rod. We also sometimes achieved  better sparks by just using the flat edge of the tool against the striker rod.

We got a kick out of the bright orange whistle, which lets out an ear piercing shrill when we tried it.

A bonus surprise was a little black tinderbox keychain about the size of a pill holder. Inside it was filled with a little supply of tinder. We’re not sure what type of tinder but possibly a waxy substance.

As with most of the products we tried from Survival Hax, once again this is a nice little durable survival tool. We do wish there was maybe a few more instructions that explained everything a little better besides just a few comments on the outside of the box.

This tool speaks for itself and could definitely save a life out in the wilderness.

Here’s a link to check it out with a nice discount code if you’d like to further enhance your survival kit:

Survival Hax Fire Starter Flint w/Waterproof Tinder Holder

use discount code SH50FIRE at checkout

7 Must Have Items for Wilderness Survival

By Jack Neely 

Surviving in the wilderness, no matter the time of year or location, does not only depend on human will and wit, but also on the type of gear you have got in your pack. If you are injured or lost, the right type of gear can mean all the difference between a comfortable and easy night outdoors, and a grueling ordeal. In this article, we have compiled 7 must have items for wilderness survival.

Matches

A means to make fire is very essential when you are out in the vast wilderness. Your survival might completely depend on whether you have the ability to create a fire. For instance, you might want a fire when it is cold and snowing/raining, or after you have just waded across a river and now you are completely soaked, and at the verge of hypothermia.

Rubbing 2 sticks together in order to create fire is much more difficult than it seems in the movies. It is best to carry matches when going out into the wilderness, particularly the waterproof matches.

Fire is important to your survival.

Even for those who like starting fires the old fashioned way, carrying matches in case of emergency is the smart move. You should consider carrying the magnesium starter matches which have white phosphorus tip; you can strike almost anywhere for fire. These types of matches are advantageous when out in the wilderness since they don’t need the box striker in order to light up.

Stainless Steel Water Container

When going out into the wilderness, you should bring with you plenty of water, and the best way to carry it is in a stainless steel container. This type of container is not only durable and strong, but it can also be put over a fire to boil water. You should consider taking a stainless steel water container that’s big and sturdy enough to carry adequate water for the long treks.

Survival Knife

A knife is a rather essential item and has many uses not only in the wilderness, but also in everyday life. Look for a reliable knife which you can easily keep on your person when you’re out wandering in the vast wilderness.

You should consider bringing with you a fixed blade knife. It is durable, sturdy, resilient, and great for cutting all kinds of objects. This type of knife can also be used to perform various different tasks including, opening packages, clearing bushes, among many other things.

Cordage or Rope

Having a rope can be very useful, especially when in a survival situation. Some uses of rope can include, but not limited to; climbing, making a splint for a broken bone, building an emergency shelter, attaching your gear to your back, hoisting your food so as to keep it safely away from the wildlife, lashing poles, repairing the tent, and much more. You should consider carrying a 550 parachute cord which is light and strong.

A Map and Compass

A map and a compass are very essential survival items which you must have when out in the wilderness. This is particularly crucial, in case the location you are in has low cell coverage, or if you have damaged or lost your phone.

Even if you get lost, as long as you have a good working compass and an accurate map, you will eventually be able to find your way back to civilization. A compass will not only help guide your directions, but it will also help you find the various signs that are on the map, like road signs which might help you find the right routes. Pro tip: you also want to make sure you have a good flashlight with you to read the map in the dark, and also find your way around. You can read more about that here.

Duct Tape

Duct tape is another must have item which is often overlooked. Duct tape can actually save the day in a number of ways. For instance, if your sleeping bag, tent, or clothing happens to get torn or damaged, duct tape may be used to quickly patch it up. Duct tape can also be utilized to wrap up bandages, and can aid in various other medical situations.

First Aid Kit

It is very important to make sure that you’re well prepared for the situation you are putting yourself in. Whenever you are going out in the wilderness, make sure you carry a First Aid Kit. Carrying a First Aid Kit with the appropriate supplies greatly enhances your chances of survival when out in the wilderness.

You do not need to carry the entire first aid kit; you simply need to have the basic items like band aids, gloves, sterile gauze, burn cream, scissors, personal medication, bandages, and such other essentials. It’s wise to build your very own first aid kit instead of purchasing the pre-packaged kits. Building your very own First Aid Kit gives you knowledge of what’s in the kit, and even more importantly, exactly how to use what’s in it.

 

About the Author

Jack Neely is a fitness expert, survivalist, and world traveler. He’s been in several life or death situations, and he’s making an effort to spread his knowledge around the web to help others survive these situations as well. He’s also on the content team at The Tactical Guru.

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