Basic Survival Traps: The Drowning Snare – Survival Prepper

Basic Survival Traps: The Drowning Snare

Basic Survival Traps

Trapping is one of the staples of any survivalists skill set. While it might not be as flashy as a shotgun or archery hunting, trapping provides a fantastic way to provide passive sustenance with expending little calories in the search of food. When it comes to trapping, you will need to be in the same area for at least a day or so. This limits its effectiveness because you will be unable to use traps if you are constantly moving your location. Due to this limiting factor, it is suggested that trapping should only be used once you believe that there is little chance that you will be forced to bug-out of your camp.

It should be noted that trapping is an extensive craft and some people spend their entire lives only perfecting a few forms of traps. While there are many complimentary skills to trapping, this article is going to focus on a single easy trap that is perfect for those with little to no experience.

Basic Survival Trap: The Drowning Snare


Of all of the survival traps, this is by far the easiest to set up. While there are countless versions, we are going to focus on specific technique, the Drowning Snare. This trap is great for beavers, squirrels, and any small animal found near bodies of water. In order to get started, you will need a length of survival cord, rather than snare wire because this trap deals with water and we do not want to put snare wire in the position that will make it rust. Check out the Survival Prepper Survival Rope post, if you want to evaluate a few different kinds of paracord.

Back to the trap. In order to complete this trap, you need to be near a source of water. A slow-moving stream or creek would work better than a river, though a lake or pond would be ideal. Using some basic tracking skills, find areas where animals frequent pass our approach the water to drink. If you find a spot that has a moderate overhang, say about four feet or higher above the water, its perfect. The overhang can come in the form of a tree branch or anything that juts over the surface of the water. Ideally, the water directly below the overhang should be at least knee deep, though four or five feet is better.

—Survival traps often cringe upon precise employment.

Now, find a heavy rock that you can place on the overhang. You do not want it to be so heavy that it breaks the branches, but you do want it to be as heavy than whatever animal you intended to trap. Secure one end of your paracord around the rock, and tie the other end into a noose. In the middle of the cord, tie a small wooden stick as this will become your bobber to distinguish the line.

Carefully place the rock on your overhang where it is on the cusp of falling off. Then hide the snare at the edge of the water, where you believe an animal will walk into it. Once the noose tightens, and the animal tries to flee, the rock will fall from the overhang into the water and drag the animal into the creek resulting in its death.

—Scavengers are a major threat to any successful survival trap.

The stick tied in the middle of the cord will float on the surface of the water and help you find the trap once it has been triggered. It is important that the length of rope between the rock and snare is not long enough to allow the animal to swim back onto the surface. By keeping it in the water, you reduce the chance of scavengers to steal your meal.

While this trap is good in almost all environments, it excels under arctic conditions. By trapping the animal in the frigid water, you can help preserve the meat longer. In addition, it becomes easier to see where animals frequent waterholes due to the presence of snow.

The biggest drawback to this trap is being near a suitable body of water. A fast moving river may have a current that is too strong and may whisk your game downstream even if your trap is successfully triggered. As long as your knots are strong, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem, though it is a risk that should be mentioned.

—Survival trapping can take years to master.

Trapping is often viewed as a delicate skill set reserved for wildlife experts with years of experience. While time does allow an individual to make a smarter decision about trap employment, there are several basic techniques that can be implemented by anyone. By mastering the basics, you can better develop your trapping instincts and get to the point where you will never have to carry food in your pack. As any survivalist knows, there is no such thing as too little weight. We hope you are having a wonderful day. If you enjoyed the post, please subscribe to our email newsletter, and don’t forget to join us next Monday for another installment of the Survival Prepper. Stay ready, friends.

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My name is Steven Capps, and I have a B.A. in English from the American Military University. My writing has been featured in Fiction, The Bird & Dog, Survival Sullivan, The Cass County Star Gazette, and many others. I currently serve as an Infantry Sergeant in the U.S. Army National Guard.