When talking survival, lists are compiled that include foods to take in a survival situation. It’s no secret that humans can only carry so much and that foods only last so long before turning bad, so if the list is a good one, it will include tools and supplies that will allow a person to gather food in the field. With that in mind, a bag of supplies is worthless if the user has no idea of how to employ the tools at their disposal.
What items are most important to carry and know how to use are relative to the survival environment. Here in Arizona, fishing gear has a use, but the ability to hunt and trap land animals is far more useful. If the environment changes to Michigan, fishing gear holds a higher priority than it would in a desert. Again, knowing which tools will produce the best results is only a small portion of the issue. It is important to know how to manage time while gathering food when there are several other issues that need attention.
Many methods of food procurement can be conducted while unattended, allowing a survivalist to improve their shelter, gather fire wood, mend clothing, treat minor injuries, prepare rescue signals, or any number of other needed tasks. With methods that are “set it and forget it,” it is necessary to use multiple methods in a variety of locations designed to catch different types of animals. Even in Arizona, there are places that will allow for trapping land animals while fishing, which is the way to go, if possible.
The simplest fish “trap” is a trotline. This is made with a long fishing line with several hooks hung at different depths and baited. The line is tied off to a tree stump, staked in to the bank, or otherwise secured at one end. The line is then placed in the water with a few weights and floats added as needed to keep the line in place. The idea is maximize the amount of hooks in the water at one time that do not need to be monitored.
While that is in place, hook free traps can be used. A great example of one is the bottle trap. This won’t catch big fish, but something is better than nothing. Often times, these fish are used as bait for catching larger meals. To build this, simply take a bottle and cut off the top, just below the shoulder. Throw a piece of bait into the large portion of the bottle. Take the top of the bottle and push it in to the body of the bottle, mouth first with the cap off. Fish will be funneled into the bottle to get the bait but won’t be able to find their way back out of the narrow opening.
A simple land trap is the fixed snare. To make this, simply take a piece of snare wire and wrap one end around a small, breakable twig a few times. Spin the twig around to twist up the wire about ½ to ¾ of an inch down. Now, break the twig and pull the pieces out to make an eye in the wire. Slip the other end of the wire through the eye to make a loop. This loop needs to be big enough for the intended game’s head to pass through, but small enough to get caught at the animal’s shoulders. Attach the free end of the wire to a stake or a sturdy plant that can survive an animal thrashing around on the other end of the wire. Place the loop over an animal den that shows signs of use and wait.
An upgrade from this is the spring snare. In this version of the trap, attach the free end of the snare to a green stick that has a lot of spring to it. Cut a notch into the stick. A hook needs to be made from a piece of wood that can be placed in the notch on the spring stick and hold it bent over in an arch. Hand the loop of the snare over a trail or in front of a burrow and set the hook in to place. The hook needs to be a bit unstable so that if any motion on the snare occurs, the hook will slip. When an animal walks through the loop and jerks to get away, the hook will slip and the spring pole will snap up, breaking the animal’s neck.
These are just four simple fish and animal traps among hundreds that can be used. Once these are mastered and their effectiveness assessed for the intended survival locations, it would be smart to learn a number of additional methods that can be added to the mental tool kit.
With any luck, these methods can produce food while water is gathered and cleaned, a shelter is improved, or one simply gets some much needed rest. As always, however, try out these methods before human life is on the line and make an adventure out of the experience with the family.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.