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Thread: A Snare or Two For a Survival Kit, Post Your Ideas.

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Default A Snare or Two For a Survival Kit, Post Your Ideas.

    Hello Folks,
    I'm putting together an extensive little survival kit that is both compact and easily stowed in a pack or a snow machine. I had a realization that man is nothing without tools. My list of survival gear in this kit has been extensive and well thought out and purposely purchased to be compact. In my bout of brainstrorming I thought.......what survival kit would be complete without a snare or two? They are small, light, and flexible. They are highly effective when used properly and could probably save your life. If any one here has some constructive techniques, pictures or a stories to share, please share your knowledge because I have no experience with the use of snares. I've also included a tiny little north american arms 22 mag pistol in this kit too. The little bugger seems to hit what you aim at, and with 50 rounds of soft points you dont even know its there in the kit. Here is the basis of my kit :

    Somthing to make fire
    A compact pistol for food/protection
    A means to catch fish
    Emergency Warmth
    Vitamins
    First Aid
    Signaling
    Navigational Tools
    Muli tool
    Tools For shelter
    Material For shelter construction
    Tool sharpener
    Small Bottle CLP (for gun)
    mini ax/knife
    Spider Wire (extremely strong string)
    needles/thread
    water purification

    Everything was purchased with the mindset of buying the smallest tool possible. All of this stuff has a total weight of 3.5 lbs.

  2. #2

    Default Small bunny snare

    I would go with a small 1/16th cable and a micro lock, no more than two feet long with a loop on one end. Or you can just put some picture hanging wire in there and fasion your own in the feild. Anybody ever watch Man vs. Wild...great show!

  3. #3
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    Snares are so light weight, I would include 50 of them, at least, if not more, along with the knowledge on how to use them.

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    dont forget the zip-lok bags. they are good for a number ofthings

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    A package of 20 feet #2 picture wire will do all that wire does and make a good snare besides. Great for Rabbits Squirrles and such that you might target in a bad situation.
    Twine it and you can catch the big stuff, too
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

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    "A snare or two for Survival Kit, Post your Ideas".

    It depends on the reason for the snare, if you are wanting it to “feed good” or “make work” it’s a good idea. If the reason is to get food I think it’s a waste of energy.

    In a survival situation the items in the kit needs to be tailored for the time of the year.
    In the winter you have to have shelter, fire/heat and water “NOW” follow by signaling (auto flares are the best) and food for last. You also need a headlamp to see at night.

    I have a main kit and add sub-kit’s depending on time of year and what I’m doing.
    I have not found a do all shelter, I have learned how to make several difference shelters depending on my location and what is available. Heat in the winter can be a real problem there is short time heat and long time heat; for long time I would want a chainsaw and lots of trees.


    This is a few things I carry when I go snowmobiling along with several self rescue items.
    Your comfort level will depend on your skill, temperature and terrain.
    * Items will keep you alive if you have gas for the stove or can keep a fire going.
    A long time ago I needed to make a fire for lunch, after 30 miles we gave up looking.

    Cigars Lighter * 2 ea. 5x hotter than a lighter, piezo starter.
    Fire Starter 6 ea. Trioxane, heat water or start fire, very hot.
    Road Flares * 3 ea. Signal for help day/ night, also starting a fire.
    Saw * 1 ea. Cut fire wood or brush for a bed, safer than an axe.
    Head light * 1 ea. Adjustable focus has a spare lamp.
    AA battery * 8 ea. Minimum
    Big Plastic Bags * 6 ea. Sleeping bag, rain coat, fill with snow to make shelter.
    Tarps/ ropes * 2 ea. 9x11 and 6x6, shelter.
    Shovel * 1 ea. Build a snow cave or a Quin-zee.
    Knife 1 ea. Swiss Army knife.
    Book * 1 ea. Staying Alive in the arctic, an excellent survival book.
    Metal pot & cup * 1 ea. Melt snow for drinking water, Drink hot water to warm you.
    Stove/ siphon * 1 ea MSR, will works at any temperature.
    Food GORE, Nuts, Cookies, Candy Bars, Pepperoni, Cup of soup,
    Lipton Rice. Food that does not freeze.

    Added Items First Aid kit, Duct Tape,
    TyVeck Bag 1 ea. Sleeping bag 2#
    Big Candle 3 ea. One candle will last 2 hr. The light will give a comfortable
    feeling, save battery, keep you warm. Place Aluminum Foil
    around candle to keep wax from dripping.
    Socks 2 pr. Dry socks mean no frostbite feet.
    Gloves 2 pr.
    Long John 1 pr.

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    Rutting Moose,
    You carry some good, usable items in your suvival gear. You had some good pointers but I do disagree with much of what you wrote and here is why:
    Snares are what I consider to be one of the most energy efficient ways to gather food. You simply set them and check them daily. You must eat food if you are lost and nothing to do with setting snares could be considered impractical due to their light weight. This tiny little kit has tools that make it compact and readily attached to your body, not under a snowmachine seat that you could possibly loose if you dunked the sled in some over flow or broke through ice in a river. What would you do then? No where in your survival kit did you mention first aid, a tournaquet and some bandages/ and infection aid. Those are the bare minimum that should be on you, not in the snow machine, boat or atv. The extra stuff is a definite according to the season to be stowed in the snow machine, atv, or boat. What if you sliced your wrist open because your knife slipped while you were dressing your game? As for shelters, nothing beats digging all the way to the ground (constant temp), triangulating some spruce logs, piling spruce bows over the tiny little structure, and piling three or more feet of snow over the structure. I know because I've slept for about two weeks in one (total time) through blizzards and below zero weather. I blanketed the bottom with small spruce bows and tall dead grasses. The energy it would take to keep a fire going would not be worth the the hassle when compared to the construction of a shelter to sleep through the night to conserve energy.

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    Under added item: First Aid Kit.

    For many years I use to carry feel good items in my Survival kit. On a snowmobile trip I decided to spend the night, instead of going home and use my survival gear. If it was a real survival situation, I would have died.

    My suggestion is you go for a snowmobile ride and when you go EXACTLY 20 MILES STOP and spend a night.

    On your trip look around and tell us how many tracks you see, set out some snares and tell us what you get.

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    I can think of some benifits to snares.

    We have quite a few Spruce around, but we have Willos on every stream, lake , river.

    Lost or stuck, its best to make a small camp in a safe place and wait for help. Thats what we do and what we preach to our young ones.

    Building a shelter, even just from the wind, then a fire to keep warm with and give something for the "searchers" to see in the long darks of the Arctic winter.
    Setting snares gives a body something "To do" and keeps thoughts of bordom, doom or some aimless X-country trecks from killing a fellow.
    Gathering willows and setting a few snares can also help a body if the stay becomes extended, and keeping the body fuel'd up is important in below Zero temp conditions.

    I keep a "travle bag" that gos everywhere I go, all year around, and its always having mods, replacemnets, add ons and left behinds. I repack it for every trip.
    What is always there is my tool bag, wire, flares, candles, a military poncho and blanket, ammo of some sort, Tissue in a bag, an MRE, Xtra socks and gloves in a ziploc, batterise space blankets, my aluminum canteen with enclosing cups to make hot water a spare knife, first aid kit , sharpening stone, some rope and lotsa candy, all inna small backpack that rides over my snowgos handle bars or sits in a box in the boat with me.

    The flashlight and VHF are always in my inner coat pockets.

    A cheap book is great to have too..... Read it, wipe with it, burn it too!! ~LOL!!!~
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

  10. #10
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    i think snares would be a good lightweight item to have in a survival pack. or at least the proper size nylon to make a snare for small game. minimal effort setting snares for food gathering. for your survival pack id throw in a few commercially made ones as they weigh in at nothing and store easily. do your homework though on proper places to set them or carry more of them to learn on your own. sounds like when you will be wanting to use them though wont be the time to learn.

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    My own feeling is that of Rutting Moose: if anyone thinks that a few snares are going to be useful in getting rabbits for survival, try it. In many areas and for long time intervals, there aren't rabbits or much of anything that can be snared without covering lots of miles. Same as the old assumption that porcupines are easy survival food. Count tracks/mile for a few trips. For many areas it often isn't a big number for even rabbits, and for porky's it's much much lower.

    I think also that one of the assumptions that many make about snaring rabbits is that there is no learning curve. Just get some wire and that's it. Unless one has already snared some rabbits, it may not be as easy as it sounds. I suggest that for anyone carrying wire, practice snaring some bunnies in a good area when the emergency shelter is a nice warm cabin.

  12. #12

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    I have done that rutting moose, and my entire survival kit was in my back and weighs less that 12 pounds, and that includes my .22 pistol. I was plenty comfortable. If you think snares are a waste of time, maybe because you are not familiar with their use, don't bring them then. Mainer is correct in the fact that with all the stuff your carrying, ( and I'm guessing its not on your person) if you dump your machine through the ice, or are hiking and lose your wheeler, or sprain an ankle and can't get back to the machine, your not going to have most of that gear. I'm not trying to be critical, I used to do the same thing, bring everything and want for nothing. I have used snares with extremely high success for rabbits and squirrels. Water, heat and shelter are more important, but your body burns huge amounts of calories trying to stay warm, and a little food does help greatly. My 2 cents

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    Trappermike and mainer in ak:

    I have snowmobiled thousands of miles in SC Alaska and do not believe you can survive snaring and eating rabbits in the winter.

    I am always willing to learn, I propose we (trappermike, mariner in ak and I)

    go for a snowmobile ride and when you go EXACTLY 20 MILES STOP and spend a night.

    Mainer in ak you carry only what you have on your list + 5 snares, Trappermike you have your 12 lb kit and I will bring all my gear.

    Let’s plan on going Saturday the 21th.

    I can’t wait this will be fun.

  14. #14

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    My schedule won't allow for that this weekend. And I did'nt mean you need to survive on them for a whole winter. If your so ignorant as to not take what I said in context, then don't take the time to listen to someone elses point of view, and good luck with all that gear.

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    I used to carry snares for 25 years until I realized it was stupid.
    In order to snare a rabbit you must set your snares where there are rabbits.
    In a survival situation, what are the chances of breaking down where there are rabbits?

    How many snares does it take to catch a rabbit, 1, 5, 10? What good are snares if you don’t know how to use them and knowing how to use them take practice.

    I went on a survival campout a few years back, we went to an area that had a lot of rabbits one of the guys ran around looking for rabbit tracks, he traveled for over a mile before finding any tracks. He set out 20 snares and caught 3 rabbits that night and he knew what he was doing. The only problem was a fox ate the rabbits. That year was a low snow year and he still has a hard time getting around to set the snares and came back covered with snow and sweating. He did not have snowshoes; in a survival situation sweating can kill you. Have you every tried to move around in deep soft snow with out snowshoes and you want to put out 10 snares, get real.

    Calories:
    Rabbits in the winter do not have any fat on them, no fat no calories. The amount of calories it takes to snare a rabbit in the winter is a net loss. It does not make sense to waste energy to eat a rabbit. You have more important things to do like shelter and fire.

    If you were lost for several days, then I agree having snares would be a good idea if you knew how to use them, personally I think the 22 is a better choice. You can kill a rabbit, squirrel, or bird if you see one, or your partner if he tries to take your food or gear.

    I do not plan on being in a survival situation for over 24 hr., why because I carry a 406 plb and enough gear in a fanny pack to stay alive for a few hours. Did you know that the few times people broke threw the ice and had a backpack on die because the backpack keeps them from getting out.

    So trappermike, it’s not that I don’t take the time to listen to someone else’s point of view. It’s because I did carry them and they were useless to me; and unless you are in an area with a lot of rabbits, several snares and know how to use them what good are they?

  16. #16

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    Well, since I've been trapping rabbits for years, I do know how to use snares, and I have and I have caught lots of rabbits with them, on purpose and on accident. You don't have to worry about your rabbits being eaten if you set your snaresto catch the rabbit then lift them off the ground, but that takes skill and intelligence, almost forgot who I was talking to. To answer your next query, the chances of breaking down where there are rabbits in Alaska, hmm, pretty good from my experience. You are correct about the lack of calories in rabbit meat, but you forgot to mention that there are a lot more calories in the organs and brains, not appetizing, but surviving aint supposed to be a gourmet buffet. See, not a net loss.

    Lets get off of the rabbits for a minute. You just said you don't intend to be lost more than 24 hours, then why the list of everything but the kitchen sink. Your list was more stuff than I bring on a 10 day moose hunt, someone always knows where I'm going, knows when I will return, and my fanny pack will keep me happy for days if it has to, which it won't.

    If snares are useless to you, don't bring them, anddon't criticize people who do know how to use them. I can have a raging fire in minutes, and I sure am not going to sit around it and feel sorry for myself if I get in a jam. I'll just turn it into a trapping campout, and eat well! Next time I teach a Winter survival class, I'll PM you and your invited.

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    There you go insulting me again. I never said I was the one who was snaring, but you don’t care all you want to do is to insult a person who disagrees with you.

    “You don't have to worry about your rabbits being eaten if you set your snaresto catch the rabbit then lift them off the ground, but that takes skill and intelligence”

    As I said before I did not set out any snares. But, I would like to hear how you would lift a rabbit off the ground high enough for a fox not to eat it. When you consider a rabbit is 2 feet long, a fox can jump 5 or 6 feet. The rabbit legs need to be a minim of 6 feet off the ground. How does a person of your skill and intelligent do this?

    I pity anybody who would take a survival course from you, assuming that’s true.
    From what you have said so far you don’t impress me a as a person who knows what he is talking about. You make statements like, “my fanny pack will keep me happy for days” and “I can have a raging fire in minutes”. Those are not statements of a person who knows what he in talking about.

    “If snares are useless to you, don't bring them, and don't criticize people who do know how to use them.”

    You are really pissed at me for criticizing you for using snares for getting food in a survival situation and I don’t understand why. I think my reasons are logical and makes sense in a winter time survival situation. It’s not personal.

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    Trappermike,

    I'm fascinated by your skill with snares and the abundance of rabbits that you encounter. I just have a couple of questions and I'm not at all doubting you skill, I just want to learn. First, do the bunnies in your area of Alaska ever go through cycles of abundance or do the populations stay pretty high all of the time?. Also, could you please give the details of how you set snares to lift rabbits high enough to avoid having them eaten by predators.

  19. #19

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    Yes, of course they cycle, but I have never seen them cycle to extinct. To answer your question about lifting them off the ground. (see picture, sorry, but I am no artist) You bend over a tall willow or alder (usually plentiful where rabbits live) and attach a wedge stick to the end with a short length of rope or wire, attach your snare to the wedge stick. Of course make sure to pick a willow that will bend over in the very close vicinity of the trail you intend to set. Notch the wedge stick in a willow on one side of the trail about 18 inches above the trail and the other end about ground level. The wedge actually becomes part of the fencing on your trail. Fence off to guide the rabbit through the snare. When the rabbit gets caught, he will fight enough to dislodge the wedge stick and up he goes. Rabbits do not need to be 6 feet off the ground, and I rarely use this lift, since it's usually not necessary. One note, rabbits get eaten when their snared if they are caught somewhere other than the neck. When they are properly caught they don't scream and attract every predator around. This does not mean a properly caught rabbit wont get eaten by some passing predator, but it is less likely than if they are alive and making a racket. I have caugh lots of rabbits in snares, and only 1 of every 15 have been eaten. When the rabbit is lifted of the groung, gravity will keep the snare tight and assist with getting tighter. You can also use a lift pole set up like a teeter totter, same wedge ides, just find a large horizontal fulcrum,and a heavy enough stick to do the job. This type is alittle harder in a thicket, due to the clearance you need for the lift tree to properly function. This has now gotten way off topic, and I am growing tired of explaining myself. Bring snares or don't, whether you live or die in a survival situation is up to you, I've done this stuff for years, and I will share with anyone who wants info, but I will not continue this thread any further. Good luck to you all.
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Hello again gents,
    Thanks for the varying opinions and various experiences of all of you. Rutting Moose: Where my remote property is located there are rabbits, spruce hens, beaver and other small game every where. Rabbits are exremely plentiful too. I'm going purchase 20 small locking snares and a couple of books from the northwest trapper supply company. They will be a good asset in conjuction with the little 22 mag pistol and the various other items in my surival kit. Little hint about this self contained kit........all of it will fit in the handle of my hatchet and the hatchet sheath that will be attached to my belt, even the little pistol and 50 rounds.

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