How to Make a Spring Loaded Deadfall Trap Using Your Paracord Gear




About: I went to school for Architectural Engineering for two years and ended up getting a degree in culinary arts (long story). I have great passion in crafting, fixing, or building stuff!!! Whether it's wood work...

Throughout this Instructable I will demonstrate how to make a spring loaded deadfall trap using your paracord gear. When in a survival situation, you can unravel your paracord gear and create a spring loaded deadfall trap to catch small game for a meal.

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Step 1: What You'll Need

What you'll need:
  • (4) foot long sticks roughly 1 inch in diameter (1 not shown in picture)
  • (1) 6 inch long stick roughly 1 inch in diameter
  • (1) 5 foot long sapling/tree (must be alive, and flexable)
  • A rock to use as a hammer
  • A large rock to use for deadfall weight (Ideally 2' x 2' x 5")
  • Paracord bracelet or other gear
  • Knife/sharp object for cutting cord

Step 2: Prep Work

Before you do anything, find a good place to set it up.
  • Look for burrows or nests.
  • Locate game trails.
  • Find rivers and streams.
   Start off by sharpening the ends of 3 of the foot long sticks. These three will be hammered into the ground. Sharpening the ends will make it much easier to hammer them into the ground. If you don't have a survival knife, use a sharp rock, broken bottle, or anything you can find. If you snap the stick the rigtht way you can get a pretty good point.

Step 3: Preparing Your Cord

Start by deploying your gear. Learn how to deploy your gear.
  • To get the most use out of your paracord you're going to only use the sheath to make this trap.
  • Cut/snip both ends of your paracord to loosen the guts of your cord.
  • Pull out the guts and set aside for later use. Do not misplace the inner strands.

Step 4: Building the Foundation of the Spring.

  • Take two of your foot long sticks and hammer them into the ground using a rock.
  • Make sure they are roughly 2 feet apart.

Step 5: Making the Trigger.

  • Cut a 6 inch piece of the cord for this step.
  • See the diagram below to understand the positioning of the trigger.
  1. Using a rock hammer in another foot long stick in the proper location.
  2. Tie your 6 inch stick like shown in part 2 of the diagram
See the second diagram to undertand positioning of the trigger.

Step 6: Loading the Spring.

  • Cut a 2 feet piece of cord to use in thie step.
  • See the "top view" of the trap in a diagram below. This will help with positioning on the trigger, and spring stick.
  • Also view the video below on how to cock the spring stick.
  • Weave the spring stick in between the two sticks you set in the ground in step 3.
  1. Tie the cord to the end of the spring stick. Use the top view diagram below to get a better understanding of positioning.
  2. Pull the spring stick towards the trigger and tie the cord to the 6 inch stick on the trigger. Make sure you have a good bend in the spring stick so when the trap is triggered it deploys as fast as possible.
See the second image to view the top view of a loaded trap. Use this to help you understand the positioning the spring stick, and the trigger. Also check out the video to see the spring stick being cocked.

Step 7: Setting Up the Deadfall Rock.

  • Find a heavy rock that has some size to it. Ideally a wide, long, and thin rock about 2' x 2' x 4". But again whatever you can find will work, even if it has to be a heavy log.
  1. Take the last 1 foot stick and lean it up against the deadfall weight over the trigger.
  2. Sometimes the trap has a hard time deploying if the stick digs into the ground. If the ground youe working with is soft and forgiving, use a small rock. Place the rock under stick which holds the deadfall weight up. This will insure the stick is pulled out quick, and easily by the spring stick.

Step 8: Tying the Spring Stick to the Deadfall Weight Holding Stick.

  • Cut a 2 foot piece of cord to use for this step.
  • Being careful not to trigger the trap, tie the cord from the end of the spring stick to the bottom of the deadfall weight holding stick.
  • Notice it's not a tightly tied cord. You want to leave it loose like shown below. Leaving the cord loose like this will create a "snapping" effect which will aid in the deployment of your trap.

Step 9: Place Your Bate on Top of the Trigger and You're Good to Go.

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    10 Discussions


    4 years ago on Step 9

    You've got some pretty amazing skills here. I would love to see this snare in action.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I actually took one but i frickin deleted by accident. We just got some snow this week and it's really cold out but if there's a nice day and the snow melts I'll go back out in the woods and set the trap up and video it.

    Once the snow really kicks in I'll be doing a snow-shoe instructable. Using your paracord gear, how to make snow shoes in survival situation.

    Stay tuned!



    6 years ago on Introduction

    It is a very clever idea but I have to agree with the observation of the rock not falling to the ground completely. Also that a standard figure 4 deadfall doesn't require the sacrifice of invaluable paracord. But to be fair I'm no expert, I still enjoyed the instructable. Grabbed my attention for sure and was the first one I checked out today! Cheers!

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks Cannibal_hect0r,

    I love the figure 4 and I think your right. But my profile is paracord based, and it goes along with my paracord gear website. But I should and will do a nice figure 4 trap Instructable soon.

    I guess with the spring loaded dead fall trap you might be able to day it's a bit easier to make. Some people have trouble making all the notches necessary to put together the "4".

    And if the critter is positioned correctly it would get pierced by the trigger.

    I also think that this particular trap can hold a much bigger rock. Especially because you can place two or even three sticks holding the rock up. As long as your spring is powerful enough it should dislodge all of them.

    Thanks for your comments! Glad you liked.

    I'll have new pictures with bigger rocks and smaller triggers soon!



    6 years ago on Introduction

    Real cool idea but doesn't the stick the trigger is tied to stop the rock from falling to the ground completely?
    Seems to me a small prey animal (squirrel,rabbit,etc.) would be able to escape from this.
    May be I am missing something here,went to your site but that was no help.Please if I am wrong tell me what I am missing.I really want to try this,maybe tonight.

    4 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I was thinking the same thing. I didn't comment originally because I haven't messed with snares in decades. I usually like to offer some sort of solution with criticisms. Other than the trigger I like the method. Should be quick.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Although the critter could get slammed, and pierced into the bottom part of the trigger!!!

    I'm going to get some new pics up today or tomorrow.



    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Hey unclelar, couple things.
    -The trigger is a little dramatic and should be made smaller.
    -When it comes to traps, they aren't guaranteed. When using traps it's best to set up as many as you can, to make your odds better.
    -Also, the bigger and flatter the rock, the better the odds. I ideally would look for a HEAVY rock about 4' x 3' or 4' x 2'. This way the odds get better here as well, with a bigger rock that may just smash the trigger as well.

    Hope this helps.
    Sooner than later I will have better, more efficient traps. I have a ton of AWESOME snare traps coming as well.



    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Actually. Thank you for pointing that out. I'm going to take new pictures of a much bigger rock, and much smaller trigger.