The techniques detailed in field manual FM 5-31 (Bobby Traps) are the military’s and survivors way of evening out the odds.
It’s old, way out of date, but still as useful as hell as a force multiplier.
Force multiplier? That’s something when deployed by a combat force, significantly increases the combat potential of that force.
For example, Setting traps slows the enemy down, can create multiple casualties, and all for no danger of loss of your man power.
In trapping it is a method used by a single person who needs to cover a large area.
For example, one rifle can only cover what you can see. Multiple traps give you more of a chance of success by allowing you to cover a larger area. Thus traps are a force multiplier.
If you don’t believe me find a combat vet and sit back and learn from the voices of experience about basic booby traps. Only don’t stop there, every theatre of conflict has and had its talented enemy that knows the power of the IED (improvised explosive device). The modern term of the booby trap.
Yet all the ‘fun’ doesn’t have to be limited to the professionals and isn’t limited to harming you or the enemy.
(Note:- I’m not being disrespectful here, I’ve still got an extremely strong respect of IED’s and other traps even though I’m 40 years out of date.)
Looking at the survivor who is foraging for whatever he can find.
Whilst there isn’t much call for setting booby traps now, resourceful people will try to preserve what they have by making it as unpleasant as possible for the forager. Thus you need to adopt a process of search and discovery BEFORE you go blundering into anywhere.
That starts with surveillance from afar.
Take a guess how far, on average, people set traps round something they are trying to protect?
Most will answer its terrain and scenario dependent and in the main ‘line of sight’ from the place of interest is a good point to start from.
In the country consider anything that could be ‘owned’ by someone as a possible outer perimeter for danger.
On a suburban patch (with gardens), consider that perimeter as the practical limit i.e. From the gate inwards.
In a rural (town or inner city) patch, consider danger the front and backyard (if any), any communal area, and inwards from the access points i.e. doors and windows and not forgetting garages and vehicles left outside.
So what are you looking for? (CAUTION. I’m no expert!)
What we need here is an up to date EXPERT to chip in with learned comment.
My training from others was to look out for basically anything out-of-place, closed when it should be open, open when it should be closed, attractive things just lying around, trash stacked for no reason, and bumps in places where there shouldn’t be. Paths free of clutter and well cared for in a disaster zone. Signs of freshly dug or recently flattened or ‘swept’ earth. Discoloured grass patches dying as their roots dried out. Hell the list just goes on and on.
Looking at the other side of traps, (and I’m bang up to date on these).
I’m a trapper by design.
You’ve got to be in the UK where firearms, air weapons, and stringed weapons are frowned upon by most of the sheeple let alone TPTB. Laws here for trapping or hunting almost anything are way OTT.
Only most thing’s I go after are highly suspicious of man, anything left by man, and can smell a trap better than you can ever imagine. Most game also ‘suffer’ from NEOPHOBIA which is extreme or irrational fear or dislike of anything new or unfamiliar. Thus setting traps is an art form more than something you can pick up from books.
I wrote a few pieces about trapping ages ago.
Trapping, Furries, Trapping Birds, and Survival Fishing.
They might prove useful.
It’s all basic stuff, tooling and equipment is minimal, BUT you need to practice it NOW!
If there is any danger that a CBRN like scenario is in place, food comes a poor third to clean safe water and keeping under cover.
Lastly I want to mention projectile weapons.
Once the rule of law is no more I’m still going to be careful about using those weapons. It’s a simple matter of most firearms and some air weapons are noisy in operation and in a silent area, gunfire is a magnet to other people and a warning to animals.
Tactically noise is stupid and hunting wise it’s equally bad.
You advertising your presence to others and your food falls into the moron category as far as I’m concerned. Thus trapping, to me, seems the only logical way to operate if there is any danger of you becoming a point of interest.
Don’t forget the basic trapping lore.
Strangle, dangle, and crush are all good BUT crush can contaminate the food.
Clean whatever you catch as soon as possible checking for illnesses and other ‘defects’.
Do this away from your camp and bury deeply all waste products.
Animals, birds, and fish cannot tell you they are sick, may not act sick, and may carry something that will make you sick but doesn’t affect them.
In a CBRN scenario, don’t eat unless you absolutely have to.
If possible cook away from your base.
Always eat fresh, whenever you can, BUT only eat if you have an excess of drinkable water.
Any food waste must be transported away from your base and buried deep.