Wilderness Survival is a set of skills and attitudes that you can develop and build over time.  Some skills cross over between seasons, others (such as building snow shelters) are specific to the weather, terrain, and vegetation conditions you are experiencing. Whether your group has 1 hour or 2 days to spend on a workshop, is composed of kids new to outdoor pursuits or hardened and mature veterans of outdoor adventure, we've got some learning and team building for you! By Jason KnightUnderstanding how to create effective wilderness survival shelters is one of the most important outdoor skills. The type of shelter you choose depends on many factors including what materials are available, environmental conditions, choice of heat source, and whether it will be a personal or group shelter.
When planning a trip think about which types of survival shelters would be the best options for the season and environment you will be in. For an unarmed survivor or evader, or when the sound of a rifle shot could be a problem, trapping or snaring wild game is a good alternative. If you set and bait a trap for one species but another species takes the bait without being caught, try to determine what the animal was. Note: Once you have successfully trapped an animal, you will not only gain confidence in your ability, you also will have resupplied yourself with bait for several more traps. A simple snare (Figure 8-5) consists of a noose placed over a trail or den hole and attached to a firmly planted stake. A twitch-up is a supple sapling, which, when bent over and secured with a triggering device, will provide power to a variety of snares.
A simple twitch-up snare uses two forked sticks, each with a long and short leg (Figure 8-7).
A squirrel pole is a long pole placed against a tree in an area showing a lot of squirrel activity (Figure 8-8). A noose stick or "noosing wand" is useful for capturing roosting birds or small mammals (Figure 8-10). The Paiute deadfall is similar to the figure 4 but uses a piece of cordage and a catch stick (Figure 8-13). This 15 inch survival knife with drop point blade features a thick quality stainless steel blade with serrated top edge.
From keeping you protected from the elements to providing a place to rest, wilderness shelters serve a key role in survival situations. A great habit is to practice noticing good shelter locations while hiking.Building wilderness survival shelters can be quite fun and rewarding. Several well-placed traps have the potential to catch much more game than a man with a rifle is likely to shoot.
You must determine what species are in a given area and set your traps specifically with those animals in mind.
You must determine if it is a "run" or a "trail." A trail will show signs of use by several species and will be rather distinct. It is equally important, however, not to create a disturbance that will alarm the animal and cause it to avoid the trap. Although birds do not have a developed sense of smell, nearly all mammals depend on smell even more than on sight.
When you position the trap, camouflage it as naturally as possible to prevent detection by the enemy and to avoid alarming the prey. To build a channel, construct a funnel-shaped barrier extending from the sides of the trail toward the trap, with the narrowest part nearest the trap. When planning a trap or snare, ask yourself how it should affect the prey, what is the source of power, and what will be the most efficient trigger.
If the noose is some type of cordage placed upright on a game trail, use small twigs or blades of grass to hold it up. Place several wire nooses along the top and sides of the pole so that a squirrel trying to go up or down the pole will have to pass through one or more of them.

The tension of the overhand knot against the pole and perch will hold the perch in position.
The type of weight used may vary, but it should be heavy enough to kill or incapacitate the prey immediately. Not only do they provide for physical needs, but also help create a sense of home in the wilderness. Spending a night in a shelter built in one day with your own hands provides an amazing sense of self sufficiency and accomplishment. Even the slightest human scent on a trap will alarm the prey and cause it to avoid the area.
A twitch-up will work much faster and with more force if you remove all the branches and foliage. Spread the noose over the perch, ensuring it covers the perch and drapes over on both sides. Then drive a forked stick (fork down) into the ground on each side of the hole on the same side of the trail.
A the animal places its foot on a stick across the hole, the bottom horizontal stick moves down, releasing the trigger and allowing the noose to catch the animal by the foot.
With an understanding of the basic principles and hands-on practice, wilderness survival shelters can help you weather almost any survival situation. You may construct a perfect snare, but it will not catch anything if haphazardly placed in the woods.
The struggling victim, the force of gravity, or a bent sapling's tension provides the power.
Place the top and bottom wire nooses 45 centimeters from the top and bottom of the pole to prevent the squirrel from getting its feet on a solid surface. It consists of a pole (as long as you can effectively handle) with a slip noose of wire or stiff cordage at the small end. Place a piece of bark or wood over the hole with small stones under it to hold it up 2.5 to 5 centimeters off the ground. Survival kit includes a hollow grip with a compass top to store items within the knife itself, as well as additional pouches on the sheath to hold the rest. Animals have bedding areas, waterholes, and feeding areas with trails leading from one to another.
Prepare the various parts of a trap or snare away from the site, carry them in, and set them up.
The surrounding vegetation quickly catches the crossmember and the animal becomes entangled.
Tie the long leg of the remaining forked stick to a piece of cordage secured to the twitch-up.
As soon as the bird lands, the perch will fall, releasing the over-hand knot and allowing the weight to drop. Practice making this trigger before-hand; it requires close tolerances and precise angles in its construction.
Such actions make it easier to avoid disturbing the local vegetation, thereby alerting the prey. This bait, however, should not be so readily available in the immediate area that the animal can get it close by.
Sharpen the upper end to a point, then drill a small diameter hole 5 to 7.5 centimeters down from the top.
Place several sticks over the hole in the trail by positioning one end over the lower horizontal stick and the other on the ground on the other side of the hole.
Bring the cord halfway around the vertical stick with the catch stick at a 90-degree angle.

Two upright sticks driven into the ground hold the trigger stick in place at a point where the toggle stick will engage the pulled bow string. From the first tree, tie a trip wire or cord low to the ground, stretch it across the trail, and tie it to a catch stick.
For example, baiting a trap with corn in the middle of a corn field would not be likely to work. After an initial period of caution, they will try to go up or down the pole and will get caught in a noose.
Cut a small stick 10 to 15 centimeters long and shape one end so that it will almost fit into the hole.
When the animal emerges from the den, you jerk the pole to tighten the noose and thus capture the animal.
Cover the hole with enough sticks so that the prey must step on at least one of them to set off the snare. Place the bait stick with one end against the drop weight, or a peg driven into the ground, and the other against the catch stick. For best effect, the channelization should reduce the trail's width to just slightly wider than the targeted animal's body. Likewise, if corn is not grown in the region, a corn-baited trap may arouse an animal's curiosity and keep it alerted while it ponders the strange food. Tie one end of a piece of cordage to a twitch-up or to a weight suspended over a tree limb. Tie a trip wire or cordage to the catch stick and route it around stakes and across the game trail where you tie it off (as in Figure 8-14). Maintain this constriction at least as far back from the trap as the animal's body length, then begin the widening toward the mouth of the funnel. When an animal catches its head in the noose, it pulls the forked sticks apart, allowing the twitch-up to spring up and hang the prey. Bend the twitch-up or raise the suspended weight to determine where You will tie a 5 centimeter or so long trigger. Emplace one end of another smooth stick within the slip ring and its other end against the second tree. One bait that works well on small mammals is the peanut butter from a meal, ready-to-eat (MRE) ration. Tie a small weight, about equal to the weight of the targeted species, to a length of cordage. Pull the smaller end of the spear shaft across the trail and position it between the short cord and the smooth stick. Pass the free end of the cordage through the hole, and tie a slip noose that covers the perch.
As the animal trips the trip wire, the catch stick pulls the slip ring off the smooth sticks, releasing the spear shaft that springs across the trail and impales the prey against the tree. If one of the above techniques is not practical, and if time permits, allow a trap to weather for a few days and then set it.
When using such baits, scatter bits of it around the trap to give the prey a chance to sample it and develop a craving for it.

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