Posted by Jamie Canterbury on August 20, 2018
The .22 rifle is probably the most popular goto food getter in the survival world. The gun is small and accurate, the ammo is cheap, and it is used in modern hunting today. For a while, .22 ammo was being bought up by so many people that it disappeared! A deadfall trap can never disappear unless all the trees do.
Then we have a separate set of problems.
In this article we are going to take a look at the idea of long-term survival and why the figure four deadfall trap is better than guns and ammo. This may sound counterintuitive but hear me out.
Food with Ammo
This issue is one of circumstance. If we are talking about survival for more than a week or two than you are going to have problems if your only option is food with ammo. How much ammo are you carrying?
You are going to need to use, at least three rounds a day. Let's say you are carrying a pack of 50 rounds in your pack. You cannot carry a brick of ammo because it's too heavy. If you are surviving off wild game for a month you are gonna run out of ammo. One bullet does not equal one meal. You are also going to miss.
What do you do with your .22 rifle once you are out of ammunition?
For convenience, the .22lr is hard to beat. Its just a great gun and the takedown versions are incredible. For short-term survival, the rifle is a great option but long term you are going to run out of ammo and you need options beyond that.
Food with Deadfall Traps
Not all traps are created equal. Snares are like bullets, you get one shot with them. If you have 5 snares in your pack, then you have five meals. Beyond that, you have a set of broken snares. Choosing the right types of traps to pack and build can really define your survival success.
The figure four deadfall trap is made from three pieces of wood. There are some carving and shaping that must happen but beyond that, you are dealing with a trap that is just three pieces of wood. In fact, a long branch can be all you need for those three pieces.
There are many resources out there to help you create a figure four deadfall trap. I have brought you one such resource from a website called instructables.com this site will offer you both video and picture representation of how to create this trap. There are some nuances to getting the trigger right but after some practice, you will get it.
Beyond the wooden option, we also offer the Pathfinder DF-4 Standard Deadfall Trap. This version of the trap is made of anodized aluminum and can be stored in a pack for immediate deployment. If you like the idea of a trap providing multiple meals but don’t like the idea of carving one, look into this great, readymade trap.
While there should be a balance in how you approach your survival food procurement I think we see many more people who have a dangerous dependency on guns. They may not have the capacity to create or set traps. They may not have traps at all!
The truth is that it's not about guns vs traps but it's about understanding both and being honest about the strengths and weaknesses. A gun can get you a meal in a hurry, but it will never outlast the right trap if you don’t have access to more ammo and spare parts. For this reason, I give the nod to the deadfall trap for a long-term survival situation.
Still, when your life is on the line you better be trapping, fishing and hunting to be sure you have enough food to survive.
Understanding the Past
If our ancestors were given a few bricks of ammunition, some guns and left survive through the ages, who knows what would have come of them. In a way, you can look at the past and understand why, unless you are a trained gunsmith, traps are just the better long-term answer.
You have to fully understand and be able to recreate the technology if you are going to make it work for you. Most people with a gun in hand only partially understand the technology and hardly any of them can recreate it.
Now if we look at the simple build of a figure 4 deadfall trap you can understand the technology and quickly replicate it. It was this type of understanding that led us through the ages. We slowly and gradually began to understand more and more advanced technologies but relied on things like trapping, spears and things like the atlatl to get us food on a regular basis.
We also took to the concept of keeping livestock which made much more sense than having to go hunt every day!
Your survival experience will be a microcosm of our history. If you understand it and can replicate it then you control it for a lifetime. If you cannot do both of these, you are merely playing with something temporary. In survival, you want to set up systems that are going to outlast you!
In an effort to survive in the wilderness you are going to run into many pitfalls. You will be primarily focused on finding water, building a fire, fueling that fire and creating some sort of shelter. These will all be higher on the priority list than food, at first. Soon, however, you are going to have to integrate food into your survival process.
If you are going to be most effective it will not be about choosing one method that is better than all the rest. It will be about maximizing your efforts to trap, hunt, hook and gather as much food as possible each day.
While the figure four deadfall trap is a better implementation than a firearm, for long-term survival, you should know how to operate both and how to turn your efforts into food.