7 Kickass Booby Traps That Keep Intruders On Their Toes

If you want to protect your home from threats, you can’t just rely on security cameras and all those fancy-schmancy security systems.

What if the grid goes down?

They’ll be nothing more than decorations.

So to defend your fortress and your survival supplies when things go south, one thing you need to do is put together some booby traps.

Here’s what you need to know about them:

Important Things to Consider Before Rigging Your Booby Traps

man thinking of booby traps to rig

Booby traps are devices designed to catch animals or people by surprise. Some can seriously injure or even kill a victim, while others are way tamer.

You can’t just make them for the heck of it. There are a couple of things you need to ask yourself first before you go and set traps all over your backyard:

Is It Legal?

Booby traps have a reputation for being vicious devices used in wars. With the injuries they can inflict, it’s no surprise that it’s illegal to make most of them.

Don’t try building punji stakes or toe poppers or any of those dangerous traps.

You’ll get into major trouble with the law and probably land in the slammer, and that’s the last thing you want when you’re prepping for SHTF.

Is It Safe to Set Up?

While something may be legal, that still doesn’t mean it’s safe. Setting up booby traps may put you in a sticky situation. There’s nothing worse than being taken out by the very things that were meant to protect you.

Think about your family, too. Will you be able to live with yourself if your significant other or kids get harmed?

If you have younger kids, then maybe it’s better for you to go with non-lethal self-defense weapons instead. You can keep these out of their reach but you can’t exactly do the same with tripwires.

Is It Easy to Spot?

Your booby traps should blend in with their environment. If not, it won’t take long for an intruder to discover and bypass them.

You’ll need to learn how to camouflage your traps well. That includes using certain wires instead of others and figuring out what colors to use to trick even the most seasoned thieves.

Also, it will be harder to trick enemies if your traps involve too many bells and whistles. Keep them small and simple.

Now that you know what to keep in mind, here are some booby traps you can make:

What Are the Perfect DIY Booby Traps for Home Defense?

Booby traps don’t need to be deadly to be effective.

All the projects listed below will surprise intruders more than harm them, but they make great deterrents. And if you’re really careful, they’re safe to construct.

Check them out:


A tripwire is a classic booby trap. It involves a wire that extends tautly across a pathway, like in between trees or a doorframe.

Folks usually use braided fishing lines for tripwires because they’re thin enough to be nearly invisible to the naked eye and they also won’t split when a person walks through them.

The line or wire is connected to an alarm that goes off as soon as someone activates the tripwire. There are several types of tripwires that use different alarm systems.

Here are some that you can make at home:

Mousetrap Tripwire

Believe it or not, mousetraps don’t only help you catch the mice that have been stealing your food.

With a mousetrap, a few ring caps, and a fishing line, you can make an effective tripwire alarm. This article shows you how.

Just watch your fingers when you’re working on it —  the mousetrap might snap on them. A sturdy pair of gloves should provide you with the protection you need.

Tin Can Alarm

Who says you need a high-tech perimeter alarm to safeguard your territory?

With a few tin cans, paracord/fishing line, and some sticks, you can create one that’s loud enough to surprise intruders and alert you to their presence.

What you need to do is tie at least three tin cans together using a paracord or fishing line. Then, look for two trees that are close enough to one another. Use the paracord to secure a loop around their trunks.

There should be a space in between the trunks. This is where you should hang your cans. After that, you have to make a loose loop under the cans.

That’s all you need to create the alarm.

The next things to do include making the trigger using 3 different-sized sticks, determining your perimeter, and then setting up the trap. These steps are explained in further detail here.

Keychain Alarm Tripwire

If your DIY skills aren’t the greatest, this trap is for you. There are only two things you need: a keychain alarm (which you can easily find online) and a fishing line.

The keychain you pick should have a hole on the reverse side. This is where you tie the line that will attach it to a tree, a door, or a table leg.

Air Horn Tripwire

Hate how obnoxious an air horn sounds?

Well, so will intruders when it disrupts their sneaky infiltration into your property.

To whip up this trap, you’ll need to build a deadfall trap above your air horn.

Choose a flat rock and prop it up on some sticks. Let the trigger stick stay on top of the horn. The trigger stick should be attached to the line. Secure the other end of the line to a nearby tree.

When a trespasser’s leg gets caught on the tripwire, a domino effect happens…

The trigger stick will give out from beneath the rock.

The rock will fall on the horn.

The horn will make a deafening sound that wakes even the deepest sleepers.

The enemy will crap their pants in shock and try to make a run for it.

Pit Traps

shovel digging a hole

There’s probably no booby trap more straightforward than a pit trap. It’s really just a big hole in the ground.

Before you dig the pit, look for a strategic location. Once you secure a spot, use an entrenching tool to do the digging. Keep shoveling until it’s deep enough to prevent an average-sized person from climbing their way out.

When you’re through making the pit, put a net on top of it and disguise it with leaves, rocks, and other debris.

Also, remember the exact place you excavated the trap. You don’t want to faceplant into a hole while you’re in the middle of trimming and pruning your plants.

Dye Device

In a bank robbery, you know how robbers give bank tellers their demands? They normally command them to shove hundreds of thousands of dollars in a bag.

The tellers may seem like they’re giving in to the robbers’ whims, but they actually have a trick up their sleeves — the dye pack. This nifty gizmo stains the cash a bright color, letting everyone know that it’s stolen.

You can take inspiration from the dye pack and apply it to your home defense.

Just fill an automatic spray bottle with semi-permanent dye. You can set this up as soon as you see folks trespassing on your property.

They won’t just get surprised; they’ll be so doused in dye that they’ll look like cheap knockoffs of the creatures from the Avatar movie.

Talking Booby Trap

Most thieves are on edge when they turn up at a mark’s home. They don’t wanna get caught.

So in the unlikely scenario that they breach past your defenses and enter your home, a talking booby trap can scare the living daylights out of them.

This little device involves recording a special message or sound effect meant for home invaders. You’re supposed to hide it somewhere clever, where the bad guys can activate it unknowingly.

Once the gizmo is triggered, they’ll hear the present you left for them loud and clear — they messed with the wrong home.

For complete instructions on how to make a talking booby trap, take a look at this article.

Final Thoughts

Booby traps make a perfect addition to a home defense plan — when you take the law, your family’s safety, and common sense into consideration.

Along with learning self-defense and making key security upgrades to your home, the booby traps we featured will help you win against the bad guys and keep your precious stockpile safe.

Just don’t be too obvious when you build these traps to avoid getting unwanted attention from the neighbors.

We hope you learned something from this! But if you wanna learn even more about home defense or making a foolproof SHTF plan, you should check out our other articles.

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