Shelter Survival

Soda-Can Tripwire

Whether it’s a hunting camp a few miles off of a logging road, a temporary shelter you built after surviving a natural disaster, or an abandoned apartment you must occupy as a result of full-scale collapse, camp safety is important.

While there are plenty of devices out there ready to be sold to you at top-dollar, you don’t need to spend a whole lot of money to rig something that will give you some advance warning. You may find yourself in a situation where you don’t have a great deal of resources other than what you can scavenge. Sometimes, simple solutions work best for complicated situations.


The basics of a soda-can tripwire system is incredibly simple. All that’s needed in terms of material is cordage, soda cans, and rocks. You can supplement with things like nails, shell casings or the ring tabs of the soda cans you are using in place of the rocks, if need be.Β  Improvisation and adaptability is key in any survival situations.


Instructions for Traditional Soda-Can Tripwire:

For simplicity’s sake let’s look at using fishing line, rocks, and soda cans as the primary materials. Puncture small holes in top portions of the soda cans and carefully run your fishing line through the holes. The cans should be hanging vertically, so as to maximize the echo and carrying of sound. Fill each can with three small rocks. The rocks need to be light enough to rattle around in the can, not so heavy that they do not make sound. If you are using something other than rocks, make sure to do so sparingly, dependent upon size of the object. The goal is to have objects that are small enough to rattle around. If the objects placed into the cans are too many or too large, they will not produce the desired effect.

Note: While you can run the fishing line through the ring tab of the soda can, those tabs can break off somewhat easily. Also, you can use the ring tabs in place of rocks if you need to.


Stick and Soda-Can Tripwire

The other type of soda-can tripwire that is easily constructed and effectively utilized for camp security involves only one can, cordage and two stakes. Fill your soda can with appropriate noise-making objects. Gather two medium-sized sticks, tie cordage to both stakes. Tie a β€œPerfection Loop” to one end and insert the soda can into the loop.




For tripwires to work effectively, they must be placed at natural choke points. Hiding tripwires is essential however it is more important that the tripwire is placed in a location that is a natural travel route. In urban settings, doorways, hallways, alleyways and windows are good placement points. In rural areas, gametrails, watercrossings and narrow footpaths work best.

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1 Comment

  • at my age (60+) & disabled I find articles for survival very interesting & informative . being disabled these articles can be applied in the less extreme situations of a simple car repair on the side of the road (essential bug out bag)

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