The Paiute Trap

The Paiute Trap, also known as the Paiute Deadfall Trap, or Paiute Deadfall Mangle Trap, is
featured in many survival books as one of the most useful traps. Thomas J. Elpel says it is the trap
that he has used the most. Assuming that you already have some cordage, it is the easiest trap to construct
that I have made so far.

There are three straight pieces of wood, plus a smaller piece, to make the Paiute trap. There are only two cuts
required, one flat edge and one notch, compared to seven for the figure four trap. The four pieces are referred
to here as the vertical, the diagonal, the bait stick, and the trigger (which is the smaller piece). You also need
a short piece of cordage, about a foot (30 cm) should suffice unless you are making a very large trap. I used home
made cordage, that I made from Lomandra (Mat-rush) leaves, although almost any kind of string, cord of rope will
work. It does not need to be very strong. You also need a weight. The “rock” I have used here is a piece of broken
up concrete slab that I found in the garden.

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