Homemade Booby Traps to Protect Your Property


Burglars, intruders, invading enemy forces, wild animals, and zombies. These are just some of the reasons why you need to fortify your home. You want to protect your family and all the assets that you worked so hard for from such threats. One way of doing this is to set up homemade booby traps around your property.

But before you go digging holes and filling them with spikes, you should know that deadly booby traps are illegal. Under the law, you’ll be liable if anyone gets hurt by your booby traps. Yes, that includes trespassers and criminals with the intent of hurting you. The Geneva Convention also states that “it is prohibited in all circumstances to use any mine, booby-trap, or other devices which are designed or of a nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering.”

In other words, even if your country’s at war or your life’s at stake, you still shouldn’t set up booby traps. It’s crazy to think that Kevin McCallister would’ve been at fault for hurting those two dumb Wet Bandits with his ingenious DIY booby traps. Turning the volume to 11 while watching Angels with Filthy Souls is fine though. Not so much with the iron falling on their head and the resulting blunt force trauma. That’s a legal case waiting to happen.

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Still, knowing how to create homemade booby traps is a vital survival skill. Of course, these booby traps should only be used if you have no other choice such as when there is an actual or imminent threat. Think serial killers, zombies, demons, and aliens.

Aside from the situation, it also depends on the layout of your property. You shouldn’t leave booby traps just lying around if you live in an apartment complex or in a busy neighborhood. It’s easier to set up these traps if you have a large property such as a homestead or farm.

For now, learn how to make DIY booby traps so you’ll be ready when the need for them arises.




One common type of homemade booby trap is a tripwire. It’s a simple yet effective trap that you can attach to doorways, windows, and gates. You can even set it up out in the woods. All you need is a piece of wire or paracord and something to trip it, like a rock or a stick.

To set up the tripwire, tie one end of the wire around a sturdy post or tree and stretch it out to where you want it to be. Then tie the other end to an object that will trip it, like a rock or a can of paint. When the weight is moved, it will pull on the wire, setting off the trap.

At its most basic, a tripwire can cause the threat to stumble and fall. If you attach empty cans or chimes, it becomes a tripwire alarm. It’s nowhere as deadly as other booby traps on this list. Its main purpose is to warn you of an intruder and to give you time to take defensive action.

To be more effective in stopping threats, use a tripwire to activate a trap such as a net or swinging weight that will hit the person who triggered the wire. This homemade booby trap is not that dangerous unless the tripwire will launch wooden stakes, a log, or an iron just like what harmless, little Kevin used in Home Alone. At the very least, a tripwire will delay the threat’s advances giving you more time to escape or prepare to defend yourself.

The tripwire is a great way to protect your property from intruders because it’s hard to see and it’s easy to set up. Just make sure you don’t trip the wire yourself!



A pitfall or pit trap is another booby trap that can be used to capture or injure an intruder. The pitfall is basically a hole in the ground that is covered by a thin layer of material, like a board, piece of cloth, sticks, or leaves. You can also spread a net over the hole before covering it with leaves and other materials. This way, the intruder will be caught in the net and will have a harder time getting out.

To set up the pitfall, dig a hole in the ground and bury something heavy in it, like a rock or an old tire. Then place the cover over the hole and secure it in place. When the unsuspecting victim steps on it, they will fall into the hole. You can then either have sharp objects at

The pitfall is a simple and effective trap that can easily capture an intruder. Make sure the hole is big enough to trap the person and that there is something heavy at the bottom to keep them from getting out.

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The problem with this booby trap is that it takes lots of time and energy to dig a hole deep enough to trap a person. Still, it’s an option you can use if you prefer not to hurt anyone or if you’re trying to keep mindless zombies away from your home. A pitfall is also a great way to catch animals for food.


Punji Stick Pit

Punji stick pits were common during the Vietnam War so you know they’re quite terrifying even without knowing what they are exactly. Also known as trou de loup or wolf hole, these booby traps are holes at least six inches deep and filled with sharpened bamboo sticks. These holes are usually covered with leaves so anyone who unwittingly steps on it will be impaled on the sticks. As you can imagine, these booby traps are now illegal. Use this only when there’s a serial killer hellbent on getting their hands on you and your family.


Bamboo Whip

If Punji stick pits are too gory for your taste, you can always build homemade booby traps that can hurt but not that much. If you’ve been whipped by a bamboo stick before, you know how painful a bamboo whip booby trap can be.

To make this homemade booby trap, you need to secure one end of a thin piece of bamboo to a tree or any solid structure. If there are no bamboo trees in the vicinity, you can cut off a thin but sturdy branch using a pocket saw, hatchet, or jungle bolo. Then pull back the other end of the bamboo until it bends into a loop. Tie that end in a way that it will be released when the intruder triggers a tripwire. The whip snaps back and will hit the intruder. You can sharpen the sides of the bamboo so it lashes the threat’s skin giving them a more painful reason to re-examine their lives.



Spear Trap

Speaking of pain, few things can be as painful as a wooden stake piercing through your torso. Well, a horse kick to the groin area is perhaps the most painful thing ever but you can’t use a horse to make your booby trap. Even if you even have a horse, it’ll be smarter to use it to escape from your tormentors than to make it wait for intruders.

A spear trap is made using wooden stakes with sharpened ends, paracord or wire, and more branches. First, gather pieces of wood and sharpen one end with a knife or hatchet. Then tie the stakes to a long branch that’s strong yet flexible enough to be bent. The free end of the branch is then tied to a tree while the other end is pulled back and secured. A tripwire is then assembled in a way that coming in contact with it will release the branch thus impaling the person with the stakes.

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Viet Cong guerillas also used this kind of booby trap. Theirs were deadlier though since they put sharpened stakes on the end of the bamboo which impaled anyone who wasn’t quick enough to jump away.


Electrified Fence

This homemade booby trap will certainly give intruders the shock of their lives. You can turn your ordinary fence into an electrified fence, which should help keep trespassers away.

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To make your DIY electric fence, the most basic components are a power inverter, some wire, electrical tape, and clamps. Start by attaching the wire to the fence, making sure it’s taut. Then, use the clamps to attach the other end of the wire to the power inverter. Turn on the inverter and you’ll have an electrified fence in no time!

There are other ways to make your electric fence. There are even portable ones, which can be useful if you have to bug out and stay out in the open. With a portable electric fence, you can set up your perimeter before the night falls and feel safer while you sleep. This booby trap will give you the first line of defense against thieves, bears, or zombies.

Of course, you should only set this up around your property when the threats are on their way. High-voltage electric fences are illegal in some states. Those places where such fences are legal only allow them in rural areas, particularly for livestock fencing. So even if your kids act like pigs, you can’t set up a high-voltage electric fence if you live in an urban community.


Bucket Trap

You probably think of this bucket of water trick as more of a prank than a booby trap to defend yourself against intruders. To set it up, take a bucket and fill it with water. Then, place it so that it is leaning against the door or another entrance to your property. If someone tries to open the door or enter, the weight of the bucket will cause it to fall and spill the water all over them. You can also place a bucket of water on the top step of a staircase so that it will fall and spill onto the intruder when he or she trips the trigger.

If you’re thinking that water won’t do much damage, you could add a little extra to your bucket. For example, you could add bleach or ammonia to the water to make it more harmful.


Spike Booby Trap

If you have a large wooden board, you can drive sharp nails through the underside. With the pointy ends upright, place the spiked board below windows and anywhere the intruders won’t see them immediately. When the trespasser breaks in, he’ll step on the booby trap and will be punctured by the nails.

In Home Alone, Kevin placed one long upturned nail on the stairs of their basement, which was also painted with tar. This is similar to the spike booby trap though you may want to use more than one nail.

Make sure you remember where you put these spiked boards so you can avoid stepping on them. You don’t want to be the one ending up in the doctor’s office, right?


DIY Caltrops

Caltrops work like spiked booby traps. Anyone who steps on them will be a bloody mess. Think of them as Lego pieces but deadlier. Again, these homemade booby traps are illegal. Use them only when you’re in a dire situation.

To make your DIY caltrops, you can use barbed or chicken wire. If you’re using barbed wire, simply remove the pointy parts with a bolt cutter. You may need to adjust some of the spikes so they face upright. You can also trim the ends to make them sharper.

If you’re using thick chicken wire, cut the part where the wires intersect so you’ll end up with cross-shaped pieces. Bend the ends to make some of they’d be upright, too.

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Nails can also be made into caltrops or road spikes. You just need a hammer or a pair of pliers and a table clamp. Secure the nails on the clamp and hammer or bend the nails with your pliers at an angle so that one end is sticking out.

Make plenty of these DIY caltrops and hide them where no one else can find them, especially your kids. Take them out only when the need arises. Make sure your family knows you’ve scattered them on your property so they won’t accidentally step on them.


Dye Device

This homemade booby trap is not deadly at all. However, it can prevent intruders, especially burglars, from further entering your property. A dye device sprays a semi-permanent dye onto the unsuspecting trespassers. Aside from the surprise of getting sprayed, the person will want to leave immediately to wash off the dye.

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Since the dye doesn’t wash off easily, it can be used to identify the perpetrator. The authorities just need to look for someone who looks like an overgrown Smurf.

To make this DIY booby trap, you need to fill an automatic spray bottle with semi-permanent dye. You can buy dye at a local hardware store. When you’re ready to set up the trap, place the bottle near the door or entrance that the intruder is likely to use.

You’ll need a tripwire to trigger your dye device. When the intruder steps on the wire, the dye will spray them in the face. You can set this up quickly as long as you have the materials at your disposal.




Any level-headed person would protect their family at all costs. One way to keep them safe is to make sure your home can’t easily be broken into. There are plenty of ways to fortify your home such as installing security alarms, bullet-proof windows, and creating a panic room. The problem is that all these are quite expensive and not everyone can afford them. Homemade booby traps, however, are cheap. In fact, some of them can be made using things you’ll find around you.

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Knowing how to make the homemade booby traps listed here can spell the difference between life and death. When your life is threatened and you don’t have the option of bugging out, you’ll be forced to shelter in place and take a stand. It’s great if you have the means and the skills to defend yourself but you could increase your chances or at least even the odds if you set up some booby traps in and around your home.

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Again, you need to remember that many booby traps are illegal so you should check with the local laws first before setting them up. However, the knowledge of how to make them could save your life so even if you can’t use them, it’s good to know how they’re made. Besides, you can also use these traps to catch your next meal, especially if you’re lost or stranded in the woods. Discover more life-saving tips over at Gentleman Pirate Club.


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Gentleman Pirate Club aims to share valuable knowledge and tips on how you can prepare and survive emergencies and other dire situations. We think of different scenarios and show you the many ways you can survive them. We also believe in self-sufficiency as a way to prepare for whatever lies ahead. As our ship sails in these waters, we look for valuable treasures. When we spot one, we tell you where it is.

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