Best Snare Wire Traps for Survival Trapping

Video best wire for squirrel snare

Being able to catch small game can save your life. Snare traps are easy to use and are popular for beginners. Snare traps are also easy to make without sophisticated equipment, and simplicity is always a good thing to depend on for survival. Their versatility makes it difficult to find the best trap- but we’ve put in the legwork to get it done.

There are a slew of brands and options to choose from when it comes to snare wires that you can actually depend on in a survival situation. This is where we come in. We’ve researched the best snare wires, tested each of them, and now the results are in: the overall best, a budget option, and an upgrade option. If you need to run trap wires, one of our suggestions is up to the task.

Contents (Jump to a Section)

Southern Snares has been around a while and know what they are doing. Matter of fact- they’ve been around so long they still have Vine on their website, which has been out of commission for almost 10 years. Websites might not be their thing, but they have a huge variety of the most trusted traps, and even make traps under their own name.

Our favorite trap they make also happens to be the best snare available, their pre-loaded three-foot snares. Pre-loaded with wire memory for a smooth action means that you can rely on this trap and it’s one of the easiest to use. Pick up some Southern Snares for your kits and don’t look back- it’s the easiest to learn as well as the best to use.

22-gauge wire is ridiculously versatile and as it turns out, cheap. RA (Reliable Aftermarket) provides parts for most farm equipment at wholesale prices and grabbing 25 feet of wire at this price fits anyone’s budget. The wire is perfect for snare traps, but it also comes in handy tying gear or for many of the wide survival cordage options.

If you find yourself on a budget or not wanting to completely dedicate yourself to pre-loaded snares, coiled wire is a great alternative. Grab a cheap bundle of RA Stainless Wire for your kits and you won’t regret it.

Tried and true is the way to go when you are using something that your survival depends on. The USGI Trip Wire fits the bill, giving us half a century of reliability in battlefields, backyards, and survival kits. At less than 3 ounces, and a spool that fits in the palm of your hand- survivalists and preppers have been finding room in their kits for this for years.

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USGI Trip Wire is a solid pickup for your survival kit and will give you plenty of wire to work within a compact organized spool.

Everything We Recommend

The Snares We Compared

Our research narrowed the field down to the several snare brands and types that we tested: USGI, Funke, Southern Snares, AuSable, Redneck Convent, The Snare Shop, Minnesota Trapline, Dakota Line, and more.

You can see our full list of review criteria below in the What to Look For section, with an explanation for each.

We did not consider other types of traps, like conibears, jaws, cages, or boxes. Plus, we’ve already reviewed a few of those separately and they have their place.

We’re always looking for new and better equipment, so if you have a snare wire that you swear by let us know in the comments. We review most of our tested gear annually, so we can always get it in the next roundup round and see if it makes the cut and we can see if it will beat out our top picks.

What to Look For

The best snare wires have several important features to look for:

  1. Value
  2. Functionality
  3. Durability
  4. Size & Weight
  5. Versatility

When you get the right blend of these, you can find a truly reliable snare wire that will let you efficiently set up traps. Below, we break down what each of these features means for a dependable trap that you can trust with your life:

Value: Cost vs. Benefit

The amount of money you spend on something like snare wire shouldn’t blow out your entire budget. Wire is relatively cheap, so don’t go overspending or overdoing it. Budget according to your risk and your needs rather than just spending lavishly.

On the flip side, you don’t want to go too cheap or just plain get the wrong thing. There is plenty of cheap steel wire out there, or wire completely made for a different purpose that won’t work as well.

You never want to spend too much money on one resource, especially something like snare wires. It’s better to diversify your tools and preparedness gear to make sure you are covered for a wide range of scenarios. There is a sweet spot where you get high value out of the best features with not-to-high of a price, which is where our top pick sits.


The single most important consideration for a snare wire is how well it works, or its effectiveness. Cheap snare wire will be too malleable (bendable), too stiff (breakable), too high of a gauge, or it will rust very easily.

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There are other considerations for snare wire, like how well it will hold a loop (or its memory). Pre-loaded snares don’t have to worry about this and give you traps with a very smooth action so you have fewer issues and more catches.


If you have a limited amount of wire, you need it to be durable. If you’re using a wire that will rust quickly then you are just wasting your money. You also don’t want brittle wire or wire that is easy to break.

Take care of your snare wire when you aren’t using it so you don’t mess up loop memory or wear it out unnecessarily.

Size & Weight

You don’t want to fill your kits with steel wire and traps- you need room for essential items and other gear. Compact storage spools, lightweight, and organization can go a long way with wire.

Don’t end up with a rats’ nest of wire in your bug out bag. Stay organized and keep your gear organized!


One of our picks shot up to the top because of its versatility. Whenever you consider survival tools, you’ll need them to work for you in a variety of situations. When it comes to snare wire, versatility is being able to use the wire for a wide range of uses.

How to Use a Snare Wire

Snares are some of the easiest traps to use. Anchor a noose wire near a run and your set. It’s a little more nuanced than that if you want to be successful, but that’s the gist of it.

You will also need to be sure that you know the rules in your area: Europe can be especially strict on snare use and labeling. Also, make sure you don’t use snares where domestic animals can get snagged.

Clay Hayes does a great job of breaking down how to use a pre-loaded snare and how to loop your own with just wire:

Who Needs Snare Wires?

Snare wires aren’t a prepping and survival staple, but they are extremely useful to have around. You won’t find them in our essential item lists, but you will find them as a consideration in almost every major kit we suggest.

Snares are a unique trap in that they are more lightweight and versatile than conibears, foothold, and other more involved traps.

We suggest that you consider adding:

  • In-Place Survival Kit
  • Bug Out Bag
  • Get Home Bag
  • INCH Bag
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Of course, you need to know how to set a snare before you put it in your kit. Some snare kits, like our upgrade suggestion, are even more versatile and come in lengths where you can use them in cordage applications.

Sources and References

All of our experience and the testing we do to determine the best snare wire is useless without listing our research sources and references. We leaned on these for the book knowledge that we paired with our hands-on testing and practical military and prepping experience:

Brocke, R. (1972). A Live Snare for Trap-Shy Snowshoe Hares. The Journal of Wildlife Management. Volume 36. Issue 3. Pages 988-991. (Source)

Figel, J., Hambal, M., & Krisna, I. (2021). Malignant Snare Traps Threaten an Irreplaceable Megafauna Community. Tropical Conservation Science. (Source)

Furbearer Conservation. (2020). Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards. Retrieved from Aug 22, 2022. (Source)

The Final Word

Food is important for survival and being able to source your own can be clutch in emergencies. Many people rely on fragile supply chains for food. We’d encourage you to look at food storage plans- or even better- being able to find sustainable food. This is why traps are strong tools for preppers and survivalists.

To go along with solid snare traps, you should also consider a few other tools to help with your emergency food plans:

  • The Best Conibear Traps, Sets, and Sizes for Survival Trapping
  • The Best Prepper Food Kits for Long-Term Storage
  • INCH Bag Guide, Gear List, and Checklist

We presented quite a lot of information, but as always: if you have any questions let us know and we would be happy to help. Our research and testing found that Southern Snares are the best option given their value, functionality, durability, size/weight, and versatility. If you pick up one of our suggested snare wires- make sure you get it out and get to know how to use it before you need it. Don’t let your survival gear sit in your kit without getting familiar with it- use it on your next camping trip, or just around the yard. Again, don’t leave them set up where they could hurt a domesticated animal.

Keep exploring, stay prepared, and be safe.

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