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Budget Prep: DIY Booby Traps

Simple Ways to Protect Your Property From Marauders

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You can make your own booby traps to protect your home from marauders.

Photograph by Rick Austin and Survivor Jane, Aleven Goats Media, Inc.

Inspired by prepper Rob's Vietcong booby traps, but lack the outdoor space for such a large set up? We're bringing you budget versions of the preps inspired by our very own season three prepper builds.

Protecting Your Home

Keeping your home and family protected does not necessarily mean having a large arsenal of high-powered weapons to protect you, your family, and your home if disaster strikes.

The use of “booby traps,” devices or setups you can use on unsuspecting intruders that are strategically placed around your home and property, can be a great perimeter defense against unwelcome marauders in a doomsday scenario.

The key is to conceal or disguise these booby traps in a way that they cannot be seen, and where there is a high likelihood that they will be encountered and/or triggered by the intruder.

Remember the movie “Home Alone” where the little boy Kevin is left by his family and forced to use his creativity to defend himself against the bad guys? This movie serves as a great example of how you are only limited by your own imagination and creativity when it comes to making post-SHTF booby traps.


One area that most intruders seem to focus on is the windows of your home; and, unless you have bars over the windows, the same will hold true in a doomsday situation. As a defensive barrier, you can coat your outside window sills with silicone sealant and then sprinkle shards of broken glass into the silicone and let it dry. When an intruder reaches up to climb through the window, they will come in contact with the shards of broken glass. That will probably end the intrusion, right there. Ouch!

Fences are another area of concern. Usually they are the primary fortification of the home and property from the outside world and from potential intruders. But as we all know, fences can be compromised. To remedy this, you can, secure boards with lots of rusty nails sticking up on the tops of your fence. When an intruder sees these sharp spikes, they may have second thoughts about your property and move on to lower hanging fruit, as they say. And since many attacks will occur at night, they may not see the spikes, in which case you will no doubt hear the intruder’s screams as he discovers them.

If you live in a wooded area that is not easily defendable, you can hang heavy gauge monofilament fishing line from tree branches and attach fishing hooks that hang at about waist height and are spaced about six inches apart. As the intruder sneaks through the woods towards your property, they get tangled in the fishing hooks.

And there's always those pretty ornamental hedges, like Osage Orange bushes, that have thick 1” thorns that are guaranteed to keep both four legged and two legged predators off your property. These can be used as a perimeter fence and even under windows.


Booby Trap 1 - Glass on Window Sills:

  1. Gather your materials: Glass jars or other broken glass, a canvas bag or sand bag, a clear tube of silicone, a putty knife/spreader, as well as safety glasses and gloves.

  2. Break the glass jars in the side of a canvas or Tyvek sand bag. Break the glass into pieces about an inch or so in size. 

  3. On your outside window base, spread the clear silicone over the area.

  4. Place pieces of the broken glass into the silicone (with sharp sides up, not flat).

  5. Once the silicone dries, the glass will remain embedded and will be a defensive barrier against an intruder climbing into your windows.

Booby Trap 3 - Thorny Bushes

  1. Plant a hedge or a green fence of thorny plants around your yard perimeter, as well as under windows. Plants like Osage Orange look tame enough from a distance, but a closer looks shows some pretty mean looking thorns.


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