@ Moose,

I’ve thought long and hard about this subject. And, I will pay you the favor of being blunt – hopefully, not at the cost of your enthusiasm. I don’t want to squash that, but you deserve a straight answer.

I know you want to protect you and yours. That is a worthy cause. But if I sit here and tell you a step-by-step process to build devices, and something goes wrong, then I’m on the hot seat. I’m sympathetic, but I’m not going to risk anything this close to Game Day.

That said, there is nothing stopping you from doing research on your own. You cannot rely on only one or two things you try to keep working. And one or two puny booby traps won’t do sh*t.

You have to have what is called a “defense in depth”. Additionally, you cannot have a “fortress” mentality. I have said it before and I will say it again, specifically for your benefit – everyone who has ever adopted the fortress mentality and tried to withstand a siege, has lost.


Yes, some lasted longer than others. But, in the end, they all went down. Even the Rhodesian farmers – who had organization, food, water, medicines and were by all accounts armed to the teeth with military grade hardware eventually went down in the end. Even the walls of Constantinople fell. It took a thousand years, but even they fell, in the end.

If you want to dissuade Orcs from taking what’s yours – and worse – you will have to tribe up. Get your folks on board, talk to like-minded folks and form a community defense and support group. A group size can be anywhere between a dozen or two to about 150. Don’t try this “strong man vs. the world” thing… it makes for a good book, and a good movie, but in reality, it’s crap.

It’s not a matter of skill or resources or even wanting it more than the other guy… it’s about numbers. No matter how good a guy is, no matter how many bullets he has or what kind of Jedi mojo he has going on, one Hero cannot stand against swarms of mediocres…. the more numbers you have in your group, the more skills you have access to without having to learn everything yourself. The more hands you have, the more the work load can be spread out. And yes, the more bodies you have, the more fingers to pull more triggers…

Defense in depth. Start with using nature against your adversaries. The terrain of the land can be exploited against them. So can vegetation. If there are areas where you cannot see all the time, then plant stuff like Acacia bushes. That stuff is so nasty, not even African lions want to fool with it.. seriously.

Man made obstacles can be used to halt vehicle traffic or foot traffic or both. Some are bullet transparent, like the Frisian Horse – which is an obstacle for people, but does not offer them any cover. Some are smaller, like caltrops. Some can be combined together, like tanglefoot and barbed steel spikes set in the ground. Some are designed to break the treads of tanks. You have to do research and read, read, read... and then read some more.

Booby traps would be good to place in areas where you cannot see or where an aggressor would likely take up position. You can even use vegetation to encourage them to take up that position, then set one to go off when they do. It’s a mind game.

Some booby traps are historically famous – like the barbed steel spikes I mentioned earlier. Julius Cesar used them to good effect against the Gauls. It looks like a fish-hook that got straightened out – a barbed steel spike, only about 8 to 10 inches long. The other end is driven into a block of wood, and then the wood block is buried with the spike sticking up. If done in tall grass, anyone going through that area will have a bad time. Some are more recent, like the NVA’s tiger traps. Simple. Dig a hole about 2 feet deep – some were deeper – and however wide you want. Fill the bottom of the hole with spikes, then camouflage the hole. Someone stepping on it will fall in and get spiked, at least in the foot. The NVA used to smear excrement on the spikes to encourage sepsis and gangrene.

Booby traps can be active or passive, mechanical, spring loaded, simple or complex. There are no rules when it comes to them, which is why they’re so stinking dangerous. And, unless you keep a map of what you set and where they are, anyone – good, bad or otherwise – can blunder into it. Anti-personnel mines are a form of booby trap. One of the things I adopted was a bear deterrent method I saw on Discovery Channel – a thick piece of plywood, at least a couple feet by a couple feet, has hundreds of drywall screws driven through it to form a bed of spikes. These are placed in front of cabin doors to deter bears and such. But, placed on the inside of a house under windows, etc, well, that would make life very interesting for an Orc…

While you are researching whatever it is you are going to research, I want you to keep saying to yourself …


You don’t have a copyright on any of this information.. which means anyone else is just as capable as studying what you are studying. They could just as easily know what you know.

Also, given the Infinite Monkeys Theory (I made that up, by the way) it means that given enough people, sooner or later someone will figure out a way to defeat your defenses… often, it’s the simplest things that will defeat you. Military grade razor wire can be defeated with a hunk of old carpet. Just throw it over the razor wire and cross. Same for broken glass set in the top of a wall. Toss it over the glass and cross in safety. Frisian Horses can be burned – unless made of steel, which is expensive. Barbed wire can be cut. Worse comes to worse, the Orcs take a chain and a hook and a truck and just drag away your defenses…

Which is why you have to keep evolving your methods. Nobody can tell you how to do that. That’s the bad news. The good news is that with a little imagination, you can keep coming up with things that will confound the Orcs… at least temporarily…

And, expect them to steal your ideas. Once you make something effective, they will copy it.

You can start learning by going over to Amazon and typing into the search engine “Mantraps and booby traps”. Then do a search for “historical anti-personnel devices” or a variation thereof… don’t forget to look at the “suggested” categories as well… one thing will lead you to another and another… and I’m betting you’ll have your hands full within about an hour.

When you run out of stuff there, then go to another search engine – Yahoo, etc – and do the same searches there. Sometimes they list books that Amazon doesn’t have.. some are public record and available for download for free..

Your only limit is your imagination. Learn from history and combine ideas. Use scavenged things as building blocks for devices… mousetraps and springs are famous starting places…

Good luck…

The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1