Ancient Pathways, LLC

Welcome to Ancient Pathways, LLC
Outdoor Programs in Desert Survival and Bushcraft

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Pre-Made DF-4 Deadfall Trap That Will Keep You Rockin' With Wild Game

The diminutive DF-4 Deadfall Design is compact enough to stow a few in your Bug-Out Bag or long-term survival kit.

I've had the good fortune of meeting some great folks in my fieldcourses over the years and two of them, Eric and Ed from the DF-4 Company in Cottonwood, Arizona have put out an amazing product for feeding yourself in a wilderness survival situation or if the grocery shelves ever empty during a true grid-down crisis. This design is so simple but reliable it blew me away the first time I set it up (with one-hand such is their design!). As their website indicates, it's an "Innovative Design Based On Traditional Technology."
Set in literally seconds, this deadfall just needs to be baited and it's ready to roll (or rock!). This is the smaller version of deadfall that the DF-4 company makes and is suitable for smaller rodents.

While I teach how to carve the primitive Paiute and Widget Deadfalls in my fieldcourses so students know the skill, this is a carving method that takes time and practice. It's also a very perishable skill set which is why this pre-made deadfall is outstanding. There are no angles to remember when you're belly is rumbling and no elaborate whittling to be done. I've always been a believer in blending the best of both primitive and modern bushcraft techniques and when it comes to long-term living off the land, the DF-4 would free up a lot of time that could be spent on other critical survival skills.
The time-tested Paiute Deadfall was used into contemporary times by Supai, Hopi, Paiute, and other tribes in the Southwest. It can be a frustrating trap to set for the beginner and takes considerable practice under varied field conditions to be succesful with.
Ed and Eric put a lot of thought into the design to make it easy to set, sturdy under pressure, and light enough not to be a burden in one's kit. Get a few dozen of these and spread them around your BOBs and you'll be able to procure meat if a true survival emergency befalls you. Now for the disclaimer-  YOU are responsible for checking into your state's game laws and regulations.
This little beauty is a little larger than a ballpoint pen and about as light as it's made from 6000 series aluminum.
For more info, check out the DF-4 website or, better yet, drop in on the makers at one of the survival expos or sportsmans shows that they frequently attend around the western U.S. Ed is also the designer of an excellent, field-expedient poncho shelter and these guys, with their constant innovation and field-testing, would make even MacGuyver jealous.
The quick-latch trigger system allows you to set the trap with one hand. This frees up your other hand to place the rock or log weight and avoid the notorious School of Crushed Knuckles typical in learning to use deadfalls.

About Ancient Pathways

Tony Nester is the author of numerous books and DVDs on survival. His school Ancient Pathways is the primary provider of survival training for the Military Special Operations community and he has served as a consultant for the NTSB, Travel Channel, Backpacker Magazine, and the film Into the Wild. When not on the trail, he lives in a passive-solar, strawbale home in northern Arizona. For information on Tony’s books, gear, or bushcraft courses, visit

Copyright©2008-2015. All Rights Reserved. The content of this survival tips blog is owned exclusively by Ancient Pathways, LLC. [Flagstaff, Arizona].

Survival Tips Blog Layout by Reliable Web Designs