How To Make A Tripwire Alarm

Tripwires have traditionally been used in booby traps to trigger some kind of mechanism.

This can be an alarm to alert you of movement or it can result in a more physical response, typically in the form of a net dropping or boulders falling, or so the Indiana Jones movies say.

How Can You Make A Tripwire?

It was also a common weaponry tactic used by soldiers as it would cause their enemy to fall making them an easier target, or more violently, could sometimes trigger explosive devices.

At the other end of the scale, a tripwire can make for a hilarious prank if pulled off correctly.

To help you learn how to do this yourself, we’ve put together this article to explain 2 different ways you can make a tripwire to alert yourself to intruders or to prank your friends.

How Do You Create a Tripwire Bang Alarm?

To create a tripwire bang alarm you’ll need the following things:

  • Fishing line
  • Mousetrap 
  • Ring/pop caps or glow sticks
  • Tent pegs 
  • Nails 
  • Screws 
  • Rubber bands

Get everything ready and take the time to sort out everything you’ll need like tools and materials before you start. Once you have it all in front of you, you can start with step 1. 

  1. Using a screw, secure the mousetrap to the tent peg. You can create a hole for the screw by drilling through the mousetrap until you reach the top side of the tent peg, then switch to a screwdriver and screw it in.
  1. Next, screw through the trap until you hit the back of the bait pedal. This is the metal rectangle bit where the mouse releases the trap by putting its weight on it. Drill another hole behind this going all the way through the mousetrap.
  1. Individually cut out the pop caps if they’re in a ring.
  1. Release the trap a few times to locate where it lands against the wood. 
  1. Using a hammer, bang two nails into place on either side of where the bow hits the wood. Aim to have the head of the nail facing the bow as it swings down so it hits the nail on the head (literally) when released. 
  • If using a glow stick instead, make 4 holes and tie the glow stick in place where the bow will hit it as the trap is released.
  1. Camouflage the trap by painting the pegs so that it’s similar to its surroundings. You can do this step earlier if you would prefer to get it out of the way. 
  1. Attach the fishing line to the other tent peg and hammer into the ground.
  1. Run the fishing line making sure that it’s fully taut and attach it by tying it to the bait pedal. 
  1. Using a rubber band, secure the tripwire onto the peg and mousetrap.
  1. Add a pop cap to every nail head and pull the bow down. This means the trap is ready and armed. 
  1. The area is now secured! Triggering the tripwire will cause the mousetrap to hit the pop caps which will create a loud noise and alert you if someone has entered the area. Alternatively, if you used a glow stick in place of pop caps, it will light up when the tripwire is triggered. 

How Do You Make a Tripwire Out of a Water Bottle?

To create a tripwire out of a water bottle you’ll need the following things:

  • A water bottle, duh. 
  • A hacksaw and/or scissors 
  • Sandpaper 
  • Duct tape
  • A balloon 
  • A small piece of wood, like a popsicle stick 
  • Hot glue 
  • String
  • 3 stakes 
  • Flour or water

Here are the steps to follow to make a water bottle tripwire, which will make a great prank on a friend or family member.

  1. Wash an empty water bottle, preferably a 20 or 24-ounce bottle. 
  1. Make a mark in the middle of the bottle and follow this line to cut the bottle in half using a hacksaw or a pair of scissors. You can discard the bottom half but keep the top half of the bottle. 
  1. Using a piece of sandpaper, smooth the edges where you cut the bottle and tape them with duct tape
  1. Cut the bottom end off a balloon and stretch it over the bottle opening
  1. Cut a small section of wood that’s no longer than the width of the balloon band from a popsicle stick or another similar piece of wood and round off the edges. 
  1. Glue a line of hot glue onto the wood and press a piece of strong string across it. 
  1. Line the wood up with the balloon so that it’s going across the width of the balloon band and allow the strings to fall on either side. Pull the string ends in through the bottle mouth and out the other side. 
  1. Knot the string where it rests inside the bottle somewhere in the middle. 
  1. Your 3 stakes should be no longer than the bottle. Using glue or tape, attach them to the sides of the bottle so that they extend beyond the bottle mouth but not past the cut side of the bottle.
  1. Make the trigger out of a piece of wood that’s just slightly longer than the width of the bottle mouth and tie a long piece of string to it.
  1. Tie the other end of the string to a stake or a popsicle stick. 
  1. Pull the string until the knot comes out of the bottle mouth and position the stick you made the trigger out of under the knot, angled so that it lies across the bottle mouth. 
  1. Push the bottle stakes into the ground gently so as not to accidentally pull the trigger. To avoid ruining the surprise element, disguise the bottle without covering the top of it.
  1. Pull the string taut and push the stake it’s attached to into the ground.
  1. Add flour or water to the bottle so it sits inside the balloon trap. 
  1. Now, it’s time to sit back and wait. When somebody trips the wire, it will release the balloon flinging flour or water all over your friend!  

The Simple Prepper