What is a trip wire?
As its name suggests, a trip wire is a thin line of wire (or other material) that is intended to cause an intruder to trip over it, thus triggering a mechanism elsewhere that will activate an alarm. The wire is stretched tight and low to the ground between two fixed points, where it will be unseen. When an unwanted visitor trips over the wire, it activates an alarm system, which can be as crude or as elegant as you have the time and materials to construct. Trip wires have been used for hundreds of years by military, police, and civilians alike.
Trip wire comes in a variety of materials. Wire is often preferred due to its rigidity, but multifilament silicon coated Kevlar is also an excellent and more flexible option. In a pinch you could even use fishing line or string.
How do you use a trip wire?
A basic trip alarm system is essentially a simple booby trap. The alarm signaling device will be tethered to a length of trip wire. When the wire is pulled hard enough (presumably by someone tripping over it), it activates the device which alerts you to the presence of an intruder. It couldn’t be simpler!
Trip wire can also be used independently of a signaling device as an all-purpose wire for whatever purposes you need.
When might you need a trip wire?
Trip wires are often used, with or without a signaling device, for applications such as:
- Perimeter alarms
- Boundary setting
- DIY animal trapping
- Securing gear
Where can I get a trip wire?
Although just about any kind of string or wire can work in a pinch, the Kevlar Trip Line included in our Tripwire Alarm Kit makes excellent trip line (it’s not actually wire) due to its flexibility and ease of deployment. Get yours here: https://tihk.co/collections/urban-survival-gear/products/tripwire-alarm-kit