Using Punji Stick Traps to Defend your Homestead

| January 9, 2014 |

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When the end of the world as we know it comes down on you with brutal force you may find yourself with limited firearms and ammunition, and you may be unable to effectively defend all aspects of your home at the same time.

This is where ingenuity and improvisation come in and may play a pivotal role in whether you and your family survive or not. The perfect improvised weapon for urban defence is the punji stick or stake used in camouflaged pits and improvised traps.

The end of the world is happening all around you, society is rapidly breaking down into lawlessness and chaos. The authorities are nowhere to be seen and can’t be expected to turn up in the immediate future.

You have holed yourself and your family up in your suburban home and hunkered down to wait out the apocalypse. You will defend your family and your home with your very life against the inevitable swarm of zombies who will flourish in this new kill or be killed world.

Punji stick traps were most infamously used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. The effect of such hidden booby traps on the American soldiers was both psychological and physical.

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The Punji Stick has 2 Advantages

American troops lived in terrible fear of tripping a punji stake trap or falling into a camouflaged punji pit and being impaled by their own bodyweight and bleeding to death or dying from infected wounds.

The effect of the punji stick is two fold, firstly when an attacker has his leg or foot impaled on a pungi stake he is effectively taken out of the fight and should not pose any immediate threat again.

The second effect the punji stick trap has is psychological. The other attackers who witness their fellow zombie marauder go down unexpectedly in this fashion will suddenly become very cautious in their approach to attacking your homestead.

This can only work to your advantage and if you are lucky may even prove enough of a disincentive to cause them to cease their invasion and move on to easier pickings.

How Is the Punji Stick Used?

The Viet Cong made punji stakes from Bamboo which is plentiful in Vietnam. They would sharpen one end to a viciously sharp point and fire harden it until it was razor sharp.

Often they would swab the tip in feces or poison which would eventually kill the victim by poisoned blood or infected wounds if they had no immediate medical aid, this of course added to the mental fear of these insidious weapons.  

Punji stake pits were often utilised by the Viet Cong. They would dig a pit along a highly trafficked trail or path that the soldiers would use often and lay a bed of punji stakes in its base, cover the pit with debris and ground litter and wait for the next poor unsuspecting American soldier to stumble into the trap and be taken out of the war.

Punji stick traps are the ultimate urban protection weapon that can be utilised at short notice, made rather quickly and very economically as well. If utilised properly they can protect an entire section of your homestead freeing you up to cover the more vulnerable sections of your property.  

How Can I make Punji Sticks?

wooden-baseboardsIn all probability you do not have a stand of bamboo in your backyard so bamboo punji sticks are not likely to happen. What can you use for an alternative that is handy to most people in their homes?

Wooden baseboards make perfect punji sticks and most homes have them at the base of every wall in the house, which adds up to quite decent yardage for adapting to punji stake traps and pits.

If time is not on your side you can haul up your baseboards with a claw hammer, cut them to length with a skill saw and sharpen them to a nasty point with your best survival knife. If the power is out then a hatchet should be sufficient to chop them to length with one decent blow.

What Types of Punji Stick Traps are Effective?

The less elaborate but most effective punji stake traps are what you should concentrate on to help in the defence of your home. There are 2 types of relatively simple punji traps that you can set up on and around your property.

The side closing punji trap is a quick and simple to manufacture trap that once triggered would take an attacker out of the picture. These are made by attaching six inch punji sticks onto 2 flat boards.

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A narrow pit is dug at about 1 foot square by 1 foot in depth and the 2 spiked boards are placed into the pit at 45 degree angles to each other. The pit is then covered with leaf litter and sticks.

When the trap is triggered the momentum and body weight of your victim causes his foot to set the trap off resulting in both boards punji spikes to impale his foot on both sides.

Alternatively long nails or thin sharpened steel rods can be driven through the base boards and used instead of wooden stakes. Having these traps staggered around your front and rear yards will slow down any forward attacks from moving swiftly to your home.

The second punji trap is the spiked board trap, which though a little more complex to construct but will often result in a fatality and having a dead zombie hanging off one in your front yard will often serve as an effective deterrent to marauders who value their lives more than a can of beans.

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The spiked board trap utilizes the weight of the victim to trigger its fullest potential and can be set up very effectively in the gateway to your property.

A pit is excavated to about two foot square by two deep, behind which a recessed depression is dug out of the soil to about 6 inches in depth and about 4 foot in length and 2 wide. 

A structure of thin boards are hammered together to form an “I” shape. One end is about 2 foot wide by 1 foot in length, this is the treadle board.

The other end is the same dimensions but with about 8, 6 inch punji sticks or 6 inch nails evenly hammered through in 2 layers. Holding the two ends in place is a 4 foot length of 1 inch thick board.

The treadle end is placed over the pit and the rest of the trap is laid across the recessed ground and then covered with leaf litter and sticks to hide it. The victim steps on the treadle board causing the spiked end to fly up and impale the victim in the chest or head.

Defending your homestead from marauders with a combination of firearms, hand weapons and traps such as punji stick traps can create an effective barrier against zombie attackers and keep your family alive when the world falls apart.

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  1. John Plunkett says:

    Just saw your punji stick idea here. Actually, outside of myself, I have not heard that from anyone. I am a nam vet and many moons ago I stepped into one of those. It hurts like a son of a bitch and did incapacitate me. I still have scars on my calf and foot. Fortunately for me, they had not smeared shit on it when they made it.

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