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FEMA Region IV
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How the hell do people do it detecting or avoiding traps in low visibility There must be a skill set for this because you have had teams that operate in hostile areas in jungle and woodland environments which are prime for setting up trip wires and various deadly goodies.

During the day its one thing, But you "have" to move at night and its nearly impossible to notice everything about the terrain. Do you learn to move a certain way? pay attention to tactile response when picking up your feet? balance and fluid motion? Is there a "technique"

Im just curious..or is there really no way to handle it aside from plotting an ideal route that should avoid such things.
 

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Move slowly and very cautiously if you have not had opportunity to reconnoiter the area in daylight. Best bet is to keep off the trails, because the traps will be on the trails, and move when the game animals move. They can serve as your mine detectors if you will use them....
 

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Bravo Zulu
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How the hell do people do it detecting or avoiding traps in low visibility There must be a skill set for this because you have had teams that operate in hostile areas in jungle and woodland environments which are prime for setting up trip wires and various deadly goodies.

During the day its one thing, But you "have" to move at night and its nearly impossible to notice everything about the terrain. Do you learn to move a certain way? pay attention to tactile response when picking up your feet? balance and fluid motion? Is there a "technique"

Im just curious..or is there really no way to handle it aside from plotting an ideal route that should avoid such things.
Move slowly. I mean really slow. It can take hours to travel a mile if you're being careful. Tread lightly, be aware of your surroundings, don't use tracks, be aware of sounds.

Carrying a rifle? Hear metal on metal? There's a fair chance that that's a trip wire right there.
 

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FEMA Region IV
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thats a good point! Watch the animals and use them to sweep a path. If theres animals...

And about metal and metal thats good too.

Do they teach you a certain way to carry and "probe" with your rifle that is most ideal for that?
 

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Sua Sponte
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I would suggest not moving at night or around areas where home owners might have placed traps in the first place...and stay away from my place at all costs.

After all, while you are more likely to spot a trap during the day I'm more likely to spot you as well. So just stay away.

YMMV,
Chad
 

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Well to somewhat answer your question, its all about moving slow. I know when conducting route and area clearance patrols which are never done at night even during the day time it can take you literally ALL day to go a couple kilometers. If you were to move at night through an area you do not know and have never conducted reconnaissance on then in reality if you feel that there could be some kind of threat in the area your just not going to make progress. You might as well camp out and recon the area in the morning so you have an idea of what your getting yourself into.
 

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It's also about avoiding the beaten path, traps tend to be set on game trails, and areas that are used for travel. The person setting the traps is betting on you taking the path of least resistance.

As mentioned movement at night in hostile areas is a bad idea, granted cover of darkness and stealth are some of the things we relied upon it is a calculated risk.

Night ops are always slower and much more dangerous.
 

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As others have said night movement is very risky.Even with pvs7 or other night vision divices, and topos there is still a great danger. If you must move do it at low light hours before sunrise, and before sunset hope this and others advice helps.
 

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Avoidance & Deterrence
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It is pretty much imposable to detect traps at night so if there are traps then don't move at night.

But to answer the questions cheap NVGs that use active Infrared illumination can be very helpful because most camouflage does not work well in NIR. For example black paint/thread can glow under NIR. Ultra Violet can sometimes be used the same way. Look for wires both across the trail and near the trail. Look for leaves/debris on the trail, look for disturbed earth where something may have been buried.
 

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Move slowly and very cautiously if you have not had opportunity to reconnoiter the area in daylight. Best bet is to keep off the trails, because the traps will be on the trails, and move when the game animals move. They can serve as your mine detectors if you will use them....
At night? Don't do it at all. Stay put if there is a threat.
This is good advice. That was basically my job in the army, I was the booby trap, IED guy...detecting them and disabling them.
In a vehicle, the traps are easier to detect...thus you can go cautiously and try to detect them.
On foot, booby traps that can disable or kill a human on foot are pretty much impossible to detect in a wooded environment....slightly easier but still damn near impossible in an urban one.
There are two strategies on foot...the first and most sensible is to avoid going anywhere someone may have emplaced a trap.
The second is to know your enemy so well that you Know his preferred methods, and you can predict where he may have put traps.
In an urban environment the second option is usually needed because your movement routes are limited. In a wild environment the first is always the way to go.
Booby traps are the bane of fighters in the current wars, responsible for the far majority of injuries and deaths.
I got got, leg blown off and my buddy killed, and three friends injured, because I failed to see a cell phone antenna in a bunch of grass from the .50 cal mount in a humvee going ten miles an hour on a bumpy dirt road. I had spotted them a hundred times before....I missed one due the other guy hiding it just a little better than usual.
 

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Borrow one of my beagles. I guarantee you... if there is a trap the little girl beagle is so smart she will have it disarmed, disassembled, and neatly stacked waiting for you to bag and reuse. That mutt is smart.
 

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Borrow one of my beagles. I guarantee you... if there is a trap the little girl beagle is so smart she will have it disarmed, disassembled, and neatly stacked waiting for you to bag and reuse. That mutt is smart.
I second this. Throughout history, dogs have proven to be a major asset to people in combat, still are. I don't know about the Marines' dog program, but in the army, dogs are a big thing for sourcing explosives. They have amazing noses that can detect land mines deeper than mine detectors can detect.
Simply amazing animals. Dogs were domesticated before humans were fully developed into the form we know now, and there is a prominent anthropologist that argues that humans would have not been capable of surviving to this point without dogs.
 

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I second this. Throughout history, dogs have proven to be a major asset to people in combat, still are. I don't know about the Marines' dog program, but in the army, dogs are a big thing for sourcing explosives. They have amazing noses that can detect land mines deeper than mine detectors can detect.
Simply amazing animals. Dogs were domesticated before humans were fully developed into the form we know now, and there is a prominent anthropologist that argues that humans would have not been capable of surviving to this point without dogs.
I'm glad somebody caught that that wasn't a joke. When I lived in the mountains I had a neighbor who trained his dog to alert if someone had ammo. His logic was ammo = concealed weapon... and he wanted to know if someone was armed. I didn't believe it till he showed me several times. I've got many friends who work with scent dogs and many a dog has saved lives in war time. You can't see an IED but you can smell it if you have four legs.

And the Beagle Brigade at airports are a hoot. They never miss a banana.
 

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At night? Don't do it at all. Stay put if there is a threat.
This is good advice. That was basically my job in the army, I was the booby trap, IED guy...detecting them and disabling them.
In a vehicle, the traps are easier to detect...thus you can go cautiously and try to detect them.
On foot, booby traps that can disable or kill a human on foot are pretty much impossible to detect in a wooded environment....slightly easier but still damn near impossible in an urban one.
There are two strategies on foot...the first and most sensible is to avoid going anywhere someone may have emplaced a trap.
The second is to know your enemy so well that you Know his preferred methods, and you can predict where he may have put traps.
In an urban environment the second option is usually needed because your movement routes are limited. In a wild environment the first is always the way to go.
Booby traps are the bane of fighters in the current wars, responsible for the far majority of injuries and deaths.
I got got, leg blown off and my buddy killed, and three friends injured, because I failed to see a cell phone antenna in a bunch of grass from the .50 cal mount in a humvee going ten miles an hour on a bumpy dirt road. I had spotted them a hundred times before....I missed one due the other guy hiding it just a little better than usual.
I'm glad somebody caught that that wasn't a joke. When I lived in the mountains I had a neighbor who trained his dog to alert if someone had ammo. His logic was ammo = concealed weapon... and he wanted to know if someone was armed. I didn't believe it till he showed me several times. I've got many friends who work with scent dogs and many a dog has saved lives in war time. You can't see an IED but you can smell it if you have four legs.

And the Beagle Brigade at airports are a hoot. They never miss a banana.
not all traps are explosive dogs would not detect for example a punji pit for your leg

or possibly a toe popper with one shotgun shell in it



as has been stated before mines and traps are extremely hard to detect even under ideal conditions

but if you have to move through the woods at night traps or not practice moving heal to to but before youput your weight onit feel for things underfoot that would make noise try to avoid sticks and things

its always quietest moving after/during a light rain

that said go out and practice moving quietly out on a blind fold and practice walking through the woods without seeing but feeling where your going after a while walking becomes instinctual but much quieter
 
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Carry a small stick, a switch really, and lightly use it to swing in front. Check if there is any resistance whatsoever on the stick.

An alternative would be a light switch with a string and lead sinker on the end. You still have to move slow, and it won't pick up things buried, but it would work for tripwires.
 
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