How To ACTUALLY Escape And Survive An Active Minefield Alive

There are an estimated 110 million landmines
left in the world, unexploded and just waiting for the wrong person to wander by, sometimes
even decades after the conflict that saw them laid down is over. Mines don’t discriminate, and kill long after
the fighting has stopped. They are difficult to detect, even more difficult
to safely clear out, and often their presence alone simply forces people to abandon entire
towns and villages. In Afghanistan, some areas of the country
have been mined so frequently by different powers that the mines lay in layers like geological
layers of the earth, and in the former Yugoslavia you can still find mines disguised as children’s
toys along stream banks, with soldiers releasing them by the dozens into the fast flowing waters
so they would kill and maim their enemies downstream. If you’re a world traveler, there’s always
the risk of stepping off the beaten path and into a literal danger zone, and today we’re
going to find out how you can get yourself out of a minefield. Mines come in a variety of different types,
some are designed to destroy vehicles and others are meant to kill or maim personnel. In combat, a wounded enemy is better than
a dead enemy, because the casualty will force other soldiers to risk their lives to save
their comrade, thus many anti-personnel mines aren’t made to outright kill an individual,
but rather just to simply maim them. Anti vehicle mines are designed to take out
heavy trucks and tanks, and you could stand on top of one or even do jumping jacks and
never set it off. Even more sinister, some mines are designed
to detonate only on the second, or third activation, thus killing or wounding soldiers who travel
along paths thought safe from mines. Generally speaking mines come in two varieties. Anti-vehicle mines direct an upwards explosive
blast meant to penetrate the soft underside of a vehicle, while anti-personnel mines explode
and generate a great deal of shrapnel so as to inflict maximum injury. Some mines such as the American claymore mine
are set up above-ground, but most mines are buried by dirt layers so as to make them more
difficult to spot. Modern mines can be deployed by aircraft,
and some are even able to self-bury in loose soil a few inches. Other mines, typically those employed by terrorist
or asymmetrical forces, are little more than disguised IEDs, and historically these have
taken the form of children’s toys or objects that appear valuable- these are designed to
kill and wound civilian populations rather than military personnel, and are particularly
insidious in their design. The average mine responds to downwards pressure,
triggering off a pound-per-square inch sensitivity limit that is preset by the manufacturer or
the mine layer. Some modern mines can have their sensitivity
adjusted so that they only respond to greater amounts of pressure- this way they avoid being
detonated by small animals or children, and will instead detonate when a soldier steps
on them. Most mines simply detonate their explosive
while on the ground, while others contain a small amount of explosive charge which boosts
the mine up into the air before a secondary explosion in the main body showers the area
in lethal shrapnel. The infamous German S-mine, or Bouncing Betty,
from World War II is the best example of one of these self-elevating mines, and proved
to be wickedly effective at causing mass casualties. These mines generally achieve a lower absolute
kill count, but instead achieve a far greater casualty count, and often this is the preferred
outcome. In combat, it’s better to wound many enemies
than kill a few, as it will lower the amount of firepower your enemy can bring to bear
and force him to divert resources to care for the wounded. So what could you do if you found yourself
stuck in the middle of a minefield? How could you get out and survive with most
of your limbs intact? First is the most obvious- turn around and
retrace your steps, making sure that you step exactly in the same spot you did when you
were blindly walking into the mine field. This of course is not a foolproof strategy,
as mentioned before some mines are designed to detonate only on the second activation,
and so just because you didn’t blow up the first time you wandered into the mine field,
it’s no guarantee you won’t blow yourself to bits on the way out. The best thing to do is to stand absolutely
still and call for help. If you’ve wandered into a mine field then
there’s probably a good chance that there’s someone in the local area whose job it is
to clear mines. Let’s say you’re all alone though, and simply
staying put is not an option. Well, we’re not going to lie to you, getting
out of an active mine field alive or with all four limbs intact is going to be a pretty
slim proposition. Despite what you may have seen in the movies,
it takes trained experts many, many days to successfully clear even just a small portion
of a minefield. You, on your own, are probably not going to
fare so well. If you’ve got no other options though, well,
you could try and mark your own way out of the minefield. You’ve probably seen it on tv- a soldier crawling
on his belly feeling the dirt in front of him with his knife for mines and marking off
when his trusty knife ‘clinks’ into one just below the surface. Well, it’s better than nothing, but in all
likelihood this is probably still going to get you killed. However, ‘probably’ is a better bet then ‘definitely’,
so get your trusty knife, or find yourself a nice, long and thin branch that is hopefully
within arm’s reach. Now, mines respond to downwards pressure,
so if you prod into the dirt in front of you at a forty five degree angle and make sure
to do it nice and easy, you have a decent chance of not setting off the mine you eventually
prod into. If possible, you instead want to slowly prod
the dirt in front of you with your stick to a depth of about a foot, and then if you hit
nothing, move your stick while still buried in all four cardinal directions: north, south,
east, and west. You ideally want to ‘bump’ into a mine from
the side while your stick is still buried, because even coming down on a mine at a forty
five degree angle can be fatal. You should be able to feel pretty firm resistance
from a mine when your buried stick bumps into it, and trying to move your stick gently along
the edges of it will let you know if you’ve truly hit a mine or just a rock. This is going to be incredibly slow and painstaking
work- remember how we told you that it takes professionals days to clear a small minefield? You’re going to want to keep clearing the
dirt in front you inches at a time. Everytime you sink your probe into the dirt,
try to move it about two inches in each direction, then if all clear, move four inches to the
left or right of where you were, and do it again. Once you’ve cleared half a foot or so laterally
in front of you, move your probe four inches ahead of you and do it all over again. Think of it like a typewriter, and you’re
clearing the ground in front of you row by row. Once you’ve cleared a few feet like this,
you have to make a decision. How badly do you need to get out of this minefield? Are you injured and in need of medical attention? Are you in some kind of danger- other than,
you know, blowing up at any second from buried mines. If you need to beat a hasty retreat out of
a minefield, you can use a technique to attempt to clear the path in front of you after you’ve
cleared out a few feet with your probe. First, you’re going to want to lower yourself
to the ground in the area you’ve cleared. Then, take something heavy- as heavy as you
can find- and prepare to throw it ahead of you. This works best if you have a rope you can
use to throw it far and then pull it towards you, dragging out a path which should detonate
any buried mines. You’ll want to lay on the area of ground you’ve
cleared with your feet towards the direction you’re throwing your pack, because your head
is more important than your feet and you’ll want to protect it from any exploding shrapnel. By staying low you’ll avoid much of the shrapnel
flying through the air as the mine explodes outwards, and should avoid the majority of
the worst effects of a self-elevating mine such as the infamous bouncing betty. So, hopefully you have a backpack and a length
of rope, because you’re going to throw that backup as far as you can ahead of you and
quickly lay down with your feet towards the backpack. Then simply drag the backpack towards you
and hopefully set off any mines in your way. Remember though, not all mines go off on the
first activation, so repeat this process a few times if nothing goes off. After the third or fourth time, you got yourself
a path that maybe is clear of mines. We have to stress that in no way is this technique
perfect, but it beats dying of exposure or of your wounds if stuck in a minefield. The sad truth is that outside of specialized
equipment, even the best trained and armed soldiers in the world can do little to save
themselves when stuck in a minefield. Odds are then that you, with no training and
no equipment, are probably going to fare much worse. The techniques we highlighted in this video
are in no way perfect, but if push comes to shove, they are the best chance you’ve got
of making it out alive from a very terrible situation. How would you try and get out of a minefield? What other How To scenarios would you like
to see us tackle?! Let us know in the comments! And as always if you enjoyed this video don’t
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