Travelling to a country that has a mine threat.

Discussion in 'Travel' started by BaldBaBoon, Apr 29, 2013.

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  1. I had a question asked by a few friend's who are travelling around Croatia and Bosnia, amongst other countries, on off-road motorcycles this year.

    Is there a recognised site that can give them up to date and useful advice on what the mine threat is out there, and a general guide to being sensible.

    I have passed on some of the old Mine warfare stuff we were taught,

    1) Avoid overgrown farmland, wooded areas.

    2) Keep to main tracks and roads.

    3) Avoid abandoned houses and war debris

    4) local knowledge

    etc etc

    But is there a reliable site that I can point them to or a publication that I can use?
  2. Certainly avoid large areas of forestry in National Parks which have no sign of human cultivation. Taking a short cut between old forestry trails would be a bit risky, and even the insane boar hunters in Croatia take care when treading too far 'off-piste'.
  3. ehwhat

    ehwhat Old-Salt Book Reviewer

    Should be a good time.

    I am assuming that you have little to no knowledge of mines, which is most likely incorrect. Still, its better to state the obvious, and proffer apologies if too simple, then to assume knowledge.

    General points.

    • Landmines are ubiquitous and the "perfect" soldier.
    • They are cheap and easily deployed and are therefore can be found anywhere.
    • They are an area denial tool. Find one, find many.
    • Landmines can be activated by moving them an inch or by less than 5 lbs of pressure at times. They may be linked. NEVER MOVE ONE.
    • SIGNS: An area with mines/erw/uxos will often have strange vegetation or none at all. Enough time has passed from active hostilities that locals will be aware of many, but not all threats and have acted accordingly. Areas left unattended or desolate are likely to be so for a reason.When in doubt suspect the worst. Dead animals nearby are always a point for concern. Situational awareness is required.
    • Management: The best thing you can do is note and report locations and retreat on the same path taken, in the same road track or footsteps.

    Croatia is heavily contaminated. The Croatia Mine Center is an excellent resource. It can be found here: HCR - Hrvatski centar za razminiranje

    Please note the MIS portal to the right of the website. You should put this to good use.

    Bosnia is also heavily contaminated. The Bosnia - Herzegovnia Mine Center is an excellent resource. It can be found here: BH MAC Sarajevo : Novosti

    The current (as of 2012) BHMAC statement for the situation can be found here:
    BH MAC : Mine situation- <i>new assesment results<i/>

    I would encourage direct contact with both groups with your itinerary in hand for consultation.

    Be aware that heavy flooding has adversely affected the mapping and location of mine fields in both countries. Re-deposition is a significant problem.

    The common mines, which may be open to revision, tend to be the standard Soviet forms.

    A B-H report that may be of interest is located here:
    Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor

    A Croatia report that may be of interest is located here:
    Landmine & Cluster Munition Monitor | Country Profiles | Croatia | 2012

    Best of luck.
    • Like Like x 5
  4. I'm impressed. But what's an erw? My ignorance, not yours.
  5. ERW, Explosive Remnants of War
  6. I dunno. They change "rifle" to "weapons system", UXB to UXO, then have the temerity to change UXO to ERW without having the grace to tell anyone but civvies.

    Still haven't worked out what PID stands for, though I know what they mean.
  7. I took my defender down the Dalmation Coast a few years ago and did quite a bit of Off Roading. Until I saw this thread it hadn't even occurred to me that mines could still have been an issue. As it turned out the greatest danger was Russian tourists driving on both sides of the road at once.
  8. Don't get out of the boat!
  9. Defender as in Land road didn't mean 'in water';-P
  10. Absolutely goddamn right.