Booby Traps

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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Antipersonnel devices such as booby traps have long been used in warfare to guard against invaders. Though there are no real set definitions for what constitutes a booby trap, most are improvised devices that either impede or arrest the movement of encroaching bodies, or alert someone to the presence of the invaders. Military booby traps are generally designed to be fatal or near fatal, but booby traps are also used privately.

Private booby traps run the gamut from being innocent fun to dangerous instruments. In some areas, should a trespasser fall victim to the trap, the setter of the trap may be exempt from legal responsibility, especially in cases that involve private residences. In these cases, the trespasser may be considered at fault, barring fatal injury. State law dictates the legality of booby traps, so be sure to check the law before constructing any traps.

Tripwires are possibly the most popular trigger for booby traps in history, fiction, and present day usage. Historically, tripwires were common detonation triggers in many of the major conflicts of the last century. Works of fiction also liberally incorporate tripwire-triggered booby traps as both diabolical and comedic devices.

Recreational Booby Traps

Recreational booby traps generally consist of small firecrackers that are attached to wires or some other kind of trigger. When an invader crosses the tripwire, the firecracker will detonate, giving off a loud pop that can startle the invader or warn the setter of the trap.


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