Hiking, biking, fishing, swimming and gardening are some of the ways that people enjoy the outdoors. Many areas now used for outdoor recreation played a vital role in preparing our nation’s armed forces for national defense. Because of the live-fire training and testing required to maintain our nation’s military forces, millions of acres in the United States and along its shores are known or suspected to contain munitions. The Department of Defense has returned many of these former training and testing lands to the public for reuse. Although the military routinely made an effort to remove munitions before releasing land from its control, some munitions may remain.
Outdoor recreation on or near military training areas or former battlegrounds can lead to an encounter with a munition that, depending on your actions, can prove deadly. Some areas where munitions are known or suspected to be present are often marked with warning signs that advise of the potential hazards present, and provide instructions (e.g., remain on established trails) for the area’s safe use. The best way to avoid injury or death is to stay out of restricted areas and areas marked with warning signs. By doing so, you will be able to avoid most areas known or suspected to contain munitions.
Make your outdoor adventures safe from explosive hazards, and help protect yourself, your friends and others by following the 3Rs of Explosive Safety.
For more detailed information, read the 3Rs of Explosives Safety Guide for Outdoor Recreation.