Trip mines acted in a similar fashion to the bombs used by the Ottoman Assassins in that they were placed at a strategic location on the ground, and whenever someone stepped onto the mine, it would trigger an explosion, killing anyone within the blast radius.
However, while the bombs used by the Ottoman Assassins had not just lethal, but also tactical and diversional uses, the trip mines used by Ratonhnhaké:ton were strictly lethal. Aware of this, if he placed a trip mine in front of the guards, they would immediately engage him in open conflict.
Ratonhnhaké:ton could purchase trip mines from any general store in Boston, New York, and the Frontier. They could also be crafted by David Walston in the Homestead using a mixture of clay, flint, and black powder.