Everything You Need to Go Metal Detecting
By Marc McDermott SmarterHobby.com
You’re finally taking the plunge into the world of metal detecting.
Whether you’re planning to be a weekend warrior type or you want to seek treasure every single day, there are a few things you’ll need before you get started.
Before selecting your metal detector, you should look at a few things first.
- What you’re using it for: Do you want a metal detector for general relic hunting, or are you more interested in one area of detecting — like gold prospecting? If you want to search mainly for gold nuggets, you’ll want to find a metal detector with a higher operating frequency (among a few other things).
- Where are you going to use it: If you live by a saltwater beach and plan to hunt in wet sand or the water, you’ll need to find a detector that can handle challenging mineralization. You’ll want a machine that uses either a multi-frequency or pulse induction technology to cope with the salt.
- Budget: Set a budget you’re comfortable with and stick to it. You won’t enjoy yourself if you’re worried about how you’re going to pay for your new detector.
- Experience level: If you’re a beginner who is intimidated by the thought of learning complicated machines, you may want to stick with an entry-level detector until you’re comfortable with metal detecting. You can always buy a more advanced detector later and start with a basic unit now.
Just because one detectorist loves a particular brand or machine doesn’t mean that it’s the right fit for you.
Here is a great resource to help you choose the best metal detector for your needs.
A metal detector is no use if you don’t have a great digger by your side.
What’s the point of hearing a signal if you have no way to reach your target?
When choosing a digger, you can go with a short one like a hand trowel or a longer one like the Mini Root Assassin – one of my favorite diggers.
When working in a busy public place, like a crowded park, you should always have a hand trowel with you.
These small tools look less intimidating to the general public than big shovels do.
Hand trowels also might be the way to go if you are hunting on private property that has a lot of beautiful landscaping. The owners may be more apt to let you hunt there if they don’t think you’re going to tear up their property with a full-sized shovel.
No metal detecting arsenal is complete without a shovel though. You need shovels for when you’re digging in tough ground or if you are detecting near trees.
Certain shovels, especially ones with serrated edges like the Root Assassins, can cut through tree roots without making you feel like you’ve spent a day’s worth of energy just by digging one small hole.
If you have a deeper target, you’ll also want a shovel. It saves your back and upper arms a lot of work.
Some metal detectors have built-in pinpointers. But in my experience, you want a handheld pinpointer anyway.
They are the single greatest time-saver you’ll find as a detectorist.
After you’ve located the target with your metal detector and have dug a hole, it’s not always easy to spot your treasure.
That’s where a pinpointer comes in handy.
You’ll just stick it in the hole, and it will let you know when you’re getting closer to your target.
When you find all those awesome old coins, you’ll need a place to put them!
That’s when you’ll need a treasure pouch.
A treasure pouch should be comfortable to wear and roomy enough to hold a day’s worth of finds.
It will sit around your waist, and it will keep all your treasures in one secure place until you’re ready to take them home and start researching them.
If you’ve always dreamed of finding treasure from shipwrecks along your favorite coastline, metal detecting is a great way to do that.
You don’t need a map — you just turn on your detector and see what you can come up with.
But when you’re hunting on the beach, it’s trickier to dig.
As soon as you take a scoop of sand out with a shovel, the rest of the sand falls into the hole you’ve just dug.
That makes it much harder to unearth and grab your target.
A good scoop may be the answer to your problems at the beach.
With a scoop, you’ll locate the target and simply scoop up the sand that’s standing between you and your treasure.
The scoop has numerous tiny holes that will allow the sand to escape. The holes are small enough, however, that the ring or coin you’ve found won’t be able to slip through.
It will remain in the scoop once all the sand is gone.
If you don’t want to annoy other people in public places, you’ll want a good pair of headphones.
Headphones also help you hear fainter signals that you might pass by if you’re hunting in louder areas such as the beach.
Gloves protect your hands from any sharp metal or glass you’ll come across while metal detecting.
You can find thin, strong gloves that won’t get in your way while you’re trying to press the buttons or turn the dials on your detector.
Hats aren’t a necessity while metal detecting, but they’ll keep the sun off your head.
If you’re hunting in wooded areas, they’ll also give you some protection against ticks and all the diseases they carry.
Sunscreen and Bug Spray
You’ll want to be prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws at you.
You should always have some sunscreen and bug spray with you.
You don’t want to get a painful sunburn while you’re out there having fun. And if you want to extend your hunt into the evening hours, you may want to have bug spray on hand to ward off the mosquitoes.
You’ll need a bag to carry all your gear. It makes it a lot easier transporting and keeping track of all your stuff.
Welcome to the hobby of metal detecting, and good luck on your hunts!
About the author:
Mark Orwig is the Managing Editor of SmarterHobby.com. Hobbies are his passion, and he is obsessed with keeping his mind busy, keeping active, and staying healthy.