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Gold, coins, and rings are just some of the treasures that we look forward to finding while metal detecting. We have gem hunted and geocached but had not had an opportunity to metal detect. Until now…
On a camping vacation across the southern United States, we decided to develop our metal detecting skills. Well… we wanted to find treasure and knew that metal detecting will help us to achieve this goal. Since we knew nothing about how or where to metal detect, we had our work cut out for us.
Researching Areas to Explore
The first thing we learned is that one must confirm metal detecting is allowed in the area. We set out on the road and after many hours of driving, we stopped at a restaurant. On our phone, we searched “places to metal detect in Arkansas.” We knew the campsite name that we would be staying at that evening and fortunately, it was on the list of places approved for metal detection.
Once we arrived at the campsite check-in, we confirmed with the camp host what the rules and regulations were of this location. He shared with us that we could metal detect on the beach and along the lake, but no detecting at the campsite. The 2nd rule was there is no digging deeper than 12 inches.
Tips for the future metal detectors out there:
- Ask at the front gates of campsites/parks for the rules and then follow the rules
- Ask for permission on privately owned land
- Contact local metal detecting clubs for suggested locations
There have been a few campsites (like in the federal forest) that told us No Metal Detecting.
Types of Areas to Explore
The most obvious type of area to explore for a beginner is a beach. This was our first experience with detecting. The beach we visited had no people on it. Therefore we were not intruding on anyone’s activities. The beach had just experienced heavy rainfall and it was still sprinkling. There was a chill in the air that probably keep others away from the area. However, this provided us with lots of room to wander around and learn how to use our metal detector.
The metal detector we use is waterproof up to 3.3ft. Therefore detecting next to the water was not a concern for damaging the unit.
I look forward to testing the unit in a stream or on an ocean beach.
Starter Tools for Metal Detecting
Bring a trash bag and a treasure bag. As you are walking around you will see trash, since you have a trash bag, just pick it up and at the end of your day, dispose of the items in a trash can.
I like wearing gardening gloves and Hunter had work leather gloves. This is handy when picking up trash or moving dirt off of a found object.
A small hand shovel is helpful for those items that are beneath the surface. I was pleasantly surprised how many items (mostly trash) were on the surface that I did not notice but the detector notified me of. Such items included bottle caps and beer bottle lids.
I trust you guested the next tool to have is a metal detector. And you would be correct. We used the Minelab Metal Detectors – Metal Detector Vanquish 540. The day it arrived, Hunter assembled it without using the manual. I read the manual and confirmed it was assembled correctly. I read the manual for best use practices. This helped me to understand the depth and the pin-pointing options. The manual also helped me to determine trash items versus treasure items.
Since we are beginners, I was concerned that I might not understand how to use the device. It was very simple, The instructions to get started included, “Tune On, Wait for 5 Seconds, and Go Detecting.” It was that simple.
This detector is very durable. I was impressed that it was well made and all the parts were strong. Note, the metal detector was lightweight (2.8 lbs) which is great for when we are hiking.
There are a few attachments that came in handy on our treasure hunting day. The first one is the headphones. They plug right into the device and I was able to adjust the volume. I felt that the headphones would allow others not to be bothered by the beeping noise. Even though no one else was on the beach that day. The second item was the rain cover over the monitor. The light rain did not deter us from exploring because I could control and read the monitor with the cover on.
What We Learned as Beginners
As a beginner in metal detecting the first thing I learned was that I get to strengthen my arms. Within a few minutes of walking around, I had to change arms to rest the other. The arm attachment and holder are adaptable and once I set up the system to fit my arm, I was able to walk farther on the same arm. I did feel my biceps the next day as if I had done a great workout at the fitness center. I guess, I did and the fitness center was the beach.
Metal detecting is very calming for me. I found my mind wandering while listening for the different tones of the detector as I walked my grid pattern. Yes, I created a plot of the beach in my mind and used my footprints to make sure I visited the entire area. The beach was about 15 feet by 400 feet.
I learned that metal detecting is addictive, especially since we found treasure. For our next adventure with the metal detector, we have been searching for a place to search for gold. Stay tuned for more.
Metal Detecting for Treasure
Curious as to what we found on our first hunt? We picked up two grocery store-sized trash bags of trash. Hunter figured since we were there we might as well pick up the trash. Then we found a good fishing lure, a penny, a nickel, and a quarter. I was so excited that we found coins. They are modern-day coins and I can use them at the store when I visit next.
Our first metal detecting hunt was a success. We found treasure.
Have you gone metal detecting? If yes, what did you find?