Metal Detecting for Treasure

Metal Detecting for Treasure with Forever Sabbatical


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:

  1. Ask at the front gates of campsites/parks for the rules and then follow the rules
  2. Ask for permission on privately owned land
  3. 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

unit Metal Detecting, Forever sabbatical

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.

MetalDetector nickel Metal Detecting, Forever sabbatical

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

nickel Metal Detecting, Forever sabbatical

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?

30 thoughts on “Metal Detecting for Treasure
  1. This is so interesting! I had no idea you had to get permission to do this. Also, picking up trash as you go is a great idea! Looks fun and good for the environment.

    1. We have learned that we will find more trash and treasures, however the treasures are worth it. 🙂

  2. My husband’s grandpa had some metal detectors in his garage. I always thought I may want to give one a try. This post really makes me want to see what it’s like. We’ve done a little geocaching, too, so I think my family would like checking this out.

    1. Yes, you should. We also love to geocach. Metal detecting is just as fun and a great next step.

  3. I have never tried metal detecting. It would be fun to discover different treasures – and a great workout also!

    1. Yes, you are correct about the workout. There is a lot of walking and don’t forget arm strength.

  4. My buddy has found some great treasures while out with his metal detector. He has reunited many pieces of jewellery with owners who thought they were lost forever.

    1. That is awesome. I have been reading about many metal detecting clubs get asked to find lost items and the club goes out to the site and locates the item.

  5. I have not gone metal detecting before! I a always so curious when I see people doing it, wondering if they are finding anything good 🙂

  6. This looks like a blast! I’ve never gone metal detecting for treasure before. Love the idea of bringing a trash bag too.

  7. My in-laws love metal detecting for treasure at our local beaches. But we’ve also done it at our schools and parks when we lose something.

    1. I have found that I enjoy the beaches because the sand is simple to replace and it does not look like a hole was dug.

  8. I love that you pick up trash while you metal detect. Have you found most places give you permission to metal detect, albeit with a few rules?

    1. It depends on who owns the land. Private land owners give us permission because they like that we will pick up any trash we find. Federal lands do not allow detecting because there are historical relics in the soil that they do not want to be removed.

  9. Wow that looks like fun. I’ve never used a metal detector to look for hidden treasures.

  10. This is a great guide about metal detecting for treasure. Love that you also did a beach clean-up at the same time.

  11. Metal detecting has always intrigued us. Should we find any treasure if we did it we would be so happy

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