Metal Detecting is a great hobby, however, it is easy to get overwhelmed and frustrated, especially when it seems like the only thing you are finding is trash.
Of course, practising is the key to any hobby, and metal detecting is no exception. There are a few things that you can do to make detecting much more enjoyable and productive.
To help you get started here is some top tips for Beginners:
The most important rule when out metal detecting is that you have permission before hunting on a property. It is not always easy to get permission, but it is just part of the hobby and you will need to deal with it. Getting caught without permission can have serious consequences and may affect other detectorists too.
When you get permission to go hunting on a property, make sure that you fill up any holes to ensure you are allowed back. Your goal should be to leave the area looking as good, or even better, than before you arrived to metal detect.
A big mistake that beginners make is to buy a metal detector that is too difficult to use. If this is the first metal detector that you are buying, look for an entry-level model that is powerful enough for real metal detecting but won't overwhelm you with all its features and different settings.
Having the right metal detecting gear is important. You do not need to spend a fortune on gear when you are starting but there is some essential gear that every metal detectorist needs, this includes gloves, digging tools, headphones, and batteries. You should also take a basic first aid kit, cellphone, water, snacks and insect repellent when you are out metal detecting.
It is vital to wear suitable clothing depending on the weather conditions. Bring along an extra waterproof jacket as you never know when you could get caught in an unexpected rainstorm.
It sounds quite obvious but gets into the habit with double-checking your metal detecting gear before you head out hunting. Many detectorists have experienced the frustration of getting to their target area, only to find out that they left their digging tools or headphones behind.
Every metal detector is different so it is important to be comfortable and know how your metal detector works. Understanding your metal detector makes every hunt allot more enjoyable and you are more likely to find more valuable finds.
Start by reading and re-reading your instruction manual. As you work through the manual, try out each of the settings so that you can feel comfortable when out hunting. It is also a great idea to create a testing location at home, which should contain all different metal objects, this was you can practise responding to all the various signal tones that your metal detector reads and picks upon.
Parks, popular woods and other public locations are some of the best places for metal detecting, but it is best to avoid them at the busiest times of the day.
Aside from people getting in the way, you’ll also spend a lot of time answering repetitive (although well-meaning) questions about what you are doing. Instead, try to detect public places at times when there are fewer people around.
It is a good idea to keep a log of each hunting trip. This doesn’t need to be complicated but should include the location, date, time of day and what you found. You can use a spreadsheet or just a pen and paper for this.
Metal detecting is not a complicated hobby and there are no "secrets" only the experts know – but it can seem that way when you are first getting started. There’s a lot to learn about your detector, the environment and targets, so practice is essential for improving your skills.
While nothing substitutes being out in the field with your metal detector, we hope the tips above can give you a head-start and they make your hunting more enjoyable!