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Metal detecting has been a popular hobby for decades, and when you think about it, it isn’t hard to understand why. Metal detecting provides the opportunity to interact with pieces of history, uncovering things that haven’t been touched in hundreds of years. Many metal detecting enthusiasts also collect coins, from colonial coins to wheat pennies. Others love that they have an excuse to get outside and be active. Finally, using a metal detector can help you uncover valuable items, whether that be coins, jewelry, or gold nuggets. With all this in mind, you can see why this is a thrilling hobby. However, if you have never done it before, you may be at a loss for how to get started. In this blog, we will go over all of the information you need to know to get started with metal detecting today.

Know Your Detector

Before you head out in search of buried treasure, you first need to procure and fully understand your metal detector. At Smarssen, we offer the Gold Sniper Metal Detector, which is a great choice because it can detect even the smallest gold nuggets and is great for hunting for relics. Once you acquire your metal detector, it’s important to familiarize yourself with it. Learn all of its settings, its capabilities, and its technology so that you can feel completely comfortable using your metal detector.

Learn the Proper Swinging Technique

After you have learned all about your metal detector, it’s time to learn the proper technique for using it. The method used for metal detecting involves a swinging motion, but it is important to do so slowly, because if you go too fast, the detector doesn’t have time to pick up smaller targets. Additionally, you must keep the coil low to the ground but without touching it in order for it to be close enough to process what is beneath it. It may be advantageous for you to also read the owner’s manual and look up instructional videos for extra guidance.

Learn the Proper Digging Technique

Once you know how to use your metal detector, you will eventually come across something that intrigues you. When this happens, it’s important for you to understand how to properly dig as to not disturb the ground too badly. You may see some beginner metal detectorists who bring a shovel with them, but you don’t want to follow their lead. Instead, learn the technique for digging a “plug.” This means that you will gently cut up a portion of grass as to not disturb the roots, locating your target, and then replacing the plug back into the ground. This will allow the area to return to its natural state at a much quicker rate than it would if you simply dug a giant hole.

Use the Right Tools

Using the right tools will allow you to more efficiency hunt for targets as well as be more respectful of the environment. If you don’t have the right tools for digging, you could spend a lot longer bent over, digging in the hot sun, so make sure you always have your digging tools of choice. If you are using your metal detector on the beach, a small scoop should be sufficient to help you quickly locate your target. Additionally, be aware that digging is sometimes strenuous for your body. Therefore, it may be advantageous to wear long pants, knee pads, and gloves while you are metal detecting.

Know the Law

When choosing where you will use your metal detector, it is essential to keep in mind the laws of your area when it concerns metal detection. If you are using a metal detector on private property, it is imperative to get permission from the property owner, preferably written. If you metal detect on a property without permission, it is considered trespassing. Additionally, it is best to steer clear of state or national parks, as you can be fined and your metal detector may be confiscated. There is a degree of gray area when it comes to public property. The local laws will dictate if you can metal detect in parks, on beaches, and near schools or churches, so educate yourself before heading out to hunt.

Find the Right Location

Your location is the most important factor in determining what targets you acquire. You will want to find a place where either no one has detected or that is regularly replenished. Looking into the history of an area is not absolutely essential, but can help you be strategic in your metal detecting. Here are some locations that could be fruitful:
  • Heavily trafficked areas. These areas are ideal because they will be constantly replenished by all the pedestrian traffic. Areas such as sports fields, parks, universities, and fairgrounds can be advantageous for your metal detecting because the possibilities are endless. 
  • Old places. Places that have long histories are more likely to provide historical relics, and may be particularly advantageous if you collect coins. Think about the areas around you that are old. Has your local park been around for decades? Do you have friends or family with old land? Perform some research to find places with history. You may also look in the woods for any depressed ground, which can be indicative of a well, cellar, or the foundation of a former home. Just be sure to be aware of local property laws ahead of time to keep yourself out of trouble.
  • The beach. If you live near a beach, you have a veritable treasure trove at your disposal. The beach regularly yields such treasures as old coins and lost jewelry because its bounty is often replenished by new visitors and items washed up on shore. The only obstacle here is that it is regularly hunted, so it is best to consider less popular beaches for your hunts. Go after most people have already packed up and left for the day and start where most people post up on their towels. 

Keep Expectations in Check

When metal detecting, you will find many targets. The vast majority of them will not be long-lost treasures. A lot of them will simply be trash. If you keep a patient and positive attitude, however, you can reap a lot from this hobby. Appreciate being outside, learning more about a place’s history, and the thrill of the hunt, and focus less on your bounty, and you will enjoy your metal detecting adventure much more.

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