My Check List for Metal Detecting

Once I went metal-detecting without my GPS. Luckily the site was not far from my home and I found only one object worth collecting, so I could mark the spot with a stick and return after dinner to get the coordinates. Another time I forgot my rubber boots and was confused by my detector’s strange behaviour until I realised that I was wearing heavy steel-capped workman’s shoes that triggered the detector at a distance of decimeters.

These days I have a checklist that I use to pack for metal-detecting. Here’s what I need to bring when going into the field.

  • Metal detector (!)

  • Batteries
  • Spade
  • Headphones
  • Ziplock baggies
  • Pens
  • GPS navigator
  • Camera
  • Coin manual
  • Working gloves
  • Orange road-worker’s vest
  • Lunch
  • Water
  • (Check weather forecast)

Comments

  1. #1 rfguy
    May 9, 2011

    Another time I forgot my rubber boots and was confused by my detector’s strange behaviour until I realised that I was wearing heavy steel-capped workman’s shoes that triggered the detector at a distance of decimeters.

    So shouldn’t you have rubber boots on your checklist?

    And do you have a high-accuracy GPS unit? Most consumer grade GPS units are only accurate to about 5m; is that accurate enough for you?

    -mark.

  2. #2 John
    May 9, 2011

    Have to add toilet paper to that list :)

  3. #3 Martin R
    May 10, 2011

    RFGuy, you’re right. Though that shoe mistake left an indelible impression.

    I use a 2-5 m GPS for ploughsoil finds (it’s highly accurate these days thanks to the new digital land beacons) and bring in an EDM for undisturbed contexts. DGPS for earthworks surveying.

    John, I somehow never have to crap outdoors.

  4. #4 Birger Johansson
    May 10, 2011

    I found the perfect supplement for your list (although it may be a couple of years before it is commercially available):
    “New type of insect repellant may be thousands of times stronger than DEET” http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-05-biologists-class-insect-repellent.html
    And if you are in the mountains doing your work in summer, you practically need a space suit (the reindeer get out in the middle of the roads because of the slightly stronger wind keeping gnats and mosquitos away).

  5. #5 Sigmund
    May 10, 2011

    How about ‘moose costume’?
    More seriously, do you need some sort of legal permit to use a metal detector in Sweden?

  6. #6 Alex Besogonov
    May 10, 2011

    Sigmund:

    No, Sweden doesn’t have ‘trespass’ laws (i.e. you can walk everywhere if you don’t disturb things) and it’s legal to use metal detectors.

  7. #7 Tobias
    May 10, 2011

    @Sigmund & Alex: Sweden has very strict laws when it comes to metal detecting. It is illegal to use metal detectors without permits from both the County Administrative Board and the landowner. Breaking the law can send you away for a prison term of up to four years.

  8. #8 Martin R
    May 10, 2011

    What Alex says is correct apart from the word “no”. Sweden indeed does not have trespassing laws. You can walk everywhere if you don’t disturb things. It’s legal to use metal detectors.

    But.

    As Tobias says, it’s only legal to use them if you have a permit, which is difficult or impossible for a member of the public to get for most interesting sites.

    Here’s more details of how it works. But moderate change seems to be brewing.

  9. #9 Birger Johansson
    May 10, 2011

    “No, Sweden doesn’t have ‘trespass’ laws (i.e. you can walk everywhere if you don’t disturb things)”

    Once, this was the way all over Europe. With the arrival of industrialization, most countries got very restrictive, as “property” became “Property!”…
    Sweden has historically been in the periphery of things, often to our advantage. Feudalism did not get as strong in Sweden as in many more “advanced” counties (kings got elected by the parliament long into the medieval era). The traditional right to walk through the landscape is also one of the “archaic” things that survived.

  10. #10 Mike
    July 2, 2011

    Many of the places I research are now in the middle of thick woods so I finally broke down this year and bought a GPSMAP 60csx after tring to use my son’s Etrex. What a difference it makes under a thick canopy!

    The first time out was to an old ballfield at a long forgotten boys camp. I got the coordinates from an old aerial map and plugged them into the GPS.

    It was without a doubt the most overgrown area I’d ever tried to find with underbrush and thorn bushes about 6ft or better in height.

    We had to squeeze between all of the brush and wondering who in their right mind would build a ballfield in a place like this.

    After watching the distance to go drop down to 2 feet I looked down and saw a small raised area by my left foot…
    home plate, which is just what I used for my coordinate reference.

    Looking around a little harder now we could still make out the base lines which were still used as runways for the deer and other critters.

    We didn’t really do that great there but we did find a few old coins and trinkets from the early 1900′s. The big thrill to me was knowing that without that GPS I’d have never known for sure if we found the spot or not.

    It’s (GPSMAP 60) definitely not the newest model out there, but it’s perfect for what I use it for.

    Mike

  11. #11 Martin R
    July 3, 2011

    I use the GPSmap 60CS myself, but it isn’t great under canopy.

  12. #12 arwad
    Sweden
    January 17, 2013

    i like to know if any one now what is the new gold detectors is the best i relay thank you if you can send me in ancer i been looking for a long taim i cant find what aim looking for i found gpx5000 mini lap but aim looking to find gold in Jordan they have lots under ground you now what aim looking for.