Essentials to take when out metal detecting.
So often people get caught out but not preparing properly for a hunt and forgetting some essencials that could save you allot of aggravation.
What you will pack on a hunt largely depends on where you will be detecting and why but very often essentials overlap between beach hunting, relic hunting, park hunting and gold prospecting. The bellow is more based on relic hunting far from civilization.
A list of essentials items to take along on a metal detecting trip.
- 2 refuse bags!
Why you may ask? Well instead of bringing a bulky umbrella that probably wont stand up to a good old South African thunderstorm trash bags are light and fit easily in a back pack pocket. You can easily slip your head through a hole in the top and stay nice and dry through a storm especially when you are stuck far from shelter on a mountain side. Another bag is very useful to keep your detector dry if it is not a waterproof unit. I have learnt from experience with this. Refuse bags are your friends!
- Water, lots of it.
Its very worth while investing in a water bladder to pop in your back pack as they are lighter than bottles and can keep you hydrated easily with the tube on your shoulder. After detecting in north west province and spending a day exposed and digging in 40 degree heat you will run out of water. Take extra and keep it stashed in the car. not just a 2 litre backup, picture rather 5 2 litre frozen bottles of water. Getting caught out without water is horrid experience.
- Variety of digging tools
You never know what you will encounter on a hunt. Sometimes you will find soft soil where a plane spade will do and sometimes a surface covered in small rocks where a handheld garden rake is better suited to scratching them away. Bring a variety of tools. there is no 1 type or size fits all conditions. Bring a large garden spade (sharpened), small hand held spade, strong lage bread-knife, hand held gardening rake, digger knife if you have one or whatever you favorite tools may be. Some also take a large metal pole with a spike on the end to break through solid earth.
- Basic first aid.
You will almost certainly with you had a few plasters along. but pack a few basic first aid items you think you may need if you come unstuck. I found a tube of Anthasan a life saver for mosquito bites!
- Backup batteries.
You will always need backup batteries as rechargables can run down in half a days hunt. Take some standard extras for your unit and pin pointer. Nothing worse than being in the best locations with treasures coming up and being unable to hunt.
- Pro Pointer.
I have had the misfortune of forgetting my pro-pointer at home on a hunt rendering me inconsolable. hahah. In tough conditions this can cut your item recovery count into a fifth as it would probably take 5 times as long to locate buried items without a recovery pro pointer. Massive frustration saver.
- Sunscreen and hats.
A hat is an absolute must under the African sun. Heatstroke is a very real possibility in our conditions. I have even turned my favorite field hat into Swiss cheese to help with ventilation around the head.
- Walkie Talkies.
A very useful item to have along, especially in areas with no cellphone signal. Dont get lost from your group on a hunt. Also be sure to have a fully charged cellphone.
- Hand held GPS.
A handheld GPS can be lots of fun in marking GPS coordinates of finds but can also save your life. So often have people gotten lost in the Australian outback or African bush and a simple hand held GPS could have avoided catastrophy. This may be overkill but take a hard look at where you will be. Rather be prepared than not.
- Toilet roll!
A must have on a hunt. Nothing worse than needing a “bossie-cac” without some TP. Saved my ass on many occasions. Pardon the pun. Also useful for many other requirements.
- Permission letters.
It is worthwhile printing written permission from a land owner of where you will be hunting as very often confused onlookers or others will notify authorities thinking you are digging up copper cables. Also keep a copy of any licences you have from any authorities.
Do you have any suggestions for this list that you can share? Send us an email with your tips! -firstname.lastname@example.org-