How to Metal Detect Trashy Ground.
If you find yourself in a location where the soil itself or the surface is covered in litter you need to adapt your strategy. First of all it is reccomended that you try and avoid detecting trashy areas if at all possible. However if you have a hot spot that you think will yield results it may be worth the effort. (Example a really old lake resort that was frequented by old timers but now has become degenerated).
So how does one avoid the bottle caps and other metallic trash and go for gold?
First of all you will need to screen out iron and other non valuable metals on your detector. You can select this on your detector keypad. It is recommended that you have these settings saved so you only need to click a button when encountering trashy soil. Your detector will them ignore iron, foil and most bottle caps and sound only for other metal like Silver. Unfortunately some pull tabs are in the same range as gold rings and a few bottle caps overlaps with some silver coins. Every detectorist will dig a certain % of trash on every hunt. Dont be discouraged. keep at it!
Second you will need to turn the sensitivity way down. Very often metals that you have screened out will still register as another metal due to there varying compositions especially if the sensitivity dial is cranked to the max. Very often the size of a bottle cap is the exact same size as a coin or ring that your detector is designed to detect. This may also lead to a false reading even if the detector recognizes this as a screened out metal. Take sensitivity down and you will get less false readings.
Thirdly it is recommended that you make use of a smaller search coil or even a “Sniper coil”. These are much smaller coils that allow you to focus on smaller patches of earth beneath the coil and stop false readings. If you were using a larger coil for example, a diamond ring, 3 bottle caps and a doorknob could all be underneath the coil at the same time. Using a smaller sniper coil will allow you to focus on each individual item and prevent the detector getting confused by the numerous targets presented in trashy soil beneath the coil.
If you are lucky your detector will have a surface elimination feature. You can set the detector to ignore anything on the surface of the soil.