Although being a very fun activity that almost anyone can do, metal detecting also requires specific equipment and special attention to a few details. So, either if you’re a beginner trying to figure out what you need, or you’re just looking to update your equipment and method, here are some simple tips that can help you choose new equipment and/or decide what equipment you should use.
What Essential Metal Detecting Kit Do You Need?
For any successful metal detecting expedition, whether long or short, there are always essential things you need to have with you. Let’s look at the most essential gear you need.
- Metal detector
Seems obvious, right? Metal detecting without an actual metal detector might be a very hard task. However, choosing the most appropriate detector for you might be a challenge, if you don’t know what you should be looking for.
Before considering buying any, there are a few questions you should answer:
- Where do you intend to go metal detecting, and how frequently?
- Do you want to search for specific materials or items?
- What is your budget?
- What is your level of experience?
The answers to these questions are crucial, because they determine what type of metal detector will best fit your needs.
For example, if you live near water, or intend to do most of your hunting in beaches, lakes, and so on, you will need a waterproof equipment that won’t stop working as soon as it gets wet. If you need to find objects that are buried deep, either in water or land, your best option is to acquire a detector with high power. Also, if you intend to go metal detecting very frequently, and will probably carry the metal detector around or bring it with you to travel abroad, make sure it’s as light as possible, shock resistant, and that can be separated into easy-to-carry parts.
Finally, consider the two last questions. If you’re highly experienced, you can purchase a more complex equipment with tons of different functionalities, but if you’re a beginner you’ll probably be better off buying a simpler equipment with a friendly learning curve.
Finally, buy the equipment which best suits your needs within your own budget. Take your time to read reviews, specifications, ask questions and get unbiased and comprehensive answers. You won’t regret it.
- Protective case for your metal detector
Even if you’re not going hunting very far away or for a long time, an appropriate case to carry your metal detector is essential.
Besides making it easier to carry the detector, it protects against shocks or other physical aggression. It’s a good option to invest in a resistant, waterproof, and easy to carry case.
Having extra batteries for your metal detector is important. Choose rechargeable batteries, which prevent you from having to keep buying new ones.
- Digging and/or scooping tool
If you’re planning to hunt on land, you’ll most definitely need a shovel. Choose one that’s light and not very large (so it’s easy to carry, or drag), but at the same time strong, resistant, and relatively long. It may help if you know exactly which type of soil you’ll be digging in, but still these are basic characteristics you need to look for.
Also, choose one with a small head; it’s not advisable to dig huge holes on the ground. For small areas, consider having a trowel.
For metal detecting on the beach, bring a scooping tool with you. They’re generally smaller than a shovel, don’t need to be as strong or resistant, but you should choose a material that is resistant to salt water.
There are two items here:
- Choose a pouch to store your findings, but first consider what type of objects you’re looking for. You can have a small pouch if you’re searching for, say, gold or coins, but you’ll need a bigger bag for larger items.
- Have a backpack/bag to carry the rest of your equipment. Consider the size and shape of your equipment. Also, pay attention to whether the bag material is resistant (water resistant even, if you’re planning to hunt in beaches or near-water sites), and how light it is; remember, you’ll have to carry it along with the rest of the gear.
- Appropriate clothing and accessories
Choosing the appropriate clothing and accessories is also essential. Safety first!
- Look for a nice, resistant, comfortable pair of gloves, to keep your hands clean and safe. Also, if you’re planning to visit a rocky region, tunnels or caves, consider taking a protective helmet.
- Remember to have resistant and comfortable shoes that will allow you to walk for hours on all types of terrain, step on the shovel to dig if necessary, and, as a golden rule, that don’t have any metal on them.
- For near-water hunting, take appropriate shoes (rubber boots are always a good choice, since they’re waterproof and tall, but don’t forget they have to be comfortable) and waterproof clothes, if possible.
- If you’re going to spend a lot of time in very dusty or windy places, protective goggles can also be useful. And if you’re planning to stay under the sun for a long time, a hat and sunglasses can be helpful and make your journey more comfortable and safer.
- Also, if you want to keep small things at hand (like batteries, a first-aid kit, GPS, pinpointer, or just a small pouch), consider buying a nice utility belt that serves your needs.
If you have the budget, the means, and want to bring your metal detecting activities to the next level, there are a few additional pieces of equipment that can make your life easier and your hunts more efficient.
Although not essential, a pinpointer is always a very useful piece of equipment to complement your gear. It works as a precision tool, to help locate smaller items or simply just pinpoint an item’s exact location.
Since it’s usually small and light (two very important features you should be looking for), make sure it has distinctive identifying features like, for example, a shocking color and/or a mode that emits sound if not handled for some time while on ON mode, so it can be easily located if you drop it in the water or any other place where it’s difficult to see.
Also, when choosing a pinpointer, it’s always best to choose one that is waterproof. Especially if you intend to hunt at high depths, make sure you choose an equipment that is appropriately submersible, and not one that just slightly resists being dropped on water.
If you have some experience in the field or are planning to hunt in different kinds of terrain, having different sensitivity modes that can be manually adjusted is also very helpful.
Moreover, some pinpointers also have nice features like a built-in scrapping tool and/or a flashlight (you may also consider buying these items in separate, since they’re useful) to help you locate and dig items with more precision.
Having an appropriate and comfortable headphone set allows you to keep the sounds to yourself, not bothering anyone that is around you, but also allowing you to easily hear more subtle sounds coming from the detector.
The main features to look for in a good set of headphones are comfort (usually translated in extra ear cushioning, that fits your ear shape well) and a considerable cord length (around 6ft or more), so you can move freely and still connect to the detector. Also, choose a set that allows you to manually control the sound volume.
One better option, if you have the means, is to buy a metal detector with headphones included (ideally, wireless), or one with a Bluetooth function that allows you to purchase a set of wireless headphones to use in your hunts.
- Cutting tool
Imagine finding an item buried among tree roots. In this scenario, among others, having some kind of cutting tool with you is essential. Usually, a serrated knife works best; make sure it’s a resistant and sturdy material, but not very big, so you can use it in small holes and objects.
On the other hand, if you know you’re going to need a bigger tool, you can opt for a small axe. Don’t forget to make sure it’s portable and easy to carry around.
Although these are the most important pieces of equipment you can have in a metal detecting expedition, it’s important to always choose what best fits your needs. You don’t necessarily have to have all of them, but when you decide to choose, it’s best to be well-informed and take your time to review and compare your options. Consider reading other users’ reviews, ask more experienced hunters for advice, ask plenty of questions to the sellers before you buy anything. A good and appropriate choice will save you lots of time and make your life easier, so it’s better to take your time and choose wisely.