Whether metal detecting is a steady income source, or just a hobby you love (or intend to explore), there are always a few basic things to have in mind. Here we present some basic advice for those who want to start, or continue, metal detecting activities in 2020.
First, let’s start with the basics. For those of you who’ve been doing metal detecting for some time, this is basic info you need to remember, and for everyone who’s beginning, these basic advices may help you a lot:
- Choose your equipment well and familiarize yourself with it before you start hunting for treasure. This is will make the task easier and more enjoyable.
- Leave each place (more or less) how you found it. Fill the holes you dug, don’t leave trash behind and don’t destroy or deteriorate property.
- Go where the people are. Or better yet, go where people have been at for a very long time. There are plenty of places, ranging from historical sites to gardens, parks and beaches, where many people usually spend or have spent a lot of time, and that are likely to be filled with all kinds of treasures lost over the years.
- Besides knowing where to go, it’s also very important to know how to do it. And we’re not referring to the equipment or methods used, but to knowing if, where, and when, you’re allowed to do it. For example, for most historical or archaeological sites, it’s usually prohibited to use metal detectors. Same goes for private properties without the owners’ consent, or certain state parks without a license. Make sure you know the law. Only after securing everything you need can you start selecting where to go.
Best place choices for 2020
First, make you sure you have a license if one is needed, or the owner’s permission if you’re looking at a private site. Also, if you’re not in the U.S., make sure you know the laws of the country/region you’re in. Once you know all the basics, time to explore! Here a few good choices for metal detecting in 2020:
- Yours or nearby properties. This is a basic one. Before thinking about digging anywhere else, make sure you know what’s in your backyard. If you can get your neighbor’s permission, checking theirs is also a good option. You don’t have to travel far, and chances are you may find more than you were initially expecting.
- Beaches. This is also a basic choice. Beaches are the places where many people pass by, practice sports or just relax, so chances are there are plenty of things dropped, posteriorly hidden away by the sand and wind, or even brought in by the tides. You can search near the places where towels are usually placed, but also in sand dunes, low-tide places or activity areas (like beach football, volleyball, or jogging).
Also, make sure you find a balance. Overcrowded beaches are likely to be visited by too many metal detecting aficionados and people may feel bothered; on the other hand, secluded beaches are not visited by that many people, so there probably won’t be many hidden treasures. Also, unless you have explicit authorization from the owners, avoid private beaches.
- Popular parks, gardens, trails, forests and camping sites are also good basic choices. Many people pass by, doing various activities like jogging or dog walking, and items are often dropped or lost. In this case, you also need to be aware of the existing laws regarding metal detecting in such places.
- River banks or shallow ponds. If you don’t mind getting a little wet, near-water sites are great for treasure hunting. People often drop things in the water, or items are dragged by the currents, so you might find some interesting things.
The same goes for coastal regions; in this case, make sure to go in low-tide periods. Always remember to check how deep the water is, and if the water is clean enough! Health and safety first.
- Post-storm or natural disaster sites. Although this one is not for the faint-hearted and may seem like it’s a bit creepy, it’s a good option. After violent weather, various items are spread all over the region or even dug up from below, so you may find interesting things.
Just make sure you can manage going past a site that has seen hurricanes, floods, major storms or other natural disasters without feeling discouraged or sad.
- Abroad vacation sites. If you’re planning vacations abroad and you would like to include some metal detecting in your schedule, there are a few places in the world which usually don’t have any restrictions whatsoever when it comes to this activity.
Visit places like the Canary or Caribbean Islands, Maldives, Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Kenya or Thailand, where metal detection is generally allowed by law.
- Sports sites, concert halls, or other places where mass events occur. Major sports events are probably where the highest amount of people gather on a consistent basis. Therefore, stadiums and surrounding areas are very good places to explore. Familiarize yourself with the most popular sports in the region you’re planning to explore, and the scheduled activities.
According to the estimates, in 2020 the most popular sports in the U.S. will be American football, baseball, basketball and ice hockey, so check the areas where these events are usually held. If you’re in Europe, soccer (also known as football) is by far the most popular sport. If the laws of each country or region allow, explore football stadiums and surrounding areas, ideally after each game (but before the area is completely cleaned). If you’re in Asia or Australia, try the places where soccer, cricket, motor-sport, martial arts, or tennis competitions usually occur.
You can also explore other places for popular mass activities, like concert sites, athletic competitions or others. Chat with the locals, inform yourself about the most popular activities/sites and schedules of that region or country.