Most often than not, beginner treasure hunters have to learn their stuff through trial and error, sometimes wasting efforts and money in vain. However, recommendations from more experienced detectorists can considerably improve the process and results of every search session. Take advantage of those 25 detecting tips by detectorists with expertise.
1Get emotionally ready to the fact that you will find much more trash and worthless objects than coins or any valuable targets. Don’t get disappointed, just keep on searching. Negative experience is also experience.
2The more often you search, the more chances are you will find something of value. If you only make your first steps in detecting, pay attention to regularity of your search sessions. The more time you spend searching, overall, the more targets you hit.
3Consider buying the best metal detector you can afford. Buying a cheap Chinese product will result in your inability to find anything, breaking the machine in a month, or throwing it into the closet because you become aware that you need a better metal detector.
4Yet, do not buy the most expensive metal detector you can, when you are a newbie. The more expensive and advanced the machine is, the harder it is to manage, and you risk to bump into such a steep learning curve that your detecting will end up very quickly. Assess your skills and your interest sanely, and purchase the machine that will help you find things, not manage settings
5If you are interested particularly in Civil War relics, check out the maps first, research the topic, and find spots where such relics could remain.
6During your first search sessions, dig out everything you stumble across. Until you are not good enough interpreting the signals of your metal detector, it is better to dig out every target - this way, you will have more chances of finding something interesting.
7You can start with own orchard, or with a local public park nearby, to explore the features of your metal detector and learn to tune the settings properly
8Go to the location after rain. Wet soil does a better job conducting the signals, and you will be able to notice a potential find deeper underground
9Sometimes, it makes sense to get back to locations you have already been at. This is especially true if you have improved your skills with the current machine, or purchased a new one, or can get your hands on a different detector borrowed from a friend
10Always fill in the holes you have made digging, and never leave trash after the search session. Moreover, always avoid searching on private property!
11Take a garbage bag with you, and put trash into it as you search. If you dig out trash, put it into the bag, as well - the cleaner is your location, the more chances are for you to notice a potentially valuable thing
12Sometimes, it makes sense to go to location early in the morning, or late in the evening. If you search, say, on the seashore, early in the morning the wind and waves are usually less powerful, so searching will be easier
13If there are any curious people around you, be polite and answer their questions shortly and nicely
14Make sure the trajectory of the previous swing overlaps with the next swing.
15Move your coil slowly! Moving too fast meaning more risk to miss a find
16Keep the coil close and parallel to the ground. Many beginners tend to raise the coil a bit at the end of the swing. Don’t do that - you lose depth of reach and ground balance sensitivity
17Do not ignore weak signals. Many noobs make this mistake of discriminating weak signals, preferring to dig only clear and strong signals. However, weak signals can lead to a big and deep find
18Clean the patch of soil before starting the search. You can remove the trash on it, or even remove the upper layer of soil. If you hear the signal afterwards, keep digging
19More often than not, one find means there are more around. If you stumble across an unusual object, pay some attention to the location around it - you can be lucky and spot even more unusual thing
20Choose comfortable headphones. You will spend many hours wearing those, so you don’t want itchy sweaty ears, or headache, afterwards
21Try ro search on the beaches, these are some of the most promising locations
22Communicate with other detectorists, at least online. They can give a valuable tip, or give away interesting locations
23Keep a journal of your finds. It will allow you to manage the finds, classify them, and also keep track of locations - you can either come back from time to time, or avoid the locations you’ve already been on
24Searching in spring is quite promising, because everything that fell into the snow will be right on the ground
25If you are on a trashy location, use small (smaller than 6 inches) coils, as such coils do a better job of spotting a valuable object in trash