Metal Detecting

In the days since I got my metal detector, I’ve learned a huge amount.  I got it originally because I needed something to get me moving again.  I work at a place where I get no movement.  I’m at a desk all day and I get no exercise.  Over the last 3-4 years, I’ve picked up some pounds, more that I would like to admit, and I can tell my health has suffered from it.  I thought about getting a treadmill.  I used to have one and was able to use it to get into shape when I had it.  That was a number of years ago though.  One thing I remember from that is how much I hated using it.  It was so incredibly boring, and there wasn’t much I could do to change that fact.  I wanted something I could be passionate about, that I wanted to do, that would get me moving for extended periods.  I’ve dabbled here and there with metal detecting, always with cheap, crappy units, and I still enjoyed it.  Recently, I had also gotten interested in watching videos of metal detecting online, and it really kind of reignited the hidden passion for it.  After weighing the pros and cons for a while, I decided to take the plunge and go ahead and get one.  I had already done my research and knew I wanted a Garrett AT Pro.  I found a local shop that carried them and went to the store and bought one that day.  I like the guy that worked at the shop.  He said if there were problems, bring the detector to him first.  He has been working on them a long time and said he could fix most issues pretty easily without having to send them in to a repair facility.  I ordered a shovel online to go with it, and the first day I had the opportunity, I got started.

My first trial was just out in my own front yard.  I found some coins I wouldn’t have guessed I would find, and some metal objects of various kinds.  I still haven’t figured out what one of them is (can I put photo of object?).  My daughters got out to help me out as well and enjoyed it.  Soon after, the kids and I took my Garrett to a local park area and did a little detecting there.  We were there a couple of hours and found some good stuff actually.  We found a few coins, and even found our first wheat penny.  The next trip after that we went to the ball fields where my daughters play, and searched various spots around there for about 3 hours while they did the video work so I could post my video to my youtube channel.  We found a LOT of coins that day, and I realized that the location had never, ever been metal detected!  As soon as I realized that I was totally geeked to go back as much as it took to search the entire area.  We also found a cool skull ring.  It was just an aluminum kid’s ring but it was still really cool.

The next time I got the opportunity to go out, I hit the location hard.  I was flying solo and it was really muddy so I didn’t get to do much video work, but I did a little.  I could barely get in the gate for the location.  I found probably 10 coins within 6 feet of the entrance.  I did eventually get farther in, and I found lots and lots of coins, a costume jewelry earring, part of a really nice rosary, not silver, but nice anyway, and a thin, 10K gold ring!  I was so surprised when I turned over that plug and out popped that thin gold band.  I knew just looking at it that it wasn’t worth much value, but I was as excited as if I just discovered some lost city or something.  My first gold object ever with my AT Pro!  That band has a special place in my collection of found items.  I was out for about 5 hours that day.  The next day, and a few days after, I learned another thing as well…. That I was really out of shape!  My legs hurt from getting up and down so much.  That’s exactly what I got the metal detector for though.  I wanted something that could help me get exercise and would be fun doing it.  Apparently I had found it.

I’ve been back 3 more times since then for a total of about 9 more hours, and I have only done maybe ¼ of the whole area.  I still have a lot more to go, and I’m still pulling out treasures.  I found one more costume jewelry ring with a horseshoe on it, but no more rings.  Tons and tons of coins, but no rings.  I am learning a huge amount about my metal detector too.  The area has a lot of aluminum and garbage, and I’m getting pretty good at determining what is good and what is garbage.  The only thing about that is those aluminum rings and jewelry also show up as the same type of targets that I’m starting to eliminate out.  Areas that aren’t so trashy I may dig all the targets, but this area is so trashy, I’m passing up on a lot of those scratchy targets that I’m pretty sure is just garbage.  I may also go back over them at a later time to see what some of them are and get rid of some of the trash so in a couple of years, I could come back and have a cleaner search area.  If you are going to start using a metal detector, and want to be serious about it, you really need to be prepared to put in the time.  It isn’t something you’re going to get great at overnight.  There is a lot of trash out there and you need to spend time with your metal detector to get good at determining a bit more about what is what.  For instance, I’ve had a couple of times lately where I get the kind of signal that sounds like trash, but the numbers are a bit unusual, or the scratch has a blip in it that’s not typical.  When I dig those holes, I find a lot of times that it is a coin signal that’s being masked by a piece of trash around it or above it.  The Garrett can pick up on that, but you have to really pay attention and put in the time to learn the difference.  When you notice you’re able to start picking those things out, it’s a really good feeling.  You know you’re doing the things you need to be doing then.

I can’t get out today because of commitments with the kids, but I’ll be back out tomorrow unless there is a downpour or lightning or something.  You don’t realize it when you see those guys detecting on the beach or in the parks, but they are addicts.  It’s a good kind of addiction though.  It’s the kind that makes you want to get out in any weather or conditions.  They type that keeps you going and healthy.  The kind of addiction that makes you realize what you are doing is a privilege, and you should be taking care of the area you detect in.  In other words, it’s not just an addiction, it’s a passion.

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