Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just starting out, adding metal detecting to your repertoire can make your hikes that much more exciting. Metal detecting can help you find all sorts of hidden treasures, from lost coins to old jewelry. Plus, it’s a great way to get some exercise and fresh air. If you’re looking to add some metal detecting adventure to your hikes, here are some tips to get you started, plus some of the potential items that are commonly found on hiking trails.
Hiking And Metal Detecting Tips
Research Metal Detectors
Before hitting the trails, make sure you know what you’re doing. Familiarize yourself with the different types of metal detectors and how they work. There’s no need to invest in a detector if you don’t know how to use it!
There are a lot of different metal detectors on the market, and they all have their own strengths and weaknesses. You need to figure out what kind of detector is best suited for your needs. Are you looking for something simple to use, or do you want something with more features? What kind of terrain will you be using it in? Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices and pick the right metal detector for you. And once you have your metal detector, make sure to read the manual before you go out scanning for treasure!
Choose The Right Location
Not all hiking trails are created equal when it comes to metal detecting. Look for trails with a lot of foot traffic – these are likely to have more lost items. Avoid heavily wooded areas, as they can be difficult to search.
A good place to start is an area that has been heavily used by people in the past. Look for places where people have gathered together, such as parks, beaches, and campgrounds. These areas are likely to contain a wide variety of objects, including coins, jewelry, and other metal items. Another good option is to search near bodies of water. People have been dropping things in lakes and rivers for centuries, so there is a good chance you will find something interesting if you look in these locations. When choosing a spot to metal detect, remember that it is important to get permission before you start searching. Once you have found a promising location, you will be ready.
If you are sticking to hiking trails, the older the trail, the better. Find camping areas, benches/rest areas, and other areas where people may congregate. Look up as much information about the trail
Remember that you’re hiking on public land, so be sure to obey all posted signs and regulations. If you’re metal detecting in a park or other sensitive area, be sure to fill in any holes you dig.
Always get permission before you start metal detecting on someone else’s property. Not only is it the polite thing to do, but it could also save you from getting into trouble. Secondly, be respectful of the places you’re searching. If you’re metal detecting in a park or nature reserve, make sure to stick to designated areas and not disturb any plant life or wildlife.
Practice leave no trace. Take everything out that you bring in, and pick up any trash that you may find on the way.
Metal detecting can be tiring, so make sure you bring plenty of water and snacks. Sunscreen and bug spray are also a good idea, as you’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Dress for the weather. If it’s hot out, wear light, breathable clothing and sunscreen. If it’s cold, dress in layers and make sure you have a hat and gloves.
- Wear comfortable shoes. You’ll be doing a lot of walking, so make sure you’re wearing shoes that won’t give you blisters.
- Bring water and snacks. You’ll need to stay hydrated, especially in hot weather, so bring along a water bottle and some snacks.
- Bring a first aid kit. Just in case
Metal detecting can be a great way to turn a hike into an adventure. While it’s important to take the time to learn how to use your metal detector properly, the most important thing is to have fun. If you’re not enjoying yourself, you’re not going to stick with it. So go out and explore, and don’t forget to have fun. Take your time and enjoy the process – you never know what you might find!
If you love hiking and you love finding hidden treasure, then metal detecting is the perfect hobby for you. With a metal detector, you can find all sorts of valuable items, including jewelry and coins. So next time you’re out on a hike, be sure to bring along your metal detector. You never know what you might find!
What Can You Find While Metal Detecting On Hiking Trails?
Any person that does metal detecting whether at the beach, backyard or on the trails, will tell you that the possibility of detecting coins is always the highest. Therefore, you should most definitely expect to detect coins. Plus, coins are the number one favorite treasure that metal detecting fans like to find.
You are most likely to drop coins unknowingly because of their relatively small size. This happens a lot due to many reasons – this may be that the coins slipped to the ground whilst you were tossing them into your pants pockets or even that your bag has a hole the coins may have slipped through.
Either way, your chances of noticing are also low because sand, grass, and other material that may be on the trail can easily hide the coins; leaving them for metal detector fans to find them as treasure. Commonly detected coins include pennies and dimes, but of course, the occasional high value coin can be found!
Detecting jewelry on hiking trails is a rare occurrence. However, this is not to say that it doesn’t ever happen. From time to time, you may find some precious jewelry on your hiking trails. These may include lost wedding rings, snapped lockets, and other types of trinkets.
In general, jewelry found on hiking trails is normally lost by hikers or people who have passed through those trails. Thus, it is always a good idea to try and find the owner. They may be people who are nearby or even people in your group. And if you are around a place that is under the custodianship of a certain authority, be it a park or the city, you should surrender it to their lost and found office.
There are plenty of stories of hikers losing rings, and metal detecting enthusiasts coming to the rescue and finding lost jewelry for them.
Surprisingly enough, you may also stumble upon cans. And no, these cans didn’t just fall off the sky and bury themselves into the trails. These are cans that are discarded on the trails by people who use it. Most of the time, you will find soda cans or vitamin water cans.
Sometimes during the rain, the cans can also be washed off and covered by dirt; only to be discovered during metal detecting. This, however, doesn’t mean that you should abandon them after realizing its just cans. You can always do your part to ensure the environment is clean and safe.
So the next time you go metal detecting on your hiking trails, pack a trash bag or two so you can stuff in the cans you collect. You can always discard them when you return from the trails, recycle them, or even sell or donate them to a small profit. That in itself is a form, of profiting from the treasure.
In addition to soda and vitamin water cans, you will also stumble upon other types of trash. On hiking trails, you are most likely to find bottle caps, metal wires, and other small metal pieces. Yes, this can be a disappointment sometimes.
Not every treasure you find on the trail during metal detection will be valuable. You don’t have to think of it that way. This can also be your way of contributing to clean up the hiking trails and ensuring they are safe. You can use another trash bag to collect the trash you may find.
Although it’s rare, you may also come across metal deposits that naturally occur on the earth’s surface. This is your chance to marvel and appreciate Mother Nature. However, leave the deposits as you find them so you can preserve nature.
Multi tools, knives, fishing pliers, and other outdoor tools are also often commonly found on or near hiking trails.
Before you rush off to grab your metal detector and hiking gear, you should also know the tricks to be more successful with metal detecting on hiking trails. The most common trick is knowing where to look. Check the edges of a trail especially if it is lined with rocks, you are more likely to find something there than you are at the center of the trail.
On hiking trails, there are common spots where hikers like to stop and rest. If this is the first time you are hiking there, make it a point to familiarize yourself with these spots. Such spots normally include shaded areas with trees or rocky platforms. As more people sit around these spots, there are more likely to drop things.
The most scenic parts of the hiking trail are also likely to harbor treasure because this is where many people would stop to take pictures or admire the scenery. If the trail also has places such as streams or small creeks, you should also look there because hikers are most likely going to enter to refresh, wash off, or enjoy the water.
In addition to knowing the right spots, you should also know the norms, laws, or rules of the rails you are on. Whilst some trails may not be restrictive, others may be depending on the caretaker or authorities. And other areas, especially foreign, may even have their local norms and customs. So before you pop out your metal detector, check with your guide or group leader.
Max DesMarais is the founder of hikingandfishing.com. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor adventure, travel, and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. Max grew up hiking all around New Hampshire and New England. He became obsessed with the New Hampshire mountains, and the NH 48, where he guided hikes and trail runs in the White Mountains. Since moving out west, Max has continued his frequent adventures in the mountains, always testing gear, learning skills, gaining experience, and building his endurance for outdoor sports. You can read more about his experience here: hikingandfishing/about