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Metal Detecting for Beginners



A Beginners guide to metal detecting

Thinking of taking up Metal Detecting but not sure where to start or what to do? ...Well, luckily we have made this guide to help you on your way. Have a look at the sections listed below for information and tips that we wish we'd had when we first started out.

(Pssst... Be sure to check out our Glossary of Metal Detecting Terms If your not too sure of any of the terms or words used in this guide.)

What To Expect. . So, what's metal detecting like then?
What Do I Need . . Equipment - Essential, Recommended, Handy, Mehh.
Where To Go. . . . . Ooooh!, that looks a nice place to dig.
Setting Up . . Should I turn that dial?... or press that button?
How Do I Do It . . .  You just walk and swing don't you?... errr, No.
What If I Find Something . . Junk, junk, junk, junk, ju... ooh, a coin.. YAY!
Packing Up. . . . . . I'm tired and wanna go home.


WHAT TO EXPECT

Firstly... what ever you do, don't expect to dig up gold rings or ancient coins everytime your machine bleeps at you. . . you would just end up being extremely disappointed.
Be prepared to struggle finding places to actually go metal detecting. Getting permissions can be one of the hardest parts of detecting (well, for us it is anyway) and it can be pretty deflating at times.
Ache. . . depending on how fit you are, where you go, how long you go for, and what machine you use, aching the next day when you first start out is something to watch out for. Most machines are pretty light these days, but they can still put a twinge in your arm the first few times.
Enjoyment. . . We usually go detecting in pair's or three's. . . and whether we find anything or not... or if we have gotten freezing cold or soaking wet, we always seem to come away saying we enjoyed it..

WHAT DO I NEED ?

So, what equipment is required for this detecting malarky then?. . . well, we have categorised whats needed in the tabs below. . .
Click a tab to reveal it's contents

METAL DETECTOR

You wont find much without one of these.
Metal Detector - There are hundreds of different metal detectors to choose from out there, costing anything between £25 up to several thousand. When starting out we would suggest borrowing one if possible (just in case you decide detecting is not for you). If your unable to borrow one, then try to get a half decent one... maybe in the £200+ zone if you can.
Click here. . . to see our recommendations of what to look for in a metal detector

DIGGING TOOL/S

Spade - A small, light spade is great for fields etc, especially for deeper targets.
AND/OR
Trowel - Excellent for getting further into, or expanding the hole. (can also be used be on its own for shallower targets or softer ground).
OR
Sand Scoop - If your detecting on a beach, a sand scoop is a must :)

There is a vast array of sizes, shapes, weights to choose from. We have the low down on what to look for here. . .

ESSENTIAL

In theory, a Metal Detector and a Digging Tool are the only Two Items that you actually NEED and can't do metal detecting without. (You need the detector to find where the 'Treasure' is. . . and the digging tool to actually get to it).
So, yes, you could get away with not using anything from the other groups, however we would highly recommend that you. . .
DO NOT TRY DETECTING WITH JUST THESE TWO ITEMS.

PINPOINTER

This almost went into the essential category as it makes detecting so, so, SO much easier.
Pinpointer - If there was only one other piece of kit that we would suggest to not leave home without. . . this would be it. So, what's a Pinpointer? . . . and what does it do? . . . Find out here. . .  

HEADPHONES

Headphones - Although most detectors work just as well either with, or without them (and there are pros and cons for both options), we have found that using headphones is far better and more reliable. You can read the pros and cons of headphones here. . .

APPROPRIATE CLOTHING

Clothing wasn't something we really thought about when we started metal detecting. Jeans, T-shirt and jumper. . . maybe a jacket or coat for the colder days was what we used. . . but it quickly became apparent what an important part clothing can play in your metal detecting adventures. Have a look here. . . at some of the items we consistently use, and those we have tried and will never use again.

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Back to Tabs


WHERE TO GO ?
Unfortunately, going out metal detecting in the UK isn't as straight forward as you may think. There are plenty of obstacles strewn across our hobbies pathway that we have to overcome.
So firstly then, lets have a quick look at the main obstacle. . .

PERMISSIONS :
All land
 has an owner, (including parks, public open-spaces, beaches and foreshore's), so you HAVE to be granted permissions before you can legally detect anywhere.
Yikes. . . Sounds grim eh?. . . Fortunately there are a FEW areas where permissions has already been granted.
We'll go through these now, and then move onto 'how to get permissions' for other areas.

     PRE-GRANTED PERMISSIONS...
    Land You Own - Pretty obvious really, but we thought we'd better include it.
     Beaches and Foreshore's - Below is a snippet regarding metal detecting on The Crown Estate owned foreshore. 

". . .Anybody wishing to carry out metal detecting on our foreshore is granted a permissive right from The Crown Estate, this permissive right does not apply to the seabed or river beds or any other Crown Estate land. The permissive right is also subject to detectorists adhering to The Treasure Act 1996 and its accompanying code of practice, as well as our terms and conditions. . . . "

We recommend reading the Two links above as they contain other IMPORTANT information. 

So, as far as pre-granted permissions go, thats about it really. . . Everywhere else needs permissions from the land owner.

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GETTING PERMISSIONS
There are various ways of getting permissions, but before you can use any of them, you first have to know who to ask.
  1. Local Council - Gotta write this section yet.
  2. Farmers - Gotta write this section yet.
  3. Land Owners - Gotta write this section yet.

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