Many metal detecting hobbyists know the feeling of being alone. It is a hobby that just doesn’t seem to need a partner or teammate. Don’t feel bad, as many of the participants scoff at the idea of taking another metal detectorist with them. What is the point?
Headphones will just block the conversation!
You can’t come near my detector, or we might get cross talk!
A partner potentially finding something better!
I just want some peace and quiet!
Trust me I understand. Seeing as how 75-80% of my metal detecting trips are alone, I would be fibbing if I said it wasn’t a nice Zen-type getaway at times. Every single one of us needs alone time now and again. For the types that cherish it more than others - metal detecting is a perfect fit to help escape the hustle and bustle of the normal day. I must also admit, that if I have had a rough day hunting and my partner walks over with great finds, it can be a bitter pill to swallow.
However, if I get to choose between going alone and having a partner, it will always be to have a partner with me.
My wife is my main detecting partner. I lucked out marrying a girl that is passionate about the hobby, and is also quite good at it. We both have a bit of competitiveness in us, and the day often ends up seeing who can dig the most coins - or oldest coins - or highest numerical value. I’m man enough to admit that she has won many more challenges than I have, but each challenge day was fun, full of laughter, and left us with great memories.
The way I see it, having a friend along for a day out metal detecting makes it more enjoyable. When one of us uncovers a special bit of history, we can ohh and ahh over it together. We can test different targets and compare notes together. Plus, if the weather is miserable, it’s always good to know my buddy is suffering along with me. That goes a long way.
Even kids know detecting with a friend is awesome.
All that being said, there is probably one reason that trumps them all. Safety.
When out metal detecting, our heads are down, and we are concentrating on signals coming from tight fitting headphones. Then, when a target is found, we get down on our knees and start digging in the dirt. This is obviously not the brightest display of safety that we can muster as humans. However, it is an inherent part of the hobby. Also, the fact that many of the older parks or home sites can be located in a “less that ideal” part of town, having a friend to watch you back is a wise idea.
Yes, I have heard the argument on forums numerous times. We all carry a digging tool that can double as a self-defense weapon, if we are aware of a threat. Or, if out in the backwoods, carry a firearm. While those are valid points, it can be very easy to get engrossed in the detecting process and get lost to the signals for a few minutes. A vicious dog loose in the city - a thief who has the guts to rob you in daylight - a bear or wild cat. Those only take a few seconds to go from unaware to right on top of you.
Not the safest position for awareness.
Many keyboard warriors on the internet seem to think they will just carve a bear up for dinner, have the robber in shackles, and carry on without skipping a beat. Any critical thinker knows that is not the case. One bonk on the back of the head is all it takes. Having another friend in the area can be the difference. Most criminals and dogs are cowards, so seeing another person who might intervene is all it takes to deter them. Safety in numbers and all that good stuff!
Now, before it sounds like I am making metal detecting out to be a dangerous hobby, let me clarify that it is not. No worse than swimming, or hiking, or working out at the gym. All of which should employ the buddy system as well.
No, obviously I don’t always go with a partner. Like I said above - most of the time I am alone when I metal detect. Especially if at a local park that is active and has a police presence, or at a private property in a decent part of town. However, if I am relic hunting in the backwoods - on a stretch of barren beach - or in a not so awesome part of town. I always want a friend to have my back.
Hope you enjoyed this weeks blog - TheHunterGT signing off - I will see you on the next blog.