In this article, I’m going to provide you forty great reasons you should strongly consider joining a metal detecting club, which can benefit you greatly on your next treasure hunt.
Metal Detecting Solo Can Be Lonely
While metal detecting alone can be great and therapeutic, sometimes it is nice to have a buddy along who shares your common interest. Metal detecting clubs can help you link up with others who share your same passion for detecting.
If you’re ready to jump into the hobby of detecting, but are in need of a new metal detector, check out our table below, which shows off some of the top detectors available:
|Garrett AT Max||$$$||Waterproof to 10 feet|
|Fisher F22||$$||9″ Triangulated Concentric Coil|
|Garrett Ace 400||$$$||8.5 x 11" DD coil|
|Minelab Vanquish 540||$||Search Modes: Coin, Relic, Jewelry, Custom, All Metal|
1) Conquer the Learning Curve
This tip applies more specifically to beginning detectorists. Metal detecting and detectors can be confusing for beginners. Many members of metal detecting clubs have years of experience and can help you through any problems or curveballs you come across. Many metal detecting clubs are more than willing to help newcomers.
If you’re looking for an affordable metal detector that’s easy to use for beginners, consider the Bounty Hunter Tracker IV.
2) Help with Adjusting Your Detector
Sometimes metal detectors aren’t adjusted to a specific soil condition right out of the box. I live in an area where mining activity have caused the soil to be highly mineralized.
If I don’t adjust the detector properly, I get an enormous amount of feedback and sometimes the detector acts erratically. Metal detecting club members can show you the best way to adjust your machine for your soil type.
3) Help with Technique
As silly as it may sound, swinging a metal detector properly takes practice. If you are new or budding metal detectorist, you may not have a proper swinging pattern. While you can research online how to do this, sometimes an in-person lesson is the best.
Many of us learn better with a hands-on exercise. Members can show you the best way to hold your detector, the proper swinging method, and how low to the ground to hold the search coil.
4) Enjoy Fellowship & Develop Relationships
I love metal detecting, but to be honest, it doesn’t have the best reputation in the world. People often snicker or look at you like you’re a weirdo when you say you like to metal detect. Many people have an image of a crazy old man on the beach with his detector bothering people. Everyone might not understand the allure of metal detecting, but rest assured, all the people at the metal detecting clubs will!
Each of these people know the thrill of unearthing a long-forgotten treasure from the earth or finding a gold nugget or missing ring. You will be able to openly talk about your interests, problems, and finds with no judgement from those who don’t understand the hobby!
5) Meet People from Different Backgrounds
Metal detecting clubs will have people from all backgrounds, or ones like your own. These clubs are good way to meet others you may not otherwise encounter. You may even make a good business contact or find others who are in trade industries to help with your at-home projects.
6) Becoming Part of a Community
Metal detecting clubs will be full of people with the same passion and drive to find buried items as you. Because detecting can be a lonely activity and doesn’t always have the best reputation or get enough respect, being part of a community of like-minded people will be very beneficial.
7) You May be Able to Attend a Meeting Without Joining
Some metal detecting clubs, like the Illinois Valley Historical Research and Recovery Association, will allow you to attend meetings without being a member.
This is a good way to visit the club and get to know the members before you join. If you are having doubts about joining or aren’t sure the meetings and all that jazz are for you, contact your local club and see if they will let you sit in on a meeting.
8) Learn the Regulations
Most clubs will have a great knowledge base on metal detecting rules and regulations. You will learn about the metal detecting code of ethics and how to apply it to all your hunts. The regulations governing metal detecting are wide and varied state to state and entity to entity. Each city and county can make their own laws for their areas.
There are also state and federal laws that must be followed. Violating any laws pertaining to metal detecting and prospecting can result in a fine and stating you didn’t know won’t keep you from getting a ticket! Be sure you always study up and know the laws.
9) Learn About Metal Detecting Ethics
There is a certain code that metal detectorists should follow. If you are a new detectorist, you may be unfamiliar with this code. Joining a club can not only help you learn the ethics associated with metal detecting but can help you apply them when hunting. These detectorists will have all sorts of valuable knowledge including helping you learn to dig properly and replace all soil you’ve dug, removing trash, and other helpful hints.
10) Learn What Is in Your Area
Metal detecting clubs are a great way to not only find places to hunt but find out what types of treasures are common in your area. Not all metals are common in all areas. For example, I live in the western U.S. There are a lot of places nearby where gold was mined.
As such, small pieces of gold can be found in rivers, tailings piles, and areas with exposed bedrock. Chances of finding Civil War relics in my area are extremely slim, but in the eastern U.S. are quite high. So, speak to the members of the club to find out what common treasures are found in your area.
11) Help Identifying Your Finds
If any of you have pulled something out of the ground, you know it isn’t always easy to identify what the item is. The items can be worn from time, damaged, and patinaed to where you can’t tell what it is. Identifying metal detecting finds is one of the challenges all detectorists face.
When you join a metal detecting club, you will have more people to help you identify what the items are. Many of the members have been detecting for years or even decades and have seen innumerable objects pulled from the ground. They may have a better idea as to what the item is than you do.
12) Treasure Hunting Resources
Many metal detecting club members will have access to many metal detecting books, magazines, forums and websites. This is a great place to get information for your own detecting. The members can recommend books or magazines, or even let you borrow their copies.
13) Trying Out Other Detectors
Club members love to show off their metal detectors. If you are interested in a machine but don’t want to spend the money until you know more about the unit, you can always ask the members of a club. There are a wide range of machines being used by club members.
Some may have basic, inexpensive models, while others will have higher-end machines. This is a good opportunity for you to learn about the different machines from someone who uses them.
14) Find New Places to Metal Detect
One of the most difficult things about metal detecting is finding a good place to search. Friends, family members, and neighbors may not relish in the idea of someone digging their property full of holes. Some cities allow metal detecting in parks, while others don’t and will fine you for detecting and digging.
A lot of clubs have organized hunts in several places you may not have detected before. You may also form a solid enough friendship with some of the members that they allow you to hunt with them in their favorite or private spots.
15) Access to Private Property
Some club members may have access to private property and be able to let you detect there. Whether it is their own property, or they have a friend or family member with property.
Forming relationships is a good way to build trust and gain access to properties you may otherwise not be allowed to hunt on.
Many metal detecting clubs, like the Arizona Treasures Unlimited, Inc. club in Phoenix, offer find of the month or find of the year contests. Prizes are given for the best finds. It is a good opportunity to be able to show off your best finds, too. Plus, you get to see the amazing things your fellow detectorists have found. Perhaps you found something historical or valuable, and now you get to share it with others who will appreciate it.
17) Open Hunts
Some metal detecting clubs will hold open hunt events in hopes of reaching new members. These are great opportunities for those interested in joining a club to go out with the existing members and get a feel for the club and people in it. Check into metal detecting clubs near you and see if they hold open hunts. You can even contact them online or via phone and ask them if they hold such events as you are thinking of joining.
18) Closed Hunts
Only members of the club are allowed at closed hunting events. As the name implies, they are not open to everyone. These functions are intended for the club members to mingle outside of the meeting place and can be a great opportunity to pick up some tips for detecting.
19) Public Service
If you like to help people, metal detecting clubs can offer great opportunities. People often contact metal detecting clubs for help finding lost items like wedding or class rings, or even property line markers. Many members give their time and services to help these people, which helps build good will toward metal detectorists. The Sacramento Valley Detecting Buffs in California state on their website that they are happy to help people find missing items.
20) Community Involvement
Many metal detecting clubs try to stay active and visible within their communities. As such, many take on community service projects and partner with local businesses and administrations.
For example, The Dayton Diggers club removes trash as part of the Adopt A Highway program. The Eureka! Treasure Hunter’s Club participates in trash metal and heavy metal recovery, historical artifact recovery, physical evidence recovery, and lost item recovery.
These are by no means the only clubs with community service programs. It can give you a sense of pride to help your community.
21) You May Get to Help the Police
Some metal detecting clubs have a volunteer metal detecting evidence search assistance team to help law enforcement. Sometimes, agencies like the police, sheriff, state agencies, and park rangers need help from those trained to use metal detectors as they search for evidence. This is another great way to get involved in your community. Clubs typically discuss this with their local police agencies to inform them that they are at their disposal.
22) They’re Typically Inexpensive
Most clubs have dues paid annually. They are not fees that will break the bank, though. For example, my local metal detecting club, Boise Basin Search and Recovery Club, costs $15 for a single membership, and $5 per additional family member. Prices will vary in different cities and towns, but they shouldn’t be too terribly expensive.
23) Your Dues Help the Whole Club
While membership fees for metal detecting clubs are typically low, the money you pay for dues helps the whole club. It can be expensive to run a club, especially if they have contests, events, and community service projects.
These all cost money and if prizes are given, the cost goes up. Not only will you get a lot out of joining a club, but the club could certainly use more members to help offset costs!
24) You Can Bring Your Family
Most metal detecting clubs have dues packages for families. As I mentioned above, my local club has a set fee and a $5 for each additional family member. This would be an inexpensive way to get your whole family involved together in the club. Not only will you have a chance to meet new people who enjoy your hobby, now your whole family can as well!
25) They’re Everywhere!
Every state in the U.S. has at least one metal detecting club. No matter where you live, odds are there is a metal detecting club nearby. If you live in a more rural area, it may be more difficult to make meetings and the like. But some clubs may offer virtual attendance to some meetings to allow more rural members to participate.
26) You Can Find Clubs on Meetup
Meetup is a popular app/site (iOS, Android, or online) where people can connect with one another over various hobbies, or just friendship. As of today, the metal detecting section of meetup has about 2,500 members from 18 different groups. Browsing and connecting with these detectorists can be helpful in finding the right club for you.
27) Keep Up to Date with Laws
Club meetings are a good way to keep on top of any changes in laws. Maybe somewhere you typically detect has recently been made off limits. Maybe your city has decided to allow, or disallow, metal detecting in local parks. Joining a metal detecting club can ensure you have access to all this information from reliable sources.
28) Keep Up to Date with New Equipment
The members of a metal detecting club will likely be your first stop for information about new metal detector releases, new brands, new pinpointers, new accessories, and so on. Many of the members keep their ear to the ground about the most popular and well-trusted metal detector brands and will know when new products are being launched.
29) You Can Swap War Stories
As mentioned earlier, metal detecting clubs will get you together with like minded people. They can also be a great place to not only discuss your finds, but to swap stories of hunts, finds, and any other exciting or interesting things that happen while metal detecting.
30) Help Keep Metal Detecting Legal
Many metal detecting clubs advocate for the legality of the hobby and are a great way to have the metal detecting community’s voice heard. This type of advocacy can help keep the hobby legal for all of us to enjoy.
31) You Can Help Other Detectorists
If you are a long-time detectorist with a lot of experience, you can be hugely beneficial to a metal detecting club. Newer detectorists will gain a lot of knowledge and confidence from your experiences, and you will gain personal satisfaction knowing you have helped a budding detectorist.
32) You Get to Attend Meetings
If you are newly retired and looking for something to do, or just want a chance to get out more, the meetings metal detecting clubs hold are great. You will have something to look forward to. Meetings are typically on a set schedule, so you can plan other activities around them.
33) You Can Always Start Your Own Club
If there are no metal detecting clubs in your area, it is not terribly difficult to start your own. With access to the internet being as prevalent as it is, starting a club is easier than ever. The best way to create your club and ensure good networking is to:
- Create a club name
- Create a club webpage
- Place a notification of your new club in a metal detecting forum
- Create a club page on Facebook
- Create a club channel on YouTube
- Place an ad on Craigslist, in the newspaper, and on social media sites inviting members
- Find local hobby businesses and ask them to place a flyer for you
Once the word is out and some members have contacted you, you can hold a meeting where you sort out your club’s leadership, by laws, meeting dates, meeting places, membership dues, club objective, and any contests or events.
34) It Can Make Your Hobby More Enjoyable
This goes along with meeting likeminded people. As I stated before, metal detecting can be a lonesome activity. Even if you prefer to hunt alone, the information you gather and the fact you have a club to participate in, will make your metal detecting hobby more enjoyable.
Most of us like the feeling of inclusion, and clubs help with that. You will feel included in the community, gain more knowledge about metal detecting, gain tips and tricks of the hunt, and contribute your own knowledge to the group. Everyone benefits!
35) It Can Cut Down the Amount of Research Time
Research is one of the most important aspects of metal detecting. It can often take many hours of research to gather all the necessary information for a metal detecting trip.
Speaking with members of the metal detecting clubs can help ease this research burden. Many of these detectorists are seasoned pros and can answer any questions you might have.
36) Member Discounts
Some metal detecting clubs have formed relationships with various entities. As such, joining the club can open the door to member discounts for products and services. The Ohio Detectorists Association advertises this as a perk to joining their clubs and are not the only club to offer such incentives.
37) Networking with Other Clubs
Most metal detecting clubs have good networking with other clubs. These clubs do arranged programs with one another such as having guest speakers at meetings. This provides another opportunity for you to learn from experts in the detecting field.
38) Club Hunting Trips
Besides the benefits of the closed and open hunts mentioned earlier, metal detecting trips with a club ensure that everything is taken care of for you. All the necessary permissions and permits will be gathered, the research is already done, and all you must do is show up and enjoy!
39) They Are Fun!
One of the most important tips for metal detecting is to have fun. The same applies to joining a metal detecting club. They can be a fun environment for detectorists of all skill levels. Members will try to make the experience as enjoyable as possible and not make newcomers feel unwelcome. So, get out there, research your local clubs, and consider joining one! You will pick up new skills, more confidence, and make some new friends.
40) Keep Your Passion Going
When you get around a lot of like-minded people, especially ones that are engaged in the same hobby as you, it can keep the fire for your passion burning. And, if over the years your love for metal detecting has waned a bit, getting around a lot of people inside a club devoted to metal detecting can reignite your excitement for the hobby.
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