Metal detecting can prove to be an awesome hobby if done properly. While it’s not easy to explain the love of this activity to outsiders, but the fact is that it is a complete hobby by itself.
However, while metal detecting creates a warm and fuzzy picture of detecting under the sun, there are several dangers and risks associated with this leisure that most people never give a thought to while starting out.
This obviously applies to all outdoor hobbies!
From wolf spiders that seek out their victims to those hidden ticks that have the potential to cause Lyme disease, the dangers are plenty with metal detecting. We take a moment here to list out all these potential dangers and how to stay safe while enjoying this hobby.
The main purpose here is not to scare you or anything like that! I am just aiming to make you aware of these potential risks, so you will ensure enough safety. Thus, you will only focus on the joy and excitement that comes with detecting …
1. Metal detecting under sun lights
When you are out metal detecting, you will be spending a lot of time outdoors and under the sun. While some sunlight is good for you, but too much exposure to the sun also has some negative effects.
Heat exhaustion or dehydration is one of the top risks of spending too much time under the sun. Spending prolonged time outside in the sun can make you feel faint or dizzy, nauseated, and fatigued, often with an accompanying headache. These are all typical symptoms of heat exhaustion.
Often when you are deep in the middle of a hunt, you tend to forget to drink water, leading to dehydration. Some of the common symptoms of dehydration include feeling nauseated, dizzy or faint, fatigued, and rapid breathing and heartbeat. Staying well hydrated will help prevent heat exhaustion and dehydration.
Apart from these two, getting sunburnt is also another threat of being out in the sun for too long. Without applying sunscreen, within just 15 minutes of exposure to the sun, you can become sunburned.
This is why it is absolutely important that you apply sunscreen, carry your water and keep sipping water from time to time, and wear long sleeve clothes to keep yourself safe from the sun.
You should also check these good metal detecting hats! You will get a better idea on what you should wear using your detector under extreme weather conditions.
2. Practicing this hobby during cold weather
For detectorists, waiting for warm weather is not an option. However, there are many dangers associated with detecting in the cold. Imagine having to detect near frozen bodies of water or being outside in freezing temperatures and chilling winds.
Super-cold air or wind can make you sick, sometimes even leading to frostbite or hypothermia. Hypothermia can cause shivering, confusion, tiredness, and clumsiness. Furthermore, hypothermia can also lead to other severe health problems.
Cold weather is also known to increase your risk of having a heart attack, especially when you are out detecting for long hours your heart has to work harder to keep you warm, increasing the blood pressure and heart rate. If you have an existing heart condition, then you should avoid metal detecting in the cold weather.
The most important thing to keep in mind when you are out hunting in the cold weather is to keep warm. Wear sufficient warm layers and put on those knee pads so that you can crouch and bend down easily even on the frozen ground.
You should definitely have a check at these quality metal detecting knee pads! They are well researched and they will definitely protect your knees especially in cold/snowy conditions.
While most good quality metal detectors are capable of hunting during the winters, it is still better to hunt around water bodies that are unfrozen or the beach would be the best choice to hunt during the winter.
Learn the best metal detecting practices in winter!
3. Metal Detecting in battlefields
Detecting in battlefields can prove to be a dangerous activity if you are not careful. There are thousands of tons of unexploded ordinance that can be found in the battlefields around the world.
These include grenades, artillery shells, bombs, mines, and bullets/ammunition. The best advice would be to not touch the shells that stay on the surface found and dry under the sunlight. If you find a shell in the ground, it’s best to leave it alone and not try to remove it. You should inform the appropriate authorities, who will then proceed with the removal of the shell according to the protocol.
If you find a hand grenade, then these are usually not dangerous if you do not attempt to open them. Nevertheless, it is still advisable that you inform the proper authorities and let them remove the grenade.
Small arms ammunition that you find, though, are generally safe and unlikely to go off until unless there is an explosive tip present, for example with the 20mm cannon shells. These can easily take out your fingers, so be careful in dealing with such items.
The best tip for metal detecting in battlefields is to dig slowly, dig in a wide area, and preferably have someone along with you on the hunt. Always dig the hole slightly bigger than the detected area and avoid any sudden or violent downward thrust with your spade.
BTW, you can have a look at this Fields Detecting Post! You will learn some helpful info in there …
4. Detecting in Dumps
The world’s waste is growing and these waste dumps are a treasure trove for metal detectors because of the wide variety of things they throw up.
However, as attractive, as it is to go hunting and digging through these garbage dumps, there are many dangers associated with this as well.
The biggest threat of hunting in garbage dumps is the threat of infectious diseases. These garbage dumps are teeming with bacteria and viruses that can cause dermatological, gastrointestinal, respiratory and many other types of infectious diseases.
You can also easily catch parasitic infections from these places as many times medical labs end up disposing their medical waste at these dumps itself. There are many types of parasites that can still be alive and thrive in the waste material, and if you come in contact with this type of waste, you can easily pick up the parasite.
If you are detecting in a garbage dump, then the best advice is to always wear a high-quality face mask that can keep the bacteria and viruses out. It is also common for many types of medical waste to release airborne bacteria or viruses that can cause lung infections or any other infections. This is why keeping your nose and mouth covered is very important.
Also, be careful of any sharp objects that you may come across while hunting as they may cut you suddenly if you are not keeping an eye out.
That’s why you should not forget about wearing like these legit metal detecting gloves! They would protect your hands properly …
5. Metal detecting in the Woods
If you are a hobbyist then you are well aware of the great digging opportunities that are present in the woods. However, carrying out detecting work in the woods can be dangerous and has its own set of challenges, so it’s best that you are aware of these risks and go well prepared.
The biggest danger of detecting in the woods is being attacked by animals. While one does not need to worry about lions or tigers, but the biggest threat posed to detectorists in the woods are by snakes.
Snakes are common in the woods and unless you really know your snakes, there is no way of determining whether it is a venomous or a non-venomous snake. You will usually find that snakes take refuge in piles of brush or firewood and water snakes can also be found in the areas that border a lake or swamp as well. So keep your eyes open and watch where you tread.
Bring lots and lots of bug spray so that you don’t end up getting bitten by mosquitoes and other bugs. Bug sprays also offer good protection against ticks, which you should avoid whenever possible as they are carriers of many types of diseases, especially Lyme disease.
Don’t forget to carry a fully-charged cell phone in case you get lost or if you fall down and injure yourself. A GPS is also very very important, especially if you are exploring places you’ve never gone into before.
For more Info about this Topic! You should have a deep look at this Wood Detecting Guide! You will learn some additional info in there …
6. Using Your Machine without permission
It may surprise many to know that one of the most common issues in getting across to favorable detecting spots is getting the right permission. It is very important that you have the required permissions to detect at a spot. However, most people get nervous or feel quite silly in walking up to someone’s door and asking for permission.
When you run across a negative response, it might help to show the homeowner or property owner just what you plan to do. You should show them the manner in which you will dig the small plugs for your targets and then also explain how the process revolves around digging only if you get a good signal.
Remember to leave the property exactly in the manner you found it and ensure that you communicate this to the property owner.
You are also obliged to return any lost items, family heirlooms, or jewelry that you find on the property to the property owner or the homeowner. These are just some of the good ethics of metal detecting that everyone should be following.
There are many places where you will not need to ask for anyone’s permission, for example, the beach, the woods or forest, etc. However, before you start hunting in these public places, it will be a good idea to find out from your local authorities if you need any particular permits.
Remember that if you are caught trespassing, you might encounter the legal procedures of your state and/or country. This may put you in jail in some extreme cases …
… Finally, you have a look at these locations where you can metal detect without a permission!
7. Underwater Metal Detecting
Underwater metal detecting has become quite popular in recent years. It typically involves snorkeling with a metal detector, scuba detecting, or shipwreck diving for treasure.
BTW, you may want to have a look at my favorite underwater detector Here on Amazon!
However, this kind of activity could be a dangerous if you are not as careful as you should be. It is especially important to time your hunt with the tide timings.
You also need to ensure that you have the right equipment for underwater detecting. The equipment used can be quite expensive and you will only get results if you use good quality underwater metal detectors.
There is also the threat of sharks, particularly in the breeding season. It is believed that the pulse induction from underwater metal detectors can easily attract hungry sharks from almost as far away as one nautical mile.
These electronic pulses are extremely strong and you should definitely do your research to ensure that you are not hunting in shark-infested waters.
Knowing the water current is also another factor that you have to be mindful of. Not only does this information help you find targets quickly and easily, but it will also help you avoid getting trapped in any fast moving currents.
Avoid detecting at night. You will be able to see clearly and you will also have more visibility when you hunt during the daytime.
You can have a look at these solid tips on using your metal detector underwater!
I’ve said that before and I will say it again! I am not aiming scare you or to change your mind about this hobby …
… I just think it is a wise thing to be aware of all dangers and risks that come practicing this wonderful outdoor activity! Hopefully, you’ve learnt something new …
I’ve included in this post 7 metal detecting dangers! Did anyone of them resonate with you? Do you know any different danger or risk that I didn’t include in this post, that you would like to share with me and the readers? Let me know in the comment section below, so other practitioners will learn and take the necessary precautions …