Jan 3 2008

Guest Post: Mental preparation during the off season


Some of you lucky souls can metal detect all year around, and I envy you. As for me, it’s cold and dark this time of year, and everything is frozen solid. I do use this time to keep my mind in the detecting game though. Besides reading my monthly copy of Western & Eastern Treasures and scouring the various detecting boards to see what others are finding, I try to stay productive for the Spring and Summer to come.

Evaluating and recording my last year’s finds. I keep a detecting journal with addresses and notes along with the finds found. I like to review those notes and store the finds. I usually store my coin finds in a binder note book with coin holders. My unusual and unique finds like rings, pendents, etc I keep in a little chest. I also like to document those finds with a photograph so I can look up where I found them if I’m revisiting a detecting site.

Research. Well this should be pretty obvious. Throughout the previous year, I’ve found prospective places to hunt either by driving by or getting leads from friends and family. I gather my notes and try to get additional information. If the land had a house near by etc. Possibly finding a phone number or two to call when the conditions are right. I always like to start the season with the quality ‘virgin’ hunts to get me super excited for the year. Along with hot leads, I’ll hit the library to see if I can gather any information from the old newspapers. I like to focus on July – August and search for gatherings. Usually picnics, fund raisers, etc that are not in the typical places. Usually sites that are long gone and forgotten now.

Gear inspection and upgrades. This is the fun stuff, but the part my wife doesn’t enjoy. I like to look over my gear which would include my detector, trowels, collection pouches, etc. Make sure they’re all working good. I also evaluate if I need to upgrade anything. This is where I start strategizing with the ideas of new coils, pinpointers, etc. Or completely ugrade a detector!

I usually don’t do any bench testing or test gardens, which I know a few off-season hunters do. My personal experience has led me to not trust those tones and signals, since they are rarely accurate in the real-world environment. This is just my opinion and can be based off of my soil conditions and detector.

What does everyone else do during the off season?

Author: Hank D.