Guide to Metal Detecting for Seniors
There are a variety of hobbies for seniors to choose from to stay occupied. For many, metal detecting is an excellent option to keep active and mentally sharp. If you’re someone looking to get involved in the world of metal detecting, then this guide is for you.
Choosing a Metal Detector
It can be overwhelming trying to choose a proper metal detector, especially when you’re just starting. When trying to decide, it’s important to do some research beforehand to have an idea of what’s on the market.
For beginners, Popular Mechanics recommends the Fisher F22 for $229. For a more expensive option, they recommend the Minelab Equinox 800 for $949. However, if you’re looking for a general recommendation, the Garret ACE 300 for $254.95 or the National Geographic Pro Series for $159.99 can be a good starting place. 
Equipment You Might Need
Although not required, you can purchase additional equipment to help make your metal detecting experience more enjoyable. Many people recommend investing in a bag specifically designed to carry metal detector equipment for convenience and organization.
Additionally, it’s recommended that you purchase a shovel to help dig up any treasure. The shovel you decide to get should be based on factors including terrain, budget, and durability. For seniors, it’s also recommended to purchase knee pads for additional comfort and protection.
Where to Go Metal Detecting
It’s important to consider where you’d like to go metal detecting for a couple of reasons. First, specific locations may require you to obtain a permit before digging, including beaches, schools, and camping grounds.
Second, make sure to pick a location you’ll enjoy! If metal detecting will be more of a casual hobby for you, start in your backyard or a local park. But, if metal detecting is something you plan to invest a lot of time in, check out more obscure digging sites. Or, perhaps you’re looking for an excuse to travel somewhere new. It’s all up to you and your preferences.
There are multiple online forums to join if you’re looking to socialize and learn more about metal detecting. According to Teknetics, one of the most popular forums is Metal Detecting Forum which has over 120,00 members, 5.4 million posts, and 500,000 topics. 
If online forums aren’t quite your speed, then looking into local groups may be more beneficial. You can find local groups on Facebook, so don’t be afraid to reach out!
In general, it’s good to be aware of your surroundings and conduct research before going out. This is especially true if you’re visiting a location with wildlife and unusual plants.
Depending on where you are, the weather may be extremely hot or cold. Always make sure to dress appropriately and to stay hydrated for extended outings. Also, bring a first-aid kit with you just in case of minor injuries.
Lastly, always let family and friends know where you’re going and how long you expect to be gone. However, it’s always better to go metal detecting with at least one other person in case of an emergency.
The Golden Rules
There are a few foundational rules you should follow when metal detecting.
- Always clean up after yourself. Be sure to fill in any holes you dig and leave a location better than you found it.
- If you come across any trash, it’s best to pick it up.
- Be respectful. It’s necessary to know where you’re digging, especially if the land is historical or may contain any burial grounds.
- If possible, return any lost items you may come across.
Metal detecting is an excellent hobby for seniors looking to exercise and go on new adventures. By choosing the appropriate equipment and staying informed, you’ll be well on your way to successful metal detecting.