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Prospecting Rig, Safety And Convenience

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If memory serve me correctly as a 17 year old I found myself swinging a Garrett A2B in one arm, the other arm holding a pick over my shoulder. No hat, no water, not GPS, just enthusiasm.

Those days are long gone, getting back into electronic prospecting I found myself using a sling bag, it held water, gps, phone and a 5w handheld radio. A small pick hung off it and until I got myself a larger pick it was adequate. Problem was that I always had a reason to return to the car for something, which ate away at my swing time. I needed to equip myself so that I could operate for hours without needing to return to the vehicle. The addition of a decent size pick forced me to adopt a rig that allowed a large degree of independence. A molle battle belt and suspenders combined with a heavy duty leather belt formed the basis of my prospecting rig. A leather holster for the large pick, first aid kit, two way radio, GPS, phone, water bladder and water bottle, etc. I can simply add or detract as circumstances dictate. In remote areas I have a Personal Locator Beacon and additional safety gear, at other times an Ipad and phone replace the PLB. Snake first aid kit at all times, one in the car and one as part of the permanent first aid kit on the rig. I always leave trip information and details with family before going out, keep my first aid training up to date and maintain my gear, with particular care for keeping the car up to spec at all times.. 

I can now go out detecting without needing to return to the vehicle for a whole day.  No more time wasting going back and forth, more swing time results.. safety and convenience.

Pays to keep the gear mounted on the rear panels of the belt away from the front, less interaction between the detector and stuff. Easier to bend and dig. The water bladder carries 2 litres of water with ice cubes to keep it cool all day. The weight goes unnoticed and the pick is back far enough to not interfere with the detector. Set the rig up correctly and balance your load, the weigh disappears..

The rig in the pictures is my second attempt using a better battle belt and harness. Easier to thread the leather in and out between molle panels to hold the leather pick holder. 

Because of this rig I tend to wander off further and further, making the GPS and a map even more essential. The GPS to mark the location of the vehicle and to mark interesting locations, the topographic and geological map allows trip planning on the go.

All a far cry from the 17 year old swinging the Garrett A2B with nothing but a pick.. All the best, Karelian.







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That's a great looking rig. I tend to carry more water but other than that, it's an amazing set-up.

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flakmagnet  yes water is key in Australia, adequate supply is a life saver. Bladder is 2 litres with 3 litre upgrade possible.

I can add two milspec  1 litre water bottles into the set up pictured. One bottle into the utility pouch that holds the trowel, plus another into the pouch on the back of the bladder holder. In summer I carry 4 litres of water, and I tend to drink a lot of it, at other times of year I'll put a thermos into the pouch with hot liquids. Versatility is key, set it up as circumstances dictate. I use the water bottles that are milspec, so will not melt in hot Australian sun, large opening to allow ice cubes. Gave up on the old school bottles after getting used to ice cool water on a hot day.. Karelian.





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My rig was almost the same...especially the battle belt ...for using the hip stick with 7000... My harness was a simple h -harness...I tried the camelback water bladders and didn’t like the way my water tasted... and the camelback pack was too hot on my back... 

But unless I’m using a big coil now in OZ with the 5000... I get by with a water in my pocket and a gray Minelab harness with the battery box on the center back


So much lighter and easy to shed when you have to dig one of those deep pesky lumps 

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vanursepaul I hate the nasty plastic taste of water from new bladders, so I used denture cleaning tablets, mint flavoured to clean 'treat' the bladder. After a while problem solved. Also used sugar free diet cordial, lime flavoured, a very weak mix was ideal. Just make sure it is diet sugar free. Not sticky and easy to clean. Yes if there is a deep hole to dig, the rig comes off and the gloves go on. Can never dig too many deep holes when chasing 'those deep pesky lumps.' Karelian 

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Mugsy you are spot on. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, you can see how solid and well designed it is. Well used by the time I got it, but built to last. Weighty compared to lesser picks but that translates into hitting power. The dinky fibreglass job was my second pick after a lightweight Garrett pick, then tried a local home made one, fitted with heat shrink rubber for crevicing, finally found the CC Pick and there is no where else to go after that.  All picked up at Sunday markets second hand. Chap that sold me the CC Pick told me it was a Walco, either way for the price I was on a winner. The purchase of the CC pick meant I had to give serious consideration to how it was carried. That led to the rig I use today. The journey was worth it. Karelian.



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Here"s my rig in 2017---over in FNQ..---- it is not light as my WA rig... in WA i am usually close to camp as we are usually doing a push.

This is at Norvics home.


Hipstick mounting-


JP is the Australian dealer

Chris Porter in the USA

you will have to cut and paste these links in your address bar




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vanursepaul cannot help but notice how much surplus or military style gear has found its way into my prospecting camping equipment. Often the only criteria I have is functionality, price and durability. Watching the video I noticed the boots, often the most undervalued item by many, but not by ex infantry. I learned the value of good socks and boots when still in my teens, a life long lesson. At the moment I use the Haix Black Eagle Athletic boots in desert tan. No metal to set off the machine and superb in hot dry environments.

Work or play, I take pride in my kit. It might not  always be the best or most expensive, but I'll have looked after it and be confident it is up for the job. 

All the best, Karelian

P.S. In summer, just amazing how many people venture out into the heat and blazing sun without a hat. Maybe I'm old fashioned but a good hat is invaluable in my book.. mine is a bit 'distressed', or well worn. I hear people pay extra for that...







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