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I am not saying my way is the best or anything like that, but I figure for newcomers at least some idea of what a person might need detecting would be helpful. Click images for larger versions.

Quality comfort and performance drives my pack choices. As for doodads I carry a Spot satellite beacon. Cannon camera that shoots HD video. Military grade trauma first aid kit.  Ho

I too carry a similar setup but i also strongly believe on a fixed blade knife (Like a KBAR) and a small soldier water filter and fire starter. You desert boys may not have a need for the filter but h

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Don't forget the HIP STICK made by Chris Porter!! This will save your back. I have used it in Alaska,

England, and the States and swear by it. I couldn't detect with out it!!

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Looks about right....  I have an endless supply of used backpacks I modify for my water bottles and battery. I find that a regular back pack works out for me as I do pack in the essentials ..just in case this or that. Great photos and great post!



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  • Nice post. I was out prospecting a local river this weekend and actually had my Canon camera out and in my hand, ready to go. I noticed a large bird swooping across the river, thought it was just a vulture, until I saw the white tail feathers and realized I had just missed a bald eagle shot.
  • Is that the waterproof orange Garrett pinpointer? Any advantage to a waterproof pinpointer in the dry desert?

      -Tom V.

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Hi Tom,

Yes, that is the Garrett AT Pro Pointer. No advantage in being waterproof in the desert per se but being environmentally protected can't hurt. So far it is my all time favorite pinpointer.

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Hi Ivan,

The number one difference for me from my days in Alaska is how close I can get to most stuff with my 4-Runner. In Nevada I am often parked 5 minutes away!! But I do like to go on walkabouts and the program there is to go that way for a couple hours before looping back to my vehicle so I often get a couple hours detecting distance from the rig. But that is swinging the detector. Actual distance would almost never be more than a couple miles from my truck.

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Great post, Steve.

My set up is very much like yours but after seeing some of your kit I will add some things to mine. Thank you!

I don't pack my pin pointer when prospecting as the SDC, with it's small coil, pin points very well. It would have come in handy this past weekend though so I may have to start bringing it. Not for nuggets, but for the relics around the old mining camps using the Nokta. I would imagine it must help with the 7000 and it's large coil?



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Hi Steve,


I like the hydro pack you wear.

It is pretty hard to find an outfit that will sell just one.

Any suggestions?




* Added Nov. 27th: I finally was able to bag one from a place

that agreed to sell me just one.

It is a well made, well thought out pack.

I'm happy.

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