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Sickness, Obsession, Or Just Plain Fun!

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The answers range from "how many detectors can you swing at one time?" to "no detector covers all situations".  And those are just the logical answers.  The used detector market is pretty robust so as long as you're as willing to sell as you are to buy then your cost is minimal.

I remember a wagering discussion that went something like the following:

person 1) You bet $100 on tonight's football game?  Isn't that a lot of money?

person 2) The bookmaker's rake is 5% so if I do nothing more than flip a coin, on average it's going to cost me $5.  You're going to a movie tonight?  What's that's gonna cost you?

Isn't that more/less what you're doing when you buy a detector, try it out, and sell it?

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  • 9 months later...

I have been in and out of this hobby for many years. Jumped back in 6 years ago with AT Pro, fine machine. Got caught up in the Equinox hype and just had to have an 800 so bought one after selling my AT Pro. Recently sold my 800 and bought CTX3030. (for some loss of hearing, not any reasons the 800 was not a good detector).

I hunt parks and civil war relics in urban Atlanta. For me the hobby gets me out of the house and the dreaded unlimited honey do list. My wife still works and I am semi-retired. Run a small online business. The part of being retired she feel quite content with filling up with her honey do list. Or as she starts out every sentence is "honey, I need you to  do this...".

My detecting is physical exercise since some hunts I hike in a mile or two and back out. The thrill of not knowing what is under your coil and digging is fun. But with my CTX3030 on coins it pretty much spoils the suspense since it is so accurate at ID's coins vs trash.

Civil War relic hunting is a different story and even the CTX will keep you in suspense often.

There is a technical and historical intellectual challenge to this hobby that helps keep the mind sharp. Learning a new modern metal detector, especially one from a different vendor is like learning a Mac when you have 30 years experience on the PC or vice versa. Learning to use new research tools is also fun and often results in some better places to hunt.

I have thought about giving up metal detecting, especially in the 1st year with my Nox 800. But what else would I do? I really cannot think of another hobby that offers both physical benefits and intellectual challenges. Only thing close is panning for gold. But now in North Georgia where the gold is, it is all pretty much private property so you have to join a gold club and pay monthly dues. I guess I was spoiled for two years I had exclusive use of a 40 acre original lottery land lot with two gold mines and a gold bearing stream running through the property. I didn't back then realize how good I had it. But my boys and I had a great two years panning on the weekends.

bike riding? no, bowling? no, walking or running? no, stamp collecting? no, coin collecting? no, art painting? no tried that, writing books? no best seller was produced but it was enjoyable and gave me a sense of accomplishment.  reading? no and the list goes on. It is metal detecting for me as long as I can physically get out there and walk and swing.

It is very hard to describe to others outside this great hobby.

I also think it takes a special type of person. I think we detectorists are just plain curious and like to find things. Based on my years on the forum, we come from all walks of life. Some times we go a year or more between a really good find. But between those great finds we are having fun and that is what this hobby is all about having fun. Communicating on forums with like minded people is also fun, because in every day life, I rarely,  if ever run into a detectorists other than some rare sightings while out detecting. Those are rare, maybe 4-5 in the past six years detecting in urban Atlanta.

My dream location would be somewhere on the east coast of FL say lower half of the Treasure Coast down to South Beach. I know two detectorists who do live in that area and really clean up on the rings with nice chunks of ice on them. These two guys are not active on forums or do not make videos of their finds. But they make more than a decent living with their finds. The know where to hunt, know how to read beaches, they have the right detectors and years of beach hunting experiences. Each shared what the do with me because I was writing a small book on Metal Detecting the Treasure Coast. But they both ask me not to reveal their identity.  But moving to FL is not in the cards. My wife has too many relatives  near us and she would never consider leaving where we live.

So like a lot of detectorists, we just have to make do with detecting sites that are within our comfort driving range. For me my limit is about 1 - 1.5 hours drive to a site. Fortunately I have quite a few sites within the 40 minute range.




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54 minutes ago, maxxkatt said:

It is very hard to describe to others outside this great hobby.

Excellent writeup.  You pretty much summed up what this hobby/endeavor means to me.  I selected this one quote because it reminded me of questions (and looks) I get occasionally, including one just yesterday.  They think "you spend money (for equipment) and hours searching for a few coins?"  And there's the occasional "so, how does that translate to dollars/hour?"  Some people just can't see value in anything but making money.  I guess detecting sounds like work to them.

One difference I have from you is that I have many interests, but they all share a similar common misperception.  One thing I've noticed is that most people don't appreciate the complexity, difficulty, and intellectual effort that 99.9% of activities involve, at least if you want to be at the top level.  Take closed course auto racing (particularly oval racing) for example.  "Oh, it's just a bunch of overgrown kids driving in circles.  I can do that."  It's one of those times I wish I could challenge such ignorance.  "Hop in that car and drive in circles with those overgrown kids.   Let's see how you do...."

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My perspective exactly. Great write up.

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