By Steve Herschbach
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.
Steve in the field
This is what I look like out detecting. In Alaska I would probably be in a rain jacket and mosquito headnet but things are a bit nicer down south! Main thing to note here is I am using a small camelback style rucksack which serves three purposes. It is my detector support harness, it contains some essential items, and it gives me a quick sip of water when I need it.
The GPZ 7000 bungee clips to my right shoulder next to the water tube. The speaker module goes on the left shoulder under my good ear. I pretty much always use the module unless wind forces me to go to headphones.
The bungee wanted to pull off my shoulder but I found a simple solution by routing it under the cross strap that connects the shoulder straps. I use the standard GPZ 7000 velcro/clip on the detector itself to attach the bungee. I really like how easy it is to disconnect from the detector while digging, etc. which is also facilitated by the remote speaker.
Closeup of bungee routing
The rucksack is a freebie I got at the Minelab convention a couple years ago (thanks Minelab). It is an Urban Peak Hybrid Hydropack with 2 liter water capacity and for a item I got quite by chance it turns out to be about perfect for me and my use.
My rucksack/bungee harness
I use the GPS system built into the GPZ 7000 pretty religiously these days but still am also using my Garmin GPS which is clipped to my left shoulder strap for easy access. You can see in the right hand belt pocket the GPZ 7000 ferrite ring ready to use if I ever need it. Here are the contents of the rucksack:
Items in the rucksack
The waterproof container in upper left has basic first aid supplies, bandaids, pain killers, moleskin, lighter, emergency blanket/tarp, etc. Next is a plastic baggie with emergency toilet paper. Then a cheap plastic disposable poncho in case I get caught by a sudden downpour. A plastic spoon and a Swiss Army knife. Next row some waterproof first aid tape good for lots of things. Some parachute cord. A Delorme InReach emergency satellite communications device. A digital scale with cover and 10X loupe/magnifier with cover. A Garrett AT Propointer and finally, my camera. Often a spare GPZ battery or food or other items join this stuff but these are the items always with me.
I have long been a fan of the White's belt pouch (P/N 601-0066 $14.95). It has three main compartments and two little side compartments with velcro closures. The largest main compartment gets all the trash I find. A smaller compartment has my gold bottle and maybe my camera or a water bottle. The third compartment is a holster for my digging scoop. One of the two side compartments has more emergency toilet paper (can't have too much) and maybe spare AA batteries if I am using a VLF. The belt is nothing special just a nylon utility belt. It has a nylon pick holder mounted to hold my pick when I am not actually using it.
Trash and goodie pouch with side compartments
Finally, the pick. In Alaska I hunted tailing piles a lot and so favored picks with big hoe digging implements. Now with the GPZ I want the metal at a minimum and I find I do not need a digging hoe so much in the desert and such down south. So this is a Hodan 24" digging pick which does all I need. It has a super magnet stuck on the head, with a small hose clamp placed ahead of it that keeps the magnet from sliding off when I dig aggressively.
Oh yeah, the gloves. I always wear gloves to protect my hands when digging and just in general. I have had people comment that some of my photos must be staged because my hands are always clean!
Anyway, that's about it. I am going to put my camera in a pouch on my left shoulder right under the speaker module so it is always handy. I saw a bunch of antelope recently and the camera was in the rucksack. No good as sometimes you only get seconds for a good photo. Other than that I am pretty happy with my setup. Like I said, it is not what everyone needs and lacks some things some people might need, but it at least offers an idea and suggestion for things to consider.
Urban Peak Hybrid Hydropack
So ive been about 2 months trying to find a coin elite pouch, i actually got in touch with the guy from digginitees who sales them and asked about them and he just said yea i sell em soon as i get them tryin to get more, again that was quite a while ago, does anyone know where a person can get one?
I got a new White's Ground Hawg Shovel in September, have used it on 3-4 hunts, and yesterday I was digging and it folded up like a cheap suit
The metal tubing before the head, just bent over 😞 I wasn't in rocky soil, wasn't wailing on tree roots, it was normal California soil, no clay, no crazy bermuda grass roots, nothing crazy.
Does anyone know if White's provides a warranty on this? I hate to loose $59 on a new "heavy duty" shovel 😒
I'm in the process of moving to Texas and will be very close to Lake Travis. I need to add to my gear a decent sand scoop for fresh water hunting, can someone recommend one that won't break the bank. I'm not sure what type of soil/sand/dirt I'm going to encounter, so, I may have to wait until I get over there later this month, thanks.