Childrens Metal Detector Etiquette

Children need to be taught to always ask permission before treasure hunting on someone else’s land. This is a behavior that will need to be repeated many times over the child’s lifetime. Even adult treasure hunters need to ask permission before operating on private, and sometimes even public, lands. Older children can be taught to search county records for landownership and although younger children may need an adult to do this and to negotiate for them, they should always be present when the negotiations are made so that they can understand what is involved and develop a respectful attitude toward land ownership.


Some landowners may ask for payment for allowing the use of their lands by treasure hunters. Most of the time this takes the shape of a share of any items found. This is a common practice and children should expect that they may be required to share in order to hunt in a particular location.  This is a good point for adult supervision so that the child can learn a bit about the world of property rights and negotiation.


While searching, children using metal detectors need to remember to fill any hole dug while searching for treasure. This means that they need to learn to dig neat holes that will be easily filled. One thing that most landowners hate is allowing a treasure hunter access only to be left with a bunch of small holes surrounded by piles of dirt. In fact, many landowners, after facing such a situation, are reluctant to allow treasure hunters access in the future. So, if kids or adults expect to be able to continue searching on private lands they need to have respect for the lands they are searching on and leave them in the same condition in which they were found.


The other half of filling your holes is deciding what to do with some of the things you find. Treasure hunters often dig up small bits of foil, old bottle caps, and other types of junk. Proper etiquette is to always take even these types of finds with you. For most landowners, finding a yard strewn with small bits of metal junk is almost as bad as finding it filled with open holes. Some people report carrying 2 treasure bags so that one can be used just for junk and can be dumped in the nearest trash receptacle. Others simply carry 1 bag and sort the items to be kept from those to be thrown away after they arrive home. This latter method offers the advantage of allowing adequate time for inspection of all items before disposal to avoid the possibility of throwing away something important.


Metal detectors can locate many nice items and occasionally these may take the shape of rings, watches, or other pieces of jewelry that may have an engraving. When such an engraving exists, it is often possible to trace the original owner of the item. Stories of this even occurring appear in newspapers across the country every few years. Children should be encouraged to try to discover who the original owner was and return items when possible. This is a common practice among many treasure hunters and it creates goodwill among the treasure hunting community and the general population.


A children’s metal detector is a great gift and kids and learn a lot about history and how the world works with just a little bit adult supervision.

Comments are closed.