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In the first part, I’ll give you some tips to protect your metal detector if you want to hunt during a rainy day.
In the second part, I’ll talk about metal detecting after the rain is over. I’ll compare hunting wet vs dry ground.
Metal detecting while it’s raining
For some reason, you want to go metal detecting while it’s raining. What should you do in this kind of situations?
First of all, you should wear your raincoat to keep the flu away from you. An umbrella isn’t good because you need both of your hands free.
But if you want to enjoy the rain, you can do like this.
Then, you must protect your electronic devices. Water will damage them.
Metal detectors are usually waterproof up to the control box. So you don’t need to worry about this part.
There are many solutions that you can use to protect the control housing. You can buy a rain cover.
They usually have a transparent side, which will face the detector’s screen, and you can attach it or remove it easily with a Velcro.
They also protect it from dust and scratches…
Each brand has specific cover. This one, for example, is suitable for the Garrett ace 250.
Alternatively, use a plastic bag. It should be transparent so you could see the display. Make sure there are no holes.
This will protect the screen. However, the visibility won’t be so good because of the water drops. You better rely on the tones. Or keep wiping the bag with your hand regularly.
Make sure it’s tight so doesn’t snag on branches and poke it.
Depending, on the shape and the size on the control housing, you can use electrical tape, elastic band, zip lock bag…to seal it.
it’s a super cheap and practical solution to protect the sensitive electronics against water.
It’s also good for protecting the buttons from muddy fingers.
It doesn’t matter how bad it looks, you’re not going to display it in a show. You’re going to use for a while, then remove it when you go back home.
Keep some extra bags in your pocket just in case. They’re lightweight and compact, you won’t feel their presence.
Don’t forget to leave some space for the onboard speaker, and to seal the headphones jack and the coil’s connector so that the water doesn’t get inside from there.
If you’re using headphones cover them with a brimmed waterproof hat or with a hooded raincoat and place the wires under your clothes.
For wireless headphones like the Garrett Z-lynk, place the receiver inside your pocket. The transmitter is weatherproof. Going wireless will make your hunting much more comfortable.
Pinpointers are usually waterproof so they can be used in the rain and some of them are submersible up to a few feet. So you don’t need to worry about it.
If there’s thunder, you better go back home or stay inside your car.
After going back home, check if the water leaked inside. If you notice condensation inside the plastic cover, remove it and wipe it with a piece of cloth or sponge.
Remove the batteries and their cover. And keep the metal detector in a dry place.
If you want, you can place it near some moisture absorber bags for a while before going for the next hunt.
If your socks and clothes are wet, you should obviously change them.
If you don’t want to be caught in a sudden rain, install a weather app. This is better than watching the boring weather forecast.
The app will give the info that you want in seconds. And you can decide whether you want to go metal detecting or not.
Remember that their predictions aren’t always accurate, so get ready for surprises.
Possible reasons why some want to metal detect when it’s raining
I hate going outside while it’s raining. I’ll just wait for good weather before I start digging.
However, some enthusiasts want to hit the soil with the coil in this bad weather.
Maybe, they’re super bored, they’ve done all of the indoors activity they like, and the only thing left to do is metal detecting.
They could be living in a rainy place like the UK and they don’t want to wait for the summer.
Maybe it started raining suddenly while they were detecting. They’re so stubborn and they want to keep digging….
For me, it’s just a bad idea. I won’t go outside to metal detect in a bad weather what so ever.
To be fair, the only advantage is that you’re going to get rid of noisy curious people in places like parks. You won’t find anybody outside when it’s raining.
Metal detecting wet vs dry ground
Many detectorists said that wet soil increased the depth range. However, they didn’t give any test to prove it.
Detectorists gave many explanations to why this is happening. For example, some say that water conductivity is higher than the air’s.
Therefore, the ground’s conductivity increases after being soaked. And the device could detect deeper targets.
You could find all sorts of geeky explanations out there. I’m not going to list all of them here.
I don’t know if they’re true or not because I couldn’t test any of them. And I don’t have an explanation for it. I don’t know if this depends also on the soil type, mineralization…
This video claims that this is true.
In this second video, multiple targets were buried at different depths. The detector’s response will be compared when the ground is wet (and frozen) and when it’s dry (and warm) in two times of the year.
The spots where the targets are buried are colored so could see them easily. The detector used in this test is the Nokta FORS Core.
The separation will be tested too. That’s why trash was buried with some of the targets.
The results obtained are different than what most diggers say. The detector’s depth range increases when the soil is dry and the separation gets better when the soil is wet.
These differences are maybe due to the temperature. Maybe the frozen soil has an impact.
In order to have more accurate data, the test should be carried when the ground is wet then when it’s dry at the same temperature.
Variables that could have an impact on the detector’s performance should be isolated.
When the ground is wet, it is softer and digging plugs is easier. Dry ground is as hard as concrete (check this article to find out how to dig hard to dig soil).
The grass will grow faster because of the water and the plugs will look better.
You’ll find a lot of mud right after it rained. It’s going to be messy. Walking will be difficult. And your clothes will be dirty.
You also don’t want to press the detectors buttons with your muddy gloves.
So, after a heavy rain, wait for some time until the upper layer of the ground dries out a little bit so you get rid of the mud.
For beach sand, you may have different results because of the salt. Not all the metal detectors can handle minerals.
Before you go, and since you like rain, I thought you may be interested in taking a look at this article about metal detecting in the snow.