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Metal detecting is an outdoor activity so the best time to do is when the weather is good.
However, some people are so passionate about the hobby that they do not care about the extreme weather conditions.
So, they are ready to go out with their metal detector even if it is freezing cold.
Can the metal detector be used in the snow?
To cut things short, yes you can do that. But…
I think that using the metal detector in the snow is not a good idea for many reasons.
If the ground is frozen, digging will be more difficult. Although, a shovel with a footpad may make digging easier, you will not be able to go as deep as you used to because of the snow.
The maximum depth that your detector can reach will become limited. This depends on the thickness of the snow and its condition (packed or aerated…)
Many models of metal detector have LCD screens. Cold weather will damage these types of screens.
Using batteries in cold weather will make them discharge faster. So will not be able to use the metal detector for a long time.
However, storing unused batteries in cold places may extend their shelf life. The effect is too tiny to be noticed.
Finally, I don’t like going to metal detect in the snow because I like to curl in the blanket and enjoy the warmth!
Can it be a good thing to do sometimes?
In many cases, using a metal detector in the winter may be a good thing to do.
For example, it may help you to find your lost keys or phone… In the winter, it is easy to slip. You can lose some stuff in the snow.
And using a metal detector will save a lot of time to find them. Instead of aimlessly trying to find your keys in a snowy front yard (good luck in doing that), use a metal detector to locate your ring in minutes. This video is a good example.
It may be also interesting to go metal detecting in the ski resorts after the end of the season. Wait for some time until the good stuff accumulates.
Ski resorts are large. So, you need to use your metal detector strategically.
Looking for metal objects underneath the cables of the Ski lift is a good idea.
When people sit or when they get stuff in and out of their pockets (Walkman, phone, snacks…), they may lose some metal objects.
Ski runs are also a good spot. People fall a lot while skiing…
It can be a normal fall, their heads may be planted in the snow or they can flip around. Either way, they will lose a lot of stuff from their pockets.
Another good spot is the base of the ski hill. If snow starts to melt, heavy metal object will start sliding from the top to the base.
There is also another reason that makes hill bases a good place to hunt metals. It is where many skiers usually take off their gloves and may lose their rings in the snow.
If people lose large items like walking poles or ski borads, they can find them easily. But, small and dense items get swallowed by snow especially if the snow isn’t compacted. They are difficult to find and people just give up.
Ski resorts are popular places for metal detectorists. Nevertheless, you can always find some interesting stuff because no one gets it all!
You can find a lot of stuff like coins, rings (jewelry in general), mobile phones, lost ski equipment, ski pins…
I forgot to mention two things:
First, you have to ask permission before using your metal detector inside a ski resort.
Second, if you find something expensive (cell phone, wallet…) in the snow. Be nice and give it back to its owner.
For the cell phone, it is easy to find the owner. Just turn it on (if it still works). And call one of his friends or family members and tell them that to get back the lost phone.
Or you can use craigslist. It is a popular site where you can post an ad about lost and found items.
You still want to go out anyway?
Take advantage of warm days. Winter is cold but the temperature is not always freezing cold. If you get a few warm days in a row, enjoy them.
Don’t forget to wear a lot of clothes. I know walking and moving your hands would be difficult as you are a Robocop.
But it is important to stay warm. Don’t forget to wear waterproof clothes too.
Tick winter socks and gloves are important because. Hands and feet are the first organs to feel cold (you don’t want frostbites).
Don’t forget the hand warmer. And to wear a ski mask.
Walking through the snow is hard. So plan for short hikes. Be prepared to find many closed roads by the snow.
Take a look at the temperature, wind speed, and avalanche reports if your hiking trail is close to mountains.
Try to stay below the tree line to reduce the risk of being caught if an avalanche occurs.
Take a map and compass with you. Because the visibility will become low at snow storm.
You have to know what is underneath your feet. You don’t want to walk on a frozen lake covered by ice.
Sunglasses with UV protection are important to protect your eyes. It will be difficult to see without them.
Go metal detecting with your friends. It is safer to be in a group especially if, at least, one of them is experienced.
Bring enough water with you to avoid dehydration. And it will be a good idea to bring a warm beverage with you.
You can either make it at home and put it in a thermos to keep it warm or bring a portable stove with you.
Using the walking poles is a great thing to do. They help you become more stable (four contact points with the ground instead of just two).
They also help you find hidden holes up ahead. Since you need a free hand for the metal detector, use only one pole.
You can do some tricks to help you while metal detecting in the snow. (I did not try this)
You can use a hand warmer and place it on top of the batteries. Then cover them with a slip-proof sock, after you have cut its front.
This way the metal detector will be protected from cold weather.
You may find these videos interesting.