Mar 31, 2010, 01:08 PM
Things to Avoid and Hard Lessons Learned
This post isn't a how to, it's a what not to do, and things you learn by doing.
I would consider myself a scavenger, treasure hunter, adventurer and bargain hunter. I think this comes from loving old stuff. For many years, my biological mother was an antiques and art broker and this helped influence the man I became. I spent my childhood doing homework in her antique shop. I know tons about Civil War and Victorian artifacts and art. I look for them any chance I get. Over the past 13 years of doing this, I have learned several hard lessons that I want to share, so that other people can learn without being hurt.
The first thing that I learned the hard way was how to use a metal detector. I read a manual and was like "okay that's easy". One of the first places I went to MD was an auto junk yard. I was bleeping on everything, and I found very little that day, however I learned a lesson. It is much harder to use your metal detector in an area with a lot of scrap metal laying around. To help find things under the soil, you should pile up all the things above the soil, and clear paths for yourself. It will make the experience much more rewarding and much more fun.
A second thing you should watch out for when your MDing is bees, wasps, yellow jackets and whatever other bugs are around. I have had to many experiances with this. I was sort of in a daze thinking about something else once, and I pushed over a red ant hill. I got out of their really fast with only 4 bites, but it could have been worst. The second was when I wasn't paying any attention and stepped on a yellow jackets nest. That wasn't fun. I got stung 6 times, had an allergic reaction and passed out.
Watch out when your picking up a piece of metal. A lot of times rust will eat metal away leaving a rather jagged edge. I was picking up the lid to an old jar, and got my hand cut up really bad.
My sidekick is a 14 year old girl and family member. Her and I have rock hunted all across North Carolina and the south. I have learned a lot from these adventures. I was out in Georgia, and like good rock collectors we were looking in a creek. The water in this creek was foamy and had this odd yellow tent. We only found one really good rock, a peice of quartz. I got my hand wet picking it up, rubbed my noise and ended up with ecoli. Not fun. If you see a body of water like this, don't get your hands wet in it.
Quarries can be very dangerous places to rock hunt. My sidekick and I were out near the Eno quarry. We were walking along the quarry and searching for rocks in the nearby river. For fun, we wore our bathing suits under our clothes so we could go for a swim. I saw this cool looking peice of granite on a ledge, climbed up to get it and the ledge broke off in my hands. I hit my face up on the quarry wall, and that hurt man. I didn't break my nose or knock myself unconscious, but I could have.
You also never know what you're going to find. We were swimming in a friend's creek up in the Mountans. It had been raining so it was 8 feet deep, cold, but clear. My sidekick dove down to the bottom, opened her eyes and saw her greatest find to date. It was a small ruby. This taught me one thing, and that is in treasure hunting, even if you are on land, you might have to get wet to find a treasure.
The fourth thing I'm going to say about rock collecting is something that I found out over the past 3 days. My sidekick and I collected over 200 garnets in the mountains of North Carolina. I had one garnet in particular that I hated. I took one look at the surface of the stone and was like "Dang, that's the worst garnet I ever saw". My sidekick threw it into a tumbler yesterday and when she pulled it out, it is the best one in the collection. It's perfect. I bet I could get 50 bucks for it. I guess sometimes a polished rock is better then a rough one, however sometimes not. I have seen some good looking rocks enter the tumbler and come out with tons of flaws.
I am a fresh water diver. I do not do seas or oceans. I prefer lakes, quarries, rivers and other deep fresh water bodies. I've dived the Great Lakes over a dozen times, I've been to four of the deep TVA lakes in Tennessee, I've dived a score of quarries and other things. I try to make at least 20 dives a year if not more.
Never trust an inexperienced deckhand. One that really stands out is when, I let my brother tag along as my deck hand. He had no experience watching divers. I was using a hose fed suit, so I had a generator running an air pump that was sucking in air and shoving it through a hose so I could breath.
I was twenty feet under the water. All of a sudden, the air I was breathing in smelled funny and I was chocking. I shed my dive belt (a large weighted belt I was using to hold me down) and rocketed to the surface. On a not so close inspection, I realized that the wind had picked up and was blowing the exhaust over the intake of the air pump. I was huffing fumes. There is a good chance that if I was deeper, I never would have come up in time. I would have passed out. The second thing is if I had come up that fast in deeper water, I might have had the bends. That could have been avoided by simply moving the generator around to the other side of the air pump. Any seasoned hand would have known that.
Snorkeling is a passed time. In the summer time, my sidekick and I will find new places to snorkel every day if we can. I've snorkeled lakes, ocean, seas and just about everything possible. This introduced me to the world of Mill Ponds, private lakes and other assorted fishing holes. In doing so, it opened me up to another world of treasure.
In mill ponds, I have a tendency to find Mill Stones from Mills that have been torn down, along with old pieces of equipment from that mill. I've seen cars, farming equipment and a ton of other tetanus ridden things at the bottom of these pools. It's great and its fun.
Rookie hunters should never go into a swamp if they don't know what their doing. If I'm hunting in a swamp, my sidekick stays in the boat at all times because she's not experienced enough for it. There are tons of dangers. I've been lucky, but I've seen a lot of people who haven't. I was out on the great dismal swamp one time with flat bottomed skiff looking boat. Sometimes you can use your engine and glide through water, but other times you have to push the boat with a paddle through the mud. I've towed smaller boats out of that swamp on a number of occasions.
Scavenging from Trash Dumps
I live way out in an area that's "out in bum--deleted--" one of my big things is looking through trash dumps. Some of these dumps are over a hundred years old out here, so there is no telling what I will find. I've found everything from computer cases to glass bottles from the 1800s. Some of the things that I'm going to say about this is common sense, the rest isn't.
If you have a stack of trash piled up, don't stick your hand into it randomly. Take things off the top first and then set it aside. When I was 15, I saw something cool at the bottom of a pile, stuck my hand through a crack. When I pulled out an awesome little figure, my hand caught a nail coming back up. It cut me so bad that I had 32 stitches in my hand.
Look out for hidden dangers in trash piles to. I was once digging through one, and a rat ran out of it. It scared the hell out of me, but I kept digging. When I got to the bottom of the trash pile, I came face to face with a whole family of rats. It wasn't pleasant, and I screamed like a little girl. If you see one rat, there is likely to be more.
In a more recently dumped trash dump, I found pesticide containers. Those are hazardous and will hurt you. This illustrates that not all trash dumps are safe.
Mar 31, 2010 01:08 PM
Mar 31, 2010, 01:18 PM
shhh...the person who posted above me just farted but wont see this since you scrolled down.
Re: Things to Avoid and Hard Lessons Learned
What can this strange device be?
When I touch it, it gives forth a sound,
It's got wires that vibrate, and give music,
What can this thing be that I've found?
Thanks for the tips
When detectors are outlawed, only outlaws will have detectors
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