Back alleys?

Midden-marauder

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Dec 10, 2023
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So I'm thinking about doing some detecting in some historic neighborhood back alleys as an experiment. based on my satellite map scouting the bulk of the alleys are dirt (probably very packed earth) or have dirt embankments along the sides, they look searchable.
Now the question is, has anyone ever done any back alley metal detecting? Any experiences you'd care to share regarding it? I've messed with it some but I'm genuinely curious as to what others have to say about it.
Anyone have perspectives to share on this one?
 

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In my area almost all alleys are either paved, or, on private property. What few I've detected that weren't had mixed results. Some were extremely trashy, others produced a few good targets. Nothing to get me too excited.
 

In my area almost all alleys are either paved, or, on private property. What few I've detected that weren't had mixed results. Some were extremely trashy, others produced a few good targets. Nothing to get me too excited.
Yeah, I've done some cursory scouting in a couple alleys and what I've learned is that construction crews like to throw their debris over the fence. Structural detritus for days, almost every single hit is a nail or screw with occasional other bits of random fixtures. I found a pile of sink nozzles buried down maybe two inches. Woo!
I'm not giving up on the idea just yet, I need more samples to draw an informed opinion on the matter, sometimes I'm surprised how much difference a hundred feet can make in terms of what I find and where but it doesn't look terribly promising as of yet. I'll try a few other spots for posterity sake, it's worth investigating
 

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IME, There are alleys, and there are alleys...

If these alleys are between buildings, you may get interference from parts of the buildings themselves (anchor bolts, WF beams, nails, flashings, etc.)

If out in the open (like alternating with streets), it may be easier hunting, but those alleys are sometimes just rights-of-way overlapping adjacent properties. Could be legal issues.

If these are old alleys, and don't appear to be paved, I might dig a test hole or 3. It's possible some old pavement (brick, cobble, macadam) from those thrilling days of yesteryear* may be hidden underneath.

As you say, a lot of detritus. I can't get within 10-20' of the house on my permission because of the rusty nails & detritus. Notching doesn't help in this case because I'm getting TIDs of 90-94 that turn out to be rusty nails.

By all means, please let us know your results (and type(s) of alleys). 😉

*Yeah, I was streaming old episodes of The Lone Ranger last night... 😳
 

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Nope.
I would doublecheck every hit to be sure it's not extended /able due to being a shallow buried wire.
Found one in the back of an old homestead from house to out back somewhere. Suspect the former outhouse was involved. But an old garage/buggy shelter could tempt a later run of wire.
 

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