Just when you have decided that its all over for another year and the winter blues have got you down you may have an option that you have not considered. Let me say if the swimming lakes, parks or playgrounds are still open or the beaches are within reach you can have another shot at metal detecting. You just have to get geared up not only mentally but also with the right cold weather equipment. Just because the temp is dropping it does not mean metal detecting season is over, as long as you can still dig you can detect.
Neoprene Detecting Gloves
One of the fist parts of you body to be affected by the cold is our hands, and when detecting that will be pertictulary true, it not going to be easy sifting in the dirt looking for your finds when you cant feel you fingers. Over the years I have bought many pair neoprene gloves, mostly the kinda with the thumb and forefinger cut out so you can pick up small objects and I picked up a rainsuit with a hood and I may use the jacket over the top so I can hunt in a cold wind and rain and it will block the wind off me and also keep my dry in the rain. Now, when its 40 degrees and raining you may find me in the water at the beach snooping around the bottom for gold and not staring into the fireplace and thinking about the good old summer time.
This micro fleece balaclava head and face mask/cover has a hinge that makes it easy and fast to move the windproof face mask up and down with. The Chinook pictured can be worn as balaclava, a balaclava with face mask or as a neck gaiter. The waterproof fabric is breathable and will keep your face warm and toasty even on the coldest days out detecting and the Lycra around the face seals out the elements for complete protection. The shaped bottom provides full coverage and prevents excessive gathering. You will probably get a few second looks when out detecting at you local park but it will keep you face from freezing and getting chapped lips and wind burnt checks. For it only costing between $16 and $27 bucks it money well spent (and to be honest I have to say it just looks badass)
Buying Your Winter Gear
The neoprene articles can be picked up at a sporting goods dealer near you or online at Amazon or BassPro or other similar places and are not expensive. There are also some great neoprene long sleeve jackets available that would be a nice addition to your winter wardrobe. You can also wear the insulated underwear that the hunters buy for deer hunting in frigid weather and that would offer you further protection from the cold but I have noticed that I stay quite warm in the waders even as the water has cooled down some.
updated I just got back from the sporting goods store here and bought a new pair of neoprene gloves. These should keep your hands warm and dry and out of the icy wind. They are called Glacier Glove ICE BAY Fishing Glove and cost $19 to $25 depending on size. The other gloves with the fingers cut out work fine for warmer weather but my fingers nearly dropped off when I water hunted the other day with a wind chill of 12 degrees.
Winter Water Metal Detecting
Do you shiver when you look at the cold water? What if I told you there are some options that you have available that you may not know about. I used to be an active scuba diver and in fact I had my own diving shop. I dove in the Florida keys and also did some cave diving. Some of my diving was in summer of course but also in the mid winter. The cave that I dove was frigid and we were told that the water came from melted snow in Colorado to exit in Texas in the bottom of a shallow central Texas creek. I used a wet suit which you can obtain from any dive shop but I will tell you a trick. If you choose that you should know that you need to bring a thermos full of warm water. The water is used to pour into your wet suit unless you want the cold water to flood the suit.
Metal Detect Like A Duck Hunter!
Some water hunters that I know use a dry suit which will keep you dry but they don’t work out too well. The other day I was hunting the beach and then decided to hunt the water. There was one of these detectorists that was hunting the wet sand and he watched me move into the water chest deep and look for rings. When I came out he came over to talk and I pulled off my hunting rig and he was shocked that just like James Bond in the 007 underwater movie I walked out dry! He had a wet suit and a dry suit and about every other thing that you can buy to water hunt including a water dredge but this was something new to him. I wore this sponge neoprene wader made by Frogg Toggs which came up under my arms and the neoprene wading boots also the same gear I use for duck season and it works like a champ! I just slip it on over my clothes and then when I am through hunting I just pull it off on the beach and drive home dry!
Never give up and never give in because the adventure is equal to the treasure and I value the adventure and the friends that I have made as greater than any treasure that I could ever find. Many people loose the adventure when they grow older and grow comfortable and may consider that a good tradeoff but, I believe that adventure keeps you young and alive no matter how many years you have lived and it keeps you expanding instead of contracting and in my experience there is a better quality of life when you choose to take moderate risks and find again the excitement of discovery and the wonder of this life that has yet to be fulfilled.