Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on Detecting365 in 2013. Since that time, it has received over 26,000 views. We cannot figure out why.
You may spend days or even weeks excited about an upcoming hunt only to find out at the last second that your wife or significant other has other plans for you during that time. Maybe she just complains about how much time you are spending detecting and you feel bad about going. Maybe you cannot upgrade to a newer, perhaps significantly more expensive detector without fear of her freaking out at the purchase.
Presented here for your approval are are five simple ways to completely change the way the “old ball and chain” sees detecting:
1) Make a concerted effort to find jewelry for her
She loves jewelry, and you may despise buying jewelry for her. Its expensive. You don’t know what to select. Time to kill two birds with one stone.
Make sure you understand how jewelry shows up on your metal detector. If you are experienced but typically hunt with much discrimination check again. If necessary, consult the manual and the forums for tips on hunting jewelry with your machine include the typical readings for various silver and gold rings.
Dump her jewelry box out in the yard and see how various items show up on your detector. Though many silver items show up in the coin range, gold and cheap thin jewelry may show up in the pull tab range or other areas you may normally discriminate out. Finding the good stuff usually entails digging more trash, but the thrill of hitting an occasional gold item is well worth the extra work.
And Anywhere you normally hunt for coins is a good place to hunt for jewelry. The cool thing is the site doesn’t have to be “old” to yield some good jewelry. Beaches, parks, and ball fields are some of the best places to find jewelry. Along sidewalks and in the yards of homes are great too.
OMG! OMG! OMG!
Many detectorists have a hard time parting with their finds or want to sell expensive jewelry and gold for their value. You can still sell or display items that don’t suit her fancy. And the items she does keep are going to look much better on her then sitting in your display case. It is not just gold and silver either. Often inexpensive rings and other jewelry may have an appeal due to their age and the fact that you found them for her.
A couple of pieces of jewelry from now, she is going to be thinking of detecting as a service you are providing to her instead of just you goofing off to stay away from her (even if the latter is closer to the truth).
2) Take her detecting with you
Lots of detectorists eliminate the kitchen pass issue by taking the wife with them. The primary overhead on this of course is training the wife to use the detector. You want her to have a good time and not get bored or frustrated.
You absolutely do not have to have a second detector to take the wife with you. If you do have a spare, letting her detect alone may not be the best approach until she learns the ropes..or maybe not at all. You can “leapfrog”. You take turns swinging and digging. You go until you find a target, mark the spot, and then pass the detector to her. She searches for the next target while you are recovering the current target. Then she passes the detector back to you while she digs. This can be fun for a lot of reasons. You’ll find you dig a lot more targets during the detecting session. Why? Because usually you can’t swing and dig at the same time. While leapfrogging, you are, in effect, doing both at the same time. Leapfrogging is also good if the wife is clingy and doesn’t like to detect separately and alone. Also something about the synergy of working together seems to lead to better finds.
Another great thing about detecting with the old lady is enjoying a little friendly competition. Make a small wager on who recovers the best find of the day. Perhaps who cooks dinner, or a big “romantic” wager is in order if you catch my drift. And don’t be surprised that, even though you are so much more experienced and better at detecting than her, that she regularly finds the best item. In fact, it is in your best interest that she finds the best item!
Why is hunting with the spouse better than hunting with a buddy? Easy – because generally you get to keep EVERYTHING you both find!!!!
By taking her detecting with you, she will understand your hobby better and see why you are so excited about it. She likely will only want to come with you on occasion, but will be more sympathetic when you need that kitchen pass.
3) Add your clad to her grocery budget or “fun money”
If you are one of those hunters primarily seeking silver, relics or jewelry, you probably see clad (coins with little or no numismatic value beyond face) as a nuisance. Many detectorists may find a couple of bucks worth of clad or more during a good session. Set up a mason jar in the kitchen and dump your clad in there. When it is near full, let her clean it and take it to the coin machine at grocery store and spend it on whatever she wants to allocate it for.
Feel free to laugh maniacally, because you hold all the cards.
4) Track the value of your finds and share them with her
Whether or not you sell your finds, Keep track of the total value of what you find during each session (Handwritten logbook or Excel spreadsheet for example). You can estimate the value of certain items you don’t sell by consulting eBay for same or similar items. This is not only good for sharing with the spouse to help her see how your detecting is contributing to the family in terms of revenue or assets, but also is a great motivational tool. You may find yourself detecting harder and smarter to keep from coming home empty-handed.
Keep in mind that lots of finds may have a historical and/or sentimental value even if the item is worthless in monetary terms, so tracking their dollar value is only one measurement of detecting success.
5) Take one of the kids with you.
Winner! Front line! Two birds decimated with a single stone yet again. The wife is relieved of responsibility of one of the kids, and sees you graciously spending quality time with one of them! Even if you have a second detector, you may want to use the leapfrogging approach described above to avoid the kid getting frustrated, and to have the most productive detecting session possible.
All kidding aside, what your significant other thinks about detecting definitely affects your goals and results. Feeling guilty for being out detecting can absolutely ruin a hunt and adversely affect your concentration. Being angry because you are cleaning out the garage when you are supposed to be detecting is no fun either. Also, consider attempting to balance your detecting hours with other family responsibilities. After all, if you detect too much, you can experience burnout and mental fatigue. By balancing detecting with the rest of your life, you will find that you are hungrier for detecting and develop a fever to get out there again. And when you are detecting with a clear mind and with excitement, you are going to have some of your best hunts.
Kitchen pass granted!
Dig Deeper: Interested in additional ideas for getting permission to hunt new sites? Check out these articles: