Fodder From the Flood Zone…

StoutinitialsHere in Texas nothing minimal ever happens….it’s all or nothing, as in the last two days of continual rain. Of course it’s been six weeks since the last drop, so I am not complaining.  If all goes well, the  foundation will shift back to where it should be, and all the doors will square up and close. The wet stuff is supposed to continue throughout the day and into tomorrow, thanks to Hurricane Patricia, which beat the hell out of Mexico yesterday.  The weather however has been very conducive to writing, and the book is coming along nicely.  Add in a glass or two of red,  and all is well….

Wish I could say I have been out detecting, but I have not.  Went out two weeks ago tomorrow and found a handful of clad and a small pen knife.  Nothing at all worth taking a photo of.  Then again just what is worthy of a photo in cyberspace?  Anyway the rain should be good for Texas tekkies, and just maybe I will venture out into the wilds of the Dallas suburbs one day next week.



John Howland just sent along the following….thanks Bubba.


howlandscriptIt is the easiest thing in the world to be hungry, thirsty, cold, and wet on a day’s treasure hunting on a remote part of the coast. With just a little thought, that day out you planned for yourself can be made a tad more enjoyable, even bearable, if you just plan things right.

Comfort and Food…

It’s well to remember that even in the depths of winter, cold food is just as nutritious as hot food – though cold food is a real morale killer and who the hell wants to eat a salad in January? Nevertheless, cold food will keep you alive, though as a morale booster it doesn’t even come anywhere near shoulder level.

To this end, especially when I’m doing a remote coastal spot in late autumn (Fall), or winter, I always carry an ultra-lightweight butane gas stove; an aluminium backpacker’s kettle, and a litre of water, as there’s little more reviving than a mug of freshly brewed tea/coffee/instant soup when the temperature is freezing the extremities. It’s one of detecting’s greatest pleasures…well, almost.

One other thing….despite the vicious rumour that I’m known to like a dram or three, I NEVER sup hard liquor when out hunting – it lowers body temperature opening you up to hypothermia. Whisky when you get home, NEVER when hunting.

The day’s rations usually takes the form of an apple, 4-ozs of cheese, a flapjack bar, boiled fruit sweets, and a bar of chocolate. Alternatively, assorted Pot Noodles do the biz too and weigh almost nothing. I also take along an unbreakable plastic drinking mug, inside which I’ve packed re-sealable plastic food bags containing a couple of Oxo cubes (for beef tea), tea/coffee bags, dried milk powder and plastic spoon. I have sometimes substituted some of these items for one of those packs of self-heating food packs (chilli and rice, or curry and rice).

On those parts of the shipwreck-strewn coast down my way where gold and silver coins are not unknown, I limit my all-up backpack weight to around 8-lbs (to include litre water weighing one kilogram…2.2-lbs). I stay well clear of those heavy stainless steel flasks.

Inside the backpack there’s a basic First Aid kit; penknife; mobile phone (with camera facility); spare ultra-lightweight headphones; a waterproof cape folding to the size of cigarette pack; a space blanket; toilet paper; spare battery pack; small torch; mini-binoculars, long-nose pliers; a heavy-duty chrome-finish screwdriver, and a tide table. I’ve recently added a small hand-held orange smoke distress flare.

On the Move

So what do I carry all this life-saving gear in? Well, once in a while a piece of ancillary equipment comes onto the metal detecting market that makes you wonder how you managed to do without it and that’s exactly how it is with Garrett’s backpack. It’s a well thought piece of kit; a fact that becomes evident on closer inspection. Other backpacks are available from other manufacturers but I know nothing about them so I’m describing what I use.


Made from waterproof, heavy-duty ‘cammo’ pattern nylon, measuring 19” x 13.5,” it sports two main zippered compartments with three internal pockets along with an internal spring-clip for safe storage of one’s car keys. The backpack is comfortably padded at the pressure points where it comes into contact with the body and the weight distribution and balance are perfect.

To increase carrying comfort, the adjustable shoulder straps are well padded and there’s a sternum chest strap with a quick release buckle. The waist strap can easily accommodate a finds pouch, trowel holster, and there’s a utility pouch for a spectacle case or mobile phone. On either side of the backpack are two exterior mesh pockets for drinks bottles. Delving into both zippered main compartments you’ll discover lots of internal pockets and nooks and crannies; some zippered.

The outside of the backpack sports MOLLE-type webbing grid to which ancillary coils (connected to their lower stems) can be easily and conveniently attached and this how I carry my 4.5” coil, used for end-on coins in low-water rock fissures (hence long-nose plier and screwdriver). Lower down, two quick-release straps enable an extra jacket or rainwear/cape to be carried. Usefully, there is a ‘D’-ring on each shoulder strap to which a bungee cord (supplied) for right or left-handed users can be clipped to offset the weight of one’s metal detector.

Always tell someone where you’ll be hunting and your estimated time of arrival back home, and familiarise yourself with the Twelfth’s Rule. Enjoy your day.


All I could picture after reading “Anyone Can Rough It” was the following photo of the author “roughing it” during a fishing trip in Scotland….D.S.




While nothing has been written in stone, it appears that the call to action by the Task Force and FMDAC changed a few minds in Mason City, Iowa.  The down side is that they are going to institute a permit system for detectorists.  To read more click HERE.



A few of my Facebook tekkie friends mentioned a company named Grave Digger, so I Googled the name and came up with the following video.  A great example of “video-itis”, and while the product may be terrific, the brand name is not exactly reflective of who we are.  Now go ahead…beat me up!


I ordered a chicken and an egg from Amazon. I will let you know……



Filed under Metal Detecting

12 responses to “Fodder From the Flood Zone…

  1. david glover

    At least they didn’t name it the grave robber !!

  2. Angelika

    Stay safe Dick and Digger!

  3. jbkeefer

    Nice post!

    Im not saying anything…whats the point anymore?

    Looking forward to book, hope there is lots of nudity.


  4. Doug Frantz

    I’m one of those who thinks permits are not a bad thing. There is a permit system in my local area which was started before I got into detecting. Works great as far as I’m concerned. To get a permit, a club has to sign off, indicating that you can properly dig and fill holes. A few rules, nothing unreasonable.

  5. I agree with much of what Doug says about permits. What always worries me however when it comes to permits, is they can be withdrawn, and the mechanism for that withdrawal must be negotiable and written in to the agreement between the club and City Hall. Provided that say, the local archaeology busybody with a hatred of the hobby cannot wield undue influence to derail the system, then so be it.

    If payment for a permit is involved we have to ask ‘why?’ What happens to the money raised? Without satisfactory answers, then such payment is a local tax on the hobby. Why have hobbyists been singled for taxation when say, golfers, and model plane flyers for example are not?

  6. I use the same backpack, works great! And it’s camo, and we know Dick loves camo!

  7. Digging History

    Hello Dick, I think I could do with a few lessons on how to be properly prepared, when I’m out, JH’s little article is good advice.
    I hope you soon get out detecting Dick, you deserve it 🙂

    Best regards James

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