The BasicsGloves- A good pair of gloves is a necessity. Buried shards of glass and sharp rusty metal are only two reasons to wear gloves. A tiny cut can lead to big problems since much of the Earth’s surface is a melting pot of miniature microbes. It is the smaller dangers that you should worry about. Several very dangerous pathogens lurk in the same soil you will find yourself sifting through for a coin. A single gram of soil may harbor up to 40-million different bacterial cells. Such infections from cholera, tetanus, hook worm, E. coli, to anthrax are documented each year due to some sort of soil born illness. Wearing gloves can help avoid most of these hazards.
What kind of glove do you use for metal detecting? I recommend a breathable light weight but tough glove that fits well. It should also have some sort of closure or elastic wrist band (otherwise you are shaking dirt out of it all day). I recommend something with a leather palm to protect from sharp objects better. I like to use the Mechanic’s Glove like you see in the picture to the left. Sometimes I will only have one glove on my digging hand. This way I can access other devices such as a my (camera, detector, gps, walkie, etc.) easier with my free hand. Regardless of the type of glove this is one piece of gear you should always have with you when metal detecting.
Glasses – Obviously if you are out side in the searing sun for any length of time it is wise to protect your eyes. But the big danger when metal detecting comes when you are actually not using your eyes. It will happen to you. You are walking slowly along swinging your metal detector intently focused on the multitude of sounds and readouts being thrown at you…looking down. All of the sudden you find yourself entangled in a low hanging branch. It is bad enough if you hit your head but jabbing yourself in the eye can put a damper on the trip and worse could cause serious permanent injury. If you are in shady area you may consider some protective glasses or shooting glasses. If you forget the glasses just be careful, know our surroundings, and look up frequently.
Boots - Not only does a good pair of boots keep your feet warm, dry, and comfortable, the right pair can help protect from serious injury. When detecting around old home sites, privys, or even in a scrappy area, you will most likely encounter countless nails. Nails can be discriminated from a metal detector but the nails do not discriminate when deciding which shot to puncture. Healthy feet are important to metal detecting and overall comfort of life. Wearing a good quality boot with thick soles or better yet a metal shank in the sole will help protect this vital body part.