It’s summertime and that means that in some parts of the country it's unfortunately unbearably hot out. Here in Tucson, the temperatures are topping out at over a hundred degrees each day and that makes it hard to get outside and do outdoorsy stuff. While we Tucsonans are pretty spoiled by the mild climate in the other three seasons, summer can be brutally hot – like stepping out of your front door into an oven on some days.

While most detectorists will be either at the beach or enjoying the beautiful countryside like in the image below. The high temperatures in the daytime make it hard to even run to the grocery store, let alone go out for hours metal detecting here in the Sonoran desert. But we have still been able to make some short hunting trips and have learned a few things about metal detecting in the heat of the summer.

Go Early or Late          

It’s getting light by about 5:30 a.m. here, and the temperatures at that time are around 75 degrees – much better than 102 or more. If we get out early, we can get in a couple of hours of hunting before it heats up too much. The evenings are also great, once the sun has moved low in the sky. Even though the temperature is still close to its high for the day, when we’re out of direct sunlight it isn’t too bad. But, there is a much smaller window in the evening because it does get dark quickly – which is when a lot of the desert critters come out.

Wear Sunscreen

This tip isn’t just for metal detecting in the southwest, it’s for all the time. My husband and I are both fair-skinned, so it’s essential that we wear sunscreen anytime we plan to be outside for more than 15 or 20 minutes. It’s easy to get caught up metal detecting and spending more time at it than we had planned, so we make sure that we’re covered before we set out.

Dress Appropriately

Light-colored, light-weight clothing is best when you’re hiking around in the desert looking for buried treasure. I see a lot of people wearing UV protective clothing, but I just like loose-fitting short sleeves and long pants. There are lots of prickly things in the desert, so wearing long pants and good shoes (not my usual flip-flops) is key to returning home without scratches and cuts. Also, wide-brimmed hats or our Adams Extreme Outdoor Hats that are well ventilated will help block out the hot sun.

Take Lots of Water

Tucson is dry – you’ve probably heard the saying, “But it’s a dry heat,” before, and it’s true. Until the monsoon season gets here in July and August, we have very little humidity. It’s easy for people to dehydrate in the summer without even realizing it’s happening until it’s too late. If you are going to be spending time outside metal detecting in the summer, think carefully about how much water you think you will need, and then double it.

Watch Out for the Wildlife

If you heed my first tip above and venture out detecting in the early morning or evening, be aware that it’s the same time a lot of desert dwellers venture out too. Snakes, spiders, javelina, and even bobcats and mountain lions enjoy those times of the day too. So, keep your eyes on more than just the few inches around where you are swinging your detector.

Summer Doesn’t Mean Staying Inside

While I won’t plan any detecting trips in the middle of the day, when I plan to get out and hunt following the above tips, I can still get my detecting fix satisfied.