There is something about the thrill of finding lost or hidden treasure and uncovering that object that may have been left there centuries ago. Metal detecting has a real appeal to so many people but often there can be a fear that taking your child out on an unpredicted treasure hunt could result in them coming home empty-handed. Let’s face it, you never want to see your child being disappointed. However, there is a way to prevent them from experiencing the lows of not uncovering anything which is to organize metal detecting seeded hunts.
What are Metal Detecting Seeded Hunts?
Metal detecting seeded hunts are where you place metal objects in the ground in advance for others to find with a metal detector. Then, you have the enjoyment of watching them find the treasure and seeing their face light up as they unearth their new discovery.
The organizer may know everything that is to be discovered, but the participants are oblivious as to where things are located, what is to be found, and how many items actually exist. It is this ‘unknown’ factor that creates excitement and enjoyment in this at-home activity and can really make a good family-bonding experience.
How to Organize a Metal Detecting Seeded Hunt
Organizing your metal detecting seeded hunts is simple and only requires limited items and equipment to get you started. Considering the potential hours of fun that awaits, we recommend trying to gather together a wide range of items that your family members will be excited to discover, but more on that later.
So, how do you organize a family scavenger hunt? By following these three simple steps:
- Choose the location
- Choose the items
- Gathering the required equipment
Choose the Location
First, there’s the location and this won’t be a problem as a treasure hunt can take place in any location as long as your child can become that treasure hunting adventurer or digger, and has the ability to get down into the dirt and see what’s hiding there.
The area size is also not an issue. Even a small backyard can result in you being able to hide a number of things just waiting to be discovered. Of course, it may change the number of items you can hide so keep that in mind when you are thinking about where to place your hunt. You want items to be decently spread out and of varying degrees of difficulty to find. Hiding some items below plants, under the ground at slightly different depths will also be a great idea.
Choose the Items
You also need to think about the items that will be hidden. When doing this at home, you can easily incorporate a range of discoveries from items such as:
- A bottlecap
- A silver quarter or other coins
- Old toy cars
- Old cutlery
- Old metal tools
- Civil war items (if you have any available)
The list of things can get extensive. As long as they contain metal that can be detected by your metal detector, then they should be included on your list.
What we recommend is to have as wide a variety of items at your metal detecting seeded hunts with some being nothing more than junk while others have either a monetary or historical value. The aim here is to attempt to replicate the highs and lows of a real metal detecting adventure. You want to recreate the feeling of finding something, pinpointing it, digging it, and then at the last moment discovering if it was worth the adrenaline pumping, or not.
Of course, having this range of items will then allow you to spend time educating your child on what it is that they have discovered. In other words, it makes history far more interactive, and a whole lot more fun.
Also, if more than one child is going to be participating, then spread the objects evenly across an area and then allow them to search in their own unique spot. These types of metal detecting hunts are all about the fun aspect, but in this instance you want each child to be able to uncover some of the items just to prevent any problems.
Equipment Required for a Seeded Hunt
When it comes to equipment for your own seeded hunt in your backyard, then the list is relatively small. Of course, there’s a metal detector and this can be any brand from Garrett Metal Detectors, to Minelab Metal Detectors, and more. In addition, if you already own a pinpointer, then this can also be useful especially if you have included some smaller items in the hunt.
Optional items to include with your hunting gear are headphones as well as digging tools to help your child on their relic hunt. If the idea of digging is something you would prefer to avoid or even limit, then you can get around this problem by hiding items in longer grass or below the leaves of plants.
So, we recommend the following equipment to really make sure your treasure hunt goes off with a bang.
- A metal detector (of any kind)
- A pinpointer (if you have one)
- Items to hide
- A treasure finds box or bag for your child to use to store their discoveries
- A trowel for them to dig (if you have hidden the items below ground)
- Cleaning equipment to give them the ability to wash their discoveries
As you can see, this list of equipment is minimal, to say the least, but the enjoyment it can bring is huge. Also, you won’t be required to own an elaborate metal detector or pinpointer. Even a basic model, which is perfect for people being introduced to the hobby, is going to be ideal.
Making History and Education Fun
What we love about the concept of a seeded hunt is the way in which it provides you with such a wonderful chance to introduce anybody to history in a fun and inventive way. While adding in normal, everyday items to the hunt allows you to replicate the true nature of going on a metal detecting adventure, choosing the key items allows you to really control what it is that people will learn.
Imagine a civil war relic, or even something as simple as a musket ball. It allows you to bring back to life that aspect of society. A broken belt buckle from the 19th century allows you to talk about the way in which people dressed, and all while your child is holding a genuine item from that era in their hand.
That alone is a fantastic way to help them to connect with the past and it goes far beyond reading a book. Also, thanks to the Internet, it’s easy to find various items to include.
Competition Hunts for Treasure Hunters
Running a seeded hunt is not only for individuals seeking to amuse and educate their children. Instead, competition hunts for clubs and interested treasure hunters can also be another possibility. Add in that some clubs will run them especially for children to help get them introduced to this as a hobby, and what you have is a larger hunt that could even have bigger prizes or discoveries waiting to be found.
These competition hunts may include an entry fee, but there are prizes awarded to the competition winners at the end. In this setting, a competition hunt involves the organizers establishing a treasure hunting area where pre-hidden artifacts are placed. Do note that the idea of it being a competition may not apply when a hunt is aimed more at children. Then, it’s all about the fun of finding things rather than having them compete against one another. Your local metal detecting club should be able to advise you on this.
Also, a fee is often required as that is what funds the purchase of new silver coins or other items that are then placed within the hunt area. This fee may also be used to cover the cost of a raffle that will often be in operation for everyone taking part. You may also find that there is a food stall at these competition hunts, so it can easily become a day-long experience for the entire family.
We recommend that you contact your local metal detector club to determine if they either hold seeded hunts themselves or if they are aware of any that operate in and around your local area.
Different Types of Treasure Hunts
It’s easy to organize different types of treasure hunts with various end goals. It doesn’t always have to be focused on who finds the most buried treasure within a specific timeframe. Instead, you may wish to organize different hunts such as:
- Who finds the most coins
- Who finds the most trash
- Who finds the oldest item
- Metal detecting bingo
- Who has the most valuable find
- Who has the smallest find (for accuracy and pinpointing competition)
This is all about giving the competitors the opportunity to test their metal detectors and their own individual skill at uncovering items that they know are within a set area. Of course, if you are only running this hunt for a family-bonding experience, then perhaps merely telling your family members how many items are waiting to be discovered will be enough competition for them.
More Than Just the Competition
A seeded hunt created for clubs or for a number of potential new hobbyists to come together is about more than just the competition. Instead, it provides people with the opportunity to show off their recent discoveries such as a civil war relic uncovered the previous week. It allows people to discuss new metal detectors or metal detecting accessories that they feel has made a real difference to their experience. Also, it provides club members with a fun way of coming together and spending time with others who share the same hobby.
Detectorists enjoy being around like-minded people and club hunts can be a great way of checking out which metal detector is performing the best. Is the latest metal detector by Garrett coming up to the standards they expect? Is the old Minelab detector still performing and helping you to get those discoveries that are at depth?
If you are new to the whole idea of metal detecting, then going to check out a seeded hunt can also help you understand the process of a metal detecting hunt and what happens when that signal is triggered and the detectorist has to get to work unearthing the discovery. With children, it can also provide them with the opportunity to learn the experiences of the metal detecting hobby. Don’t be surprised if it triggers a sense of excitement and desire to check it out for themselves, so being aware of the best metal detector for kids in advance could be useful.
As you can see, a seeded treasure hunt can be a wonderful way to introduce some new activities to your child while also providing you with an opportunity to teach them more about history. It feeds into a natural excitement surrounding uncovering treasure. The story that you attach to the treasure buried around your yard is going to be entirely up to you. Be as creative as you like, but remember to throw some history facts about those civil war discoveries that they can carry around for the rest of their lives.