Metal Detecting Slow and Low
The term 'Slow and Low'. You often read the importance of this term, but how many of us do it. I have to admit I once was guilty of it and if I'm to be really honest still am a little. My problem is lack of good permissions. The only chance I get to have a go on a good site like a farm is either on a club dig, a rally or an invite to detecting buddies permissions. The urge I get is to try every field, after all I'm only there for the day so want to cover it all. Why is it the adjoining field always looks better than the one your in.
The night before a dig I've filled my head with all the great metal detecting treasure and old coins I'm going to find tomorrow. I work myself up so much I get a knot in my stomach and can't sleep. Then in the morning I'm up very early just counting the hours to set off to the dig. At a dig like a club one or a rally you listen to any prep talk but my feet are already in the starting blocks for the off. After the speech maker says those final words, "Ok, thats covered everything, enjoy all and good luck", whooooooooosh, I'm off, knocking fellow detectorists out the way screaming "OUT THE WAY LET THE DOG SEE THE HARE". Walking so fast you could say I was jogging, and looking behind to make sure I'm up front.
Once at the first gate you leap over it, no time to open it as that wastes good detecting time and I'm only there for the day. Walking at a pace like I'm late for work or an appointment I'm swinging my detector side to side, up and down, round and round looking for that old coin or bit of treasure. I tell you, its dangerous to detect within 5 feet of me. After half an hour of finding nothing but trash that old thought pops in your head, 'maybe that next field is better', 'yea', 'looks like there used to be a Roman Fort in there', 'bound to be full of treasure', so I leap over the gate and start again. On and on it goes, running round like a headless chicken. At the end of the day you hear about all the good finds that had been found, and find out they all came from that first field...D'OH... 'knew I should have stayed there'.
OK, I exaggerated a bit up there, but you get my drift. I'm not half that bad now but still a bit guilty of rushing it. My last club dig was no exception. We entered the first field and there was a lot of signals showing there was human activity over the years, but ahead of me was a massive hill, highest hill for miles around and in my eyes it did look a good spot for a Roman Fort or Outpost and I 'slowly' made my way up there. I did find a 1930s Sixpence on the way up. At the top a couple of decimal coins were found but no old coins.
There were already a couple of other members up there and we were slowly joined by others. Looking down below the majority of members were in that first field all detecting away in a group. I slowly detected my way down moving to my left and tried another lower field and then another. At the end of the day the best finds DID come from that first field and I DID think I wished I had stayed there.
When I think back to how many times that has happened. On my next dig I'm going to really adopt the slow and low method,. Funny thing is I know it works and is the best way to go. Its just remembering it and sticking to it. Think I'll stick a sign on my machine where I can see it that says, 'REMEMBER, SLOW AND LOW'.
You can see what I mean about the slow side of it. On the low side it makes sense when you think about it. If your detecting 3 inches off the top of the ground that's 3 inches depth into the ground your losing. As older coins are normally deeper those 3 inches are important so keep your coil low as possible to the ground.