Late last summer a National Geographic product rep contacted me and asked to work together. I jumped all over that, because, it’s National Geographic and we love that brand! Shortly after they sent me their National Geographic Pro Series Metal Detector and Sand Scoop with Shovel set my PR rep ghosted me and I haven’t heard from him again! I REALLY wanted to share this product though and I’ll tell you why. My kids have obsessed over those metal detecting shows they watch on the History and Discovery channels, but so many metal detectors are just junk. We have purchased cheap metal detectors in the past and every single time they ended up in the trash. We were always afraid to invest in a nice one because no one we knew had any knowledge about metal detectors! So let me share our experience with you!
Take a Closer Look – Unboxing the National Geographic Metal Detector:
Adventures with our Metal Detector:
Believe it or not we were SO excited to receive the National Geographic Pro Series metal detector that we literally planned an entire road trip around it! I’m not kidding! We first received it at the end of summer so it was perfect for one last fling up to northern Michigan. We decided to spend a day as a family at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park (you cannot metal detect there) and then a day over at a small state park in Cadillac Michigan on the beach where you CAN metal detect!
This Pro Series metal detector folds up pretty darn flat which was great because it nestled nicely in the trunk of our van around our camping gear. PLUS – get this – you CAN use the Pro Series metal detector in the water!!! It has a 10″ WATERPROOF detection coil so you can run it along the shoreline at a beach or lake! It will also detect metal up to 12 inches deep!
**TIP: Unfortunately we quickly found out that you CAN NOT metal detect in a LOT of places! Who knew!? PLEASE do your research before heading to your local park or beach to go metal detecting! I was able to find state parks that listed the allowance of metal detecting on their website!
Although we have all used the metal detector in my family, my 11 year old son is the most obsessed. To this day he still goes outside on our property and the creek down the road and goes on treasure hunts. He ALWAYS finds something. It’s as simple as it sounds. Turn it on, swing it evenly just off of the ground around where you are looking, and wait for the beeps! The display panel will tell you what type of “hit” or find you are discovering. It does also have a pinpoint location option on it but we still want to get a handheld pinpoint metal detecting device like the guys on The Curse of Oak Island.
When National Geographic told me they were sending me a Sand Scoop and shovel set I wasn’t really sure why anyone would spend $20 on the set – until I actually used it. Holy smokes it’s fantastic! It is NOT flimsy even the slightest. This is a tough plastic hard core sand scooping set! No joke! We would not have been as successful at the beach without it, that’s for sure! If you’re going to metal detect on a beach I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend this set and can’t say enough great things about it. It’s absolutely worth it.
For the first few hours we were finding hot targets all over the place in the water! We pulled out rusty nails and all sorts of other pieces of metal that you would NOT have wanted to walk on in the water! After a few hours I think our detector got a little water logged as we were having some issues with it pinging all over the place. Once we started metal detecting on the sand though we had no issues. So maybe give your detector a break from the water every hour or so!
**TIP: Once you’ve rinsed your scooping bucket in the water shuffle out it’s contents in a straight line across the shore to make it easier to narrow down what you are detecting.
What We Found Metal Detecting at the Beach:
UH Yeah, that’s exactly what you think it is! 2 bullet casings! Literally right on the shoreline at the water’s edge. It gave me a bit of a creepy feeling wondering who was shooting off rounds at the beach HOWEVER I’d have to admit that it was definitely the coolest find of the day at the beach! Metal detecting at the beach also really brought to light to my children the trash that is all around us that we don’t even see!
We found fishing lures, rusty nails, a few coins, and all sorts of metal trash pieces. Make sure when you’re detecting to bring two ziploc bags – one for trash and one for treasures!
Check out this MAGNETIC SAND at a California Beach!!!:
Metal Detecting in our Backyard:
After our massive success metal detecting on the Michigan beaches my boys were HOT to TROT to get home and start metal detecting everywhere else! Adjacent to our property is a small wooded area, and a creek that runs through town. My kids have spent HOURS and probably days worth of time scouring and metal detecting in these locations. In fact they were finding so many “treasures” that I had to put a limit on how much rusty metal I would allow in the house – haha! Again, it gave them a new appreciation for not throwing trash out into creek beds and the woods!
This particular tree that you see my boys digging in above is a favorite hot spot for my children. It seems as though perhaps in a past life that there may have been a treehouse back there!
At the base of that tree they have found vintage doorknobs like the one shown above, hinges, door covers, and plenty of nails.
We learned through metal detecting and talking to some local town folk that the creek was once a popular dumping site for old buildings and trash. The town has been around since the 1700’s so we have found a ton of (amazing!) hand stamped historic bricks from the 1800’s and other vintage treasures there. Some of the metal finds my children have found are the above vintage Chicago Motor Club compact mirror case, an old Bentley grill plate, vintage car wipers and other parts, mattress coils, and plenty of other things that I don’t know what they go to! We’re still searching for an old church with stain glass windows that have supposedly been dumped in the creek – so I’ll keep you posted!
Tips for Metal Detecting with Kids:
*1 bag for treasure + 1 bag for trash
*ALWAYS wear shoes!
*Set rules and boundaries!
*Never leave an open hole – always fill it in!
*Understand the rules & request permission as needed.
*NEVER touch anything dangerous (needles, guns, etc.)
*You can’t always keep your finds (historical significance, etc.)