While most detectorists are well aware of the riches they can find while hunting along the coastlines, a lesser known place to look for treasure is along the shores of rivers and even in the rivers.
Hunting for treasure in rivers isn’t for the faint of heart though. You’ll encounter a lot of obstacles in your hunt and you’ll uncover a lot of junk. Let’s look at the equipment you’ll need to get started.
A metal detector isn’t mandatory equipment for river hunting, you can do it without one. I personally always prefer to have a detector with me when I’m doing river hunts. It can help you narrow in on areas that have a lot of signals.
But when you’re looking in or along rivers, you’re going to have a lot of targets anyway. From dropped phones, coins and fishing hooks, having plenty of targets won’t be the issue. Avoiding the junk and finding the good stuff is the biggest problem and a metal detector can help you do that.
If you’re going to take a detector with you, make sure you find a waterproof one.
Knife or Scissors
You should never go underwater hunting in the river without a knife or scissors on you. You can easily get tangled up in fishing line or vegetation while you’re under. If you don’t have a knife with you to cut your way out, that could be the last dive you’ll ever do.
Snorkel and Goggles
You want to keep that river water out of your eyes as much as possible so make sure you invest in some quality goggles.
A snorkel that can help you keep your face in the water while still allowing you to breath is also a necessity. It’s a lot easier to stay on your target if you keep your face underwater and don’t take your eyes off the prize.
You’ll want tall waterproof boots if you only plan to wade into the water. But if you’re going to dive right in, you’ll need something to protect you against that cold river water. A dry suit can be a great addition to your treasure hunting gear if you spend much time river hunting, especially in the cooler months.
You don’t want the next thing someone pulls out of that river to be your frozen corpse because you didn’t dress appropriately for conditions.
You never know when you’re going to need to shine some extra light on a subject. A good waterproof light can be invaluable at the river.
With the murky waters, you might not end up seeing much even with your flashlight, but at least the light can come in handy when you try to identify the years on faded old coins.
Depending how long you go under the water for, you may want to bring a small air tank, especially if you aren’t great at holding your breath for very long. If you aren’t planning to go too deep into the river, this may be a non-issue. But speaking from experience, it can get really tiring quickly making repeated trips underwater with no air tank.
Hand Trowel or Scoop
If you have a detector, you’ll need something to help you dig your good targets. Even if you don’t use a metal detector, a good scoop can help you pry things out of the ground underwater and fight the muddy conditions on the riverfront.
You should keep a phone nearby in case you run into any emergencies while you’re hunting. It’s better to be prepared for anything that comes your way.