Beachcombing, For Once Have A Good Reason To Stick Your Head In The Sand!
Beachcombing actually can be divided into two categories. Those of us that spend some vacation time or just freetime to scour the beaches for treasures that in many cases only we would love. The second category includes those people that choose this as a lifestyle. Either way, it is all about harvesting from the rocky or sandy shores those items which are of some value. Most of the items we collect have no monetary value but only have value as a curiosity or as some artistic item.
Since much of the worlds population live inland, away from the coastline, this pastime is a weekend or vacation activity. If you have never tried it, I highly recommend it as a fun and relaxing activity. A few years ago my wife and I spent a few weeks traveling up the California, Oregon and Washington state coastline. This was actually my first encounter with an ocean. It was a great experience, watching the waves, picking up driftwood oddities, seashells, and many other strange and wonderful pieces of sea junk. I can't wait to go back again!
The serious beachcomber will tell you that the best time to hit the sandy shores is right after a storm has rolled in off the ocean, or a extraordinary high tide or even a large surf swell. Objects usually wash up onto, and sometimes into, the sand when they are caught in a storm that pushed them to the shore.
Generally the best time to arrive is just after the crowds of people begin to leave for the afternoon. It will be easier if you don't have to work around beach blankets, umbrellas and sunbathers. Often times even the swimmers and sunbathers leave things behind that you can add to your treasure chest. Of course, it is up to you to decide if the items you find need to be turned in to a lost and found so that the rightful owner can get them back. In most cases though, the things you find will not fall into that category.
Metal detectors are a popular tool for this pastime. These devices come in all sizes, shapes and capabilities. Typically, the more you spend on a metal detector the better it is. At some point on the cost scale, metal detectors become water proof which is an important feature when beachcombing near the ocean. Shop around for the best price and which models give you the capabilities you want. Also, don't be afraid to check out the classified ads for good used bargains.
In addition to your metal detector you will likely want a few other tools to make your beachcombing pastime more productive. These might include:
Headphones for your detector
Some type of sand sifter
A probe, a long screwdriver like tool
A bucket for holding your treasures
A garden trowel for digging
As you can see, the tool list is not lengthy and certainly not expensive, except for the metal detector. And, before I forget, you can use your metal detector and tools to treasure hunt in parks, campgrounds and picnic areas when you are not hanging out at the beach. Look around, anywhere you see people hanging out is a potential treasure site. I imagine we have all heard of the people with metal detectors finding gold or diamond rings. Maybe true, but I think most of the time people don't lose such items. At least not for me to find!
Keeping a treasure log is another way to increase your satisfaction with this pastime. As you find objects during your beachcombing trips you simply jot down what you found, when and where. After awhile, you will get a good feeling about the places and type of places that get you the best results.
You may also want to take along a book guide of sea shells and sea life for those beach trips. Sea life you run across during your walking are just that much more interesting when you know what they are.
So thats beachcombing in a nutshell. Hit the sandy shores and relax. Like I said earlier, this is one time it is aright to metaphorically stick your head in the sand!
Other descriptors include beach fun, treasure hunting, drift wood hunting and fun hobbies.
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