Tips and Tricks

By · March 22, 2010 · Filed in Meteorite Hunting Tips and Tricks

As with any hobby, there are tips and tricks to meteorite hunting that can help make it more enjoyable as well as enable you to have a better chance of finding what you are looking for! Listed below are some tips and tricks to help you in this hobby. By keeping the following in mind, you can better increase your chances of making an awesome find, as well as have an awesome time doing it!

1. Be informed. By reading some books, websites, or blogs about meteorites and meteorite hunting (Click here to see books available in my store), you are learning more about how meteorites have come to be, what they look like, and how to search for them.

2. Know the area. The best and hardest thing to find are strewn field maps. When you come across them save them, like in a journal. Newer recognized strewn fields are kept secret by meteorite hunters to keep the finds to themselves as long as possible. The book Rocks from Space by O.Richard Norton has many older Strewn field maps in it. Some of the best places to hunt meteorites is where they have already been found! Find topographical maps or visit your local conservation office to review maps so that you can choose a better hunting location. Some locations are better than others for hunting (like dry lake beds), so you want to be sure you take the time to choose the place that gives you a better chance of making a find. Also ALWAYS ask permission from the land owners before you hunt on private property!!! And contact you local BLM to hunt public property.

3. Be prepared. Depending upon your hunting location, you will need different types of clothing. Be sure that your clothing will protect you properly from the conditions that will be present in your hunting environment. Also, when you are purchasing gear, like metal detectors, be sure to choose good quality gear. You do not have to have top-dollar equipment when you are just starting out, but you do not want the cheapest, discount-store models either. A few more dollars invested at the start can help you have a more successful and fun experience.

4. Metal Detectors. No two meteorite hunters agree on one metal detector. BUT most will agree on a type – a gold metal detector. I own a Fisher Gold Bug Metal detector. Soon I will be upgrading to the Fisher Gold Bug 2! The reason gold metal detectors are favored is that they do not discriminate metal (some other types of detectors see iron as trash which is what meteorites are made of and wont sound off), and they are VERY sensitive with deep ground penetration.

5. GPS and 2-Way Radios. Here, in my opinion the best handheld GPS is Garmin. 2-way radios are needed when hunting with someone for obvious reasons. I have no favorite with them, BUT Garmin makes a GPS/2-way radio!!! less items to carry. Its the Garmin Rino 530HCx 2-Way Radio With GPS/FRS/GMRS.

6. Rare Earth Magnets. This is a back saver! Not only do you need one of these to check to see if your find might be a meteorite, but you will want one to pick up your find so you don’t have to bend over every time you see a possible meteorite! Remember, there are allot more meteorwrongs than meteorites out there!!! You will want to attach your rare earth magnet to a walking stick or pick axe to reach down and snag the find. I haven’t got to try this out yet and i don’t think anyone had thought of this yet but in my Meteorite Hunting Store I have some magnetic sweepers that are mounted on push/pull carts or hang from a bumper of your truck or atv that are used in construction to pick up metal debris like nails and such, should be able to pick up meteorites too!!! I think this would be best used in areas that have allot of rocks that make it impossible to visually distinguish between terrestrial rock and meteorites.

4. Plan ahead. After taking time to learn about meteorites, meteorite hunting, and the terrain and conditions that you will encounter, you need to invest some time in planning your hunting trip. Start by making a checklist of the gear, clothing, and safety equipment you will need. Don’t forget to make accommodations for high-energy snacks for stamina and plenty of liquids to keep you hydrated, especially if you are planning on visiting a desert location.

5. Join a group. Especially if you are new to meteorite hunting, rather than adventuring alone or with other novice hunters, it is advisable to look into joining a group that is taking a meteorite hunting trip. These are led by more experienced hunters or experts in the field. Attending a trip such as these will allow you to learn the basics, while gaining a plethora of knowledge and tips for better hunting, which can only be learned through experience or from listening to those that are more experienced.

6. Talk to other hunters. There are a good number of meteorite hunters out there. Many of them have websites or even online forums. There may even be some clubs in your area that have regular meetings. Through interactions or membership with these groups or clubs, you again have a chance to learn from the experience of others, while getting to know people who share a common interest.

So, keep these tips in mind and you will see that your interest in meteorite-hunting will grow, as the enjoyment you receive from this hobby increases. A little knowledge can go a long way… and may even lead to you finding a meteorite; and that is your primary goal when you join in on the fun and excitment this hobby has to offer.

Here’s to the Perfect Tips!