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GPS in Metal Detecting?

Larry (IL)

Well-known member
This is a post I started in the DFX Forum as a general discussion topic to keep things going in the winter months for many of us, but I thought I might get a bigger audience here and maybe some great ideas too:

Nancy bought me a Triton 1500 GPS for Christmas, that is the handheld unit which is great for Geocaching, hiking and the like. I then bought an automotive unit for my truck and both have their advantages. Sure, I can mark waypoints of where I found some targets, but I don't need electronic help in remembering that. The truck GPS is a Mio Moov 200 with POI, (Points of Interest) and I thought that is the cat's meow for finding schools, parks and other places to go hunting while traveling in areas I'm not familiar with. I tried it out and and the POI's are fantastic. I pressed Parks and it listed all of the parks in a twenty mile radius from where I was. All I do is press "Go to" and it give me turn by turn directions to the park of my my choice. Schools were just as simple. The POI functions are fantastic and if you ever get a GPS, be sure to get one with a large POI database. Campgrounds, restaurants, police stations........they are all there. BTW, the MIO 200 was $99 at K-Mart. I have tried my hand at Geocaching to keep the hunting instinct fire a going even in the winter with the Triton. That is a lot fun too, but sure won't replace the metal detector come better weather.

So...........what are your or other ways to use a GPS for metal detecting?
I just thought of one idea that I'm going to do come spring. Nancy and I have been told where an old stagecoach stop used to be which is now in the remote country. I then used Google Earth to get a better look at the lay of the land when I noticed a pattern where possably a foundation may have been or is still there under the overgrown grass. Although I could probably walk to it and look around a little bit, a better way is to enter the coordinates Google Earth provides and follow the arrow.

I can also see the advantage of using the GPS for those of you who lucky enough to go nugget hunting. I bet some of the best places are way out there where others would hesitate to go.
I use the co-ordinates I get off the net to help me find spots in the woods here in N. Idaho. Many are along small, unsigned streams and the like that are easy to drive or walk right by. Also very useful for marking and returning to old cabin and homestead sites that have been swallowed up in the woods. Only downside I can see is often the 5mile hike I planned on bragging on turns out to be closer to 2. LOL
Larry,I'm interested also in looking at a GPS unit to help locating sites.No experience,but snowed in for the winter,and is a good time to see if this would be helpful for the coming season.
Hi Larry
I just bought a white metal detector a week or so ago. Since then I have been reading alot on this forum. I just noticed this section on gps and was disappointed that there were so few posts. I think it may be a real cool idea as now you can use the google map tools as well. To make a long story short my dear wife bought me a gps several years ago when they first became popular but I could not figure out how to use it fully and it has been sitting in a cabinet in the motor home. Mainly I used it to get ground speed and elevation for fun while traveling. It is a real nice one but before the map pictures came out and so forth. It is a Lowrance globalnav 212. You can set up way points and be able to get back to the same place but it will take some studying. Maybe someone can come up with a good plan on how to make use of this brick. I was going to dig bottle once upon a time ago and I remember someone on an old bottle forum said there were a kind of vintage map that were like plat maps but were better and this was before microfiche I think. I once talked to someone who had the city records and they were familiar with these old maps but they would have coordinates and if you could find them for countys and states they would be really cool. Any ideas?
I too have heard of the maps you are talking about, very detailed, maybe on the bottle hunting forum? It could have been Mike Rowe on Dirty Jobs when he went bottle digging, I don't know. You might have to overlay the older maps, if you can find them, on Google Earth to get the coordinates, but a great idea. Thanks for the post Gary.
If you have a hand held gps and a boy scout hand book and the right map you can easily find longitude and latitude and program your gps to get within 50 feet of what you want. Then all you gotta do is get permission maybe by splitting the booty. lol
Very interesting Charles. How did you get the old houses (Red) info? I haven't tried overlaying old maps on Google, but that would be my guess :shrug:
I am using a Garmin Montana 600 GPS unit and use it for my metal detecting to make sure I am not on private property while detecting. I use a SD map chip from which provides the location of Forest Service, BLM, private land with the owners names, and topo contour lines.
This gps map chip comes in seperate US states with most states covered and more state coverage coming. I have used my Montana with the chip combo for hunting, geocaching, riding my atv and now found a use for it in metal detecting. I usually don't take it out with the detector as I already have enough " stuff " to carry but do use the gps to make sure I am in a public access area.
I am new to metal detecting but I have used my GPS for geocaching for years. I had thought about the times I lost items around a cache and wished I could find it. Most of the times the cache is hidden in a grassy area, in trees, at play grounds, ball fields and such. Geocaching can lead you to a lot of searchable sites. Or at least I feel it scientific evidence to back up this claim though!! :thumbup:

I use a Garmin Etrex Legend for my handheld and a Garmin Nuvi for my car. The Etrex is one of the earlier models so it's not as "sophisticated" as the newer models. But guess what, it still gets me to within 3 feet as long as I can get at least three satellites to connect. As long as I have a fairly clear access to the sky that's usually not a problem.

One very important piece of information on GPS units.......get one that's capable of tracking the most satellites you can find. My handheld tracks a maximum of 12 at a time. This makes it fairly accurate.

The weather here on the Texas Gulf Coast is cold and wet right now. I can handle the cold but not the rain.......I'll melt!! :lol:

As soon as the rain stops I will start hunting......I am anxious to give this new hobby a try!!!

Happy Hunting, y'all!!
If you were to recover civil war relics and recorded their position with GPS ,You could develope a clearer picture of the history of the site. If you recovered and marked a bunch of cannon igniters you could plot where the artillery was at. A group of dropped bullets would be where infantry stood and fought. A group of fired bullets and you would have where the enemy was at. All these things together start to paint a more complete picture of the action that took place at the site and may help develope a more concise plan for future hunts at the site. This type of documentation could help pave the way for metal detectorists to be welcomed back into some very cool places if we shared the information with the proper agencies . This is just my opinion . relicranger
Here is an interesting web site. Pick the state and city that interests you Then click on what is around. It will give you a list of schools, parks, old ranches, springs etc. Click on what interests you and it will give you the GPS coordinates. Once you are on the new page it will list what is near there. You can also click on the map and it will bring up a pop up box with places.

Here is another tool. This site keeps aerial photos. You can see what an area used to look like by looking at an older photo. If you click on compare, then choose dissolve, you can see an old map and a new map at the same time. There is a slider bar that you can move to dissolve one photo into the other. Lets say you pick a map from 1960 and you see a old park, you can move the slider to see what is there now.
For users of Tect O Trak, please check the google play store for an update. You can now view your tracks and finds in Google Earth using a new kml creation and export tool, You will this find by clicking the backup/restore icon. This will create a new Kml folder in the main Tect O Trak directory. You will need to copy this folder and contents onto your pc.

There is also now way to view your all your finds and locations all on one map using the new cluster gallery. There are too many ways you can manipulate the cluster to mention here, so just have a play.. :)[/img[/center]

If you've never heard of it.. You can get a fully functioning free version here :- [url=] ... totraklite[/url]

Or.. You can find out more here:-

Tect O Trak is a 'not for profit' personal project, developed by myself (a detectorist..) specifically for metal detecting. Although there is also a paid version, (with pretty colours ) that is o for users that would like to help support further development of the app. There are no advertisements,or commercialisation, or any other nonsense. So your support would be greatly appreciated. I have lots of ideas, lets see how far I can take this app! :)

I am now on my third season with Tect O Trak, and it has become an absolutely invaluable aid to me, exceeding all my expectations of what a gps app can do. Don't take my word for it though.. You can read the reviews of other users here :- [url=] ... .tectotrak[/url]