Traveling With A Metal Detector Abroad Is Easy
Tips on Packing & Transporting Your Metal Detector on Airplane, Staying Safe in Foreign Countries, Abiding Archaeological Laws
• Never keep the batteries or battery packs inside the metal detector! Put them in Carry-on (knapsack or a small bag) or keep them separately.
• If you still have a receipt of sale for your machine, bring it with you in case you have to prove your ownership to the custom officer. Always check the Custom Laws and Regulations of the country you are going in.
• Always keep the detector's manual at hand in case you have to explain the purpose of the metal detector to the officer to whom the machine might look like a strange device.
• Never bring a brand new metal detector in its original box. If you do, you'll have to pay taxes (sometimes big bucks!) at the customs in former Eastern Block countries.
• Do not bring your favorite treasure hunting shovel with you! Good digging shovels, like the ones made by Fiskars, are available anywhere in Europe and can be purchased for cheap prices.
Also, for your personal safety and peace of mind, follow these precautions:
• Do not advertise the purpose of your trip or your metal detector (especially in some poor countries of Eastern Europe and South America).
• Always check the Local and National Archaeological Laws or Monument Protection Law of the state before you plan detecting in any foreign country. It is very easy to lose your freedom outside the US.
• Be alert all the time! Never let the public see your metal detector (it might be easily taken from your hands). Keep it concealed all the time. I usually carry mine in my backpack, no matter whether I ride with my friend in his car or I use a public transportation. Never leave your metal detector in plain view.
• Prior to your trip abroad, establish contact with fellow treasure hunters in each country that you are traveling to. There are metal detecting clubs, small and large, everywhere today.
Many foreign metal detectorists speak English. The best way to do it is through Internet. You will be surprised how much help you would receive from them.
• When asked about your metal detecting activity by a stranger while detecting at any site, always reply with something like, "I am looking for Radon gas!", or "I am searching for meteorites". Never show your finds to a stranger or someone you cannot trust.
• Always carry your passport and visa (required for some Eastern-European countries) on you. Make a Xerox copy of your passport and keep it in a safe place.
• Do not try to take the metal detecting finds that are older than 100 years outside the country if you travel by plane. In UK, for example, you must report them to the local historian (district coroner) and then wait for a while to receive them by mail if no historical or archeological value was assigned to them by the officials.
• Familiarize yourself with old and modern coins, their values and relation to historical events, that were minted in the country that you plan to visit. That knowledge will be helpful in quick identification of your finds in the field and correct assessment of the metal detecting site.
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