Traveling abroad with your treasure hunting gear is a topic we’re revisiting. While we’ve previously touched on packing your metal detectors for travel overseas, we’re focusing on your choice of container or carrier this time around.
While many metal detectors come with their own carry bags, and others with a package that includes accessories as well as a choice of a backpack or a carrier that resembles a golf bag, other brands make a special hard shell case designed to protect your expensive metal detectors from the rigors of travel.
Some metal detecting forums have advised that you can pack you metal detectors as part of your hand-carried luggage, the TSA however, advises that you check it in; to be safe, the best bet would be to call your airlines and inquire with them. While you might be able to easily disassemble your metal detector an pack it in you hand carry, it’s a major hassle if you find out you have to transfer it to your check-in luggage at the airport.
Essential to packing your metal detector securely is ensuring it doesn’t move around inside the bag and get its sensitive parts and components damaged during transit. Another is to make sure that whatever you pack inside, remain inside—even after passing through security checks and numerous openings and closings; a dependable way to lock the case is a must. Your choices basically are to use a soft or hard shell case; and both have their pros and cons.
A soft shell case is your typical bag. If it has soft, padded sides, that’s a good plus. These are generally a lighter, and more affordable packing option for your metal detecting gear if you don’t have one yet and are loath to invest in anything more expensive. Check if they come with hook and loop fasteners (Velcro) that can hold individual items steadily in place; if not, foam cut-outs are a great way to keep everything organized and secure.
If you’d like better protection and peace of mind, perhaps a hard shell case is for you. It’s pretty self-explanatory, these containers have hard, molded outer shells to make sure that the contents inside are protected. They are usually packed with a thick layer of foam where you can lay down your metal detectors and close with either a tight fit or an air-tight fit (some of these cases will actually float). They usually come with multiple latches and can have a built-in lock or a hoop for a lock.
Now, these cases are quite pricey but if you’re interested in a similar solution, using an old hard shell suitcase and padding the insides with foam—you can even lay out your own metal detector’s parts and make your own cut out compartments. Not only is it a great, pocket-friendly alternative, it’ll help your gear travel incognito as well, making them less of a target to thieves.
On a last note, don’t forget to throw in your metal detector’s manual, even a downloaded printout will do. A metal detector’s parts might not look suspicious or strange to you or to your fellow metal detectorists but a non-hobbyist might not know what to think.