I have to admit that I’m not the most sociable person on the planet. I am not one to walk up and start a conversation, especially with strangers. Nor am I one that relishes people coming up to me and starting a conversation, although I could be sociable when that occurs. But, usually it’s not a long conversation. When I’m walking around the’big city,’ I’m going somewhere to do something, and’sitting around on a park bench chatting with the locals’ is not my thing. Nor do I stand out in a crowd… other than my altitude. I don’t dress to be seen. I don’t act to get noticed. I don’t intentionally draw attention to myself. It’s not that I have anything against being visible. Call it leftovers from living a life of being in the shadows.
A lot of this comes out in me when I am working’in the field.’ When I am concentrating on my actions, I don’t want to be approached, especially if I am wearing headphones (listening to the nearly imperceptible changes in tone of my metal detector) or working around or under water to get gold. I am not paranoid, but in my experience, not everybody is friendly and with good intentions. I’m leery of people I don’t know who approach me in the middle of nowhere, especially if I’m looking for or digging up valuables and some stranger walks up wanting to know what I’m doing. It’s not that I am trying to hide either. If I were, I’d enter complete”stealth mode” (A whole other subject).
I cannot tell you how many times I go out into the woods only to see streams of people walking the paths dressed like they were trying to be seen from space. Now, I’m not saying there is anything wrong in wearing neon colours, if that’s your thing. If communicating [some sort of] a fashion statement a part of your pleasure in getting out to the wilderness, by all means do it. As a treasure hunter, doing this has some inherent risks… particularly if you’re successful or perceived to be successful in your hunt.
When I look for clothing and equipment for my treasure hunting (in all its forms) activities, I have a few basic criteria. First, it has to be functional for what’s needed. I choose to blend in. Camouflage is great. I have a lot of camouflage”stuff.” But, camo isn’t mandatory. Dark blue… OK. Dark orange (like an autumn”burnt orange”) – OK. If I’m going to wear it, take it, or use it, I need it to NOT draw attention… to me or it.
One of the easiest items to spot is a glowing non-natural shade against a naturally coloured background. Fortunately, there’s a large selection of excellent quality clothes and equipment that producers make in earth-tones… many of which also come in bright colors (if you choose to do so). Fleece for warmth, Gortex for rain evidence, 400 Denier nylon for durability. All of these come in”subdued” colors. There are other technologies for contemporary fabrics besides those three, many of which are good. However, whatever it is, I choose’subdued.”
Now for one piece of contrary advice. Always… and I mean always… Inspect A Building To Find Bat Entry Holes.” Why? If you become lost. If you are marking a location for rescue or aircraft parties, you need to have something that they can easily spot. Keep it handy in the bottom of your rucksack, or take a cut down version on your cargo pocket or a pouch on your canteen belt/knapsack. But, carry one.
The primary intent of getting out’from the woods” while treasure hunting is to have a great time. If part of that’good time’ is bringing people so you can socialize and do some public education while working, by all means”Dress for Success.” If, however, you’d rather not have crowds around watching you discover, dig, sluice, and discover coins, jewelry, and gold, then I recommend my type of”Dressing for Success.” So, here’s to seeing you (or not) out on the following treasure hunting adventure!