Metal Detection 101 Lost in the woods.

Yesterday, April 12, 2022, is a day I will remember. Or at least Gerda, my wife will not let me forget.

My friend Mike and I went looking for adventure on a little mountain not far from here. We packed our XP detectors and started toward the mountain of dreams. Over 30 years ago at one end of the plateau, discovered a Celtic iron belt with bronze hooks ( buckle ) and an iron armband. I planned to walk to the spot where I dug them up.

Looking at the map of the area before we left, I thought we would have less of a walk through the woods to the slope leading up to the top of the mountain. That was my first mistake. True we did not have to walk far to the start of the uphill climb. However, it was a very steep uphill.

Detecting on the way up kept me from getting worn out by just climbing. My machine did not sound off often and what I dug up was not worth keeping. About a third of the way up was a small plateau, it was facing the direction where a castle ruin stands. It could have been a place to observe what was going on across the valley.

Still, I found nothing of interest. That was strange but wanted to get to the top. As I started up the hill I got a really good Signal.

At about two feet deep something that was orange in color. At the moment I felt disappointed but I need to see what it was. With a little more careful digging I found the edges of a metal box. Thinking this would not go boom I removed the box.

A lock kept me from opening the box on the spot. Prying with my digging tools did not work.

Rather than carrying this orange box around all day, I choose to take another walk downhill and put it in the car.

At last, I made it to the top of the mountain. Looking around no Mike. So I started on my journey detecting to the other end of the plateau.

It was shocking not to find many positive signals to dig up along the way. No trash to speak of really. Yes, I did find some remains from the US Army's field exercises. MRE rapers, a razor blade, and one or two Pop tabs. Then a few old buttons from the 1800s and an old buckle.

At last, the original destination. Where some unlucky Celten lost the belt over 2000 years ago. When found it looked like it was a pouch and dropped when it was lost. It would have been this way because when it was found the belt was all rusted together like a baseball seeing the green bronze buckles I knew it was a keeper. ( that is another story)

Tired after the long walk I keep looking. Mike then calls me on the smartphone, telling me that he is not feeling good and was on his way back to the car. Agreeing to go back I told Mike it would take me at least an hour to make it back to the car. During the walk back I started to get tired and had I had to rest often. My mind went back to the box, I was daydreaming maybe not watching where I was going.

What could be in the box? The box did not look old. However, it had a lock on it. Why would anyone dig a hole and bury it in this spot? It could be someone's pet cat, stolen money, a gun, maybe drugs or it could have been a Geocache.

Then it happened, I got disorientated. Assuming the way the only thing to do was keep walking. knowing I had to go down I followed a stream. Getting more and more tired and more and more lost I kept walking. Taking the wrong turn down the mountain. Three hours later my steps got slower every four I had to stop. The map on the smartphone showed I was at least traveling in the right direction. But still, I had to walk.

All of a sudden panic attack. Waking up on the ground in a blackberry patch I grabbed my Smartphone. It was gone.

On an old tree stump covered with moss, I sat down. It took me time to clear my mind. Please do not assume my age created the challenge. As I see it that is not a factor many people get lost in the woods and get eaten by wild animals.

The main road was only about 50 meters away. I started walking again. Toward where my car should be. It was dark. Mike called for me and I answered.

Mike, had called Gerda and the police both to tell everyone that I was lost. That I did not answer my phone. It was possible that I had another stroke and was laying someplace along the way. As soon as he heard me he called the police and Gerda to say everything was ok and I was found.

Just think what would be in the Newspaper today. Thankfully they do not tell your name in the German paper when something bad happens. Maybe it would have sounded like this.

In the Kitzingen area. Seventy-year-old man with a metal detector was lost in the woods. Thirty police officers and 40 volunteers search the area. The man was found with the help of heat sensors from a helicopter.

More on the Box after it is opened.

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