I have to admit that I am not the most social person in the world. I’m 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 am going somewhere to do something, and’sitting around on a park bench chatting with the locals’ isn’t my thing. Nor do I stand out in a crowd… besides my elevation. I don’t dress to be seen. I don’t behave to get noticed. I do not intentionally draw attention to myself. It’s not that I have anything against being visible. I simply would rather’be in the background.’
Lots of this comes out in me when I’m working’in the field.’ I’m out there for a purpose… generally, treasure hunting, metal detecting, or prospecting for gold. When I’m concentrating on my activities, I don’t wish to be approached, especially if I’m wearing headphones (listening to the almost imperceptible changes in tone of my metal detector) or working around or under water for gold. I’m not paranoid, but in my experience, not everybody is friendly and with good intentions. I am leery of people I don’t know who approach me in the middle of nowhere, particularly if I am looking for or digging up valuables and some stranger walks up needing to know what I am doing. It’s not that I’m trying to hide either. If I were, I’d go into complete”stealth mode” (A whole other subject). Thus, when I am”out and about,” I dress for success… my kind of success.
I cannot tell you how many times I go out in the woods only to find streams of people walking the trails dressed like they were trying to be spotted from space. Now, I am not saying there’s anything wrong in wearing neon colours, if that’s your thing. If communicating [some sort of] a style statement is part of your pleasure in getting out to the wilderness, by all means do it. As a treasure hunter, doing so has some inherent risks… particularly if you’re successful or perceived to be prosperous in your hunt.
While I look for clothes and gear for my treasure hunting (in all its forms) activities, I have a few basic criteria. First, it must be functional for what is needed. Second, it has to be”earth-toned,” or at a minimum,”not-flashy.” I decide to blend in. Camouflage is terrific. I have a good deal of camouflage”stuff.” But, camo is not mandatory. Dark orange (like an autumn”burnt orange”) – OK. If I’m going to wear it, carry it, or use it, I want it to NOT draw attention… to it or me.
One of the easiest items to spot is a bright non-natural color against a naturally colored background. Fortunately, there is a large choice of good quality garments and equipment that manufacturers make in earth-tones… many of which also come in bright colors (should you decide to do so). Fleece for warmth, Gortex for rain evidence, 400 Denier nylon for durability. All of these come in”subdued” colours. There are different technologies for contemporary fabrics besides these three, many of which are good. However, whatever it is, I choose’subdued.”
Now for one bit of contrary advice. Always… and I mean always… carry something that is blaze orange, signal red, or “very bright.” Why? If you get lost. If you’re marking a location for aircraft or rescue parties, you will need to have something they can easily spot. Keep it handy in the bottom of your rucksack, or carry a cut down version on your cargo pocket or a pouch on your canteen belt/knapsack. But, carry one.
The principal intent of getting out’in the woods” while treasure hunting is to have a excellent time. If part of that’great time’ is bringing people so that you can socialize and do some public education while working, by all means”Dress for Success.” If, however, you would rather not have audiences around watching you discover, dig, sluice, and find jewelry, coins, and gold, I recommend my type of”Dressing for Success.” So, here’s to seeing you (or not) out on the following treasure hunting adventure!