Climbing the "learning curve" in any pursuit or hobby can prove to be a difficult and frustrating experience at times. Treasure hunting is no different in this regard, and some novice or "newbie" treasure seekers who face this steep uphill climb find themselves floundering at times.
Obviously, those who of you out there who are able to persist and persevere in the face of difficulty and adversity will come out on top in the end. That said, there are some things you can do to make that uphill climb easier and here are three of them:
1) Start small but dream large.
Just as a small child must take "baby steps" to learn to walk, so should your efforts as a novice treasure hunter start with small steps. Don't waste your time early on focusing on "will-o-the-wisps" or distant troves that thousands of others are searching for...go for the seemingly insignificant, less well-known treasure caches that may be in your immediate area, county, or state.
For one thing, you'll have a much better chance at success, you'll build experience in terms of research, and search and recovery methods, and save money in the process. Not to mention the fact that if you recover a small cache or two that money may help fund a bigger treasure search down the road. What's the working axiom here then? Simply put: "Start small but dream large."
2) Minimize expenditures and maximize time.
In all truth, this admonition is just as appropriate for seasoned treasure hunters. Still, novices should take this one to heart immediately and completely. Successful treasure hunting is (after all is said and done) all about having the resources and time to hunt for treasure.
Dickies Work Clothes
If you're just starting out, buying good equipment (metal detectors, GPS, camping gear, etc.) is important, but it doesn't mean you should shell out your last dime for top-of the-line gear if you can still hunt effectively for less capital outlay. Use what works...not what is costly or what the "dream merchants" out there try to foist off on you to line their own pockets. The same holds true for fuel and travel costs.
(Good gear is a must but it doesn't mean you have to shell out your last dime.)
At the same time however, as a "newbie," you'll have to find ways to maximize your time in the field by juggling things like family, jobs, and other commitments. This balancing act is not always easy to pull off, but it'll be a defining factor in most (if not all) of your search and recovery efforts. You can't find treasure if you're not out there looking for it.
3) Do your research, and develop and follow leads.
I've said many times in other posts here in "Treasure Trove Dreams" that meticulous research is your greatest ally in determining whether a treasure legend is simply total BS or whether it contains documented elements or leads that can be verified and followed up on. Every great (and ultimately successful treasure hunt) was founded on extensive research.
Once your research provides the necessary documentary facts and leads, you should develop those leads as far as possible and then follow up on them if you think they're solid. Any other approach to treasure hunting is simply a stab in the dark or a roll of the dice, and unfortunately this mistake is made by many treasure hunting "newbies." Don't you be one of them.
Get good at this treasure hunting game and you just might cash in...
If you liked this post, you may want to read: "'Bronco Billy's' Lost Loot"
(c) Jim Rocha (J.R.) 2012
Questions? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org