Can You Metal Detect In The Snow?

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Cory Haasnoot

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Metal detectors are a very useful tool that many would like to use in even snow. This is a question many aren’t sure about since snow is technically water and can be deep depending on the area you are searching in.

Can you metal detect in the snow?

You are able to use a waterproof metal detector to search through the snow. Depending on the depth of snow you want to look through, you will need a metal detector with a stronger pin-pointer. You can also use tools like a rake to help move the snow aside.

Being able to search through the snow with a metal detector is definitely possible. However, it also depends on the metal detector itself and the area you are attempting to search through. Keep reading to find out all you need to know about metal detecting in the snow. 

Using A Metal Detector in Snow and Winter

Coin found metal detecting in the snow

Most people prefer to only use their metal detector when it doesn’t winter. However, you are able to continue using your metal detector year-round. There are certain factors you should consider, though. This includes your own metal detector’s capabilities.

Metal Detector Requirements 

The biggest step in making sure you are able to fully enjoy your metal detector, even when it snows, is to check what features it has available. Snow is water in its base form, so you will need to make sure your metal detector is waterproof so it won’t be damaged. 

Along with this, the snow depth is important. Metal detectors have different power levels, and some aren’t able to search through the snow depth. You will need to check your metal detector’s limits, and deep the snow you will be searching is.

Snowy Locations to Search in Winter 

Wooden fence and snowy walkway

After making sure your metal detector will work in the snow is the first requirement for enjoying the winter months. After that, you will need to find locations that you are able to visit. 

Some are similar to any other season with slight variations, but there are a few that you may need to consider depending on the events that could occur.

Bodies of Water

This is a common location, no matter the time of the year. You will commonly be able to find a variety of treasures that have been lost to the water over time. The best locations to do this tend to be shallow water that you can walk through. 

During the winter, you will need to find an area that isn’t frozen to be able to successfully use this method. You will also need to have a waterproof metal detector to be able to search properly.


This is always a popular location, no matter what time of the year. Even if there is snow on the ground, you can still walk along the beach to see what may have washed up or dropped. The only difference in this situation is if there is snow. In that case, you would simply need to be aware prior to going out.

Popular Areas

Just like searching in any other season, being successful during the winter involves going to locations that people like to gather. Finding areas that people like to play in the snow or even going to fairgrounds could result in you finding some treasure left behind.

Prepare for The Future

Even if you aren’t able to enjoy metal detecting at the moment, that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare for any future trips. Sometimes the best solution is to do research in your slow times so you won’t have to do it later. Find out what events may occur that could result in a great hunting location and make sure to write it down.

Metal Detector Features for Snow

Metal Detector control panel identifying Discrimination setting.

Before picking which metal detector, you will want to consider which areas you will be searching for. This will help you decide which features you will need in a metal detector. This is usually dependent on your area, so you will need to do the research prior to purchasing.

  • Waterproof: The majority of metal detectors do offer this feature as it is popular to use them in bodies of water. If you aren’t located somewhere near water, then there is no purpose for this option. However, as stated above, waterproof metal detectors are needed if you wish to use them in snow.
  • Discrimination: This feature helps a metal detector determine what may be trash vs. more valuable treasure. The majority of owners enjoy this feature since it helps them avoid digging up rusty nails or bottle caps that they have no use for.

However, some people prefer digging up anything that is metal, depending on what they are hunting for. This usually involves searching for gold or other such relics that could be identified as trash to the metal detector.

  • Ground Balance: There are many natural metals in the ground that a metal detector could pick up. All of them have a feature that allows them to pass by these metals and only search for the items you want. Metal detectors tend to have automatic, preset, manual, or multiple options when it comes to ground balance. Most people prefer having multiple options since it allows you to either set the ground balance to automatic or manual depending on your needs.
  • Frequency: Frequency is the number of times the signal is put out and received by your detector. Most prefer lower frequency metal detectors as they usually pick up the larger items only and avoid small items that could be trash. 

           However, there are people who prefer higher frequencies so they can search for smaller objects like gold.

Digging Deeper: Metal Detector Frequency – Explained

  • Search Depth: As I mentioned previously, this is an important factor when searching through the snow. The lower frequency metal detectors tend to be able to search deeper than high frequencies. In regards to searching through the ground, the type and composition will often affect how deep the detector can search.
  • Target Identification: This is used to be able to identify what item your detector may have picked up. This can be an audible notification or, more commonly, a visual display. The visual display will show on a screen and is usually a number that you will learn to understand the meaning of.

Popular Metal Detectors for Snow

Fisher F22

Fisher F22 Weatherproof Metal Detector with Submersible Search Coil , Black

  • Made for beginners
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Weatherproof
  • Easy to Use

Bounty Hunter Junior T.I.D.

Bounty Hunter Junior T.I.D. Metal Detector

  • Made for kids
  • Available on Amazon
  • Junior-sized detector

Fisher F75

Fisher F75 Metal Detector

  • Recommended for high-frequency searches
  • Available on Amazon
  • Multipurpose use

Garrett Ace 300

Garrett Metal Detectors ACE 300 55 Year Anniversary Special, GAR1141155

  • Made for beginner and moderate searchers
  • Great screen display and a wide variety of accessories

Garrett Pro Pointer AT

Garrett 1140900 Pro-Pointer AT Waterproof Pinpointing Metal Detector, Orange

  • Made for underwater use
  • Available on Amazon
  • Flashlight-sized for underwater usage

Final Thoughts – Can You Metal Detect In The Snow?

Metal detectors come in a wide variety, depending on the area you may want to go hunting in. The most popular detector tends to have a lower frequency that avoids smaller items. If you are planning to search through snow or water, then it is necessary to get a waterproof metal detector.

There are many factors to consider before purchasing a metal detector. Researching different kinds and comparing them to your needs is the best method to find out which one may work best for you. 

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Author: Cory Haasnoot

Cory Haasnoot is an author, entrepreneur, metal detecting enthusiast, antique, coin collector, and founder of Treasure Seekr.

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