Beachcombing can easily be an all day adventure and there are lots of different tools and equipment that you can take with you to make sure that you are fully equipped for any situation that may arise. This list of beachcombing tools can help you decide what to take with you and what you may need throughout the day.
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What Should I Wear Beachcombing?
Firstly, it is important to check the weather forecast before your trip so you have an idea on what the weather is going to be like. If it is going to be raining in the afternoon, you don’t want to get stuck on the beach in shorts and a t-shirt. The clothes that you wear will depend completely on the weather.
If it is raining, or going to rain, then you should pack a raincoat and make sure that you are wearing waterproof shoes. You can also buy waterproof trousers in preparation for your trip if the weather is going to be particularly bad and you don’t want to get wet. If you are going beachcombing on a hot and sunny day, then you may need to take sun cream to avoid getting sunburn. Sunglasses are also really good for keeping your eyes protected and can also be handy for blocking any sun glare that might be affecting your ability to find beach treasures. A Windbreaker jacket can also be useful in really windy conditions as they will help block the wind and keep you warm.
Best Footwear for Beachcombing
Whilst a pair of flip flops may seem like a good idea in warm weather, they aren’t very good at offering protection for your feet. You may need to walk across rocky terrain or pebbled areas of sand and you don’t want to injure yourself. For example, a pair of walking boots are going to offer you much more protection and are going to be more comfortable for you to walk around in all day. Walking boots are also often waterproof which will stop your feet getting wet on a rainy day, or if you are walking near the sea.
Mobile Phone and Portable Charger
Whilst it is nice to disconnect and take some time to enjoy your surroundings in nature away from technology, when going beachcombing, you should always keep your phone with you. If an emergency were to occur, you will be able to call for help. This is especially important if you are travelling to the beach on your own. If you are going out for a long period of time, a portable charger can be handy to take with you in case your phone battery dies whilst you’re gone. Remember to take a spare charging cable with you so you can use it.
Your phone can also be of use to tell you all the information that you need to know about tide times. There are many different apps that you can download or websites that you can browse that can tell you when the tide will be in or out. An app called ‘Any Tide’ is really great for informing you about the tide. This information will be helpful to look at before, and even during, your trip. It is recommended that you go beachcombing 2 hours after the highest point marked on the app.
It is important to know when the tide will be in or out to know when is the best time to go on the hunt for beach treasures. Depending on your location, you may also need to be mindful of when the tide is coming in to avoid getting caught in a dangerous situation. Always make sure to be aware of your surroundings as the tide can come in quickly.
A Bag to Store Your Beach Finds
When beachcombing, one of the most important things to take with you is a bag to store anything that you plan on taking home with you. You could take a standard carrier bag, but this is going to get heavy quickly and become difficult to carry. Also, when piled with too much stuff, they can break. One of the most reliable options is a sturdy backpack. You can get backpacks in lots of different sizes and you can choose which one will be the best option for you. Be mindful not to try to carry more than you can handle, so that you don’t hurt yourself. If you are driving to the beach, you can have spare bags or containers waiting in the car to offload if your bag is getting too heavy.
You can also take a bum bag with you to hold your essential items, such as your phone and car keys, or anything else that you might not want to leave in the car.
Another type of bag that can be really useful for beachcombing is a mesh bag. There are mesh bags that have been specifically designed to use when beachcombing and they are really useful to have with you. These bags can be filled with your beach findings and then dunked into the water to wash away all of the grit and sand that can drain through the holes. This saves the hassle of having to clean grit and sand from your bag after every trip. These bags are durable and waterproof and they also dry really quickly, making them perfect for the task at hand.
Sand Sifter and Rake
Sometimes, you need to look beneath the surface to find what you’re looking for. A sand sifter can be really useful for sifting out the sand to reveal any sea glass, pottery, or other beach finds that may be hiding there. You can also use a hand-held rake to move through shells and pebbles to see if there is anything worth finding in between.
It is really easy to lose track of the time when you’re doing something that you love, and you could end up at the beach in the dark. You can use your phone torch, but if the light isn’t very good, then you can take a torch with you so that you don’t get lost in the dark and are able to find your way back.
If your aim is to stay on the beach when it gets dark, it may be beneficial to take a head torch with you. Head torches are great because you can keep your hands free for beachcombing while keeping your path lit.
Food and Water
Not all beaches will have a place to stop and get some food, or something to drink. In these cases, you should always take food and water with you. Food is important to provide you with the energy that you need for beachcombing and if you are planning on being out all day, you are going to need something to eat. Always make sure to have a sufficient amount of water with you, depending on how long you will be at the beach for, as you don’t want to get dehydrated.
You can also take a thermos flask with you if it is cold outside. Thermos flasks can be useful for hot drinks or soup that will help keep you warm outdoors.
Fossil Hunting Tools and Equipment
Fossil hunting can be extremely difficult without the right tools. You can find small fossils that are easy to pick up and take with you. However, you can also find big and heavy ones that are impossible to move or even ones that are stuck to a surface and won’t budge. The first two essential items that you will need for fossil hunting are a hammer and a chisel.
Choosing a hammer that is suitable for its purpose is really important. You will need a sturdy hammer with a wide head and a strong handle. If you are shopping in a store, try holding a few different ones and test the weight and how they feel, until you find one that is comfortable. A hammer that is too heavy for the person that is using it can cause strain and injury.
A chisel is used for removing the fossil from its surface or surroundings. You can use a larger chisel for the majority of the work, and a smaller chisel to work on the finer details. You should use a steel chisel, as these are designed to be used on hard surfaces and softer materials will break easily.
It is really important that you are well protected when using fossil hunting equipment. You should always wear safety goggles and gloves so that you don’t hurt yourself. When working on a fossil, rock splinters can cause major damage to your eyes. If anyone is watching or helping, they should also wear safety glasses as these splinters can travel far.
Extracting fossils can take a long time and wearing gloves will prevent you from getting blisters. You can buy gloves with grip on the front, which can help you to hold on to your equipment.