Metal detecting isn't just an exciting hobby; it is also a great way to earn extra income. This is the reason why many of us would want to get into this lucrative pastime. But before you start, you need to be armed first with skills and knowledge.

It is important that you know your metal detector inside and out. Research and read all the information you'll find. If you have the chance, put your metal detector and your metal detecting skills into practice. Also, try to know the message your detector is telling you.

If you are already familiar with your metal detector and you are armed with the necessary knowledge and expertise, you can now proceed to the next important factor which is identifying great spots to do your treasure hunting. Among the 'hot spots' or the best sites where you can begin your metal detecting ventures are:

• Local parks
These are among the best spots for treasure hunters because of the constant stream of visitors. Since parks are a good place for play and recreation, there's a chance that people have lost or left their jewelry or old coins in there. And though these sites are known for being well hunted, those who have better detectors may find valuable things other hunters have missed.

• Old schools
You are missing a lot of fun and treasure if you haven't tried detecting metals in areas where old schools once stood. To identify these spots, you can ask the old people in your area. An old topographical map also proves to be very helpful.

• Old churches
These are also 'hot spots' for metal detecting since they also have treasure chests. During the construction of these buildings, local folks may have buried a chest under or near a corner stone or on the grounds of the building. A type of time capsule, this chest contains newspapers, coins, and other extraordinary items and memorabilia from the time the church was constructed.

• Forests and Woods
The woods and forests are awesome sites for detecting metals if you know where and what to look for. Locate old paths as these are good areas to detect along.

• Revival meeting areas
Identify the places where revival meetings are held and you surely will find jewelry and old coins.

• Camp sites
Areas used as Boy Scout camps may have hundreds of treasures waiting to be unearthed. So don't miss those Boy Scout camps in your area as there may be lots of old coins, buttons, knives, and other items that are valuable these days.

• Backyards
Beginners can start their hobby of detecting metal in their own backyard. Even if you get nothing, digging up your own yard gives you a good chance of practicing your metal detector and getting more familiar with the sound it generates for every type of metal detected.

• Riverbanks, beaches and swimming holes
These areas are really considered as 'hot spots' for metal detecting. In The riverbank gives you a wide and long area for almost a lifetime of detecting. So spend some time asking old timers where old swimming holes can be found.

Other great sites for detecting metals are playgrounds, battlefields, ghost towns, and old picnic areas. Make sure though that you are allowed to dig in any spot where you will do metal detecting.