Why Do Metal Detectorists Wear Camouflage? 6 Reasons for Camo

  • By: Chris
  • Last updated on December 20, 2022
  • Time to read: 9 min.
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When it comes to metal detecting, one of the most popular clothing choices is camouflage. So, why do metal detectorists wear camouflage? While each hobbyist or enthusiast has their own valid reasons for donning this camo trend, there are a few that many detectorists seem to have in common.

To learn all about the six compelling reasons to add some camouflage to your closet, keep reading for some new insights you might not have considered before.

Why Do Metal Detectorists Wear Camouflage?

why do metal detectorists wear camo
Camouflage has so many benefits and is more than just a style preference.

Metal detectorists wear camouflage for the abundance of pockets, the comfortability it gives, its durable nature, the inexpensiveness, its more recent fashion popularity, and to blend in with their surroundings.

Now, you may be scratching your head at a few of these reasons and I only ask that you keep an open mind and keep reading. These 6 reasons to keep some camo handy have been well thought out and I think each has some valid points that are worth considering.

So, let’s dive in!

Pockets, Pockets, Pockets

pockets are a good reason why people wear camouflage
The added pockets most camo offers are a very desirable feature for metal detectorists.

One of the main reasons metal detectorists opt for camouflage clothing is all of the pockets! And, I don’t mean just a few extra pockets. Camouflage clothing often has no less than 6 -12 pockets of varying sizes. This allows metal detectorists to have quick and easy access to all of their tools and equipment.

In fact, with that many pockets, metal detectorists have enough options for snacks while on a treasure hunt, some cleaning supplies for any recent finds, and a first-aid kit for any minor scrapes or bruises.

And if you combine a good pair of camo pants or top with a metal detecting vest, you can say goodbye to carrying around a bag or pouch for most expeditions.

Our Pick
Flygo Metal Detecting Vest
  • 16 different sized pockets
  • Various colors available
  • Quick-dry nylon material
  • Breathable and lightweight design
  • Front zipper closure
  • Ideal for a number of outside activities

Comfort Is Key

camo is really comfortable
Camouflage apparel is generally great for an increased range of motion and offers a loose and breathable fit.

When your metal detecting, you are often stooped over, bending at the waist, or kneeling on the ground.

Needless to say, your body is getting a lot of stretching and movement that it might not be used to or isn’t ideal while wearing skinny jeans.

No surprise, but this is where comfortable clothing comes into play and camouflage often hits the mark.

Many metal detectorists choose camouflage because it is naturally lightweight, breathable, and often made of a cotton and nylon blend. This means that you won’t have to worry about overheating in the middle of a hot day or feeling restricted by a range of motion limitation.

Can you imagine crawling around under a bush, wading through a cold creek, or walking the stretch of a sun-soaked beach while carrying metal detecting gear and not having the flexibility to move because you opted for your favorite dark blue Levi jeans?

I sure can’t!

camo in the military
New camouflage design is manufactured with the best lightweight and tough material available.

Camo-designed clothing for outdoors and military personnel has come a long way in terms of comfort.

In the past, military-grade camo clothing was made from a heavy cotton twill which provided a durable design but was heavy when exposed to liquids like rain or even sweat.

The best quality camo fabrics are now composed of a knitted polyester scrim that provides even more flexibility without any loss of strength so that the wearer can move with ease.

This is a vital factor when metal detecting because you never know when you’ll need to make a sudden movement to avoid getting poked by a branch or slipping on some loose rocks.

For a few suggestions on some popular camouflage pants, take a look below.

Best Overall
IDOGEAR Camo Combat Pants
  • Removable Knee Pads
  • Up to 10 Pockets
  • Maximum Mobility
  • Cotton/Polyester
Best Price
King's Six Pocket Pants
  • Lightweight Design
  • Not as Tough as Alternatives
  • Elastic Waist
  • Made of Cotton Blend
Best Value
TRGPSG Tactical Camo Pants
  • Waterproof and Scratch-Resistant
  • Repels Stains and Liquids
  • 10 Multi-Purpose Pockets
  • Good For All 4 Seasons

Durable Is the Name of The Game

camouflage apparel is very durable
The premium camo clothing is made to withstand cuts, rough terrain, extreme weather, and all forms of hard use.

When metal detecting, you are often in some pretty tough terrain.

This might include crawling around on your hands and knees in the mud, getting poked by thorn bushes, or walking through briars and tall grass.

It’s important to have clothing that can withstand these types of activities without ripping or tearing.

Camo pants and shirts are capable of standing up to a number of different environments and rugged situations. As long as they are military-grade or at least designed for more outdoor use, you can be sure to get the most out of this material.

Not only is it great that sharper plant life isn’t as likely to tear through camouflage clothing as it might with some of the thinner, more delicate fabrics, but in most cases, the weather isn’t as much of a factor.

camo will protect the wearer in different environments
Regardless of the time of year, some good camouflage attire will keep you in top condition.

Oftentimes, camo-styled outerwear is designed to help conceal the wearer in different types of environments, so it only stands to reason that it can also do a good job of protecting you from the elements.

Whether you are metal detecting in an unexpected downpour or find yourself caught in a snowstorm, having the right clothing to help you weather the storm is always a good idea.

With additional options like knee pads, extra pockets, and even fire-retardant fabrics, metal detectorists who choose camo, have a lot to work with when it comes to being prepared for anything.

Finally, you already know you’ll most likely get dirt, mud, and grime on your clothes while metal detecting so it’s always best to wear something that can be easily washed and won’t require a lot of extra care.

Camo is notoriously easy to care for since most of the time you can just throw it in the washing machine with your other clothes and not have to worry about ruining the fabric or shrinking it in the dryer.

Inexpensive Options

buying camo can be very inexpensive
There are so many options at all ranges of price when it comes to camouflage clothing.

I know that metal detecting can be a pretty expensive hobby. But not all the little extras will bleed your bank dry.

From the cost of the metal detector itself to batteries, finds pouches, and other necessary gear, there are a lot of things that need to be taken into consideration when starting out or even when upgrading your equipment.

This is one of the reasons why I love camo so much for metal detecting.

While there are some pricier options that come with more versatility and reassurances, you can find some really great quality clothing options without spending a lot of money.

There are a few different ways to go about this, but my favorite way is to check out military surplus stores or online retailers that sell used or gently worn options.

Oftentimes, you can find some great deals on clothing that is still in really good condition and will last you a long time.

you can find camouflage clothing at yard sales
Yard sales and thrift shops are a great option for updating your metal detecting gear.

I’ve also had luck finding camo metal detecting gear at yard sales and even consignment shops.

Of course, your mileage may vary depending on where you live but it never hurts to look around and see what’s available.

Sometimes, you may already own a good collection of camouflage clothing. Maybe you’ve gone hunting before or served in the military. Actually, most outdoor activities have an acceptance and good cause for wearing camouflage attire.

Either way, if you already have some good quality camo gear, then metal detecting is a great excuse to break it out of the closet and put it to good use.

Fashion Forward

camouflage has become very fashionable
The camp look has risen in the ranks of trendy fashion.

Believe it or not, wearing camouflage has become somewhat of a fashion trend in recent years.

Many mainstream designers have featured camo-inspired clothing in their collections and it has become more and more acceptable to wear in everyday situations.

I’m not saying that you need to go out and buy a designer outfit just for metal detecting, but if you already have some stylish camo pieces, metal detecting is a great excuse to show them off.

And, if you don’t already own any camouflage clothing, now is a great time to jump on the trend and pick up a few pieces.

camo has been featured in many advertisements
Many metal detector brands use camo apparel as part of their advertising.

If you’ve been around the metal detecting world for a while, then you’re probably familiar with some of the advertisements for past metal detector products from top brands like Garrett, Nokta, and White’s. There’s no shortage of detectorists being pictured in camouflage pants, camo hats, or camo shirts.

This is likely one of the reasons why so many metal detectorists choose to wear camouflage when they go out detecting.

It’s not just because it’s practical, but also because it’s become somewhat of a metal detecting uniform.

And, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a good pair of camo pants?

Blending in Has Its Benefits

blending in is another benefit to camo
Blending in isn’t just for hunters and paintballers. It has its uses in the world of metal detecting.

Whether you’re new to metal detecting or you’ve been at it for years, there’s always something to be said for blending in with your surroundings.

Now, maybe not all situations call for a comfy pair of camo pants. For instance, a hunting trip on the beach during the summer might call for something more appropriate in high heat. However, it’s hard to argue with those extra pockets instead of carrying around a hefty bag.

But there are scenarios when blending in with a good set of camouflage top and bottom can definitely come in handy.

Have you ever been metal detecting and had someone come up to you and ask what you’re doing?

I have, and it’s not always a pleasant experience.

angry people confront metal detectorists
While it’s not always the case, some people just have a bad reaction to metal detectorists.

Sometimes people can be curious and want to know more about what you’re doing, but other times they can be nosy or even suspicious.

I’ve found that, more often than not, people are mostly good at heart and as long as you aren’t searching on someone’s property without permission, you won’t get into much trouble.

But some people still react negatively about metal detectorists, even if you have every right to search the area you are in.

I’ve had people call the police on me, tell me to leave, and even try to fight me.

Obviously, these are extreme examples and thankfully they don’t happen often.

Camouflage allows me to blend into a densely packed wooded area when roads and highways aren’t too far away.

I can metal detect all day without worrying about being spotted by someone driving or walking by who might disagree with my hobby choices or someone just looking to start some trouble for ‘fun’.

most people are kind toward metal detectorists
In general, people are mostly interested in what you are doing and enjoy some conversation about your experiences.

Again, most people are good-hearted and are just curious. I’ve actually had a few wandering strangers take a real interest in what I’m doing and ask about some of my more interesting finds.

Another benefit to blending in is to avoid sharing a particular location with other overly eager detectorists.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t share good metal detecting spots with others, but sometimes it’s nice to have a spot all to yourself.

Especially when the owner of the property was nice enough to let you search on their land but may not be looking for others to come knocking every weekend.


I hope I’ve been able to share some good reasons why metal detectorists often choose to wear camouflage clothing. It’s not just a fad or because it looks cool (although let’s be honest, it does look pretty cool).

There are some very practical reasons for metal detectorists to don camo when they go out detecting. Whether the camo look is for you or not, the benefits make the choice to wear camo hard to ignore.

If you’re interested in learning about some of the other apparel, tools, or equipment that metal detectorists commonly use, then swing by and read my article on the best metal detecting accessories.

Until next time…

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