Beach Combing Basics

Searching for sea glass became a favorite vacation pastime of mine during a family trip to the Cayman Islands.  Smooth glass pebbles of green and blue could have been made of gold the way we shrieked when spotted in the sand.  Beach combing contents were then styled in decorative glass jars along with a sweet tag to record the date and location of the treasures.  This trend stuck, and now I have moment jars for every beach I've ever walked on.  This summer I spent lots of time on the Jersey Shore, but even MORE time was spent beach combing a sad littered beach right by our house (off a shipping port) for AMAZING glass and pottery like some of the things below...

Here are some of my tips and strategy for finding sea glass and other beach combing treasure:

1. Bring a plastic container with a lid...
Baggies work too -- but a rigid container with a lid will keep shells or fragile items from getting accidentally crushed.  Your boyfriend (or girlfriend) will appreciate you not using their pockets for storage.  Sometimes I'll even pack a paper towel to cushion fragile items like crab shells or coral.

2. Bring a net...
Sometimes the best stuff is right where the waves break so visibility is limited.  Using a small net you can scoop up rocky sand and sift through it at your leisure.  Submerge the net just under the water and shake to filter out the sand and make treasure easier to find.

3. Sit, don't bend...
You'll last a lot longer if you don't spend your entire hunt bending over at the waist.  Covering ground is important, but when you reach an tide line with lots of shells and rocks sit down to sift through the treasures.

4. Rinse your finds with water when you get home...
saltwater muck gets funky QUICK especially when sitting in an sealed container

5. Research… Some people take beach combing SUPER DUPER seriously -- so there are numerous forums sharing the locations of the best beach combing locations in your area.

Looking for display ideas?

Make this shadowbox (tutorial here) or store contents in petite glass jars with a tag labeling their origins.

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