What Is Rockhounding: An Intro To My Favorite Hobby (Rock Hunting)

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What Is Rockhounding: An Intro To My Favorite Hobby (Rock Hunting)

Some of us are born to do something.  While some of us learn to enjoy doing certain types of things over time.  

Fortunately, this hobby of mine, rock collecting, is one that can easily fit into both of the above categories; That’s to say there are those of us who were born to collect rocks and minerals, and there are those of us that did not learn until later that we were born to be a part of this awesome hobby.

Regardless of how we came to love it, it’s who we are. Good or bad, it’s who we are. We are rockhounds.

What Is A Rockhound?

Webster defines a rockhound as a specialist in geology, or someone who’s an amateur rock and mineral collector.

But I like to define what a rockhound is by not just whether of not the person enjoys rock hunting. No. I believe there’s a little more to it if you’re going to call yourself a rockhound.

A rockhound is someone who cannot pass by a pretty rock without picking it up for a closer look. A rockhound is someone who can’t quite say no when it’s time to leave, because there’s just one more rock to be found.

Still unclear what a rockhound is?  Well here’s a few more characteristics that true rockhounds have.  These rockhound traits are from mineralogy4kids.org.

  • A rockhound owns more pieces of quartz than underwear.
  • A rockhound thinks the primary function of road cuts are for easy rock and mineral collecting.
  • Rockhounds tend to lick rocks in order to bring out all of the wonderful natural colors.
  • A rock hound would rather attend the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show than visit Hawaii.
  • Rockhounds ALWAYS find themselves examining individual rocks in driveway gravel.


Why Get Into Rock Hunting?

For many of us, we can’t necessarily pinpoint exactly why we got into rockhounding. It’s just something that we love.  Perhaps some of us started when we were little, by being introduced to it by a grandparent. Or maybe like me, you went on a field trip to a rock and mineral show in second grade and was absolutely amazed at all the different specimens laid out before you.

There’s a million reasons why you’d want to get into rockhounding. But if you need some convincing, then take a look at the reasons my friend over at rockhoundtimes.com gave for getting into rock hunting.      

1. Training Not Required

First, there’s no experience needed to become a rockhound! All you need is to get outside and look down at the ground. It can be as simple and easy as that.

2. No Need To Travel

There’s a whole world just outside your door. Rockhounding can be as simple as going down to the nearest creek or road cut by your house.  Those two locations alone will turn up many fine rock and mineral specimens.

3. Low Budget Hobby

What is rock hounding? It’s inexpensive! That’s what!  However, like most other hobbies, rock hunting can be as cheap or expensive as you want it to be. Some rockhounds will travel the world in the name of rock hunting, while other rock collectors never go further than just a few miles from where they live.

4. Getting Outdoors

My favorite reason for my rock hunting hobby is that it gets me outside!  And not just me, buy my kids as well. Rockhounding is an awesome excuse for getting outside and spending time together in the fresh air and the sunshine.


Final Thoughts

Now you know what a rockhound is and why rockhounding is such a popular hobby for so many people; kids and adults alike!  And if you still think that this rockhounding is just for kids, consider this. The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show is one of the largest rock and mineral shows around and draws over 50,000 people every year. And to top it off, these people are coming to the show from all around the world!

Rock collecting is a big time hobby, and rockhounds are very helpful and friendly people. So if you’re thinking about starting up, do it!

Questions about rockhounding? Leave a comment below, or shoot me an email at [email protected]

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