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Thursday, March 14, 2019

7 Tips for Collecting Seashells While on Vacation

7 Tips for Collecting Seashells While on Vacation
When I was 5 years old I visited the beach for the first time during a family vacation. During that summer vacation I fell in-love with collecting seashells. I'm now 51 years old and currently have over 400+ shells from all over the world in my collection.

Collecting seashells is a fun hobby and won't cost you a lot of money. You'll need just a few basic supplies and then you can hit your favorite beach. Going SHELLING has become more and more popular over the years and seashell collecting continues to grow.

7 Tips for Collecting Seashells While on Vacation

1. Collector's ID Guide: If you're serious about collecting shells I recommend picking up a collector's ID guidebook to help you identify them. I personally recommend the The BEST North American Seashell Identification Guide if you're traveling around North America.

2. Collection Bags: You'll need a few mesh (netted) bags to place them in while walking the beach. These types of bags allow the sand to fall out and the water to flow through. Once they're in the bag you can rinse them in the surf or rinse them once you return back to your hotel room. 

3. Collecting Gear: In addition to the bags I recommend that you take along a small shovel and a strainer. You'll need the shovel for digging into the sand and the strainer is helpful when you're collecting the small shells for your collection. You can scoop them up and let the sand & water flow out.
7 Tips for Collecting Seashells While on Vacation

4. Know Where to Look: Some shells are best found around rocky areas, in low-tide pools, along the low tide or high tide lines, in marshy bays, etc. Some will be easily visible and other's will need to be dug up from the sand. You can find out information on where to look via ID guides, online shelling websites and/or talk to the locals. 

5. Transportation Materials: You will need to transport your newly found treasures home. I recommend packing them into boxes, old pillowcases, sticking them into old socks, wrap them in your beach towels, use bubble wrap, paper towels, etc. Never wrap them in newspaper (the ink will transfer onto your shells). 

6. Cleaning: Once you get home you'll want to thoroughly clean-up your treasures! Wash them in warm soapy water and rinse clean. If they have debris on them...lightly scrub them with a soft sponge. Don't use steel wool which will scratch them. It's important to remove the salt water, sand and fishy odor from all shells before storing or displaying them. You can find detailed steps and tips on how to wash and preserve your seashells by checking out a previous article that I published.
7 Tips for Collecting Seashells While on Vacation

7. Display: You will need to decide how you wish to display your collection. You can find display cases and boxes out in the retail marketplace or make your own. If you're only going to collect a few shells, you can just display them around your home as decor accent pieces. If you're going to place them in cases and/or boxes...I recommend labeling them with the name of the shell, collection location and the date.

Collecting seashells while on vacation is a fun activity to do and it won't cost you any money. Once you arrive back home you'll have some beautiful treasures to display around your home to remind you of your trip. 

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