Not your typical gear

red sea glass reflector

It takes Sheree Hardrath a little bit longer than some to get ready for a beachcombing trip. That’s because she has to put on extra gear just to be able to make it to the beach. Sheree has been beachcombing for years along California’s central coast, from braving the pounding surf at Davenport Beach in Santa Cruz to strolling the golden dunes near her home in Monterey.

sheree on the beach with walking sticks

Over the years, minor accidents and regular wear and tear on her joints means a trip to the beach involves strapping on more than a beachcombing bag. Sheree wears ankle braces, custom insoles, knee braces, and a full leg brace. She dons a visor to protect her face from the sun, uses two walking sticks to keep her balance and help her down hills, and brings along a fanny pack and backpack to store her phone and bring home her treasures.

So, is all this preparation worth it? Take a look at her most recent find—a vintage amberina glass reflector—and you’ll say “Yes!” She found the perfectly frosted piece on what she calls “Senior Beach,” so named because it’s easy to walk and doesn’t involve any strenuous hiking, dodging waves, or rocky beaches.

beachcombing gear

“I hope seeing what I need to do to get ready for the beach will encourage those with special needs to give beachcombing a try,” Sheree says. “Anyone can do it!”

This article appeared in the Beachcombing Magazine July/August 2019 issue.

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