13 Common Mistakes People Make When Looking For Thundereggs

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

| Updated

13 Common Mistakes People Make When Looking For Thundereggs

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD


Imagine you’re exploring the great outdoors. Your goal? To find thundereggs, the mysterious and beautiful rock formations that capture the imagination of anyone who hears about them. But, as with any adventure, there are pitfalls along the way.

Many folks jump into this hobby without realizing that there are common slip-ups just waiting to happen. We’ll share with you these common mistakes to help you prepare for your thunderegg hunting and hopefully avoid making them. Let’s start!

Biggest Mistakes Thunderegg Hunters Make

Being geological curiosities, thundereggs attract hunters for their unique beauty. But in the excitement of searching for it, people can make several mistakes that can affect their success, safety, and environmental responsibility.

Here are some of these common mistakes that you should be aware and conscious of not committing:

Lack Of Research

A guy carefully studying a map out in the field

Jumping into the hunt for thundereggs without doing your homework is a huge mistake. You might have a blast driving around, but you’ll probably miss the right spots.

Some folks think they can just head outside, start digging, and they’ll find thundereggs right away. But it’s not that simple. These treasures have specific homes, hiding in places that have the right conditions for them to form.

If you don’t take the time to learn a bit about these conditions, you could end up searching in all the wrong places.

Trespassing On Private Property

A clear signage with the text, "Private Property No Trespassing" posted on the fence

Another big mistake people make when hunting for thundereggs is wandering onto private property without permission.

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and forget to check who owns the land. Many areas where thundereggs might be found are privately owned, and entering without asking can lead to trouble.

It’s not just about following the law; it’s also about showing respect to those who own the land. Always remember, getting permission is key.

Ignoring Safety Measures

A person using a hammer and chisel to break down a rock

Skipping safety steps is a common mistake in the search for thundereggs. It’s thrilling to go out and explore, but remember, tools like hammers and chisels can be dangerous if you’re not careful.

Some folks think they’ll be fine without these precautions, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Getting hurt takes the fun out of your adventure and can end your search before it really begins. Always pack your safety gear to enjoy a worry-free hunt.

Unprepared For The Weather And Terrain

A man wearing a red waterproof jacket and a sturdy backpack out on the field

Going out to find thundereggs without checking the weather or knowing the terrain is a mistake many make. The terrain where these natural treasures are found can be tough, with steep slopes and uneven ground.

The weather can change quickly, turning a sunny day into a rain-soaked adventure. Without the right clothes and shoes, you could get cold and wet, making your hunt uncomfortable and risky.

It’s important to prepare: check the weather forecast, dress in layers, and wear sturdy boots. This way, you’re ready for anything nature throws your way.

Lack Of Physical Preparedness

A man jogging outdoors

Looking for thundereggs isn’t just a walk in the park. You might have to hike far, climb over rocks, and dig through hard soil. It’s a real workout!

Some folks think they’ll manage fine, but then find out the hard way that they’re not as ready as they thought. This can lead to getting tired quickly, not being able to enjoy the hunt, or even hurting themselves.

Before you head out, try to get in some walks or hikes to build up your stamina. Being in good shape means you can hunt longer and have more fun.

Overlooking Environmental Impact

A shovel used to create a deep hole in the soil

Digging for thundereggs without thinking about the environment is a mistake that happens too often. When we’re out there, excited to find them, it’s easy to forget about the marks we leave behind.

But remember, our digging can disturb plants, animals, and the land itself. Just imagine if everyone took a shovel to the same spot; pretty soon, there wouldn’t be much left to enjoy.

That’s why it’s important to dig carefully and only where it’s allowed. Fill any holes you make and don’t take more than you need.

Lacking The Proper Tools

Rockhounding kit including a sturdy bag, shovel, chisel, gloves, and goggles

Imagine finding the perfect spot, seeing signs that thundereggs are close, but then realizing you can’t extract them because you didn’t bring the right gear. It’s like trying to cut a steak with a spoon – frustrating and not very effective.

You need a sturdy hammer, a good chisel, and maybe even a pickaxe, depending on where you’re searching. Don’t forget a backpack to carry your finds.

Having the right tools makes all the difference. It lets you safely and effectively uncover those thundereggs. So, before you go, make a checklist of what you’ll need.

Inadequate Hydration And Nutrition

A guy drinking from a bottle

When you’re so excited, sometimes you can forget to take care of yourself.

But here’s the thing: searching for this wonder can be hard work, and it often happens in places where there’s no quick stop for a bite or a sip of water.

If you’re not well-hydrated and your stomach is growling, you won’t have the energy to search effectively, and you might even start feeling sick. Always pack plenty of water and some healthy snacks before you head out. Stay sharp!

Overconfidence In Identification

An open thunderegg agate

When you spot a round rock, you might think, “This is it!” But not all round rocks are thundereggs.

Real thundereggs have a special look and feel to them, and learning to tell them apart from regular rocks takes a bit of practice. If you assume every rock is a prize, you might end up carrying a lot of ordinary rocks home.

Take time to learn what makes thundereggs unique, like their size, weight, and the way they feel. This way, you can make sure you’re bringing back real treasures.

Not Respecting Local Regulations

Two hands holding out an unopened, round thunderegg

It’s important to know that different places have different rules about where and how you can look for these rocks.

Some areas might be protected, which means you can’t take anything from them. Other places might allow you to search but with certain limits. If you don’t follow these rules, you could get in trouble, like getting a fine or even being asked to leave.

Always take a moment to learn about the regulations of the place you’re exploring. This way, you can enjoy your hunt without worrying about breaking any rules.


Several specimens of open thundereggs

Taking too many thundereggs when you find them is wrong. It’s like when you find a patch of wild berries and pick them all, leaving none behind for others or for the plants to grow back next year.

If everyone took as many thundereggs as they could carry, soon there wouldn’t be any left for others to enjoy, or even for you on your next visit.

It’s better to take just a few that you really like and leave the rest. This way, there are plenty for everyone and the thrill of the hunt stays alive for the next adventure.

Neglecting To Plan For Transportation

A pick-up truck with rockhounding tools parked outside a field

Thundereggs can be heavy and bulky, especially if you find a few good ones. Imagine being far from your car, tired from the day’s adventure, and then realizing you have to carry heavy rocks all the way back. That’s not fun!

Before you head out, think about what you’ll use to carry your thundereggs. A sturdy backpack, a wagon, or even a wheelbarrow can help, depending on where you are.

Planning ahead means you can enjoy your discoveries without worrying about how to get them home.

Failure To Record Locations

An offline GPS navigation system

When you’re out there looking for thunderegg, every spot might seem easy to remember.

But after a day full of exploring, one place can start to look just like another. If you find a great spot, but don’t write down where it is, you might not be able to find it again.

Keeping a small notebook with you or using your phone to mark GPS locations can help a lot. This way, if you want to return for more or share the spot with a friend, you’ll know exactly where to go.

About Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

Keith Jackson is an avid rockhound who is constantly exploring new sites to expand his collection. He has worked as a professional Geologist for over 20 years and holds a PhD in Geology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a Masters Degree in Geology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a Bachelors Degree in Geology from the University of Connecticut.

Leave a Comment