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When using EMF detection meters it is important to make a series of baseline measurements in order to highlight any unusual readings. A ‘normal’ range of readings is between 0.1 to 10 mG (milli-Gauss), though some locations may have higher man-made sources. If you are close to domestic appliances the reading can exceed 30mG.
Originally posted by soontide
The most important thing you want to take is something to record your thoughts. Digital voice recorders are better for that than anything else. Things like the feel of the area, things you see and hear, readings you get on any equipment you might have and suggestions to yourself and whoever is going to be doing data review with you to pay close attention to some specific photograph, section of recording, etc. You might also want to carry a small notebook and pencil (better than pens which tend to not want to write properly if it's cold) to take down notes, draw sketches, etc.
Remember that the most useful device you have is your mind. Don't assume that something you can't explain is paranormal. If you see something, investigate. Always think about what non-paranormal causes might be at play.
You mentioned earlier about wanting to know what the thing with the lights on Ghost Hunters was. I think that may be a K2 meter, which is just an EMF detector that represents thresholds of EMF with lights instead of a needle or digital readout. They're pretty cheap, relatively, but also made cheaply as well. They are prone to false-positives and failures.
As far as "what is the normal base EMF of a neighborhood", well, you need to take a "base reading" when you get there to get a feel for that. You should look for things like low hanging power lines or buried power lines if you get a high reading that is steady. Most "paranormal" EMF readings fluctuate, which normal EMFs don't do.