Gear you need for gold prospecting
Gold has been proven to be very valuable and important. Having gold means you are entitled to do various things with it--- make a jewelry out of it, sell it, mold it, store it...anything your heart desires!
But, gold does not turn up just anywhere. How are you going to acquire it?
The best way to find gold starts by choosing the right gold panning tools and equipment. Recreational gold panning requires a few basic equipment, plus some optional ones which you can add to your gear. Beginners could greatly benefit from knowing which tools to prioritize in buying, so they can save up for the more expensive ones later.
Protective Gear and Clothing
Gold panning is not an easy task. Like in all outdoor hobbies, it is very important to always put your safety first when it comes to panning for gold.
Gold panning could sometimes take you to locations which may pose a threat to your health if you do not consider taking safety precautions, so aside from your usual outdoor get up, these items are essential in keeping you out of harm's way.
Goggles & Eyewear
It is very important to protect your eyes from the blazing rays of the sun and, most importantly, rock particles. A pair of goggles is highly suggested when you decide to pan for gold yourself. Goggles protect your eyes from rock particles when you are digging with the pick or using tools to crush rocks. You would not want to go home with red, damaged eyes, would you?
Keep in mind that gold panning takes place mostly in rivers and creeks, so expect to get cold and wet. However, when panning for gold in the colder water, wetsuit jackets made of neoprene may be necessary. These jackets give optimum thermal insulation and protects your body from the cold water environment.
There are quite a few different types of wetsuits available out there, such as wetsuit tops, wetsuit vests, shorty wetsuits, spring wetsuits, short john wetsuits, long john wetsuits, and full suits. Choose the one which mostly suits your needs and gives you the best level of comfort.
Snake Chaps and Snake Gaiters
It is sometimes unsafe to sit by creeks or rivers all day because of snakes and other creatures lurking around, that is why there is an important protective gear that should be in every gold prospectors possession: snake chaps or snake gaiters.
These are specifically designed to protect outdoor enthusiasts from venomous snakes like copperheads, cottonmouths and rattlesnakes. They provide the best puncture-proof protection available for gold panners, as well.
Snake chaps are like full-length pants which attach to your belt and have an open front and rear, while snake gaiters simply go around your calves and buckle together with a plastic buckle. Snake gaiters are much more lightweight compared to snake chaps, but offer less length protection.
One must not go out without proper instructions and guide, especially when panning for gold. For beginners and experienced gold panners alike, these are helpful tools in directing you to the right track when planning to venture outdoors.
Just like any other adventurer, it is important to bring a map or two with you when you are out in unfamiliar places. For hobbyists who are interested in recreational gold prospecting or panning, gold maps serve as important sources of information.
There are maps which show known occurrences of gold lodes and placer deposits of the past and present. Choose a gold map which is up-to-date and features relevant information to your site.
Gold Prospecting, Rockhounding, and Treasure Hunting Books
Aside from gold maps, it is advisable to arm yourself with gold-related books when you decide to go on a gold panning adventure. Books with tips and techniques on gold and treasure hunting are valuable resources for gold panning beginners. These books will provide you information on maps and locations where one can find rock and mineral specimens. These books also help beginners identify specimens and distinguish one from the other.
Basic Gold Panning Tools
Gold panning does not have to be so complicated, especially when you are doing it only for fun or leisure--- or at least not commercially. In recreational gold panning, you do not need a lot of fancy equipment.
Beginners can browse through our store and get inexpensive tools to start off with. Available here at FredsGoldPanning.com, the tools and equipment listed below are the most important ones to take with you when panning for gold.
Available in either metal or plastic, a gold pan is the basic miner's tool. These may be square or round in shape, with the round shape being by far the most common in general use. Plastic gold pans are recommended especially for beginners. They are lighter, do not rust, nor do they conflict with the use of a magnet--- which is also an important tool in gold panning.
A bucket is used to haul material from the location where it is being dug out of the ground, to a location where it can be panned. Buckets come in many sizes; choose one which you can easily carry when filled with material for panning. Some buckets can also double as containers for carrying panning equipment when changing locations.
Shovels help lessen and get rid of gravel on top of your working area. This tool is also necessary in digging up dirt into your pan. When buying one, make sure to choose a strong, sturdy shovel which has a handle that will not break easily. You would not want to end up digging with your hands, would you?
A trowel is like a shovel--- only smaller. Most of the time, it is used to dig material from locations where a large shovel will not fit. If you cannot handle big shovels, then a handy ol' trowel is for you.
Aside from shovels, scoops are used to transfer dirt and pan material into your gold pan. Scoops are more convenient to carry around, as they are lighter and more portable. Scoops with holes or slots can help you save more time by separating the finer and smaller materials from some of the heavy stuff that you don't want before doing the actual panning.
A crevice tool is usually a thin piece of metal with a narrow scoop on one end. It is used for scraping and digging out material from very narrow crevices between rocks. Crevice tools are available in various lengths, colors and materials, and you can find them here at FredsGoldPanning.com.
A pry bar is used to move large rocks to allow panners to get to the material underneath them. In areas of harder soil such as bedrocks or cemented gravel, a crow bar or pry bar can be used to break open cracks to find untouched gold panning material. This is very helpful for those who want to dig deeper and get more than just gold on the surface.
Rock Hammers and Picks
A rock hammer can be used to break up rocks so that they can be more easily moved. A pick, similarly, is used to break up hard-packed soil material. It can also be used to open the cracks wider so you can get inside them easier. Rock Hammers and Picks are part of the essential tools that every gold panner must have.
Gold panning can be a really difficult task, especially when huge chunks of black sand pile up with the gold. Fortunately, magnets are always here to save the day. Magnets make clean-up a lot faster and easier. Since gold is not magnetic, magnets can be used to remove magnetic black sand in a plastic pan.
Magnifiers, such as hand lens or magnifying glasses, are useful in observing your pans for presence of gold. These tools make it easier to identify and spot smaller gold particles. For gold panners who literally have a lot on their hands, there are hands-free magnifiers which are more convenient to use.
Mortar and Pestle
Basically, the combination of mortar and pestle is a lethal one: they are used to crush bigger lumps of ore before they are panned. The process of crushing the ore makes panning it much easier. For a more convenient experience, choose a set made of cast iron, which is stronger and much more efficient compared to other materials.
Tweezers are not only used for hygienic purposes. These tools are used to pick out the very small flecks of gold from your pan. Tweezers are made for different types of industries, however, some of the best ones are those made for jewelers.
Vials and Containers
Vials and containers should never be forgotten because they are as important as gold pans. These are used to store and display gold which have been panned and separated from the dirt. Glass vials are very nice for displaying gold, but they will break if dropped on a rock, so it is advisable to use plastic vials when in the field.
Gold panning, prospecting, dredging, and nugget hunting all require you to have a scale in hand to weigh your finds. For an easier and more accurate measurement, get a digital scale because it is a reliable choice, compared to traditional weighing scales.
More Advanced Prospecting Equipment
Apart from the basic gold panning tools listed above, there are more equipment that you can use for your own convenience. These tools can also be employed to make your recreational gold panning faster and much easier.
Spiral Gold Pans
If you have the option to set ordinary gold pans aside, then we recommend the spiral ones for you. These are becoming the most sought-after piece of recreational prospecting equipment on the market. It takes the hassle out of panning by hand and concentrates your gold from black sands quickly and easily. Spiral gold pans are optimized for the highest recovery rate, giving you more gold in less time.
Material Size Classifiers
This is a screen used to classify the material to be panned. It aids in separating different sizes of the material, and is usually used to remove large rocks prior to panning. Classifiers are available with screens having holes from 1/2 inch down to 1/100th of an inch in size, and are identified by the size of the holes in fractions of an inch.
Also called snuffer bottles or sucker bottles, these are small, hand-sized flexible bottles with small sucking tube attached to the end. Sniffer bottles are very handy for removing even the finest gold from your pan, which makes your gold panning job easier and less time-consuming.
Sluice boxes are for those who want to do a 'level-up' gold panning. A sluice box channels water from a river or stream over gravel to allow faster and more efficient production compared to using a pan. Traditionally made of wood, there are now modern sluice boxes which are constructed out of lightweight materials like polypropylene plastic. Metal sluice boxes, which can be folded up for portability, are also available.
As the name implies, these devices are used to detect metals, such as gold, buried underneath the ground. There are different types of detectors for coins, jewelry, relics, prospecting and for use in the water. Different brands of detectors will have various characteristics and features. For your convenience, look for models with: 1) ground-balancing and discrimination modes for black sand deposits/alkaline soils and for optimal operation in heavy mineralization, and 2) maximum sensitivity to locate even the smallest gold flake at greater depths.
Like metal detectors, pinpointers are designed to help locate small gold nuggets, coins and other relics in piles of dirt and sand. These devices have been proven to be extremely effective and precise, which have made pinpointing much easier.
Go out and find gold!
Gold panning can be a very enjoyable activity, not only from the value of the gold you find, but just as much for the opportunity to be out in the fresh air and experience nature. We wish you all a fun and rewarding venture into gold prospecting!