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So, you want to become a gold panner? What do you need to know before jumping in at the deep end?
Patience, Perseverance, Resilience…
A large degree of patience is required… And, I might add, perseverance…Actually, better add resilience into that mix too…
Sometimes, people get lucky the first time they are out; others spend days or even weeks in the wrong location without any significant findings. That’s why it’s important to approach gold panning as an activity you do for fun. and not with the view of hitting pay dirt instantly.
Looking for the 3 Most Popular Gold Panning Kits?
Very few people become full-time gold panners. At least not in the very beginning and lack of results can be very discouraging. Most people prefer to combine panning with using a metal detector and or a pinpointer. As their experience and knowledge increases, their panning results improve. If you have the basics under control and prepare upfront, you can save yourself a great deal of time,increasing your chances of finding treasure in the ground.
1) Find People or Companies Who Can Teach You The Basics
Before you invest time and money into your new hobby and spending days outside panning, reach out to people who are already knowledgeable about the topic. With the growing popularity of gold panning, you can choose one of the tens of companies across the United States who are happy to give guidance.
Here is an article on 7 Useful Tips For Complete Beginners. This covers some basics you may not know.
2) Don’t Just Pan Anywhere – Go Where The Gold Is
There are three main reasons why you shouldn’t be panning for gold anywhere you want:
- Gold doesn’t appear everywhere so it would be a waste of time to pan in most of the areas in the first place.
- Even if it did, a lot of land in the US belongs to private owners, and digging without permission is just trespassing.
- Luckily, you can choose from one of numerous panning locations are designed either for recreational or professional prospecting. Each of the states has a list of recreational ones, available for anyone interested.
Apart from recreational areas, some clubs and associations, such as The Gold Prospector’s Association of America have their own land, on which their members can pan.
You may find it can be a little bit overwhelming in the beginning. This is where where patience, perseverance and resilience are important qualities:),
As the time goes on, your knowledge and experience is honed and you will learn how to find the best locations on your own, greatly increasing the chance of finding your own shiny treasure.
3) Take The Right Equipment – You Aren’t Looking For Gold With Just Your Bare Hands Are You?
Unlike many other hobbies, gold panning doesn’t require you to invest thousands of dollars in equipment. Quite the opposite actually. You stand a good chance of earning money with the nuggets and gold dust you discover. Gold Panning Kits for beginners are relatively inexpensive.
A (preferably) Plastic Gold PanYou can look for gold without a pan. No matter how advanced other tools on the market get, the good old pan will be the number one choice will for years to come to separate gold from the dirt and other minerals efficiently. Of course, if you do need to know how to use it the right way.
When making a choice, choose a green one (it’ll be easier to spot all the minerals), made of high-impact plastic.
A Convenient Small Shovel To DigThe second thing that will be useful is a small shovel such as the Lesche T Handle Shovel.
You don’t need to invest in anything too big. This one is 18 inches long and easy to take around. Just enough to pick up large enough amount of dirt for your panning so that you don’t have to use your hands.
A Glass VialMost of the time, you will not find those big golden nuggets most beginners dream of. Most of the time, you will be collecting small gold flakes or gold dust. To gather the flakes, a pair of tweezers can come in handy too.
A Solid Bucket
You don’t need anything special. Anything that you can carry dirt and water in will do. As long as it’s not too big so you can take it anywhere you need with ease. Never let it be said a bucket is just a bucket!
A Small Pickaxe and a HammerSometimes you’ll need to break a rock or two. That’s when a good quality pickaxe and a hammer become very useful.
Of course, you are not going to be spending time breaking rocks like miners used to do during the gold rush. Almost any pickaxe and hammer that are durable and convenient to carry will do.
4) A Beginners Kit Is Useful…Although you don’t really need a lot of equipment, some people may prefer to have everything ready-made for panning, so all items are suitable for the job.
In this case, it’s best to get yourself a special kit, that comes with all the necessary items.
Some of them even come with a concentration bowl and base, that you can use to separate gold quickly from the dirt by using water and the power of gravity. The Gold Rush Nugget Bucket is fantastic for this.
Becoming A Gold Panner Is So Much Fun
Whichever location you choose for your gold panning adventure and whatever equipment you buy for your first trip, remember to stay excited and treat the process as a hobby. It’s all about spending time outdoors, with other, like-minded people who enjoy the idea of searching for a hidden treasure. And, of course – good luck! There’s still a lot of gold to be found, waiting for the lucky panners!
A list of some more gold prospecting associations: