Gold Panning – 7 Useful Tips For Complete Beginners

gold panning for beginnersMany people think gold panning may be a way to get rich quick… They fall for the hype and get discouraged even before they come across any findings of significant worth. What they forget about are the qualities that every modern gold panner should have – perseverance, a lot of patience and a good gold pan.

Of course, it’s best to treat this activity as a hobby rather than a job or a business idea. If you think about it this way, you can actually become a part of a huge community full of great people and get yourself a great way to spend your free time.

Learn To Develop Your Gold Panning Skills….

People who dabble in panning, understand that it takes the time to develop those key skills and favorite places, about where and when to look for treasure hidden in the soil. By working on your skills and increasing your knowledge (not only in gold digging itself, for example, geography and geology can come in very handy) you increase the chance of finding what everyone is looking for. Take a look at what else can help you get started:

1. Learn To Read Maps – Both Old And New Ones

When most people think of gold panning, usually either a mine or a river comes to mind where they could look for precious minerals. Unfortunately, running to the nearest river and digging in it without prior research, isn’t the best idea. That doesn’t mean that you can’t find gold in a river – it’s actually what most gold panners do.

It’s much better to explore the locations in which the river used to flow. The sediment can hide a lot of hidden treasures and as such, the potential of these location is still untapped in many cases.

Of course, you can’t just go to a shop and buy a bunch of old maps. Your best bet is to go to a local library where you can find the most relevant materials. In fact, this is where the “work” starts. Don’t follow the crowd, outsmart other gold diggers and find your own spots.

2) Stick To Public Places Or Ask For Permission

gold panning with friendsWhile on your gold hunting mission, don’t forget about those trespassing laws. You don’t want to end up on a private land with an angry landowner growling at you…..

On the other hand, you can always ask for permission before hand. Most people will be happy to accommodate you.They may even be able to share some helpful advice. You never know until you ask!

If you get lucky, you will be one step ahead of other people and can sift through the ground which probably hasn’t been touched in quite some time, if at all…

Look around for places which could have been used in the past for mining. Some of them can be on private property which can put some people off, especially those afraid to ask. There’s your chance for a great location.

3. Educate Yourself On The Water Flow

gold panning permitApart from studying maps, it’s good to know how to read the stream of water and its seasonal changes.

For example, because of the density of gold, it can get trapped at the bottom of the creek bed behind boulders or tree roots. Anywhere where the water is forced to change its stream or slow down.

By learning how to read the flow of water, you create a significant advantage over other panners and find places where there can be some new discoveries that have just arrived…

4. Invest In A Metal Detector.

When it comes to equipment, almost every beginner asks the same question. Can you use a metal detector to look for gold? Of course! A good detector is capable of helping you find the right spots which are worth spending time. And avoiding those that don’t have gold in them, or have already emptied by others.

Make sure that you choose a metal detector or pinpointer capable of giving you accurate results. You don’t want to waste hours panning, only to find out your metal detector gave you wrong information.

5. But Don’t Forget The Basics

The above mentioned metal detector is an excellent idea. But don’t forget about the most basic things you should be doing. Gold panning is not about running around with a metal detector all day. There’s a hobby for that one though.

Get yourself a small shovel and a good pan to get you started. Look for a likely spot in a creek, get some sand on your pan and sift through it using your hands. Remove all of the larger, worthless rocks to get to what you really want. Keep swishing back and forth, until all you see is a clear sand, water and, hopefully, gold.

6. Don’t Get Discouraged With Your Location

gold panning kitSometimes, you will be panning for hours without any results. This may happen even if, in the beginning, you thought  your site was a definite winner! When something like that occurs chalk it up to experience. The best you can do is to change the location.

Of course, you don’t have to do move kilometers away from where you started. Sometimes, moving just a few meters up or down stream can do wonders.

Especially, if you have already researched the area on paper (in this case, you may be just an inch or two from what you’re looking for).

7. And, Most Importantly, Have Some Fun!

Although sometimes you may think that it’s impossible to find any real treasure with gold panning, you shouldn’t overly focus on the final result. It’s way more important to just have fun and enjoy spending time outside.

And it’s easy to combine gold panning with many other activities. Whether you are camping with your friends and family, spending time sunbathing and swimming, or you are fishing, you can always spare an hour or two to do some panning….. You never know what you may find…


Jims Final Thoughts On Panning For Gold…

If you are actively panning in your local area, treat it not only as a great way of expanding your knowledge of local history and geography. The gold rush was once one of the main driving forces of American economic growth. There’s a lot to discover about that pastime. And if you make money finding a real nugget while learning, having fun, and spending time with your friends or family, you get a great bonus. Just remember to stay focused and persistent, these are the kind of hobbies that can pay off big-time, when you are patient.

Resting after spending the afternoon in the river- Jim & Claire

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