* User Info

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

* Who's Online


Dot Guests: 201 | Dot Users
Dot Hidden: 1

* Board Stats

  • stats Total Members: 13054
  • stats Total Posts: 131622
  • stats Total Topics: 18399
  • stats Total Categories: 5
  • stats Total Boards: 48
  • stats Most Online: 814

* Advertisers

Mining Claims
Gear Pan
The lil Gold Spinner
The lil Gold Spinner
The Pocket Sluice

Author Topic: NEWBIE'S ESSENTIALS  (Read 32326 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline Ghoti

  • PPT Invited
  • *****
  • Posts: 25
  • Kudos: 4
« on: February 12, 2009, 09:54:58 AM »

A Newbie getting into gold prospecting is faced with so much information that it can be a little daunting to figure out what is needed to get started. I posted on several forums this question,  “What equipment does a newbie need to get started in gold prospecting,” and received some great suggestions that I will share here. I hope it will not only benefit a newbie but possibly those who have been prospecting for years.
Portability is important, allowing you to search for an area that has a good concentration of gold.  Later you can bring in some heavier equipment (if you have it), but until then you need something that is portable, light enough to carry and yet provide most everything you will need.

Red indicates bare essentials, but having as many items on the list as possible will make your early prospecting experience less frustrating.
Green indicates personally highly recommended to get early

Start with a ruck sack (back pack, knapsack) big enough to carry on your back the following and more:

2 - Gold pans -  one large 14” and one small 7” - The bigger pan to bulk process your material to concentrates and the 7" pan to do the slow cleanup of the concentrate while using the larger pan as a safety pan.

1 - Sucker bottle - Mandatory item - Most gold found will be so fine that a sucker bottle is needed to get it out of your pan.

Classifier - Buy a good 1/4" classifier as it will make panning easier by removing the larger material first. Make sure it fits on the 3 – 5 gallon bucket as well as your large pan.

A metal garden trowel for digging material that a shovel can't get at; it's also great to feed hand sluice.

Tool for cleaning out cracks.  (Long flat head screw driver works well)

Small tackle or Tupperware box to hold small items like:
    Vials, pill bottles – to hold any pickers you find
    Tweezers - to pick up gold too small to be picked up with fingers
    Hand Loupe – magnifier to examine samples to help see if fine gold is present
    Small bottle of Jet Dry – a few drops used in the small pan. It reduces water tension thus reducing floating gold
Zip Lock Bags (strongest you can get) to hold con and small rocks of interest
H2O Bottle - Bring a large bottle of water for drinking as well as wetting material in areas of no water
High energy snacks
Sting/first aid kit
Emergency/survival kit in case you get lost or have an accident and need to wait to get help.
Pocket knife or multi tool on belt
Hand Sanitizer
Gloves - leather to prevent blisters
Bug Spray (Max. DEET)
Toilet Paper in a baggie (wet TP is of little use! Don't ask how I know  ;D)

Now that the small stuff is accounted for on to the larger stuff...

Good boots – needs to be able to handle getting wet, could be hip or chest waders (depends on depth of water you will be working)
Knee pads   – makes being on knees for long periods of time tolerable
Good fiberglass handled spade shovel. Don't skimp on quality.  You don't want to ruin a day's outing with a busted handle because you saved a few bucks on a shovel
Wonder Bar pry bar to open up cracks and crevices
3 gallon plastic bucket – Carrying 5 gallons of material all day long will tire you faster than using a 3 gallon
5 gallon bucket for seat (upside down)- These two buckets will nest inside each other

Additional items - good to have, light weight, processes more material

Gold sucker -allows you to suck up material from cracks and crevices and sample behind rocks
Sluice - a good hand sluice will allow you to process more material

This list doesn't cover all the prospecting needs of a specific individual but is a good starting point.  It's great to have a prospecting kit that is ready to go. Keep it in the trunk of your car and you are set to prospect on a moments notice.

Offline shiver

  • Administrator
  • **********
  • Posts: 1563
  • Province/State: Canada
  • Country: ca
  • Kudos: 25
    • CGPF
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2009, 01:34:17 PM »
Excellent Ghoti! A Great starter's list  {cool^sign}


  • Guest
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2009, 03:50:41 PM »

what a TERRIFIC post.  <-star-> <-star-> <-star->

However, you got me to wondering something...
if a newbie only buys 1 snuffer bottle, and it gets dropped in the stream...not only have they lost their gold,
don't they lose their ability to "snuffer?"


do you recommend them to quit, pack up, and drive to town to replace the missing snuffer bottle and then go back, un-pack and keep on prospecting? 

Offline CaribooAu

  • CGPF Sponsor
  • *******
  • Posts: 1149
  • Province/State: Prince George
  • Country: 00
  • Kudos: 55
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2009, 09:08:22 PM »
Great list........wish it was around the first time I went out panning.
May The Fever Be With You...

Offline rockpup

  • PPT Invited
  • *****
  • Posts: 1139
  • Province/State: Lethbridge, Alberta.
  • Kudos: 7
  • Yar der be gold in dem pans!!
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2009, 03:05:07 PM »
Cool post thats a great help for any newbie! What with the hand santizer? For first aid?
Dry Toliet paper is nice,good hint.

Its allmost complete,I would add a Rock hammer,Pick and a pry bar,In my mind those are essintial.
I never leave home without my rock hammer.The pry bar is a option,but very nice to have.

The Pick is a must have,I dont care what anyone says!That is one of my most used piece of hand equipment besides a shovel.I never start digging without it now.

Offline Johnny

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 167
  • Province/State: Westminster, CO USA
  • Country: 00
  • Kudos: 1
  • Rocky Mountain Adventure Guide
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2009, 03:16:43 PM »
We alway have a broom with us... great for sweeping up gold on the bedrock and snow off the truck. Can also be pressed into use as an oar for the canoe and an emergency torch when you are deep in the mine and yur battery light goes out. Good fire starter material and o yeh... can be used to sweep out the trailer or camper. Or the back of the Pick Up Truck... quite a multi-purpose tool.
But nothing really replaces TP! Great Post big easy to read letters and color coded...

Offline howlin

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 7
  • Kudos: 0
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2009, 07:53:46 PM »
awesome list i to wish i had this last week as it was my first time panning,one thing i would add would be rubber gloves for the cold water that cut my trip short

Offline Vance in AK

  • PPT Invited
  • *****
  • Posts: 157
  • Province/State: Kenai, Alaska
  • Kudos: 1
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2009, 10:54:05 AM »
Nice list.
Might I add "digital camera" to the list?  For most of us the memories we make will be of more long term value than the gold we find (or don't find).  Plus that way you can share your trip w/us!!!!
Vance in AK
PS119:72. The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

Offline JB

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 8
  • Kudos: 0
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2010, 10:00:06 PM »
Thanks for the post,
Being new to panning this will be a great help.

Offline OldNed

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 3
  • Kudos: 0
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2010, 01:55:40 AM »

Another great post. Thanks all. {cool^sign}


Gear Pan