Gold Panning is a great outdoor activity that can be fun for people of
all ages and health. If you can walk slightly off the beaten path, you
can pan for gold. Despite the metal detectors, sluice boxes, and other
large equipment often associated with this activity, the equipment
actually needed to successfully pan for gold is limited, affordable
and light weight.
The quest for gold is hardly a new thing.
We all know of the gold rush and have heard stories about the vast
amounts of gold that were found. While the large deposits of gold are
not as easy to find now, the total amount of gold available has not
decreased significantly. There is still plenty waiting -- for you.
It is estimated that only
about 15% of the gold available was found during the gold rush. There are
approximately 1 billion ounces of gold flowing through the streams in
North America right now.
What You Need To Know
One nice thing about
is that there really isnít much that you need to know in order to
regularly find gold. The necessary information to get started is fairly
basic and any good prospecting shop will have the answers for you.
Find out about the local
laws on gold panning and claim staking. Typically, it is legal for a person to pan
gold anywhere that they like, as long as they are only using a gold pan.
Some exceptions include native reserves and wild life reserves. Landowners
usually do not own streams that pass through their land, but it is wise to
seek permission in case of dogs or other dangers. As a hobbyist you can
even gold pan on a staked claim, but the owner of the claim may become
agitated and possibly ruin your day -- or worse.
Research the geology and
history of the area where you are going by talking to a prospecting store.
If there is no gold in that area, then there is no point in trying.
However there may be other valuables there, such as silver, platinum, or
precious stones that can be recovered.
Learn how gold flows
along a stream. For example, gold often stops moving when it hits slow
moving water. Because of its density, gold will quickly sink to the bottom
of any dirt and rock. This means that gold is usually found behind a rock
in a stream as the water eddies.
Get some basic training on how to gold pan.
isnít hard, but proper technique can mean the difference between finding
lots or just a little.
Learn to identify
gold in your pan. Once youíve seen it, there is no mistaking it. Most
prospecting stores have placer gold flakes on hand and if you ask
nicely enough, they may allow you to put a flake in your pan along
with some water and fine gravel.
So what are you