Gold panning advice

Discussion in 'General Bushcraft Discussion' started by VikingWilderness, Apr 16, 2019.

  1. VikingWilderness

    VikingWilderness Tracker

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    Hey BCUSA Members! This weekend I am going to be doing a 2 day camping trip on a 20 acre gold claim, and the owners allow you to pan for gold. I have never panned for gold. I understand the basics of Panning as well as the science behind it. I guess I am just looking for any advice from anyone who does this frequently or more than once. I have all the necessary tools to pan, at least according to several websites of information I have accumulated. I have several panning pans. An additional sifter. Shovel. Tweezers. Magnifying glass. As always, Thanks for any advice. Cheers
     
  2. Lazarusaurus

    Lazarusaurus Idot Supporter

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    Get a sluice box.
     
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  3. Seacapt.

    Seacapt. Supporter Supporter

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    Best bet is watch all the YouTube videos you can on the subject to understand the basics then go for it. I've been gold panning on the E.Branch of the Swift River (Coos Canyon area) in Western Maine for 50+ years. Be sure to bring along a clear plastic pill bottle full of water to put you dust and nuggets in. Use the tip of tooth picks to pick up dust and small tweezers for small nuggets. Most gold in my area is found in the deep rock hole pockets and cross stream valleys between the rock ridges. Bank digging if legal in your area is best done with a small sluice/dredge set up.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
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  4. VikingWilderness

    VikingWilderness Tracker

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    I will look into this further. The ones I seen at the store were like 100$+, which unfortunately is out of the question for right now! Definitely something to consider in the near future, especially if this ends up being as fun as it seems!

    Definitely doing that now. Seems like there are a lot of videos and everyone does it differently so it's a lot to take in. Seems like the goal is all the same though. Gold nuggets are heavier than pebbles and dirt so they sink to the bottom, and when you clear the dirt and pebbles you're left with nuggets and small gold particles. As far as I know, this gold claim is pretty strict. Not sure if they are strict about a sluice setup, but I know they have a lot of guidelines for mining the gold including not bringing a metal detector or any kind of high end excavation tools. This will be my first time panning and first time at this site. It's right along a nice 20 foot wide creek. The owner says several people have found tiny nuggets. I am looking forward to it. Possibly developing a new hobby while I am at it. Thanks for the advice!
     
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  5. Lazarusaurus

    Lazarusaurus Idot Supporter

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    Be sure to season your pans prior to the trip if they are new.
     
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  6. Oni

    Oni Scout

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    This looks pretty economical.

    Sluice Fox 11 Piece Gold Panning Set | Classifier Sifting Pan | Tweezer | Glass Vi... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EGB1IE0/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_c_api_i_kRJTCbM0EN95B

    Kid and I use a snifter bottle to suck up little gold flakes. Knee pads and a good floppy hat would be helpful.

    I bought us some of those green gold pans and snifter bottles and some more stuff from the dollar store.

    These are the bottles I bought.

    SE GP3-PB10 Snifter Bottle https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DWJWCRK/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_c_api_i_KYJTCb47JVTP0
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
  7. bacpacjac

    bacpacjac Queen of the Cups Supporter Bushclass I

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    Cool thread! Panning for gold is something that my son wants to try. I did it once as a kid in BC. I'll be watching and learning!
     
  8. VikingWilderness

    VikingWilderness Tracker

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    Those are almost identical to the ones I bought at the store! Except it came without a few of those pieces! I went to the dollar store, and the closest thing I could find to a pan to use was an actual cheap pan I would have to drill holes into. I am too lazy for that so I spent the 40$ to buy a kit. Knee pads is a great idea. Didn't even think of that!

    Good call!

    I never even considered doing something like this until last week. I was looking for a good place to take the kids for an outing and came across a place that allowed gold panning. The kids are super excited to pan for gold! I am super excited! New experiences all around.
     
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  9. Oni

    Oni Scout

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    Knotts Berry Farm has a place to pan for gold. I think it was $10 and they give them a scoop of sand and show them the technique. The gold flakes they find is put into a little vial.

    Kid liked it so much I bought the pans and a bag of dirt from Alaska for him as one of his Christmas presents.

    Lyra's Alaskan Gold Panning Paydirt https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B8VX6WY/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_c_api_i_45JTCbEVFSJ59

    We have been in our local mountains to pan in the streams as well.
     
  10. L0NER

    L0NER Tracker

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    Best advice on here so far. You only have one pan to pan at the end of the day and you can run WAY more material.
     
  11. halo2

    halo2 Typical Swamp Yankee Supporter

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    Interested in what you learn.

    One thing I'm interested in is hand dredges. There's one made of PVC joints that folks seem to like.
     
  12. VikingWilderness

    VikingWilderness Tracker

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    Just watched a video on one called "The Mothersucker" dredge. Pretty awesome tool. Definitely something to look into!
     
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  13. bacpacjac

    bacpacjac Queen of the Cups Supporter Bushclass I

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    DIY a sluice box? I think the old guy on Devil's Canyon Gold made his own but my memory is failing me. Google must have something.
     
  14. VikingWilderness

    VikingWilderness Tracker

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    Just found a couple on Google! A little bit questionable DIY but it seems like an easy task if you have scrap metal laying around or 40$ for material. Still cheaper than 100$.
     
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  15. bacpacjac

    bacpacjac Queen of the Cups Supporter Bushclass I

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    It could be a fun family project. Our family project list is a mile long but I'm going to add this to it. :)
     
  16. VikingWilderness

    VikingWilderness Tracker

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    If you ever get around to building it, Please share! Sounds like an awesome project!
     
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  17. badgerthehobo

    badgerthehobo Unathletic supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I got an ez sluice for around $60. But learn to find gold before you try to sluice for it. Once your prospecting game is down, then go for production.
     
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  18. bacpacjac

    bacpacjac Queen of the Cups Supporter Bushclass I

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    Deal!
     
  19. Kenneth

    Kenneth Scout

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    Sorry I have no advice but I am looking for to you trip report.

    GOD Bless you and your family

    Kenneth
     
  20. VikingWilderness

    VikingWilderness Tracker

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    Thanks Kenneth! I plan on posting this trip Sunday when I get back home! Thanks for posting and thanks for the well wishes!
     
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  21. Oni

    Oni Scout

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    Here’s one I noticed when looking up the snifter bottles.

    Sluice Fox 31" Portable Modular Sluice Box with Flare Green Dredge Gold Panning https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H3CMP36/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_c_api_i_0oMTCbPDKBWRK

    Says it’s modular and expandable.

    I know nothing about sluice boxes, just seen a few YouTube videos. Some are quite elaborate.

    You mentioned no metal detectors, but I wonder if pinpointers would be allowed? My pinpointers can detect very small nugget sized pieces of metal.

    Best use I can think of is probing around pockets where the heavier gold can settle. They are like wands, not the big machines with a coil.



    They have cheap Harbor Freight pinpointers to ones over $100.

    I have a Vibraprobe and a Fisher F pulse. Both are waterproof and both have a vibration only mode so they are very discreet. Wouldn’t want to break any rules though.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
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  22. VikingWilderness

    VikingWilderness Tracker

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    Thats not a bad price for a Sluice! I will have to check the store to see if I can find that cheaper or the same price! With all the advice of a Sluice, if this trip goes well I will probably end up picking one up when I get back!
     
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  23. Uncle Duke 520

    Uncle Duke 520 Scout

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    You can find "Gold Rush " brand paydirt too, for all us urban gold hunters ! I probably got more than my Dad ever did, anyway...
     
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  24. Jeffro

    Jeffro Guide Bushclass I

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    Be sure to carry a magnet to use under your plastic pan to separate out the magnatite.
     
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  25. gila_dog

    gila_dog Supporter Supporter

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    I was just going to suggest this. I've done a little gold panning, found very little gold, but lots of black sand. That stuff needs to be removed so you can see if you have any gold dust.
     
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  26. MAD Punty

    MAD Punty Supporter Supporter

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    I'm certainly no expert...but I did some research and some novice panning in western Maine, and maybe I can offer a couple of helpful tips.

    1. Gold is heavy, and heavy things fall first.

    Remember that Gold is heavier than lead, and much much heavier than your basic rocks or sand. If you are panning on a river or stream, look for the places where water slows down a bit, and you see bigger, heavier rocks gathered. Don't waste time in nice, sandy spots.

    Also, you want to gather your mud from nooks, crannies, and underneath rocks if you can. Remember...heavy stuff sinks into nooks and crannies.

    2. When sifting, you want to sift down until you see black sand in your pan. This is the finer, heavier stuff. If you are left with black sand, you're doing it right.

    3. Bring a magnet. When you have black sand, take a magnet, wrap it in some cloth, and draw out all of the irons in your black sand. You just separate the magnet from the cloth to dump the irons.

    4. Your expectations should be zero. Don't predicate your fun on actually finding anything. It's hard, and takes a lot of practice and experience. In principle, gold panning is easy and simple, in practice....it's a lot harder to do than it appears. It's like fishing...takes enormous patience, and you should enjoy the act of doing it just for it's own sake.

    5. You're going to need some kind of snifter or dropper. Something to suck up the tiny little particles in your pan so you can squirt them into a container. Don't be afraid to just suck up the black sand if you see a few sparkles.
     
  27. bumma

    bumma I'm not lost. Just a bit confused. Supporter

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    This is actually number 1 on my list. Keeps the activity much more fun for me.
     
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  28. VikingWilderness

    VikingWilderness Tracker

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    Good call!!

    Appreciate the advice. I will have the kids with me so the plan is just to have fun. Of course, if I find a huge golden nugget I am not going to complain, but realistically I will be there to have fun and camp out! I pretty much have everything listed except a Magnet at this point!
     

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