Gold Prospecting as a Hobby

If you’ve ever wanted to walk in the steps of a ’49er, that is an 1849er, there are excursions you can go on as a group or alone to pan for gold and try to strike it rich as many people did during the California gold rush.

While people are not rushing to stake claims and try to find gold in the hills of California, Colorado or Oregon like they did in the mid-1800s, there are still a fair amount of people who are prospecting as a hobby.

Prospecting Clubs

There are several prospecting clubs in the United States, as well as around the world, in which people meet to discuss prospecting, claims and the trips they’ve been on and the successes they’ve had while prospecting for gold.

Many clubs plan trips together to go prospecting and they teach others to prospect as well.  It is also a way for people who want to learn to find out how to prospect and where they can go looking for gold.  Many of these chapters have websites that they share information through as well.

Many of the sites not only share information about claims that can be worked by anyone who is interested, but they help people get started in the hobby and inform them about what type of gold prospecting equipment they will need to have with them when they go in search of gold.

The website forums are a great way for people to share their stories, show photographs of their finds and share other information with people who are interested in learning more.

Many of the forums also offer gold mining equipment for sale or trade to their other members or any one else who joins their forum and is interested in buying equipment.  While the materials have definitely changed, the equipment needs haven’t.

Pans and sluice boxes are two of the tools that most prospectors will need, depending on how involved they are with the hobby.  If you are just getting started or are only prospecting occasionally, you may just need to get a pan.

Gold Prospecting Vacations

If you are intrigued by the idea of going gold prospecting, you can book a vacation to learn about how to prospect and meet others with the same interests.  There is a plenty of information you can find online about available trips, where they go and how to book a trip for yourself.

Basic Mining Equipment

The basic gold mining equipment is simple to use, powerful, and not very expensive:

  • Gold Pan - These are a great way for beginners to get started prospecting!
  • High Banker - A highbanker is a piece of gold prospecting equipment that uses a pump to force water through a sluice box to mimic the natural flow of a stream.
  • Gold Detector –  These are not the heavy metal detectors that you remember from the 1980s. These are modern electronic tools specifically designed to find gold in tiny quantities and much deeper than older devices and toughened to withstand the harsh environment of the gold fields.
  • Gold Dredge – Dredges often allow weekend gold miners to become full-time prospectors.
  • Highbanker - A highbanker pumps water through a sluice box to mimic the natural flow of a stream – very useful in the desert or other places where water is not redily available.

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