When you’ve been prospecting most of your life it can be easy to focus on more complicated and advanced mining methods. Sometimes its a good idea to step back and remember that not everyone has the same level of experience.
Looking back, here are a few things that I realize most beginners would benefit from. Some of these things I fully admit that I did wrong… and if I were starting all over I would do differently. Have a look at these 5 tips and hopefully they will help you find some more gold.
1. Use Basic Tools
You’ve got to learn to walk before you can run. I will GUARANTEE
you that an experienced prospector with a gold pan and a few crevicing tools will almost always find more gold than a newbie with a sluice box or even a highbanker!
You can move tons of material, but until you learn HOW to find gold
it won’t matter. Spend time learning about how gold deposits in a river, and where to look for it. You don’t need to get carried away with fancy equipment, just some very basic tools are enough to get you started.
2. Prospect in Known Areas
I can’t tell you how many beginners I’ve heard tell me about their grand plans to find a secret “honey hole” by hiking miles into the wilderness. They assume that surely by getting away from everyone else they will certainly find more gold.
Now there is definitely a time for that, and I encourage people to get away from the crowds. However, you still need to make sure that you are in a known gold-bearing area!
This is where the gold is.
Hiking 20 miles into a mountain range that is basically devoid of gold isn’t going to make you successful. Researching where gold discoveries have already been made is much more important.
3. Find a More Experienced Partner
Don’t go it alone. If you can find a partner with some experience it will really help to speed up the learning curve.
Even if your partner doesn’t have a ton of experience, I find that it can be more fun and motivating to have someone with you while you are out prospecting, especially if you aren’t finding anything. At least you get to share the experience with someone.
4. Join a Club
Clubs are great resources for beginners because they are full of knowledgable miners that are happy to share advice. A great way to ask questions to people with a lifetime of knowledge.
Some clubs also have access to private claims. Many clubs even have shared equipment that you can rent out for the weekend to use. The prices to join are usually very reasonable and are well worth it.
Also Read: Finding Gold after a Storm
5. Don’t Be Lazy!
This one is kind of a joke, but maybe not. If I am sharing tips for a beginner to successfully start finding gold, then hard work is going to be a part of that.
I can’t tell you how many people I have had complain to me that they can’t find any gold. Even in a well-known area. I know that there is gold there. I know that I could find gold there in 10 minutes if I tried.
Often, the only reason is that they give up so quickly. A couple quick pans along the rivers edge and they are done. That’s not the way to be successful at gold prospecting.
Work at it. Remove all that overburden, get down to the bedrock. Get down on your hands and knees, carefully cleaning material out of the bedrock cracks. You will find gold, but no one said that it was going to be easy. If you are looking for an EASY hobby, I’d suggest you look elsewhere.