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Last Post 02 Jul 2020 10:40 AM by  Michael edgar
What prospecting tools does a newbie need starting out?
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Matthew Phillips
Greenhorn
Greenhorn
Posts:10



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16 Jun 2020 03:29 PM
    My buddy and I are newer to trying to prospect on a more dedicated extent then just random panning.

    We will mostly be in western NE, Colorado, and So. Dakota. Occasional trips to SW Utah and the Arizona trip to see family.

    So my question is what tools in specific prospecting dedicated tools are a must have?

    So far we have buckets, pry bar, shovels a few pans and a classifier set along with some snuffer bottles.

    Looking at either an SE 50in foldable sluice ( Royal knockoff ) or an Angus Mackirk Expedition Sluice but $100 for some vacuum molded ABS seems insanely over priced. My buddy is also scared that the drop riffle design with no miners moss or mats will loose alot of gold.

    Anyway besides the basics, pans, shovels, buckets, classifiers.... is there any must haves we are missing besides a sluice?

    I am also considering a Nokta Kruzer or a Garrett AT gold, a spiral wheel or blue bowl and possibly some hand pumped dredges for crevising. Is there anything I am missing at the moment for mostly placer/creek hunting?

    What is a must have starting out and what can be gotten later as we hopefully find some gold and get some money back?

    Thank you all!
    Matthew Phillips
    Greenhorn
    Greenhorn
    Posts:10



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    18 Jun 2020 11:28 AM
    Wow 54 views and no one has an opinion or a list of the MUST HAVES and the NICE EXTRAS a beginner should start out with or look into :(.
    Christopher Caszatt
    Greenhorn
    Greenhorn
    Posts:5



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    18 Jun 2020 11:42 AM
    I would guess that nobody has responded because your list of things you have is pretty comprehensive for a beginner
    Jeffrey Gray
    Greenhorn
    Greenhorn
    Posts:11



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    18 Jun 2020 12:34 PM
    From the list of things you have prospect with pan and shovel and figure out just what kind of gold do you want. Gold nuggets is every prospectors dream but it just don’t happen very often. If your in a creek or river you may want a wet suit to go sniping or in the desert a dry washer or on the beach a gold hog sluice or gold cube. Fine gold or fly poop as we call it you may need a shaker table. You may even someday find a claim where you need a backhoe and wash plant with crusher and the list goes on. I’m not trying to be a smart ass but prospecting can be simple or complicated. Study some books and I’m sure the GPAA can point you to the right books. The GPAA will help you but you have to dig your gold. Good luck.
    Matthew Phillips
    Greenhorn
    Greenhorn
    Posts:10



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    18 Jun 2020 12:40 PM
    I get my list is fairly thorough i just I guess am looking for confirmation as to what is an absolute must have, vs stuff thats nice but can be acquired later. Our main focus is placer creek deposits in Nebraska Colorado and South Dakota.

    Also is there anything that maybe seen as an extra but is well worth the expense in saving time and effort?

    Thanks

    Matt
    Scott Leidenberger
    Miner
    Miner
    Posts:132



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    18 Jun 2020 02:07 PM
    How about a first aid kit and some gloves if you don't already have it. A jewelers loupe could be of use on the really fine gold.

    As far as not getting many replies I think a lot of members use Facebook now. I do not use it so I cant say for sure. Maybe give that a try.

    Good luck,
    Scott L.
    DON GREENO
    Panner
    Panner
    Posts:40



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    18 Jun 2020 05:06 PM
    for river, creek or stream prospecting you need to check you stuff to the following list.
    sluice box- don't waste the money on the Royal Knock off--- i did and was sorry as the Royal will lock in place and not slice your hand open like the knock off. it is worth the money. All Royal products are excellent
    shovel, bucket, gloves, pan, jewelers loop, magnet,small crevice tools like a pry bar, crevice pick tool, hammer, spoon, snuffer bottle, turkey baster type snuffer for the deep cracks and a hand wisk broom. A classifier is ok also but not needed as most the time the stream will classify for you saving your back the extra work. dont forget a good hat and a small scoop, plastic or metal i carry both.

    but the areas you describe have arid areas as well that your sluice box will do no good at so to limit the amount of prospecting opportunities may have to pass up i suggest a good dry washer as a tool to add to be well prepared for anything.

    with that said you will need the following
    Dry washer- Keene and Royal make amazing machines- get what you can afford but a blower dry washer will run way more material than the puffer style but remember bigger is not always better when it comes to a dry washer as you may have to move it around and the bigger the heavier so make sure the size matches your strength. I use the Keene 140e with a makita 4 stroke blower and it is amazing. i can shovel all day as a matter of fact 2 of us have shoveled into it and i find it hard to keep up if the material is dry and right. my good friend has the dustless unit but i run way more material through mine per hour than his is capable of doing. his extremely fine gold recover is really amazing also. dry washers only get between 50-80% recovery so make sure to consider the above when buying one.
    you also need a few buckets, again the shovel, a good pick ( careful what you buy most at the hardware store are 5lbs picks and that is way to heavy for me to swing all day so i buy the 3.5 or smaller if they have it) sometime. the pick will help you when you hit Caliche ( a hard packed cemented dirt of sort acts like bedrock in some places in desert) and for the decomposed granite we encounter so often here in Southern California Deserts.
    a large pry bar is good to carry
    a pavers stamper hand tool for breaking up large clumps of dirt that are hard packed
    gold pans
    cement tub for panning
    2 sparkletts bottles or 10 gallons of water
    snuffer bottle,
    vial for your gold
    gloves
    hat
    A good metal detector is a great tool- you mentioned the Gold Kruzer by Nokta- Great machine for finding the small gold. of course it will find the bigger stuff too but a great choice for the sub gram flakes and it is an affordable machine and you are not compromising quality. two thumbs up for that machine over the other. it will find the small stuff better.
    a small pop up canopy for working in the sun helps me...got one on Amazon 7 x7 and comes in a case that is a back pack. Very easy to carry that way.
    A good wagon is a great tool. I bought the Gorilla Dump style wagon and it can carry up to 1200lbs. it has a dump truck like feature that makes it perfect for prospecting and it is the easiest thing ever to put together and the one of the best tools i have ever added to my grubstake.
    Dry washers have a grizzly screen so no need for classification unless you opt for it when you pan your concentrates.
    the only other thing i can offer is a good concentrate recover machine for when and if you get a lot of heavies and have to process them at home later.
    in that case you cannot beat a Gold Cube- swap the mats for Dream Mats- they have replacement mats and you have one of the best gold concentrate machines money can buy.

    seems like you have a bit of it all now and only can add a few parts- Oh! Almost forgot to comment on the ABS molded Angus McKirk sluices area amazing and the riffles work great as they are drop riffles and no matting is needed as it captures by gravity. alot of guys i know use them up in Azusa Canyon here in So Cal and i love them! I would rather carry that light thing (any size again bigger is not better) than a big old metal sluice. and you will get the gold. Believeit!

    Best of luck and hope something i have offered helps you find more gold! have fun!
    Matthew Phillips
    Greenhorn
    Greenhorn
    Posts:10



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    18 Jun 2020 11:04 PM
    Everyone thank you soooo much for the advice thus far.

    Im going to stick to river and stream hunting for now as dry washers seem expensive and heavy.... also the majority of my work locally will be along the platte river when not making extended trips. Although I am considering a goldcube cause just the last few days hand panning down this fine fine blonde beachy type sand is a NIGHTMARE!!!

    Gloves and a first aid kit are good idea, I also have a pistol just in cause a shovel isn't enough defense, but its mostly for 4 legged creatures not 2 leg meth addicts!!!

    Don Greeno: I wish I had known about the knock off before I got it, but oh well I have an end grinder so I can smooth out the sharp edges, and Ill prob most always be wearing gloves so hopefully I should OK but I appreciate the heads up!

    Besides that does anyone have a good recommendation for a hand dredger cause apparently Colorado is very anti powered dredging and South Dakota the water is seasonal and tends to run fairly shallow so I don't think a big 3in or 4in dredge would be worth all the hassle let alone expense.

    My partner and I are both youngerish guys in our 30s and hoping to stick to the buy once cry once mentality once we start turning our sweat equity into gold. Infact a private claim is even a future possibility for us, a bit bummed I just missed out on one off Clear Creek in Chaffee county but Im going to just keep my eyes open and enjoy my trip to the GPAA claim on the Arkansas River this coming next week. :)

    Also what couple books do you all suggest?

    Scott Leidenberger
    Miner
    Miner
    Posts:132



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    18 Jun 2020 11:29 PM
    Matthew,

    The Arkansas runs high & fast this time of year. Be very careful if you go. I would check the CFS first.

    A good book is Finding Gold in Colorado by Kevin A. Singel. You should be able to find it on Amazon or in a local prospecting shop. It covers all Colorado gold areas.

    Scott L.
    Matthew Phillips
    Greenhorn
    Greenhorn
    Posts:10



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    18 Jun 2020 11:34 PM
    Scott,

    I am aware the Ark runs pretty fast, my buddy and former employee is actually a rafting guide on it up there, and wants to join us for a day, he is swift water rescue certified and told me to make sure I bring either good waders or a wet suit.

    From the GPAA reviews it seemed like the only decently rated claim in Colorado and one that was a close enough drive for me without having to cover 2 whole states, just 1 and a half.

    Are there other areas close by that are minable besides the pay to play govt. area outside Fairplay and the one outside Denver? Ill be staying the Buena Vista from Sunday to Wednesday.
    Scott Leidenberger
    Miner
    Miner
    Posts:132



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    19 Jun 2020 12:07 AM
    Matthew,

    If you go to the Ark. tie off your sluice ! If a log comes along when your back is turned your sluice belongs to the Ark.
    Arapahoe Bar on Clear Creek west of Denver is popular but that is running very high.
    I would highly recommend joining your local GPAA chapter. They can be a big help. With the virus going on meetings are canceled.

    The Gold Prospectors of Colorado is a club in Colorado Springs. They have several claims you can use. Check out the web site.

    If you are from the Denver area I would get the book as their are many areas open to the public to prospect.

    Scott
    Matthew Phillips
    Greenhorn
    Greenhorn
    Posts:10



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    19 Jun 2020 12:14 AM
    Scott,

    Sadly I am from 500miles across the state to the east!

    So a local chapter I wouldn't be able to commit much time to. Omaha is a far drive from anything very productive for prospecting.... now cat fishing and deer hunting or pounding Busch light well......

    I'll look into the Colorado Springs chapter though. For me the virus and its govt. Socialist subsidized income has finally given me the opportunity to take some of these trips and not worry, the only problem is its a now of never kind of deal as far as the $$$ goes unless I hit a high paystreak!!!!

    Ill bring paracord and some good deep stakes to tie my sluices down/off.

    I was trying to convince my partner to go to the Black Hills but he is hell bent on Colorado cause of the youtube and refuses to accept that So. Dak has gold bearing ground cause apparently he's never heard of Deadwood or the Homestake mine. Shrug.

    So Colorado it is, the hotel is booked and well for me even if the gold sucks I can get in a rafting trip and some good/great fly fishing!
    Leo Lorenz
    Lost Dutchman
    Lost Dutchman
    Posts:452



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    19 Jun 2020 12:57 AM
    "Pounding Busch light??" WTaaa?? Thats not even a beer. Might as well drink water.
    Scott Leidenberger
    Miner
    Miner
    Posts:132



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    19 Jun 2020 10:27 AM
    Matthew,
    500 miles is a bit of a drive. Not your let's go next weekend kind of trip.

    Since you are in Buena Vista I thought of two more places you could try. They are about 20 miles up HWY 24 near Granite.
    Cache Creek and Colorado Gold Camp. CGC has memberships or you can go on line and get a day pass. This is a gated mining claim with a locked gate.

    Scott L.
    Matthew Phillips
    Greenhorn
    Greenhorn
    Posts:10



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    19 Jun 2020 10:49 AM
    Scott,

    Is Cache Creek free? Is that what i would Google is Cache Creek?

    I know 500 miles doesn't seem like a weekend trip sadly its about the only options I have atm, and since atm I work a gig job and am partially self employed it kinda is a weekend truck.... although my new truck that has over 6k miles in a month may beg to differ lol.

    Anyway thanks so much for the heads up, ill look into Cache Creek and CGC as more options is better then nothing, especially if the river is blown out..

    Matt
    Scott Leidenberger
    Miner
    Miner
    Posts:132



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    19 Jun 2020 11:25 AM
    Matthew,

    Yes Cache Creek is free. I think it is BLM land not NF. I believe the regulations are posted at the parking area. Last I knew no equipment with wheels is allowed. You do have to walk a bit to get to the creek.
    I think if you Google it you should find what you need. If not I'll see what I can find out.

    Scott
    Matthew Phillips
    Greenhorn
    Greenhorn
    Posts:10



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    24 Jun 2020 03:35 AM
    Scott,

    Thanks so much for the Cache tip, I tried the club claims first and the river wasn't too high, but the campers and rafters where a PIA to deal with, so we moved up the road. Also driving into Cache is much easier too as even the road in is much shorter and less stressful then trying to creep down 371.

    So I an trying to pan my cons down atm and then Ill do final cleanup at home tomorrow.

    For a newbie one thing I wish I had heard more about is a nice cleanup device.

    So for Cache the hard part is knowing where to dig or even test as there are soooooo many tailing piles all over and apparently from what I was told the entire valley is pretty much artificial from the hydro mining.

    Besides all that the weathers been!!!!

    Only major issue I have Cache is the semi vagueness of the rules. Such as no diverting or highbanking, but my partner and I ran into 2 guys whom had a 16ft section of 4in pipe that ran into a "manual" sluice banker as he called it....... seems like a very liberal translation of the rules, his argument was he is returning the water to the stream so he isn't diverting, also he says his banker was ok because its not motorized...... I don't know the actual statues, but these flexible interpretations of the posted rules sure do make for confusion thats for sure.

    Hope to post a final result in a few days.
    Scott Leidenberger
    Miner
    Miner
    Posts:132



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    24 Jun 2020 06:25 PM
    Matthew,

    Be sure and save your con's. I can guarantee you missed the super fine gold. It's hard to get that small stuff with some black sand in the pan. I wish I could have all my con's back that I got rid of when I first started.

    You were wondering about a cleanup device. I use a Royal gold concentrating table. Check out the video at www.royalmfgind.com . This was well worth my money to clean up my con's. I never use a pan at home anymore. It catches gold so small you can almost not see it. I know you got some of that out of the Arkansas .
    Maybe others can comment on what they use.

    I also use a Gold Hog stream sluice that comes with two mats. One for high flow and the other low flow. With the high flow you don't really have to classify your dirt. At the end of the day you have a small amount of super con's and not half a bucket of sand.
    Hope you find a nice amount of gold from your trip.

    Scott L.
    Michael edgar
    Greenhorn
    Greenhorn
    Posts:1



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    02 Jul 2020 10:40 AM
    a bucket a shovel, a crevice tool , a brush. a snuffer bottle .tweezers,a classifier, a sluice box ,and a pick.
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