What Basic Gold Panning Supplies Does A New Prospector Need?

 By: Chas Brown
Gold panning and mining is a great hobby, and the good news is that the basic gold mining equipment for the weekend recreational prospector is not going to cost you a fortune.

So if you are hankering to get out there and find some gold for yourself, you can round up your basic gold getting equipment quickly and cheaply.

Online stores can show you the basic gold panning tools you need, and save yourself the trouble of finding a local store that actually stocks such things. Even in gold country, it can take a bit of research to find a store.

So, what are we looking at for the basics?

Obviously, a gold pan. Can't get more basic than that. Gold pans come in different shapes and sizes and features. A real simple little black plastic pan can be had for about three and a half to five dollars, depending on the size. The larger green or blue plastic pans can range from maybe eight dollars up to over twenty, depending on the kind of built in features the pan has - and its size.

One feature that is a must for any good pan is that it have riffles formed into one or more sides of the pan. These make it much easier to retain the gold as the gravel is passed over the lip of the pan in the panning process to reduce the amount of material in the pan.

I recommend the space age durable plastic gold pans over metal pans. Plastic is lighter, doesn't rust, and is much easier and faster to learn on than the metal pans.

You may already have some of the equipment you need. A sturdy bucket, like a five gallon one. A digging tool, like a garden shovel or garden trowel. Some people like the small folding GI shovels.

A nifty little gold panning tool is the plastic snuffer bottle. For maybe two or three dollars, you have a little suction device to slurp up the gold that appears in the bottom of your pan.

You might want to use a gold screen, called a classifier, to reduce the size and amount of gravel you will be panning. Placed over the top of your big bucket, you screen out the larger rocks, so your panning material is more concentrated. Your panning is now more efficient and you will lose less gold out of your pan.

Finally, a gold vial in nice for showing off your gold. These can be glass or plastic. With a little water in them, your gold will have a pretty bright color, and you can tantalize your friends with your findings.

And that about sums up your basic gold mining equipment needs.
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