There is really nothing like being out in the wilderness exploring the creeks for hidden treasures. Especially when it is on your own gold claims. In this part we are going to look at a few things to be aware of, some tools you will need, and even some tips to what be on the lookout for.
When originally one stakes a claim the big question is, "Is there any gold there?" If so "where do I look?" That's the reason why we have prospectors. People who go out in search of gold, silver, copper and so forth. There is a old saying and that is "Gold is where you find it." Truer words never spoken. But learning where to look is the big secret. First Things First
When going out to your claims some things you will want to make sure to take along. Because claims are out in the country away from civilization most of the time it is good to be prepared. Rule of the wilderness. Prepare for the worst. Make sure you have a good spare tire and jumper cables. We take one of those solar chargers that you plug into the lighter to keep your battery charged. Out in the bush with a dead battery can be deadly. A spare fan belt and some spare fluids like coolant, oils etc. along with some mechanical tools is a must.
Secondly, it's a good thing to build a checklist of items you will need. Even though we try to go with a buddy it doesn't always work that way and we find ourselves heading out alone. Firstly, get a small backpack to stuff things in. We always carry a first aid kit. The key to remember here is to always be prepared. Make sure you take an extra pair of clothes, especially socks and a spare pair of boots. When wearing boots it's always a good idea to wear ones with a firm ankle support. Walking over river rocks is a sure way to sprain an ankle. Gloves are handy. You would be surprised just how fast you will get a blister if you haven't been working a shovel.
Always carry matches / lighter of a flint starter in a pack back. A really handy idea is to pack along a zip lock bag with dryer lint. You know the lint that collects on the screen in a clothes dryer. That is the best fire starter you can get and it's lightweight. Also some high energy bars for that just in case along with water and water purification tablets. We also take a GPS just in case. A GPS is also handy for finding your boundaries and for recording findings that you can place on a map. We also carry a "find me spot" that will alert others if we are in distress. A good idea is to throw in an old-fashioned compass. GPS's need batteries and when you are out in the middle of nowhere you won't find a battery when you need it. Don't depend on cell phones. A flashlight is a handy item along with a good hunting knife and a few all-purpose pocket tools can sure come in handy also.
When heading out to into the bush or wilderness one can come upon wildlife quite a bit. If you are going into bear country this brings up another situation to be aware of. Always carry a can of bear spray or if possible even a weapon such a defender. Bear bangers do work OK also as we have had to use them on occasion. In desert areas a snake bite kit is important also. Your list of essentials may be much larger than this but we feel this is the basics for heading out. Also, be sure to tell others where you are going and an expected time you plan to be back.
Ok, here is a quick list of what we think are MUST HAVE things to stuff into that backpack. You can always add to this list but these are what we feel are essential.
When to tools for prospecting, try to keep equipment to a minimum. Remember that whatever you pack into the bush, you have to pack back out. Just look back up the page and see what all you are putting into a backpack. Now you will be adding some additional weight. You will find that prospecting is hard work. You will be using muscles you never knew you had.
Anyhow, the most important items you will need is a small spade, a small pick and a gold pan. Most people now use plastic gold pans because they a light weight and they quite durable. If you have a creek that flows well you can bring along a small ground sluice that you can set up in the water and shovel into. You will also want to bring along a small snuffer bottle, a few small plastic type of containers to out your cons in and a small tweezer. Remember the idea here is to prospect your ground. Not mine it. You want to find where the best area are first, then go in and mine that area.