The surging price of gold is attracting a whole new generation of prospectors. Sometimes you find some good gold, and sometimes you don’t, but its always an adventure and great to get out into the outdoors to enjoy what nature has to offer and breathe fresh air.
There are still some good nuggets being found in the same areas that yielded gold to the old-timers, partly because we have new technology and equipment that just wasn’t available a century ago. Prospecting is not always easy, but is certainly does give you an appreciation for the hardships and remoteness of the country tamed by the early pioneers. With some sincere effort, you can learn what you need to know and soon be out there digging some gold for yourself.
For those of you who have never prospected before, and have never actually found any gold of your own, start out small by purchasing a gold pan, some basic digging tools and maybe a bucket or two. Start slow – let your equipment inventory grow with your experience. Learn some of the basic skills and prospecting techniques before you pour a lot of money into your efforts. If you have friends involved in prospecting, ask what they recommend and take a look at the equipment they use. Once you have the confidence that you can succeed in finding gold, consider purchasing equipment like a high-banker, and you can eventually move up to a metal detector or other equipment. The experience you gain in how and where to find gold will help you later when you decide to buy that expensive equipment.
If you have a true case of gold fever you’ll be genuinely thrilled by those first few colors in your pan that you found yourself through your own skills. Learning the skills needed to find larger quantities will come in time and the investment necessary to purchase more expensive equipment mat become justified.
Learning how to prospect is crucial to your success. There are a number of possibilities. Again, if you have a very experienced friend who is willing to take you under his wing you should take advantage of the opportunity. If that’s not a possibility, books and other publications are a great source of information. Read them carefully – you can learn a lot from books, although some books are more worthwhile than others!
Perhaps one of the best ways for a new prospector to learn is by joining a prospecting club. The cost to join most clubs is minimal compared to the benefits they offer. From the chance to learn from more experienced prospectors, to the opportunity to prospect on mining claims held by the club and see the latest prospecting equipment in use in the field, being a part of a club is a great opportunity.
Regular club meetings will provide you with a chance to talk to other prospectors about the best local places to search, government regulations, as well as what works to get gold in your neck of the woods. These things are all critically important for the new prospector trying to learn the ropes. It will also give you the chance to meet some folks with more experience in prospecting for gold. Attend the group outings and hang around with dome of those that are more experienced. Don’t be bashful – most will willingly share techniques and experiences. The friendships you create are worth far more than the cost of the membership dues. Even many experienced prospectors are members of more than one club, both because of the friendships as well as the prospecting opportunities they present from the different club claims.
Most new prospectors are just looking for a good place to hunt for gold where they will not be trespassing on someone’s mining claims, and where they won’t have to worry about stirring up angry property owners. Check out online forums and Facebook groups. Most people in these groups are outgoing and more than willing to help newcomers.
There is a lot to learn about finding gold and it’s unlikely you will strike it rich right off the bat. There are a lot of places to explore and prospect in British Columbia. Be patient and stick with it. Happy prospecting.