Equipment you will need
The basic equipment is quite simple and requires only a minimum investment. A gold pan is most important. Metal pans were used by early prospectors; modem versions are plastic with built-in riffles. In a pinch, frying pans and even hub caps will work. New metal pans generally come with a coating of grease and should be cleaned thoroughly by heating over an open fire. The pan will rust, but some rust is beneficial for collecting fine gold.
Most of these items are available at local miners' and prospectors' supply houses, sporting goods stores, and some hardware stores.
- gold pan (plastic with riffles or metal); 14" size is best.
- shovel to loosen gravel from creek bottom.
- grizzly pan with 1/2-inch holes in bottom; this pan helps separate coarse gravel, speeding up the panning process.
- magnifying lens (at least 10X power) to identify minerals.
- sluice box, approximately 3 feet long; (construct or obtain commercially; aluminum version is available.)
- tweezers for picking up gold; a dry finger will also work.
- small magnet for separating out magnetic black sands.
- small glass vials to hold gold.
- rubber gloves to protect hands from cold water.
- rubber boots to keep feet dry while wading in creeks.
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