Cooper DuBois Portland Native enjoys many hobbies; one is searching for gold. Here are some tips to help a novice get started

If you have ever wondered whether you can prospect for gold as a hobby, the answer is that with a bit of patience, luck, and an appreciation of the natural world, you probably can! Gold prospecting is a fantastic hobby for getting out into nature, learning about a historical activity that partly shaped the international popular image of the American Wild West, and, hopefully, finding small pieces of gold. One of the great things about this hobby is how easy it is to get started. While specialized equipment can help make the task more accessible, the only two things you need to prospect for gold as a hobby are a gold pan and a riverbank to mine on.

Before You Start, According to Cooper DuBois

A critical piece of preparation you need to carry out before trying to prospect for gold is to ensure that you follow all the regulations of the area where the river bank is situated. Essential points you might need to consider include whether you have permission from the landowner, or the person who owns the rights to the gold, to prospect in the area. You may also want to find out whether you own any of the gold you find if you are permitted to use the tools that you want to work with and whether your gold prospecting could have an environmental impact. To minimize the chances of not finding anything, you may also want to research whether the area you are considering prospecting in is known to be a place where gold can be found. Consider speaking to members of the prospecting community about where you can find the best river banks.

Cooper DuBois of Portland The Principles of Gold Prospecting

When you think of gold prospecting, you probably imagine somebody kneeling by a river, moving a pan full of dirt, and lifting out pieces of gold. This image is close to the truth. However, to be more precise, the gold prospector is combing the dirt with river water to allow any gold present to sink to the bottom of the pan. The larger stones within the dirt begin to dislodge themselves and fall back into the river water, and the amount of dirt left in the pan starts to decrease. Eventually, if there are small pieces of gold in the dirt, they should begin to appear.

More Specialized Equipment Can Help Gold Prospecting

More Specialized Equipment Can Help to Make the Process More Efficient.

Cooper DuBois, who lives in Portland, travels extensively, always looking for new spots. Once you have familiarized yourself with pan, you can consider purchasing more specialized gold prospecting tools that will hopefully help you find pieces of gold more quickly.

One example is a sluice, which is a filter contained within a box. The sluice is placed in the flowing river, and dirt is collected using a shovel and a bucket. As you transfer some of the dirt to the sluice’s top, the flowing water will push the dirt through the filter. This will have a similar effect to the early stages of the gold panning process while reducing the manual work required. Whether you choose to work with a pan or decide to use these additional tools, gold prospecting is an easy and enjoyable way to spend more time outdoors.

Gold panning and prospecting using sluice box

Cooper DuBois, a Portland Native that is also the CEO of Truly Social Games.

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