Um, what are they for? I have bought all sorts of classifiers and struggle to find their purpose. I am probably doing something wrong. I watch guys in the Arrow classify put result in a bucket and put everything down a sluice and then pan it out. it takes longer than a day on Jupiter. (10 hours). Meanwhile I have done 50 pans and have an ice cream container with concentrates to play with at home on cold winters days. Everyone has there style though.
However to combine my last reply and this one… How I pan (with a steel pan). I use a shovel that I can dig with, usually a long handled shovel (but I had great use from a $20 short handle), not the sort that one would move gravel about, that is more designed to load a concrete mixer. I would load my large steel pan with three or four shovel loads rocks as large as a mans fist included. I would carry this down to the river, fully plunge the pan and slowly-slowly! begin to shake,twist and rock and roll… the idea is to make the heavies sink, and then I would simply drag off all the larger material and repeat. One constantly looks at the bottom of the pan as one swirls the material. If you have gold it will quickly become obvious. With vast quantities of black sands (here I mean a large two handed amount or above) you should still see specks of gold, if it is there.
At this stage slow down and access your time versus the amount you clean. I find it best to simply put the concentrates into another container and take it home. Over time, you get good enough to take home less than a kilo of concentrates after a full day of panning (a full day is 5 to six hours of actual panning in one spot and several hours of getting there and away again).
Like everything some days are good and others not so good.
Using plastic pans is a little different because you need to be a little more careful, you cannot load them up as much, they do break, though rare. The darn things have a tendency to float or be blown away with the wind if left unattended for even a few seconds. I have lost a pan this way and found one too.
As to where to get gold, well there is this crick I know loaded with gold and little pickers. Go to town (X) follow road (Y), get to point (Q), open beer bottle, a nice big slurp, drive into (Q) open door reach down for the gold and load foot-well with all the nuggets. Drink more beer, go to pub, tell everyone how wonderful you are. Yes, I do have a grudge against drunks.
Or, quietly, so quietly that even sleeping dogs hear you not, shoulder thou pack and as the frost crackles, fog like, softly cross the land until you reach your spot. Using your ears and eyes make sure you are alone and commence your search. If DoC workers, farmers, fisherman, hikers, drones appear, put on your invisibility cloak and wait until the coast is clear.
It is a very sad fact that the romance of the gold rush days is 99% bullshit. It was and still is a cutthroat business.I have read of only one time in history where one could leave things in a spot and it would be safe and that was the first prospectors if 1848 in California. By 1849 claim jumping and theft was common. In New Zealand fights were as common as sand-flies. Sadly very few have the courage to prospect alone with fortitude risking life and disappointment to seek ones fortune. New Zealand’s history books are full of lone prospectors who were followed by the mobs who are too lazy and stupid to do anything for themselves. This is why secrecy is important. It is also why there is such a thing as copyright.
It is up to you as to your ability to handle risk. However as always there are rules.
- If you cannot swim, do not venture into water above the knees, ever.
- Learn how to self rescue in rapids. Basically get on your back, aim feet down stream, try to stay calm and get out.
3.Waders can be deathtraps. I sometimes use them when it is cold but even in thigh deep water they can kill you, fill with water and so on, use dive boots or similar. Often I use my hiking boots as I am often many days walk from any road with a week or more of tucker, my blow up doll etc… This is hard on the boots though.
- Use modern technology if you can afford it, especially if you have a family to provide for.
I know a few spots where you could go to get reasonable color (though not enough to travel far, for I would be writing this from there) in most parts of the country. But I have always found it worthwhile to make the effort.
Chin up amigo, the days lengthen, there IS!!! still gold in the hills waiting for you. get at em.