Panning for gold, like any other skill that results in something worthwhile, takes practice. If you don’t learn the proper panning techniques, you WILL NOT FIND GOLD! It’s a simple as that. So don’t go out and buy a pan, head up to the river, throw some dirt in it, slosh it around and expect to find gold, it ain’t gonna’ happen.
BUT….it’s really easy to learn. So spend the half hour it takes to learn the proper techniques from an experienced panner. It will not only save you lots of time, but it will keep you from getting quickly discouraged.
You can learn to pan in the comfort of your own home, inside or outside. I do a lot of panning in my living room (yes, my wonderful wife Heidi is patient…and would rather have me in the house than wandering all over the place). All you need is some water and a pan. Here is my setup:
As you can see, I have a plastic bag under my bucket to catch any stray dirt…an important factor in the hopes of getting approval to pan in the living room!
A good light source is important also, especially since a lot of the gold in New England is very small. Don’t want to miss anything.
Search YouTube for “panning for gold techniques” and you will find many there. Here is a good one: Yankee Gold Prospecting on the Wild Ammonoosuc River