Gold prospecting - Panning for Gold in Tennessee
What you need for your first trip out prospecting :
You will find, that you actually don't need a whole lot, to get started into gold prospecting. You can get started with just a few basic items.
As you watch the t.v. Shows, you will see that they only use a few things, and they usually fit right into a backpack, other than say, a number 2 shovel. Which by the way is a standard spade shovel. You only need to take enough things to have a good time, and not work yourself to death carrying it all in.
Your gold pan is the most important thing, of course. If you join the GPAA, you will get one, in your buzzard special, kit. It is a darn good pan to learn how to pan with, and one you will like to use for years to come. There are plenty of other pans out there, but the GPAA's pan, and the 14 inch pro-line pan are two of my favorites. They have deep gold catching groves molded into them, and really help keep the gold in your pan.
Next, you will need a Spade shovel to dig your dirt. I really like the fiberglass handled shovels. They don't seem to hurt your hands like the wooden handle ones do. They are not costly. I picked one up at Sears for $13 bucks.
You will need your snuffer bottle. This also comes in your buzzard special from the GPAA. A snuffer bottle is used to suck the gold flakes from your pan, once you get almost all of the other dirt out. Then you can pan more gold and snuffer it up. At the end of the day, you can take your snuffer bottle home and pan out the gold to get the rest of the dirt out.
Rubber boots are a good idea or water shoes, if it is warm out. Watch out for slippery rocks...
You will want to have a 3 or 5 gallon bucket. You can put your small things in there. You can shovel dirt into it, then pan out more between shoveling. You can use it for a seat when you get tired. A lot of things.... a 5 gallon bucket is very useful.
A classifying screen would be a good thing to take if you have one, but for starters, it isn't needed. Once you get one, you will notice more gold recovery though. It is easier to pan with the larger rocks out of the way.
Ok, that and a desire to find gold is all you need, to get started.
Now head off and find some gold.
PS: it helps a lot to go to areas that gold is known to be. Don't just pick a stream or river out. Go to one that is known for having gold, and you will have better luck.