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Buy Gold Prospecting Equipment

Updated on March 23, 2012

Gold Prospecting Equipment

Having gold fever can get real expensive, pardner. Certainly, there's gold in them thar hills, especially if the view out your back window is an Alaska zip code or Rodeo Drive. If you plan to make your fortune harvesting soft yellow metal from Mother Nature, you'll need oodles of high-tech and low-tech equipment which will cost you big dollars.

Herein we present a compendium of goods and services necessary for proper panning, mining, and prospecting. We offer a veritable plethora of hardware that you'll need to transport to your claim in huge trucks. Don't plan on swinging by a Home Depot on the way to Alaska: the stuff required for getting rich via gold cannot be picked up at the local hardware store. You need specialized contraptions only available here.


Playing in the frozen dirt is one of the primary activities for getting gold. Plan on digging up huge mounds of the stuff and pushing it around all over Alaska. You will dig sideways to build roads. You will dig downward in a corkscrew pattern to gash deep holes into the formerly-untouched-by-human-hands terrain. Our 50th state will never be the same, but you may end up with a baggie of gold.

Get a really cool bulldozer. Most of them are yellow because that's a safe color which is highly visible and rarely sneaks up on unsuspecting folks roaming around on your claim. They are not yellow because that's the color of gold. You don't want to get stuck with a black bulldozer. Look for a used bulldozer with a CD player and a GPS, or at least a roof.

Front Loader

It looks like a bulldozer but it's not. If you can't tell the difference, you are a greenhorn who should get your gold from the gold store at the mall. A front loader picks up the dirt that the bulldozer pushes around. Do not confuse the two because you'll never get any dirt into your wash plant if you try to perform the job of a front loader with a bulldozer.

Kubota makes a good one and Caterpillar also. Most of them run on some type of fuel such as diesel or gasoline.

Water Pump

Wherever you dig, water will follow. Alaska is full of water. Sometimes it is frozen, but many times it comes in liquid form and it will make your life miserable. You need massive heavy duty pumps to move the water from where you don't want it to where you do want it.

On the other hand, you will need some water to wash your dirty gold. The shiny yellow metal sticks to other Alaska-based materials such as dirt and magnetite. You will miss out on much potential gold unless you wash your rocks. Always wash your rocks. Expect to strategically use your ubiquitous water to cleanse your newly found gold. Don't expect to be able to transport the water in buckets: you won't have enough helpers.


Good Grief, there's no Hilton or even Motel 6 out there where the gold is. Unless you're a turtle, plan on bringing a camper trailer so you have a place to sleep when you are not harvesting ounces of gold.

Your trailer should be replete with creature comforts such as beds, sinks, and showers. Imagine all the stuff you have in your real house in your real city, then buy a camper trailer with all that stuff. What is the most important feature of your portable home? You will get dirty as you make your fortune in gold: showering in an icy cold Alaska river might be refreshing but your soap will float away and a moose will want to share your conditioner.

Gold Nugget

Some people have already found gold and they already want to sell it to you. Look online for massive quantities of raw gold that looks like it just popped out of the ground. If your epic struggle to extract a fortune from the pristine Alaskan wilderness falls flat, you can pick up a few pre-harvested hunks of gold on the way home and no one will be the wiser.


Gold locates itself in remote places that would make a grizzly bear comfortable but will cause you to endure sleepless nights worrying about potentially uncomfortable grizzly bear visits. The bears were there first and if they had guns, rest assured we'd be looking for gold in Florida. A little bit of pepper spray just might discourage a half-hearted mugger on the mean streets of Beverly Hills, but out in the wilds of Golden Alaska, you need a recipe slightly more stringent.

You may choose to welcome aggressive native animals into your team of hardy miners because they are strong and they work long hours, but eventually they will eat everyone else. You will be left with a mining crew of ursine helpers who have no clue how to run the wash plant or separate the gold from the magnetite.


Long excruciating days of digging in the Alaskan muck will make you hungry. You need a superfood to get you through the long afternoon when you simply cannot lug one more bucket load of gold back to your camper and you're exhausted from dodging bears. Nothing will perk you up like a tasty bag of corn, salt, and oil artfully combined by the food engineers at Frito-Lay.

Keep in mind that the closest Quick-E-Mart will be many miles away and although UPS does deliver to Alaska, the expenses incurred may adversely impact your bottom line. Your friendly UPS driver probably won't accept gold in payment. Stock up on plenty of Frito's in all shapes and sizes.


Gold sells by the ounce. It could also sell by the pound if you strike the Mother Lode or the Pay Streak or the Glory Hole. At the end of a busy day digging dirt, washing away the dirt, and scraping up the golden flakes, there's nothing more invigorating than a hot shower in your camper, but after that you will want to eat a bag of Frito's and weigh your gold.

You need a scale to weigh your gold. Hefting your haul in your hand will not suffice. An estimate by eyeball might make you feel like a millionaire but will not be honored by the moneychangers. Invest in an accurate (expensive) digital scale.


Obviously, you can't mine gold in a Christian Dior Evening Gown because it doesn't have a place to put your Frito's. You need a sturdy and fashionable pair of overalls. Every other miner will be wearing them. You may find yourself shunned by your peers at the Saturday Evening square dance unless you're attired properly.

Overalls make you tough. They look good on anyone driving a bulldozer or measuring gold. Even the grizzly bears think twice about gnawing on anything wearing overalls because they respect the fashion. You can sleep in them or clean out the wash plant while clothed in them.

Gasoline Can

Nothing happens on or around a gold mine without fuel. You cannot plan on harvesting fuel from the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline more than once. Anticipate massive gas and diesel requirements and purchase your supplies accordingly. A gas can will come in extremely handy for transporting fuel from the storage tanks to the gas-powered popcorn popper and the hot water heater for the shower.

A Truck

Don't even show up in Alaska without at least one pickup truck for every member of your team. Honestly, a sedan will get stuck in the mud and cute Toyota Prius looks too much like a bear hors d'Ĺ“uvre. Your Corvette doesn't hold enough Frito's.

A pickup truck informs the world that you came to play. Pick out a pick up with n-wheel drive, where n is the total number of available wheels. The coolest trucks have double or triple wheels in the back, supporting a massive bed wherein gold can be hauled back to civilization. Your vehicle should have extra seats behind the front seat that are virtually impossible for adult humans to access but look really cool when speeding down the Alaska highway.

Mechanics Tools

Everything is going to break. It's a state law.

Plan to spend 83.67% of your time repairing equipment. Experienced miners stock up on wrenches, sockets, socket wrenches, torches, screwdrivers, pliers, shop rags, and more shop rags. Be sure it all fits into a handy carrying case because you will be lugging it out to the leaky wash plant, then over to the stalled front loader, then down to the creek to fix the portable shower.

Your microwave over will also break, and then there's no popcorn for the crew.

The parade of broken equipment seems never-ending, and it is. Stuff that operates flawlessly in the Lower 48 will crash and burn in the Klondike. Durable heavy-duty motors and levers and valves and actuators and servos and drives turn to rusted mush when deployed to mine gold.


Get thee unto the wilderness. Dig 'til you drop. Pan 'til you perspire. Mine 'til you maximize monetary malleable metal.

Forget not your Frito's.


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    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 4 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @John000 ... um, OK. Thanks for stopping by.

    • john000 profile image

      John R Wilsdon 4 years ago from Superior, Arizona

      Put a Chevy 350 in my Nova Sport Coupe. I rue the day I sold it! What was I thinking?

      Have found gas cans are a necessity. In the desert I have carried washing water in them (it's a lot lighter than a 7 gallon can). But I have also found out you have to tell people not to "drink" out of them. Good article. Thanks.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 6 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @Derdriu : you may load up Frito's unless they are salmon-flavored.

      Regarding keys: my research indicates that everyone ends up hot wiring their heavy equipment because they left the keys in Duluth or a hawk swooped down and took them.

    • profile image

      Derdriu 6 years ago

      nicomp: Is it safe for me to have Fritos stuffed in the pockets of my gold digger's overalls or will I be fighting off Frito-crazed bears while I pan gold? Is it safe to leave my bulldozer, camper and front loader unlocked or is that an open invitation to rival prospectors and thrill-seeking bears? Is it possible to have one key fits all three?

      It is so thoughtful of you to compile this list for your gold-prospecting readers and to explain the purpose each item fills and the consequences of its absence or presence.

      Thank you for showing once more how much you care about satisfied customers, voted up, etc.,


    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 6 years ago from Ohio, USA : Oh, my.

    • profile image 6 years ago

      this is a real hub NUGGET Nicomp!

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 6 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @cclitgirl : I agree, but we all need to earn a living and reality TV needs more content.

      @ drbj : yes, mooses tend to be self-indulgent and avaricious.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

      I was all set to embark on this gold mining adventure, nicomp, that you described in such a captivating, charming manner until I read the part about the moose desirous of sharing my conditioner. Now I will have to rethink my expeditionary excursion.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 6 years ago from Western NC

      Cool. Informative. Although as an environmentally-conscious person, I sort of cringe at the thought of using machinery to do some intensive digging. But, that's just me. ;)