Night Gold Prospecting. Many places across the U.S. (and the world) summer time temperatures can reach well over 100 degrees. And in the SW U.S. and along the extended West Coast (New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, California, Oregon, etc.) that means you sweat it out, shade it out or hunt at night. I’ve spent many summer days out in the deserts detecting and dry washing in the intense heat, even at 110+. Not the smartest idea but I’ve done it. At some point heat stroke will get you. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. And that chance grows as you age. Lucky for me I stopped pushing my luck a few years ago without ever getting heat stroke. But no matter how badass you think you are really, you’re just a human. Your body is subject to the same conditions as the rest of us. If you can’t hunt at night try to have your boots on the ground by dawn, don’t venture deep, bring plenty of water, two vehicles with AC (if possible) and plan to get out no later than 10 or 11.
Night Gold Prospecting Lighting Options
The good news is you have options, especially night time gold prospecting. If you’re detecting that means you need a reliable source of light and need to be extra careful of critters that are more nocturnal during the summer months. Big critters usually aren’t the worry, it’s the creepy crawly kind. If you’re drywashing buy an LED lamp and brighten the area up. Many LEDs provide more than enough light and will run off your truck battery for hours (or all night) without any negative impact to your ability to start your truck. Many of the newer LEDs will run for 10 or more hours on just a few batteries or a recharge. As best practice, if you use your vehicle battery, bring an extra battery for the lights. The other cool thing about prospecting at night is you can bring a black light and look for florescent miners and of course, scorpions. Buy a headlamp with red and green lights. These colors will not attract the bugs. You can easily attach an LED flashlight to your detector shaft with a zip-tie.
Go Prepared for Night Gold Prospecting
If you choose to prospect at night go prepared to stay the day too. If you can’t leave for some reason you’ll be able to at least keep yourself cool. I recommend plenty of water and ice in addition to a good heavy duty canvas tarp for extra shade. Put today’s technology to work for you and get a Delorme (Garmin) InReach Explorer. The Explorer will allow you to text anyone without the need for cell service or internet.