In-The-Dirt Education: Do you really want to find more gold?

In-The-Dirt Education: Do you really want to find more gold?

Do you really want to find more gold?

 You know as well as I do that if you want to improve a skill, knowledge or the pursuit of finding more gold, that you need to invest time in yourself.

How many times as a kid did your bike fall over before you could improve and manage your balance. Pop a wheelie? No hands on the steering wheel? Yes it took time, patience and trial and error.

 There is a reason that gold is at $2,000+ per troy ounce (at time of writing), and not just anyone can go find an “ounce” today and cash in. This is not “TV” that makes it look easy, or your favorite YouTube influencer that acts like it’s an every day get my gold on attitude!

 Gold prospecting is a challenging and exciting “hobby” that has captured the imagination of adventurers and treasure seekers for centuries. The idea of striking it rich and uncovering untold wealth is undoubtedly alluring, but the reality of gold prospecting is much different. To be successful in gold prospecting, you need to have a deep understanding of geology, gold mining equipment, and gold recovery techniques.

 One of the most critical aspects of gold prospecting is mastering the art of gold recovery. Once you've located a potential gold deposit, the challenge becomes extracting the gold from the surrounding material. This requires knowledge of geology, what was and what is now, as well as understanding the layers under the surface that will bring you to the potential “pay layer” of gold, hidden there waiting for you to find it.

 Understanding geology and testing areas can and will be the difference between success and failure.

 So, how can you gain the knowledge and skills necessary to be a successful “gold yielding” gold prospector?

 One option is to participate in an educational experience, such as the Lost Dutchman's Gold Prospecting Boot Camp hosted at select gold mining camps. This event provides an excellent opportunity for aspiring gold prospectors to learn from experienced miners. These experienced miners can teach everything from how to read geological maps, the terrain, to how to operate gold mining equipment more effectively and skills that they have ‘figured out” over the years that you should know too.

 Participants in the Lost Dutchman's Gold Prospecting Boot Camp will have the opportunity to learn from seasoned gold miners who have spent years honing their hunt for the elusive yeller mineral.

This is a “you will do it” not a sit back and watch the crew” do it” for you. Hands on education from start to finish.

 “This is life! Waking up each day to gather some material, coming back to camp, processing it on different equipment, and looking at your gold!”
  • Reena - Participant


Gold Prospecting Boot Camp in Arizona

 Hosted at our Lost Dutchman’s Stanton Gold camp in Congress, Arizona, this past March 2023, we had a small intimate group of “prospectors” that had the desire to become a better prospector. They wanted to find more gold. Understand more types of equipment. How to have better gold recovery.

 Our founder, George “Buzzard” Massie had a vision. His idea was simple: “To have a place where prospectors could gather, prospect, learn from others and enjoy fellowship.” Massie’s fundamental values and beliefs for the Lost Dutchman’s remain today, decades later.

  “You gotta come out here and be a part of this at least once. There is always more to learn.”

  • Adkins

Many people will watch videos online to learn, but I ask you this, …. Can you ask a video a question? No! You can ask questions at any of Lost Dutchman’s hosted events. That is Golden!

 All had done some “prospecting for gold,” but were they efficient in their ways? Did they leave gold behind? Did they truly understand if they were diggin in the right place or working harder to move a lot of “plain dirt!”

 For five packed full days, it was about recovering more gold. We tested four spots in one location. Gold was found in all four spots. Some were better than others. This is prospecting.

 Have you used a shop vac to suck up material from a wash? Working down to the caliche (hard cement type material that the gold sits on top as it can not penetrate the hard material) only inches from the surface. Easy work, no pick and shovel, no back breaking work. Slow and easy, works great for some.

 To increase your odds of becoming a thriving gold prospector, it's crucial to invest in your education and understanding of geology, equipment, and gold recovery techniques. By learning how to read maps, identify rock types, and recognize geological features, you'll gain valuable skills that will help you in your search for gold. Different types of gold deposits require different extraction methods, and understanding these methods can significantly impact your success.

You identify a claim you want to work. What next? We had a class on GPS, coordinates, and topography (topo) map reading. This helps with the start of research. Maybe you uncover an old plunge pool (bottom of a waterfall) where gold was “boiled” into place waiting to be found. This is where you learn what was, can lead to gold today. Look beyond the surface.

 In order to “KISS” (Keep It Simple Stu#@&pid), participants were taught to look for “Arizona coffee grounds, dolphins in the sluice box and, . . . . well you need to participate in a boot camp to learn this level of education. Guaranteed all participants could tell you what these terms mean and why it is important.

You uncover and work around a BIG boulder. What do you do? Participants experienced three ways to handle the situation. 1) Use a prybar to best move it out of the way, then try to roll it a bit, but that is hard on the body, 2) was to use a winch on a ATV to pull it out of the way (and find some gold it was on top of), and 3) a certified Lost Dutchman’s member in camp was set to “blow up” a large boulder at a local commercial operation and invited the participants to experience the “BOOM” of the double head SierraBlaster break up a boulder. Not everyone gets to experience this, right?

 It wasn’t all about diggin material to process in high bankers, power sluices, or trommels. There was some detector swinging too! After all, sometimes you start with a detector in an area before punching test holes. And check your tailings that fall off the grizzly, did a nugget fall off?

 Invest in yourself . . .

 Investing in your education and skills is essential for becoming a successful gold prospector. The more knowledge and experience you have, the greater your chances of finding gold. More gold than before. While the idea of striking it rich may be alluring, the reality is that gold prospecting takes dedication, patience, and hard work. By taking the time to learn and master the necessary skills, you can increase your chances of finding gold and make your gold prospecting dreams a reality.

 “Reinforcing and learning, plus fun giving people that are excited to teach, even though some have been gold prospecting for years. You can always learn more!”

  • Babcock

 Lost Dutchman’s has additional events this year to help you find more gold and have an exciting experience. Don’t be a fool . . . go to school! There is always more to learn.

Dirt Party 5-Day Common Digs – Common Dig where all participants get an equal split of the gold. We dig gold bearing material, but you learn how to operate the processing equipment, plus multiple educational seminars/hands-on instruction!

 Weekend Family Experience – New to gold prospecting? This is a perfect activity for the whole family, or a few friends. The complete package includes camping, equipment, material and panning lessons to get your gold.

 Gold Prospecting Boot Camp – Full week of hands-on education from geology to various equipment, to running material to gold recovery and more.

 When you participate in our Lost Dutchman’s Mining Association hosted events, you will have real experiences, memories, knowledge, and gold!

 Invest in yourself and take the “gold smirk” in your gold pan to a full dug golden smile. Now that makes for better bragging photos to share with family and friends.

 “Excellent experience! Lots of great instruction, people that made it fun and easy to understand. Worth every penny!”

  • Souza – Participant

 FYI . . . there is no hiding in the back of the class. You will learn it all, hands on.


If you want to be a part of any of Lost Dutchman’s 2023 events, call the Event Hotline at 888-GOLD(4653)-717 and get registered, or go online to And “click” on the events tab.

 Hope to see you at as many 2023 events that you and your family and friends can make it too. The gold and campfire are waiting for you!

 Let your dirt diggin wild side free in 2023!


Dominic Ricci is the Executive Director of Operations for LDMA/GPAA and can be reached at 951-406-0683 or by email:


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