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Dry Washer Sampling


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Just invested 2 days prospecting and I’m not very satisfied with my prospecting process. This trip gave me the opportunity to (1) use my new Royal Dry Washer which worked like a champ once I figured out the correct speed to run the blower motor, and (2) work on established a gold prospecting process. Anyway my prospecting process is panning out to something along these lines:

  1. Claim Walk About looking for anything that may stand out and take notes.
  2. Black sand sampling a few areas with my metal pan which has a large magnet attached on the bottom to collect black sand.
  3. Based on the amount of black sand attached to my metal pan for that particular area start mining
  4. Classify (size 8) all dry washer loads
  5. Re-sample for black sand about every third load
  6. Adjust location based on black sand re-sampling (Following the Black Sand Trail)

Right or wrong I’m assuming the black sand trail will or should lead me to some gold. What I did not do was sample what was coming out of the dry washer. What is the best way to sample material coming out of the dry washer? If possible with the use of water.

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With apologies - My question above reference the use of water I met sampling material coming out of the dry washer without water.

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Not saying my way is any better... but it is the way I do things.

Example: Three weeks ago I moved to a new location and finally learning my lesson - I sampled prior to starting my hole to the center of the earth. I looked for the typical locations, with the addition of looking for the nastiest jumble of rocks in those spots. If those rocks look like they are going to be a PIA to pry apart and chuck, my personal experience is that it will probably show some pretty decent color. I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to the black sand, as it is everywhere in this area, but I pay more attention to where the rock was deposited when the flood slurry was flowing.

I had two seven gallon jugs of water, a Home Depot mud tub and my gold pan, along with my drywashing gear.

There were two spots that I was interested in the particular weekend. I ran four buckets (5 gal.) of material from one location and four buckets of material from the other location. The four bucket samples of the two locations were based on two bucket samples of these spots and several more on a previous trip. Keeping the drywasher cons separate, I then panned them out. I made my decision on which hole to dig, based on the results of the panning.

Now that I have chosen my China hole, I will not bring panning gear up with me. My sole goal is to move as much dirt through the drywasher and bring home as much drywasher cons as I can. This will then get run through the Gold Cube in the comforts of my back porch.

Note: I have the Royal myself, in addition to the big Keene. I am also very happy with it. Going to use it this weekend at a spot where I have to walk a little farther.

Hope this helps,


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