|Prospecting country in Northern Ontario this is a photo of Kakabeka Falls called the Niagara of Canada. Ray lives in the town of Kakabeka Falls, Ontario.|
Photo by Hans Jurgen-Hubner
Here's a list of what I usually take along on my day trips. Remember I 'm going out in my truck and might be dragging a 4WD Quad along to save the feet too!
Even for a 2 hour walking trip, I take most of the following tools and other helpful items, but once out in the field at times, I may leave some items in the truck, depending on the outing:
• A jeweler's loupe, I use a 25x triplet
• Topographic and geology maps of area to be explored
• Prospector's license*
• Pad and pencils. Take extra pencils, they get lost easily. A compact waterproof paper notebook is handy
• A compass (liquid-filled, good quality) I use a Silva or Brunton surveying type c/w signaling mirror
• A GPS unit capable of mapping, projecting and tracking way points. My present GPS is a Garmin GPSmap76CX, which is reliable and runs for a couple of days on 2 AA batteries.
• Safety glasses for bashing rocks. We only have ONE set of eyes so take care of them!
• A compact first aid kit
• A belt-carried hunting knife -6" and / or a multi-tool type belt knife
• A prospecting "pick" hammer. (In this area we have a special tool called a "Tweedie" tool named after Ron Tweedie, the inventor and maker. It is a 36" short-handled hammer with a 3" flat blade opposite that can be used both for whacking rocks and grubbing, to remove moss/dirt for stripping. (In prospecting that is convenient, it saves you bringing along a wide pick.) At times it might be the only hammer you carry.
• A sharp cold chisel ½" x 12" long
• A 4-lb short- steel- handled "crack hammer" unbreakable (Estwing) for serious sample removal.
• Some paper to wrap special delicate specimens
• Plastic sample bags 6-10 mil 8x14" are good, but you can use recycled plastic bags of any type. I take along heavy recycled 1-liter plastic milk bags when available.*
• A red or orange wax pencil for marking stakes or posts.
• Fluorescent flagging tape to mark sample locations
• A black marker to write ON the flagging tape
• A short-handled ox-head axe--for cutting claim posts. If cutting claim lines, I also take along a
• Swedish brush axe which is the bow design.
• A folding shovel for the back pack, and a long-handled shovel for the truck.
• A very compact emergency 3"x4"x 2"fishing outfit, a few hooks, line, sinkers, and a small lure. Maybe a small collapsible fishing rod!
• Wide-brimmed floppy hat that will cover the ears.
• Full face mosquito net that fits over the floppy hat for extreme insect conditions.
• Fly dope. Various types, it must work on blackflies, mosquitoes, and deer flies. But is generally USELESS for those tiny noseeum sandflies in hot weather
• Extra socks to keep the feet dry.
• Heavy boots that have high ankle protection. Waterproof boots are best
• Rain gear--lightweight rubber but full body coverage including a hood--or the Gortex type
• Long-legged pants, NOT shorts.
• Long-sleeved shirt and jacket
• Leather gloves, or good quality cotton gloves with leather facing
• Eye-glasses. I always take a spare pair!
• Sunscreen: 40SPF minimum.
• A compact, folding dome tent.
• In some areas, a snake bite kit is a good idea.
• For SOME locations, belt-carried Bear pepper spray is important.
• Aspirin or Tylenol.
• Medications if you need them.
• Drinking WATER: NEVER allow yourself to become dehydrated.
• Matches. Use safety matches, protected to keep dry, or bring along a Fire Starter (magnesium) bar.
• Dry Trail mix for snacks.
• Lunch! The best part of prospecting out in the bush! I almost always take cheese sandwiches going on day trips into remote areas. Take food that will still be good for a week even if it's squashed, melted, or beaten up. Dehydrated type foods are good for long trips too.
• ** NOTE: NEVER take meat sandwiches or chicken with mayonnaise out into hot weather, they can be unsafe to eat after a few hours in summer heat!
• Hot Coffee or Tea in a thermos for cold days.
• A small single-burner propane stove can be handy!
I guess that’s about all you can carry, but then there’s a spare key for the vehicle, spare gasoline, a couple of quarts of oil, some tools, a Jack-all, a couple of spare tires, and walkie-talkies if you have them.
I guess that’s about all you should need at this point. I hope you’re having FUN! If I think of anything else, I’ll let you know! Stay safe!