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5 Reasons Gold Nugget Panning Is A Great Family Adventure

man gold panning with his family

5 Reasons Gold Nugget Panning Is A Great Family Adventure

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Gold Panning is the next adventure you’ve been looking for.

Are you looking for your next family adventure? 

Are you tired of hiking the same trail or camping in the same parks?

Do you want an adventure that’s simple and yet fulfilling for the whole family?

You may want to get into gold panning. 

Gold panning (or simply, panning) is a form of placer and traditional mining that extracts gold from a placer deposit using a pan. It’s one of the simplest ways to extract gold and is popular with geology enthusiasts.

Recently, though, it’s also become quite popular with families looking for an alternative outdoor adventure.

Just Google “panning for gold family vacations” and you’ll find several websites offering cabin vacations, rafting vacations, day-cations, etc all tailored toward this intriguing hobby. 

Start Gold Panning for Adventure 

Read through the list of reasons below why gold nugget panning should be your family’s next outdoor adventure.

Note that each entry isn’t arranged according to rank.

And don’t forget your gold panning equipment.

1. Gold Panning Tends To Teach History & Geology

Old man panning for gold

Kids are naturally curious. They can ask a lot of questions about stuff that genuinely interests them.

Taking your kids gold panning is going to pique their curiosity and have them asking you a lot of questions. 

Tip: Read up on gold panning history and geology before you go on your trip.

Unless you’re on a guided trip, you’ll want to make sure you’re ready to answer any panning-related questions that come your way. 

Here’s some neat gold panning trivia to get you started:

  • Panning for gold has been around since ancient Rome.
  • The gold comes from loosened ore veins
  • Panning can be done to locate the parent ore veins
  • If you run a gold speck on a white tile, a gold streak means it’s real. A green streak means it’s fool’s gold
  • The word “Gold” comes from the word that means “yellow” or “bright”.
  • Most of the world’s gold is on the ocean floor and is too costly to extract
  • Gold is edible. Some countries put gold in their fruits, jellies, coffee, and tea

2. Panning Gets Your Family Outside & Into a Lifelong Hobby 

Girl panning for gold nuggets

City living has a lot of perks. You’re close to where you work or go to school, there’s an abundance of products and services to satisfy your needs and wants, and there’s always someplace you can connect to Wi-Fi and charge your devices.

That said…

Always being near people can be stressful, a lot of places are noisy and brightly lit, there are ads everywhere that foster a feeling of insecurity to get you to buy their product or service, the daily routine to work or school can be tedious, and our lives can get absorbed by all the electronic devices we have around us. 

Sometimes your family just needs a change of pace and get away from it all. 

A gold panning vacation can be the perfect solution to all your city-related problems. Gold panning is often done near moving bodies of water like streams and creeks. You can hike towards designated spots and take in all the clean air and sunshine while enjoying all the sights and sounds of nature. 

To avoid the hassle of looking for the right public land to start this hobby, you can sign up for a gold panning adventure where you’ll have a campsite to stay in. These sites usually have their designated panning spots as well as offer other outdoor activities for your family. 

3. Panning for Gold Teaches Focus & Can be Meditative 

On the subject of city-related stress, too much of it has been known to affect our ability to think and focus. 

City-dwellers tend to move faster than those living in less populated areas. Scientists theorize that this is because city-dwellers tend to place a lot of value on time which is mostly used earning a living. All this rush creates a persistent feeling of impatience in young adults that’s been found to cause higher blood pressure

Going away for a gold panning vacation can help your family decompress and disconnect from all the stimuli. Since gold panning requires you to focus, it can become a good way to take your mind off your work, school, and bills and learn to just be in the moment. 

4. Gold Nugget Panning Kindles a Sense of Adventure 

Man on a gold panning adventure

Think back to when you were a kid when the world was still filled with mysteries to solve, paths to explore, and vistas to see. Pardon me if I’m being a bit poetic, but there just comes a time in a person’s life when they realize they’ve lost their sense of wonder. Some kids grow up without experiencing this sense of wonder at all.

As a child, I was lucky to have experienced a time when I could let my imagination run wild. I would spend many hours just wondering and reading about the cool places that exist somewhere else in the world. While I never got to explore all those places, simply going to the nearest beach, river, or forest was enough to instill a genuine love for nature and an everlasting sense of adventure in my young mind. 

To this day I still have fun learning new things and experiences. My childhood helped me develop the idea that the most interesting things are always the ones outside of my comfort zone. That I shouldn’t be afraid of failure and that it’s alright if you’re not perfect. 

Going back to the subject of Gold Nugget Panning:

Gold panning can let you take a break from the tedious humdrum of city life can help your family enjoy an adventure together. 

The thrill of the hunt for gold, the anticipation of finding even the slightest traces of gold dust, the disappointment of finding fool’s gold, and the joy of finding the real thing can spark your kid’s sense of adventure and wonder. It may even awaken the long-dormant sense of adventure in you or your partner.

5. Gold Panning Is Simple


Many outdoor hobbies like camping, canoeing, sailing, scuba diving, etc all require you to have a minimum set of clothes, gear, and equipment before you can start. 

You need to have the right clothes for the right weather and season. Bring the appropriate gear like flashlights, survival toilets, a boat, goggles, and oxygen tanks. Plus there’s also the training you have to do to prepare for the actual activity. All of these can equate to hundreds and thousands of dollars over time, which can be difficult if you’re on a tight budget.

Gold panning requires very little when it comes to equipment. Just get yourself a pan and you’re good to go. Find a used pan for cheap online or borrow one or two from friends or family. You can also go to an outdoor shop and buy a new one for $20. 

You don’t need to buy special clothes, although you may need to wear something appropriate and comfortable. A t-shirt, shorts, sneakers, and a baseball cap will do if you don’t mind them getting wet. Also, don’t forget the sunscreen.

Since gold panning is done near water, you can bring the same things you usually bring to the beach. This can include the following:

  • Snacks/lunch
  • Water
  • Towel
  • Sunglasses
  • Beach toys 
  • Shade cover or beach umbrella
  • Sunscreen 
  • A change of clothes
  • A pair of dry shoes
  • Bear spray (in places where you might encounter a bear)

That’ll do it for this one.

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To your next adventure!


I'm David Aston, Founding Nomad of AdventureHacks, Inc. My mission is to inspire adventure on the ground, in the water and through the air. If I also happen to inspire you to purchase gear, my team and I plant a tree in its native environment for every order.

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