Use Caution in Remote Gold Areas

 (Gotta love those remote gold areas...just be careful.)

As many of you know, I'm a big advocate of getting off the beaten path and hitting those more remote areas as a means of finding better gold. Please note that along with this suggestion come a number of cautionary considerations that deserve another look (as well as one important item I hadn't even thought of before).

If You Want the "Goodies"

The way I see it, just about everything in this life is a trade off. To get one thing you usually have to give something else up. I think this is particularly true when it comes to all things gold mining.

Treasure Hunting
Gold Concentrators
Metal Detectors

It's a simple fact that easily accessed gold locations get beaten up pretty bad. The easier the access, the more true this premise is. Now this doesn't mean you can't work easily accessed spots and get a decent turn of color, but if you want the real "goodies" you're going to have to get off that well-trodden path.

There can be risks in doing this sort of thing, including:
  • Slips trips, and falls (you could break a leg, ankle, or worse)
  • Venomous bites (certain snakes, scorpions, and spiders)
 ("Don't tread on me.")
  • Wild animal attacks (bear, moose, mountain lions, Big Foot, and so on)
  • Water accidents (again, potential for twisted ankles, broken bones, or drowning)
  • Becoming lost (always a possibility in very remote areas)
  • Getting caught in bad weather (when Ma Nature turns nasty on you)
Anyway, you get the drift and could easily add your own items to this list. Being the smart folks I have you pegged for, you also realize these are common sense issues and there's no need for me to belabor the point.

Out of Touch

One risk I hadn't thought of, however, was brought to my attention by an ex-California miner who is one of the small group who've correctly ID'd "nugget" creek. Here's what he had to say:

"Ya best be packing cause the same middle of nowhere creeks we prospect, the Mexicans grow dope in." 

Another Cancer

Man oh man, am I out of touch or what? I've been out of California so long now I totally forgot that aspect of hitting remote gold areas.

Spaced out, long-haired dopers smoking and growing a bit of chronic is one thing, but hard-core dope farmers, dealers, and Mexican drug cartel members are another thing altogether. They represent another ugly cancer infecting numerous mining locales in the West and Southwest these days (perhaps everywhere...who knows?).

 (This clown may be a joke...)

Not Nice People

My mining friend was right when he said "Ya best be packing..." because the individuals running these hidden dope camps can (and have) become extremely violent to protect their "interests" or the interests of those whose dirty work they do. They can also be experts at booby trapping their territory and screwing you up that way. All in all, not nice people...

Now some poor, deluded souls might think wearing flowers in their hair, flashing the peace sign, or waving their "Save Tibet" or "Earth First" bumper stickers is gonna smooth things out if the shit hits the fan, but not yours truly.

Me?  I'll put my trust in my nine millimeter and an AR-15 with a couple of high-capacity mags, thank you very much.

(...but scumbags like this are not.)

The overall implication? If you decide to go for the gold way out there, be forewarned, be prepared, but most importantly, be armed.

One last thing...never go it alone.

Best to you all.

If you liked this post, you may want to read:

(c)  Jim Rocha (J.R.)  2013

Questions? E-mail me at


  1. Yep, The two legged snakes are more dangerous than the other kind. A gun can be dead weight you don't realy need, but on the off chance you do, it's worth more than any gold you will ever find. I NEVER go anywhere without one. Unfriendly people,critters, or just something to signal with,it's the most inportant tool you can have. That along with matches, and a pocket knife, you can survive. I carry a 55 gal. drum size garbage bag also. They make great emergency raincoats or shelters if you get lost.

  2. Sadly,the growers are increasingly becoming more of a problem in Cali. I know people who have found operations on their land. Others keep finding the irrigation tubing on their mountain property or are being propositioned to keep their cattle gates unlocked.

    I have personally seen 10 people crammed into a 80's Bonneville up a 4x4 road they clearly had no reason being on.

    I frequently visit backcountry locations in search of Indian rock art, but am more fearful of these kinds of encounters.

  3. I hear many things to contend with these days when it comes to small-scale this. Best to you, J.R.

  4. Good tips and suggestions there Gary. Always best to be prepared for any eventuality. Best, J.R.

  5. With regards to these low lifes, we have always had a good method for handling them here in the southwest. Like a coyote or skunk (and other kinds of dogs), the rules are "shoot, shovel, and shut up". simple.


  6. It's a good philosophy Bo, but the way things work these days you'd be the criminal and they the "victims." Best, J.R.

  7. Seems to be a factor to be weighed for sure. Get off the beaten path to find more/better color without the protection of a weapon and take your chances, don't get off the beaten path, or spend several hundred dollars on a gun that you'll use/carry once or twice a year (in my case) and the rest of the time it's sitting in my house. I'd prefer not to have a gun in my house. I might be too tempted to use it on some of the trash in my neighborhood. LOL

  8. Those temptations are everywhere these days Phil...sad to say. Best, J.R.


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