prospecting, gps, free, smartphone

GPS Resource for Helping You Find Gold

By: J.C. Allen

Hey, hey fellow prospectors!  Today, I’m going to give you a couple of quick tips that I’ve learned here in the last week or so while doing some research and prepping for our first prospecting scouting trip of the year where we went down to Central Colorado. I will share some things that we learned down there as well as get you some quick digs that I found this week of gold nuggets of information that will help your prospecting and help you get going a bit quicker. So let’s get started.

Gold Prospecting Research for Colorado

Okay, this last week, week and a half, I spent a lot of time scouting in Central Colorado along the Arkansas River looking for some yellow. I spent a lot of time with the family working some sample buckets and just digging around, seeing what we could find. Didn’t find enough to really say this is the spot that we need to come back to this summer. But man, we met some great gold miners and other friends.

But, I wanted to show you a quick little trick for GPS-ing. This trip was coming up and I couldn’t put my hands on my GPS unit. I’ve got a little Garmin eTrex and could not find it. Don’t know what happened to it. I know I was checking the speedometer with it after we got some new tires on the suburban but wasn’t able to put my hands on it.

So odds are one of those kids have hidden it from me and making me prospect for it. But here is a quick trick.

Using Free GPS Android App for Tracking Prospecting Trips

There’s an app in Android that if you just search the Android play store or whatever they call it, it’s called Orux Maps and click the link and it will just jump into their website and there’s links into the Android store. You could even scan the QR code here if you’re watching the video of this podcast as well.

But Orux Maps is a free application and you can use it online or offline. Like if you’re in an area without any cell coverage, you can still use the GPS function and if you’ve downloaded your map, which it also allows you to do to your Droid, then you can still see things. But you can see they’ve got fantastic things and this is what I ended up using in Colorado.

So what you do is once you’ve got that, you can either upload it to a couple of different online services. There’s one called GPSies. It’s out of I think the Netherlands, some place in Europe.

Watch a quick overview video of Orux Maps here...a few minutes in.

So Orux Maps, it comes up and just gives you a very simple, straightforward interface. There are tutorials and a manual and some other things and some other downloads.

But here’s what you’re able to do.

Keep Tabs on your gold mining spots…

Once you get back home, you can click on your device once you’ve connected with your USB device and you just scroll down to the Orux Maps folder. Watch the video above to watch how to do this on my Droid and Orux Maps folder and you look at track logs and you can just double click on them and it will actually open up the KML file which is the Google Earth version and if you’re watching the video, this is jumping around just a little bit just because it’s opening my Google Earth.

But it will zoom you right into where you were and so there you can see our tracks and what we did, some spots that we stayed. In fact, camped at and then where we were actually doing some prospecting.

So they’re in that area. There’s a public panning and gold mining area, gold prospecting area. It’s called Cache Creek and it’s over here in this side. I didn’t record the track while we were over there because we were really just in and out scouting over there. But this Orux Map, it will show you exactly where you were, what you were doing. You can overlay way points and other things to show you what was going on. We were on some GPAA claims and a lot of that area is claimed up. But it separates things into sections and everything else and you can quickly overlay topographic maps of the areas.

Colorado Prospecting Scouting Trip Review

But anyway, our prospecting trip was fantastic. We had a great time. The weather was awesome. There were no bugs whatsoever. The highs were in the low 80s. The lows were in the low 50s and no bugs whatsoever. A little bit of wind. Now they’re having a lot of forest fires with as little snowpack as we saw when we were down there up at the top of Mount Elbert and other things. This is the highest peak in Colorado. With as little snowpack as we saw, it’s going to be a very long, hot summer for the folks down there in Colorado.

So you guys, good luck with everything down there and that’s one thing you got to worry about when you’re prospecting is whether or not you’re going to have enough water to do what you want to do. So make sure you’re scouting your area and you’ve got some time available in the front half of the summer because by the end of the summer, you may strictly be classifying and then taking material back home to process. So Orux Maps, that is a fantastic free GPS service to use with your Droid phone. I have yet to find something comparable for the iPhone but I will keep looking and digging for you guys but you can overlay relief maps. There’s a compass radar, other things, and you can upload, like I mentioned, to several online services. EveryTrail, that’s a very popular one here in the US. But as I said, I’ve used the GPSies before.

Hope that will help you out!

May you always find what you are looking for!

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