Gold diving is something that has been done ever since the fifties and has been quite in style since then as well. Even though there have only been a few cases of gold diving that we know about that happened in the early 1900’s, it was not until the French created the Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (the SCUBA) at the end of the forties that there was any type of equipment that was more appropriate and decent. A few years afterwards using SCUBA equipment turned into something very popular in the rivers of California.
It was very normal for some of the first gold divers to obtain around $500 to $1000 in just one day by just using a small face mask, a SCUBA regulator and little floating compressor that was gasoline driven. However, as the years went by being able to find any good amount gold became a much more difficult thing to achieve.
The divers these days are still able to do ok by using lightweight, portable equipment and are able to get inside the areas that are a little more difficult to get to.
There are actually two different types of gold divers these days. One type of diver is called the Hookah diver, and this is a diver that uses a diving regulator, a little compressor and hose, and in many occasions a dredge. The other type of diver is the free diver or “sniper” and this diver only wears a face mask and snorkel because this allows him or her to see under the water and breathe while he or she is floating face down on the surface of the water.
Hookah diving and free diving have their own rewards. While it is true that a person that does Hookah diving is able to get the job done a lot more thoroughly in one particular spot, a free diver is able to access to a bigger area and is able to search the shallow areas a lot better. It is common for a person that has a great deal of experience at free diving to find higher-grade areas in just one day.
Something that all divers have difficulty with when diving in mountain streams is the cold water. The temperatures in mountain streams can differ from 32 degrees to 70 degrees depending on what time of the year they decide to prospect. Since this is a problem at times and it is hard for a person’s body to resist these temperatures for a long time, often times a diving suit is required and necessary.
If you are considering doing mountain stream prospecting you will want to consider getting a diving suit in order to get the job done more efficiently. There are two basic types of diving suits you can look into getting. One type of diving suit is the dry suit and the other the wet suit. In the case of the dry suit it is made out of thin sheet rubber and it fits loosely except on the ankle area, wrists and neck where it is tight in order for the water not to get in. this type of suit does have its disadvantages though because it can tear very easily on the rocks or any sharp objects that might be in the water. Another disadvantage is that it is not insulated and if a teensy bit of water gets into the suit it does not work at all.
There is another type of wet suit which is made out of neoprene rubber and it is normally around three fourths of an inch thick. The wet suit allows the water to slowly seep through and gets caught between the suit and the skin of the diver, which creates a warm insulating layer. Many people that have worked with this type of wet suit have said that it is comfortable and can be used for several hours at a time with no problem. It is important the wet suit fits very tightly, if any water moves inside the wet suit then it does not work, it is supposed to fit on you like a second skin.
When using wet suits or doing this type of job it is important you know how to swim well but be aware that a wet suit itself will cause your body to float due to the buoyancy. As a matter a fact it takes around thirty and fifty pounds of lead on a weight belt for a diver to be kept submerged under the water.