Fixing and Boondocking and Panning

Tarp Fixing

The old tarp was luxurious and endlessly challenging to hook up by myself.  Several times I ended up crying after it fell to the ground, again,  and I had to start over. The white tarp was full of holes from folding and unfolding for four years. Finally gave it away and thought about solutions.
Dispersed Camping

I bought a terrific tarp that I wanted to attach, without drilling holes in the aluminum topper.

I glued on 3 latch parts, 1 on each side, one on top. I have 3 carabiners, so it should be only seconds to set up this end of the tarp.

tarp topper latch

Next I went to get a pool noodle or pipe insulation to protect the tarp from getting poked by the back hatch corners. Ha. I am too late for  pool noodles. I am too early for pipe insulation. Soon. (That didn’t last 10 seconds. Ended up using bungee cords to the wheel wells.)

Meanwhile I checked out a secret boondocking spot. Secret boondocking spot

I spent some time collecting trash, then  went panning for gold. I had looked online and there was not an active claim here, so I felt free to “prospect”.


A beautiful, clear river.


I was beyond excited to find “black sand”*  in the first pan. First time ever! I even was able to find some specks of gold in each pan. (Specks are one step larger than the flour gold I had been finding. Aussies call them “bits”.)

*”Black sand concentrates are what you end up with after first processing of your gold bearing material. It is usually a combination of minerals in the iron group: Hematite, Fe3o3, with a specific gravity of 5.26, an iron mineral that is non-magnetic and Magnetite, Fe3o4, with a specific gravity of 5.20, is magnetic.” (thanks to goldfeverprospecting) The black sand I had was mostly Magnetite. Got rid of it with a magnet wrapped in a plastic baggy. A few specks of gold remained. What silly joy.

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5 Responses to Fixing and Boondocking and Panning

  1. Carol says:

    I really enjoyed learning about black sand and gold specks. As a kid growing up in California, I tried to convince my dad we needed to pan for gold. Now, 60+ years later, I get to pan for gold through your adventures. Thank you for sharing.


    • Mas Prema says:

      Come out and pan! So easy. Even fun with finding no gold. Just sitting with your feet in the water, listening to the birds … therapeutic and joyful. Never too late to start. I am 73 and had never done it before. Thank you for reading the blog and big thanks for commenting.

      On Sun, Aug 30, 2020 at 5:40 AM Truck Camper Hints wrote:

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  2. Harley Gurl says:

    Wow! That is very cool to see those gold specks. Good for you, glad you got the tarp thing figured out. Your set up looks great. That river sure was clear. LOVE it. Stay safe. Loving your adventures.


    • Mas Prema says:

      Thank you Gloria for reading and commenting. I am very close to tarp heaven … only missing the pool noodle. The black sand was so exciting for me … I didn’t even look for the gold for a long while, just admiring the blackness. I am loving the adventure. Will be out of range to post during the next three weeks … boondocking and panning!

      On Wed, Aug 26, 2020 at 7:13 PM Truck Camper Hints wrote:

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      Liked by 1 person

      • Harley Gurl says:

        You are so welcome, and back at you liking and appreciating my stories. I hope to have intriguing stories like you one day. That black sand was very cool, I read your article on it. I could tell you were excited about seeing it. Stay safe while boondocking and I will look forward to reading about the adventures.


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