What pump should I use?
When it comes to highbankers, the first question we always hear is; What pump do you recommend? Like many things, there is no single pump that's perfect for every situation. Everyone has different ground, pack/storage space, weight limits and budgets. Our goal was to offer prospectors the best value possible with the Gold Trek by giving people the option to use a pump they might already have or buy the right one for their circumstances and budget.
That being said, the Gold Trek Backpack Highbanker will operate very well in almost any condition with a 1 inch gas powered centrifugal water pump. The braided polymer forestry hoses and camlock fittings that we offer are NPT threaded and compatible with most of these pumps right off the shelf. It's what we use when we take the Gold Trek out prospecting and will always be what we recommend first.
While gas pumps provide additional pressure and allow much more hose length and control over your water volume, the drawbacks are the high cost, noise, weight, fumes and additional fuel supply which takes up more space and adds to your pack weight.
Because of these drawbacks, and because some jurisdictions allow sluicing directly into a creek, 12v battery powered Bilge Pumps have become a popular option.
We've tested many bilge pumps in combination with hose types, lengths, and vertical lift. This is a a short video showing 7 different bilge pumps being used in the Gold Trek system. Each pump in this video is using the exact same 6 ft bilge hose, fittings and battery and the only variable is the pump itself. As you can see, the advertised Gallons Per Hour are not necessarily the only thing to consider when choosing a bilge pump.
If we were to recommend a Bilge Pump for use with the Gold Trek system, it would have a 1500-2000 gallon per hour water supply with a 6 ft or shorter hose and under 3ft of lift. Adding length or lift to a bilge pump will quickly result in loss of pressure and water volume. 10 feet of hose or another 2 feet of lift can cut your volume nearly in half. At 30 feet you'll only get a trickle.
A 1 inch gas powered centrifugal water pump is our first recommendation if space and budget permit. There are dozens of options on the market from familiar brands and we have tested many of them with success.
If choosing a bilge pump, we recommend 1500-2000gph of water supply. Size must be increased if additional distance or lift height are required but, if you think you might need more than 10 ft of length or 6 feet of lift, a gas pump might be the better choice.