Corporate advertising has been brain-washing us for years that more is better and bigger is best.  NOT TRUE!  Especially not when it comes to rocks You can only wear one at a time, your yard has only so much room and hoarding is not cool.

As rock hounders, we need to (and have the responsibility to) choose our treasures carefully.  And here’s how:

  1. Know what you’re collecting when you’re out in the field.

Most all rock collecting books and websites give you the information of where to find certain kinds of rocks.  Us those books and maps to collect some unique treasures.  Collecting for collecting’s sake should be an exercise of the past.  We must leave some for the next guy.  Quality over Quantity.

  1. Follow the one bucket per person collecting laws.

Every inch of public land is managed by rules for how much of each material you can collect.  Breaking those rules only makes it more difficult for the next generation of collector.  Check with the local BLM, USFS, USGS, or private property holder for what is allowed.  And know that almost all the public lands maximums are one bucket per day (25 lbs.)  per person.  Taking more than that is illegal and could result in fines or having the collecting area closed. Quality over Quantity.

3.  Take 2 buckets for each person. One to gather rocks and one to sort into for keepers.

We try and take two buckets per person when we go out.  We have one we can use as we’re walking the area to collect.  The other bucket stays in the truck.  Upon returning to the truck we try and divide up what’s been collected and decide what are “keepers” and what needs to be returned to the land.  We lay some out on the tailgate so we can look to see which is the best specimen or rock.  Whatever isn’t on the tailgate goes into the spare bucket for return to the land.  The tailgate group goes into a bucket to take home.  It does take a little time, but think how much gasoline you save when you’re not loaded to the gunnels with rock. Quality over Quantity.

If we all concentrated on being a responsible rock collector maybe there wouldn’t be so many places with such wonderful rock that are now closed.  We must teach our children responsible collecting practices and shed our hoards of unused rock (but that’s another blog post on its own).

Choose Quality over Quantity.