Participation Guidelines, Grace Episcopal Church Hike Group
It is important to remember that the Grace Church Hike Group is a function of and represents Grace Episcopal Church, Gainesville, GA at all times. All fellowship and social activities should be conducted in accordance with the highest expectations of the church.

The Grace Church hike group is open to all parishioners(1) and their friends(2) for the purpose of sharing fellowship while appreciating the beauty of the outdoors and sharing in recreational activities. If you wish to take part please contact Jeremy Landers or Marsha Conner for more information on hiking with the group.

1. Member or prospective member who actively takes part in the life of Grace Episcopal Church, Gainesville. Hereinafter referred to as "member".

2. Family member(s) or friend(s) of Grace Episcopal Church members may hike as a guest only and if approved by the event planner beforehand. Guests must be accompanied by the inviting Grace member until they have been on several hikes, at which time they can hike unaccompanied with approval of the event planner.

3. Hikers must be 18 years of age or: Meet the requirements for hikers under 18 years of age. Click Here For Details.
4. Each hiker is required to read the guidelines before taking part in a hike so that they understand the rules and protocol of the GEC Hike Group. By taking part in any GEC Hike Group event hikers agree to participate accordingly.
5. If, at any time, any hiker, be it a member or guest, demonstrates any behavior observed by the event planner, or reported to the event planner, that is found to be disturbing, disruptive, unethical, or not in accord with the general principles of the Episcopal Church, including any criminal or civil action, they will immediately be suspended from the GEC Hike Group roster pending further action as deemed appropriate by the event planners.
6. All hikers must be capable of carrying, by pack, the required and necessary supplies appropriate for the hike selected.
7. All hikers must be aware of their capabilities to complete a hike and should not start a hike when physically ill or injured.
8. All hikers must have an ICE (In Case Of Emergency) form filled out and on file with the event planners before hiking. This form should be updated when any contact or medical info changes. The event planner can explain how this form is completed and used in medical emergencies.
9. All hikers must be fluent in the English language (or have an interpreter), capable of reading maps, of following directions, and fully cooperative with the requests of the event planners.

Last Modified: Friday, September 27, 2013

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The following information is posted on the bottom of every trip page. Please be sure you have read through it.

*Special Notice Regarding Hikers Under 18 Years of Age!

Please take a moment to read the Participation Guidlines prior to hiking with the Grace Church Hike Group.

Additional Info For All Hikes
Information provided by Marsha Conner

(In Case Of Emergency)

We are now carrying ICE forms with us for safety. The hike planner will
be responsible for being sure these cards are on the trail.  A form in a
sealed yellow envelope with critical contact and medical data on each
hiker will be available in case of emergencies.  You are required to fill
out the emergency contact information however the medical information
is optional, should an emergency arise, this data would go with you for
medical treatment and provide contact information for your relatives
and medical information at the ER that should be known.  Many of us have
ICE phone numbers in our cell phones, but our cell phones may not work
in some wilderness areas.

You should be self-sufficient on the trail. Do not plan to borrow items you
do not have from people hiking with you. They may not have what you need
or they may need it for themselves. Carefully look over the trail description and
map before going, ask questions, and make sure that you are physically able to
handle the terrain, the temperatures, the possible wetness, and the other
interesting things that might happen to us while on the trail! As always we
set our hiking pace to accomadate everyone. So don't think you'll be too slow.
Jeremy & Marsha are always willing to help you to be trail ready.

1.  Daypack
2.  Water/Fluid Supplies
3.  Food/Snack Supplies
4.  Cash and Photo ID (ID should be on your person at all times)
5.  Other Outdoor Supplies
6. 4 AA Batteries to use in our walkie talkies.

1.  Packs:
a.  Plan and pack for medical emergencies including
     blisters, bug bites, allergies, cuts, etc.
b.  At least one snake bite kit (Sawyer style) should be
     with the group (sold in most sporting goods depts).
c.  Weather change needs such as poncho, emergency
     blanket, cap, gloves, wind jacket, etc.
d.  Cell phone (in case it might work) and other
     items important to you for personal safety or comfort

2.  Water/Fluid Supplies
a.  Plan on carrying a cooler in your vehicle with ice to keep
food and fluids cold throughout the trip
b.  Carry enough fluid with you for the designated trail hike
c.  Do  Not  Drink  Water  From  Streams - most mountain
    water is no longer safe to drink as they may contain
    protozoan imps and make you very sick

3.  Food/Snack Supplies
a.  Short hikes may only require a light snack
     on the trail (1-2 miles) - plan accordingly
b.  Longer hikes usually require a moderate
     snack on the trail (3-4 miles) - plan accordingly
c.  Remember that your appetite is enhanced by
    being outdoors and doing physical activity

4.  Cash and ID
a.  Carry bills in different increments especially "ones"
     for park entrance fees and incidentals - each
     person is responsible for their own fees and should
     share any group cost for parking and fuel
b. The cost of fule is to be shared between driver and
c.  For your safety, have your ID with you on the trail at
all times.
d.  Do not leave valuables in your parked car which you
    cannot afford to have stolen!

5.  Other Outdoor Supplies
a.  Camera, Flash Card(s) or film
b.  Binoculars
c.  Sun hat
d.  Knife and compass
e.  Extra socks if prone to blisters
f.  Bug spray
g.  Sting relief especially if you are
     allergic to insect stings
h.  Hiking pole or sticks
i.   Sweat towel and/or bandana
j. Large Pepper Spray (for animal attacks and personal protection)

6. Hunting Season
Remember your Blaze Orange During Hunting Seasons.


1.  Critical - Shower and check your body - CAREFULLY -
     for ticks (if a tick has attached itself to your skin, do
     not crush its body while removing it, but lift it away
     from your skin and pull out by the legs - treat the area
     properly and watch for any redness - if redness appears
     seek medical attention promptly)

2.  Clean and treat any wounded areas of your body -
     use ice for first 24-48 hours on joint/muscle injuries
     and heat as swelling subsides

3.  Consider keeping a log of your hiking experiences and
     write your story in a journal while memories are fresh

4.  Develop pictures and share copies with your hikers


1.  Leave pets at home if hiking with a group. More Info

2.  Keep groups on the trail to no more than 4-6 together

3.  Walk single file in the middle of the trail

4.  Step to the side of the trail as you go downhill
     to allow hikers going uphill to have the right of way

5.  Do not wade with your boots on unless necessary
     Wet socks and shoes can create immediate blisters

6.  Swift water can cause you to lose your footing in
     6-12 inches of water so do not be fooled that you
     can wade without danger across a stream

7.  Snakebites are a critical concern to hikers
     THINK before putting your hands and feet anywhere
     that might be a place of hiding for a snake:
     a.  Step on the top of logs - not over them
     b.  Use your hiking pole to check on the backside
          of logs and rocks before sitting down
     c.  Stay on the trail where visibility is better

8.  Read the many different theories on protection
     from bears and other wildlife - bears are most
     aggressive when protecting their cubs and stay
     near water and food sources frequently - bears
     do not "growl" but will make a "grunting" noise
     to let you know they see you when you may not
     see them - stop, back away slowly, and move
     back down the trail without hesitation - do not
     mistake a "grunting" noise for random woods noise
     on a trail as it may only be made one time to give
     you one chance to back away. Carry a large pepper spray.

9.  Let members of your hiking group know your intentions
    in case you decide to return to the parking lot or leave
     for the day. 

10. Remember that the GEC Open Hike each month will
     have a mixed skill level and cooperation as a team is needed.
     The monthly planner has volunteered to set up the hike
      and there may be slight differences with each hike.
      There is room for both the scenic hiker and the extreme
      hiker with good communication and proper planning.

More information on Hiker Safety can be found at the following websites.
Georgia State Park Safe Hiking Tips

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