For further outdoor safety tips, visit the monthly meeting of the Community Emergency Response Team. The group meets at 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month at Dawsonville City Hall, 415 Hwy. 53 East.
After a wicked winter that included a small-scale blizzard and deep freeze, the recent warmer weather has residents itching to get outdoors.
Many have turned to area parks and hiking trails to shake off cabin fever.
But officials say before heading out for an adventure in the great outdoors, residents should be prepared for just about anything.
“If you go out on a hike in the woods, there are some basic things you should take with you,” said Richard Sims, deputy director of the Community Emergency Response Team of Dawson County.
Those items include plenty of food and water, as well as first aid materials and ... duct tape.
“You’d be amazed all the things you can use duct tape for,” Sims said.
It can be used for patching tents, tarps and backpacks and as temporary first aid for blisters, cuts and broken limbs.
He said hikers can wrap about 10 feet of tape around a big pen for easy transport in their packs.
Most items are common-sense type things, but Sims said its always good for hikers to make a checklist of supplies before a journey.
Three south Georgia residents who set out for a hike in Dawson County last week made sure they had all the essentials, including plenty to eat.
“Yeah, I think we got it covered,” said Chris Boyer as he emptied a bag of snacks on a picnic table Thursday at Amicalola State Park.
Hiking fare for Boyer and his friends included cookies, crackers, baked beans and canned ham.
Boyer began a 38-mile trek last week with fellow south Georgians David Lassiter and David Smith.
Some others who visited the park last week just went for a day hike, like Jarred Lightner and Aaron Berger, both of Sandy Springs.
“We figured it was a beautiful day, so we drove up here,” Berger said. “We thought we should take advantage of the early spring weather.”
Sims said those looking to do the same should remember to bring layers of clothing, no matter how warm it may feel at the time.
In addition, he said, wear “sturdy shoes and lots of sun protection.”
No matter where you go, Sims said, hikers should check the weather forecast and let someone know “where you’re going and what time you’ll be back.”