GMS Field Trip Policies
(Members of GMS on their first field trip to Graves Mountain June 29, 1935)
GMS Field Trip PoliciesAs a stated policy of GMS, we do not give out field trip location information or field trip directions to the general public. Property owners are very gracious in allowing GMS to visit their properties, so we must respect their privacy.
GMS promotes ethical field collecting by adhering to the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies (AFMS) code of ethics. As a member of a mineral society that is associated with the AFMS and the Southeast Federation of Mineralogical Societies (SFMS), GMS members are bound by this code of ethics and are covered by liability insurance; the general public is not. Therefore, we do not publish directions on the internet. We do, however, list a number of commercial (fee) locations on our website under the Field Trip menu, then Commercial Sites
Every field trip participant must be a member of the Georgia Mineral Society (or an invited club).
In addition to many other benefits, members of GMS receive early notification of all GMS news announcements including current field trips via e-mail. Members also receive our famous newsletter "Tips and Trips" which contains field trip information as well as club news and other interesting articles.
See the membership page for more information about joining GMS.
Click here for field trip reports and pictures.
Please see the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page for some common field trip questions.
For more information about field trips, please send email to
Field Trip Policies
Details and Directions
Field trip details are not published on the website. Members receive field trip details in the Tips and Trips newsletter and via email.
Field trip directions are not published on the website. Members receive field trip directions in the Tips and Trips newsletter and via email. There are a couple of exceptions to this rule. If a field trip has restrictions and registration is required, then only registered members receive directions. There are also some field trips that for various reasons do not have directions included in the newsletter and are included only in the emailed version of the field trip notice.
In cases where directions are available via email only, members who do not have email must contact the field trip chair in person or by telephone to get directions.
- Field trips are open only to GMS members and invited clubs.
- We recommend that all family members or friends who are not members of GMS need to join, as they are not covered by our (SFMS) liability insurance. Since membership covers everyone in your household, we need all of their names on our membership list.DMC Field Trips
- The DMC is a field trip program of the Southeast Federation of Mineralogical Societies (SFMS)
- You must be a member of a club in the SFMS that has third party liability coverage to attend DMC field trips
- Each DMC trip is sponsored by a different club, so trip information including contact(s) and directions are the responsibility of the sponsoring club
- For more information about the DMC field trip program, click here
Note: Thanks to Jim Flora, GMS was the founding member of the DMC program!Registration/RSVP/Sign-in
- Registration: Normally registration is not necessary, but occasionally the number of participants is limited so we must have advance registration. Members will be notified via email and in the club's newsletter when registration is required. Once registration is full, members will received notification via email and in the newletter and a waiting list will be started. If you are on the waiting list and a slot opens up, you will be notified via email.
- RSVP: Normally you do not need to RSVP or sign up for a field trip, but there are some times when a head count is needed either for the person hosting our trip or because of limitations at the field trip site. In those cases the field trip notice will be very specific about RSVP requirements. Otherwise, you may assume no RSVP or sign up is required.
- Sign-in: When you attend a field trip you must sign in so the field trip lead will know which club you represent and how many people are there.Cancellation
- Your responsibilities: If registration was required and you registered for a trip, please notify the field trip chair so your slot can be given to someone on a waiting list. Otherwise, you do not need to notify anyone if you cannot attend a trip.
- Field trip lead: If the field trip lead cannot attend a field trip, an alternate will be asked to lead, but if an alternate cannot be found, the trip will be cancelled and all members will be notified.
- Weather: If authorities are discouraging travel, the trip WILL be cancelled. If there are icy conditions the trip will PROBABLY be cancelled. If it is storming the trip MAY be cancelled. When in doubt, use your best discretion -- no rock is worth injury or worse!
- Cancellation Information: Cancellation notices will be sent out via GMS email if there is enough time to notify members. Also, the calendar on the main website page will link to a cancellation notice. It is always a good idea to check the calendar for a cancellation notice before you leave for a field trip.
Field Trip Behavior
IMPORTANT Failure to comply with GMS and DMC field trip leaders can result in immediate dismissal from the field trip site.
- General: All field trip attendees are expected to conduct themselves with safe collecting practices; consideration for others; as well as respect for the site, property owners, and field trip leaders.
- Children: Children are welcome, though some sites have age restrictions that may exclude some children. Because of safety concerns, children must be accompanied by an adult and supervised at all times.
- Pets: Pets are welcome unless indicated otherwise on the field trip notice. You are responsible for your pet's actions, so please keep your dog on a leash.
- Some locations require a liability waiver. Attendees must agree to the terms in the waiver or they will not be allowed to participate.
- GMS has a standard waiver form available here: INFORMED CONSENT/ASSUMPTION OF RISK/WAIVER OF LIABILITY
- Site Safety: Some locations have strict safety requirements. The field trip notice will be clear about safety requirements for a site. If an attendee does not comply with the requirements he/she will be dismissed from the site. Examples of safety requirements include:
- Successful completion of site specific training
- Stay away from high walls
- Stay away from mine/quarry equipment
- Stay within the boundaries allowed
- No throwing rocks
- No driving in a site without an escort
- Do not open gates
- No digging allowed -or- all holes must be re-filled
- Equipment: If a field trip notice indicates safety equipment is required, you must be prepared with the those requirements or you will not be allowed to collect. Examples of safety equipment include:
- Hard Hat
- Safety Glasses
- Steel Toed Boots -or- Sturdy Boots with Ankle Support -or- Close-toed Shoes
- Long Pants i.e. no shorts
- Vehicle: Most sites are accessible with any vehicle, but occasionally conditions require certain vehicle capabilities. When that is the case, the field trip notice will alert you to those requirements. If your vehicle is not suitable for the site, you may be able to ride with another member at the site though you should consider carpooling to the site in an appropriate vehicle (see Carpooling below).Carpooling
Members who want to carpool to a field trip should contact the carpool chair at . The carpool chair helps connect members who want to share a ride with other people who want to share.
- All sites visited by GMS are not to be revisited unless they are on public domain property. This is the quickest way to lose access to a site.
- Please do not visit a site immediately before one of our GMS field trips. Also, do not go to a site ahead of the group on the day of the field trip. Meet and convoy with the rest of us so that everyone has equal access to the site.
- Do not park your vehicle where it is blocking the road, a gate, or another vehicle.
As a member of GMS and the SFMS, all participants agree to abide by the AFMS Code of Ethics while on GMS and DMC field trips.
- I will respect both private and public property and will do no collecting on privately owned land without the owner's permission.
- I will keep informed on all laws, regulations or rules governing collecting on public lands and will observe them.
- I will, to the best of my ability, ascertain the boundary lines of property on which I plan to collect.
- I will use no firearms or blasting material in collecting areas.
- I will cause no willful damage to property of any kind - fences, signs, buildings, etc.
- I will leave all gates as found.
- I will build fires in designated or safe places only and will be certain they are completely extinguished before leaving the area.
- I will discard no burning material - matches, cigarettes, etc.
- I will fill all excavation holes which may be dangerous to livestock.
- I will not contaminate wells, creeks, or other water supplies.
- I will cause no willful damage to collecting material and will take home only what I can reasonably use.
- I will support the rockhound project H.E.L.P. (Help Eliminate Litter Please) and will leave all collecting areas devoid of litter, regardless of how found.
- I will cooperate with field-trip leaders and those in designated authority in all collecting areas.
- I will report to my club or federation officers, Bureau of Land Management or other authorities, any deposit of petrified wood or other materials on public lands which should be protected for the enjoyment of future generations for public educational and scientific purposes.
- I will appreciate and protect our heritage of natural resources.
- I will observe the "Golden Rule," will use "Good Outdoor Manners," and will at all times conduct myself in a manner which will add to the stature and public "image" of rockhounds everywhere.
Copyright © Georgia Mineral Society, Inc.