Hikes n' Climbs Woodall Shoals, Chattooga River,SC Trip# 3

Woodall Shoals, Chattooga River,SC Trip# 3 Woodall Shoals, Chattooga River,SC  Trip# 3 Hot

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Woodall Shoals, Chattooga River,SC  Trip# 3

Hike/Site Details

Hike Type
Skill Level
Easy to Moderate
4-6 hours


Zip Code

Geographic Location


"Do I have what it takes?"

In my attempts to discover what it is within me that draws a man to the wilderness, I cannot shake the question that plagues the majority of men:

“Do I have what it takes?”

I wanted to camp on my own.  To go out and just be a man.  Sounds simple, right?  Sounds like nothing special maybe.  But to me, here I am 30 years old, successful in many ways, and I’ve never really spent a night out in the wild, alone.

The question plagued me:

“Do I have what it takes?”  I needed to know.

Advice to anybody interested in doing this:  Don’t be dumb.  It can be very safe and simple to do a night in the woods all alone.  But it also has the potential to harm you.  Be smart.  If you are new to the idea, one option is to start off by going to a place that you have been before.   That way, you won’t get lost, and you know more or less what to expect.  It is always essential to remember that you don’t have the crutch of having people with you, so if you are hiking solo off the grid, and you get hurt, you are screwed.  Also, bears usually prefer to eat only one person at a time, just kidding, kinda.

I took off for my most familiar spot, Woodall Shoals, in South Carolina, on the Chattooga River.  I was bummed to discover that my favorite camping spot had been recently marked with warnings of NO CAMPING due to several recent drowning’s.  The Chattooga River is apparently a very underestimated body of water.  It can appear unassuming and reasonably calm, but can lure in a casual swimmer to zones where the water is impossible to escape.

This particular trip was also an important one for me becauseI planned to test out all of my new fancy REI outdoor gear.  You see, 2010 marked the year when I got legit, and started taking my adventures even more seriously.  I stocked up, and probably helped keep the lights on for a couple of months at our local Mall of Georgia REI with everything that I bought.

I want to tell you more about the stuff I got, but for this trip, it was my grey and orange “DoubleNest Hammock” from Eagle’s Nest Outfitters that took home the gold.  I upgraded my hammock by also buying the “Slap Strap Pro” which allowed me to link up between two trees with no effort or damage to the tree bark.  Let me say that the “DoubleNest Hammock” is the way to go if you are looking for a lightweight and luxurious hammock experience.  I found (what I will name) my ‘hammock zone’ along the edge of the flowing white waters of the Chattooga, enjoying the occasional kayaker or tube-tour passing by, and fell into a peaceful deep sleep to the sound of the endless flow of water.

I made it fine through my first experience as a solo camper.  It is an interesting sensation to be surrounded by all of that darkness, and it’s just you.  It takes a special mindset, but I wanted to experience it, and to feel it for myself.  I will probably do it again at some point in the future, when the question rears its head again at a different challenge:

“Do I Have What It Takes?”



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Editor reviews

Woodall Shoals, Chattooga River,SC Trip# 3 2012-02-18 19:08:00 Shane Lewis
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Reviewed by Shane Lewis    February 18, 2012
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