Hammock Camping in the Ellicott Rock Wilderness Area
The Ellicott Rock Wilderness Area is a US Forest service managed forest that spans nearly 8,300 acres and three states. Believe it or not, but the entire wilderness area is named after a rock that is located on the east bank of the of the Chattooga River. And shocker of shockers, the rock is named after the surveyor who chiseled his mark on said rock.
Now that the formalities of 'where' are out of the way let's talk about what. The SC Upstate Fall Hang was an organized hammock camping event that was put on by some of the fine folks over at hammockforums.net for the weekend of November 11 thru 13, 2011.
With plenty of advanced notice and a lot of luck, I was able to talk my wife into letting me take the two older girls on this little adventure. The following is a snippet of our weekend with pictures after that.
The girls, the dog, and I arrived at the parking area about 30 minutes ahead of schedule, unloaded our gear, donned our packs and embarked on the 45 minute hike to our campsite. About 15 minutes away from camp, we met 'Muskrat' and 'WFR' headed out for their second trip (making sure they had the essentials). Once we got into camp, the girls dropped their packs and went down to the river and played on the beach while I was left to set up camp. Luckily there were many trees to choose from. I was able to hang our three hammocks from four trees - the third hammock was just for show because the 5 year old didn't really spend much time in it.
After the hammocks,tarps and underquilts were situated,it was time to start thinking about supper and relax around the fire with two new camp mates - 'theriddler' and 'futbolfreak08' - before a quick night hike in search of some of the other hammock campers. To this point,for my girls, the night hike was the highlight of the trip and we talked about how much fun it was while getting them ready for BED TIME. We all get into our respective hammocks except for the dog because she hangs out in the foot-box of my top quilt to make sure my feet stay toasty warm.
Friday Night Done
Midnight comes and goes with out much fanfare. The temps are steadily dropping lower into the 30s as Saturday swings into action. My 5 year old, newly dubbed 'Donkey Kong', wakes up disoriented, scared, and crying loud enough to wake the deaf. +1 to my hammock. At 5:55am my 8 year old gets out of her hammock and invades mine giving us a combined weight of nearly 390 pounds in one DIY gathered end hammock.
The hammock was not the only gear that was put through its paces. The DIY underquilts on both my daughter's hammocks and my hammock performed better than I could ever have hoped in sub-freezing temperatures (The official hang temp for the night was 29* F). We made it through the night and we didn't wake up because we were cold. Once we did get up though it was time to get moving because it was really cold out. The following pictures, along with the links at the bottom of the page, should give you an idea of the activities of Saturday.
Pictures from Saturday and Sunday
This trip from other points of view!
Follow this link < http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/showthread.php?t=42211 > for the hammockforums.net official Trip Report-Upstate SC Fall Hang Nov 11-13, 2011 or check out the video report done by 'carolinasbackpacker' here < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jntA-dqUYM >