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  1. #1
    Senior Member nacra533's Avatar
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    Ellicot Rock Wilderness Trip Report and Gear Review

    Not much on trip reports, but I'd thought I'd post anyway.

    Chatooga River at East Fork River. Near Ellicot Rock, GA, SC, NC state line. Elevation about 2200'.

    Lows 30 Friday at midnight, 28 degrees Sat at midnight and the kind of humid cold you get in the South by a river. Snow was forecast in the area above 3600'. I get cold at night easily.

    Bottom Insul: DIY 3/4 length UQ (hammockgear crowsnest clone) 20 degree.CCF at my feet.
    Top Insul: 2-1/4" baffled Karo TQ based on Tee Dees original post but modded a little based on others post. I assumed 20 degree.

    I was warm, what else matters. I had cold feet a couple times the first night, but nothing I could not sleep through. Sat night, I doubled my socks and slept warmer all the way around, despite colder temps. I had a couple cold spots on my back early Fri night, but they went away after a quick pat of the UQ. (I assume I moved a little down and my quilts started working together.)

    I am real impressed with the TQ because I was worried I would have a lot of down movement through the night. It seemed to loft up right on top of me and stay there. I believe I could take the TQ to lower than 20 if needed wearing the same clothes or at least 20 wearing less clothes. There are plenty of good reviews of the Crowsnest, so I don't need to repeat that.

    I slept in med wt merino wool long john bottoms and thin hiking pants on the bottom.
    A Capilene 3 shirt, a long sleeve cotton (I know) shirt, and my Eddie Bauer /First Ascent Down Sweater that was a deal a couple months ago on my torso. A hat of course.

    First Ascent Down Sweater Jacket
    I have never been a "down jacket" kind of guy and took a little ridiculing from my campmates when I pulled it out. I was called the Michellin Man and a couple of Devo references were made. If you're young, look them up.

    I have to say I am VERY impressed with the warmth of this jacket and the weight of it. It is GREAT to sleep in if the temps are cold. The nylon jacket on nylon hammock make shifting around in the hammock very easy. I removed a 200wt polar fleece and put this jacket on. I went from being chilly by the fire to warm and cozy. It probably made a 10-15 degree difference in feel between the fleece vs the down jacket. For those that bought them, keep them. For those that didn't try to find one for $50. Good money spent. I would not pay the current retail unless you live somewhere really cold. For me, it's a sleep in or light activity jacket. I don't want to tear it up hauling branches for firewood, hiking overgrown trails, etc...


    One odd thing and please PM me if you know what was going on. There was a large group (40+) college age guys in a site near us. Not nearly rowdy enough for typical college group of that size. At some point during the night, a couple guys took off through our site with some firewood sticks. A little later, the whole group paraded single file in a headlamp parade to parts unknown. A little while later, they all came back in another impressive 40 headlamp parade.

    We were guessing some sort of fraternity thing due to the non exsitence of females. Although the parade seemed almost religious or even cult-ish. It was neat to watch, but odd. BTW, there were a couple hammocks in the mix.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cookie's Avatar
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    Thanks for the trip report. I spent a couple of nights in the Elicott Wilderness this past spring. At that time it was pretty tough hiking. Lots of blowdowns and such. What trails were you on?
    "Sometimes only nature felt real, while all human monuments and actions seemed to be the settings and the plots of dreams"

    "So many people live in the past or the future and betray the present."

  3. #3
    Senior Member nacra533's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cookie View Post
    Thanks for the trip report. I spent a couple of nights in the Elicott Wilderness this past spring. At that time it was pretty tough hiking. Lots of blowdowns and such. What trails were you on?
    Only the main trail heading north up the Chatooga from Burrells Ford to East Fork. It was a "leisure" trip. We hauled in (and out empty) several 30 packs of beer in a couple of trips.

    There was an icestorm back in March?? that did a lot of damage. Also a wind storm later in the spring. I saw several folks doing trail maintenance this past weekend. There were still a lot of blowdowns, but most had been cut so you could get past them with minimal effort.

    I think the Chatooga Wild and Scenic River designation prohibits mechanized equipment (chainsaws) so trail cleanup is usually very slow and labor intensive. I'm sure you are familiar with the size of the trees there, so you know it takes a lot more than an axe to clean up the trail.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by nacra533 View Post

    First Ascent Down Sweater Jacket

    I have to say I am VERY impressed with the warmth of this jacket and the weight of it.
    I'm really pleased with this purchase too! I haven't had a chance to try it out camping yet but it was awesome for high school football games on the colder nights. Very warm!

  5. #5
    swampfox's Avatar
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    Nice trip report.
    I was in the same vicinity this weekend and last. There were three of us, all in WBBBs just north of where Bad Creek runs into the Chatooga. That's about 15 minutes up the trail from the bridge where you were.
    Had a great weekend. Glad I didn't see those goobers you had close by. That would have seriously freaked me out.
    He is your friend, your companion, your defender... he is your dog. You are his life, his leader, and master. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of that devotion.

  6. #6
    Poppabear's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing the report.
    Terry

  7. #7
    Senior Member carolinasbackpacker's Avatar
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    My favorite area in SC. Love that little stretch along the river
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