Alternate Bug Out: The Georgia waterways!

You’re sitting in traffic on a Friday afternoon, on I285 at the Chattahoochee River. Do you even notice the rolling waters? Think of fishing this weekend? Maybe grabbing a tube and a cooler of beer? Why not plan an alternate to bugging out using the river systems of Georgia? I know… I know….. It sounds crazy. But hear me out. There are 70,150 miles of streams and rivers in Georgia. By default, most Georgians live close to one of these rivers or boat-able streams. They were used for hundreds of years for commerce. The average river flows about 1 mile per hour, slow I know, but better than sitting in gridlock. I’ve seen bug out bags and bug out vehicles, and they are all really good. But, what happens when fuel runs out? During the last fuel scare in Georgia (after Katrina 2005) there were long lines and ‘no fuel’ scenarios throughout the state. Gas stations only stock enough fuel for the customers they expect for a few days. If we should get another mass run to the gas pump, we will be out of fuel again in a few hours. Also consider a natural disaster; with “snow jam”, the roads were impassible. Never mind a typical Friday afternoon rush-hour, those are the worst! If everyone hits the road at once, the city will be at a standstill. Now, don’t think “I’ll jump in my $40,000 Ranger bass boat and hit the river”. You could, but you will be sunk by dark! Have a ready plan and the right gear. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just worthy.  Do your homework on canoes. Too long and it won’t maneuver; too short and it won’t hold enough, or track straight. I have an Old Town, 15’8”, two-man canoe with an empty carry weight of 80lbs. But it can hold up to 1150lbs, loaded with equipment and people. They are easily found on Craigslist and not too high priced. The gear to load them out would take too long. Just remember, if it’s a necessity, bring two. But even before looking into a boat, there are two items that are really important. They are books (ugh... reading!). First, the book “Canoeing & Kayaking Georgia” has really useful info for every river in the state. The class of river (rapids – try to keep at class II or below), distance, and what to expect.  Did you know that on the Etowah River, just below the Allatoona Dam, there is an old dam that has to be portage on the right? If you read the book you will know. It is found online and in bookstores. The other is the fishing regulations in Georgia. They have a chart for what fish are safe to eat, and the suggested intake per week/month. This is found online and at Sporting Goods stores. I could keep going…. But I’m going out to practice my bow….
Last modified onThursday, 20 April 2017 06:31

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