One of the best things about being out in the “middle of nowhere” is waking up with no set schedule. When you work at 9-5 jobs like we do, having legit leisure time is a luxury like no other. That said, not having a kitchen, ( or a bathroom ) can be the opposite. Shannon made a way to freeze large blocks of ice, in old metal ammo boxes. Large blocks stay frozen much longer than the small chunks you buy in bags. This is how we had 3 days of refrigeration for our food. The night before we paddled over, we went to the local Tybee market, which was an IGA grocery store. Although we hoped to be eating fresh seafood at every meal, we knew to have a back up plan.
We took 2 coolers, one for drinks and the other for food. Shannon built sections in the food cooler so that there was one large block of ice on either end, and the cold food sat in the middle. If he hadn’t done it this way, we would only have had ice for a day and a half. We planned for 1/2 gallon of water per person per day, so we set out with 5 gallons since we were there 4 nights. With Jango along, it ended up being just enough, but we cut it close. We had to conserve the water we would have liked to have used to brush teeth and wash hands. There’s no fresh water on little Tybee, only salt water, so you have to take all that you need.
We’d also read that there could be a lot of bugs, particularly no-see-ums and mosquitos. We’d hoped that they’d be moving out by September, but they weren’t in any hurry. I’d read in a couple of places that the best defense anyone had found against these, is a lemon eucalyptus spray found in the camping section at Wal-Mart. I made a special trip just to get some, and noted the brand is “repel”. They have it at Amazon! (Purchase from here if you’d like to give me the credit for recommending) I used it the entire time and it worked well. We also brought a citronella lantern that we kept near, especially in the evenings.
There were very few other people around while we were there. 1 or 2 small parties of kayakers daily on the weekend who stopped nearby to explore for short spurts of time. There was one party of 8-10 people, a half mile down from us that we only discovered when we paddled across to a sandbar one afternoon. We spoke briefly to one couple from NC who’d rented a tandem Kayak and who’d come to camp for one night. A few fishermen in boats offshore that were visible but too far to speak with. We could also see the boats with the shipping containers that left from Savannah off in the distance.
In addition to the beautiful, rugged shoreline, was the beautiful, clear night sky. There’s no light pollution, so that the stars are brilliant. We enjoyed watching the changes in the moon, and the changes in the tide. There’s an online tide chart for Little Tybee which is handy for (loosely) planning when to fish, walk on the beach, and when to get back to the campsite. When the tide is fully in, there’s no beach at all. It’s the perfect time to sit by the campfire and watch the water. When the tide is fully out, there’s an expansive beach with plenty to explore.
Someone today asked me to do a cost analysis of this trip. Lots of people are looking for affordable vacations these days. I can tell you that having the right equipment is key, and Shannon has been building up his inventory over many years. So once you have a tent, a tarp, lots of various sizes of rope and twine, a good knife, some canoes and paddles, sleeping pads, sleeping bags, and coolers, head lamps, lanterns, and a camp stove, it’s relatively inexpensive. Besides all of that our expenses were; gasoline from Anniston, Alabama to Tybee Island, Georgia and back. Groceries for 2 people for 5 days (and I *need* 3 meals and 2 snacks every day). Meals on the road. Sunscreen, bug spray, and the “Parker 9” battery set up (optional). Fishing supplies, including a casting net, and 2 nights of a “pet friendly” hotel on either end of the trip (also optional). All told we probably spent about $600 give or take.
We can’t wait to go back!