Rent and Explore, kayaking locations…
You have rented a kayak or canoe for a week or brought your own. But, where do I go? There are a lot of places in the area in which you can launch your craft and explore the area. Below is a collection of three areas of kayaking locations to use as a starting guide. South East Georgia, Jasper and Beaufort counties of SC. The map shows listed state ramps from the two states and a few other kayaking locations which you can put in or explore around the Hilton Head area. *Some put in areas in the kayaking locations map are small and are off the beaten path and not confirmed, use at your own judgement / risk.*
Before you go out, it is always recommended you let someone know where you are going, roughly how long you might be and around when you should return. This is usually called a float plan, in case of emergencies. Take a phone in waterproof bag or case, bug spray may be required in areas, comfortable secure shoes, something to drink and snack on. Check your tide schedule and weather for the desired day in planning your route(s).
When kayaking, canoeing or other water crafts in the area a few pointers.
- Check tides (know the times) and weather for that day of your activity / adventure.
- Create a float plan. This is in writing and or tell someone when you plan to leave, where you plan to go and when you plan to return, your kayaking locations. This is important encase something happens, this gives a start point for searching. For a paddler who may not have a lot of paddling strength, you might use the tides in your favor since they will act as currents and you can use them to help carry you both ways if timed right toward your destination.
- If unsure of water conditions in an area, or how to do something, ask someone who knows the area or more experienced in doing something.
- Recommended things which you may want to carry with you, some / all in a dry bag strapped down and possibly quick release leashed to craft or to you (most crafts float even flipped and this will keep emergency gear from being lost and if in dry bag, gear should float)
- A phone in a small separate dry bag or something like Otter-box which you could clip to your life jacket, this way even if you do roll you will not loose it.
- Some water and snacks
- Glow stick(s) especially late in day outings (encase you have an emergency which last into night, this is water proof, will give you a little light and possible visible signal for others to find you).
- Small first-aid kit
- Whistle on life jacket and maybe some other signalling device when help gets close to you.
- A hand pump which can be used to remove water from a cockpit or canoe.
- In this area, shoes other then flip-flops which will offer a little more in feet protection especially around the marsh, creeks or some inland shores which have extremely sharp oyster shells.
- Small compass and map or the area.
- Small knife, usually attached to the PFD. You may need to cut yourself free from fishing line or something which you could get wrapped in out in the water.
- PFD, Personal Flotation Device (Life Jacket)
When kayaking, canoeing or other activities, be responsible since you have rely on yourself or your party until help arrives and ask questions if you are ever unsure about anything before heading out. You can also check with local outfitters about classes you can take or sign up for in order to help you gain experience in activities.
Additional websites for local kayaking locations information.
SC.D.N.R. Managed Land Website
GA.W.R.D. Boating site.
Savannah Area Boat Ramps (not on map below)
Canoe and Kayak launch map by Paddle.net
Long Paddling trip to the low-country.
Paddle Savannah River