This past Sunday we pulled off our second annual family Shoot the Hooch float! If you are local, then you already know what “Shoot the Hooch” means and chances are you have done this a time or two But if not, let me fill you in. In Atlanta, it is a rite of passage to “Shoot the Hooch” which is what the locals call tubing down the Chattahoochee River. This was something on my 45×45 Bucket List that we crossed off last summer. Well, we had so much fun that we did it again this summer!
There are two ways to float the river: either go with a local tubing company or you can bring your own tubes and go at your own pace. Last year we opted to invest in our own gear so that we had more flexibility. I am so glad we did because it turned out to be the perfect socially distant activity for this summer!
I shared the highlights of our float on Instagram and I had so many local friends ask how we do this so I thought I would type it all up in case you are interested. Here is how we did it:
- River Tubes
- I found a pack of 4 Intex River Run tubes last year at Walmart for around $70. (unfortunately it seems that these are in high demand right now…)
- Our friends opted for these Intex Double Rafts and I think if you have smaller kids this is the best option. These are great too because they include a cooler in the middle.
- Life Jackets
- Dry Bag (for phones, keys, etc.)
- Snacks, drinks
- River Shoes
- Portable Inflator
- Cooler Float or extra tube for gear if you have lots of people
Admittedly, the logistics of a float when opting to do it yourself is the hardest part! But once you have your route figured out, it’s easier than it tounds. There are lots of options for putting in and taking out, but here is what we did:
Powers Island to Paces Mill
Distance: 2.5 miles
Time: It takes us about 3 hours
This is the route we have done both years. It’s close to home and we like to stop over at the Whitewater creek shoals and let the kids play in the shallow water.
- Each family needs two cars- drop one car at Paces Mill with towels and dry clothes. This is the car that you will load up in at the end. I also include trash bags to put the gear so no mud or dirt gets in the car.
- This year, because we went early, we packed a full picnic lunch in our coolers and left in the pick up car. When we got out of the river we got in our dry clothes and had a picnic on the picnic tables while the kids played tag. This was much easier than trying to bring the food on the tubes and we were all ready for lunch when we got done so it was nice to have it waiting for us.
- Load up in the second car and head over to Powers Island with your tubes and float gear.
- We went EARLY and planned to meet at the Powers Island parking lot at 9:30. The parking lot was already filling up fast, but we had no problem getting a parking spot at this time. There is a $5 parking fee. (* We went on an August Sunday. When we came to pick up our car in the afternoon after our float, they were not letting people in the parking lot because it was completely full.)
- Once you are parked, it’s time to inflate your tubes. I had prepped ours the night before using our blower to get them started and could still fit all four in the back of our SUV when they were partially inflated. Once they are partly full, use the portable inflator to get them completely inflated.
- It took us about 35 minutes to park, inflate, round up the gear and kids and get on the river.
Hope this helps! Shout with questions.