river tubing

Is traveling to some far off foreign land too complicated for you right now? We understand. Sure, you can plan for the future, but what do you do if you want, nay, need to get away for a little break right now?  

What do you do if you are simply a bit anxious about traveling too far too soon? Fret not, dear reader. As always, you’ve come to the right place. The answer is easy. Try somewhere closer to home and try something a bit simpler.

Enter River Tubing . . .

Think of it: You and your friends or family are relaxing atop a large inner tube floating lazily down a cool river on a hot day. Maybe you’re even enjoying a cold can or travel cup of your favorite adult beverage. You’ve nothing more to do than watch the world pleasantly pass you by as you experience the great outdoors.

River tubing is one of the most popular warm-weather activities in riverfront towns across the country. Here are some of the most important tips to know before you go so you can make the most of your tube trip down the river, wherever you choose to take it.

What You Should Know Before You Go Tubing

Use common sense . . .

As we have previously noted in another article, a lot of what you need to know before you go river tubing simply involves using common sense. This is true of any outdoor activity or adventure.

The Weather   

Research the weather before booking or scheduling your event. Check the weather before leaving too. Check on any river conditions that could potentially make your trip unsafe. 

Consider An Organized Excursion

Booking an organized tubing excursion is a good idea. A professional company can map out your trip. They will taxi you to your drop-off point upriver.  

They will provide all safety equipment (such as life jackets) and pre-tubing instructions and advice. The company will also provide the inner tubes.  

Image courtesy of thecandidforum.com

If You DIY . . .

If you simply must go with a DIY tubing trip, there are some things you will need to remember. Plan on going with a group of people. Drawing is an obvious danger when one goes river tubing so it is a good idea to have other people with you who can phone for help if need be. Be sure you and everyone in your group wear a good, correctly-sized life jacket every minute you are in the river. This is extremely important if you are taking children, people who can’t swim, or if you are planning or drinking alcohol or using recreational marijuana.

Additionally, you will need to do a lot of homework prior to your trip. You’ll have to research the river you want to go floating down, being sure to check for any risks such as rapids. Since you’ll be launching your tubes from somewhere upstream of your final destination, you’ll also have to plan on having transportation not only to the launch spot but from your final destination to your vehicles at the launch spot.  

Since you will be going with at least one or two other people, you could take two cars and park one at your launch spot and one at your final destination. Mind you, since you’ll be taking all your own equipment including inner tubes you’ll probably need at least one of those vehicles to be a truck/SUV.  

What To Take With You When You Go River Tubing

Whether you are going to go out river tubing for just a couple of hours or going to make a day of it, there are several things you should be sure not to forget:


Wear a swimsuit and a tee-shirt too. You’ll also need some type of water shoes. (Old sneakers work well here.) You will also want cheap sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen. Top off your outfit with an appropriately-sized life jacket.  

Additional Supplies

You will also want to pack snacks, drinking water, sunscreen, at least one cell phone, driver’s licenses, and/or ID and money in a waterproof bag. You should also have at least one cooler for your water and any other beverages or food you wish to keep cold. You’ll also need to pack a towel, a dry pair of shoes, a change of clothing, and even a pair of socks so that you can change into a dry outfit after your ride. (No point in driving/riding home in wet clothing.)

river tubing

You should also take a small first aid kit in case someone gets bitten by some annoying bug or cut by a sharp rock or piece of driftwood. If you have a waterproof radio, take that along too so you can listen to music, sports, or even the local news while you float down the river.  

Again, remember that if you do not go river tubing through an outfitter, you will also have to bring your own inner tubes too. While some do-it-yourself tubers have used pool floats, these things are apt to easily pop and can leave the user tubeless for the remainder of the journey. If you insist on going the DIY route, purchase some sturdy, reliable inner tubes.  

Additionally, an extra tube or two for your cooler and other supplies is also a great idea. Some outfitters might even provide you with rope if you wish to tie your tubes together. Bring your own rope and a pocket knife in case you want to tie the tubes together but are not provided with any rope. 

What You Should Do When You Go River Tubing

Now, you’re ready to have some fun! Relax, and enjoy your lazy float down the river, and be sure to keep your life jacket on every second you’re in the water so you stay safe. Be sure to keep an eye out for other tubing groups, and put all your trash, such as wrappers, empty cans, and bottles, in a trash bag in order to properly dispose of it at the end of your adventure. 


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