River tubing or as we call it in Texas, being a “river rat”, is not for everyone. Each trip we’ve taken to the river we have gotten better about being more prepared to enjoy the day floating Here is a list to make your river tubing trip most enjoyable.
- Don’t forget your sunscreen. Even if you decide to float on the river when its overcast, those UV rays will fry your skin. Protect your face with at least a 30 SPF and waterproof or “sports” SPF will last longer in the water. (I prefer a lotion to a spray on oil because the skin absorbs it a lot nicer.)
- If you plan on tubing versus wading in the water, you’re going to need a floating tube. Some parts of the river may be very deep and/or have a fast current. If you aren’t a good swimmer, you may want to consider wearing a life jacket.
- Invest in some aqua shoes or wear old tennis shoes. Do not wear flip flops in the river. You will either lose them and they do not protect your feet from rocks, branches, glass, or anything that can cut your feet at the bottom of the river. DO NOT go barefoot. You may also want to consider wearing shorts if you don’t want your butt scraping on rock in shallow areas.
- Sunglasses are a must! Wear a hat or a cap if your scalp is prone to burning. And if you are easily prone to getting a sunburn, I would think twice about the kind of swimsuit you are going to wear. The sun is going to be directly hitting your scalp, shoulders, chest, and back. (That’s why I prefer to wear a t-shirt and a cap.)
- Bring a small cooler along and an extra tube to hold it or a tube cooler. Some river floats are more than an hour long and it’s good to stay hydrated with cool water and have snacks just in case you need some fuel to keep on tubing.
- Rope or ties come in handy to keep your group together. I wouldn’t tie more than 4 tubes together and tying your cooler float in the middle of your group is easy for everyone to have access to it.
- Zip lock bags are a great way to keep your keys, money, cell phones, ID, or any other small belongings you need with you.
- If you prefer to float the river and enjoy the serenity of nature, great! But, if you love music, bring along a waterproof radio. It’s a fun way for your group to sing along to songs and have a good time.
I hope these river tubing tips make your river trip more enjoyable. Be sure to be observant of your surroundings as wildlife likes to hang out in the grassy areas at the edges of the river. Safe tubing!
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