Tubing is one of the best summer pastimes, along with backyard barbecues, pool parties, and getting off work early on Fridays. It combines lounging in the water and relaxing with a cold drink. During warm weather months, rivers across the United States open up to tubers, which means there's probably somewhere to float not far from home. But this is not a lazy riverAthe water parks of your youth. You will need a game plan. To make sure you're equipped for a summer tubing adventure, we've detailed everything you need to know, from how to check water conditions, what to bring (and what to leave behind), to tubes that will make you the envy. from others. tubers Just need to recruit some friends.
LOGISTICS: BEFORE YOU GO
Choose your river.The most important thing that determines the channeling capacity of a river is the water level and flow. Too high and the current will move too fast for the piping to be secure. If the flow is too low, you might end up walking instead of detouring (and stepping on exposed rocks, alas). Flow guidelines vary by specific river, so do some research online for your destination in advance (see our more detailed advice below). You'll also need access to the river, either through a tour company or a public access point to launch your tube if you're going it alone.
See conditions.And we're not just talking about clouds versus sun. Water conditions are critical. Rivers that are good for tubing one day can be very dangerous the next. Even if it's a beautiful sunny day, recent heavy rain could mean the river is too deep to channel (or a drought could mean it's too shallow), and that's not information you want to find out after your crew gets to the port. launch site. Most pipeline provider websites update river conditions daily, often with acolor coded keywhich tells you whether the tubing that day is open to all, strong swimmers only, or completely closed. Or you can always call a provider to confirm terms (you can do this even if you don't plan on renting from that particular company).
Full service or do it yourself?Going with a metro provider means everything will be taken care of for you, including metro hire and transportation to your departure point. Sometimes they even offer additional rentals like coolers and sunglasses. Of course, this convenience comes at a cost: Expect to pay around $25 per person, and more if you need an extra cooler or tube. Going the BYOT (bring your own tube) route means you can choose your own adventure; You're not limited to the sections of the river where tour companies operate (again, just make sure it's safe to do so). In addition, if you plan to make the tubes sean an annual or semi-annual summer tradition (and really, why wouldn't you have it?) Invierta en el equipo por advance (you can buy a solid tube for around $ 20) to use it one and again. it may be a more profitable option in the long run.
Know the rules.Are life jackets needed on the river? (This answer can sometimes depend on river conditions.) Is drinking allowed? (Glass and Styrofoam are often prohibited.) Check the rules before embarking on your trip so you're always up to date. Nothing gets in the way of a fun afternoon tubing faster than a run-in with the local police.
Eat a full meal.This is not the time to hear the old wives' tale about not eating before jumping in the water. A floating trip of several hours requires a lot of fuel. If you're going to be in the water for more than three hours, consider putting some snacks in adry bagor cooler, or choose a plumbing location with afood station. This is doubly important if you plan on consuming adult beverages on your float. Open water means you need to keep your wits about you and the perch in check.
Have an exit plan.If you are renting from a pipeline supplier, the price usually includes transport upriver to the starting point and back to where you parked your car. If you're going the DIY route, you'll need to figure out how to get from the river exit point back to your car. One option is to drive to the end point first, leave one car there, and then stack the other cars to get to the starting point. When it leaves, the drivers take that car back to pick up the other cars and then go back to pick up the passengers. If it's easier to park all the cars at the starting point, calling an Uber or Lyft can also help bring drivers back from the starting point. Of course, those consuming adult beverages should opt for the latter option or designate a designated driver.
EQUIPMENT: WHAT TO BRING
The tube.If you're not renting a tube through a supplier, you'll obviously need to bring your own. The most practical type of floater for the river is one with a malla bottom (unlike the donut-shaped pool floaters), which makes them more comfortable to lay down for hours, keeping the water cool under the water and providing space for everything. for things you can have with you (like a water bottle or dry bag). Look for a tube with handles or other accessories for tying ropes, as well as tubes.equipped with headrestfor maximum relaxation during lazy floats.
water shoes. River beds can be rocky, so sturdy footwear will help you avoid cutting your feet when getting in and out of the water. A word of warning: flip flops don't work here because they won't hold your feet in the river.
Sunscreen.It goes without saying that you must apply sunscreen before entering the river and reapply it during your tubing trip to avoid sunburn. To further protect your face, though, you'll want a hat and sunglasses, but consider leaving your $200 Ray-Bans and irreplaceable lucky hat at home. Be prepared for the fact that everything you bring may end up at the bottom of the river. Instead of a wide-brimmed straw hat, which is more likely to be blown away by the wind, choose something fitted, like a baseball cap. And if you're worried about losing your shadows,a sunglasses strapthis will keep them safer.
Leave your phone behind.It's just not worth the risk of taking your cell phone. If you need one for emergencies or to coordinate transport back, designate someone in your group to stamp yours on awaterproof bag(This also applies to other valuables like car keys.) Now, we're not suggesting that you don't document your epic tubing adventure to social media. If anyone in your group has a waterproof camera, bring it or throw it away with somedisposable waterproof cameras-- then upload the photos to a group folder after the trip so everyone can share them.
Corda.Nylon rope resists rotting and can be used to tie multiple tubes together, making a tied group stay together (literally because they have no choice). Don't forget a pair of scissors for cutting and a handful ofmosquetõesIt can also be useful for holding things in your tube: water bottles, hats, dry bags, etc.
Portable air pump.For the BYOT route, this is a must buy. To takea model that plugs into a carto speed up the process of inflating your tubes without anyone on your team passing out when manually inflating them.
Clothing (optional).You are going to a river, so a swimsuit is appropriate. But you'll want to pack towels and a dry change of clothes for when you're done with your trip, especially if you plan on heading into town for a bite to eat afterwards. If your skin burns easily, you might as well wear a shirt with sun protection in the river. When water keeps you cool, it's easier to forget to reapply your sunscreen.
Water bottle isolated.Hydration is important when it comes to floating around in the sun for hours, but there's nothing refreshing about boiling water in a plastic bottle.A stainless steel bottleIt will keep your water cold for hours and usually comes with a strap that makes it easy to attach it to the tube with a carabiner.
AMPLIFY: TIME Spent IN WATER
Improve your floats.One argument for going the BYOT route is that you'll be able to customize your floatation vehicle instead of whatever standard tube the rental company uses. And know this:A giant unicorn float for six people.the oneinflatable bullwillpowerwin the admiration of everyone else on the river. Also, tubes with built-in cup holders for your drinks are always a good idea.
Build a flotilla.It's time to build on the rope tying skills you learned at summer camp. Using the nylon rope, simply tie all the tubes together to ensure your crew doesn't get separated on the hour journey and everyone has continuous access to the cooler. Just remember that tying means they're glued together during the float, meaning if one person wants to stop to jump off that rope swing, everyone stops.
A waterproof speaker.Keep the party vibes down the river with a waterproof speaker (To beeven floats) to provide the soundtrack to your ride. Make sure the person designated to bring your phone has a preloaded playlist, and make sure your speaker is fully charged.
Water friendly toys.Foam balls and throwing Frisbees will provide entertainment on the tranquil float. You can also opt for water guns to add some playful competition and to cool off when the sun starts to heat up.
Now that you have all the piping tips you need, it's time to pick a weekend and get the team together. Get caught in the river.