There are few things as fun and relaxing as a river floating adventure. What better way to see the natural outdoor beauty of Southern Texas? There are just a few things you need to pack to ensure an enjoyable and safe trip.
1. Sun Protection
The Texas sun will fry leather, so you should plan to protect your own skin. Slap on some waterproof sunscreen before your tubing trip and reapply regularly throughout the day. Sunglasses to protect your eyes, not only from the sun but from glare off the river, will make you more comfortable as well. Consider a hat to protect your head and keep you cooler throughout the day. These measures are especially important for children and people with fair skin.
2. Flotation Devices
Swimming in a river is completely different from swimming in a pool or lake. There is a decent current as well as the occasional hazard such as rocks. Children should always wear a life vest when out on the river, even when in a tube, and adults who are not experienced swimmers should consider it as well.
3. Food and Drink
It’s amazing how a day of leisure in the water can leave you parched and famished! Bring plenty of bottled water as well as easy portable snacks like protein bars. Many people in the 21+ crowd like to enjoy a beer or other adult beverage while river tubing. Just make sure that your drinks of choice are in cans or plastic bottles. Glass is too easily broken, posing a hazard to you, other tubers, and the natural wildlife of the Guadalupe River.
4. A Cooler With Ice
The Texas sun will turn your drinks into molten lava and your snacks into a wilted or melted mess if you don’t plan ahead. Bring a cooler with plenty of ice. This is particularly important if you plan to bring more substantial food that is easily spoiled.
5. Cell Phone
Every outdoor adventure should include a means of contacting civilization in case of an emergency. Bring your cell phone along just in case, but make sure it is in a waterproof bag and placed in a zippered pocket or other place where it cannot be lost in the river.
6. Waterproof Bags
You and everything on your person will be soaked at the end of a tubing trip. Waterproof bags, even a well-sealed Ziploc, will keep your identification, cash, cell phone, and other water-sensitive items dry.
7. Waterproof Shoes
River beds are naturally rocky, enough to cut even tough calloused feet. Wear waterproof sandals, water shoes, or other foot protection that will keep you comfortable when getting in and out of your tube. Make sure this footwear attaches firmly to your feet; flip flops and other slip on shoes are likely to end up at the bottom of the river.
It’s very easy for a group to get spread out while tubing. To ensure that no one is accidentally left behind, consider connecting your tubes with a rope. This simple measure will keep your event more social and less stressful.
9. Waterproof Camera
Modern people love to document and share event in their lives. There will be plenty of photo ops on your tubing trip down the Guadalupe River, but also plenty of water. To avoid ruining an expensive camera or smartphone, bring a waterproof camera. There are even inexpensive disposable ones.
10. First Aid Kit
While tubing is a safe activities, you or someone in your group may need a bandage for a scrape or a headache reliever. Be prepared for a comfortable and uneventful day by stashing a few simple supplies in a Ziploc bag.
It is important to be prepared whenever exploring the great outdoors. Your day floating down the Guadalupe River with Shanty Tubes will be fun and relaxed if you take the time to pack these ten items.