Every year my friends and I take a camping trip to Glennie, Michigan to tube down the Au Sable River. It is the one thing I look forward to every year. It is fun, relaxing and a very inexpensive vacation. I'm going to explain how to prepare for a tubing trip and let you know what you should bring. This kind of tubing is not at all like white water rafting or tubing off of the back of a boat. It is a very calm activity and can be enjoyed by the whole family.
Do You Enjoy River Tubing?
Figure Out Your Start and End
Most rivers have designated start and end locations. You will need to bring two cars: one to park at the start and one at the end. Depending on how many people you have, you may want to consider bringing vans or SUVs. One vehicle should drop everyone off at the start. The driver of the second vehicle should follow the driver of the first vehicle to drop it off, and then drive back to the start. Make sure to have cash, some parking lots require payment.
Buy an Inner Tube
The first thing you need before you go tubing is an inner tube. Tubes can range from all different prices, depending on what you want from it. I have a basic tube like the first one on this list. It has a mesh bottom, a backrest and cup holders. What I also love about this tube is the handles, which come in handy so you can tie yourself up to your group. You want to look for a tube that has a place to tie onto so that you can travel down the river all together, otherwise you will be floating all by yourself. You can find rope for tying up at your local hardware store.
The basic tube is good enough for most people, but if you are looking for a little more luxury, browse through the others.
Pumping Up Your Tubes
Be sure you have a reliable pump and that it fits the valves for your tube. You may want to test it out before going on your vacation. You will use the electricity from your car at the starting point to blow up your tubes.
Don't Forget the Waterproof Sunscreen!
Tubing trips usually last for a few hours and you will be exposed to the sun the entire time. Make sure to protect your skin by applying a waterproof suncreen before you get on the water.
Protect Your Feet
Even though you are in the water you still need to protect your feet. Wearing water shoes will prevent damage to your feet from rocks or anything else when you climb in and out of your tube. Any water shoe will do, I prefer a pair of Crocs.
Bring Food and Drinks
You are going to want to bring food and beverages down the river with you, and the best way to do it is to buy an inflatable boat and put a cooler inside of it. You can buy inflatable coolers, but I don't find them to be as convenient. You can fit more in a regular cooler, and the boat provides a place to put your empty bottles and cans until you get back to shore. Be sure to tie your boat up to the rafts. The inflatable boat below has handles that are perfect for this. I recommend putting it in the middle of your group of floaters.
Keep Your Belongings Dry
This pack will keep anything dry that you need to bring with you on the river. My friends use them for their cigarettes and lighters.
Thanks for reading! Please let me know if I forgot to include anything important in my lens. Has this lens tempted you into trying your own tubing trip?