Take a Break and Float the River
How to Plan a Floating Trip
Summer time is hot. Plan to get out and go tubing! For the first time tuber, this is our introduction.
The whole idea of tubing is relaxing. It's usually done at a slow pace, interrupted once or twice with a small rapid or a "tube chute". We're not talking whitewater, just a little fun.
Every tubing trip needs a cooler. You put the cooler in a separate tube, and make sure it's wedged in well. If you can, put the cooler into a 3/4 inflated tube, then inflate fully to really grip it.
If there are "tube chutes" or rapids you'll need a method to secure your cooler, lest it dump over and spill all your contents. We suggest carrying a bungee cord and using a cooler that will allow you to easily bungee the top closed.
However if you do fall out of your tube and dump your cooler over, there's usually someone at the bottom to help you. We're positive they do it out of the kindness of their heart, and not b/c they had run out of beer and are waiting for someone, like you, to come along and replenish them. Thank them kindly.
Getting on the Water
Access can be tricky if you're not using an outfitter. In Texas, legal access points are where bridges cross a navigable river, so keep that in mind if you're doing it yourself.
Using an outfitter takes all the guesswork out of tubing. Select your outfitter with our list of Texas tubing companies.
When you finally get to the water, it will be cold! Jump in, don't mess around. Tie the cooler tube to one of the toobers with some rope. If you remembered the "potato sack" trash bag, and tie it on. And now ... relax!
You get around by either 1) passively floating or 2) turning your back toward your target and paddling backward. It's easily than paddling forward. From some tubes, you may develop a red "tube rash" from the rubber on your arms if you paddle excessively. It will go away in a day or two.
What to Do on the River
Relax! Bring a mask and snorkel and look for goodies on the bottom. Enjoy the wildlife and the trees.
Talk to people. You'll see people that were in a very large group get separated (by accident or often by choice) and floating around solo. Chat 'em up! Invite them to tube with you. People on the river are friendly, and you may make new friends before you know it.
How to Plan a Tubing Trip
To plan a trip you'll need a few things. Check out packing list section.
You can either use an outfitter for your trip, or do it yourself. Both are fine, but an outfitter removes a few of the logistical issues.
Planning With an Outfitter
Tubing companies are available at the most popular tubing rivers in Texas. They will rent you tubes, provide access to the river, and get you back to your car.
Some shuttle you up the river and you float back to your car, some you get in at the outfitter and they shuttle you back at the end of the trip.
Outfitters can be expensive. Many charge around $15-$20 for tubes, plus around $10 for cooler tubes. Some charge for parking.
Tubes with bottoms are usually available, but it kind of defeats the purpose of tubing in our opinion to use a bottom tube — it's not as easy to get wet!
Coolers are put into bottom tubes, though. You want it wedged in tight so it won't fall out.
Planning a Do It Yourself Trip
You can plan your own trip pretty easily. You'll need a truck to haul your wet friends and the tubes.
Buy tubes at a tractor supply place, or some of the fancy vinyl tubes from Academy. Find where you want to get out of the river at, and leave one car there. Then drive to the access point, and leave the other car there. Jump in!
When you're done, you'll be at your truck. Go retrieve the other car and then fill up on enchiladas! You deserve it, you master of tubing.