Tubing Packing List and Rafting Gear

What to Pack For A Float Trip

Everything Will Get Wet; Pack Accordingly

Summer is hot, and the sun is strong. A little preparation when tubing will make for a better trip.

I Just Need Beer and Ice, Right ?

No! You've got to take some water, even if you don't have room for it in the cooler. Put it in the trash sack if you have to. Tubing in the heat will dehydrate you, and beer will really dehydrate you. If you think you're a tough-guy, do what you want, but you should drink some water. If you don't you *will* feel it the next day.

Tubing really takes the energy out of you. It's amazing that just laying around drinking beer can be so taxing on the body, but it can be. The sun is brutal some days!

Sunscreen is a must. Water is a must. And obviously, whatever other refreshments you like. Make sure to check here for a list of current tubing law restrictions.

A bungee cord to keep your cooler closed if it tumps over is a great idea. Not needed on all sections, but it doesn't hurt.


For snacks, bring something small and individually wrapped. Tubes of peanuts are a good idea, or crackers, etc. But any tubing veteran will tell you that if it's something you open, and then put back in the cooler, the next time you pull it out it will be soaked with water.

Sandwiches in baggies are iffy, they're likely to spring a leak. But if you're careful they can work. A better idea is to leave a second cooler in the car. When you get off the river, then you've got sandwiches and food to eat, and best of all it will be guaranteed dry.

If You Can, Leave it at Home!

You can leave your phones, cash, etc in your car, but it's not the wisest thing to do. If you can, simply leave the full wallet and purse at home. Bring ID, credit card, and some cash. You won't be happy if you lose that social security card you're carrying in your wallet.

Cash and Keys

Leave the wallet in the car or in a lock box; it's a bad idea to take it tubing. If the cooler dumps over it's gone. Most outfitters will let you leave your car keys, but if they don't, simply tie them to your shorts.

Lighters and Cigarettes

Pack your smokes in a ziplock. If you want to get fancier, outfitters often sell a cigarette pack holder that goes around your neck and is water-proof.

Take more than one lighter, so when one gets wet you'll have another. If you do drop one in the water they will float.

Sample Packing List for Tubing

  • Sunglasses
  • Hats
  • Sandals / River shoes
  • Sun Screen
  • Ziplocks / Waterproof cases
  • Cash, Credit card, ID
  • Cooler
  • Ice
  • Bungee to keep lid closed
  • Beverages (Don't forget water!)
  • Koozies
  • Snacks
  • Waterproof camera

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Trash on the river is a shame. Take a mesh sack to clean and protect our rivers for other sportsman and water sports users. Kayak, canoe, fishing boat, or tube ... help keep it clean.