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What to Pack on a River Tubing Trip

a small boat in a body of water

If you’re thinking about floating the Cuyahoga River with Float the River, here’s how we recommend you get ready. Being prepared will help you get the most enjoyment out of your adventure and ensure you have the time of your life!

Table of Contents

  • What is Floating the River via Tube?
  • Essential Items: What You Need To Bring
  • Packing Tips For Your Floating Adventure
  • Sustainability and Keeping The River Beautiful
  • Contact Float The River For Your Trip Today


What is Floating the River via Tube?

Before looking at how to pack and prepare for your trip on the water and other river tubing tips, it’s important to understand the nuances of this activity. When you float the river on a tube, you float down the river on a sturdy inner tube with a set course or distance. The tour company provides the tube itself, and the entire experience usually lasts a few hours. It’s not super long, but long enough to enjoy being outside and on the water. A tour company, such as Float the River, will shuttle you back to the parking area once you reach the end of your tour. There’s no need to hike back, which is the last thing anyone wants to do after floating down a river for two hours! Our meet-up location to begin the floating tour is in downtown Cuyahoga Falls. Thankfully, by going through our company, you won’t have to worry about anything but packing and dressing appropriately for your adventure, which brings us to the subject at hand: getting ready.

Essential Items: What You Need to Bring


a group of people riding on the back of a boat in the water

While the main requirements for a good time on the river are an adventurous attitude and a bathing suit or other attire that you don’t mind getting wet, you will also want to make sure you bring along the following specific items. Not having them on hand can make the difference between a fun, memorable, and enjoyable experience and one that is merely OK. We sell many of these essential items in our tent (just in case you forget them). So here’s what to bring on a float trip:

  • Sun Protection: When floating on the river, you get sunlight both from above and reflections on the water’s surface. Therefore, even if you are not normally prone to burning, it makes sense to coat yourself with sunscreen at the beginning of the day and bring some along for reapplication.


  • Water-Secure Shoes: Don’t show up in flip-flops; they will slide right off your feet. Instead, wear water shoes or sandals that can get wet.


  • Hat, Headscarf, Cap: This is especially necessary if you burn easily because it will help protect your face and/or neck from excessive sun exposure.


  • Sunglasses: Again, you are dealing with sun reflections as well. It will likely be bright, even if it looks overcast that day. If you plan on wearing sunglasses, attaching them to a floating neckband is a good idea.


  • Waterproof Speaker: If you and your group enjoy listening to music as you drift leisurely down the river, bringing a waterproof speaker can enhance your journey.


  • Waterproof Bags: Just know that virtually everything you have on your body when you enter the river will get wet. For that reason, it’s a good idea to have some waterproof bags for your phone, keys, money, and other items that need to stay dry.


  • Money: Bring along a debit card, credit card, or cash to pay for any needed supplies or replace lost items.


  • Bug Spray: Insect repellent isn’t something you think about needing, but if the bugs start biting, they can decrease the enjoyment of your floating experience. This is why having some bug spray on hand is a great idea.


  • Beverages: It’s important to note that Float the River does not permit disposable drink containers. This helps prevent littering. So, you can bring along drinks, but you must put them in reusable drink containers. Also, Float the River doesn’t allow alcoholic beverages to be consumed during the float tour.


  • Snacks: Make sure that you pack your snacks in a waterproof container to prevent your food from getting wet.


  • Dry Clothes: Bring a dry outfit to change into after your river adventure. Otherwise, you’ll have to wear your wet clothing until you get home! It’s also wise to bring along a towel in a waterproof bag if possible.


  • Cooler: Some coolers can attach to the side of your tube or raft and carry drinks or snacks. This is a great idea if you plan on bringing along food and beverages, and it will free up space in your other bags.

Packing Tips For Your Floating Adventure

Now that you know what you need to bring, it’s time to learn some helpful packing tips to keep in mind:


  • Pack Light: Although there are many things listed above, ideally, you will pack light and only take what you need on the river.


  • Create a Packing Checklist: Making sure that you remember everything can get overwhelming when you are trying to prepare for your trip. To ensure that you don’t forget anything, create a checklist and physically check off the items in your bag.


  • Divvy Up Items: In an effort to pack light, divide up the items to be brought by the group. For example, have one person bring bug spray for the whole group, or two bring sunscreen, and so on. This way, every member of the group doesn’t have to pack every item. Of course, items like sunglasses, shoes, and hats should be worn by each individual.

Sustainability and Keeping the River Beautiful

Float the River is committed to keeping the Cuyahoga River waterways in good condition. Part of this commitment includes giving a portion of the proceeds from rental costs to a river management company that monitors and cleans the river of litter and debris. In addition, we encourage our guests to use sustainable packaging like reusable water bottles and eco-friendly packaging for snacks while following other eco-friendly float trip packing tips to further protect the river’s ecosystem, ensuring that it will still be here for future generations and even more floating adventures.


a body of water surrounded by trees


Contact Float the River for Your Trip Today

At Float the River, we are committed to providing a fun, safe, and environmentally responsible experience. We specialize in group floating experiences and are ready to help you create the ideal trip for your family or friends. There is also a discount for group bookings. Contact us today to learn more about floating the river. Keep in mind that we have no weight or height restrictions, but when the river is low, there can be places that are shallow and require physical exertion to be traversed. This means that some mobility is necessary, but there is no need to feel intimidated if your physical ability isn’t superb. Ages five and up are welcome to schedule a tour with our company and enjoy the meandering water of the Cuyahoga and one of the most fun summer pastimes there is, floating the river!


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