Everything is bigger in Texas, or so they say. When it comes to tubing in Texas, this might just be the truth. Whether you want to enjoy what the Hill Country has to offer or you’re looking to enjoy rapids and chutes for a full afternoon of fun, you’re going to find the rustic vistas or cityscapes that you’ve been wanting for your day away.
Before you hop into your own river tube or you rent an inflatable from a local outfitter, here is what you need to know about tubing in Texas so you don’t cause yourself an inadvertent headache.
- Glass and Styrofoam are illegal. You cannot bring any glass or Styrofoam containers or products into any Texas river or waterway. Not only can they be confiscated, but you could be subject to fines or even arrest. Because many coolers are made from Styrofoam, you’ll want to leave them in your vehicle or at home.
- Leave your valuables behind. Most valuables will sink to the bottom of a Texas river, never to be found again. Most outfitters do not have lockers to use either. They will often hold your car keys and your identification, but that is it.
- Ask for a free litter bag before you start floating. Littering is also against the law in Texas. You must pack out what you pack in for your floating trip. Ask your tubing provider or outfitter for a litter bag so that you can dispose of whatever trash you generate in a proper manner.
If you prefer to bring your own, then we like these eco-friendly trash bags that are offered by Green ‘N Pack in the 4-gallon size.
- Children 3 or younger are generally not permitted on Texas rivers. Some outfitters may make an exception for children who show that they have swimming skills. In general, however, toddlers and preschoolers will not be allowed to float on a Texas river. On some rivers, the minimum age may range from 6-13, depending on the level of rapids or obstacles in the river. Life jackets are recommended for everyone as well.
- Make sure you wear shoes that can get wet. Some Texas rivers can be quite shallow, especially during the warmer months or during times of drought. Bring footwear that can get wet, but also protect your feet against cuts or scrapes that may occur from items on the river bottom.
- Remember to bring some water along. You may be floating down a river in Texas for up to 6 hours. That’s a lot of time to not be drinking water, especially on a hot day. Remember to pack something to drink and use a container that does not violate local laws.
Tubing in Texas can be a fantastic experience when you are properly prepared for the conditions you will face. Keep these tips in mind as you plan your trip so you’re not greeted by an unpleasant surprise when you’re trying to relax.