Joe’s group of friends have become a big part of my life, and I was really excited to find out about their annual tradition of going tubing, or as we call it “Stubing” (our burner camp is called Camp Shut Up Dinosaur Stu, named after Joe’s roommate’s brother) since it was on my Bucket List!
We camped out at Brunswick Family Campground, which was about twenty-five minutes away from where we went tubing at River Riders in West Virginia. It’s a really cool adventure area, and you can do a lot more than tubing like rafting and zip-lining. There were two options for tubing, and we opted for the lazy river (on the Potomac) instead of white water. I’d definitely like to try white water tubing sometime, too!
We went through a safety presentation, got our life jackets, and boarded a bus that drove us to the place we would get our tubes and set off in the river. We pretty much negated all the rules we learned, tying our tubes together cords, unbuckling our life jackets, and bringing adult beverages, but we were safe about everything and it was very calm since the river barely moved and we could always touch the ground with our feet. I would definitely abide more by the rules if we were going white water tubing, but this was a really nice way to hang out and lounge together.
We knew we had the option to float down the river, get off at the end, and bus back to the beginning but it was kind of a whole ordeal so we decided to take our time in the water. We pulled over on the shore and hung out for a bit in the shade. It was an incredibly relaxing experience. Most of the group was laughing and talking the whole time, but I just sunk into my tube and closed my eyes, enjoying the sun on my skin and the calming buoyancy.
Things you need to know before you go tubing:
+ You need closed toed shoes that you don’t mind getting wet. Water shoes are still sold, but only in the beginning of the summer season, so get them early instead of waiting till the last minute and having to get a size 11 in men’s.
+ Put sunscreen your whole body, even if there’s a lot of cloud cover, you’re going to get a ton of sun. If you wear a hat, choose one that is snug on your head and that you wouldn’t mind getting wet or losing. Sunglasses are also a good idea, but it would be worth it to bring one of those dorky cords that goes around your head.
+ Make sure your group has a cooler tube so you can bring water and snacks. You’re out there for a while in the sun, and you need to stay hydrated.
+ Leave everything in your car, including your phone. Steve brought a waterproof camera that we kept in the cooler tube. We locked all our keys in one car, and that car’s key in a rented locker. All I had on my person as I entered the water was my tube and a bottle of water.
+ There are a lot of different kinds of tubes for you to choose from, check out the differences (hole size, cup holder option, etc.) and snag one that suits you best.
+ Life jackets are uncomfortable. If you take yours off, do so at your own risk, and buckle it onto your tube so you don’t lose it. Make sure to put it back on before you get out of the water so the employees don’t yell at you.
Through my recent adventures in camping and tubing, I’ve learned that the answer to all my questions of, “That’s so cool! Where did you get that?!” is “REI”. I’ve got an REI coupon for you today! Check it out: REI Coupon from ChameleonJohn.com
I definitely recommend going tubing! If you have any questions about it, let me know. Thanks to Steve Krehbiel for organizing the trip, coaching me through everything, and bringing the camera to document it all. Photo credit goes to him on half these photos!
Have you ever been tubing?