Floating the River Packing Guide
Every Memorial Day people around the State of Texas come to New Braunfels Texas for everyone’s favorite pastime, floating the river.
The concept is simple. You sit in a tube for 6-8 hours in the Guadalupe River and just drink. Yes, that’s really the extent. When I first went I thought it was going to be boring and ridiculous. I mean, how much fun is one going to have just sitting in a tube getting baked by the sun? I’m going to be perfectly honest, I didn’t need to work on my tan. However, it was one the best times I have ever had doing anything… or the lack of doing anything.
The point is to JUST relax. We all have stressful jobs and a billion things going on in our life at any given time. Floating the river lets you just lay in your tube, drink for eight hours, listen to music, be with friends, and make new ones. You cannot believe how soothing it is just to float in that tube while being surrounded by some of the people you enjoy the most.
This year I’m not attending the river because the group I usually go with couldn’t get it together for many different reasons, or so I thought. Last Thursday the twins got a timeshare for a condo the river and and I can’t attend because I already booked Memorial Day to the brim with photoshoots. *ugh* First world problems.
Since I can’t make it this year I wanted to create a mini guide of some of the essentials one should bring when floating the river.
1.) Bathing Suit: Monokini’s are so dayum sexy.
2.) Cheap Sunglasses: Please DO NOT bring sunglasses that cost more than $16! Believe me, even purchasing $16 sunglasses is pushing it. I made that mistake about two years ago when I was stuntin’ in my mirrored Ray-Ban aviators. The river pwnd me and as a reward took my sunglasses.
3.) Water Shoes: You will need this because God only knows what’s at the bottoms of that river. Plus, you don’t want to mess up the mean pedi you got the day before.
4.) Sunblock: You’re going to be roasting for 8 hours. You don’t want to give the crew of Jersey Shore a run for its money.
5.) A Tube: Because I’m sure one can’t drink and swim simultaneously unless your Michael Phelps. You can rent one from one of the many stands by the river.
6.) A tube for your cooler: Trust, you WILL need this. There is NOTHING fun about being the person who has to have a cooler in their lap for eight hours. You can also rent these types of tubes as well.
7.) Cooler: for your dranks.
8.) Rope: to tie all the floats together. This ensure’s that no man gets left behind. Espeically the people who can’t swim *cough* me *cough* Wherever you rent the tubes from they will typically give you rope for free.
9.) Drank: I only drink wine and liquor (because apparently I’m boughie), but most people bring beer. When I float the river I only drink vodka. I mix it with Florida’s Natural orange juice (trust me) and float. Be careful with how much alcohol you place in your drink. One year I was so throwed (drunk) that I started yelling at the ceiling fan for squeaking. The worst part of it all? My friends recorded my one person argument. Just remember bring enough of what you’re drinking to share.
10.) Canister: On the river you’re only allowed to bring plastic cups or bottles. Get a canister with a lid because you don’t want river water in your drink.
11.) Jello Shots: The fastest way to make friends and get invited to the parties after sunset is to make Jello shots and share them with the rest of the river goers. Whenever we go we typically make 300-400 shots and pass them out. TRUST they will all be done by the end of your three day weekend.
12.) Snacks: You get hungry doing all that drinking. This is typically the one weekend of the year were I go balls out and eat all the things that are on my DO NOT TOUCH list. On that list are pork rinds. Yes, they are all colors of disgusting, but after four hours of drinking they are much desired. Don’t bring anything more sophisticated than a sandwhich when floating the river, but make sure you bring lots of food. If you are going with a huge group of friends you guys will all be sharing and passing food and drinks around.
13.) Music: How does one listen to music while you floating on a river? Duh! You make a cooler that doubles as a boombox. At least one person in every group should have one of these. Some people get VERY sophisticated with this mechanism. I remember one time someone had the river BOOMING with their device. It was so freakin’ loud. At any given time there are people dancing on their tubes, boats, or kayaks while out there. Everyone cheers and throws jello shoots to the fellow river rats. Make a list of all the music everyone likes, compile them into one playlist, and enjoy.
14.) Towel: To dry off.
15.) Hand Sanitizer: because it can get quite nasty after you get out of the river.
16.) Clothes: Keep it simple, you’re on a dayum river. Trust. No one is looking fancy out there. Most people are still wearing their bathing suits, even hours after getting out of the river. However, if you are going to a concert just wear cheap Old Navy flip flops, some cute cut off short, a simple crop top, and hoop earrings. Or you can even just rock a jersey maxi dress and hoops. It is not dress to impress out there. Well, except with the bathing suits.
17.) Air Mattress: Most people camp next to the river, but my friends and I DO NOT. We are a little too “city” to tough it with the insects. We rent a condo for the weekend. It’s usually split amongst 10-14 people so the stay is not expensive. No matter if you are toughing it outside or chillin’ indoors having a good quality air mattress, rather than a sleeping bag, is a worthwhile investment. Sleeping on hard rocks IS NO FUN.
18.) Antihistamines/First Aid: I would have never thought about the until two summers ago (the same trip I lost my Ray’s) what I was stung by a fuckin’ wasp and had a mild allergic reaction to where my hand inflated to about 4 times its size. My hand looked like a dayum cartoon drawing. Mickey had nothing on me. My friend had to help me eat. I was so fuckin’ pathetic. Bring one. You may look like a girls scout, but if something happens you will be the hero.
So these are the essential I would bring to the river with me.
Remember, sharing is caring. Always bring enough for everyone.
For those of you who have been to the river would else would you add to this list?
Happy Floating Y’all. Pour some out for me while you’re there!
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