Must Have Float Trip Essentials

Spring is in full swing! It’s the best time of year for hiking, boating, camping, and the one thing you can do while enjoying all those other activities: floating. All you really need for a float trip is a nice tube or raft (or air mattress, if that’s your thing). However, if you prefer to float in style, gear up with these float trip essentials to take your adventure to the next level.

Whether you’re floating on a river, on a lake, or in the surf, spring brings the hot air and cool water to kick your feet up and bob around with some friends.


When it comes to selecting a float, the more ridiculous the better. You have your choice of everything from the standard inner tube (bonus points if it resembles food) to a float shaped like a magical unicorn or flamingo.

It’s not uncommon to simply bring an air mattress for the ultimate in comfort and relaxation. If you really like your travel buddy, get a two-person float for a true bonding experience.

You’ll end up goofing off on a big float and paddling in opposite directions as you decide what turn your trip will take. And if you have a big group, your list of float trip essentials isn’t complete without a floating island you can share with five of your closest friends.

Shop all pool and lake floats at Overtons.

Electric Air Pump

Find out ahead of time if your campground or launch point offers an air pump. If not, it’s a good idea to bring an air pump with you. You’d hate to get stuck manually inflating all your floats and cutting into precious time on the water. That’s why an electric air pump should be on your list of float trip essentials.



Don’t be that person who literally gets stuck “up a creek without a paddle.” It’s nice to have a cheap, lightweight, collapsible paddle just in case you miss your tube exit, want to explore different areas, or need to move a large float with a lot of gear.

Find a paddle at Overton’s.

Water Shoes

While not essential in all places, water shoes are nice to have if you’re floating somewhere with a rocky or uneven bottom. Water shoes are especially helpful if you have to climb slippery steps when getting in and out of the water.

Floating Cell Phone Case or Lanyard

You may already have a waterproof phone case or even a waterproof phone. However, those are useless if you drop your phone in deep or murky water. Make sure to secure your phone with a floating case or lanyard to ensure that you can recover it in any scenario.

Don’t float away without a floating lanyard or ring.

Dry Bag


A dry bag is essential for a long day on the water. Store your sunblock, snacks, car keys, cash, and ID in a small waterproof bag that you can tie to your float for quick and easy access.

Packs, bags, and cases are necessary for floating with all the necessities.

Waterproof Speaker

There’s an unspoken rule that one simply cannot float without some good tunes. Invest in a high-quality waterproof Bluetooth speaker, preferably one that floats, or has somewhere that you can tie it off to your float. Make sure the speaker is waterproof, not just water-resistant.

Search for a portable speaker to bring with you on your float.

Floating Sunglasses Cord

Many a pair of sunglasses have been claimed by the country’s rivers, lakes, and oceans. That’s why it’s a no-brainer to be equipped with a floating sunglasses cord to protect your expensive shades.

Don’t lose your shades to the river. Invest in sunglasses and a cord.

Floating Cooler


What’s a float trip without some cold beverages? Bring a floating cooler along to keep your drinks cold and accessible. You can get a cheap inflatable cooler or a high-end cooler made from kayak material that’ll float right alongside you.

A cooler also doubles as a trash can for your empty containers. Be the envy of the float with chilled drinks at your fingertips thanks to your floating cooler.

Snorkel and Mask

If you’re going somewhere with clear water, bring a snorkel and mask to check out any reefs, springs, caves, and fish you might float by. A snorkel and mask are also good to have in case you lose and need to recover any of your other float trip essentials.

Find the right snorkel set for the whole family.


Make sure to pack plenty of rope, twine, paracord, or bungees with the rest of your float trip essentials. You’ll need more than you think, especially if tying multiple floats together. Or just use it to secure your shoes, speaker, cooler, or dry bag.

Find paracord and bungee cords at Overton’s.

Don’t forget these float trip essentials! Bring towels, sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, and plenty of food and water to keep you hydrated and energized as you float on.


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