Float trips are a great way to escape the day to day and get in touch with nature while spending some quality time with friends and family. We have compiled an ultimate float trip essentials list that covers what to bring on a float trip so you can have the most amazing time this summer! Being from Missouri, we have some of the most beautiful rivers in the country and we love to explore them in the summertime!

Going on a camping trip instead? Check out our guide to buying the best 4 person tent for you and your family!

What is a Float Trip?

You might be wondering- exactly what is a float trip? Float trips can be a bit different depending on what you are looking for- but essentially, they are floating down a river in a canoe, raft or tube!

Some people like to float down a river just for the day and others enjoy going on a longer float and camping on the banks of the river overnight. Some people want to have a float trip party where there are lots of people drinking and having parties on the banks of the river. Others enjoy floating down a quiet river without many people just to enjoy nature. It’s really all up to what you are looking for!

Need some float trip ideas? Check out our post all about float trips in Missouri! 

Float Trip Raft

Your Float Trip Checklist

Here is a quick overview of our floating the river checklist so you can begin packing for the ultimate float trip. We have included all of the river floating essentials so you don’t have to think twice about what to bring!

Looking for something specific? Just click below to jump to any section of this article!

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Best Floating Cooler for River Floating

A floating cooler is on the top of the list for our what to take on a float trip checklist. Whether you want to stock it full of beer or lemonade, you will definitely need a way to keep your drinks cold! If you don't want a tow behind cooler and can fit a cooler in your canoe/kayak another great option would be a waterproof, portable backpack cooler!

What to Wear on a Float Trip

A great question for anyone going on a float trip is - what do you wear to float the river? River floating shirts are a great thing to have if you want to avoid sunburn as well as wearing sunscreen. These rashguards are great for swimming and they are cool and breathable!

Here are our picks for the best float trip shirts:

The Best Float Trip Shoes

Waterproof river floating shoes are a must-have on any float trip. We absolutely love our chacos which we think are the best shoes for float trip. They are water-proof, super comfortable, and have a great grip for getting in and out of the river. 

The Best Float Trip Speakers

Of all the river floating supplies, you can’t forget to pack a waterproof speaker! Speakers are definitely the ultimate floating the river accessories out there. We are big fans of our JBL speakers- and a waterproof one with a clip to attach to a backpack or secure on your canoe/kayak/raft is a gamechanger. If you are looking to spend a bit less- the VicTsing has great reviews and will also do the job!

Float Trip Accessories

Besides a speaker, here are a few other float trip accessories to add to your floating the river essentials list.
Float trip accessories

| 1. Waterproof Phone Pouch | 2. Beach Towels | 3. Hat | 4. Sunglasses
| 5. Drink Cozy | 6. Dry Bag Backpack | 7. Sunscreen |

Best River Floating Equipment

Best Float Trip Raft

Of all the float trip necessities, having a reliable float trip raft has got to be number one on any river floating gear lists. You can most likely rent a raft at any outfitter located along the river, although their prices are normally pretty expensive! Having your own raft to bring floating whenever you want can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Here are our picks for the best rafts for river floating:

Best Canoe for River Floating

Some people enjoy having a raft or tube to float in, but others will only ever float a river in a canoe. A canoe gives you a lot more control as you can paddle around sections of the river that need more navigating, or you can paddle in slow parts of the river so you float faster. If you are not in the market to spend money on a real canoe at the moment but still want a great floating device, there are some pretty awesome inflatable canoes out there.

Here are our picks for the best canoe and the best inflatable canoe:

The Best Canoe Accessories

If you like to float rivers in a canoe, you can't forget canoe accessories! Having a chair with back support and detachable cupholders makes a whole new float trip experience.

Check out our best picks for a canoe chair and cup holders!

Best Kayak for River Floating

A kayak is most definitely the ultimate river floating equipment out there. Kayaking gives you the most control so that you can navigate easily around rapids and go pretty much anywhere you want in the river. A kayak is a great addition to your float trip supplies and they can be used to float rivers all over the country. A lot of people don't want to splurge on an expensive kayak as they can be quite expensive. An inflatable kayak has almost the same quality and durability and is a great less expensive option.

Here are our picks for the best kayak and inflatable kayak:

Best Inner Tube for River Floating

The ultimate old school way to float a river, an inner tube! Using an inner tube for river floating is a great option when the water levels are high and the water is moving fairly fast. Inner tubes can be a lot of fun when you have a group of people and you can tie them all together and have your inflatable/floating cooler following right behind you.

Here is our pick for the best inner tube for a float trip.

One Person Tube: (~$17.00)
Intex River Run Inflatable Tube

Float Trip Food Ideas

Don’t forget to add food to your float trip list! Here are some good ideas of snacks to take on a float trip:

- Granola bars
- Trail mix
- Homemade sandwiches
- Pringles (since they are in a hard container and can’t get squished)
- Fruit (apples, oranges, bananas)

River Float Trip Checklist

In this section, we have our “Checklist for Float Trip” laid out so you can have a quick overview of all the floating the river necessities so you don’t forget anything.Float trip checklist

Looking for float trip ideas? Check out our article all
about the best Float Trip Places in Missouri!

I hope in this ultimate packing for a float trip guide we helped you figure out different things like what to wear to float the river, river floating tips, and what to bring on a river float trip. We hope you have a safe and fun time exploring all the beautiful rivers in the world!


We would love to hear from you! Did this Float Trip Packing Guide help you? Anything we are missing that you would add? Comment below and let us know!

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Jess Drier is a life long travel bug and co-founder of Unearth The Voyage.

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