How to Float a Cooler Down River

How to Float a Cooler Down River

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Tubing in the summer is a relaxing, carefree way to spend an afternoon. Take a cooler with you so your group can enjoy cold beverages and snacks -- especially if you're taking a three-hour tube journey with no pit stops. Most coolers are heavy and not suited to tubing, but with the right equipment, any cooler can float down a river. Keep a firm hold of your cooler once you're in the water because a fast current can take your lunch away in the blink of an eye, and the bottom of the river will be enjoying your sandwiches while you're left hungry and thirsty in a rubber tube.

Items you will need

  • Raft

  • Rope

Inflate your raft and place it in the water. Check the raft's weight rating to make sure it can support the weight of the cooler.

Place the filled cooler on the raft.

Tie a rope to the handle of the cooler. If there is no handle, loop the rope through the opening between the lid and the cooler. Create a knot.

Loop the rope around one of the handles or eyelets in the raft. Repeat the knots with the opposite handle on the cooler and the opposite side of the raft.

Attach the far end of the rope to a person's inner tube or inner-tube handle. Leave between 5 and 10 feet of space so the person can float free, but also easily access the cooler.


  • Some stores sell floating coolers that you can use without a raft. Attach a rope to a floating cooler if you intend to float it downriver.
Gone Outdoors