What to Pack to Float the Boise River
It’s Boise river float season! Whether you live in Boise or you're just in town for a visit, floating is one of the most fun things to do if you find yourself here during the summer.
Before you float, make sure that you plan your floating excursion for when the river is actually open (usually around mid June or July). The purpose of this is so that ADA County Parks and Waterways can ensure the water level isn’t too high or too low and so they can remove hazards such as large branches to keep your raft from popping.
There is a shuttle service that takes floaters from Ann Morrison to Barber Park, the launch area. The cost of the service is $3.00 and it runs from 1pm-8pm on Monday-Thursdays, 1pm-9pm on Fridays, and 12pm-9pm on Saturdays and Sundays. On Mondays-Fridays the shuttle departs Ann Morrison Park every hour on the hour. On Saturdays and Sundays the shuttle departs Ann Morrison Park approximately every 20 minutes. If you don't prefer to take the shuttle, you could always take an Lyft or Uber instead.
Barber Park is going to have rafts available for rent so you don't necessarily have to own your own raft. Keep in mind that the launch area no longer has pumps for public use, so be sure to bring your own equipment or blow up your rafts beforehand.
To help you prepare for your next floating adventure, I have made a list of items you probably don’t want to forget to pack:
Either or will be necessary because the sun is very intense during this time, especially with the reflection from the sun on the water out on the river. If you didn’t bring a hat with you on your visit, check out the selection of hats available at Voxn Clothing, a cute boutique in downtown Boise.
This may be a no brainer, but just a reminder that SPF is necessary any time you spend time in the sun!
Wearing a swimsuit is highly recommended especially if you plan on taking a dip in the water. Voxn Clothing has a selection of stylish swimsuit options in store and online if you are in need of one while you’re here.
A bag for your phone or waterproof pouch
A lot of people decide to leave their phone behind for their float but if you are planning on bringing your phone with you, you can purchase a waterproof pouch with a lanyard at most convenient stores. If you don’t want to buy anything, just use a plastic bag and make sure it’s sealed very tight.
Either bring some old flip flops you don't care about or water shoes that have some kind of strap and won’t fall off your feet.
As mentioned earlier, the park no longer offers pumps at the entrance to the river so you will be required to bring one. Accidents happen more often than you think so you will not regret bringing a pump if you happen to find yourself in a situation where your raft gets deflated.
Life vests are not legally required for anyone over the age of 14, but technically every vessel must have enough life vests on board for each person.
These items are not necessary but highly recommended:
Quick drying clothes or a change of clothes
This is a good idea in case you fall in; nobody likes to sit in wet clothes for a long time. I would suggest wearing a swimsuit underneath some quick drying shorts or bringing a bag with dry clothes to change into later on. Check out these quick drying shorts that were designed and produced right here in Boise from Voxn Clothing.
You can purchase one of these to help ensure you don’t lose your keys or wallet if they fall overboard. Simply attach the floating bright colored strap to your item and rest easy knowing if you drop it in the water, it will float and be easy to spot and retrieve.
Tube Repair kit
You can never be too prepared for a river float! In some cases, you may need more than just a pump to keep your raft from sinking. A tube repair kit is a great idea if you like being prepared for anything.
A waterproof speaker
You can literally bring the party with you while you’re floating. Unless you prefer a more low key float and would rather relax and listen to the calming sounds of the river.
A cooler for beverages
Lastly, you can get an inflatable cooler if you’re feeling fancy, but a regular cooler will work just fine.