Tubing down the Delaware River is as challenging and dangerous as it may be fun or entertaining. People who cannot swim and have an aversion to water should not do this. For people who do like water or are good at swimming, tubing is probably even worse, since they are more likely to not listen to people who tell them not to do it. There is really no reason to sit on a rubber tire and float down a river or stream. You could just as easily take a car or walk. Most likely, you have no reason to be going downstream, you’re just bored and spending your whole day going down the stream in a tire and then walking back. You might say that I’m jealous because I’m obviously an old man sitting at my house writing articles for some reason. Well, you’re wrong. I’m not an old man and I don’t like tubing. I’ve tried it and it is stupid and you get wet. You’re like ‘oh, look at me I’m sitting in a tube and I have a beer and I’m in a river. Oh, I’m so cool.’ Then you bump into something and you lose the beer and you’re like ‘oh, I’m stupid.’ Why? Because you were sitting in a tire on a bumpy surface that you can fall through while holding a glass bottle surrounded by other drunk people traveling in tires.
If you feel that you have to go tubing on the Delaware River, you should do so in the summer. Maybe, you’ve seen the famous picture with George Washington. This would not have worked had he traveled in a tube. This is because tubes are a stupid mode of transportation and they knew this even back in the 18th Century. You might say that they probably didn’t have rubber tubes at that time either. Well, even if they did have tubes back then, Washington would have been smart enough to realize that it was a really stupid way to travel. It would be like ‘should we travel in a tube with a hole in it, or in a boat?’ And they would be like, ‘we should take the boat so that the English don’t think that we’re dumb and laugh at us.’
There are a number of things you can do besides sitting on a puny tube going down a fast moving body of water. Maybe, you go tubing because you like swimming. Well then, you could go to the beach or a swimming pool or learn to be a life guard. Maybe, you like tubing because you like tubes for some reason. Well then, you could be a car mechanic. Perhaps, you like tubing because you like drinking beer. Then you could go to a bar, but those tend to be pretty stupid and expensive too.
On the other hand, tubing can be fun if you know what you are doing and you do it with other people. There is nothing wrong with tubing. The Delaware River and the East Coast are very nice areas where it can get very humid, so being by a river can be a lot of fun and it can also be relaxing and soothing. When you go tubing, make sure your tube has air in it, or else it won’t work. If you’re not sure if it has enough air in it, put it in the water first and then sit on it. You may want to practice tubing on smaller creeks before going down a larger river. Actually, getting into a large river without a boat seems like a terrible idea. Tubing might be okay on a creek, but that is kind of nutty to get on a tube on a large river.
If nothing else will convince you against tubing in a large river, let me tell you a personal story about my experience tubing on a relatively small creek in Colorado. The first time, my friends were all like ‘we’re going to go tubing. Do you want to come?’ When we got there, we put tubes on the rivers and sat on them and then went down the creek. I kept on falling off. My other story about tubing was when I was on the Yampa River in Colorado. It was cold and I hate getting wet. Before I even got on the tube, I was not having a good time. My friend was like ‘you have to sit on the tube’ and I was like ‘no, because I remembered what happened that other time when I fell off’ and I was like ‘that will totally happen again and then I will get wet and be cold.’
In both stories, disaster was averted in my case because I don’t like water. If you like water, however, you need to be more careful because you may spend more time in it. Let me tell you about the time I was in a kayak. It wasn’t as bad as floating on a tube because I was on a pond, but I still didn’t really like it that much. It’s not really the best idea to spend too much time on or near water since it is hard to breathe in it. Fish have the reverse problem, but that doesn’t really matter here.
So before you think about your next tubing adventure down the Delaware River, take some time and ask yourself if it’s a good idea. It might be, but it really depends on how good you are at swimming and what will happen in the future. It’s hard to predict what happens in the future, so that’s why we even have these uncertain ideas about risk and feelings of anxiety. Maybe, tubing is your favorite thing to do ever and if you stop doing it out of unfounded fear, you’ll make your life worse. Or maybe, you hate tubing and you have a contrarian attitude and after reading this you will discover that you actually like tubing. That could happen too!
Whether you go tubing or not, always take safety advice and make sure you wear a life jacket.
- Eat, Pray, Tube: Adrift on the Delaware River (theawl.com)