Saco Shenanigans – How to Have the Best Time on a Float

Saco Shenanigans – How to Have the Best Time on a Float

It’s the Monday before our annual canoe trip, and I’ve got Saco on the brain. This morning, as I worked to finish the post for today, I found myself continuously drawn to photos of previous trips, my To Buy/To Pack/To Do list, and other Saco distractions. Finally, I decided to stop fighting it and save that other post for another day.

Instead, I bring you the Saco Shenanigans Extravaganza post!

Time spent floating down a river is one of the best ways to enjoy a summer day. Unlike the beach, rivers can be found just about anywhere in the country, and it can also be extremely affordable! This is my 5th year going on this trip, but some of my friends have been at it for decades. I asked them what their favorite river hacks were and compiled them here. Whether you are floating on a tube or in a canoe or kayak, camping overnight or not, you’re bound to find some great tips below!


How to have the best time on a float


  1. The first two things to decide are definitely the length of your trip and your “vehicle” down the river. You may just be going on a tube float for a few hours, or you may choose a multi-day, canoe to a campsite, roughing it kind of trip, or anything in between. See what your options are in your area and check with the people you’re going with.
  2. If you’re canoeing to your campsite, there are a few things you’ll want to consider, such as a dry bag for clothes and bed linens, as well as a dry box for valuable likes phones and wallets.
  3. Be sure to pack your canoe with as much weight as low down as possible to reduce the chance of tipping. Don’t forget the lifejackets!
  4. Gotta have the floating in a tube, just chillin in the nice weather!!! – Tina. Might I suggest a tube with cup holders to keep your favorite beverage(s) handy?
  5. Keeping the food simple for most of the meals but going all out one night is a must! – Laura. Perhaps consider this suggestion: sautéed scallops and grilled brats; we’ve been cooking them on the Saco for 5 years. – Christen. Also, tortillas make a great substitute for bread to save space and avoid getting smooshed.
  6. Honestly it’s the drunken games: Polish Horseshoes, Kan Jam, Cards Against Humanity. – Curtis. Other favorites include washer toss, cornhole, bocce ball, etc.
  7. Must have item is a waterproof bluetooth speaker; I’d rather starve than go without music – Christen.
  8. The fire is my favorite. It’s just amazing to sit around and chat without a care in the world. – Rachael. Fun, fire-side activities include glow jewelry, s’mores making, and old-fashioned Madlibs. – Christen.
  9. There are beverage suggestions: Bota box bagged wine as it’s way easier to store and keep very cold water in my square cooler. – Christen. Or: instead of filling the cooler with bottles of beer, or whatever your beverage is, make a drink cooler full of a mixed drink. It saves space in your cooler and should stay cold if you use frozen bottles of water. Also, less trash to worry about at the end of the trip! Remember, no trace left behind! – Laura. My favorite is a sangria or margarita with chunks of fruit! Shandys, ciders, and IPAs in cans are also great summertime beverage alternatives.
  10. Other beverage-related tips include: separating the adult beverages into their own cooler so the other cold items stay colder longer. – Christen. Perhaps consider buying or renting a floating cooler, and don’t forget the koozies to keep drinks cold in the hot sun!
  11. Keep your campsite looking festive with personal flags, tent decor like string lights, and tiki torches.
  12. Whether tubing, kayaking, or canoeing, if you’re going with a group, don’t forget your bungees or other tie-ups. How else are you going to make a giant flotilla?
  13. Bring protection! Sunscreen, a hat, sunnies, an umbrella, bug spray, mosquito fogger, lifejackets – they may seem boring, but they can make or break your trip.
  14. A tip for the ladies – if you’ve ever been camping/boating with limited use of facilities, bathing suit bottoms paired with a casual skirt can make all the difference, allowing you to step out of one leg of your bottoms and get them out of the way, if needed, while still providing some privacy should you need to find a friendly tree and squat.
  15. For other camping tips, be sure to check out my 5 Friday Favorites – Camping Hacks Edition.

Have you ever been floating down a river? Do you have any favorite tips or tricks to make it the most fun? Let me know in the comments below!

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