If you've lived in or around Idaho's beautiful Treasure Valley for a season or two, you've likely achieved the benchmark of your first float down the Boise River. 

An experience unlike any other, floating the river is hands-down one of our coolest summer season traditions. And just in case you didn't know, we'll never miss a chance to tell visitors and cherry transplants all about it!

Photo by Matt Koffel on Unsplash
Photo by Matt Koffel on Unsplash


Whether you're a party of one or in good company, floating the river is quintessential Boy-see living, friend. Honestly, it's one of those rare first-time moments you'll not soon forget. Some novice floaters love the thrill of navigating the river's three rapids so much, they go for broke with an epic back-to-back float. Talk about floating the distance for a good time, right?!

Photo by Filip Mroz on Unsplash
Photo by Filip Mroz on Unsplash


But have you ever stopped to think about the folks who flat-out despise river floating? These are the ones you see sulking and looking depressed as hell the moment they leave the put-in. For clarity, they sport the same face we all do after pumping a tank of gas these days. Yeah, you know the scowl.

Photo by Stephanie LeBlanc on Unsplash
Photo by Stephanie LeBlanc on Unsplash


Egos aside, let's take it a step further, shall we?

What if it's you? What if it's something you're doing or not doing that's driving your fellow floaters bananas?

Try to not feel embarrassed, friend. River etiquette comes with time, and it's safe to assume we've all had our manic moments spanning from Barber Park to Ann Morrison.

Photo by DJ Paine on Unsplash
Photo by DJ Paine on Unsplash


If you're new'ish or a total novice, check out some of our tried and true tips to avoid being "that" floater on the Boise River this summer.

  1. DON'T BE STINGY. One day you'll be the one pump-less or without sunscreen. Pay it forward and help a floater out when you can.
  2. NO RAFT ARMADAS. Banding two or three small rafts together is fine and even fun. It's the groups that go 15 rafts deep that ruins it for floaters passing by. Keep it small, ya'll.
  3. CODE 5 CLING-ON. Don't be one. Friendly river banter with fellow floaters is fine from time to time, but don't be a Code 5 cling-on that doesn't know when to let go and float on.
  4. MUSIC ETIQUETTE. Newsflash: most of us hate one another's playlists. Refrain from blasting your jams as you pass your fellow floaters, but feel free to crank it up when you're a one-man band again.
  5. MUSIC ETIQUETTE (continued). If your jams are on the dirty-wordy side, kindly turn them down when you're floating by families. Few parents, if any, want their nine-year-old listening to WAP.
  6. REEFER. We get it: float and roll is a thing. But do us sober folks and families a favor by not getting our kindergarteners and our grandmothers contact high.
  7. TAGGING. Don't be the jerk that spray paints the underpasses along the river. It wasn't cool in middle school, and it's not cool in your mid-twenties and thirties.
  8. LITTER BUG. Litter bugs suck. Keep our river clean and serene, friend.
  9. TOW RULES. If your raft needs a tow, ask before you hitch a ride from someone else's raft. You wouldn't jump into a stranger's car at a red light, right?
  10. JUMPER. If you're going to jump off the top of a bridge over the river, please do so only after all floaters have passed by!
  11. ROPED IN. Sharing is caring and totally something a lot of us need to work on. Don't hog the rope swings!
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