Floating down the Dan River in an inner tube can make for a fun summer adventure. But the tranquil tubing trip can quickly turn troublesome if you happen to get caught in a summer storm. Dark clouds rolling in unexpectedly or a sudden crash of thunder in the distance are your first clues to seek shelter and get off the river right then. We do monitor weather conditions closely, however in North Carolina we have seen storms pop up in 30 minutes, with the trip being 3 hrs there is nothing we can do as an outfitter if you are in the water. Getting to shore quickly before lightning strikes or heavy rain causes the river to swell is key. Having a few tips on what to do if bad weather interrupts your tubing trip can help you stay safe. This article will cover some smart strategies to get yourself and your group to safety if you find yourself caught in a storm during a tubing trip down the Dan River at Floatery.

Get Out of the Water Immediately

As soon as you notice dark clouds approaching or hear thunder in the distance, exit the river immediately. Do not continue tubing, as being on the water during a storm can be extremely dangerous. Paddle or walk along the shore to the nearest low bank exit point. If the storm is approaching rapidly and you cannot make it to an exit, get out of your tube (take it with you of course) and find shelter under dense trees away from the tallest objects, as they are lightning rods. Crouch down as low as possible while avoiding puddles and other bodies of water.

Secure Your Tube and Take Shelter

Once you have reached the shore, stack all tubes, or secure your tube to a tree or other fixed object so it does not blow away. Tubes can attract lightning is why we want them away from you. Look for a patch of dense smaller trees or bushes which can provide protection from the elements. Avoid being the tallest object in an area and do not lie in an open space.

Thankfully Summer Storms move Fast

Storms typically pass through the area within 30 minutes to an hour. However, some severe storms can last longer. Wait at least 30 minutes after the last lightning flash or thunder clap before heading back out on the water. Ensure the weather has clearly improved and there are no more storm clouds approaching before getting your tube and continuing your adventure.

By following these steps in the event of a storm during your tubing adventure, you’ll significantly reduce the risks associated with lightning and ensure the safety of your group. While river tubing should be an enjoyable experience, always keep a close eye on the weather and be prepared to exit the water quickly if threatening weather approaches or alerts popup on your phone while tubing. Your safety is far more important than continuing your tubing excursion.


In closing, while tubing the Dan River in North Carolina at Floatery can be a fun summer activity, you must stay alert to changing weather conditions. If you find yourself caught in a storm, remain calm and prioritize your safety. Staying prepared with a charged phone and proper footwear can help you handle unexpected circumstances should you need to climb a riverbank. With the tips above and some commonsense precautions, you can still enjoy your Dan River Adventure at Foatery regardless if you get caught in those popup storms.