Metro Weekly

Adventuring takes to the rivers for a tubing trip

The best way to escape the city this weekend? Floating through Harpers Ferry in a rubber tube

River tubing — Photo: kitzcorner

“I like tubing because it’s like you’re one with the water. If you’ve got a current that’s moving, you just let the water take over,” says Jeff Hughes, the president of local outdoors group Adventuring. “You don’t have to do any swimming strokes or anything that requires a whole lot of exertion.”

In its early years, Adventuring regularly held tubing trips to help locals escape the D.C. heat. Now, after a few years’ hiatus, they’re back, with organizers hoping to introduce the group’s newer members to the experience with a day trip to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia on Aug. 5.

Perhaps counter to what you might think, the key to the most relaxing tubing is a stronger current. “You don’t want to find yourself in fairly tranquil waters,” Hughes says, “because then you’re getting up and walking a little way down the river and hoping the current will take you.”

Should that be necessary, Hughes recommends pairing your swimwear with sturdy footwear, such as sandals with straps, to avoid the rocky bottoms of river beds. Items like cell phones and wallets can be stored in a locker at an outfitter prior to heading out on the river, though participants should avoid bringing anything that could be ruined if it gets wet, or dropped and left behind — not least because it will kill any relaxation.

“Tubing is an outdoor activity that’s fun,” Hughes says. “You’re not going to lose any weight or build up any muscles, but it’s the ultimate Zen activity.”

Adventuring’s day-long tubing trip to Harpers Ferry is on Saturday, Aug. 5, departing from the Forest Glen Metro at 8 a.m. To go, you must reserve a space in advance for $35. You must know how to swim. For more information, contact Jeff Hughes at 301-775-9660 or visit

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at