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Ohio,  Travel,  Weekend Trips

Floating Tents In Troy, Ohio: What You Need To Know

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If you are staying overnight in a floating tent, these tips are for you! 

While sleeping in an inflatable tent on a river may frighten some, many embrace the adventure. The floating tents in Troy, Ohio, have been on my Ohio bucket list for years, and I got to check them off this past summer.

Floating Tents in Troy Ohio
Floating Tents in Troy Ohio

Float Troy allows guests to rent floating tents overnight on the Great Miami River. During your visit, the inflatable floating tent is only one of the many fun things to do in Troy, Ohio.

In this article, we give our detailed personal experience with floating tents, what to expect and what to pack for an overnight in this unique lodging.

What Is A Floating Tent?

Floating tents are also known as shoal tents. The tent structure is entirely inflatable, and when inflated, it stands up to high winds without a problem without tent poles. The raft body has three air chambers, two in the lower tube and one in the structure.

Float Troy
Float Troy

The floor is a 6″ thick drop stitched high-pressure floor that doubles as your air mattress. I will say that the floor is very hard. I recommend packing extra blankets or sleeping bags for comfort.

D-Rings on the tent body sides allow for easy anchor attachment. The tents are anchored to the shore and each other to prevent them from floating downstream.

The tent topper sides all attach and detach using a heavy-duty hook and loop for the ability to use just the top and get in and out easily through the sides if the need arises. The tent fabric uses waterproof fabric sealed with PVC coating.

The tents are manufactured in Troy by the local company Smithfly. If you choose to purchase your own, the kit comes with a storage bag, patch kit, and manual foot pump.

Float Troy

If you don’t wish to purchase a floating tent, you can experience them with Float Troy. Float Troy is the only floating tent experience currently open to the public in the US.

Guests can reserve the tents on select weekends throughout the year. The tents are at Treasure Island Park along the Great Miami River. Each tent has a raft, oars, and life vests to get to and from the tent.

Come prepared for your inflatable tent stay
Come prepared for your inflatable tent stay

Treasure Island has a lighthouse that does light up. It helps guests to find their way to the shore at night. The Boathouse Restaurant is in Treasure Island Park as well. The Boathouse will make a great dining option for those not looking to leave the park.

Planning Tip: Guests to the Boathouse Restaurant should reserve a table on the patio during a weekend Float Troy sets up tents. Reserve from 4 pm-6 pm and watch everyone row to their tent for dinner and a show.

How to get to Troy, Ohio

Troy is roughly 20 miles north of Dayton in west central Ohio. Those flying into Troy would utilize the Dayton International Airport and head north on Interstate 75. Miami County is conveniently located off of I-75.

How Do I Get To My Floating Tent?

You will row to your tent. Upon check-in, each tent will be assigned a raft, a set of oars, and life jackets for everyone. I recommend only taking over your bedding, pillow, necessities, lanterns, a bottle of water, and a snack.

Raft to row to your tent
Raft to row to your tent

The tents are secured to the land and then to each other. It is safe to row over the rope connecting the tents to each other.

Personal Experience

Since I have yet to get my sea legs, I was wobbly like a newborn baby deer on the floating dock. Getting into the raft without falling head first into the river was nothing short of a miracle.

Once we loaded up our bedding to take over, we noticed water in the raft that soaked a few of our pillows.

Rowing to our floating tent
Rowing to our floating tent

Our coordination was comical as, at times, we had the raft floating backward, sideways, and almost into another camper’s tent. Tears of laughter streamed down my face as we began this epic adventure.

Once at the tent, you will secure your raft to the tent, then, as gracefully as possible, climb into the raft. My performance resembled a hail mary at a Friday night football game.

Packing Tip: Wrap your bedding and pillows in a garbage bag!

Planning Tip: I would plan on leaving suitcases and backpacks in the car. You want to make minimum trips to and from the tent. Utilize the restroom to change clothing, get ready for bed, and get ready the following morning.

How Do I Go To The Bathroom In A Floating Tent

The most popular question I get about my stay at the floating tents is, what if you have to go to the bathroom? The answer is you have to row to shore to use the restroom at Treasure Island Park. The toilet is locked after hours, so you will get a code to access it.

The restroom at Treasure Island Park
The restroom at Treasure Island Park

The other option is to bring a portable urinal bag or an empty bottle to pee in if nature calls. Remember that the human bladder can hold more than you think, so be prepared.

Planning Tip: Go to the bathroom right before rowing over for the evening.

Helpful Tips For Staying In A Floating Tent

  • Each inflatable floating tent can hold up to 4 adults or two adults and two children. Personally, I thought three adults fit snuggly and comfortably.
  • Bring earplugs. Camping near the city can be loud if you are not used to it. There are trains, cars, and sirens.
  • The river was only 2.5 ft high when we stayed.
  • Bring a portable fan to help keep the tents cool.
  • Don’t forget the sunscreen and bug spray. While the bugs were not bad, I got a few bites before putting it on.
  • Wrap your bedding and pillows in a garbage bag.
  • Float Troy did give us a waterproof pouch for a few personal belongings.
  • You can use the raft to explore the river.
  • Smoking and alcohol are not permitted.
  • Pets, other than fully-trained service animals, are strictly prohibited. 
  • Quiet time is from midnight to 6:00 am. 

What To Pack For A Night In A Floating Tent

My packing list will be for one night in an inflatable tent.

Bring a portable fan
Bring a portable fan
  • Sleeping bag x 2 – One to lay on and one to get in or bring extra blankets.
  • Pillow
  • Portable Fan
  • Lanterns we love these particular lanterns because they pop up and are easy to transport.
  • Flash Light
  • Bug Spray
  • Sun Screen
  • Towel
  • waterproof bag to keep your phone, keys, and wallet in.
  • Dry Shampoo
  • Body Wipes
  • Portable Urinal if needed
  • Bathing Suit
  • Water Shoes – especially if you are planning on getting in the river.
  • Sandals, even though they will float downstream if you lose one.
  • Plastic bag for trash
  • A small soft cooler for drinks and snacks
  • Any medications or necessary items you need for bedtime.
  • Have a small bag with a toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, and toiletries that you can place back in the car after use.
  • A card game
  • Clothes that you don’t mind getting wet or potentially muddy.
  • Earplugs

Overall Experience

Overnighting in a floating tent is a bucket list item. However, I don’t think I could have stayed two nights in a row without a shower. I was sweating in the tent, so by morning, I needed a shower. That is where body wipes came to the rescue.

Once we were settled in for the night, I didn’t notice the tents moving on the water; if anything, it was pretty peaceful, the gentle bobbing of the tent.

The floating tents at night
The floating tents at night

There is a train that comes through multiple times at night, so I recommend earplugs.

The tent does get warm, especially on summer evenings. We left all the flaps open on the tent to help with a cross breeze.

We had one member at our party who had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. It was an event, but she made it through! Instead of rowing to shore at 2 am, she utilized one of the urinals we brought.

Tip: Ladies, if you bring a portable urinal, get a few squares of TP.

Morning At The Tents

In the morning, you are greeted by the rising sun. Most campers will start rowing to shore with their belongings since they are heading to the restroom. The raft is very wet from the morning dew, so use one of your blankets or bring a towel to wipe it off.

The experience alone will give you a story worth telling. Be sure to venture into downtown Troy during your visit or hit the bike trail. There are plenty of great ways to get out and explore the great outdoors!

I want to thank Visit Miami Co for hosting our floating tent experience!

Did you enjoy my post on the floating tents? Check out these related articles:

19 Awesome Things To Do In and Near Troy, Ohio 

Top Ten Hikes In Hocking Hills 

7 Tips For Visiting The Rock House In Hocking Hills 

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Stay Overnight In A Floating Tent

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