A Midwest Tradition, Why Don’t Michiganders Go ‘Tanking’ to Cool Off?
When my radio career moved me out to Nebraska I learned a lot about how the other half lives. I thought Michigan was considered the Midwest, that is, until I moved out to the real Midwest and the Heartland. They do things a little differently out there...
One of the most outlandish and dare I say "hillbilly" things I encountered while I was living out west is how Nebraskans prefer to float: tanking. Have you ever heard of it?
What is 'Tanking'?
I've kayaked, canoed, and tubed down many Michigan rivers but I have never seen anything quite like this! "Tanking" is called such because you quite literally float in a giant stock tank down the river. The tank, which is typically used as feed or water troughs for livestock, has been turned into a mode of transportation by Midwesterners. Hey, it floats right?
How to Tank
Tanking is now an entire industry in Nebraska and the rest of the Midwest. Much like you would visit any local livery to rent canoes, kayaks, and tubes to float in, businesses along the river offer the large stock tanks as an option to rent for a day of fun on the river.
Typically tank rentals can range anywhere from $100 to $140 per tank but that price covers up to 4 adults. Just like any other river trip, these businesses offer to shuttle you and your tank back to your starting destination and float trips can last up to 6 hours.
What to Bring
It may seem a little silly at first but what I love most about tanking is all the accessories you can fit inside! Unlike traditional river trips where you have to make room for a cooler or rent a floating cooler to pull behind you, there's enough room in a stock tank to fit your coolers, chairs, speakers, and more! I've even seen entire picnic tables with umbrellas floating down the river. Honestly, it's a great way to travel!
Despite all the water and rivers we've got here in Michigan, I'm surprised this trend has it made its way over to the Great Lakes state. Do you know of any places that offer tank rentals in Michigan?