With over 3,000 miles of water trails across the state and a heat advisory in effect across West Michigan, this is so something we could and SHOULD be doing here. Why doesn't anyone here ever go 'tanking' in Michigan? Have you ever even heard of it?

I hadn't until my radio career took me out to Nebraska. I never imagined myself living out in the Heartland even in my wildest dreams, but it wasn't all bad. They do things a little differently out there though-- including how they float down river.

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Tanking 101

I've kayaked, canoed, and tubed down many Michigan rivers but I have never seen anything quite like this!

If you're wondering why it's called tanking, it's 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, whatever floats your boat!

Nebraska Tourism via YouTube
Nebraska Tourism via YouTube

How to Tank

One farmer had the bright idea to throw his stock tank in the Platte River and the rest is history! 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 inner 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.

Tank rentals typically range anywhere from $100 to $140 per tank and just like any other river trip, these businesses offer to shuttle you and your tank back to your starting destination. Float trips can last up to 6 hours.

What I love most about tanking is that they're big enough to fit all your full-size coolers, folding chairs, heck-- I've even seen a full size picnic table inside a stock tank.

Seriously Michigan, get on the Midwest's level! There's absolutely no reason we couldn't do this down our own rivers, though some rivers may be preferable to others. Let's make tanking happen in 2024!

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