Tips for a day boating on Lake LBJ
Lake LBJ combines beautiful scenery with plenty of room for recreation. It’s a favorite for boaters, so while you’re enjoying a day on the lake, try your hand at skiing, tubing, wakeboarding, wakesurfing or just swimming and sunbathing.
Need help finding a boat rental? Take a look at our list of local rental companies. Some even rent out recreational gear such as tubes, wakeboards and waterskis.
In addition to the obvious things to bring for a day on the lake (sunglasses, hats, towels), here are tips to make your weekend fun and memorable:
Pack a cooler
Don’t skip lunch. You’ll get hungry when you’re on the water, so bring everything you need for sustenance in a cooler. I always pack sandwich meat, cheese, mayonnaise and other fixings — sandwiches are quick, easy and require minimal cleanup. If you’re bringing beer, keep in mind that no glass is allowed on the lake. If you get pulled over by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department wardens, you could get a hefty fine for glass bottles. Don’t forget a trash bag!
Pro tip: Instead of filling your cooler with a bag of ice, refill used plastic bottles and freeze them overnight. Fill the bottom of the cooler with the frozen bottles — it will keep your things cool, and your snacks won’t end up floating in a sea of melted ice.
Sometimes, when you’re surrounded by water, you forget to take a drink of water. Being in the sun all day is dehydrating, so drink double the amount of water you would on a normal day — especially if you throw alcohol into the mix. Have a chug of water between each beer.
Pro tip: Try coconut water. It’s much more hydrating than plain water and packed with electrolytes.
Floaties aren’t just for kids (though, children under the age of 13 should wear a lifejacket at all times on the boat). The water in Lake LBJ can reach a maximum depth of 90 feet, so unless you cast anchor at a sandbar, there’s no chance of touching the lake bed. Don’t exhaust yourself treading water. Noodles, lounge floats, inner tubes or a giant inflatable swan work great.
Pro tip: Save your breath and bring an automatic air pump that plugs into the boat’s AC adaptor.
Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, always wear sunscreen. Sunburns on the water are the worst because you get double the exposure: The sun is beating down on you from above, and the water is reflecting those rays back onto you. Put on more sunscreen than you think you need, and then apply some more. Let it soak in before getting in the water and reapply as soon as you step out. I know you’ve heard this all a million times, but it’s for good reason: Don’t forget your sunscreen!
Pro tip: Pack aloe vera as well and keep it in the cooler. If (when) you get a sunburn, the cool gel will sooth your hot skin and heal the burn.
Learn the laws of the lake
School yourself on boating laws from the Texas Parks and Wildlife website. Most important things to remember:
- Stay a safe distance (minimum of 50 feet) from other boats, especially if they are pulling a skier.
- Have one Coast Guard-approved lifejacket for each person on board. Five boaters equals five lifejackets.
- Drive at a safe speed. Go very slowly in “no wake” zones or when going under bridges.
- Do not operate the boat when intoxicated. Not only will you endanger yourself and everyone around you, but you could get slapped with a BWI (boating while intoxicated).
Follow these tips, and you will have a great time on Lake LBJ. If you’re looking to turn your afternoon into a weekend, use our "Where to Stay" guide to compare area hotels, resorts, cabins and vacation rentals.
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