America has more than 3,660,000 miles of rivers for you to explore. Going on a riverside camping adventure is a great way to embrace the natural world. Camping by a river is peaceful and scenic. Many areas are boat-in only.

Rafting, canoeing, or floating a river on an inflatable boat are great ways to go on an extended camping trip. Day trips and car camping are other easier ways to enjoy river camping.

No matter how you choose to enjoy the river, you need to know what to bring for camping. Find out some essential gear items like hard shell roof top tents by checking out this guide to river camping equipment. Read on to find out all you need to know.

A Boat for Riverside Camping

A Boat for Riverside Camping

Some sort of aquatic vessel is essential for a river camping trip. Even if you are car camping, taking a boat out for a spin from your campsite is very enjoyable.

Research about all the different types of inflatable boats to find out what one best suits your purpose. A suitable boat is your most important gear for overnight riverside camping trips.

Safety Gear

In addition to your boat, you will need some adequate safety gear. This includes things like life-jackets and a first aid kit. Get some helmets as well if you plan on traversing rocky rapids.

Always carry some rope with you as well as a knife. Get a beacon if you plan on camping in areas out of cell service. These can be life-savers in the event of an emergency.

A Cooler

You will need a place to store your perishable food items for extended trips. Invest in a top-notch cooler. Cheaper coolers will not do for extended river trips. You need a quality cooler that retains ice for multiple days.


You need some portable means of shelter for your camping trip unless you are the type that likes to sleep out under the stars. A tent, mosquito netting, or a hammock can make your nights much more comfortable.

Sleeping Bag and Pad

Sleeping Bag and Pad

Depending on what area of the country and season you plan on camping in, you will need a cold-weather or summer bag. Also, bring along a sleeping pad to cushion you from rocky river bars.

Bug Spray and Sunscreen

Rivers and other watersheds can be breeding grounds for mosquito larvae. Bring some bug spray with you if you’re taking a trip during the summer months. Bring sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself from the sun’s rays.

Adequate Clothing

Bring along the right kind of clothing for a river camping trip. Water-resistant or waterproof clothing is best. You may need a wetsuit for winter river camping trips. Bring a raincoat and warm jacket as well. The Arcteryx jacket is a fashionable as well as a luxury outdoor outfitter.

Bring a sturdy pair of boots, sandals, and water shoes. Bring along some swimwear for taking a dip too.

Camping Equipment

You should bring along enough food and water for the duration of your trip. Bring a way to cook, such as a camping stove or Jet-boil. You may also consider bringing camping chairs for a more comfortable experience.

Make sure to bring something for seeing in the dark such as a flashlight or a headlamp. Bring trash bags to pack out all of your trash with you. Pack fire starters if you plan on having a fire.

Enjoy Your Riverside Camping Trip

Enjoy Your Riverside Camping Trip

Heading out into nature for a riverside camping trip is a great way to kickstart the spring. Bring along the right gear so that your experience is as enjoyable as possible.

Use the riverside camping tips in this guide to help you pack for your next great adventure. For all your other pertinent information, check back with our site often!

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