The Ultimate Guide To River Camping

Camping is a great opportunity to get away from your busy day to day life and into nature. With so many natural settings to choose from an abundance of wildlife to marvel over, there really is no better way to get in touch with your surroundings.

While most people tend to stick to campsites on dry land or in the middle of a forest, camping by the river can offer a unique experience. Being that close to water can open up a whole new world of possibilities for your camping adventure, but it also comes with some new challenges.

If you’ve been thinking about setting up your campsite by the river but aren’t sure what to expect, this simple guide can help you out. With the benefits, essential gear, and things to be aware of in this setting, you’ll be equipped with everything you need for some waterside camping.

The Benefits Of Camping By The River

Many people choose a campsite by the river every time they are coming, as they’re well aware of the benefits it offers. If you usually stick to dry land but want to know what the fuss is about, here are some benefits you can expect.

Access To Clean Water

Finding a running stream or lake that has freshwater within will make it all that much easier to get access when you need it. You can use it for bathing, washing dishes, or drinking (as long as it’s been filtered correctly) without having to go anywhere.

Drinking Water

New Activities

Being this close to the water means you’ve just expanded your activity options. You can swim, kayak, canoe, fish, paddle board, or just enjoy dipping your toes in the cool stream whenever it takes your fancy.

Peaceful Sounds

There’s nothing quite like a sound of a babbling brook to calm one’s nerves, so imagine drifting off at night with the running water lulling you to sleep.

Picturesque Views

Nature is full of beauty and it can be made even more beautiful when you add water to your surroundings. Whether it’s a waterfall, running stream, or expansive lake, you’ll appreciate the views just that little bit more.

What You Must Have For A Campsite On River

Camping by the river isn’t all that different to a standard campsite, but there are some extra things you’ll want to pack. Keep these in mind next time you’re headed off on an outdoor adventure by the water.

  • Water filter: A portable water filtration system can be useful for getting fresh drinking water on tap
  • Tarp: Usually camping near river beds or water means damp ground, so make sure you have a tarp to cover the ground and keep your belongings dry
  • Sleeping pad: A sleeping pad can be easily inflated underneath your sleeping bag for extra protection from wet and added comfort
  • Insect repellant: Being near the water usually means more insects, so pack enough repellant for yourself and the family
  • Life jackets: Water can be a hazard for those who aren’t strong swimmers, so keep enough life jackets on site in case anyone needs them
  • Fishing gear: Being able to catch your own dinner can be a huge benefit of river camping so make sure you pack your fishing gear
  • Kayak/canoe: If you plan on canoe camping or arriving at your campsite via the water, you’ll need a vessel to get you there

Things To Be Cautious Of When Camping By The River

Camping by the river isn’t any more or less dangerous than doing it anywhere else, but it is a unique experience. Keep these things in mind when planning your river camping adventure to make sure it’s safe and enjoyable for everyone.

Learn First Aid

Anyone who goes camping should have an understanding of first aid, but this becomes even more important when you’re going to be near the water. Drowning is a massive danger in this setting so you should learn how to save a life should the worst happen.

CPR First Aid Training Concept

Be Water Safe

Teach children and others about the importance of water safety, as well as the possibility of strong currents that can occur in rivers. Don’t camp too close to the water’s edge as this can quickly change, and never cross rivers or streams without being certain that it’s safe.

Understand Local Wildlife

Water brings with it a whole new array of life with it, including some that can be harmful and fatal. Check the local guides about what animals or aquatic life is in the area and understand the potential threats.

Avoid Alcohol

Drinking alcohol around water can be dangerous as people may lose their better judgment. It’s best to avoid alcohol in these situations otherwise you could be opening yourself up to harm at the water’s edge.

Pack Smart

Your clothing choices will differ when camping near the water, so ensure you have enough to keep you dry and warm. Waterproof items will be useful in this setting.

A Unique Setting In Nature When Done Right

Camping by the river can open up a new world of possibilities when you’re in nature, but just like any other camping experience, you need to be prepared. Being by the river means you have to remain vigilant about the local wildlife, changes in weather and water conditions, as well as the safety of everyone at your campsite when it comes to the water.

Man Relaxing In Hot Spring

There are so many great benefits from moving your campsite by the river, as long as you take the necessary precautions. Having somewhere to fish, swim, paddle board, and drink fresh water so close by can make your camping trip even more enjoyable, so don’t be afraid to mix things up a bit and try river camping the next time you head out.