Top 7 things to bring with you when camping or rafting with children!

Top 7 things to bring with you when camping or rafting with children!

So you are ready to go rafting or camping with your kids! Or have you been invited on a rafting or camping trip and you have a youngster?

We have compiled a list of the top ten things we have loved having while on the river or in the great outdoors with a young child or baby. Please let us know what you would add too! Note: This is not a comprehensive list of rafting supplies, gear or first aid equipment. This is only the top 7 things we bring when on overnight or multi-day trips with a child(ren). We also have a post about 5 things to bring with a toddler when camping, so be sure to check that out too!

There is so much information on how to go rafting or boating or camping with kids and babies, and sometimes this can be confusing and lead to bringing to many things. Our first river trip with our small bambino we brought EVERYTHING. We even brought the baby BJORN Bouncer! There are so many things that we never used, and as we have read more about what others have used and found useful, as well as getting into the groove of rafting with a youngster, we are ready to list out our top ten. Now, in all seriousness, we are going to have to keep going on trips to make this list even better this summer too!! :)


  1. SHADE! We have loved our Bimini top on our raft. We bought ours on amazon and retrofitted it to make it work with our 16 foot raft, while not interfering with the oars, etc. However there are amazing Bimini tops to fit on your raft and it makes a huge difference! We tried the umbrella, but the wind always made it hard to set up and take down with one person, or it would flip the other way and become a crazy upside down umbrella! We became Bimimi people, and have never looked back. The shade that it provides, the ease of setting up and down, plus it is locked in and cannot fly away are all part of the reason we love it. Check out some of these Amazon Bimini tops for sale that might work for your boat. If you are camping, shade is also a huge part of the deal! There are so many amazing umbrellas or shade tents to use when camping.

  2. Snacks. Bring as many snacks as you can fit, for yourself and for the kiddos! Bring snacks that are easy to transport, individually wrapped and are somewhat healthy! We find that having special snacks on trips creates an excitement for the snack, plus a bit of a break for the parents. Cut up watermelon, fruits, nuts, crackers, you name it! Plus, after being outside and trying to keep everything and everyone somewhat organized, snacks are great for adults too to help with any of that HANGRYness.

  3. Rocking Camp Chair! (Hammock chair rocker) This one was amazing for us when our baby was tiny, and I still use it in the backyard. Great for car camping, or anywhere that you need to swing and sway for your little ones. Be careful to set it up properly, but once you get the hang of it it is pretty simple. Overall, top chair comfort; it is amazing!

  4. TimeFlys Audio Baby Monitor. I searched and searched for a monitor that didn’t use WIFI or that wouldn’t need the main base unit to be plugged in to a wall outlet. Once I found these, (created by a dad that had the exact same problem) Check them out here: Timeflys Monitor These monitors made it so easy to have peace of mind without having to open the tent every five seconds to check. It also has a two way talk feature, and the batteries recharge with usb cords, so you can recharge them in your car if you are car camping, etc.

  5. Portable Travel Crib (Or pack n play)- We found that the pack and play can be quite heavy in a raft, or even in the car, but if you only have a pack n play, BRING IT! We started to bring the portable travel crib due to its ability to pack down easily, also is smaller which allows it to fit inside of the tents quite nicely. I found this one that is less expensive than the Lotus Travel Crib, but anyone will work. Just make sure you bring one or the other, it is extremely handy to be able to put down the baby in a safe place while you are working to set up camp, make dinner, etc. Plus, we find that our baby has slept in the travel crib enough (and we practiced at home during naps) that she is used to sleeping in it, and it is less of a strange place when it comes to naps and sleeping. Happy Sleeping Baby= Happy Parents.

  6. NRS Sand Mat- This is a great item to have in general, and I even use it to take to the beach or the park. It is so nice to have a place to set up toys, have snacks, and be able to sit outside and not have everything get extremely sandy (hello desert camping!!) Typically, camp sites have lots of sand, rocks, etc and so it creates a very easy set up for a clean, non sandy area for play. This one is from NRS and we use it for rafting when setting up a kitchen, and also in front of the tent. They come in different sizes and colors, but these are easy to fold and can get wet, and its fine. They shake clean and ready to be packed. HUGE GAME CHANGER. Buy it and you will not regret it.

  7. Microfiber Beach Towel These are so cool! Yes, we sell them in our shop because we love this design! We love this towel because it is extra large, super absorbant and also shakes clean and sand free in seconds. It is the perfect packable item for on the boat, at camp, at the beach, etc. Any towel will do, but these towels dry so easily that you are not left with heavy, wet cotton towels at the end of your day or trip.

There are sooooo many more items that are super important and amazing, but those are our 7.

What do you love to bring? Email us and let us know your favorite items.


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