Don’t be caught on the water this summer without these 8 river essentials!

1. Kokatat MsFit Tour PFD

Despite the name, this sturdy, ergonomically crafted PFD works just fine for any member of the family. It’s built with abrasion-resistant Cordura and a range of extras, including an electronics pocket and knife garage. $150; kokatat.com

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2. Coleman Fryecommander 3-in-1 Stove

Life in a river camp revolves around the stove. With a built-in stand and two 12,000-BTU burners, this baby may fire up better than your home range. $250; coleman.com

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3. Greenlight Planet Sun King Pro

Not only does this solar powered lamp provide enough light for a game of cards and reading in the tent, it will also power up phones and other electronic devices while you are lounging in camp. $50; greenlightplanet.com

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4. Oru Kayak Bay+

While we don’t recommend it for rapids, the 25-pound, 12-foot touring kayak is perfect for flatwater play on a long river trip. The Bay+ folds down into a case that’s easy to strap onto your raft and it’s relatively quick and painless to assemble. $1,495; orukayak.com

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5. Astral Aquanaut

This stylish water shoe serves double duty in the boat and on exploratory hikes on shore. Credit Astral’s special G.15 high-friction, non-marking rubber sole, which will hold on slippery rocks as well as dirt. $120; astraldesigns.com

Aquanaut Black

6. Pelican ProGear 80QT Elite Cooler

This massive cooler on wheels keeps ice frozen for over a week, holds enough food and drink for a frat party and even includes a built-in bottle opener. $550; pelcian.com

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7. Mountainsmith Arapaho 20 SL

Built with kids (and vertically challenged adults) in mind, this mummy bag performs just as well as any technical adult bag, thanks to synthetic insulation rated to 20 degrees. $125; mountainsmith.com

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8. Mountain Hardwear Optic 6

With enough space for the whole family (plus dog), sufficient headroom to stand up inside, and the ability to vent it out on those hot summer nights, this tent has become our favorite for big trips. $399; mountainhardwear.com 

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