If you're living inland, you're more likely to pop down for an afternoon by the river than you are to drive down to the coast to the beach. The water is fresh, there aren't so many people and it's a great way for children to explore nature. However, you'd be incorrect in thinking to pack your beach bag with the same must-bring items.
THE BORING STUFF For starters, a high SPF (at least SPF 30) and insect repellant are essential for keeping burn and bug free. Some riverbeds are a little rocky, so if you plan on paddling/swimming, Crocs or water shoes are really handy. It's also very important to stay hydrated, so make sure to pack lots of water (tip: freeze water over night so you have chilled water throughout the day). Hats, towels and wet-wipes are also a must-pack.
THE FUN STUFF Fishing nets and a beach bat and ball are great things to take if you're going with children. You can get hold of the fishing nets really cheaply and children will love trying to catch fish. THE FOOD STUFF If you're planning on staying the day, take a picnic. This could be sandwiches, homemade pasta salad, a flask of gazpacho (recipe here), anything easy to serve and eat. The less mess, the better. If you have an icebox handy, you could even take a couple of bottles of white sangria (recipe here).
Have we left anything out? What are your rio essentials?