23. February 2023.   •     Guest Writer

Camping at Zrmanja river?

If you’re looking for a unique and adventurous camping experience, a camping trip to the Zrmanja River in Croatia is an excellent choice. The river and its canyon offer a variety of outdoor activities, including rafting, kayaking, hiking, and swimming. Before you head out on your camping trip, there are a few things you should know to ensure that you’re fully prepared for your adventure.

Choose the Right Camping Gear

When planning a camping trip to the Zrmanja River, it’s important to choose the right camping gear to ensure that you’re comfortable and safe throughout your adventure. Here are some key things to keep in mind when selecting your gear:


A durable and reliable tent is essential for a successful camping trip. Choose a tent that is waterproof and provides adequate ventilation to prevent condensation from building up inside. A good tent should be easy to set up and take down, as you may need to move campsites during your trip.

Sleeping Bag

Your sleeping bag is your insulation from the ground and the cold, so make sure you choose one that is appropriate for the temperature range of the region you’re camping in. Consider factors like shape, insulation type, and weight when selecting your sleeping bag.

Sleeping Pad

A sleeping pad will provide extra cushioning and insulation between you and the ground. Choose a pad that is comfortable and provides adequate insulation for the temperatures you will be experiencing.


The weather in the Zrmanja River region can be unpredictable, so it’s important to bring clothing that will keep you warm and dry. Bring layers, including a warm jacket, rain gear, and a hat and gloves. Don’t forget to pack extra socks and underwear to keep you comfortable throughout your trip.

Cooking Gear

Bringing a portable stove, fuel, and cookware will allow you to prepare meals and hot drinks while camping. Consider the size and weight of your cooking gear, and make sure it’s easy to use and clean.


A reliable source of light is essential when camping. Bring a headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries to help you navigate around camp and find your way back to your tent at night.


A good backpack is important for carrying your gear during the trip. Choose one that fits comfortably and provides enough space to carry all your essentials. When selecting your camping gear, keep in mind that you’ll be carrying it with you for the duration of your trip, so it’s important to pack efficiently and choose lightweight options where possible. 

Picnic lunch at Krupa waterfall
Picnic lunch at Krupa waterfall

Bring Plenty of Water and Food

When planning your camping trip to the Zrmanja River, make sure to bring enough food and water to keep you nourished and hydrated throughout your journey. In addition to packing high-energy snacks, it’s also important to think about what you’ll be eating for breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, providing you with the energy you need to tackle all of the outdoor activities that await you. When planning your breakfast meals, consider the following tips:

Plan Ahead

Preparing breakfast ahead of time can save you time and effort in the morning. Consider making oatmeal, overnight oats, or breakfast burritos that you can reheat over a camp stove or fire.

Keep it Simple

When camping, try to keep your meals simple and easy to prepare. Consider options like granola, instant oatmeal, or cereal, paired with dried fruit, nuts, or powdered milk for added nutrition.

Bring a Portable Coffee or Tea Maker

A hot cup of coffee or tea can be a great way to start your day outdoors. Consider bringing a portable coffee or tea maker that you can use to brew fresh drinks in the morning.

Consider Fresh Produce

When you’re camping near the Zrmanja river, look out for locals selling their homegrown or homemade goods. Consider picking up fresh fruits and vegetables for a healthy breakfast. Fresh produce can provide you with important nutrients and energy to start your day off right.

Don’t Forget the Protein

Protein is essential for sustained energy and muscle recovery. Consider packing protein bars, jerky, or nuts and seeds to supplement your breakfast meals. When packing your food, make sure to bring enough to last for the duration of your trip, and consider packing extra in case of unexpected delays or emergencies. 

Sustainable Travel | Raftrek Adventure Travel
Croatian local produce – tomatoes, peppers, grapes, and pumpkin

Know the River and Its Surroundings

Knowing the river and its surroundings is crucial when planning a camping trip to the Zrmanja River. Here are some key things to keep in mind:

River Routes 

The Zrmanja River has multiple routes to choose from, each with its own unique scenery and challenges. Research the different options and choose the route that best suits your experience level and preferences. Please note that some routes are restricted for paddling, or it is necessary to join a guided tour, as the upper part of Zrmanja river is a part of the Velebit Nature Park.


The Zrmanja River is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including fish, birds, and mammals. Research the different species that live in the area, and learn about their behaviors and habitat requirements. This will help you appreciate the natural beauty of the area and avoid any dangerous encounters.

Camping Spots

There are multiple camping spots available along the Zrmanja River, each offering unique views and amenities. Research the different options, and choose the one that best suits your needs and preferences. 

Climate and Weather

The climate in the Zrmanja River region can vary widely depending on the time of year. Research the average temperatures and rainfall for the season you’ll be visiting, and pack accordingly. It’s also important to be aware of any potential weather hazards, such as flash floods, strong winds, or thunderstorms.

Cultural Sites

The Zrmanja River region has a rich cultural history, with many ancient ruins and historic landmarks to explore. Research the different cultural sites in the area, and plan to visit any that interest you. Plan a hiking trip to Kuda’s bridge at Krupa river or opt for an Orthodox monastery nearby. By familiarizing yourself with the Zrmanja River and its surroundings, you’ll be well-prepared to plan your itinerary and make the most of your camping trip. Whether you’re an experienced camper or a first-timer, taking the time to research the area will help you appreciate the natural beauty and cultural richness of this stunning location.

Practice Leave No Trace principles

When camping in nature, it’s important to practice Leave No Trace principles to minimize the impact on the environment. Here are some key things to keep in mind:

Pack it in, Pack it out

This means bringing all of your trash and waste back with you when you leave the campsite. Make sure to bring enough trash bags to pack out all your garbage and dispose of it properly. Avoid leaving any food scraps or trash behind, as they can attract wildlife and harm the natural ecosystem.

Leave the Campsite Cleaner than You Found it

Before leaving the campsite, take the time to clean up any litter or debris you may have missed. This can include picking up any small pieces of trash, burying ashes from your campfire, and smoothing out any disturbed soil.

Sustainable Travel | Raftrek Adventure Travel
Garbage cleaned out of the Zrmanja River in May 2020.

Respect Wildlife and Vegetation

Avoid disturbing wildlife or vegetation while camping. This means not feeding or approaching wild animals, and not damaging or removing any plants or trees. Be mindful of your impact on the ecosystem and preserve the natural beauty of the area.

Use Designated Fire Pits

If you plan to have a campfire, make sure to use a designated fire pit and follow all local regulations regarding campfires. Keep the fire small and manageable, and never leave it unattended. After the fire has burned out, make sure to extinguish it completely and cover the ashes with soil.

Avoid Using Soap or Other Products in the River

The Zrmanja River is a natural resource that must be protected. Avoid using soap, shampoo, or other personal care products in the river, as they can pollute the water and harm aquatic life.

Follow safety guidelines

When camping and participating in outdoor activities, safety should always be a top priority. Here are some key safety guidelines to follow when camping and exploring the Zrmanja River region:

Wear a Life Jacket

If you plan to participate in any water activities, such as kayaking or rafting, always wear a properly fitting life jacket. Make sure the life jacket is appropriate for the type of activity you are doing and that it is in good condition. 

Use Appropriate Equipment

Whether you are participating in water activities, hiking, or camping, make sure you have the appropriate equipment and that you know how to use it. This includes having a first aid kit, a map and compass, and any necessary safety equipment for your chosen activity.

Stay Within Your Physical Limits

When participating in outdoor activities, it’s important to stay within your physical limits. Don’t push yourself too hard or take unnecessary risks that could lead to injury.

Follow Local Regulations

Make sure you are aware of any local regulations and rules regarding outdoor activities, such as camping and campfires. Follow these regulations to help protect the environment and ensure everyone’s safety.


With its stunning natural beauty and a variety of outdoor activities, the Zrmanja River is an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. By following the tips and guidelines outlined in this article, you can make the most of your camping trip to this beautiful region and create memories that will last a lifetime. Remember to always prioritize safety and respect for the environment, and have fun exploring all that the Zrmanja River has to offer!

Author: Maria Foster
A poet, a writer, and a full-time RVer. Loves fishing with her four-legged friend.