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How to stay cool when camping

How to stay cool when camping

Remember to carry cool water because it makes a world of a difference. Also it is easier to fall asleep in breathable fabrics. Bring mosquito repellant just in case there are bugs in addition to heat or humidity. The great outdoors can be challenging without adequate prep. That is what we are here for. So lets make your hot weather camping trip a memorable experience rather than a painful one. Here's how to keep a tent cool starting with the basics. 

How to Keep a Tent Cool: Basics

Make your camping adventure more pleasurable by knowing the basics. These include where to camp and how to regulate the air flow properly.

First things first, set up your tent in a shaded area. Direct sunlight will not only damage the color and integrity of your tent, but also heat the fibres up and store heat for the whole night.

You can use a reflective sunshade over the tent to keep it cooler. This will prevent direct heat and yet give you a proper cover for the whole trip. If you are planning to stay for longer then consider disassembling your tent during the day. You can use the cool air outside during the day, especially when the sun's rays are super bright and hot. Find a shade, lay there, sit there, keep your tent packed. As soon as it gets slightly darker unfold your tent and secure it in place.

Open your tent's door and vents if it has any should it get any heat trapped inside. Air circulation is your friend when camping in hot weather. You should let the hot air from body heat, odor and moisture from perspiration and any heat from hot drinks or fire to make it's way out. Wear lightweight and light-colored clothing to protect from the sun and raising your own body temprature up. A hot night can be made easier with cotton tees and shorts provided there is enough bug protection onboard.

Choose a canvas tent that is cooler than nylon, nylon will get hot immediately and feel like it is radiating heat. Whereas canvas is more breathable and lets air pass through the tent walls.

Sleep off the ground to keep the cold air circulating, this means having a handy hammock can be a good idea. Or you can use a sheet on top of a yoga mat to sleep in or a sleeping pad for extra comfort. This is much better than sleeping in a sleeping bag which will get humid and stuffy instantly.

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How to stay cool while camping: 10 tips to beat the heat when camping in summer

The hot sun can drain your energy level. It can also affect the quality of your camping adventure. So, prepare in advance for any weather challenges.

  1. Check the weather and remove your tent's rain fly

    Chances are that the rain fly will block out any ventilation as well because it blocks the water droplets from falling inwards. You should be able to stay cool enough with a airy breathable tent.

  2. Choose a tent with lots of mesh ventilation

    Mesh panels in a tent can be a delight. They can help keep the bugs out and yet give you a cold breeze here and there. If you are still choosing a tent go for the one that has mesh ventilation and windows or doors that can be kept open for proper air crossover. The shape of the tent will also help you keep cool. A tent with a high roof will remain cooler than a shallow tent so something like this will give you a ton of comfort.

  3. Pitch the tent when it's dark and cooler

    Wait until it starts to get dark, once the sun is down before watching the sunset quickly prop up your tent. In summer months it is good to wait until it is darker and cooler.

  4. Put a tarp over your tent for a cold shade

    Investing in a tarp is also a smart idea to protect it from the sun. You will be able to enjoy the darker, cooler and restful ambiance while still enjoying the scenery with a tarp that protects from sun's rays.

  5. Take advantage of any cooling breeze

    Spend time outside the tent. It will keep you cool and your tent will steer clear of body heat. Once you feel like it is time to sleep or rest only then move into your tent.

  6. Set up your tent next to a cold water source

    Being near a cold water source or melting snow from glaciers can be a delight in the summers. Just make sure to know which animals or predators to expect and whether the water is safe to drink or touch or not. You will get the breeze and be able to swim when it gets super hot.

  7. Bring jugs or bottles of ice or iced water into the tent

    Drink lots of water and stay hydrated. Also it will not hurt to bring cold bottles of water in bed to keep you cool. It might cause condensation and mositure though. Store drinking water or ice cubes in a thermos or flask. If you are worried about the mess then just use a smart cooler and keep all your hydration and cooling items handy.

  8. Take a cold shower or a swim before going to sleep

    If your campsite has a shower area use it before bed. If your car camping trip enables you to carry a hose and water to shower, utilize that. If you find a water body nearby, use it to cool down. All of this will keep you cool and reduce heat from exertion.

  9. Sleep in a bigger tent to stay cooler

    Smaller tents will suffocate in the heat. Open spaces, much like outdoors keep you comfier in hotter weather longer. A bigger tent is a friend of summer campers.

  10. Go to bed with minimum clothing

    If your tent is fully covered from bugs then get in the bed with cotton tees and shorts. You can grab a thin cotton sheet if you like but lesser layers make it easier to stay cool.

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How to Stay Cool While Camping in a Tent - In a Nutshell

In a nutshell remember to be mindful of the heat when planning and onboarding the trip. Select your location wisely. Know what to expect. Pack according to the weather forecast. Know whether there is fresh water or lakes nearby and if you can safely swim in them. Keep enough water for drinking and preventing dehydration.

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Convenient Amenities

You can make your trip more of a luxury with the right gear and accessories. You can build a fire to cook, but be mindful it will add to the heat in your surroundings. Instead use a small burner to cook if you need to. Carrying chilled drinks and water in a cooler can be a good idea too. This means you will have access to water and liquids to hydrate as well. Aim to pack refreshing food items that give you a cooling effect such as cucumbers, citrus and mint. Avoid spicy items as they bring up the heat of course.

Pack Jugs of Frozen Water

You can freeze disposable water bottles. Use them as coolers in your tent. You can also carry ice in a flask for occassion face wash with cold water or using them in drinks. This can be relaxing in the summer.

Use a rechargeable battery-operated fan to circulate air in your tent

A small fan powered by batteries is a good choice too. Might not cool you down several degrees but it will add to the circulation for sure. You can place it inside in front of an opening the tent to bring in air from the outside in.

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Dip In the Water Bodies Nearby

It is always nicer to camp near water bodies. A lake, river or the sea can do wonders. Glaciers nearby or cool gusts of winds coming from ice covered mountains nearby can be a bigger luxury. These will really make your summer camping trip more enjoyable.

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Pro Tip: Soak a Towel and Lay It Across Your Forehead or Neck

If you find your body temperature rising too much, or you get sun burns try and soak a towel in cold water and place it on your forehead or neck. It works just fine over shoulders or your back as well. This will get you going for another hour or so. Remember if you are heating too much you will need electrolytes as well as water to go on. This means carry a sports drink too.

Happy camping!

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