Here are 11 tips to help you stay cool while camping in the summer so you can stay comfortable and enjoy your hot weather adventure!
Summertime means campfires, s’mores and sleeping under the stars. It also means hot weather.
How is a camper supposed to stay cool in the summer? Read on for our best tips to help you stay cool while camping in the summer!
Make Sure Your Tent is Well Ventilated
If you often camp during the hot summer months be sure to purchase a tent with lots of mesh windows, especially on the tent’s ceiling. This will allow for the most possible airflow inside your tent.
Some tents offer double walls which provide ventilation that help with air circulation. Others offer blackout material which can block UV rays from getting in the tent, keeping it cooler.
If the weather will be dry you can also leave your rainfly off to help cool down your tent.
For summer camping trips I recommend the Coleman Dark Room Skydome Tent which features their dark room technology that blocks 90% of sunlight to reduce heat. Another great option is the Ayamaya Pop Up Tent with vestible which features lots of mesh windows and ground vents which can offer additional ventilation to keep you cool.
Pitch Your Tent in the Shade
Avoid setting up your tent near areas that will be hotter by keeping it away from direct sunlight and heat sources like fires. When choosing your campsite be sure it gets shade during the middle of the day when the sun is at its hottest.
Try setting up your tent in an area that will be shaded during the afternoon to keep your tent cooler.
If that isn’t possible then setup a tarp or sun shade about a foot over the top of your tent to help block out UV rays while still allowing for good air circulation.
Wear breathable clothing
Wearing clothes that allow air to circulate can help keep you cool and comfortable. Avoid dark colours such as black, blue and red because they absorb more heat than lighter colours.
Instead, wear light-colored cotton fabrics which are more breathable.
Adjust your sleeping schedule
It can be difficult to sleep if your room is too hot, and sleeping inside a tent at night during the summer can often be just as unpleasant.
To avoid this make sure you are planning your sleep for when it is dark and cooler. While camping this happens earlier than you might be used to.
If you need to nap, plan to do it during cooler parts of the day like the early morning or just before the sun goes down.
Drink plenty of water
Drinking plenty of water will help you stay cool and avoid heatstroke. Being dehydrated may also cause your body to overheat more easily. It’s important to remember that alcohol acts as a diuretic, so it can actually dehydrate you.
Stay hydrated by drinking lots of fluids including water, sports drinks, coconut water or lemonade made with fresh lemons!
Carry additional bottles of water with you when you go out and drink throughout the day- don’t wait until you are thirsty.
Avoid strenuous activities during the hottest parts of the day
Plan activities for the early morning or evening when it is cooler, and avoid strenuous exercises that will cause you to sweat during the hottest parts of the day.
Even activities like hiking should be avoided during the hottest parts of the day.
If you do choose to do an outdoor activity during the day, rest in a cool place and rehydrate with plenty of fluids throughout the day.
Eat light meals with lots of moisture
Keeping meals simple with light ingredients will be easier on your digestive system if it’s hot outside. Foods with high moisture content like fruit, soups and salads are great for staying hydrated during the day.
Some foods can actually help to keep your body temperature regulated like melons, cucumber, grapefruit and mint.
Bring a Portable Fan
Portable fans can provide a welcome breeze when your tent is too hot. You can get tent fans like this Portable LED Camping Lantern with Ceiling Fan that are designed for use in your tent,
Stay in the shade
Make sure to seek shade whenever you can throughout the day in a shaded area with air circulation . You can use items like umbrellas or tents for shade, or sit under trees which provide natural shade during the day.
Sleep on a Cot
Using a cot for camping is a good way to keep the bottom of your body elevated from the ground. This helps air circulate under your body to help cool down both you and your tent.
Another option is to sleep outside your tent in a hammock under the stars. Look for a hammock with netting and a rainfly so you can sleep comfortably without insects or wet weather bothering you.
Use a Sleeping Bag Rated for Summer Weather
A cot will help for sure but not if you are using a well insulted sleeping bag.
Sleeping bags that are specifically meant for hot weather will help to keep you cool at night.
A sleeping bag rated for summer weather will have extra space for air flow, so it won’t trap your body heat as much as a winter bag. You could also just skip a sleeping bag altogether and use a sheet.
The Coleman Sun Ridge 40°F Warm Weather Sleeping Bag is an affordable option that is perfect for summer camping.
Enjoying the great outdoors during the hot summer months can still be done, by knowing how to stay cool while camping in the summer.
Keeping these tips in mind will help you stay cooler and more comfortable so that your outdoor adventure is not ruined by sweltering heat.
Elizabeth Lampman is a coffee-fuelled Mom of 2 girls who lives in the Niagara region of Ontario. She loves photography, camping, hiking, and travel.