How to Stay Cool While Camping This Summer

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A mother and son sitting outside of their tent trying to stay cool in the summer

For most of the country, summer is one of the best times to get out in nature and go camping. Unfortunately, it’s also the hottest time of year.

The unbearable temperatures can make for a miserable experience and potentially even be dangerous. This is why you must know how to stay cool while camping.

Today, we’ll look at some of the best ways to stay cool while camping this summer. 

Grab the sunblock and sunglasses, and let’s get started!

What Temperature Is Too Hot for Camping?

The maximum temperature for camping greatly depends on the type of camping you’ll be doing. Your ability to stay cool and comfortable while camping in an RV with multiple air conditioners running is different than in a traditional tent.

RVers can generally stay cool in temperatures under 95 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, camping in a tent can be very uncomfortable when temperatures climb above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, as we’ll share later, there are some things you can do to stay cool while camping during summer.

Is Camping During Summer Dangerous?

Camping during the summer can be very dangerous, especially if you’re not careful. The heat can cause some of the most dangerous parts of summer camping. 

Don’t take heat stroke, dehydration, and sunburns lightly. A trip to the emergency room is not how you want to spend your time. These health risks are why knowing how to stay cool while camping is important.

Additionally, camping during the summer often means an increase in aquatic activities. Swimming, boating, and fishing are a few activities campers enjoy during summer.

However, anytime you’re around water, there’s the potential for danger. Ensure everyone wears a lifejacket and that a responsible adult or lifeguard supervises the activities.

Campers aren’t the only thing that tends to come out during warmer weather; so do insects. Some creepy crawly bugs can be extremely dangerous, depending on where you live.

Bites and stings from these creatures can have negative health consequences, especially for anyone allergic to them.

A tent set up on the beach following these tips to staying cool while camping in the summer

Why Is It So Hot in a Tent?

Tents can get incredibly hot inside because of their design and greenhouse-like effect. Manufacturers create water- and windproof tents, which doesn’t optimize them for air circulation. 

The air inside the tent heats up with nowhere to go. This causes the temperature inside the tent to climb. It doesn’t take long before it’s unbearable inside. 

It’s the same principle as when you get into a car in the middle of summer. Simply opening the windows and circulating the air can quickly drop the temperature.

To stay cool inside your camping tent, you must find a way to increase air circulation. This may mean removing the canopy, opening windows, or using fans. If you’re lucky, a cool breeze will blow through before you retire for the night, so you’re not sweating while you sleep.

Tips for Staying Cool While Camping During Summer 

We’ve got several tips if you want to know how to stay cool while camping. Let’s look at some things you can do this summer to prevent heat from ruining your trips.

Choose a Shaded Campsite

One of the best ways to stay cool while camping is to find a shady campsite. Unfortunately, some campgrounds have removed much vegetation to create as many campsites as possible. However, plenty still offer shady spots; it just might require a bit more effort to find them.

Some campgrounds recognize the appeal of shade while camping and include the level of shade in the site description. So make sure you read through the site details when making a reservation. When in doubt, call the campground and ask about the site. 

If you want to maximize the potential of getting a shaded campsite, stick to camping in state and national parks. These campgrounds typically strive to maintain a natural environment and only cut down trees when it’s absolutely necessary.

Use Fans

Did you know you can use fans to help you stay cool while camping? As we mentioned, you want to increase air circulation as much as possible.

If your campsite has electricity, bring a long enough extension cord so you can move your fan around your campsite as needed. In addition, you may want to place it inside your tent when it’s time for bed.

However, you can still bring a fan if you prefer rustic camping. You can find plenty of lightweight battery-powered fans that will get the job done. 

Ryobi’s shop fan is a great example. We love the Ryobi fan because you can use the same lithium batteries as their power tools. They charge quickly and last an incredibly long time!

Ryobi P3320 18 Volt Hybrid One+ Battery or AC Powered Adjustable Indoor / Outdoor Shop Fan (Battery and Extension Cord Not Included / Fan Only)
  • BATTERY OR AC: Works with the Ryobi One+ 18-volt battery system. Alternatively, plug in an extension cord to run the fan...
  • HANG ANYWHERE: Back bracket, hanging hooks, and screw mounting holes are located below and behind this fan so you can...

Stay Hydrated

Most people don’t drink enough water daily, let alone during extreme weather. The general rule is to try to drink half your body weight in ounces of water.

This means an individual weighing 180 pounds should consume around 90 ounces of water daily. That’s a lot of water and trips to the bathroom!

Extreme heat can dehydrate you incredibly quickly, especially when hiking or exerting energy. You must drink small amounts continuously. If you wait until you’re thirsty to start drinking, it’s likely too late.

If you’re heading out for a physically demanding adventure, ensure everyone has plenty of water. However, having water isn’t enough; you must drink it. So hold each other accountable and take frequent water breaks.

Take Cold Showers

There’s not much better than a cold shower after an intense hike or other exciting adventure.

A cold shower can cause the blood vessels near your skin to constrict, which can reduce your body temperature. Additionally, a cold shower can energize you and help you to feel alert and awake.

However, cold showers aren’t for everyone. Those with low blood pressure may struggle with sudden temperature changes. Check with your medical professional if you have any medical conditions that might cause concern for cold showers.

Keep in Mind: Campground showers make it easy to take care of your hygiene while camping, but there are 5 Mistakes People Make When Using the Campground Shower

Wear Lightweight Clothes

Another thing you can do to stay cool while camping this summer is to pack plenty of lightweight clothes.

Fabrics like cotton, linen, and rayon are fantastic options as they’re lightweight and breathable. Like your tent, you want as much air circulation through your clothing as possible.

However, the type of fabric you choose isn’t the only thing to consider when it comes to your clothes. You likely learned in elementary school that darker colors absorb heat and lighter colors reflect it. As a result, it’s best to look for light-colored clothes made from breathable material.

Use a Wet Towel

Don’t underestimate the effectiveness of using a wet towel to help you stay cool. A wet towel absorbs heat from your skin and can help regulate your body temperature. Evaporated water on the towel can create a pleasant cooling effect.

When using a wet towel, wrap it around your neck. This will help cool down your neck and pulse points, which is important for regulating your overall body temperature. Additionally, you’ll want to use the towel to wipe down your arms, face, and neck.

Unfortunately, while a wet towel can help you stay cool while camping, it doesn’t replace the need to stay hydrated. It’s a good idea to use a wet towel in combination with several of the other tips we’re sharing with you today.

Avoid the Hottest Parts of the Day

The popular saying is that the “early bird gets the worm.” However, the early bird also gets to enjoy cooler temperatures.

If you have any strenuous plans during your camping trip, do them in the morning or as early as possible before the day gets too hot.

The hottest parts of the day are typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so plan accordingly. If you’re not a morning person, saving the activities until evening, whenever possible, may be best. Resort to indoor or shady activities as you wait out the heat.

Keep in Mind: We found the best Fun RV Accessories You Need This Summer! Which accessories will you be adding to your cart?

A couple staying to stay cool while camping in the summer

Stay Safe While Camping This Summer

Camping can be a fun and rewarding experience for your entire family. However, you must take the necessary precautions for everyone to stay safe.

Don’t forget to wear the proper clothes, stay hydrated, and avoid the hottest parts of the day. 

Invest in good water bottles, battery-powered fans, portable shade shelters, and other things to make your summer camping trip more bearable. You can have many safe and enjoyable summer camping adventures if you do.

Will you camp somewhere hot this summer?

Last update on 2024-04-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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