When summer starts, outdoor fun begins. Camping is one of the best activities this time of the year. However, it can instantly turn into a nightmare because of the extreme heat. Hot and humid weather can ruin the experience!
Summer camping does not need to be hell! For the best experience, come prepared! From choosing the best location to packing the best camping gear, be ready for the high temperatures.
If you are looking for the best tips on how to stay cool while camping, keep on reading, and learn from the insights we’ll share.
Pick the Right Location
For the best summer camping experience, a good starting point is the selection of the right campsite. If you are heading to a specific location for the first time, do your research. Read online reviews and learn from the real-life experiences of other people.
A good location for camping in the summer is one that’s away from the direct heat of the sun. Pick a place with lots of good trees for shade and breeze. Camping near bodies of water, such as lakes and rivers, is also a good idea. This way, you can just instantly take a plunge when the weather gets too much for you to handle.
Set-up your tent in a place with excellent air circulation. Choose a base where the wind blows for optimal air circulation. Position the tent’s door or other openings exactly in the direction of the wind.
Choose Your Tent Wisely
Sleeping in a tent during the summer months is a burden. Whether it is a power nap in the afternoon or nighttime slumber, the weather can make you end up being sleepless. The easiest solution is to pick your tent wisely.
The best summer tents will provide a comfortable temporary shelter as you enjoy the outdoors. They are made of lightweight fabric capable of blocking the heat of the sun, making sure it does not go inside the tent. They have excellent ventilation to keep you cool as you sleep. Use ultralight tents as they are often made of breathable materials.
Installing a reflective sunshade is also effective when it comes to how to stay cool while camping. It leaves space between the tent and the sunshade, which means that there is a barrier from the heat of the sun.
Whether it is a 4-person tent or a 10-person tent, among other sizes, it is best to pick one with a lot of mesh. It does not only protect you from insect bites, but it also improves air circulation in the tent to help maintain a comfortable temperature.
Install a Cooling System
To make summer camping more bearable, it also helps to have a portable cooling system, especially if the tent has a generous available space. A tent air conditioner is sure to be your savior. It generates a cooling breeze that allows you to camp in comfort. Camping tent fans will also be handy.
For air conditioners, there are two types. One is a window-type air conditioner, which is known for being space-efficient. The other one is a room conditioner, which is like a fan but has a better cooling capacity. The latter is recommended only if you have a big tent.
If you do not have an air conditioner, you can improvise. It takes a little creativity to find a way to stay cool in the summer. Fill a bucket with ice cubes and put it in front of the fan to improve its cooling capacity. Also, you can wet a couple of towels and hang them on the fan.
Sleep in a Hammock
A camping hammock is a great alternative to a tent, especially in the summer and if you are on a campsite with a couple of trees where you can tie hammock straps. Sleeping in an open-air environment allows you to enjoy the natural breeze. This may not work during the day when it’s too hot.
However, one of the biggest problems with hammock camping is insect bites. A bug net or a bug spray is a good solution.
If you want a temporary roof on top of your hammock, camping tarps are handy. This is also an effective barrier if in case it rains.
Pack Suitable Clothing
To stay cool when camping in the summer months, pack the right clothes. Go for those that are lightweight and breathable. They are not only comfortable but also easy to pack. Cover yourself to protect the body from the sun but choose loose-fitting clothes.
Avoid wearing cotton shirts. They are thick and will soak up in sweat instead of wicking moisture away. This also causes the shirt to stink as you sweat profusely. A lightweight merino shirt is your best bet.
Light-colored clothes are best to bring to the campsite. Solar radiation will soak in clothes with dark colors. Light colors, on the other hand, will reflect the heat.
If you plan to camp for a couple of days, thinner fabrics are also best since they will dry quickly. Best of all, they help your body easily stay cool.
Ditch the Sleeping Bag
The best sleeping bags for camping may prove handy during winter because they keep you warm. However, for summer camping, we’d recommend that you let go of it. You don’t need to be wrapped up when it is too hot outside.
Rather than using a sleeping bag, sheets can be an excellent alternative. Place the sheet on the top of a camping air mattress. There’s no need for a blanket! A sleeping bag liner will be more than enough!
Use Cooling Products
The summer camping essentials include lunch coolers and backpack coolers, among other types of outdoor coolers. Fill it with ice and make sure to keep it close to prevent the ice from quickly melting. You can use this to keep your drinks chilled, perfect for the hot weather. You can also keep ice inside and open the cooler near the fan for an additional cooling effect.
You will also benefit from having cold packs. Prepare these at home and put them in a cooler once you are at the campsite. Fill a Ziploc with water and freeze. In the campsite, it can double as a cold pack once the heat starts peaking.
Bring an Inflatable Pool
Especially if you are camping with kids, bringing an inflatable pool is a good idea to make the heat bearable. However, before bringing an inflatable pool, make sure that there’s a source of water and see to it that this does not go against the rules of the campsite.
Take a Cold Shower
Taking a cold shower as often as possible is another great way to prevent discomfort caused by heat. If the campsite has shower facilities, make the most out of it. Before you sleep at night, a cold shower also helps the body to cool down. However, if the campsite has a limited water supply, do not waste it by taking more showers than necessary. Be mindful of the needs of other campers.
Hydration is key when fighting heat in the campsite during summer. Your body is made up mostly of water, so make sure that you replenish whatever you sweat. At a minimum, drink at least eight glasses of water in a day. If possible, drink more, especially when the heat gets unbearable.
Speaking of hydration, you must replenish your electrolytes. Sufficient electrolytes will help in the prevention of muscle cramps and dehydration, among other problems that could result from the heat.
Be Smart About What You Eat
As we talk about how to stay cool while camping, it is also crucial that we cover what to eat. If possible, eat a lot of cool foods, which are sure to be hydrating. Keep your foods in the cooler to maintain a chilled temperature. Pay attention to proper camping food storage to keep it cooler for an extended period.
Eat light. Load up on fruits and vegetables that are high in water content to help you get hydrated. Eating too much can make you sluggish and uncomfortable, which, gets worse when complemented with the extreme heat.
Forget the Bonfire
A bonfire is one of the best things to have at the campsite. Nothing beats the fun of having a small fire pit in the middle with a group of friends around, singing songs, and drinking beers. During the summer months, however, you might want to find another entertainment when camping since a bonfire will only add up to the heat. If you insist on still having a bonfire, keep it small and be familiar with campfire safety.
Avoid Strenuous Activities
While summer camping is equal to outdoor fun, if you want to stay cool, choose your activities wisely. We recommend that you stay away from those that will require a lot of physical effort. Choose activities that won’t make you sweat profusely, preferably, those that you can do even when sitting down.
We also recommend that you avoid setting up your tent at the peak of the day. Deal with the camping set-up when the sun is already low. This way, you won’t sweat a lot as you prepare your temporary shelter.
If you want to have physical activities when camping, make sure to take regular breaks. Avoid doing these activities in the middle of the day when the sun is at its hottest. Also, as we mentioned earlier, drink lots of water to replenish the liquids that you are sweating.
Make the Tent Spacious
Do not maximize the sleeping capacity to keep the tent cool. If possible, cut it down into half. For instance, if the manufacturer advertises the tent with a capacity of four persons, keep it for only two people. Also, get rid of too much stuff in the tent. The more crowded the tent is, the hotter it will be inside. A bigger tent is always the better choice for summer camping.
Sleep When It’s Dark
Sleeping at noon is sure to be uncomfortable in the summer. Even with a fan, you will end up sweating. Sleep when it becomes dark. Sleep early. If possible, finish all your camping activities before it is late. Try to wake up before the sunrise. This way, you’ll not only be able to do more but you won’t also feel the heat.
Get the Bugs Off
While this post covers mostly tips on how to stay cool while camping, we’d also like to address one significant problem in the summer – bugs. Keeping them out should be your priority to have a comfortable sleep and to prevent skin irritation. Especially if you are camping near water, bugs can be everywhere.
When choosing bug sprays and mosquito repellents, DEET is a crucial ingredient. Do not be misinformed about its dangers. The risk is minimal compared to the dangers of bug bites. Experts suggest that you choose a pray with a 23.8% concentration of DEET. Any concentration that is higher than that no longer matters.
Using a permethrin spray is also recommended for summer camping. Spray it directly on your clothes to prevent attracting bugs.
Don’t Forget Your Pets
Humans are not the only ones that take the beating of the summer heat. If you are bringing your furry friends along with you to the campsite, it is also crucial that you pay attention to their comfort.
Before going camping, it is best to have a trip to the groomer. A quick trim can do a lot to make them feel better when the heat becomes excruciating. Wiping them with cool towels now and then will also help. Do not forget to always give them fresh water so that they stay hydrated. Like humans, they need water to beat the heat.
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Summer camping is an epic experience, especially with family and friends. However, the extreme temperature means that it can also be uncomfortable. You are devoid of the luxuries of home to keep you cool. So, pay attention to the tips mentioned above to avoid frustration.
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- 7 Tips to Stay Cool at the Campsite, Active.com
- How to Stay Cool While Camping (& Beat The Summer Heat), ZipOutdoors.com