Here’s How To Stay Cool While Camping

By Tyler William •  10 min read

When summer is around the corner, it’s time to get your camping gear out! On one hand, camping trips are fun and exhilarating, and they can be a headache when the scorching sun decides to ruin your plans. 

Staying cool in summer is arduous, especially when low energy and dehydration can give you sunstroke. This article will discuss some valuable tips to beat the heat while camping! 

Why Is It Important To Stay Hydrated? 

In any camping situation, it’s always important to stay hydrated during your camping trip. Hot weather is a killjoy when you’re camping in the open. To prevent sun strokes and extreme dehydration, you must keep yourself hydrated throughout your camping trip. 

Why Is It Important To Stay Hydrated

While you can incorporate some methods to stay cool, it will not be enough if you’re not keeping yourself hydrated during scorching summers. You can stay hydrated by drinking water to regulate your body temperature. It’s best to stay away from sweetened beverages and stick to water for the time being. You can consume fresh fruits and vegetables that improve digestion during your camping trip. 

Low levels of fluids in the body trigger headache, dizziness, and extreme lethargy, according to the Association of UK Dieticians. Once you feel hydrated, you are more likely to enjoy the various camping activities without feeling drained. 

How To Stay Cool While Camping? 

There are some perks on a summer camping trip, like long days and plenty of fresh air. However, everything can go downhill once the temperatures rise and the cool days turn into sweltering hours. 

When camping in the sun, it’s crucial to incorporate some effective tips to stay cool and comfortable in the hot weather. Listed below are some ways to keep yourself cool while enjoying the summer heat in full blast! 

Know The Camping Region 

Before preparing for your camping trip, it’s always imperative to know the temperature variations in the region. Whether camping in a minivan or pitching a tent, you need to be aware of the camping location. 

While it is ideal to camp at a foothill where cold temperatures exist, you can camp in any region as long as you know the climatic conditions. Is it a dry zone or near a river? Do your research when exploring different camping locations, and get ready with the right camping equipment for a comfortable, hassle-free camping trip. For more camping guidelines, check out this article

Pitch Your Tent In The Shade 

When it is a blazing hot day, where you pitch your tent makes a big difference. If you’re lucky to find a camping spot in the shade, pitch your tent immediately. When deciding your camping position, several factors come into play. 

Pitch Your Tent In The Shade

Do not be fooled by the early morning shade at 10 a.m., as that area can turn into a heat zone when the midday sun shines. Remember to choose a spot in the shade from midday onwards. An area that receives direct sunlight will turn your tent into a complete sauna if you choose the wrong spot. 

In the morning light, it is easier to keep your tent cool. Once the afternoon sun comes out, you’ll be sitting in a pool of your sweat. Hence, picking a strategic location for the afternoon heat will help you stay cool while camping. To know the right location, you can follow a quick trick below: 

  1. Get out your compass and follow the cardinal directions to pitch a tent at a spot protected from the sun through trees, boulders, and buildings. 
  2. You can set a high pitch where the breeze is coming off the water. A cool wind blowing through your tent can make direct afternoon sunlight bearable to neutralize the temperatures. 
  3. If camping under the tree, make sure it is not old or rotten. The chances of the branches falling on your text get reduced if the tree looks in good condition. 

If you can’t find shade or the tents have already been set up by the camping operators, you can try artificial alternatives for maximum protection against the sun. 

Use A Man-Made Shade

If you aren’t lucky enough to find a shaded spot, investing in an artificial reflective shade can be the best decision for staying cool in hot summers. These reflective sunshades reflect sunlight when the afternoon sun shows and create a protective barrier around your tent. 

Other man-made shades like awnings, canopies, and annexes are also viable options for protecting your tent from rain, winds, and especially, the sun. Without sufficient shade, you’ll probably have to wound up in your tent while your friends enjoy the sunny weather under their shade.

If you’re traveling in a camp truck, you can consider a condor awning that shields your truck from direct sunlight. You can set up a makeshift tarp for designated tents or get a reflective shade for maximum benefits. A sunshade works best when it is placed significantly above the tent. You can set up the sunshade using trees, stakes, or poles and leave at least twelve inches of space between the tent’s roof and the tarp. 

Dismantle Your Tent In The Daytime

If you’re planning to hike in the vicinity, taking down your tent in the daytime can be another option. No matter which material you use, most tent fabrics do not fare well when exposed to direct sunlight. 

Moreover, allowing direct rays to hit your tent creates a “greenhouse effect,” which the interiors into a sauna, making it impossible to sleep in even after the sun goes down. To avoid this problem, dismantling your tent while you are away for a while can increase the life span of the tent and will allow you to get a good night’s sleep in blistering temperatures. 

After waking up from a good night’s sleep, disassemble your tent and reassemble it once again when the sun goes down. This may seem like a hassle initially, but it is well worth the effort when you sleep in a cool tent. 

Ditch The Rainfly

The rain fly on your tent is useful for locking in the heat during winter but let it drape in the summer, and you’ve got a low-budget sauna. To prevent this from happening, removing the rainfly not only allows the hot air to escape from the inner tent but also leaves your sleeping bag several degrees cooler and less humid than the hot weather outside. 

Ditch The Rainfly

Tent camping can be confusing, especially when considering several factors. You should still carry a rainfly just in case when the weather takes a turn for the worse. If camping near the river, you might still need a rainfly to ward off pesky mosquitoes in the hot sun. Finding the right balance is key to a successful camping trip. 

Wear Light Colored Clothing 

In hot weather, camping allows us to enjoy the sunshine, spend time with family members, and indulge in adrenaline-inducing activities. While it is a reflex action to shed your clothing layers in summer, you should also pay attention to the color of your clothing. 

Invest in delicate pieces from breathable fabrics like cotton, linen, and rayon. These fabrics are comfortable to wear and a great choice for the hot summer months. Since light colors are poor absorbers of heat, wearing light-colored clothing reflects heat and allows us to stay cool and fresh in the summertime. 

For extra protection, you can get a sun hat or a wide-brimmed hat to protect your head from direct sun rays. You can also wear a bandana soaked in cool water to stay cool in hot weather.  

Cool Down With A Portable Fan

Although positioning your tent in the direction of the breeze allows some air, you won’t exactly reap its benefits if you are in a low wind zone. While nature’s air conditioning is blissful, it’s always practical to carry a portable fan when camping in humid temperatures. 

On hot days, a tent fan is a necessity to cool down in the afternoon sun. A portable camping fan helps move the air and keeps your tent well-ventilated. We recommend purchasing a 12-volt fan that is small enough to fit in a tent and big enough to allow decent air movement. Choose a fan according to your camping situation: 

A popular choice among campers is the Outdoor Connection Breezeaway 12-V which has three-speed options and a long power cord. There are many other options in the market, so do your research before purchasing a suitable portable. You can even purchase an air-conditioning unit if you have access to electricity or have a built-in generator. 

Sleep In A Hammock

Hammock camping has its fun when you are camping in the wilderness. For the hot summer temperatures, bringing a good-quality hammock is another option. While the hammock fabric doesn’t have proper insulation for colder months, the thin fabric allows full body air circulation in hot weather. 

Sleep In A Hammock

If you are sure about the weather in your camping region, consider a comfortable hammock to stay cool in humid temperatures. You must choose the right hammock to stay cool and get a good night’s sleep. 

Depending on how long you’re camping, a well-designed hammock can improve your camping experience in humid locations. 

Keep Your Food Cold 

No one likes to consume hot, boiling foods on a warm day. Instead, cold treats are the way to go that help your body cool down from the heat and give you a boost of energy. 

Keep camping fires for the colder months, or cook them at night. Avoid bringing foods that need to be cooked over a fire as that makes the area more humid than it already is and may increase the risk of fire. 

As it is, keeping your food cold during camping is extremely important for food safety. According to the FDA, foods should be stored at chilled temperatures of 40℉ to prevent bacterial growth. Invest in a high-end cooler that keeps your food cool and doesn’t let edibles go bad due to the hot weather. 

Remember not to open and close the cooler, as this will make it lose its temperature faster. Indulge in refreshing, cool treats and relish the warm days of summer. 


The heat can prevent you from enjoying several camping activities in the summer. Always stay hydrated and incorporate these tiny changes to keep cool.

Summer camping becomes even more fun when you have nailed down the best ways to stay cool while engaging in numerous camping adventures.