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How to Stay Cool while Camping in 18 Easy Ways

Are you tired of searching how to stay cool while camping? Well, don’t worry here we have written a detailed guide with multiple tricks of staying cool inside a tent.

Summer camping presents you with a dual challenge. While on the one hand, you look forward to enjoying those summer days exploring nature and relaxing in the warm nights, on the flip side, waking in a furnace-like tent on a blistering day can put you off.

Staying cool and hydrated during summer camping days is essential if you want to enjoy your trip. Plus, you don’t have medical facilities close by in case of an emergency. 

how to stay cool while camping
Guide on how to stay cool while camping

But as scary as it may sound, there are some easy fixes.

How to Stay Cool While Camping: 18 Handpicked Hacks

I learned how to stay cool while camping during summer the hard way. I have been camping for a few years now. Over the years, I have tried and tested various inexpensive methods to stay cool during my summer camping trips.

1.Choose the Spot Well:

Whether you are setting up a tent, a caravan, or sleeping in a campervan, you need shade.

It will take no time for your tent to turn into a greenhouse or sauna under direct sunlight. Of course, you have an air conditioner in your campervan, but do you want to stay cooped up inside while the purpose of camping is to explore the outdoors?

To keep your tent cool, opt for a spot that will be in the shade from midday on. The most common shady option is under a tree. If you are choosing that, opt for a healthy tree. Make sure it does not have any rotting branches. You don’t want any of that falling on your tent.

2.Disassemble the tent during the day:

Once your tent absorbs the sunlight, it will become hot, and no, there are “no cool tent fabrics.” Even synthetic tent fabrics heat up when exposed to sunlight, and the same happens to nylon and polyester. 

Thus it’s a good practice to take your tent down during the day and set it up again at night. That way, your tent does not absorb any heat! Plus, this practice lengthens the shelf life of the tent, and you get to use it for longer.

Though it may be some extra work, it ultimately protects your tent and saves you from a sauna-like camping experience.

camping while satying cool

3.Put a Tarp:

A tarp is a beach canopy (or any other canopy) that provides extra shade. This additional shade reduces the chance of the tent absorbing direct sunlight.

A tarp makes camping super pleasant during summer. However, don’t block the path of any lovely breeze making its way into your tent. Also, select a spot that has a strategic place for you to set up a trap.

4.Look for Sites with Water Features Nearby:

You cannot beat the feeling of dipping your feet in cold water during summer camping. While it may be stuffy around, dipping your feet in a water body or maybe taking a quick plunge can cool you off right away.

That’s the reason many camping parks have lakes, rivers, and springs. Even if you are going to some explored location, opt for a spot that has water nearby.

5.Choose the Right sleeping bag:

If you plan your summer camping trip, get ready to face some sweltering nights without air conditioning. However, you can still be comfortable if you choose the right type of sleeping bag.

For this, opt for a sleeping bag that is ideal for camping in the heat. Additionally, use a second sleeping mat to keep you cool.

The idea is simple- the more you separate yourself from the ground, the easier it will be to stay cool.

For this purpose, opt for raised sleeping beds.

6.Create Yourself a Makeshift Cooler

If you wanna stay cool while camping then bring an esky full of ice in your tent and place it near the opening. Make sure you have cross ventilation facilities in your tent. The esky will bring some severe change in the temperature inside the tent, especially if a cool breeze pushes the cold air from the esky in the tent.

7.Get Rid of the Rainfly, but Check the Weather First:

At night, the heat from your breath and body rises and condenses on the inside of your rainfly. This, of course, raises the temperature again. So, remove your rainfly and allow the heat to leave. But before that, check the weather forecast and make sure there is no chance of rain.

What about the sunshade, though? Does that trap heat and moisture? Well, ideally, it should not if it’s placed sufficiently above the tent. Rainflies, on the other hand, stick to your tent, thus trapping heat and moisture.

However, don’t pack away your rainfly. Keep it at hand in case there is an unexpected shower at night.

tent cooling

8.Opt for a Tent with Mesh:

Though cheaper, mesh tents can be your ultimate savior during those hot summer camping nights. While the fine mesh walls function as nets against insects, it also allows breeze to pass through keeping the insides cool.

But don’t worry, mesh tents have a solid waterproof floor that extends up the wall. So you will stay dry in case of a midnight shower.

9.Use a Wet Towel:

If it’s scorching hot outside (a lousy day to camp), have a soaking wet or damp towel at the back of your neck. This is one of the traditional and best ways to beat the heat.

For the night, soak small pieces of cloth in cold water or ice and put them across your forehead. Since water has a high specific heat point, it will suck out some heat from your skin before it turns warm.

When your cloth feels warm, flip it over or dip it in the water again.

10.Pack light-colored Clothes:

The kindergarten rule of thumb applies here: dark colors surfaces absorb heat radiation while light-colored surfaces reflect heat. Thus, keeping this in mind, pack only light-colored clothes for your summer camping trip.

These are sure to keep you cool during the day. Also, opt for cool, breathable summer fabrics, like cotton and linen. In most of the world’s hot parts, people dress in looser fitting light-colored clothes ( take the Middle East, for instance). These pieces of clothing cover the whole body and provide the ultimate protection against sunlight.

In case you are wearing short sleeve clothes, make sure you are wearing lots of sunscreen.

11.Avoid Sleeping in a Sleeping Bag:

What? How can you even call it a camping trip if you are not using a sleeping bag?! But sleeping bags do get hot. Even if you buy the best weather-rated bag, it will trap heat and moisture and must be avoided on humid days.

A cotton sheet is a better choice for those days. Once placed on top of the mattress pad, a cotton sheet provides just the right amount of comfort.


12.Get A Portable Fan:

A portable fan will give you that blissful battery-powered breeze throughout the night. However, make sure it’s lightweight, portable, and can be attached to your tent floor or ceiling. 

13.Drink Lots Of Water:

Don’t ignore the importance of staying hydrated on your camping trip. As known, water has a high specific heat value. That means you need a lot of energy to change the temperature of water. And since the human body has 60 percent water, staying hydrated is the best way to avoid overheating.

14.Use Reflective Shade:

A good reflective shade will reflect back any sunlight leaving your camp much cooler. The idea is to block the path of direct sunlight coming your tent’s way. Plus, it allows you to sleep peacefully even when the sun is up.

15.Have A Cold Shower Before Sleeping:

If you have access to a water body nearby, try immersing in it before going to bed. The water will lower your body temperature and turn it into an AC unit for a while.

16.Avoid campfires:

Though a major part of camping is lighting the campfire, it’s advisable to avoid it during summer. Campfires can heat you up pretty quickly, and if it’s too close to the tent, it can heat that up too.

17.Use a portable misting system:

Get yourself a portable hand mister than run on battery. These are available in versatile sizes and colors suited both for kids and adults. In case you have access to an electrical plugin, bring a bigger mister to beat the heat.

18.Sleep in a Hammock:

Hammock camping is both adventurous and comfortable during hot summer days. If your camping site has a couple of trees to hang your hammock, then you are all set for a relaxing night ahead.

Sleeping on a hammock provides full-body air circulation and is undoubtedly adventurous.

The following tips should come in handy with your hammock:

  • Type: Buy a hammock meant for sleeping, not lounging. Ideally, a sleeping hammock has enough fabric that stretches out, is durable and lightweight.
  • Positioning: A hammock forces your body to a slouching hunch which isn’t healthy for your back. To lie flat, you need to lie diagonally.
  • Insects: If you are in an area frequented by mosquitoes, you will need a bug net on your hammock. Or you can apply some bug spray on the outside of the hammock.
  • Raincheck: Place a trap above your hammock to avoid getting soaked at night.


Camping is fun, and now it can be made comfortable this summer with the hacks of how to stay cool while camping mentioned here.  

So don’t forget to try these on your next camping trip.

Rocky D

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