For many, summers represent the perfect blissful time for relaxing and recharging while spending time with loved ones. With gorgeous blue skies and dazzling sunshine, many begin planning trips to theme parks, beaches, and other highly sought-after outdoor venues. One of those popular summertime retreats is camping, with as many as 77 million Americans going per year.
However, going camping in the summer means dealing with pesky mosquitos, small wildlife, and sweltering heat. These annoyances can sometimes dissuade even nature enthusiasts from going or at least waiting until the weather is cooler. Whether planning a trip out into the rugged outdoors by yourself or in the company of cherished friends and beloved family, this guide is for you!
Our best tips on how to stay cool while camping:
CHOOSE A CAMPSITE CAREFULLY
Location is everything. Once you arrive, you need to choose a campsite carefully. Before pitching your tent, scour the ground for protruding roots, sharp objects, or any other foreign items. If you find some, you will have to try to remove them. But if that doesn’t work, the best course of action is to move on and try another site. You want a level and flat open space clear of any foliage or debris. If the site is on a slope, you may wake up at 4 A.M. sliding down your sleeping bag!
This may sound like a no-brainer, but staying under the shade can go a long way toward keeping you cool. When choosing the right campsite, you will want to park your tent under some trees. Trees can offer a refreshing breeze and shade from the hot sun, especially when it is directly over you.
SELECT A TENT WITH GOOD VENTILATION
Tents can sometimes feel stuffy and oppressive, especially if it doesn’t have adequate ventilation. It will also make you feel like you are sitting in a sauna as the sweat begins pouring down your hairline and neck. It can even turn the most widely anticipated camping trips into a nightmarish experience when the temporary living situation is less than optimal. That is why you need to choose a tent that allows for plenty of adequate airflow. For example, we offer this cozy tent with a zippered mesh rear window that allows plenty of air to circulate. By choosing a tent with good ventilation, you will be able to stay cool and comfortable.
STAY OFF THE GROUND
It is typically on the ground that you will experience more extreme temperatures. This means it will get colder at night and hotter during the day. Consider staying off the ground. Relax with an entertaining read in a hammock, or invest in an inflatable sleeping pad.
Sunscreen is good for not just protecting your skin against the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays. When the skin is exposed to ultraviolet rays, your body can experience a drop in nitric oxide, which affects the body’s internal temperature. Applying sunscreen with at least an SPF of 50 can prevent this from happening, keeping your body cool.
When packing for any camping trip, choose loose clothing. Opt for clothes made from natural materials such as linen, bamboo, cotton, and rayon. They often offer better air circulation as well as efficient moisture-wicking properties. For example, consider this pair of tactical pants that are lightweight and breathable. Equipped with many pockets, it allows for easy maneuverability so that you can navigate the great outdoors in comfort and style.
Another way you can keep cool during the hotter months is by drinking water. The National Park Service recommends that campers take in at least 2 liters of water a day. Make sure you have enough water to last you during your camping stay. Consider bringing a large water jug and a few refillable bottles. Invest in one of these bottle carriers so that you will always have water on your person no matter where you are.
INVEST IN PORTABLE COOLING DEVICES
Sometimes you may have to use a device to help improve the airflow and make you feel much more comfortable. Portable air conditioners and fans can be placed inside or outside your tent. It can give much-needed relief on days when the heat is just a little too much.
PLAN ACTIVITIES AROUND THE HEAT
Do your research and know when the campsite will have direct sunlight because this is when the site may be experiencing the hottest temperatures. To avoid this, you may want to plan activities so you won’t be outside in the heat. For example, stay indoors during these peak hours. You can engage in outdoor activities such as walking, hiking, fishing, kayaking, and horseback riding in the mornings or evenings when it is less hot.
TAKE COOL SHOWERS
Showers are a great way to keep cool. Taking cool showers can help lower your body temperature. Plus, it has the added benefit of giving you energy, making you feel more alert and awake. Take a cool shower in the morning and you will feel refreshed and ready to take on the day.
PLAN YOUR MEALS WISELY
When camping, easy-to-prep meals are often the way to go. With minimal cooking and less time spent in front of a hot portable stove or campfire, you will be able to sustain your body temperature better. Consider easy meals such as granola bars, sandwiches, breakfast burritos, and bagels. You will be able to spend more time enjoying the beautiful outdoors instead of slaving over a hot stove!
Stay Cool On Your Next Camping Trip
Staying cool while camping can certainly be a challenge. With many unpredictable variables such as the weather and condition of the campsite, there is a lot to consider. However, with knowledge, foresight, and strategic planning, you will be ready for anything you come up against while camping, including the heat.
If you are interested in learning more about the different kinds of camping products we offer, then check out our store here. From multi-functional backpacks to durable clothing, this is your one-stop shop for all things camping.