3 Secrets To Staying Cool While Camping

Mark Wilcox
3 min readJun 5, 2022
A tent surrounded by trees with a sleeping bag, cooler and camping chair

Camping in the summer can be a challenge, especially if you’re not used to the heat. nights can be particularly difficult, as you can only take off so many clothes before you make your fellow campers uncomfortable.

Heck, even if you stripped down to nothing, you still might not be cool enough. And you risk sunburns in the most painful spots.

The first tip is to stay hydrated. When heading out on a camping trip in hot weather, it’s important to stay hydrated. Drinking lots of liquids will help keep your body temperature down and prevent heat exhaustion. Water is the best choice for staying hydrated, but adding a little electrolyte powder to your water can help replace the minerals you lose through sweating. Avoiding alcoholic beverages is also important, as they can actually cause you to lose more fluid.

The second tip is that if you’re camping in an area with access to a lake or river, swimming can be a great way to stay cool while also getting some exercise. Though I have been known to just walk straight into the water wearing my clothes and just bob on the water. It’s almost as much fun hanging out with friends in the lake and keeping cool as it is hanging around a campfire.

A third tip is to bring tarps and umbrellas for shade. You can hang tarps to create shade if the trees are not doing a good enough job. And if you get the kind with a mylar coating on one side (often marketed as survival tarps), they can even reduce the temperature. I also have a mylar umbrella I use with my camping chair.

A fourth tip is to make sure to wear loose-fitting clothing. I wear an Under Armor t-shirt with a Columbia fishing shirt plus thin pants and a wide brim hat. This allows me to avoid wearing sunblock while keeping cool. My pants have insect repellent embedded in the fibers to minimize the need for wearing insect repellent. I’m not particularly concerned with the chemicals on my skin but I like avoiding the hassle of applying them when I’m camping.

The fifth and final tip is to bring fans. As anyone who has camped in a hot climate will tell you, there is nothing worse than trying to sleep in a tent that feels like an oven. The good news is that there are some simple things you can do to keep your tent cool and comfortable. One of the most effective methods is to bring fans to your tent. These can provide much-needed airflow and help to circulate the air inside the tent. If your site has electricity you can bring a traditional fan though I have plugged a fan into my Jackery battery pack. And there are also many different types of battery-powered fans.

And if you are concerned about bears in your campground, then check out my course about camping with bears.

I’m Mark Wilcox and I once backpacked 100 miles in 90 days. After 25 years in IT, I wanted more adventure in my life. I want to inspire you to add more adventure too.

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Mark Wilcox

I once backpacked 100 miles in 90 days. After 25 years in IT, I wanted more adventure in my life. I want to inspire you to add more adventure too.