Don’t Make These Mistakes When Trying To Stay Cool While Camping

Mark Wilcox
2 min readJun 4, 2022
Tent in a forest

Texas weather is wacky.

My friends typically wrap up our spring camping season in May while we stay home during June, July, and August.

But in 2022, we had the warmest May in many years. Normally we’re only in the upper 80s but instead, we found ourselves at a campground without any shade in the upper 90s!

Meanwhile, the first weekend of June, we’re only going to be the mid-80 which will be perfect for our last planned campout until Labor Day.

We tend to stay home during the summer because with Texas heat, not only is it uncomfortable, you can find yourself in a medical emergency due to heat stress very quickly.

Here are three mistakes I see people make when camping or hiking in the heat.

First, they don’t consume enough salt. When I backpacked Big Bend National Park, my friends laughed at me for grabbing a handful of salt packets from the 7–11 condiment counter at our last rest stop. But I knew that you didn’t need to just drink water to keep hydrated. You need electrolytes. By day 2 on the trail, my friends were asking for some of those salt packets. Bring along Gatorade, LMNT, or whatever your favorite electrolyte replenishing drink is. Make sure to drink some along with your “adult beverages”.

Second, they don’t bring along a way to manufacture shade. While many campsites have trees, the trees might not be positioned where you want them to keep you in shade during the day. So don’t forget the tarps. I like survival tarps that have a side with mylar coating because if you keep that side pointed at the sun, it will reflect more of the heat back to the sky.

Third, they don’t get themselves wet. While I’m a fan of just walking straight into the lake with my clothes on (remember to leave the phone and key fob back on land!), you don’t have to go to that extreme. Bring along a neck gator and soak it with water. Also make sure to wear athletic leisure wear tops like Under Armor so that your sweat will evaporate more quickly.

As usual, if you are nervous about camping in bear territory, you should check out my course.

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.