How To Stay Cool When Camping? [Explained]

When you're hot and sweaty, the last thing you want to do is sleep in a tent. Camping in the summer can be a great way to beat the heat. But if you are not prepared, it can also be a recipe for disaster since there is no air conditioning or refrigeration. To help with this, we have compiled a list of how to stay cool camping.


Choose the Right Campsite

The first step to how to stay cool camping is choosing a suitable campsite. If you are camping in an area known for being hot, make sure to find a campsite with some shade. The best way to do this is to look for a campsite with trees. This option will help to keep you cooler during the day. If there is no shade at your campsite, bring a canopy or tarp to create some.

You may also want to consider a campsite near a body of water, such as a lake or river. This way, you can take a dip to cool off when you feel too hot. In addition, you will feel any breeze that comes off the water, which can help to keep you cool.

camping in hot summer

Wear Loose, Light-Colored Clothing

What you wear can also make a big difference in how comfortable you are while camping. For example, when it's hot outside, you'll want to wear loose, light-colored clothing. Doing this will help to keep you cooler than if you were wearing dark, heavy clothing. That's because dark colors absorb more heat while light colors reflect it.

You'll also want to avoid wearing polyester or other synthetic fabrics. These fabrics can trap heat and make you feel even hotter. Instead, opt for natural materials, such as cotton or linen. These fabrics will help to keep you cool and comfortable.

Protect Yourself From the Sun

Another way to stay cool while camping is to protect yourself from the sun. The sun can be incredibly intense, especially during the summer months. To protect yourself, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Wear Sunscreen

Make sure to wear sunscreen when you're camping. Doing this will help to protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun. Choose a sunscreen with a higher SPF and reapply it every few hours. If you are camping with children, put sunscreen on them as well.

Wear a Hat

A hat can also help to protect you from the sun. It will help keep the sun off your face and out of your eyes. If you don't have a hat, you can use a scarf, bandana, or neck scarf to cover your head. You can get the scarf wet and put it around your neck for an extra cooling effect.

Stay in the Shade

Try to stay in the shade when you're not hiking or swimming. Doing this will help to keep you cool and prevent you from getting too much sun. If there is no shade at your campsite, bring a canopy or tarp to create some.

Drink Plenty of Water

Drink Plenty of Water

It's essential to stay hydrated when you're camping, especially in hot weather. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. You may also want to bring some sports drinks to replace the electrolytes you lose when you sweat.

Experts recommend that you drink about half a gallon of water per day. However, if you are sweating a lot or are in a hot environment, you may need to drink more. It's best if you drink water before you feel thirsty. This way, you can avoid dehydration.

Eat Light Meals

You'll want to avoid eating heavy meals when it's hot outside. That's because they can make you feel sluggish and cause your body temperature to rise. Instead, choose light meals, such as salads, fruits, and vegetables. These foods will help to keep you cool and hydrated.

In addition, fruits are easy to pack and make a great snack. Some of the best options for camping include watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes, and oranges. Kids especially love to eat fruit while camping and will stay cooler.

Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine

You may be tempted to have a beer or mixed drink while camping. However, alcohol and caffeine can cause you to feel more dehydrated. They can also make you feel hot and uncomfortable. If you drink alcohol, make sure to drink plenty of water.

Caffeine can also make it difficult to sleep, which can be a problem when trying to stay cool at night. It's best to avoid caffeine during the day and save it for after the sun goes down. Then, you can stay hydrated and get a good night's sleep.

Pace Yourself

When you are camping, it's important to pace yourself. Doing this means taking frequent breaks in the shade and drinking plenty of water. If you're getting too hot, take a break and cool down before continuing.

It would be best if you also kept in mind the activities you're doing. For example, if you're going for a hike, start early in the morning when it's cooler outside. And if you're going swimming, take a break in between to avoid getting too cold.

Some of the best activities to do during the summer while camping include:

  • Fishing

  • Bird watching

  • Playing cards

These activities will not make you too hot and will help you enjoy the outdoors so you can stay cool while camping.

Sleep in a Hammock

Sleep in a Hammock

One of the best ways to stay cool while camping is to sleep in a hammock. Hammocks are great because they allow you to sleep above the ground, which can help to keep you cooler. In addition, hammocks are very comfortable and can help you get a good night's sleep.

Set your hammock in the shade, so you don't get too much sun. And if you're camping in an area with mosquitoes, bring along a mosquito net.

If you do not have a hammock, you could use a cot, air mattress, or sleeping pad. However, these won't be as effective at keeping you cool as a hammock.

Forget the Tent Fly

One of the worst things about camping in the summer is sleeping in a hot tent. The tent fly can trap heat, making it challenging to stay cool at night. If you don't need the fly for privacy or to keep out the rain, leave it off to let the air circulate.

You could also try using a fan to help keep the air moving inside your tent. Ensure the fan is placed so it's not blowing directly on you. Otherwise, it will just make you feel hot and sweaty. And without a tent fly, the air will circulate better, which will help to keep you cool.

Invest in a Cooling Neck Wrap

Finally, a cooling neck wrap is a great way to stay cool while camping. These wraps are filled with gel or water and can be frozen or refrigerated. When it's hot outside, put the wrap around your neck or forehead to help cool you down.

You can find cooling neck wraps at most sporting goods stores. And they are not just for camping. They can also be used for working out, gardening, or any other activity where you need to stay cool.

Another great thing about cooling neck wraps is that you can use them on different parts of your body in addition to your neck. Doing that will keep you cool, no matter the temperature.


With these ten tips on how to stay cool camping, you'll be able to enjoy the outdoors all summer long. Just remember to drink plenty of water, take breaks in the shade, and invest in a cooling neck wrap. Finally, and most importantly, have fun.

Andrew Mullen

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