Because the weather is typically warm and dry, summer is considered to be the most popular time of the year to camp. However, since the weather is bright and sunny and schools are out, campgrounds can get crowded this time of year.
Summertime does scream vacation, so if you’re planning to go camping during this season, be sure to plan well in advance and make your reservations early.
But with the crowd and the heat of the sun, you can get hot and sticky in no time.. It’s definitely uncomfortable – sometimes too uncomfortable that it could get in the way of your fun outdoors (especially if you get to the point of heat exhaustion).
But no worries, there are plenty of ways to beat the heat, cool down and even sleep like a baby at night while camping in the summer..
But before anything else, the first thing you’ll need to do is to find the right spot to set up camp!
This may sound like common sense, but it is a crucial step will affect your entire trip. If you’re not strategic with where you pitch your tent, you won’t be able to sleep well, you’ll feel grumpy the next morning then well, you know what follows.
This is especially true during summer time when you not only have to beat the heat but the bugs as well. Ideally, look for a spot that’s shaded with a constant breeze. If there’s a place you can tie your tarp (like 2 trees), even better.
When you’re ready to pitch your tent, face your tent door into the breeze to help avoid bugs from getting inside, because flying insects hover in the wind shadows that tents create. You’ll also have a refreshing breeze blowing through your tent, especially if you have mesh windows.
Another trick you can try is to dig a 2-feet deep pit into the ground where you can place your tent which will help keep it cool because it’s partially underground. Be sure to ask permission and to fill the pit back up when you leave!
Now that you’re settled, here are 10 easy ways to beat the heat when camping in the summer:
Disassemble your tent during the day
When it’s hot outside and your tent is exposed, it will absorb sun’s rays and act like a greenhouse, trapping heat inside. The best thing you can do is disassemble your tent during the day and keep it in a shaded area. Also, sunlight can damage your fabric’s tent. Once the sun is down, you can assemble your tent again. A lot of work, yes, but you’ll be thankful.
Use a reflective sun shade
Shade is your best friend when you’re outdoors in the heat. So if you can’t find any, create your own! You can place a space blanket or reflective tarp on the roof of your tent to reflect the heat back up into the sky. You can also use a normal tarp which you can tie to trees surrounding your tent. Set it up at least 12 inches above the roof of your tent to allow air to flow and cool things off.
Do the wet towel trick
Dip a piece of cloth or a hand towel in water then wrap it around the back of your neck or lay it across your forehead, which are natural cooling points in the body. A damp cloth will absorb the heat and help you cool down.
You already know this, but we want to tell you again. Hydration is the most crucial part of staying cool. When it’s too hot out, avoid drinking alcohol and carbonated and beverages.
Try drinking a hot cup of coffee when it’s hot out! Seems counterintuitive, but medical research has proven that consuming hot drinks on hot, dry days can actually help you cool down because your body releases sweat more.
Take a shower before going to bed
Taking a cold shower before bed will help bring your internal body temperature down. You’ll feel cool and comfortable, making it easier to fall asleep.
Ditch the sleeping bag
Even sleeping bags designed for hot weather can still trap in heat. On extra hot days, use sheets or a regular blanket instead. Don’t leave your sleeping bag at home, though, you never know when you’d need it (summer sleeping bags are lightweight anyway).
When you’re not sleeping, open the doors and windows of your tent to let the cool air circulate. If you’re ready for bed, zip them up but consider removing your rainfly.
As you sleep, the hot air moves up your tent and condenses on the rainfly. To allow the heat and moisture to escape, remove your rainfly – just make sure to check the weather forecast first and make sure there isn’t any expected rainfall!
Even the first rays of sunlight in the morning can make your tent feel like a sauna on a hot, summer day. The heat wakes you up and you have trouble getting back to sleep. To get enough sleep at night, it helps to go to bed early – even as soon as the sun goes down. Take advantage of this time when it’s less hot!
Use a Portable Fan
Battery-operated fans are a godsend for summer camping. If you’re planning to buy one for your trip, look for a lightweight, quiet and portable one that you can attach to your tent!
We can’t get rid of the heat, but we can definitely take simple steps to feel cooler and more comfortable amidst the heat. As a camper, we can’t let the heat of the summer sun get in the way of our outdoor adventures. Because despite the warmth, there are plenty of things that make summer time truly a great season for camping!
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