15 Proven Tips to Stay Cool While Camping

Jul 11, '24
A group of people tent camping in the forest during the summer-1

Hey there, fellow campers! So, you’re planning a camping trip, but it's in the heart of summer, right? Nothing beats being surrounded by nature, but let's face it, sweltering heat can take the fun out of even the most scenic spots. 

No worries, though! With a bit of preparation and some smart tips, you can stay cool while enjoying your outdoor adventure. Let’s dive into how to keep your cool—literally and figuratively—when camping in warm weather this summer.

15 Effective Ways to Stay Cool While Camping

1. Choose Your Campsite Wisely

Location, location, location! The first step to staying cool is all about where you set up camp. Look for shaded areas under trees or near bodies of water like lakes, rivers, or streams. These places tend to be naturally cooler. Try to avoid open fields or spots that are exposed to direct sunlight. Also, higher elevations generally mean cooler temperatures, so consider heading uphill if possible.

Pro Tip: Check out the local weather forecast before you go. It never hurts to know what you’re getting into!

2. Timing is Everything

Tent camping in the forest shade

Arriving at your campsite during the cool parts of the day can make setting up camp much more comfortable. Aim to get there early in the morning or later in the evening when the sun isn’t as intense. This will also give you an advantage in picking the best spot for shade.

3. Gear Up with the Right Tent

Your tent can either be your sanctuary or your sauna. Opt for a tent that's designed for warm weather. Look for one with lots of mesh windows for ventilation. A double-wall tent with a removable rainfly can be great; you can leave the fly off on clear nights to maximize airflow.

Pro Tip: If you're really serious about staying cool, you might consider investing in a tent fan. Battery-operated fans can make a world of difference.

4. Portable Air Conditioner

If you're willing to splurge a bit, you can even find portable air conditioners designed specifically for camping. They might seem overkill, but you’ll be glad you have one on those blistering hot days. 

BougeRV’s portable air conditioner

5. Ground Control

Believe it or not, the ground under your tent can affect your comfort level. Use a reflective tarp or a specialized footprint under your tent to block the heat from the ground below. Reflective tarps can help bounce back some of that radiant heat, keeping your sleeping area cooler.

6. Cool Bedding Choices

Ditch the heavy sleeping bags and opt for lightweight sleeping gear. Think of breathable materials like cotton or linen, which are considerably cooler than synthetic options. If you must have a sleeping bag, choose a summer-weight one specifically designed to keep you cool.

Pro Tip: Consider using a portable camping hammock. Elevating yourself off the ground can increase airflow around you, making it easier to stay cool.

7. Dress Smart

When it comes to clothing, less is more. Light-colored, loose-fitting clothes made of breathable fabrics like cotton or moisture-wicking synthetics are your best bet. Avoid dark colors as they absorb more heat. And don’t forget your hat and sunglasses to protect against UV rays.

8. Hydration Station

Staying hydrated is key when you're out in the heat. Always carry plenty of water and drink regularly, even if you don't feel thirsty. Consider bringing a hydration pack for easy access. Also, remember that caffeine and alcohol can dehydrate you, so consume those in moderation.

Pro Tip: Freeze water bottles before you leave home. They can serve as makeshift ice packs and provide cold water once they melt.

Using BougeRV’s portable camping fridge to cool water

9. Eat Smart

You'd be surprised how much your food choices can influence your body temperature. Avoid heavy, hot meals loaded with protein, as they can increase your body temperature. Instead, go for lighter, cooling foods like salads, fruits, and vegetables. High-water-content foods like watermelon, cucumbers, and oranges are especially refreshing.

Pro Tip: Pre-make some chilled snacks like pasta salad or fruit cups and store them in a cooler for easy, refreshing meals.

10. BougeRV Small CR & CRPRO Camping Fridge

A woman grabbing a bottle of juice from BougeRV’s CRPRO 30 camping fridge, which is chilling drinks and oranges.

Keeping your food and drinks chilled is a game-changer when camping in hot weather. The BougeRV small camping fridge is perfect for chilling your water, camping snacks, and fruits. It's compact yet spacious enough to store all your essentials. Plus, it runs on both AC and DC power, making it super versatile for any camping setup. Think about opening a fridge to grab a cold drink while having a picnic under the shade—pure bliss! This little BougeRV fridge really takes the rough out of roughing it. 

Based on how you like to camp, we've got some other great fridge options to keep you cool. Check out the BougeRV Rocky Fridge for overland camping or the ASPEN and ASPEN PRO models if you're into RV camping.

11. Keep Your Cool (Literally)

If you're lucky enough to camp near a water source, take full advantage of it! Go for a swim, splash some water on your face, or even soak a bandana in cool water and wrap it around your neck. You'll be amazed at how much it helps.

Pro Tip: Pack a spray bottle filled with water. A quick mist can be incredibly refreshing on a hot day. And remember, always swim with a buddy! Check the water first to avoid strong currents or hidden rocks before diving in.

12. Plan Activities Wisely

Schedule strenuous activities like hiking for early mornings or late evenings when it's cooler. Save the hottest part of the day for more relaxed activities like reading, fishing, or just chilling in the shade. 

13. Create Shade

Sometimes natural shade isn't enough. Bring a pop-up canopy or a large tarp to create additional shaded areas around your campsite. This can provide a welcome respite from the sun, especially during peak sun hours.

14. Nighttime Strategies

Once the sun sets, you'll often find temperatures dropping, sometimes dramatically. Take advantage of this natural cooling by opening up all the flaps and vents on your tent to encourage airflow. If you’ve got a screened-in porch or room in your tent, use it!

15. Stay Informed

Lastly, always stay informed about the conditions around you. Weather can change rapidly, and knowing what to expect can help you prepare better. Keep a weather app handy or a small radio for updates, especially if you're in remote areas without cell service.

Final Thoughts

That’s pretty much the lowdown on how to stay cool while camping. Remember, a little preparation goes a long way in making your outdoor adventure enjoyable. By picking the right spot, using the right gear, and taking some smart steps, you can beat the heat and focus on what really matters: soaking in the beauty of nature!

Looking for more camping gear to make your summer trips comfier? Take a look at BougeRV today!

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