How to Camp Cooler During Hot Weather

News & Tips: How to Camp Cooler During Hot Weather

The summer is heating up and so is tent camping — literally. Some tent campers skip the hot temps of mid-summer and pitch tents when the temps drop a few degrees. Other tent campers brave the hot nights and hotter days and adjust their summer camping techniques to enjoy a cooler camp. A tent fan and specific campsite locations provide cooler camping scenarios.

CoolerCampingDuringHotWeather blog
Using a tent fan can help keep a tent cool and keep condensation to a minimum.

Fans designed for tents work well. The air moved by a fan is not any cooler than the calm air out of the fan's path. But what a person feels is evaporative cooling. The air moving across a person's skin causes evaporation, which in turn creates a cooling effect on the skin. A battery powered fan used during the night will also keep any condensation accumulating in the interior to a minimum as well. The cost of batteries is offset when considering a cooler tent may be the deciding factor of a trip or no trip.

A few elements to consider regarding the campsite location can drop the temps to a more comfortable degree. Parking at some campgrounds are paved with asphalt. Asphalt's dark color is a sun ray attractant which raises temperatures. Select a campsite with the lightest color of parking pad to lower the site a few degrees. You would be surprised at the amount of heat a paved parking pad continues to radiate after the sun drops.

Obviously, sites with shade trees are attractive during the summer. The shade provided can drop the air temp by over 20 degrees lower than an open site. Keep the sun's path in mind when selecting a shaded site to get the most out of the shade for the most hours of the day.

A relatively flat campground or area doesn't offer many choices in elevation changes but it doesn't take much in elevation change to get an air temp change. Depending on vegetation, surrounding geographic forms, and any nearby bodies of water, a site at a higher elevation of only a couple dozen feet can make a difference. A steady flow of air current moving around and through a woodlot or meadow of tall grasses provide a cooler air temp.

A campsite on a north facing slope can provide a brief break from direct sunlight. Other small adjustments to campsite selection such as keeping a campfire (if using one) and the tent as distant from each other as possible or utilizing a utility tarp as a shade maker on the sunny side of the tent provide a few degrees cooler camping. These tips combined will create a more comfortable camping experience during hot weather, and that sure beats canceling the trip altogether.