8 Tips for Staying Cool on Camping Trips (2022)

women with her dog in tent
Table of Contents

    Camping in the summer means enjoying swimming, fishing, and hiking. It also means hot days and humid nights, which can be uncomfortable and even dangerous. Staying cool on a camping trip can keep you both comfortable and safe, so it is important to follow these 8 tips for staying cool on camping trips.

    How to Stay Cool While Camping

    Tip #1: Layer the Shade

    The shade is your friend, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a manmade shade like a canopy or nature-made shade like trees; the more shade, the better when it comes to staying cool while camping.

    You should pitch your camping tent under any type of shade you can find. We recommend layering the shade any chance you get because it will provide the maximum amount of cooling while camping.

    If there is a shady area of trees, you can pitch your tent there and place a canopy over the tent to maximize the shade, keeping your camping tent out of direct sunlight.

    Tip #2: Ventilate Your Tent

    Taking down your tent each day on a multi-day camping trip is always recommended because it will keep the summer heat from becoming trapped inside the tent during a hot day, but this can be difficult and time-consuming to do – especially on a hot day.

    If you’re unable to take your tent down each day of your hot weather camping trip, you should keep the tent ventilated as much as possible throughout the day to keep heat from becoming trapped inside of it. This means opening the windows and doors and removing any type of covering on the tent.

    Tip #3: Sleep in a Hammock

    Sometimes direct sunlight is unavoidable. To prevent your tent from becoming a sauna during the day and holding the heat inside after sitting in the sun all day, you can ditch it altogether and sleep in a hammock.

    Make sure you have a hammock made for sleeping and not just lounging, as lounging hammocks can become uncomfortable after a while. You can also equip your sleeping hammock with a bug net to keep insects away while you sleep.

    Tip #4: Hydration, Hydration, Hydration

    Water bottle on wood with summer scene background

    Drinking water while camping is important. You should drink 64 ounces of water regularly, but you’ll need to drink more on a hot summer day. That’s because your body is losing water as you sweat in the heat. You can quickly and easily lose water from sweating and body heat on summer days. This leads to dehydration and heat stroke, which can be dangerous.

    Also, try not to wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Being thirsty is your first sign that you are already dehydrated. Try to drink regularly throughout the day so that you stay hydrated. Being dehydrated is not only uncomfortable through headaches and fatigue, but it is also dangerous.

    Being dehydrated can cause you to become dizzy, disoriented, and even lose consciousness, so it’s important to always stay hydrated while camping.

    Tip #5: Try to Be Most Active in the Morning or the Evening

    If you plan to partake in a rigorous activity like hiking or swimming, you should plan to do these activities in the morning or the evening when it is the coolest part of the day.

    The hottest part of the day is generally around 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM, but it can quickly heat up long before the temperature has reached the hottest part of the day. You should plan to do your activities earlier in the morning or later in the evening, around dusk. This will keep you as cool as possible during your activities.

    Tip #6: Use Portable Fans

    We don’t like to emphasize using portable fans to keep cool because you may rely on them too much while you’re camping. This can keep you from becoming acclimated to the outdoors, and acclimation is necessary to stay cool and comfortable while camping. However, we understand that there are times when a portable fan is necessary to use, which is why we’ve made sure to include it on our list.

    If you have become overheated or you need to circulate the hot air that has formed inside your tent, you should absolutely use a portable fan. Just try not to rely on the portable fan to keep you cool the entire day because it can actually have the opposite effect and make you feel hotter than normal if you would have become acclimated to the temperature around you.

    Tip #7: Shower at Night

    If you have access to a shower, you can shower at night right before bed. The water from the shower can cool your body temperature down and help keep you damp at bedtime. The dampness can help keep you cool while you sleep.

    Tip #7: Use Cooling Towels

    Cooling towels like Frogg Toggs are perfect for keeping cool on those hot summer days. Simply get them wet and place them on your body (preferably your head, neck, or shoulders) to cool down your body temperature.

    Like portable fans, you shouldn’t rely on cooling towels throughout your entire camping trip because you won’t become acclimated to the heat and will likely rely on them too much. However, cooling towels are ideal for those times when you are hiking or have just finished an activity that has you overheated.

    Tip #8: Wear Light-Colored Clothing

    Family Enjoying Camping Holiday In Countryside

    Try to only pack and wear light-colored clothing while camping. Light-colored clothing reflects light which will keep you cool. Wearing dark-colored clothing like black, dark blue, and dark gray will absorb the light and turn it into heat. Wearing light-colored clothing will reflect the light and keep you cool during the hottest and brightest part of the day.


    If you follow these 8 tips for staying cool while camping during hot weather, you will have a safe and enjoyable camping trip every time! Remember to stay hydrated, take advantage of the shade, and try not to rely on cooling devices. Follow these tips, and you can beat the summer heat and avoid heat stroke.

    Narcis Bejtic