Staying Cool in your Camping Tent

Staying Cool in your Camping Tent

So you’re going camping in the summer and you’re a little concerned about feeling the heat whilst you’re in your camping tent. Fear not, there are a number of ways that you can enjoy a fulfilling camping outing and return to a cool, comfortable outdoor tent at the end of the day, without having to pack a load of extra camping gear. Stick with us and by the end you’ll have all the knowledge you need to avoid sticky, sleepless outdoors nights.


The importance of where you will be setting up your outdoor tent cannot be underestimated. Obviously, it’s smart to first establish a campsite with a clearing, but equally as important is finding a tent position that provides plenty of cover – both from rain and sun exposure.

It goes without saying that the shade will keep the temperature inside the tent lower. A campsite that has many trees overhead is ideal. Try to research the topography of the campsite so that you can reserve an area with significant covering. When doing so, also consider that the sun is at its hottest at midday, so the area you choose will provide cover during this crucial period.

Alternatively (or even in addition if you want to be extremely careful) you can purchase a tarp shelter to take along. The tarp shelter can be erected either using poles or strung onto trees above your camping tent, if allowed. In instances where campers and adventurers really want to get in touch with nature and sleep in the open air, a tarp shelter can be used as a makeshift tent itself, providing nothing more than cover to its user and their belongings.

For those of you that don’t plan on living that extremely but do plan on exploring the tarp method, doubling up can ensure maximum protection. Keep some space between the tarp shelters and your camping tent (about 1-2 feet) and you’ll see, and feel, a noticeable difference.


Tents shaded by trees
Camping beneath shade lowers the temperature inside the tent

Any outdoor tent you purchase has to be conscious of the environment it will inhabit. This is no different in hot climes than a tent designed to protect its user in bitterly cold weather.

At the height of summer, you want a tent that is manufactured with breathable materials or openings. An outdoor tent made from a material like polyester, and incorporating mesh windows and multiple entry points, helps. If you’ve oriented your camping tent correctly, the breeze will flow through the openings during the daytime.

You may even want to think about insulating your tent from ground heat on very hot days. Heat radiates from the turf and is another source that causes hot, annoying tents. Laying material – maybe some leftover tarp – underneath your outdoor tent will prevent this.

Still in the theme of extreme measures, an easily-erected camping tent, such as a pop-up tent or an air tent, can be taken down during hot mornings to prevent heat build-up. If you have a larger tent that takes several minutes to set up, then this measure isn’t the most practical. But it can drastically help to keep you and your family cooler inside.


No, we don’t mean putting on your favourite jeans or your awesome, expensive mirror lens shades. Instead, we’re referring to camping clothes that are best suited to keeping you feeling comfortable in blistering conditions.

Firstly, you’ll need to think about the outdoor clothing items and materials that protect against UV exposure. These are everyday clothes that are much more useful than just a fashion statement like loose fitting shorts and T-shirts that are sewn from cotton. Heavier materials insulate heat and sweat which can cause skin irritation. Clothing items that draw sweat from the body, and that boast SPF (sun protection factor) protection, are valuable in heat.

Also, it’s a widely-known fact that lighter colours reflect, instead of absorb, sunlight. Wear lighter colours, even when you are in the shade as it still matters.


Family hydrating whilst camping
Good hydration helps to lower body temperature


We’re not expecting you to go the whole weekend eating ice lollies. Still, good hydration and cold foods are not only tasty, they also help to regulate your body temperature.

For example, water is your best friend. Our bodies are composed mainly of water and as long as we keep that topped up, it enables our body to use its natural temperature control system, the hypothalamus, to work at its optimum level. Keep the water at its coldest using both an insulated water bottle and a camping cool box.

Do the same with your foods. Include fruits, pasta, salads and any other cold food items in your large cool box. It may not be as satisfying as food cooked over an open fire but, for a weekend at least, it’ll keep you healthy and cooler.


Possibly the most vital bit of kit during a sweltering camping trip. When you’re out in a rural area doing activities in the 3pm sun, you’ll want to climb into your camping cool box yourself. But, assuming you don’t fit, the alternative is packing lots of ice, drinks and food in it.

Pack ice. Ice will keep products at a low temperature. Alternatively, it can be used to create cooling packs that can be held onto your skin to lower your temperature. Making a cooling pack is easy: just place a few cubes of ice into an insulating material or bag. Once you’re done, you can replace the pack back into the camping cool box to be used again whenever necessary. Nowadays, there are many cool boxes that are electrically powered. Provided a main connection is available on site, you’ll have fewer worries about melted products.


Since we’re in the tech age, it seems a shame not to utilise fantastic mobile gadgets to enhance our camping experiences. And we absolutely do. The usual suspects come to mind like a miniature electric fan. Fortunately, these little sidekicks work on battery, so no need for an electrical connection. And they can be easily stored amongst your camping gear.

A misting system, which is basically packing a spray bottle of cold water to spray onto yourself for a shot of heat relief, works in a similar way to a mobile fan. Again, like with the drinking water, a bottle that insulates the temperature of the water will keep the water at its coolest and allow it to be stored in your camping cool box too.

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