We haven’t been camping for the last 2 years (well, N did go to a glamping sleepover party recently with friends), so I’m missing it a bit. More so being away with friends and enjoying relaxing evenings and time at the beach.  But with the weather being so hot here at the moment, I thought it a good idea to share my tips on how to cope when camping in the heat. 

If you’re going camping it’s always good to be prepared for any weather. If you’ve got rain forecast, my tips for camping in the rain post may come in handy. I also have a post on storm proofing your camp set up. Most of us prefer to go camping in good weather, but it does bring its own challenges.

We tend to spend very little time in our tent while on holiday – either we’re out and about exploring the sights, or at the beach. It’s only in the rain when we hide away. But it’s never nice to have to pop into the tent to get something or get changed, and find it sweltering. And being too hot when you sleep is never good either. Here’s my tips for how to stay cool when camping in the heat.

tips for camping in hot weather

Camping in the heat hacks

Think about your choice of tent – a polycotton tent might be really heavy and more expensive, but they’re breathable, so slightly cooler than usual polyester tents. If you’re camping in hot weather a lot then they might be worth the investment.

Use a skyshield or protector if your tent has one – it’s an extra level of protection for the top of the tent against the sun. (if you don’t mind looking a bit silly, you could add a foil blanket on top of the tent to reflect the sun back off (but watch out for how noisy it would be in the wind).

Pitch your tent with the entrances/doors facing the direction of the breeze.

Pitch the tent at a cooler time of day, early evening, so you don’t pitch at midday and then there’s a whole afternoon of sun to heat up the tent. (Ok, so this isn’t one I follow, because we like to get everything set up as soon as possible to then relax afterwards).

Set up camp in the shade. Easier to do if you’re wild camping or car camping at a campsite with lots of hedges or trees. We’re usually camped in an open space so have never really had shady places.

Ventilate the tent as much as possible rather than keeping it all zipped up. This avoids as much condensation, helps air the tent, and keeps it cooler.

Choose a tent with mesh over doors – it means you can keep doors open but bugs are less likely to get inside.

If the temperature gets really hot, look at reducing the amount of air slightly in your airbeams. Take advice from the tent manufacturer and/or specialist retailer.

Use a fan – handheld is fine for short occasions, but in the tent why not look out for a larger standing one. Just check the electricity needed, as you don’t want to trip the EHU. In front of the fan try setting out a bowl of ice water to help circulate cooler air around.

Take a good cool box with you. Ideally electric but if not, work the ice packs switching over to your advantage where possible. 

Take frozen bottles of water/freeze homemade meals to help keep the cool box cool as they defrost ready to use.

Keep a bandana or flannel for cooling purposes – just wet and put in the cool box before use. Use it on your neck face or head as required.

Look for a cool storage area for food and water, or other drinks. You can keep drinks in a bucket of cold water (add ice too), or why not work with the sun and store in the shade (we’ve put things under the car before, as well as hidden drinks in the hedge behind the tent).. Just keep an eye on the moving sun.

Stay hydrated and make sure you drink enough through the day.

Sleep off the ground – on a camp bed works well because you’ve got air circulating around you in all directions.  Air beds can be quite cold to lie on if the ground underneath is cold, but they’ll also get hot in the daytime. 

Take layers for bedding. Rather than sleeping in your sleeping bag, open it up and use like a duvet. It means you can stick a foot out when you’re hot, but also have the thickness for when the night gets colder.  Add sheets or thin blankets to layer up or cooler off.

Set up a gazebo or tarp, or even parasols to sit under when sitting outside your tent. It means you still have cover from the sun

I’d prefer camping in low 20s temperature, but it’s definitely better camping in warm weather than in the cold and rain.

What other tips for camping in the heat hacks would you include?

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