Summer Camping in Hot Weather? Here are 26 Tips to Stay Cool

summer camping in hot weather

When you’re trying to beat the heat, there’s nothing better than a summer camping trip. But if you’re not prepared for the blazing sun and soaring temperatures, your trip could be a total disaster.

That’s why we’ve put together this list of 26 summer camping tips to help you stay cool while camping in the summer. From choosing the right campsite to packing the perfect cooler, these tips will help you make the most of your summer camping trips.

Is summer a good time for camping?

Summer camping can be a great experience, but it is important to take precautions in order to stay safe and cool. Some people may find that summer is not the best time for camping because of the heat. However, with proper preparation, summer camping can be a fun and comfortable experience.

1. Choose a shady campsite

hot weather tent increase air flow

Summertime is peak camping season, but the hot weather can sometimes make it feel more like work than recreation. Pitching a tent in the direct sun can turn your campsite into an oven, making it uncomfortable to be outside for long periods of time.

To stay cool and comfortable, look for a shady spot to set up camp. A few trees can provide relief from the sun, making it much more enjoyable to spend time outdoors.

In addition, a shady campsite will be cooler at night, which can help you get a better night’s sleep. So when temperatures start to rise, don’t let the heat keep you from enjoying your favorite summer camping activity – just be sure to choose a shady spot to pitch your tent.

2. Bring plenty of water

One of the most important things to remember is to bring plenty of water. Make sure to bring plenty of water for everyone in your party, as well as some extra in case of emergencies. Depending on the weather and how active you’ll be, you should plan on drinking at least a gallon of water per day.

3. Drink lots of fluids

The heat can cause dehydration, which can lead to dizziness, headaches, and fatigue. In addition to water, there are other fluids that can help keep you cool and hydrated.

Drinks like sports drinks and juices are a good way to replenish electrolytes, which can be lost through sweating. And of course, iced tea, lemonade, and other cold beverages can help you stay cool in the summer heat.

If you are feeling thirsty, drink fluids regularly throughout the day and pack extra in case you run out.

4. Wear light-colored clothing

Dark colors naturally absorb sunlight, which can lead to heat exhaustion and dehydration. Light colors reflect sunlight, helping to keep you cool. In addition, light-colored clothing is often made from breathable fabrics like cotton, which help to wick away sweat and keep you comfortable.

When choosing clothes for summer camping, opt for light colors like a white, beige, or pale blue. You’ll stay cooler and more comfortable all day long.

5. Plan your activities around severe heat

If you know that temperatures are going to be particularly high, take some time to rest in the shade during the heat of the day. It’s important to avoid strenuous activity during the hottest part of the day, as this can lead to heat exhaustion.

Save hiking and other activities for early morning or evening when it’s cooler. Or, take a swim to cool off and then relax in the shade for a while. In addition, it’s a good idea to have a plan in place in case of an emergency.

Make sure you know how to contact the nearest ranger station and pack any essential supplies in case you need to shelter in place. 

6. Take frequent breaks from the sun

When you’re out camping, it’s important to take breaks from the sun to avoid overheating. If you’re hiking, make sure to stop and rest in the shade every few minutes. And if you’re spending time at the beach or by the pool, be sure to take a break in the shade every so often.

7. Bring a Tent designed for hot weather camping

When choosing a type of tent, be sure to pick one that’s designed for hot weather camping. These tents often have features like mesh panels that help promote cool air circulation. This can help keep you cool and comfortable even on the hottest days.

Some tents may even come with an attached sunshade that can provide additional protection from the sun. If you’re a sensitive sleeper, you may want to find a tent with blackout and dark rest features.

8. Stay in the shade as much as possible

Making an active effort to stay in the shade as much as you can help you avoid overheating and dehydration. If there’s no natural shade at your campsite, consider bringing an umbrella or tarp to create your own.

In addition, be sure to wear a hat and sunglasses when you’re outside to protect your skin and eyes from the sun.

9. Use a canopy, tarp, or reflective sunshade to create shade

If there’s no natural shade at your campsite, you can create your own by setting up a canopy, tarp, or reflective sunshade.

Canopies and tarps are a great way to create instant shade, while reflective sunshades can help reflect sunlight and keep your campsite cooler.

10. Put ice in your cooler or bring a portable refrigerator

Stay cool in summer heat with portable cooler

One important consideration is how to keep your food cool. If you’re only going for a day or two, you can get by packing ice in your cooler. But if you’re planning a longer trip, it’s worth investing in a portable refrigerator.

These devices use either battery power or liquid propane to keep food at a safe temperature. Portable refrigerators come in a variety of sizes, so you can choose one that fits your needs. And if you’re worried about running out of power, many models now come with solar panels that allow you to recharge the batteries while you camp.

With a little planning, you can enjoy all the benefits of fresh food on your next camping trip.

11. Freeze water bottles overnight

Frozen water bottles are a great way to keep your food and drink cool. Simply fill up some bottles before you go to bed, and they’ll be thawed and ready to use by the next day.

You can also use them to cool down your tent on hot weather days. Just place them in front of a fan, and the air will circulate and help keep things cool.

12. Remove your rain fly if the weather allows

Before you leave, be sure to check the weather forecast. If there is a chance of rain, you’ll want to double-check you’ve brought your tent’s rainfly. The rain fly is a waterproof cover that goes over your tent to keep you dry if it rains.

If you don’t have a rainfly, your tent will likely leak, and you’ll end up getting wet. When setting up your tent, make sure to put the rainfly on first. That way, if it starts raining, you won’t get wet while trying to put the rainfly on.

If the forecast calls for sunny skies, however, you may want to leave the rainfly off. It will help keep your tent cooler, and you’ll be able to enjoy the view of the stars at night.

13. Make sure your tent is well-ventilated

In hot weather, it’s important to make sure your tent is well-ventilated. Most tents have a mesh panel on the roof that can be opened to allow air to circulate.

If your tent doesn’t have one of these panels, you can open the door or window to promote air flow. And if you’re using a portable fan, be sure to aim it towards the door or window to help circulate the air.

14. Bring a portable fan or air conditioner

Coleman CPX 6 Lighted Tent Fan with Stand

Bringing a portable camping fan or portable air conditioner can be a great idea to help keep you comfortable when you’re summer camping in hot weather. Not only will it help keep you cool, but it can also help reduce insects and improve air quality.

Portable fans are relatively inexpensive and easy to pack, making them a great option for campers on a budget. Air conditioning can be more expensive, but it’s also more effective at cooling the air flow. However, a camping air conditioner can be heavier and take up more space, so make sure to consider your needs before making a purchase.

Either way, a fan or camping air conditioner can be a valuable addition to your camping gear.

15. Stay hydrated while sleeping

When camping in the summer, it’s important to stay hydrated. That means not only drinking plenty of water during the day but also making sure you’re getting enough fluids at night.

If you’re thirsty, you can drink water or another beverage before bed. But if you’re really looking to stay hydrated, consider sleeping in a damp, cotton T-shirt.

The moisture will help keep you cool, and the cotton will absorb any sweat that you may produce during the night.

16. Use wet towels or sheets to cool down

On a hot summer day, there’s nothing quite like coming back to your campsite and slipping into a cool, wet towel. Or, if you’re really feeling the heat, lie down on a wet sheet. This simple trick can help you stay cool and comfortable all night long.

Just drape the wet towel or sheet over your body and enjoy instant relief from the heat. The evaporating water will help to lower your body temperature and make it easier to fall asleep. Plus, it’s a lot more comfortable than trying to sleep in a sticky, sweaty sleeping bag.

17. Take a dip in a lake or river

staying cool when summer camping in body of water

One of the best ways to stay cool when camping in the summer is to take a dip in a nearby lake or river. Not only will the water help cool you down, but it can also be a great way to relax and enjoy nature.

If you don’t want to get wet, you can always just sit by the water’s edge and enjoy the view. But if you’re looking to cool off, there’s no better way than to take a dip in a refreshing body of water.

18. Bring a spray bottle for cooling off

A spray bottle is a must-have for summer camping. Not only can you use it to mist your body with cool water, but you can also use it to wet your towels or sheets.

Just fill-up the spray bottle with water and keep it in your cooler. Then, when you’re feeling hot and sweaty, give yourself a quick misting. The cold water will help to lower your body temperature and make you feel more comfortable.

19. Set up a hammock in the shade

Hammocks are a great way to relax and enjoy the outdoors. And when it’s hot outside, setting up your hammock in the shade can be a great way to stay cool.

The shade will provide you with some relief from the sun, and the gentle rocking motion can help you fall asleep. Just be sure to secure your hammock properly so you don’t end up taking a tumble in the middle of the night.

20. Make your own frozen treats

There’s nothing quite like a cold, refreshing treat in the summer heat. And when you’re camping, you can make your own frozen treats to help you stay cool.

Need some inspiration? Check out this list of 50 frozen treat ideas.

All you need is a cooler, some ice, and your favorite ingredients. Then, you can make anything from frozen grapes to popsicles. So next time you’re camping in the summer, be sure to bring along some ingredients for making your own frozen treats.

21. Bring along games and activities that don’t require much heat

summer camping night time activities

When it’s hot outside, the last thing you want to do is be active. But that doesn’t mean you have to sit around and do nothing all day. There are plenty of games and activities that you can enjoy in the heat. Just be sure to bring along some supplies, such as cards, board games, and Frisbees.

And if you’re looking for something to do that doesn’t require much heat, consider bird watching or stargazing. Both of these activities can be enjoyed in the comfort of the shade.

22. Plan nighttime activities

When the sun goes down, the temperature will usually drop as well. So if you’re looking for a way to stay cool in the evening, consider planning some nighttime activities.

There are plenty of things you can do at night, such as telling ghost stories around the campfire, going for a night hike, or playing card games. Just be sure to dress appropriately and bring along a flashlight.

23. Avoid caffeine and alcohol

Caffeine and alcohol are two things that can actually make you feel hotter. Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it will make you sweat more. And alcohol can cause your blood vessels to dilate, which will make you feel flushed and hot.

So if you’re trying to stay cool in the heat, it’s best to avoid these two substances. Instead, stick to water and other non-caffeinated beverages.

24. Eat lighter meals

When it’s hot outside, you probably don’t want to eat a heavy, greasy meal. Instead, opt for lighter fare that will be easier on your digestive system.

Fruits and vegetables are always a good choice, as they’re hydrating and full of nutrients. You can also try cold soups or salads. Just be sure to avoid spicy food, as it can make you feel even hotter.

25. Disassemble your tent during the day

Tent camping in the peak of the summer heat? You’re not alone.

If you’re camping in a hot weather climate, disassembling your tent during the day can help you stay cool. The sun will heat up the fabric of your tent, making it difficult to sleep in during the afternoon.

So if you want to stay cool, it’s best to take your tent down during the day and set it up again in the evening. This way, you’ll be able to sleep in a cool, comfortable tent at night.

26. Take a cold shower before going to sleep

If you’re camping in an area with a shower, take a cold shower before going to sleep. The cool water will help your body temperature drop, making it easier for you to fall asleep.

Just be sure to avoid using soap, as it can dry out your skin. And if you don’t have a shower, consider taking a dip in a lake or river.

Recap: Summer Camping Tips in Hot Weather

So if you’re looking for a way to stay cool in the summer, consider using one of these tips. And remember, they all have one thing in common: they’ll help you beat the heat.

For further reading, check out these related articles:

Frequently Asked Questions

Is summer a good time for camping?

Summer is a great time for camping! The weather is warm and there are plenty of activities to enjoy. Just be sure to follow some basic safety tips, such as staying hydrated and avoiding heat stroke.

How do you camp in the summer?

To camp in the summer, you’ll need to take some steps to stay cool. This includes choosing a campsite that’s shady and near water, dressing in light-colored clothing, and staying hydrated. You should also bring along supplies for making your own frozen treats, as well as games and activities that don’t require much heat.

How hot is too hot for camping?

The temperature can get pretty hot during the summer, so it’s important to be prepared. It can be dangerous camping outside in temperatures as high as 100 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re camping in an area that’s prone to heat waves, make sure you have a plan for staying cool. This might include bringing along a portable fan or air conditioner, as well as taking breaks in the shade. Just be sure to listen to your body and take breaks as needed.

How do you sleep in hot weather camping?

There are a few things you can do to sleep comfortably in hot weather camping. This includes using a fan or portable air conditioner, as well as sleeping on a camping cot or air mattress. You should also avoid eating heavy meals before bed and take a cool shower before going to sleep.



Taylor Wise is a nature landscape photographer who spends his days running a web design agency. His passion project is traveling and getting in touch with nature, he hopes to help others do the same by sharing camping tips and tricks through Camping Tent Expert. Taylor takes weekend camping trips whenever he can, and loves nothing more than getting lost in the wilderness.

Affiliate Disclosure

This website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to and affiliated sites.

Table of Contents

Explore our recent posts