How To Cool A Tent Without Electricity
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Summertime means camping trips for many people, but when the temperatures soar, keeping cool in a tent can be a challenge. Here are some tips for staying comfortable without electricity.
Only put the tent up after the sun is down. This will help to keep it cooler during the day. Instead of leaving your tent pitched all day long and allowing it to warm up on the inside, you can keep the tent cooler by not pitching it until nightfall. If you are on a multi-day trip, you can collapse the tent during the day and store it in a shady spot.
Position the tent for maximum airflow
To keep the inside of your tent as cool as possible, ensure plenty of airflow. Position the tent so that the doors and windows are facing away from the sun, and open them up to create a cross breeze. If you have a fan, position it near an open vent to help circulate the air.
Remove the rainfly if there is no rain forecast. This will allow more ventilation and keep the tent cooler.
If you have a double-walled tent, you can further increase airflow by removing the rainfly. However, only do this if there is no chance of rain – you don’t want to get caught in a downpour without any protection!
Use reflective materials to deflect heat.
You can use tarp, space blankets or even light-colored clothing to create a barrier between the sun and the inside of your tent. By reflecting the sunlight, you can keep the temperature inside the tent much cooler.
Make your own air conditioner.
You can fashion an air conditioner by filling a large container with ice water and placing it in front of a fan. The melting ice’s cool air will help keep your tent comfortable. You might know this as a swamp cooler.
Pack a portable mister.
A small, handheld mister can be a lifesaver on hot days. Use it to mist yourself and your clothing to help cool down.
The Ryobi fan does both. It’s a large fan with attached misters. It can be fed from either a garden hose or you can sit it on a 5-gallon bucket. The fan is battery-powered, so you don’t need to worry about having electricity at the campsite.
I used it this weekend to keep me cool in 100-degree weather while sitting outside with friends.
Keep the rainfly extended and windows open to maximize ventilation.
If there is a chance of rain, then you will want to keep the rainfly on, but make sure to stretch out the fly as much as possible to maximize ventilation. Open the windows too, to help circulate air.
Pack light-colored clothing.
Clothing that is light in color will reflect heat better than dark colors, helping you to stay cooler. Synthetic materials are lighter-weight and breath much better than cotton shirts.
Get your hair wet! Wet hair will help to cool you down.
My friend Randal will only camp during the summer if he has access to electricity to power his fans and running water. His system is to get his hair and, if possible, entire body entirely wet every hour.
He started this before we had reliable battery-powered fans and <a href=”https://go.skimresources.com?id=57667X1588241&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.jackery.com%2Fproducts%2Fjackery-explorer-500-solarsaga-100w-solar-generator”quiet portable power stations like a Jackery.</a> My Jackery 500 can keep my USB fan powered for several nights of camping.
Use a battery-powered fan to circulate air inside the tent.
In colder temperatures, you can avoid gadgets to keep yourself warm. All you need is more clothes and blankets. But nothing is as reliable as a fan at helping you to stay cool when camping in the summer.
And I’ll admit, I’m not even going to make fun of you if you decide to invest in a portable air-conditioner. I know many people will frown upon this.
However, many families can only camp during the summer. And you might need an AC to keep the peace.
I am blessed that my current day job allows me to camp almost anytime I want. And that in Texas, I have at least 9 months out of the year that I can camp. Thus once we hit the hottest part of the summer, I just stay home.
Be careful of snakes at night.
Snakes will become active the warmer the temperatures get. And during the hottest part of the summer, they are more likely to be nocturnal. Thus make sure to wear closed-toe shoes and watch where you are stepping.
Pay attention to burn bans.
My friends and family don’t consider it camping if we don’t have a campfire. I have even camped where it was so hot I ran my misting fan behind my camping chair while I tended to a small fire. However, as the summer goes on, the temperatures will become so hot that many counties will put a ban on all outdoor fires.
Check with your local ranger station to find out if any burn bans are in effect.
Be prepared for extreme heat.
If camping in an area where temperatures regularly reach over 100 degrees, you need to take extra precautions.
Make sure you have plenty of water. At least 1 gallon per person, per day. And more if you are hiking or doing any strenuous activities.
Wear light-colored, loose clothing. A wide-brimmed hat will help keep the sun off your face and neck.
And seek medical help if people are showing signs of heat distress. More people die from heat exposure than snake bites at Big Bend National Park. It can happen quickly.
This is another reason I don’t camp between July 4 and Labor Day in Texas. It’s not just hot and sweaty, the heat is very dangerous. And thus we just stay home until it cools off.
Just because of the warm temperatures doesn’t mean you can’t go camping. There are plenty of ways to stay cool when camping in the summer. By following these tips, you can ensure that your next camping trip is enjoyable for everyone.