How To Keep Your Tent Cool

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While nobody likes to camp when it’s very hot outside, for many people, summer camping is a popular season for camping. But there are simple things you can do to reduce the temperature in your tent. You can put your tent in the shade, you can keep the tent ventilated, you can use a tarp to create shade, you can use an upside-down survival blanket to reflect the infrared heat of the sun, you can bring a fan, you can wear a wet buff or hair, or you can even bring along a camping air conditioner.

We will now look at each one of these to see which is best. And we’ll even through in a couple of other ideas at the end.

And before I begin, let me say that in Texas, many of us just avoid camping when it gets too hot. In particular, in mid-August when it gets into the upper 90s. But if you do go camping, in the heat, make sure to drink enough liquids to stay hydrated. Cramping is not fun. And heat-stroke can kill you.

We have an article about how much water to bring here.

Keep The Tent In The Shade

The first thing to do is to look for a place where you can keep your tent in the shade. Large trees are going to be best. Though make sure you do get a breeze so that you will cool off. Make sure that the trees are healthy and you’re not under any widow-maker branches.

Make Your Own Shade With A Tarp

You might be camping in an area where there the trees provide enough shade. If this is the case, you can provide your own shade with a tarp.

If you do have some trees around your tent, you can tie the tarp to the trees to provide shade for your tent.

You can also use this trick to provide a covered area to sit under in case of rain. You can also use the tarp to provide a covered area for you to cook or socialize under.

If you don’t have trees available, you can bring along poles to use. Some tarps like the Topnaca Lightweight Camping Tarp Shelter, include poles so that it is easy to set up as a canopy.

Send The Heat Back To Space With A Survival Blanket

Sometimes, the shade from the trees or a tarp is not enough. So we can borrow a trick from keeping us warm in the winter, use a survival blanket.

You will want a survival blanket that has a shiny side and non-shiny like the Mylatech Survival XL Reusable Emergency Thermal Blankets. You can also use a tarp that has mylar coating on one-side.

Attach the survival blanket to your tent over the rainfly. Or it can replace the rainfly if you don’t expect inclement weather. You can attach it to the tent poles using binder clips.

Make sure the shiny mylar surface is pointing up to the sky. Mylar will reflect back 90% of the infrared energy that shines on it. And this should help cool your tent.

Maximize The Ventilation

A common complaint about sleeping in tents is the lack of ventilation. In particular, for single-walled tents. A two-walled tent can maximize ventilation because you can remove the rainfly. They have a mesh covering that will keep the bugs out.

If you are not expecting rain and are settling in for the night, you can sleep without the rainfly to sleep under the stars without the bugs. But this will give you the most ventilation.

Jump Through The Sprinkler

One of my acquaintances loves to camp at state parks in the summer because the heat keeps people away. But he always chooses a site with a water hookup so that he can bring his water hose and sprinkler. It becomes a hotspot for his grandkids and their new friends (all of the kids from other campsites).

They run through the sprinkler and it cools them off.

Wet Your Buff And Hair

Bring along a buff and you can soak it full of water. Then place around your neck and this will cool you off via evaporation. You can also keep your hair wet.

Leverage Fans

There are a wide variety of fans available for campers. These include battery operated as well as traditional electrically powered models. The latter would need to be plugged into either a generator or shore power at a campsite that provides an electrical connecton.

We provide a guide to fans here.

Improvised Swamp Cooler

If you have a fan plus a bucket of ice water (you could use one of those cheap styrofoam coolers), then you can create a swamp cooler.

You put the ice water in front of the fan. As the water evaporates, the fan blows the cool water over you.

Where it lands on you and then evaporates again.

These can work well as long as there isn’t much humidity.

Air Conditioner For Your Tent

For those of y’all who think any type of convenience doesn’t count as camping, can stop reading now.

But if you’re really wanting to maximize comfort in your tent when trying to sleep in the heat of the summer, you can bring along an air conditioner.

We have an article about them right here.

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