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23 Tips for Staying Cool While Camping 

With temperatures soaring and heat records spreading around the world, you might have put your summer adventures to a halt and settled for air conditioning instead.  But for those whose thirst for adventure is never quenched, you might be wondering how to stay cool while camping in summer heat?

Camping in the summer can be a blast, even if you might sweat a little falling asleep. So we’ve compiled a list of useful tips on how to stay cool while camping, even when it’s 100 degrees.

How to Stay Cool While Camping

Key Tips to Stay Cool 

It’s important when learning how to stay cool to plan ahead, make sure you stay hydrated and take breaks from activities and the sun when you need it.

Plan ahead

Don’t go on long hikes and get stuck without water or camp in the desert without a sun hoody. Pack ahead of time with the sun in mind and you’ll be optimized to stay cool.


Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is essential to regulate your body temperature and prevent dehydration. Bring an adequate supply of water and consider using a hydration pack or water bottles with built-in filters to refill from natural water sources if available. Make it a habit to drink water regularly, even if you don’t feel thirsty, to stay cool and energized during your camping adventure.

how to stay cool while camping


While camping, taking regular breaks is crucial for staying refreshed and avoiding exhaustion. Schedule short breaks during your activities to rest and recharge. Find a shaded spot under a tree or set up a comfortable camping chair to relax and enjoy the scenery. Use these breaks to hydrate, snack on nutritious foods, and simply take in the beauty of nature. Remember, pacing yourself with well-timed breaks will enhance your camping experience and keep you energized throughout your adventure.

Use Protection 


Stay cool while camping by choosing lightweight and breathable clothing. Opt for moisture-wicking fabrics like polyester or nylon to keep sweat at bay. Don’t forget a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to shield yourself from the sun’s rays while enjoying the great outdoors.


Beat the heat and find relief from the sun’s rays by setting up a shaded area at your campsite. Bring along a portable pop-up canopy or a large, sturdy tarp to create a cool refuge. Strategically position your camping chairs and gear under the shade to stay comfortable and protected from the sun.


Shield your skin from the scorching sun by applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF rating. Make sure to cover all exposed areas, including ears, neck, and the back of your hands. Reapply sunscreen every two hours, especially after swimming or sweating, to ensure maximum protection and a sunburn-free camping experience.

Find natural shade

Embrace nature’s own shade by choosing a campsite nestled under the canopy of trees. Look for a location where tall trees provide ample coverage from the sun’s intense rays. Set up your tent and camping gear strategically under the shade to stay cool and comfortable. 

how to stay cool while camping

Focus on Water 

Drink lots of water 

Experts recommend that you drink small sips of water throughout the day rather than gulp a ton after getting really thirsty. That will prevent dehydration better than drinking a lot only a few times. Remember, in the hot desert, you might not be thirsty or even sweat, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t dehydrating. 


Maintain your body’s electrolyte balance while camping by consuming electrolyte-rich foods and beverages. Pack electrolyte drink mixes or tablets to add to your water and replenish essential minerals lost through sweat. Nourish yourself with fruits like bananas and oranges, as well as salty snacks, to boost your electrolyte levels and keep your energy up during outdoor activities. Remember, balanced electrolytes will help you stay refreshed and prevent dehydration.

Take breaks from the sun 

Taking breaks from the sun is essential for protecting your skin and preventing sunburn during camping. Seek shade under trees, use a portable canopy, or create shade with a large tarp to shield yourself from direct sunlight. Plan your activities during the cooler hours of the day, such as early morning or late afternoon, and take advantage of shaded areas during peak sun hours. Remember to wear sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat when you are exposed to the sun, and stay hydrated to beat the heat while enjoying your camping trip.

Find a body of water

Finding a body of water can provide a refreshing break from the summer heat. Look for nearby lakes, rivers, or streams where you can cool off and enjoy a swim. Before entering any natural body of water, assess the safety conditions and depth. If you’re not a strong swimmer, consider using a life jacket. Always follow safety guidelines and avoid swimming alone. Whether it’s a dip in the water or just sitting by the shore, incorporating water activities into your camping trip can make for a memorable and enjoyable experience.

Take extra showers

Taking extra showers while camping can be a great way to stay fresh and cool, especially in warm weather. If your camping site has shower facilities, make use of them daily or as needed. Alternatively, you can create a makeshift shower using a portable camping shower bag or a collapsible bucket. Choose biodegradable soap to minimize environmental impact, and remember to conserve water while cleaning up. Regular showers will not only help you feel more comfortable but also keep you clean and refreshed during your camping adventure.

how to stay cool while camping

Become a Vampire

Set up your camp in the night

Setting up your tent at night while camping can be a wise decision, especially during hot weather. By waiting until evening, you can avoid the scorching heat of the day and set up your tent in a more comfortable environment. Use a headlamp or flashlight to illuminate your work area, and make sure to choose a safe and flat spot for your tent. With the cooler temperatures at night, you’ll have a more pleasant camping experience and get a better night’s sleep in your well-prepared shelter.

Pack in the night

Packing your camping gear at night offers several advantages, particularly when camping in hot weather. The cooler temperatures make the packing process more comfortable and prevent your gear from getting overly hot or sun-damaged during the day. Additionally, packing at night allows you to take advantage of natural light if you have a moonlit sky. Be sure to use a headlamp or flashlight to see clearly while organizing your equipment, and double-check that all essentials are securely stored before heading to bed. Packing at night sets you up for a smoother departure the next morning, leaving you ready to enjoy your camping adventure to the fullest.

Take a siesta in the hottest part of the day

Avoiding activity during the hottest part of the day is essential for staying cool and safe while camping in hot weather. Plan your outdoor activities, such as hiking or exploring, for the early morning or late afternoon when the temperatures are milder. During the peak heat hours, seek shade and take breaks to rest and hydrate. Engage in more relaxed and less strenuous activities during this time, such as reading, playing games, or simply enjoying the tranquility of nature. By avoiding activity during the hottest part of the day, you’ll reduce the risk of heat-related issues and make the most of your camping experience.

Avoid all werewolves

Just kidding, that’s obvious.

Gear-Up for Battle

If you’re ready to take summer camping seriously and want to stay cool, then consider adding some of this useful gear for staying less hot to your packing list.

how to stay cool while camping

Solar fan 

A lifesaver during hot camping days, use the sun for good and keep air circulating inside your tent, for a cooler and more comfortable night’s sleep.

Water spritzer

Carry a water spritzer to beat the heat. Spritz your face, neck, and body with water for instant relief on scorching days, especially if you aren’t always near showers or a body of water.


A sunshirt is a must-have piece of clothing for camping in hot or sunny weather. Its lightweight, moisture-wicking fabric offers protection from harmful UV rays, while keeping you cool and dry while outdoors.

Wide Hat

Wearing a hat is essential for sun protection while camping. Opt for a wide-brimmed hat to shield your face, ears, and neck from direct sunlight. Look for breathable materials to prevent overheating.


Reflectors or sunshades are extremely valuable for keeping cool while camping. Set them up strategically to block direct sunlight and create shade to maintain cooler temperatures in your campsite.

how to stay cool while camping


A hammock provides a more breathable sleeping option to a tent and if placed in the shade, a spot to relax during hot afternoons. Hang it between trees in the shade, and you’ll have a perfect resting spot to stay cool.

Breathable tent

Choosing a breathable tent with proper ventilation for summer camping is crucial for staying cool in hot weather. Look for tents with mesh panels and vents to allow airflow, ensuring a cooler and less stuffy interior during daytime naps or breaks from the sun.

Did we say drink water and seek shade?

Staying cool while camping in hot weather requires mindful planning and attention to certain factors. Utilizing water to cool down, whether through a water spritzer, dipping in a body of water, or staying hydrated, is crucial for beating the heat and avoiding heat stroke and overheating. 

Remember, becoming a “vampire” by avoiding strenuous activities during the hottest part of the day may fulfill your role-playing dreams as well as just be incredibly useful advice for staying cool while camping in extreme summer heats. 

By incorporating these strategies and taking breaks in the shade, you can fully enjoy your camping experience without letting the sun’s rays take a toll on your adventure. Stay cool, stay hydrated, and make the most of your camping adventure.

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