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Camping in the heat – how to stay cool

a waterfall is shown while camping in the heat

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The dogs days of summer are not the most desirable time to go camping, but it’s when most of us have the time to do so. Camping in the heat doesn’t have to be a complete drag. Now, I realize sometimes it can be just unbearable. Recently my sister and her family attempted camping when the low was only 80 degrees. They ended up bailing. They spent one night, then packed everything up and got a hotel. Sometimes it’s just too hot.

But if you want to camp in the hot summer, maybe when it’s a little cooler than a low of 80 degrees, these seven tips make it a little more bearable.

Find the shade

You know how when you sit around the campfire and the smoke follows you wherever you move? The summer’s equivalent of that is the sun. I know it’s annoying, but chasing the shade will make camping in the heat so much better. If you can’t book a nice shady spot, use a canopy to create your own shade.

Sleep in a hammock

I went camping over the Fourth of July weekend and set up my little one-man tent. When I crawled into the tent, I immediately felt the rise in the temperature. I should have brought a bigger tent. In fact, I bought that tent to help me stay warmer in the winter. I left it set up in case it rained, but I spent the entire weekend sleeping in my hammock. Sleeping in a hammock is much cooler because you don’t have insulating walls. You have the breeze above you and below you.

A small tent and hammock are shown

Drink ice-cold drinks

Drinking iced-down liquids is a great way to stay cool while camping in the heat. Drinking something like ice water lowers your core temperature. That’s why we love our ice tea here in the South. This is where those expensive Hydro Flasks and Yeti water bottles come in handy. They keep drinks cold for a long time.

Place a fan next to your cooler

Placing a fan next to your cooler or something iced will blow the cooler air on you. This is how an air conditioner works. It blows air over cooling coils. Of course, if you have an expensive cooler, like Yeti, this won’t work as well. The Yeti keeps the cool air inside longer and does not produce much air leakage. But a cheap cooler filled with ice on the other side of a fan can make unbearable heat a little more tolerable.

A pair of legs rest in a hammock while camping in the heat

Use a cooling cloth on your neck

Cooling cloths work the same way your sweat does – using evaporation to cool you down. And putting them on your neck can help your whole body be cooler. Your body has “pulse points” where you can trick your brain into thinking you’re cooler than you are, making that hot air feel a little more bearable. Something like the Frogg Toggs Chilly Pad Cooling Towel can keep you cooler for hours.

Camp near water

This may seem like a no-brainer, but giving yourself opportunities to dip into the water is a great way to stay cool while camping in the heat. Taking a dip in a cold stream or a lake lowers your body temperature. Also when you get out and dry off, the evaporation of the water from your skin continues to cool you.

A woman kayaks on the lake

Enjoy the lounge

While we usually go camping to enjoy the activities of the outdoors like hiking or biking, it’s also quite nice to go and just relax around camp. Camping in the heat of the summer is a great time just to sit around, prop your feet up, sip some cool drinks, and visit with family and friends.

Camping in the heat

Most people have time for camping in the summer months. But for those of us in the hot sticky South, it’s not the best time. However, camping in the heat doesn’t have to be miserable. Now, there are some types of heat that are awful, but for the most part, these tips can help you enjoy your summer camping trips a little better.

Pin it! Camping in the heat

Seven tips to make camping in the heat a little more bearable and help you enjoy your summer camping trips.

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