How To Stay Cool While Camping In A Tent?

Camping on hot days can be demanding as you can’t breathe normally in a tent. I can’t tolerate the heat easily so I figured out how to enjoy my outdoor activity and how to stay cool while camping in a tent.

camp summer

Here are my smart camping in the heat hacks and ways to keep cool while camping.

Camping hacks to stay cool

How to stay cool while camping in the summer? Here are some useful tips to stay cool while camping in the desert in the summer or anywhere else, so your camping trip will be fun and joyful.

Use water

Here are some tips for using water to stay cool and fresh.


Hydration is important so you won’t overheat. Prevent heat exhaustion, weakness, and fatigue by hydrating throughout the day. Bring water containers with you so you will have enough water.

outdoor hydration

Don’t have water with you? Use my purification methods to have drinkable water from rivers and lakes.


If you place your tent near a water source, the wind should bring cooler air. Place it near the running water like rivers or streams because it is constantly sending tiny water droplets into the air when it splashes as it hits rocks and other obstacles.

Water activities

Plan your trip around the water. There’s swimming, kayaking, boating, water skiing, or even fishing. For less intense activities, there are squirt guns and water balloons.

Sleeping in a tent

Here are some ideas involving your bedroll.


You can sleep in a hammock instead of a tent. You’ll probably want the kind that ties around nearby trees. However, if there are no trees, there are hammocks with frames, but they tend to be pretty heavy to carry around on your back.

a hammock

Sleeping outside the tent will enable you to enjoy the cool evening air. Hammocks are pretty comfortable with the right pillow arrangement so try it.

Sleeping on top of covers

How to keep cool while camping in a tent? Sleeping outside your covers is a good way of staying cool while camping. Instead of sleeping inside your sleeping bag, lay on it as if it was a mattress pad.

Instead of sleeping beneath the covers of your air mattress, sleep on top of it. A thin, breathable cotton sheet on top should be alright.

Hot weather tents

It is important to know which tent to use on hot summer days for keeping cool while camping. Most people use a single model for all of their camping seasons as tents tend to share features with all of the weather conditions in mind – such as UV protection and waterproofing.

Some find it more convenient to use a tent for the most extreme seasons. In desert climates, that season tends to be the scorching hot of summer. When camping in 100-degree weather, look for a tent that will have a good ventilation system. These are camping tents that stay cool for a longer time.

Screen tents are also recommendable but you won’t be able to use them directly in the sun (unless you cover the unit with the emergency blanket or some other cover).

Position with shade

Set up your unit in the shade, instead of direct sunlight. Try to choose a spot that’s been shaded for the longest.

camping in shade

How do you shade a tent?

How to cool down a tent while camping? Even if you are in the shade already, you can make it a little bit cooler by making more shade. Put up a tarp, a foot or two above the shelter. This will help air cool down faster by preventing more sunlight from reaching it.

Sometimes it happens that there isn’t any shade. I still recommend a tarp in this situation, but use a reflective tarp. It will help cool the air down faster while making your own shade.

Unfold the tent in the morning

How to keep your tent cool while camping? To avoid a greenhouse effect, one option is to unfold the shelter and store it in the shade after you wake up. This way it won’t be in the sun all day and heat up.

Maybe you don’t like to do it each day, however, the setup process is simple if you have an inflatable, automatic, or pop-up tent.

Put your rainfly away

Take the rainfly off the tent. Having a second layer so close to the unit only traps air and makes it hotter.

Use a footprint

If your model came with a footprint, or if you purchased one separately, bring it along. If you don’t have one, try using a normal tarp.

use camping tent foot print

Set up your tent over the ground tarp, so that it becomes a second floor under the shelter. This helps to prevent more heat from coming off of the ground. After all, that ground has been in the sunlight since the sunrise.


There’s an old tip to dig a 2 ft. trench where you will set up the tent and place it in there. The underground creates a sort of a basement that will make things bearable.

Tent ventilation

Tents that are made for spring, summer, and fall are made of mesh material, vents, and openings to provide airflow and to prevent condensation. So, after you got a 3 season model, open all the openings so the air can flow inside.

If there are mosquitos flying around open the windows and doors but leave the meshed parts closed. This way you will kill two birds with one stone.


The airflow can make a big difference so take a look at the next tips.

awesome camping fans

Battery powered fans

Tiny tent fans may seem like they’re insignificant, but a few of them can make a big difference. They work efficiently in smaller tents.

Look for the battery-powered fans, such as 12-volt fans, and put some of them in strategic spots to create an air tunnel around where you will be resting.

Pro tip: Use an ice block in front of the working fan as the air will be a little cooler because of it. Place the ice in a container as it will melt over time.

Check the article that explains how to use these fans for camping.


Sometimes you can’t help the weather, but try to find a windier spot to perch your tent. This is a great way on how to cool a tent without electricity. It will help the ventilation as well as keep the air around you colder.

More windows

How to keep cool while camping in the summer? When using a tent, you’ll want to maximize the window space. Most models come with a sort of mesh that keeps the insects out but allows air circulation. Look for a unit that has windows and mesh to keep the air flowing.

tent with lots of windows

Air conditioner

Do you wonder how to cool a tent with electricity? You can acquire portable air conditioners that run on electricity but you can also get the ones that work on a battery, or fuel source.

The best way to use one is when you camp at the campsite where you have an electricity source close.

Look for a unit that has an opening to install an AC and follow the instructions of the device to set it up properly. These air conditioners can be installed in larger family tents for camping.

You can find online schematics and ideas for air conditioners that you build yourself, along with the lines of an evaporative cooler.

Use a wet towel

How to stay cool at night while camping? Maybe you know this trick but it is efficient to some extent. When you are inside the shelter grab a wet towel and place it around the neck. The cold effect of water will make you feel cooler.

Use a space blanket

If you will camp in a small tent you can cover it with a space blanket. This blanket will reflect the incoming heat so your shelter won’t get so hot inside as usual.

If you won’t find as big blanket as the tent you can attach one to another and get a full cover blanket to reflect the heat effectively. You shall get two of them for a small model.

A bear hard survival blanket

Here is the UST survival blanket that is thick enough and made of aluminized surface to reflect the heat. It has grommets so you will be able to stabilize it on your shelter so the wind won’t blow it away.

Get a shower or jump in water

How to keep cool while camping? The best thing to cool yourself a little bit is to have a shower or to jump in the lake or a river that you have near the camping place.

By doing this your body will cool down. Refresh yourself before going to sleep as you will be able to fall asleep easier.

How to stay cool while camping without electricity?

If you won’t use an air conditioner or an air fan inside the tent then use my tips on how to stay cool while tent camping. Open the windows and vents on the shelter and try to cover it with a space blanket that will reflect the heat away from the shelter.

How to keep a tent cool at night?

Increase the airflow inside the tent by opening the vents, doors, and windows before going to sleep. This is the best way on how to cool a tent while camping. You can also use a fan or an air conditioner if your model has an opening for it.

How to keep food cool while camping?

The best way of keeping food cool while camping is to bring coolers. I recommend getting a quality cooler for your foods and drinks so they will stay fresh for a longer time.

Keeping cooler cold while camping is important to keep your contents cold and fresh for a longer time so keep it in the shade. This is a good way of keeping things cool while camping.

You can also put it in the lake or a creek as the water has lower temperatures than air. Make sure you secure it so the water won’t get in. This is one of the best ways on how to keep a cooler cold while camping.

What to wear when camping in hot weather?

Wear light, breathable and lighted-colored pieces of clothing as T-shirts and pants. Choose clothes that are not tight. As your skin will be exposed to hot temperatures make sure you will put sunscreen on. Wear sandals.

How to keep a baby cool while camping?

How to keep your baby cool while camping? Make sure you bring light and light-colored cotton clothes along so your baby will have an easier time dealing with the heat. Opt for a baby bathtub or a baby-sized pool to keep him satisfied.

Baby’s skin is sensitive so don’t forget to put some suncream on (don’t forget putting the suncream on his ears and nose as these body parts get sun-burned easily).

If you are thinking of bringing a baby on a winter camping trip, take my advice on how to camp with a baby in cold weather.

How to keep medicine cool while camping?

If you are taking medications of some kind keep them cool while on a camping trip. Medicines should be stored at a recommended temperature so keep them in a cooler that is packed with ice or gel packs. I don’t recommend ice as the melted water can get to the meds.

How to keep insulin cool while camping?

Are you a diabetic who is taking insulin shoots? If so, it is important to keep your insulin at a proper temperature. Keep insulin cool and safe with the FRIO insulin cooling case.

The product’s inner wallet has crystals that activate with water. When you activate the crystals, put the injections inside and put the wallet in the outer cover. This product is also good to have when winter camping as it will insulate the meds from the cold temperatures.

Final Words

How to stay cool while camping in a tent? With my tips, you will be able to enjoy your staying and not worry about the heat. Consider all of them and use the ones that will help you to stay relaxed and comfortable.

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