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 to enjoy hot weather tent camping.

Camping hacks to stay cool

Here are some useful tips to stay cool in a tent during the summer, 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 with hydrating throughout the day. Bring water containers with you so you will have enough of it.

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

Sleep outside your covers. 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 in hot summer days. 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. Look for a tent that will have a good ventilation system. These are camping tents that stay cool for a longer time.

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?

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 tent. 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 try using a reflective tarp. It will help cool the air down faster while making your own shade.

Unfold the tent in the morning

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 on 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 a 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 which 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 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 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 during 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 keeping the air around you cooler.

More windows

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

Maybe you know this trick but it is efficient to some extent. When you are inside the tent 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 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 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

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.

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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