The summer season and camping really do go hand in hand. Not only is the weather sunny and warm, but logistically the opportunity often arises for an extended trip. The kids are off of school, vacation days can be taken from work – all conditions seem to be working in favor of a fun excursion into the outdoors. But, just as any other season presents unique challenges in camping, summer has its own caveat: heat. From uncomfortable to downright exhausting, excessive heat can turn a camping trip into a sweat-soaked bummer very quickly. Below are a few tips for beating the heat when you have limited resources and no AC available.
1. Keep the air circulating
Dead air has a way of compounding the effects of heat. It’s like being immersed in a steamy bath that’s completely still. It’s especially noticeable at night, when lingering heat makes campers toss and turn for hours. To minimize this effect, bring along a battery powered fan for each tent. Though they require lots of large D-Cell batteries, the comfort factor is increased substantially with one in your campground dwelling. Additionally, try removing your tent’s rain fly at night. It will not only allow the night breeze to make its way through your tent, but can also give you a magnificent view of the stars on clear nights.
2. When setting up camp, make shade the number one priority
The most important areas to keep shaded are communal areas that your whole camping party will share, and the tents that they will sleep in. If there’s no natural cover available, try hanging a large cloth or tarp above your tents. Without the sun beating on them all day, the tents will stay noticeably cooler.
3. Dress for the weather
High summertime heat is usually accompanied by intense sun, so it’s important to keep a constant layer of sunscreen on at all times. Hats and light-colored clothing made out of breathable fabric help as well. Avoid dark-colored garments and clothing made with heavy material, such as wool.
4. Bring more water than you need
Though every camper has read and heard this repeatedly, it really can’t be reiterated enough. In excessively hot weather, even light to moderate activity can trigger dehydration. This is something you don’t want to mess with, as the body’s water balance is very delicate. Have water available to everyone at all times, and make sure the younger members of your camping party are drinking it near constantly.
While it does pose some unique challenges, camping in excessive summer heat can be done by anyone with the right supplies and a little common sense. It may not be the most comfortable you’ve ever been in the outdoors, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be any less of a good time.