Here’s something everyone reading this blog can probably agree on: camping is awesome.
And here’s another thing everyone reading this blog can probably agree on: camping in hot weather… can be awesome, but it can also be pretty miserable. If you don’t have the right tools at hand, your vacation can quickly become an unfun sweat fest, especially if you’re car or tent camping.
Even for RVers, taking the proper precautions to guard yourself from the hot summer sun is imperative for having the best camping trip possible. So in this post, we’re going to talk about — you guessed it — camping in the heat, and what accessories and actions can help you do it without losing your cool.
What’s the Best Tent for Hot Weather?
Let’s start under the assumption that you’re using a tent for shelter. Obviously, the climate control you might be used to in a travel trailer or motorhome is out. So how can you choose a shelter that will maximize your keep-cool coefficient?
Well, when it comes to picking any tent, temperature matters. For example, you don’t want to find yourself stuck in snowy weather in a tent that’s only meant for spring and summer.
By the same token, if you’re headed to extremely warm areas on your camping trip, choosing a tent that’s specifically designed to deal with those temperatures can go a long way toward keeping you comfy. For example, the Ohnana Heat-Blocking 2-Person Rayve Tent is heat reflective, bouncing those hot and harmful UV rays away from you and your sleeping partner. Not a bad deal for less than $200!
If you’re into the idea of getting off the ground, you could also consider a hammock tent, which can help keep you cool by literally lifting you into the air. When you’re not lying on the earth, you’ve got all sorts of extra ventilation, and you’re far away from the heat sink that is the soil. (Plus, sleeping in a hammock is just downright cool — like, figuratively as well as literally — right?)
Do Yourself a Favor: Get a Warm Weather Sleeping Bag
When it comes to tent camping, or even car camping, a sleeping bag is the best way to stay cozy and comforted throughout the night. But if you get one that’s rated for super-low temperatures, you’ll be sweating through your pajamas in no time — which is no one’s idea of a good night’s sleep.
That’s why we recommend you invest in a warm-weather specific sleeping bag if you’re headed out for high summer adventures. ECOOPRO offers a compact, adult-sized one for less than $50, and trust us, you’ll thank yourself for the investment when you wake up cool and refreshed as opposed to dripping with your own sweat.
Lightweight Travel Clothing for Hot Climates
You’ve got shelter and a place to sleep figured out, but you’re still not quite done putting together your stay-cool arsenal. If there’s anything that’s an absolute must on your list of hot weather essentials, it’s cool, moisture-wicking travel clothing that’ll make your adventures in the heat a whole lot less suffocating.
The specific types of duds you’ll want to bring along will depend, of course, on what activities you have planned. For example, if you’ll be hiking in tropical forested areas, it’s a good idea to go with long pants and sleeves, even if it seems like it’ll be stifling — so long as you choose lightweight, breathable materials and a light color, it won’t be as bad as you think, and it’ll protect your skin from both sunburn and pest bites.
On the other hand, if you’ll be chilling beachside for the majority of your getaway, you know a bathing suit is where it’s at… but it’s imperative that you slather any exposed skin with sunscreen, and none of that “SPF 2” nonsense. You can get a tan even with SPF 30, and with the increased risk of skin cancer you’ll take on each and every time you get burned, your future self is sure to thank you for your diligence. We recommend a water-resistant, spray-on style, since it’s super easy to reapply, but you can also choose from breakout-free face creams and even shimmery, glitter-filled styles to add some sparkly sheen to your waterside style. Just as long as it makes you actually use it, we don’t care what kind you buy!
Stay-Cool Tips for RV Camping in Hot Weather
Here’s the thing: when it comes to tent or car camping, there’s only so much you can do to keep cool. In an RV, on the other hand, you likely have climate control thanks to your onboard HVAC system, which is sure to feel like a godsend when that summer heat gets to beating down on you.
Even so, there are some easy tips and tricks to pay attention to if you want to stay safe and cool all summer long, no matter what your mode of transportation.
1. Stay hydrated — and if you’re boondocking, bring extra water!
Whether you’re in your car, on foot, pedaling your bike or cruising in your motorhome, the hot weather will take a toll on your body if you’re not careful. And by careful, we mean drinking water like it’s going out of style! Particularly if your travels are taking you to spots with extreme temperatures — i.e., anywhere in Florida in July or August — or desert landscapes where it’s dehydrating in both summer and winter, you need to be walking around with your water bottle lodged firmly in your hand. (Better yet if it’s an insulated one, like a Swell bottle, which will keep your water nice and cool for up to 12 hours… not that it should stay there that long!)
If you’re taking your RV out for some off-grid camping adventures, or boondocking, it’s ultra important that you stock up on water before you reach your campsite! The stuff in your freshwater tank is what ends up deciding when you’ll be forced to return to civilization, and you need it for all sorts of things aside from staying hydrated — like washing the dishes, flushing the toilet, and, if you’re feeling really extravagant, a shower. (We usually just opt for the baby wipe version when we’re out in the woods!)
But along with filling your freshwater tank, we also recommend boondockers bring along extra potable water, perhaps in a foldable water jug. These guys are super easy to clean and fold down nice and tight for storage purposes, and they’ll help ensure you don’t deny yourself the water you need just to lengthen your stay in the wilderness.
2. Consider investing in personal fans and other stay-cool devices.
Whether it’s a low-tech handheld fan or an electric one, don’t underestimate the power of these small devices to help keep you cool, especially if you’re planning on doing lots of outdoor adventuring. We also love those freezable neck wraps that can help cool you down just by draping them over your skin!
3. Park your rig in the shade, and use your awnings… that’s what they’re there for!
Even with your air conditioner doing its thing, placement matters when it comes to choosing a hot-weather-friendly camping spot. Parking in the shade can help your HVAC system keep your rig cool and also lengthen its lifespan, since it won’t have to work quite as hard to do so… and it’ll also be more enjoyable to spend time outside, which is likely part of the point of your camping trip, anyway.
And speaking of spending time outside, don’t forget to use those awnings of yours! The big one will create a nice, shady patio space, of course, but if your rig also has a smaller awning over the windows, be sure to roll them out and take advantage of them. By shading each of the windows, you’ll do a lot to keep your rig’s interior nice and cool — it might seem like no big deal, but it can really make a big difference! Just be sure to clean them of debris and dirt before you re-roll them when it’s time to set out for your next adventure, as dirty awnings are awnings that will wear out more quickly.
It may be hot, but summer is the perfect time for RVing adventures of all stripes; the long, luxurious days mean tons of time to enjoy your vacation. So don’t let the sun keep you from getting out there and exploring! Just make sure you’re ready.
This post may contain affiliate links.