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Camping In Hot Weather – Tips To Stay Cool & Comfortable In The Summer


Article Categories: Hiking Tips
Article Tags: Backpacking | Camping Tips

Summer brings a lot of additional accessibility to the outdoors. The weather gets more manageable and comfortable for many, but sometimes the hot weather can make camping comfortably very difficult. In this article, we aim to give you tips to camp safely and more comfortably when the weather gets warmer. Whether it is scorching hot, or just a little warmer than normal, these tips below will help you out. We’ll cover high temperature gear, clothing, and other tips you should be aware of.


Water & Nutrition

Staying hydrated on a camping trip is vital. This becomes even more important in hot temperatures where exercise, or time in the sun and heat can cause your body to sweat and lose more hydration than you would in other conditions. Not only will hydration keep you more comfortable, but it is essential for safety and performance if you are hiking or backpacking.


Bring A Water Filtration System

When camping out, it is pretty much impossible to bring enough water with you unless you are car camping. Therefore it is essential to have the ability to filter water either through boiling or through water filters. We highly recommend gravity or pump filters to ensure you always have access to large quantities of water for cooking, drinking, and cleaning. Check out our guide to choosing the best backpacking water filters to find what suits you the most.

With the above in mind, it is essential to know where your water sources are. Many places have ample sources, but if you are camping or hiking in a desert like environment, you need to be extra prepared and know where you can locate water.

If you are bringing your dog, don’t forget to bring their drinking bowl!


Food & Cooking

In the summer, fires are usually awesome, but if it’s too hot, that might just make for even more discomfort. If you are car camping, bring cooler foods and a cooler to keep those foods nice and cold.

If you are backpacking, consider dry meals, or meals that you can add cool water too. Sandwiches, tuna, and other similar options are often great summer choices. You may want to haul around fruit like apples that will help you cool down, while still being delicious.

They even make backpacking solar stoves that can cook food pretty impressively when you have direct sunlight. Hot days are solid options for these types of stoves. A little isobutane camping or backpacking stove is the best option to efficiently cook foods without heating the environment around you. Check out our guide to choosing the best camping / backpacking stoves.


Your Shelter

This goes without saying, but your shelter is very important for keeping you cool at night. If you have a car or truck, you may be able to use a portable air conditioning unit. If you are backpacking, you’ll want a comfortable tent with airflow ability, or a hammock setup to keep you cool. If there is no rain concern, or wildlife concern, you can potentially make a comfortable bed directly on the ground.


Key Sleeping & Shelter Tips

  • In a car or truck, utilize an air conditioning unit, or use your cooler to cool down your water bottles and sleep with that bottle in your sleeping bag or blanket. A cool bottle can do a whole lot to keep you comfortable.
  • In a tent, find a cool water source, and hug that bottle to cool you down. You can also wet a towel or shirt and that will certainly keep you cool.
  • Get a small camping fan. They sell little hand held camping fans that are very light. This added airflow can really improve your temperature on the hottest days.
  • Set your tent up in the shade, or put your car in the shade. Direct sunlight will make things far more hot. In addition, those using tents should take down the tent in the day to cool down everything.
  • Bring a sunshade like a tarp to cover your camping and relaxing area. This will make a big difference.


Not only will these devices help you get better quality sleep, but they will also help make your camping experience much more enjoyable. You’ll find lists around “portable” or “tent” air conditioning units. These units are often way too large for the use case of camping, and therefore we’d recommend going after much smaller options like rechargeable portable tent fans. These rechargeable devices take approximately 2-3 hours to fully charge and last for around 24 hours. Similar to the air conditioning units, these too come in different sizes and prices tend to vary.

Something like this would be great for a car: Battery Powered Camping Fan

While this is better for tent camping and backpacking: Hanging Tent Fan


Clothing For Hot Weather Camping

This is pretty simple, but you shouldn’t be wearing warm clothing if it is extremely hot. With this in mind, you still need to always remember emergency gear, but in the summer you need to focus on 2 things, moisture wicking and sun blocking. Your clothes should be able to get rid of your sweat and evaporate it to keep you nice and cool. You also need to be cognizant of the sun. Sunburn can be uncomfortable and dangerous. Check out our complete guide to hiking sunscreens.

Head – have a hat with a large brim to protect you from the sun. Check out our article on the best hiking hats.

Body – You’ll want short sleeve and long sleeve clothes. One to cool you down, and one to protect you from the sun if needed. Have extra body layer so you can soak a layer in water to cool you down if you need to and have a spare dry top. Wear a light colored top.

Shorts & Pants – Shorts may help keep you cooler unless the sun is bearing down on you. You’ll want both for sun protection and cooling. Plus, you’ll want to be able to take a dip in water and have an extra pair. Wear a light colored pair of pants or shorts.

Footwear / Shoes – We love sandals for wading in water and walking around camp. If you are hiking, you’ll want good hiking footwear that has breathability, and doesn’t have insulation for warmth.

TowelBring a camping towel so you can go swimming and dry off easily.


Bug Repellent

One of the biggest problems when camping during hot days is mosquitoes and other insects. These parasites are not just annoying but can be extremely harmful too. Mosquito based illnesses like dengue fever and malaria can be deadly (pretty much only a concern in certain parts of the world). There are a few ways to help reduce your chances of being bitten while on your camping trip:

  1. Portable mosquito repellent: One way of protecting you and others is by purchasing a mosquito repellent.
  2. Bug Spray: There are plenty of different types of bug spray, so if you intend on using one to spray on a child, make sure you read the information on the bottle as some harsh sprays are for adults only.
  3. Bug spray for children and babies: There are bug sprays designed specifically for babies and children. Younger people’s skin is much more sensitive than adults, so read the information on the box before applying. Some sprays you can just apply onto a baby’s clothes instead of their skin which will help protect them.
  4. Wear long clothing that covers your limbs.
  5. Have a bug net surrounding your camping space, covering your hammock, or any other space.


What Gadgets are available to make a camping trip more Comfortable?

There are plenty of devices available to help make your trip just a little bit more comfortable, here are a few gadgets readily available online and local outdoors stores:

  • Power Bank: In many campsites, you won’t come across too many power points so bringing a power bank to help charge torches, phones, and whatever else can be charged using a USB output.
  • Portable Shower: After a sweaty day trekking, setting up the tents, and making the campfire, some of us dream about going for a nice shower. You’ll find some water filters double as a portable gravity shower. You can also find showers that are great to attach to your car or truck.
  • Portable Water Filter: If you are camping and you have run out of water, you can use this device to filter up to 1,000 liters of water. There are many water filters available that don’t need any iodine or chemicals either.

There is a wide selection of reviews online about all these products mentioned above and each device is easily available online.

We hope this article helps you out in some hot conditions. Reach out to us if you have any other tips to add or a have any questions.

Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais is the founder of hikingandfishing.com. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor adventure, travel, and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, backcountry skier, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. Max grew up hiking all around New Hampshire and New England. He became obsessed with the New Hampshire mountains, and the NH 48, where he guided hikes and trail runs in the White Mountains. Since moving out west, Max has continued climbed all of the Colorado 14ers, is always testing gear, learning skills, gaining experience, and building his endurance for outdoor sports. You can read more about his experience here: hikingandfishing/about