Camping can be quite uncomfortable, more so if it is done in the hot weather. For your benefit, here’s a list of the best tips for you to stay cool and comfortable while camping.
How to Camp in Hot Weather
The most important thing in every summer outdoor activity is hydration. In high temperatures, the human body will release internal heat through sweat to cool itself down. In the process, we lose water, which is important to maintain our body’s regulatory mechanism.
Making sure that you and your companions are well hydrated will guarantee that none of you get dehydrated. Dehydration is one of the worst things you can experience while in the wilderness, whether it be hot or cold.
To top up your hydration, ensure that you have packed enough water for everybody. I recommend using the available cooler space for water bottles instead of sodas, juices, and beer. These beverages won’t keep you hydrated as well as water does, and in fact, they will dehydrate you even more.
If possible, bring an extra cooler filled with cold water bottles on your camping trip, especially if it’s very hot outside. Make sure that you bring ice as well so your drinks stay cold and refreshing.
Additionally, children are more susceptible to dehydration than adults. You should be responsible to keep the kids well hydrated, as they would probably lose a lot more water due to playing and increased physical activity.
In the summer, wearing the wrong type of clothes can make you hotter and more dehydrated. Generally, I recommend wearing lose-fitting clothes on a summer camping trip. They should be comfortable and loose enough so that you can move freely and so that the fabric is not hugging your skin too much.
Moreover, darker color absorbs more heat from the sun. Thus, light colored clothes are your best bet for summer camping outfits.
A shirt paired with loose pants or shorts can be a good combination. Complete your outfit with a good pair of footwear or boots, if you’re a hunter. Even if you’re wearing the best hunting boots, you should make sure that they allow good ventilation so that your feet don’t get too hot or sweaty.
3.Set up your camp
Set up your camp in a cool place with adequate shade. If you have arrived at the camp site by morning, make sure that your tent is in a well-shaded area that will not be hit by sunlight in the afternoon.
If you cannot find a good spot for your tent with enough shade, make your own shade by placing a piece of tarp above your tent. A tent that is bigger can allow more air circulation, which can keep you cool.
It’s also recommended to set up camp near a body of water, such as a stream or spring. Water has a high specific heat, which will mean that it can absorb a lot of heat before it starts getting hot. A camp near a body of water can be cooler than at any other place. However, it can also mean that you are more prone to becoming mosquito food.
Don’t let the bugs ruin your summer camping trip!
Bugs become more active in the hot weather, and mosquitos are probably the most annoying because their bites are especially itchy. Before leaving your house, you should check if you have enough bug spray for everyone. Use milder bug sprays for the kids if you can.
Food can easily spoil due to the hot weather because most microorganisms thrive in hot and humid conditions. During camping, it’s best to eat cooked food right away after cooking, and perishables should be cooked to minimize bacterial activity.
For raw foods in the cooler, make sure to keep them cold enough if you don’t intend on cooking them immediately. Bacteria can easily populate on raw foods especially. Additionally, keep perishables cold but do not return them in the cooler if you’ve already taken them out and let them get warm. This can make spoilage worse.
When packing food, I recommend ready-to-eat foods that are made to last long. You can also pack fruits that are high in moisture e.g. watermelon, so that you don’t only get yummy fruit to eat, but you also get the water in that fruit to keep you hydrated.
When camping in hot weather, there is a good chance that you will be uncomfortable and sticky. If there’s a body of water nearby, you should take a dip in it just to remove the oils from your body and to let yourself cool down.
There’s nothing ickier than being sweaty and sticky all throughout the day, so make sure you keep up your hygiene as well. Use wet wipes if you don’t want to bathe in the water.
When sleeping in a tent, you should have light bedding only, not the ones that are insulated and meant for winter. This will help you stay cool even during dry summer nights.
On the other hand, you can also try setting up a hammock or mesh cot. Sleeping on a hammock will allow breeze and air to travel around you, making it much cooler.
The hot weather can be too much for our skin, and sunburns are your number one enemy if you have sensitive skin. To prevent a painful sunburn, slather yourself with water-based sunscreen, especially in the areas where your skin is exposed e.g. nape, legs, face.
On the other hand, your lips can become easily chapped too if the weather is hot and dry. Be sure to bring a lip balm along with your sunscreen on your camping trip. They should have at least SPF 15 to be most effective.
If you are bringing a pet along to the camping trip, be sure to be prepared for them. Dogs can become easily dehydrated as well, so you should bring their water bowl or portable drinking bottle with you.
If possible, bring a separate jug of water for your pet so you have ample supply of water for everybody.
If the heat is too much for you to handle, it’s going to be much more comfortable if you have a fan to turn on. A battery-powered electric fan can come for cheap, and they are very useful especially on the hottest of days.
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