Probably the best time to go on a camping trip is during the summertime. This is because this weather’s long days are perfect for swimming in natural bodies of water, doing outdoor games and activities, outdoor barbecues, family fun, and many more.
However, this is also the hottest and most humid time of the year. Because of this, without the right knowledge and proper preparation, summertime camping can become very difficult and uncomfortable.
If you want to stay cool and comfortable when camping in humid weather, use the following tips:
- Plan your camping trip when it’s less humid.
- Bring a portable fan.
- Bring a cooler filled with ice.
- Bring an empty spray bottle.
- Drink lots of water (and make sure you treat it properly).
- Optimize your tent for heat reduction.
- Jump in a lake before going to sleep.
- Sleep with a damp towel on your head.
- Limit your cooking to dinnertime.
The rest of this article will discuss each of these tips in detail. To learn more, read on.
Plan Your Camping Trip
Choosing to go on your camping trip when the weather is expected to be cooler will certainly make a big difference in your overall camping experience. You can check weather forecasts online to see what the weather is expected to be up to 15 days in advance. From this information, you will then be able to choose an ideal date for you to go.
As you will be outside the whole day when camping, a few degrees difference in ambient temperature can make a big difference in terms of how comfortable your overall camping trip will be.
One other thing that you can do to prepare for the hot weather is to make a checklist of the things that you should bring. There are a lot of items that can help you stay cool, and your camping trip will be a lot more comfortable once you have considered bringing these beforehand.
Examples of such items are:
Portable, battery-powered fan
Even if you will be outdoors while camping, there won’t necessarily be wind blowing all the time. Having a portable, battery-powered fan with you, will give you a quick and easy way to cool off any time that you want.
Some portable fans come with batteries of up to 5,000mAh in capacity, which will allow it to be used for 30 hours in one full charge. But to be able to use it for longer periods, you can recharge them using solar panels.
There are also portable fans available online that also come with LED lights. This will make bringing one all the more useful and convenient.
Ice is one of the must-haves when camping because it can be used to preserve food and cool down your drinking water. Most campers bring coolers filled with ice and also use this as a container for any food they have that can be spoiled.
However, what many do not realize is that ice can also be used to make the air cooler and make you more comfortable. For example, you can bring a jug of ice with you inside your sleeping bag to make you feel colder and sleep more comfortably. Also, if you use clean water to make the ice, they can become your drinking water after they melt.
Empty spray bottle
If you bring an empty spray bottle on your trip, you can fill it with water and spray yourself whenever you are feeling hot. This can significantly help in cooling your body down.
Aside from the cooling effect, using a spray bottle can also help reduce the amount of sweat that you produce, making you more comfortable when camping.
If you bring a cooler full of ice, you can use the water that melts for the spray bottle. This way, you’ll ensure the water is sanitary, as your ice cubes are probably from tap water or a grocery store.
Electrolyte sachets or sports drinks
One of the biggest dangers of camping in hot and humid weather is being dehydrated. This is one aspect that is most neglected by campers, causing them a lot of discomfort due to the heat and even headaches in severe cases. One easy way to combat this is to bring electrolyte sachets or sports drinks, as these can replace the water and minerals that you lose when you sweat. Also, staying hydrated allows your body to regulate its internal temperature much better, keeping you cool and comfortable.
Drink Lots of Water
This is probably the most important tip in keeping cool and staying hydrated, especially if you are doing a lot of physical activities such as hiking.
The commonly recommended amount of water that you need daily is eight glasses or around 2 liters, but since you are camping and will be sweating much more than usual, you will probably aim to drink a lot more than eight glasses per day. The challenge with this, however, is where you will get clean drinking water. To find clean drinking water in the wild, you have a couple of options:
- Boiling the water from natural sources such as ponds or lakes – even though you have such bodies of water that appear to be clean, they may still often contain lots of bacteria that cause a variety of illnesses. This is the least efficient option because it will take a lot of time to boil the water and cool it down to be drinkable. Also, it will consume valuable fuel or firewood, which can be used instead for cooking.
- Chemical tablets – there are tablets that are available in the market that claim to be able to purify your water. They do this by using chemicals such as iodine to kill any harmful bacteria that may be in your water. This is a quick and easy way to purify your water, but it may not be effective in killing all types of bacteria in the water. Also, it can affect the water’s taste, which can be undesirable for some people.
- Water filters – this is the most effective and safe way to get clean drinking water from natural sources. You simply have to place the water that you want to purify into a container and run it through a filter before drinking. These types of filters can mechanically filter out harmful protozoa and bacteria. Some even have a built-in iodine system, which can also eliminate viruses in the water.
Prepare the Appropriate Type of Clothes
To fight the extreme heat, wearing the right type of clothes can help a lot. You should start wearing comfortable clothes, even on the way to your campsite, because this will be the same clothes that you will be wearing to set up camp. This includes pitching your tent, hanging your hammock, and many other tasks needed to make your camp as comfortable as possible. It will also be an advantage if you arrive on your campsite early in the morning to do all of these things while it is still cooler.
There are also a lot of available clothes in the market, which are designed for both functionality and comfort. These clothes are made from breathable fabrics that can really help in keeping you cool and comfortable while doing any outdoor activity while camping.
Another aspect of clothing that you should not forget is to pack only light-colored clothes. Light-colored clothes reflect the sunlight while dark-colored clothes absorb and convert it to heat. This means that dark-colored clothes will make you feel hotter compared to light-colored clothes.
It would be very difficult to do outdoor activities when it is very hot and the sun is beaming down on you. A great way to combat this is to use shades or sunglasses, preferably with added UV protection.
Optimize Your Tent for the Heat
Choose a tent that is specifically made for summer camping. These tents have lots of mesh to allow a continuous air flow inside, which can be a big help in making your stay as cool and comfortable as possible. Some of these also have a reflective sunshade that works to reflect sunlight, helping even more in cooling your tent.
The best location for your tent would be somewhere under the shade of a tree to have natural cover against sunlight. This is especially true for trees with thick canopies that will not allow sunlight to hit your tent directly. If such a location is not available, you can set up a tarp as a canopy to cover your tent and protect it from sunlight. Another thing that you can do is remove your rainfly if you are sure that it won’t rain.
You should also choose a location that is close to a body of water, for a variety of reasons. The most obvious is that it will serve as your water source.
However, it also significantly helps in keeping you cool. For one thing, having a close body of water can allow you to take a bath more often, which is the best way of cooling your body down. Also, the land near bodies of water is generally cooler as the water absorbs the heat from the sun better than the soil.
Once you have chosen a location for your tent, don’t pitch it just yet. First, determine the direction that the wind is blowing and align the door of your tent in that direction to encourage more airflow.
To do this, you can wet your finger and hold it up for a few seconds. The side that dries first is where the wind is blowing from. You can also drop a few dried leaves from a certain height and observe the direction whey they fall.
Disassemble Your Tent
If you will be leaving your tent for the whole day to go hiking or any other activities, it would be better to disassemble your tent because it may act as a greenhouse and trap heat inside if there is no air circulation. This is basically the same thing that happens when you park a car in a place that is exposed to the sun. Because all the windows are closed, there would be no air circulation, which means that there will be no way for the heat to come out.
Once you come back to your tent after a tiring physical activity, you may just want to rest and relax in your tent. This would be impossible if your tent is much hotter inside than it is outside.
Use a Wet Towel
Do you remember the times when you were sick with fever, and then your mother placed a wet towel on your forehead? She did that for a reason: it’s an excellent way to take away some of the heat in your body.
You can also do this whenever it’s hot while camping. Soak a small towel with cold, fresh water and lay it on your forehead or on the back of your head to soak up some of the heat and help you feel cool and comfortable. You can also do the same with different forms of clothing. For example, you can wear a wet shirt and wet bandanna while hiking.
Take a Quick Dip in a Pond or Lake Before Going to Sleep
In hot and humid weather, it is very difficult and uncomfortable to sleep. In these cases, it would be best for you to take a quick dip in the nearest body of water to cool down your body. This is because before we sleep, our body needs to lower its temperature by a few degrees. Taking a quick dip, however, before going to sleep lowers our body temperature allowing us to be able to sleep faster. Also, sleeping after taking a quick bath is always refreshing and allows for comfortable night sleep.
Try Sleeping in a Hammock
Hammocks are excellent camping tools. They are comfortable to sleep or rest at, very quick and easy to set up and are also very light and portable. Sleeping in a hammock is a good alternative, especially when the weather is very hot and humid because you are exposed to the outdoor wind.
Aside from the comfort, they are also very versatile as they can also be used to cover your tent or luggage when it’s raining, used as a picnic blanket, and used as a sitting and resting place.
For the most cooling and comfort, choose a lightweight hammock that is made from breathable nylon parachute fabric. If you are also sleeping in it at night, you can also choose one that has a built-in mosquito net for added protection. If you are camping with a partner, there are also even camping hammocks that are big and strong enough to support two people.
Sleep in a Blanket
If you don’t want to sleep in a hammock, you can also choose to sleep in a blanket instead of a sleeping bag. This is a good choice for people that needs some privacy and wants to sleep inside their tent while camping.
Also, aside from it is a much cooler alternative than a sleeping bag, sleeping blankets give you more freedom while sleeping in terms of position and movement. Sleeping blankets also come in a wider variety of materials and styles, so you can be sure to find the perfect one for your sleeping needs and habits.
It might be fun to hang around the campfire or look at the stars at night, but if you want to avoid waking up uncomfortably because of the heat, it would be best to sleep earlier and wake up earlier as well.
Waking up earlier in the morning, when it is cooler, is certainly much better than waking up late in the morning when the sun is already up, and it is already very hot. You will wake up more rested, refreshed, and filled with energy for your next day’s camping activities.
Eat the Right Food
When camping in hot and humid weather, it would be best to avoid foods that are high in protein, sugar, and fiber because these require more effort to digest. These foods are a problem because our body’s process of digestion actually produces heat and increases our temperature.
However, if you are the type of person that would not survive camping without such foods, you can use citrus-rich marinades for your meats to break down their protein structure and make them easier to digest. You can also soak rice in water for longer to make its fiber content more digestible.
Save the Cooking for Dinner
One of the best parts of the camping experience is cooking your own meal over a campfire. However, when camping in hot and humid weather, it can be very uncomfortable because of the added heat. Therefore, it would be better to save the cooking for dinner, where it is cooler and just eat easy to prepare meals on breakfast and lunch.
Consider Using a Camping Fridge
It might be expensive, but it would be worth it if you often camp in hot and humid weather. It allows you to have cold drinks at any time of the day while also keeping your food cold and fresh. The downside is that it consumes a lot of electricity, so you will need to have a power source in your campsite, whether it be an electrical connection, a generator, or a solar power system.