Summer Camping: Stay Cool with Our Top Heatwave Tips - The Camping and Caravanning Club
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10 Top Tips for Staying Cool when Summer Camping

It's no surprise that summer is the most popular time of the year for people to go camping. Clear blue skies, BBQ's in the sun and stargazing, it can be truly magical. However, sometimes the temperature will reach new extremes and you'll be wistfully thinking of dunking your head in a freezing cold ice-bucket. We've put together a list of tips for staying cool when camping on a scorching hot day.

1. Tent campers: Look out for these features

Summer tents

If you’re on the market for a new tent, primarily for summer use, there are some features to look out for which may help if the thermometer keeps rising. For example, some tents offer blackout technology which helps keep the sun and therefore the heat out. This is especially beneficial in bedroom compartments when the hot summer sun starts to rise. Ventilation is also an important factor to bear in mind, you’ll want plenty of air circulation when it’s warm. We’ve listed some of the best family tents to provide some inspiration. You can also check out our member exclusive offers on outdoor clothing and equipment.

2. Swap the cosy sleeping bag for something more lightweight

Summer sleeping bag

We all know the struggle of sleeping during a heatwave. Swap your usual cosy sleeping bag for a lightweight and breezy season 1 sleeping bag to stay cool and comfortable during the summer nights. If the weathers unbearably warm, a cotton sheet might be all you need.

3. Seek out shade

Camping in the shade

If you know the weathers going to be warm and haven’t booked yet, seek out a campsite with plenty of shade. This will help prevent heat exhaustion and keep your tent, caravan or motorhome cool.

4. Cooking in the heat

Pasta camping

Cooking food on a smoky BBQ amid a boiling summers day can be intense. Save the cooking till the evening and embrace cold meals that are quick and easy to prepare, such as cereal, sandwiches, salad or pasta you pre-prepared at home. Our easy camping meals offers lots of tasty inspiration, some of which you can easily prepare beforehand and enjoy hot or cold.

5. Keeping your pet cool

Dog drinking water

Making sure your pet is cool and comfortable when camping in the summer is crucial. Our campsites all have freshwater points so it’s easy to ensure your dog always has access to a drink. You can buy a variety of cooling products for your dog such as jackets and pads. These can help to regulate your dog’s temperature, assisting your pooch in having a good night’s sleep and staying cool on-site. Check out our camping with dogs checklist to learn more.

6. Air your unit

Airing your tent

Keeping your camping unit ventilated can help prevent it from getting hot and clammy. To do this ditch the rain fly (if possible) and open any windows and doors so humid air can escape.

7. Take your tent down during the day

Taking the tent down

If you’re not using your tent in the daytime, it might make sense to take it down and put it back up when the heat dies down. This prevents it from absorbing an unnecessary amount of heat over the course of the day and means it should be nice and cool when you put it up.

8. Bring a fan

Fan camping

The same way you can put a hot water bottle in your sleeping bag to keep you warm, you can leave a fan on to keep you cool. If you’re camping without electricity or want to take your fan out with you, make sure to buy one that is lightweight, rechargeable and small enough to carry in your bag.

9. Wear suitable clothing

Light--coloured clothing

When it comes to clothing, striking a balance to both keep the sun and bugs away while allowing your body to breathe can be challenging. Here are our tips to help you decide what clothing to pack for your summer camping trip:

  • Wear light-colours and avoid dark-coloured clothing. Light-coloured clothing reflects the sun, keeping your body temperature down. Dark clothing absorbs the heat, increasing body temperature.
  • Pack a hat to protect your face and scalp from the scorching sun.
  • Take SPF to protect your skin from the sun and reapply every two hours. The higher SPF the better protected your skin will be.
  • The right breathable fabrics are essential. Long-sleeved loose cotton shirts give your skin space to breathe and feel breezy. Other popular fabrics to keep you cool and fresh include linen, polyester and nylon.

10. Stay hydrated!

Man drinking bottle of water

It may seem like an obvious tip but staying hydrated is essential. You should always have access to clean drinking water and make sure to fill up before going on a hike or doing an activity for the day. Remember, if you put ice in your water bottle before setting off for the day it will keep your water refreshingly cool for longer. This is especially effective if using an insulated stainless-steel bottle. We’ve rounded up our recommendations of the best reusable water bottles.

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