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Summer is the most popular time to go camping for families. The kids are out of school, and hopefully you have saved up enough time off to take a few days to relax and have fun with friends, family, and anyone you know who loves to camp. Unfortunately, unless you live in a place that is cool all year round, you are going to have to brave the heat. Where I live, the temperatures in mid summer can reach almost 110F degrees, so staying cool and dry is a must.

What should you wear camping in the summer? In order to stay dry and cool, you should try to wear the following:

  • Shorts – Cargo Shorts or breathable mesh will keep you cool and let air flow.
  • Hat – A hat is going to keep the sun out of your eyes, and any sweat trapped. It will also cool you down.
  • Breathable Socks And Underwear – If you can grab a light pair of socks, and mesh or breathable underwear, you will be able to keep from sweating and avoid heat rashes.
  • Sunglasses – Sunglasses are a MUST, and will protect your eyes from the sun and any glare.
  • T-Shirt AND Tank tops – Workout shirts, and tank tops will keep you cool, but be careful and use sunblock if you wear a tank top so you do not get sunburned.

Any water wicking or mesh material is going to be the best to let air flow which will act as a natural fan for your body. This will help minimize sweat and the chance of your clothes sticking to you, so you can walk or hike freely.

Avoid Heat Stroke And Dehydration

The most important thing about camping in the summer, especially for small kids is to drink and carry water on you at all times. Heat stroke can kill elderly and small children quickly, so it is important to stay in the shade when temperatures start to hit 90F degrees and above. Always scope out campsites and look for any shade trees that are available to keep you out of direct sun. Always have a canteen or bottle of water on you at all times to stay hydrated. Dehydration can set on quickly and it can take time to re-hydrate your body. Avoid things like alcohol and caffeine when the day starts getting warm. Check on your children more often if they are out doing things like running, hiking, or riding bikes because dehydration and heat stroke can set in before you know it.

Layers Are Your Friend

When camping in the summer, layers are going to be one of the most important thing you can do to stay both cool, and warm. If you are camping in a place like the woods, beach, or desert, you will often find that as the sun goes down, or in the early morning, it will be quite cold or chilly. In the desert or on the beach, high winds can pickup which can make it cold, and cause sand and dirt to go everywhere. Layering your clothing will be great when you want to wake up and go fishing, or take a hike before the day really starts to heat up. Start with a breathable t-shirt, and then layer with a light sweatshirt, and finally some sort of flanel or windbreaker depending on where you are. As the sun starts to rise, and temperatures begin to heat up, you can peel each layer off until you are down to your shirt/tank top, and pants/shorts. It will be helpful to carry a backpack with you, so that you have some place to put everything as you peel layers off, or you are going to get stuck carrying things around, which could cause you to trip and fall. Layering will also help you if you go out in the morning, and come back when it is cool outside because you can simply put your layers back on when you are ready to head back to camp.

Light Colors Only, Never Black

When it comes to camping in the heat, unless you are completely covered by trees, you are going to have the sun on you at some point. One trick to stay cool is to wear lighter colored clothing, and never black or dark grey. Dark colors will absorb the heat and make you sweat and lose water a lot faster than light colored clothing will. Wear white, or light grey instead of your dark colors, and you will sweat a lot less and retain water that would pouring out of you. If you are going for a hike or fishing, wear something neon so that people can spot in case something happens. If you wear darker clothes it will be harder for people to spot you if something happens, so light colored clothes serve a dual purpose, especially when camping somewhere remote.

Hats Are A MUST

When you think about camping, hiking and fishing, one of the last things you will worry about is your head. Wearing a hat is a must when you are out in the sunlight for a variety of reasons. The main point of a hat obviously is to cover your head for some shade, but it also keeps the sun from beating into your eyes, even if you are wearing sunglasses. It will protect the top of your head and face, and if you get a nice big hat, it can even shield your ears and neck from getting sunburned. Your ears can burn quickly, as well as the back of your neck because you cant see them, so you will never know when you are getting red. Hats also keep the sweat from running down your face and nose, and keeps you cooler, especially if there is a breeze. I suggest always keeping a hat near or attached to your backpack, or fishing tackle box so that you never forget it.

Final Thoughts

Camping in the summer is the most popular time for people to go because school is out, its warm and sunny, and there are a lot of holidays that fall between May and September. Just having a few quick tips will help you stay cool, and keep from getting dehydrated, or even worse, sun sickness. Always review the weather report, and look at the five day forecast so you know what you are up against. Dress in layers so that you can easily peel off clothes when it gets warm, and put them back on when it starts to cool down at dusk. Always remember to bring a hat and sunscreen, and you will have a much better camping trip than if you didn’t.

Related Topics

How To Keep A Tent Cool

If you like to tent camp, there are several things that you can do to keep your tent cool during the hottest part of the day for little to no money. Here is a list of things you can try when you are having fun during the day to keep your tent cool:

  • Reflective Shades: For a small amount of money, you can find a reflective tent shade that will reflect the sun away from your tent instead of absorbing all the heat.
  • Take Your Tent Apart: One trick to keeping a tent cool is to take it apart and letting it lie flat while during the day, and then setting it back up around dinner/dusk.
  • Find A Place With Trees: If you are camping in the forest, try to find a place with lots of shade coverage. It might take you a day to watch how the sun hits, but pay attention and move your tentto the right spot.
  • Use Any Breezes: If you are in a place with higher winds, open up your tent windows and let the air flow through so it does not sit in your tent and bake.
  • Portable Fans / AC Units: Some campsites offer full hookups with electricity. If you know you will be at a place with hookups, bring a portable fan, or AC unit and plug it in during the day.

Follow some of these tips and you will be in great shape for having a cool tent to fall asleep in after a fun day of camping.

How To Keep Your Trailer Or RV Cool With No Hookups

Anyone who has a trailer knows that when you lock it up to go somewhere during the day, it can get extremely hot when you get back. Follow these tips to keep your trailer cool while you are out when camping in the summer

  • Run Your Exhaust Fan: Running your exhaust fans will help draw the hot air out of your trailer while its locked up.
  • Buy Dark Shades: Buying darker and thicker shades will help keep the heat from penetrating your camper while you are away.
  • Crack Your Windows: Crack your windows, especially if there is a breeze and it will help circulate the air in and out of your camper.

These simple tricks can keep your camper almost 20 degrees cooler on a hot day, which will make a huge impact if you have been out in the sun having fun all day long.