Summer is the time to discover, to get out there and get away from it all. Everybody loves camping out in the summer on the beach, in the mountains, a forest glade, a lakeside, and everybody has had to deal with the tents heating up steadily as the sun rises resulting in the tent being too hot to sleep in at night. Most people don’t bring their AC and the power to run it on their camping holiday so how can people avoid the heat getting uncomfortable? Is an all season tent with a stove essentially needed? What ways are there to cool down a tent without any electricity so people can enjoy a good night’s sleep?
Choose a Right Tent
The first step is to choose the right tent for the chosen destination. You may have heard already about a 4-season tent but what is a 4-season tent? Is it always the right choice for a perfect vacation? If you go in summer, you might want to consider a 3 season tent. The first step is determining the general weather patterns in the area you are traveling to. A simple google or a travel guide will tell you all you need to know. If you can expect lots of sun and warm weather, you want to choose a tent made out of nylon and/or polycotton. These materials provide insulation against the heat outside but also are durable, strong, and light.
Take Note of Ventilation Options
The weight of a tent is only a factor if you plan to trek and you have to carry it daily. When you go to purchase your tent, already take note of the ventilation options. A good summer tent should allow for a cooling draft through ventilation holes. Most tent flaps should also come with an insect screen that protects you from the critters but allows for air to flow through.
Furthermore, you should also consider how air can leave the tent, all people in the tent will generate body heat and warm the air around you. If you have an inner tent that keeps the insects out, you might consider opening all the entrances before you go to bed. Remember to find out if it is likely to rain beforehand otherwise you might get a little too cool.
Try to Camp at Shade Areas
When one arrives on a campsite, it’s needed to take note of potential shade areas, large trees, boulders, or rock formations, that can keep the sun off a tent. Especially during the midday hours when the sun is at its most powerful. Keep potential hazards in mind though like falling rocks or branches especially in windy areas. If you can camp near a river, lake, or ocean, these features will cool down the area.
Angle the Tent Appropriately
Depending on the power of the wind you can angle the tent in a way that you can catch more or less wind in the main entrance. You might want to select a spot that isn’t shielded from the breeze. If you are in a group, you should keep some distance between the tents to allow for more airflow. A group of tents can easily create a wind barrier that allows the area to heat up fast. In winter you want to do this to conserve heat but unless you go to the far north you want to avoid this in summer.
Get a Reflective Sheet
Now there are more creative solutions. Once you have selected the best spot available to you but the heat is still getting trapped inside of a tent. You can get a reflective sheet or tarp and drape it on the sunny side of a tent. This might ruin the aesthetics of a set-up somewhat but that is a small sacrifice once you are chilling in the cool shade. This employs broadly the same idea as to when you put a silver sheet in the windshield of a car.
Utilize Solar Panel or Generator
There is of course still the option of using a little technology, just because there are no sockets nearby doesn’t mean you have no means of cooling. Not many people travel with a portable diesel generator or a solar panel set-up so a simple battery-operated fan can go a long way to mitigate the worst of the heat.
Choose an Appropriate Fan
Depending on where you are you should use it sparingly though since the next recharge might be some time in the future. The choice of the fan depends on the size one is able to take, the battery life, and the available budget. A quick search on the internet shows you will find fan prices between 6 – 25 dollars from many diverse retailers. People might also want to invest in a good power bank to extend the battery life of the fan.
Finally, there are of course the unlimited possibilities that the imagination might come up with. Depending on a specific camping place one might be able to figure out some contraption or clever solution to get through the heat of the day. There is, of course, depending on the area, the option of sleeping under the open sky. This can be a very magical experience with the stars twinkling back. From July to August one might see the Perseid meteor shower in the northern hemisphere so that might be well worth it to quit an overheated tent for a bit.
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