Cooling Tips for Camping and Backpacking in Hot Weather

Nothing puts a damper on an exciting camp out like being so hot you’re miserable. Summer is the height of camping and backpacking season. Combining beautiful sunny days, blue skies, and heat. You may not be able to change the weather but you can take some steps to lessen the effects of the heat. The following 11 tips will help you stay cool while camping or backpacking in a hot environment. 

Set Up In the Shade

Direct sunlight can heat a tent to sweltering temperatures in minutes. Pitching your tent in a shady area is your first step to keeping it cooler.  Be sure to keep the sun’s changing position in mind, or you might set up right in it’s path and have to move it again. 

Use an Emergency blanket as a heat reflector

You can’t always escape the sun completely, but you can send some of it away. Use a reflective emergency blanket as a heat reflector. Attach it like you would a rainfly, in a direction that reflects the sun’s rays away from your tent. 

Set Up so the breeze will flow through

When pitching your tent, find the direction of the breeze. Pitch your tent so that the breeze will flow all the way across your tent. Facing 2 screened doors into the breeze will allow more airflow than 2 windows. 

Remove the rainfly

If there isn’t any precipitation headed your way, remove the rainfly. This allows for better ventilation and more airflow around your tent. 

Try a Hammock

Hammocks are not only comfortable, they’re breezy. Hanging above the ground allows air to flow freely all around you, keeping you cooler than if you were sleeping in a tent. 


Keeping yourself hydrated is the most important thing you can do for yourself in hot weather. You should be drinking water throughout the day, the more active you are,the more you need.  

Choose a Tent Made for Hot Weather

A tent with multiple doors, vents, and/or windows will benefit you in hot weather by allowing a breeze to enter or flow through it. A tent with a fully screened top, like the affordable Hyke and Byke Yosemite will be your coolest option. 

Keep Tent Cool- Vent It

Open the doors and windows. Let air flow  and heat escape. Keeping them closed just allows heat to build up and stay trapped inside, causing a sweltering hot experience when it’s time to go in for the day. 

Dress for the weather

Wear clothes that wick moisture away from your body. Cotton is not a good choice for hot weather because it holds moisture and takes a long time to dry. Merino wool clothing is an excellent choice. It’s wicking capabilities are phenomenal and it doesn’t make you too warm like you may think it would.

Understand the relation between sweat and humidity

We all know sweat is how your body cools itself. Did you know that the sweat evaporation of the sweat is what actually cools you down? Sweat has a harder time evaporating in moist air. Finding an area with a breeze or using a tent fan can help your body do what it’s trying to do when the temps are high and the environment is humid .

Ditch the sleeping bag

If it’s very hot, you don’t need a sleeping bag. You can ditch the bag and sleep in just a liner. Or you can just bring a small, lightweight blanket. Many companies make blankets like this specially for outdoor use. They’re usually easy to clean, pack small, and are perfect for a warm night. 

These tips will help you have a more enjoyable time when you’re backpacking or camping in the hot season. Have you tried any of these yet? What’s worked for you?