7 Tips to Stay Cool at the Campsite
Don't skip that camping trip just to avoid the heat. Instead, get creative, grab some new gear and develop a stay-cool-camping plan.
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Pick a campsite that has plenty of trees to help keep you–and all your food and gear–cool the whole day. If there's limited shade, save it for your tent because they heat up fast. Otherwise, bring a pop-up shelters or a tarp that you can use as a shady spot.
Wear Light-Colored Clothing
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Wear light-colored, moisture-wicking clothes that are loose fitting. Invest in a sun hat to keep your head safe from the sun, as well as sandals to let your feet air out. If you're still too hot, or plan to hike in the heat, soak a bandana in cool water and tie it around your neck.
Schedule Activities at Cooler Times
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Complete outdoor, non-water activities in the morning or evening, when the sun is low and not so hot. Otherwise, seek out hot-weather activities like caving. If you're near a caving system, explore it with a guide for a few hours to get a reprieve from the hot weather.
Camp Near Water
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Make waterfront camping your top priority this time of year. If you can't score a campsite near water, use what you've got:
- Take free, cold showers (if the campground has this amenity).
- Bring an inflatable pool to fill up for the kids, dogs or yourself.
- Use this gadget that turns your iPhone into a fan.
Keep Your Sleeping Area Vented
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Sleep is easier when you're cool. Make sure your tent has plenty of ventilation or try an open-air hammock, instead.
Hydrate and Eat Cold Food
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Bring foods that you don't need to cook, think: popsicles, pasta salads and plenty of fruit. Don't forget to hydrate with an insulated water bottle that will keep your liquids refreshingly cool. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which will further dehydrate you. If you have the space, bring one cooler just for ice.
Know the Signs of Heat Stroke
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Heat stroke occurs when your body temperature reaches 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, and doesn't come down. Children and older adults are most susceptible to heat stroke.
Symptoms include a high body temperature, skin that's hot and dry to the touch (no sweating), nausea and vomiting, flushed skin, rapid breathing, racing heart rate, muscle cramps, and headaches and confusion. If anyone in your camping party experiences these symptoms, move them out of the sun and call 911 immediately. While waiting for help, remove any warm clothing and mist them with water or a fan. You can also place ice packs or cold towels on their head, armpits, neck and groin.