To get the most out of your experience and enjoy your time away from the daily grind, use these tips to manage the heat so you and your family can relax more comfortably when camping this summer.
1. Camp near water.1 of 7
When possible, choose a campsite near an ocean, lake or river, since the water can help keep you cool during the hot parts of the day. Swimming, kayaking, a water gun fight with the kids, or just wading in the water are easy ways to have fun when the temps rise. The breeze coming off the water will help keep you cool at night, too.
Keep in mind, however, that it can be tough to find shade near water, and you'll need to stay out of the sun to keep cool and prevent sunburns. Buy a tarp or other covering to hang above your tent and ice chest if shade is a problem near your campsite.
2. Find a spot off the beaten path.2 of 7
Sometimes the best spots aren't all that easy to get to. Car camping can be an excellent way to get to secluded areas far away from other campers. Try a spot up in the mountains where it'll be easier to find shade from tall trees and the temperatures are a little cooler than they are at lower elevations.
This car tent designed for humid and hot weather will also provide you with extra shade, get you off the ground where you can feel the breeze, and protect you from unexpected rain showers common during the summer at higher elevations.
3. Don't use a campfire for meals during the day.3 of 7
When it's hot and humid, starting a campfire to cook your meals isn't an ideal choice. Instead, use a camp stove like this one to cook meals without creating too much extra heat. Bring canned goods that don't need to be reheated and won't need to be kept in a cooler. Think peanut butter sandwiches for lunch and cinnamon rolls you've frozen beforehand (and won't take long to thaw) for breakfast instead of heating things up with a fire or oven during the hot part of the day.
4. Keep the ice in your cooler from melting.4 of 7
There's nothing better than a cold beverage on a hot day. However, keeping the ice in your cooler from melting can be a big obstacle standing in the way of your good time. Here are a few tips to keep your cooler cold for at least a few days while you're camping this summer:
Use a solid block of ice instead of cubes. Freezing milk jugs with water beforehand is an easy way to do it.
Freeze any food items you can before they go in the cooler.
Have two different coolers--one for drinks and one with your food items. Try to avoid opening the latter frequently throughout the day.
- Buy a silver emergency blanket and place it inside the cooler on top of your food items. Believe it or not, it'll help your items stay frozen longer.
- When your ice eventually begins to melt, only keep an inch or so of water. Too much water in your cooler will make the rest of your ice melt faster.
5. Get the right gear.5 of 7
Just like anything else, whether or not you enjoy summer camping could come down to having the right camping gear. Here are a few pieces of gear that will help you beat the heat when on a summer camping trip:
6. Save the hiking for early morning or evening hours.6 of 7
While hiking is a favorite among most campers, hitting the trails during the hot part of the day is probably not a good idea. Save the hiking for early morning hours when the temps are at their lowest, and when you do go make sure you're wearing a hydration pack or carrying a water bladder inside your backpack. Other activities you might want to try on hotter days include cycling, snorkeling, fishing and water balloon fights with the kids.
Also make sure you know the signs of heat stroke and carry a first aid kit should any emergencies arise.