Top Tips For Camping In Summer & Hot Weather

Young couple camping in the hot summer weather

When we head away on a camping holiday, we cross our fingers for sunny and warm weather. Most of us have been camping in the cold and the rain and it’s nowhere near as much fun as sitting back and relaxing in the sunshine.

However, as with pretty much all holidays, if it gets too warm then it can become a little uncomfortable, particularly inside your tent if you don’t ventilate it properly.

Here are our top tips for camping in summer and hot weather to help you stay comfortable…

1. Pitching location & timing matters

Probably the best way to stop your tent getting too hot and stuffy is to try and ensure you pitch up in the shade is possible. Pay attention to the time of day, as obviously the shade will move as the day goes on, so aim to have your tent in shade at least for the hottest part of the day. When pitching up or packing away, it's also advisable to do this either early or late in the day to avoid the midday sun.

2. Let some cool air into your tent

By keeping everything zipped up, your tent is going to get incredibly hot and stuffy, so open up the windows and doors to let the cooler air circulate. If you have awning poles, these will come in very handy for ensuring you can keep the front or side doors open.

3. Your tent's interior curtains are for more than privacy

Most tents, especially the larger ones with separate bedrooms, come with interior curtains that are usually used for privacy. However, they can do much more than that, and can reduce the amount of direct heat inside your tent. If your tent is already stuffy, then you can always open them to let some air through.

Two people lying in their tent with the door open in the sunshine

4. Buy a polycotton tent

Polycotton tents or canvas tents, thanks to the increase in natural fibres, are more breathable in warm weather, letting more air pass through the tent. Read more in our polycotton tent buying guide.

5. Get a Roof Protector or SkyShield for your tent

Currently only available on Outwell and Vango tents, this additional piece of material helps shield your tent from the sun's rays. An optional extra on the tents, it's something you can leave at home if you don't think you're going to need it, but it could come in very handy if it's cracking the flags out there.

6. Choose the right season sleeping bag

Sleeping bags come in different season ratings depending on how warm they keep you. For summer and hot weather, a 1 season sleeping bag should be adequate, although if it’s especially warm then you could ditch the sleeping bag altogether and just sleep under a sheet, particularly if you’re on an airbed.

7. Stay hydrated

This is valuable advice all year round, but especially important during summer. Make sure you have water with you as often as possible, particularly if you’re going out hiking in the sun.

Old man drinking water when hiking

8. Buy a cool box & utilise your home freezer

It’s not much of a secret that food goes off quicker when it’s warm, so invest in a good cool box or camping fridge to keep food fresher for longer. You can also utilise your freezer at home by freezing things like milk, water and some food the night before so they last longer and stay cooler.

9. Put your drinks in a cool bucket of water

A nice cool beer in the sunshine is one of life’s true pleasures - but even if you don't like a beer, just keeping your drinks nice and cold in a bucket of water is a great idea. Just remember to keep the bucket in the shade, or it could become warm water pretty quickly!

10. Put a wet flannel inside your cool box

So you've got your cool box, but another great tip for using it is to pop a wet flannel in there for a while - if you get too hot then you've got the ultimate cooling tool for your neck or forehead.

11. Use warm lighting to keep away insects

If you’re using lighting in and around your tent, then you’re going to get bugs and insects flooding your way unless you use the right kind of lights.

Bright white lights attract bugs like, well, a moth to a flame, but warmer orange lighting is much less appealing.

Other tips for beating the bugs is to ensure you keep topped up with insect repellent, not pitching too close to ponds, rivers or lakes, and ensuring your tent has any fly mesh doors closed as much as possible.

12. Look after your pets

Many of us enjoy taking pets, specifically our dogs, away camping with us. However, hot weather can be particularly problematic for them as they can’t sweat like we can, thus making it much harder for them to regulate their body temperature.

Ensure they have plenty of shade and drinking water, particularly when taking them for a walk. Never leave them locked in side a hot tent, and NEVER leave them in a hot car, even for a few minutes as this could prove fatal.

Find out more in our guide to camping with dogs as well as some of the best dog-friendly campsites in the UK.

Do you have any tips for keeping cool on the campsite? Let us know in the comments - and don’t forget to take a look at our amazing range of family tents before your next camping trip.

1 Comment

  1. Liz Flynn
    This is great. There is loads of information out there about how to keep warm in your tent or sleeping bag, but much less info about keeping cool in hot weather. The heat in my tent is awful on a summer afternoon. Fortunately, we are usually out and about during the day, so we do not suffer too much.
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