Heading somewhere far away and spending the night out under a tent sounds heavenly. But, if you’re out there during the sweltering weather, the tent stay might not come out as fun as expected. As you know, tents are unlikely to have electricity access, so while camping you won’t be able to put on an air cooler or any other electronic device to soothe the heat.
What is more distressing is that during the simmering climate tents in general trap heat inside and cause you to sweat even more. But, this won’t happen to you anymore as you’ve found us! In the following, we will disclose 21 smart ways to cool your tent without electricity! So, what are you waiting for? Delve deeper to get the knack of those tactics and happily say Good Bye to the sweaty camping nights forever.
How to Stay Cool in Your Tent without Electricity:
1. First of All – Choose the Right Tent
First things first, summer camping requires a summer-friendly tent; so choosing the right option for the occasion is the definite first step to ensure your tent remains cool throughout the trip. The tent material should be breathable enough to allow necessary air circulation, instead of absorbing the sun rays and trapping the heat inside. For your information, among all the variations of tent material, cotton stands out to be the best by being extremely breathable and more resistant to harmful UV-rays. Besides, Nylon is another great option and ensures superior breathability. However, if you’re allergic to UV-rays, then the Polyester made tent should be your priority. As the polyester fabric has a reputation of effectively shielding the sun’s rays and radiating back the harmful rays into the sky.
2. The Shape Also Plays a Role
To your wonder, the shape of your tent determines how cool it will stay during the scorching weather. Reportedly, cabin-style tents, as opposed to dome-style and pyramid-style tents, are much raved for keeping cool. As you know, the dome and pyramid-style tents have the highest peak in the center, but the walls are gradually sloping towards the ground which apparently reduces the overall livable space. And, it goes without saying that if you have cramped space in your tent, it is certain to get heated by the breathing of the people inside. Unlike these two styles, cabin-style tents have vertical walls all the way around, ensuring that the peak height is maintained throughout and that you have the most livable space possible.
3. No Doubt, the Larger the Better
When it comes to keeping your tent cool, you must opt for a larger option than the number of people you guys are heading together. For example, if you’ve four people in your group, then go for a tent suitable for 5/6 people. With the extra space, the heat emitted by your body and breathing will no longer be able to heat the tent as quickly as before.
4. Pitch the Tent under Shade
Setting up your tent in a place where the sun beats down directly will definitely turn your tent into an oven. If you don’t want this to happen with you and your tent, then you must look for a shaded area to install it. Try to find a suitable spot with plenty of shade for the whole day, and make sure the shade of that place doesn’t disappear when the sun moves through the sky. For instance, you can pitch it under a heavily wooded area, where sunlight cannot penetrate through the dense foliage, leaving the place always shaded.
5. A Reflective Sunshade Can Literally Work Wonders
In case, when you completely fail to find a place with a certain amount of shade, a reflective sunshade can really come in handy. All you have to do is draping the sunshade over the tent spots that are exposed to direct sunlight, and the sunshade will take care of the rest. The shiny side of the reflective sunshade will block the harsh sun rays straight up and reflect them back up to the sky right away. Nevertheless, the sunshade doesn’t have to have a shiny side necessarily, there are other varieties of reflective sunshades which also work pretty well.
6. Don’t Forget to Install the Tent on the Grassy Surface
The surface where you install the tent dramatically changes the temperature of the tent. It is no rocket science to understand that a cooler surface can get you a comparatively cooler tent environment, right? According to our research, we’ve found out that, while an asphalt concrete surface holds a temperature of 113° F at noon, the soiled surface retains a temperature of 93° F. Better than both of the surfaces, a grassy surface instead retains a temperature of 73° F. Looking at the difference, you can easily realize in which surface you’ll need to pitch your tent on.
7. Pull All the Vents Up
When you’re leaving for summer camping, your tent should have at least one, if not many ventilation options. These vents are designed to maintain the optimum air circulation in your tent, which eventually releases the trapped heat out and cools the tent for your convenience. So, to keep a cooler tent ambiance, let the vents do their job by pulling them up. However, because even the tiniest opening can serve as a bug entry point, you should keep the mesh layer closed at all times. A closed mesh layer would keep bugs out while also allowing enough airflow to keep the tent cool.
8. Take Advantage of Natural Breeze
Allowing the natural breeze to seep into your tent is by far the most effective way to keep the tent cool. Breeze is a natural blessing that works even better than any electric air conditioning. And, not taking advantage of such blessing is, no less than a stupid move. However, to determine the direction of the airflow you can turn to the locals. If you don’t happen to come across any locals, you can use the latest weather Apps to figure out which way the wind is heading.
9. Don’t Miss the Boons of Tree Coverage
Trees are referred to as “our best friends” for a reason, and so far we all recognize their importance in our lives. From sequestering carbon dioxide, releasing oxygen, giving us shadow, absorbing heat from the air, and returning fresh air to us are just some of the many of its rewards. Hence, now it’s needless to say how tree coverage can help you keep your tent favorable for you. So, make sure to pitch your tent in an area filled with lots of trees, to reap all of the advantages of trees along with keeping yourself and your tent cool.
10. It’s Time to Take Down the Rainfly
Rainfly is an extra layer of your tent that works as a waterproof shield against raindrops and keeps your tent dry during a downpour. So, technically when it’s not raining, this layer serves no purpose; rather, as a less breathable layer, it warms up the tent to a great deal. Removing it, on the other hand, allows trapped heat and moisture to quickly escape through the breathable tent wall. So, if the weather forecast shows no possibility of raining any soon, you really should get rid of it to keep the tent comparably cool.
11. Tie the Rainfly over the Tent to Bring Extra Shade
Now that you’ve taken down the rainfly, let’s use it in another way to keep your tent cool. For that, take the rainfly and tie it over your tent either with tree branches or poles, leaving at least 12/14 inches of space in between. Hanging over your tent, the rainfly will not only provide shade but also will minimize the scarcity of the scorching sun rays. And, meanwhile, the gap in between the tent and hanging rainfly will allow air to easily flow through and cool things down.
12. Lay the Right Mat
Now, you might be wondering how on earth a floor mat will help keep your tent cool! To your knowledge, by now we have invented a one-of-a-kind mat made of synthetic yarn and carbon-nanotube that blocks the heat to penetrate, thanks to cutting-edge technology. Laying this mat will save you from the high temperature of the ground, seems pretty ergonomic, right? However, keep that in mind that, not all floor mat is specialized to do this job. So, while you’re out to get your hands on it, make sure to clearly state what you want to the marketer.
13. Consider Bringing a Battery Powered Fan
Apparently, it seems a battery-powered fan is an absolute solution for beating the heat of sweltering weather. Then what’s the point of unraveling the other options, right? But, the moment of truth is that if you skip most of the above-mentioned measures of keeping your tent cool, a battery-powered fan won’t be much of a help. Since the wind capacity of a battery-powered fan is comparatively limited, it will never be able to remove the heat on its own; if the other methods of heat release are not used in unison.
14. Craft up a Makeshift Air Cooler
While not having electricity access, channel your creative side into crafting up a makeshift air cooler to ease the summer heat. It takes just a block of ice and a bucket. After putting the ice block into the bucket, leave the bucket open in any corner of the tent. Gradually, the cool air radiating from the slowly melting ice block would continue to disperse around the room while driving the trapped heat away. To your delight, this process really works and ensures at least one good night’s sleep with the help of one bucket of ice. However, the process we illustrated is just one of the many methods of making a makeshift air cooler. You can go for the other options according to the supplies that seem easy for you to carry along.
15. Don’t Underestimate the Power of a Hand Fan
Having a plethora of electric air conditioning options at our fingertips, we happen to completely disregard the existence of a hand fan. However, in reality, there are situations like this where this option really comes in handy. For example, when you want to bring the bare minimum with you, neither a battery-powered fan nor an ice supply and bucket should be on your list. Whereas, a foldable hand fan won’t take up much space as it sizes no bigger than a marker pen. And all you have to do is flip it back and forth to get the desired comfort, yes it’s that simple.
16. Lower the Temperature by a Choosing Darker Tent
According to the avid campers darker tent retains more of coolness than the light colored ones. This is perhaps because the dark surfaces block sun rays effectively whereas the lighter surfaces mostly failed to do so. To your knowledge, reportedly, dark red and blue tents guard against sun ray intrusion better than yellow and light green options. Also, it has been proven that the sun protection range increases as the shades are made darker. So, when you’re out shopping for summer camping, make sure to pick a darker tent for keeping it cool under the blazing sun.
17. Shut down the Tent during Day Time
Our tent basically heats up by trapping heat from the mighty sun, but if you can keep it out of direct sunlight, simply the temperature will not rise. That is why it is advised to keep the tent shut during the time the sun beats down at its best. This is again very practical, as while camping we tend to explore around during the day time. So, just pack it up before you leave in the morning, and install it when you come back for rest.
18. If Possible Set the Tent Only at Night
As we have previously said, the sun is the primary source that heats up the tent, so avoiding it is certainly a great way to keep your tent cool throughout the night. To ensure this, set up your tent only after twilight when the sun completely goes down. This practice successfully retains the favorable temperature of your tent and assures that you sleep without drenching in sweat.
19. Abandon the Sleeping Pad
As you know sleeping pads are intended to keep you warm while you sleep; and during the scorching summer, you definitely don’t need that. What’s more is that to retain the warmth you need, sleeping pads lock the heat and don’t permit it to flow out. As a result, this tool deliberately heats up the entire tent! So, when you’re aiming to keep your tent as cool as possible, it makes no sense to bring a sleeping pad along with you, right?
20. Patch Cooling Towels All Over the Tent
Whether you know it or not, cooling towels are those breathable towels that are customized to retain water inside. Popularly people patch it over their body, especially around the neck, chest, and thigh. You can do the same to cool yourself, but that won’t help you much if the entire tent is severely hot. So, to reduce the overall temperature of your tent patch cooling towels all over it and wait for it to turn into a comfy cool haven.
21. Digging a Pit is Another Great Option
Our last hack may sound like a lot of work but we can vouch that your effort won’t go in vain. For this, you will need to dig a 2/3 feet deep pit that is also large enough to fit your tent inside. And, when you’re done making the hollow, pitch your tent in it. This way as the tent will be closest to the colder ground, so technically, it will be able to stay cool for a longer period of time.
This article is inspired to lift up your overall summer camping experience by shedding light on 21 smart ways to stay cool in your tent without electricity. Given that the tent’s temperature rises with the sun exposure, and also because of lacking any electric access to keep the heat at bay, it’s very difficult to keep the tent cool. And, if you don’t know how to deal with the shimmering weather without electricity, your summer camping trip is likely to fail miserably.
But, as you’ve done reading this article, now you know what to do and what to not – to keep your tent cool throughout your trip. Among them all, the peak inevitable steps are bringing the right tent and setting it up in the right spot with plenty of shade, tree coverage, and wind. Also, avoiding the direct sunlight and pitching the tent only when the night falls effectively helps it to remain cool through the much-needed sleep time. The rest options are also very effective, and we’re sure if not all, at least some of them have definitely lived up to your mind. So, make to try them during your next summer camping, good luck!
Pavel is a true outdoor enthusiast with a passion for nature and a love for the great outdoors. He started Outdoor Fun Mag to introduce people from all walks of life to everything the outdoors has to offer and hopes that you’ll find something that excites you every time you stop by.
When not exploring nature Pavel works as an Electronics Engineer — a job that gets him thinking and makes sure he pays attention to all those fine details. This means that when he leaves work for the week, there’s no better contrast than the calmness and serenity of the natural world. By giving Pavel the chance to switch off and relax, his time spent camping and hiking allows him to feel refreshed.
In the future, Pavel plans to explore new areas and corners of the world with nothing more than a backpack and a tent. It’s an authentic way of seeing new places that allow him to de-stress and enjoy life, and he wants you to make the most of your life too.