Hot Weather Camping And How To Stay Cool
For those of you that like to camp overnight after an epic day on the trail, even the most seasoned camper dislikes being hot and miserable. Luckily there are steps you can take to remain cool in hot weather and enjoy your time in the wilderness on your next camping trip.
We’ll share some summer camping tips we’ve found that help in the hot weather so you can blaze the trail and not cook yourself, even if you forgot to stay informed of the weather forecast.
Drawing In The Shade
It seems that most people have a rooftop tent these days so you can keep off the heat soaked ground, but whether you’re staked in or riding high on top of your rig, parking your tent in the shade is key during your summer camping trip.
Not everyone camps in National Forests and most Boogie Rated campgrounds are in the middle of the desert so keep an eye out for trees if you’re in the dust bowl during the summer months.
If you’re staked in, find the shade of a tree or at a minimum place your tent so it’ll be in the shade as the sun risesand it starts to get hot. This way you can get a few extra ZZZ’s in the AM during the morning sun.
Using a rooftop tent has it’s upsides but the down fall of having your sleeping arrangements above it all, is that it’s hard to find shade while not having the branches rustling your tent all night.
Try to find a spot under some branches and lightly trim the ones that come in contact with your tent. Do not remove substantially sized branches so we can preserve all that we came into the wild to see. If this is becoming a difficult option, reposition your rig.
In the end of it all, camp locations matter and you want to avoid the heat as best you can without damaging the surrounding area.
Pro Tip: Collapse your tent and roll your sleeping bags during the daylight hours to avoid heat soaking the fabric.
How To Stay Hydrated When The Sun Is Baking Down
A lot of people seem to believe they have a handle on how to stay hydrated, just drink water on your next trip in the high temperatures right? The problem is that most people simply bring water on the day of. Hydration is a love hate affair.
People love when they avoid heat stroke but don’t necessarily know how to do that effectively when it’s hot.
Some think that if they are sweating then they are keeping cool and all is functioning properly, humidity gets in the way of this. Humidity doesn’t allow your sweat to evaporate which is how your body keeps cool.
The process of hydration or being properly hydrated starts way before you actually jump in the truck and head out to the trails. If you plan on kicking up dust on saturday, you should be properly hydrating at least two days prior before it’s hot.
This is all contingent on the weather but just because it’s cloudy and grey doesn’t mean you can skip drinking liquids.
It’s fairly common knowledge that we can all go without food for a few days, even though hanger pains would argue otherwise, but water intake is essential to life itself.
Theres no better way to find out you’re dehydrated than to jump out of a nicely air conditioned truck to spot your driver only to fall out because you were dehydrated.
The body requires a lot of water to maintain an internal temperature balance and keep cells alive, especially when it’s hot. In general, a person can survive for about three days without water but it’s no party. A day without liquids can turn out to be quite miserable if you weren’t already hydrated properly.
The plan: start aggressively hydrating a few days prior, sorry beers don’t count. Drink at least 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men and about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women.
This doesn’t necessarily have to be strictly water but in the name of hydration, the liquid of choice should be caffeine and alcohol free and be at least 50% water per volume. If you do consume the occasional trail Soda or daily Pot-o-Coffee, it must be balanced out with a counteracting water intake.
Trail Tips: Bring plenty of water for the duration of your trip or a water filtration system such as GRAYL GeoPress 24 oz Water Purifier Bottle to utilize if there is a stream or water source nearby.
Bring On The Shady People
As we mentioned before, the shade can be a valuable asset for your tent when out and about. But let’s talk about keeping the humans and pets cooler than they already are. Investing in an awning is worth every penny!
Whether it’s a Rhino-Rack Batwing Compact Awning that covers 270° around your truck or an ARB 2500mm x 2500mm side awning with attachable screen room, having a space that allows you to escape the sun will pay off in the long run.
Most awnings have a similar design in that they require a mounting point like a roof rack, but we have seen some interesting setups in the past that simply get the job done.
Whichever direction you go, DIY or full on batwing operations, you’ll thank us later for the suggestion.
Bring A Little Taste Of Home
As the overlanding community grows by the day, more and more companies are coming out with some pretty cool gadgets. One of those gadgets being portable showers.
Imagine for a moment if you will, it’s been an epic day with miles and miles of dust kickin trails, tough rock sections with spotters in and out of the truck, maybe some hiking with the family while taking a break from all the boogie mode shenanigans.
You return to camp ready to have some good food and relax, but before the campfire stories and beer starts flowing you reach in your truck and pull out a WaterPORT 3.8 Gallon Self-Pressurized Water Tank or a Solar Shower or even your fancy Hike Crew Portable Shower and rinse off all the dust and sweat so you can truly relax.
Sounds pretty good to us and most options are pretty affordable considering the outcome they provide. Now it’s not necessarily required to get a shower with a pump included because gravity works pretty well and self-pumped options are available. And after all it could malfunction and you would be left shower-less. Believe us, when you get used to having a shaower after a long day on the trail, it’s quite annoying when you can’t have one due to malfunctions.
I’m Just A Little Cooler That’s All
If you’re just planning on taking a day trip any cooler will do the trick…or will it?
Cooler design has come a long way since the Get Outdoors Campaigns in the 50s and 60s with heavy metal surroundings and thin wall design, cooler ice never stood a chance.
Having the right cooler can make or break a family trip. It should be able to carry enough food and drink for the duration of the day and maintain a heat barrier long enough to have cooler ice at the end of the day.
More and more people are opting for a 12VDC fridge to mount in their rig. With slide mounts to easily access your snacks or a cold beverage as well as being rugged enough to keep it all cold throughout the day, it’s hard to say no to the idea.
That is until you see the price for such a luxury. Portable refrigerators are not cheap to say the least. They are highly engineered rough and tumble pieces of equipment and most companies are extremely proud of their design.
You must decide what is the right fit for you, a well made and reasonably priced cooler or a literal fridge for your rig that can take the abuse of the trail and keep the beer cold and the steak frozen? It may boil down to price but don’t focus too much on one point in the process. Make the right investment for an all around good experience.
The Keeping Cool Conclusion
The point of this article is to bring awareness to the fact that hydration, staying cool in warm weather, and having an enjoyable camping or day trip to the outdoors while off roading is preparation. Planning ahead of time almost guarantees a better trip. We can’t advise on how to keep your rig in one piece but you can be cool while putting it back together.