On my second camping trip ever, I felt super hot in the tent. The campsite had no electric facilities and at that time, I didn’t have any idea about how to cool a tent without electricity. At that time, I was so disappointed and in an unbearable condition that I felt it would be my last ever camping trip. Camping in the summer is an awesome idea but it can ruin your whole journey if you don’t know how to deal with hot temperatures.

As prevention is far better than recovery, this article from TravelersDoor will guide you about keeping the tent cool without electricity before you leave for camping. Knowing how to do just that will ensure a much more pleasant and enjoyable camping experience. Because a hot tent can be almost unbearable.

a light color tent under threes means cooling a tent without electricity

Why Do Tents Get So Hot?

Before knowing the solution, we must know the reason. “Why do tents get so hot?”

Well, let’s look forward to the answer to the problems.

Practically, many factors are responsible for creating a boiling hot tent. But from my experience and research, there are two key factors that are the primary reasons why the tent gets so hot.

The first one is sunlight. During the day, sunlight directly hits your tent (if you set up your tent where the sun shines). The tent is then exposed to warm sunlight. As a tent works like a mini-greenhouse, the heat can’t escape from the tent. Carbon dioxide and water vapor both work together and get stuck in the tent. And the result of those reasons is a boiling hot tent.

And the second one is the “Human Body”. Due to Sweat and respiration, 1.25 gallons of water vapor can be generated from one human body. And those vapors collect in the form of droplets on the inner wall of tents. Additionally, carbon dioxide from your breath and others are also responsible for heating the tent. And thus your body plays the role of heating the tent.

For Winter Camping: How to insulate a tent

13 Smart Ways to Cool a Tent without Electricity

People go camping to relax in nature to get away from their stressful lives in the city.

If you ask me “Why you should know the ways of tent cooling?” Well, then I have two answers to tell you.

First, in case of the absence of electricity facilities at your campsite or any error with electricity during your time, you may find yourself in a situation where you don’t have any access to electricity. Moreover, if you’re camping out in nature and not on a camping site, you’ll naturally not have access to electricity.

And the second one is to save some amounts of money or light your backpack.

Alright, now it’s time to explore 13 smart ways how to cool a tent without electricity.

1. Choose the Perfect Tent

Tent selection is the primary crucial way to ensure a cool tent. The tent’s material, color, shape, etc determines how cool your tent will be.

In terms of tent materials, canvas is the top one to maintain heat. But it is quite expensive and heavy, usually ideal for car camping. Nylon and Polyester are cost-effective and lightweight. They are effective in controlling heat.

From my experience, a lot of the time, campers choose a black or dark blue or colorful tent. This is not ideal. Pick a light color tent instead. Sometimes, the light color of the tent seems not trendy to some people. But trust me, your comfort is far more important than a stylish tent.

And one thing, try to use lightweight and large tents. A large tent provides large headspace and allows airflow. Also, the heat will be getting more space and ventilation to keep cool.

2. Select the Location Properly

I suggest you research your camping area before leaving.

Area selection is another important factor to stay cool. If your campsite is in an open space without trees or wildness and the sun directly hits your tent, it will quickly get very hot.

So select the camp location that provides you with a lot of shade from trees or hills. Try to stay away from direct sunlight.

Find an area where there’s plenty of wind. Riverside, waterfall, lakeside, etc are the best options, and those provide a breeze and control the ventilation. So, keep those in mind for location choices.

3. Set up the Tent at a Perfect Time

Another smart way to cool a tent is by setting it up the tent at the right time. 

Do you have any plans to sleep in the tent just after reaching the campsite? I don’t think so. Exploring the campsite and other activities can be the priority. But many people do the mistake of setting up the tent in the very beginning because of being overexcited or because they just want to get it done. That brings extra heat to your tent and allows heat to build up inside the tent.

So, wait for the sun. Before the sunset or at the time of sunset is the best time to set up a tent. Keep maintaining this time to protect it from heat.

Note that other preparations like cleaning the tent area, wood collecting, tent preparing, etc. should be done before the pitching time.

Related Read: How to Pack a Tent in a Backpack? (Easier Way)

4. Use a Reflective Space Blanket

It’s a very tricky way when you are in a place without natural shades like the beach. The sun hits the tent directly in those types of places and then nothing can stop the sun from heating your tent. To get rid of this situation:

Just place a space blanket on your tent and it automatically works for reflecting heat. Remember that if your blanket can’t cover the whole tent, then the trick won’t work. Sometimes, the blanket on the tent looks a bit weird.

Are you able to bear extreme heat just to keep the tent from looking weird? That doesn’t sound good to me.

So apply this cheap trick and protect the tent from heating. 

5. Hanging the Rainfly Over the Tent

Some people suggest removing the whole rainfly. But I don’t agree with that.

Rainfly stocks the way of ventilation in the tent. It is also useful for rainy times, shading, etc. So what should you do? You have two options.

First, remove the rainfly (if privacy is not your concern). Then the ventilation process continues its job well and keeps the tent cool.

The last one is, hanging the rainfly or tarp just over your tent by tieing the rainfly to nearby trees or other objects. In this way, the ventilation and getting shade work very well. So I recommended hanging the rainfly instead of completely removing it.

Related Read: What Size Tarp for Camping?

6. Place the Ice into Your Cooler

Most campers bring coolers for food or drinks. The cooler is a great way to keep the tent cool.

Just place the cooler with ice in your tent and open it. Then the ice starts melting. The cold temperature of the ice reduces the temperature of the tent and gives a cool feeling.

Don’t do the mistake of melting all of your ice at once.

7. Don’t Use the Sleeping Bag

As you are camping in hot weather, it’s not wise to use a sleeping bag.

Keeping you warm is the key purpose of a sleeping bag. It makes you hot and doesn’t permit the heat to go out. So what’s the point to keep it during hot weather camping?

With that said, refrain from using a sleeping bag.

8. Unzip the Tent

Unzipping or keeping the tent open is another good way to cool a tent without electricity.

By unzipping the tent, you get airflow in the tent. By doing this, the heat is reduced and the tent can keep its coolness.

Most of the time, I opened the tent during the day and considered the night as the sunlight problem was absent then.

So, opening a tent is an easy option to cool your tent and is the best way to keep cool in a tent without electricity.

A Unzipped Tent in A Campsite

9. Take an Advantage of Tree Cover

During my camping in the campgrounds near W. KY, I selected an area under the trees and a shaded place. But after setting up the tent, much sunlight was noticed.

So take the advantage of trees that cover the sunlight well and place the tent in such a direction that you can protect it from direct sunlight.

Remember, the more trees, the more chances to cover up your tent to keep cool. So that can be one of the best ways to stay cool in a tent.

10. Set up a Blanket under the Tent

If it is possible, then set up a blanket under your tent. As the sun hits the ground, it becomes heated and trapped inside. And that causes your tent to get warm.

If you will place a blanket under the tent, then the heat of the ground will be directly absorbed by your blanket, and then the heat fails to reach your tent.

11. Shut down the Tent in the Daylight

This is similar to what I explained previously about the best time to set up a tent during the day.

For those who left for several days camping, this trick is applicable. The whole day, try to shut your tent. During the day, the sunlight can warm your tent largely and hot weather would have existed in the tent.

In the daytime, you will mostly be busy with camping activities and rarely need to enter the tent. So it is far better to close your tent.

12. Carrying a Battery-Based Fan

If you have budget enough then carry a battery-based fan with you.

It’s an easy way to keep you and your tent cool. But practically, the fan doesn’t work as cool as naturally.

Placed the ice into a bucket and set up the fan in front of it. The wind of the fan and the ice both together can give a super cool tent.

Related Read: 8 Best Battery Operated Fans for Camping

13. Maintaining Yourself

How can you maintain yourself to stop heating the tent? Doesn’t that seem weird? It may be.

Maintaining yourself can’t directly keep your tent cool but it has a good connection.

Some points that help you to stay cool:

  • Light colors and loose-fitting clothes are a must for hot-weather camping. Those have the power to keep you cool. During the day, use a hat or umbrella away from sun heat.
  • Don’t try to eat spicy food. It can make you feel hot. Better to have camping food without cooking.
  • And after all, drink a lot of water to avoid dehydration and stay fresh.

So, cooling yourself can cool your camping trip.

And above those are the smart camping hacks or ways how to keep a tent cool without electricity. Also worked for any kind of camping tips.

FAQs about “Tent Camping in Hot Weather

Q1. Is It Safe to Sleep in a Tent?

Yes, it’s safe. But there is a little bit of risk depending on your campsite than your home. Just keep attention to your surroundings.

Sleeping in a tent can be a safe and enjoyable way to spend the night, whether you are camping in the wilderness or in a designated campsite. However, there are a few precautions you should take to ensure your safety while sleeping in a tent.

First, make sure you set up your tent on a flat, dry surface. A sloping or uneven surface can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep, and a wet surface can lead to discomfort and potentially cause the tent to leak.

Next, be aware of your surroundings. Choose a campsite that is away from potential hazards such as steep cliffs or bodies of water, and ensure that your tent is securely staked down to prevent it from being blown away in strong winds.

It’s also a good idea to bring a flashlight or headlamp with you when sleeping in a tent, in case you need to leave the tent in the dark.

Finally, be aware of any potential wildlife that may be in the area. If you are camping in bear country, make sure to follow proper bear safety guidelines, such as storing food away from your tent and using bear-proof containers.

Overall, as long as you take the necessary precautions and use common sense, sleeping in a tent can be a safe and enjoyable experience.

Q2. Can a Candle Heat the Tent?

If your tent is big, then it’s not a big deal. But if you are in a tiny tent and use multiple candles, then the candles could increase the temperature inside your tent.

Q3. Is It Bad To Use a Black Tent?

Yes, a black tent absorbs the light as opposed to a tent in a light color. As a result, tents in dark colors get much warmer.

Q4. Do the Crowd on the Campsite Increases Heat?

Maximum time, where there’s crowd camping, campfire, and other activities work to warm the place. As a result, your tent can be heated. If you are on festival camping then you should prepare yourself to bear the heat.

Q5. Is It Necessary to bring a Cooler?

It’s good idea to bring a cooler fo your camping because it can be needed for several purposes.

Q6. Is Hammock Better Than a tent in Hot Weather?

Though tents and hammocks are totally different sorts of mediums to enjoy camping when it comes to staying cool, obviously hammocks will be the first choice.

In a hammock, one doesn’t need to think about ventilation, hard setup, quick installation, placing an ice box, using a ground blanket, and so on. Moreover, here you can keep the gear dry and safe nearby that doesn’t have an effect on heat production. Also, the camper can relax without worrying about the floor. In hammock camping, all you need is to select a suitable place, do a quick setup, place an upper tarp, and chill in a comfortable way with no weather headache.

So, I think for hot conditions, a hammock won’t be a bad choice.

Q7. Is It Possible to Camping Without Cooking?

Yeah, it’s very much possible. Many camping food ideas don’t require any cooking.

Q8. Should I Use a Tarp under My Tent?

To get rid of wet and ground heat, it is suggested to use a tarp under your tarp. That also works for how to cool a tent down.

Q9. Why do tents get so warm?

Tents can get warm for a few reasons. One reason is that the tent material itself can trap heat inside. Tent fabric is typically made of a synthetic material that is designed to be lightweight and waterproof, but it can also retain heat. This is especially true if the tent is set up in direct sunlight, as the sun’s rays can cause the tent material to heat up.

Another reason that tents can get warm is that the human body naturally generates heat, and when you are sleeping in a small space like a tent, that heat can become concentrated. This is particularly true if you are sleeping with multiple people in the same tent, as the combined body heat can raise the temperature inside the tent.

Finally, if you are using a sleeping bag or blankets inside the tent, these can also contribute to the tent’s warmth. Down-filled sleeping bags and blankets are especially good at trapping heat, so if you are using these in your tent, it may be warmer than if you were using synthetic materials.

Overall, there are several factors that can contribute to a tent getting warm, and the best way to keep the tent cool is to use a tent with good ventilation and set it up in a shaded area.

Can you cool a tent with AC?

The short answer is yes, it is possible to cool a tent with an air conditioner. By using a portable air conditioner, you can effectively cool down a tent and make it comfortable for occupants. The first step to cooling a tent with an air conditioner is to install the unit. Portable air conditioners are designed to fit in small spaces, so they are perfect for cooling a tent.

You will need to make sure that the air conditioner is securely mounted, and that it is venting properly to the outside of the tent. Make sure that the exhaust hose is installed correctly, as improper installation can cause condensation to build up inside the tent. Once you have the air conditioner installed, you can turn it on and set the desired temperature.

The air conditioner will then begin to cool the tent and make it more comfortable for your occupants. When using an air conditioner to cool a tent, you should also consider the power consumption of the unit. Portable air conditioners require a lot of electricity to run, so you should make sure that you have an adequate power source available.

Some portable air conditioners come with their own power supply, or you can use a generator to power the unit. In conclusion, it is possible to cool a tent with an air conditioner. Portable air conditioners are designed to fit in small spaces, so they are perfect for cooling a tent.

You will need to make sure that the air conditioner is securely mounted, and that it is venting properly to the outside of the tent. Additionally, you should consider the power consumption of the unit and make sure that you have an adequate power source available.

How hot is too hot for tent camping?

The temperature range for tent camping can vary depending on the season and the individual’s tolerance for heat. Generally speaking, the upper limit for tent camping in hot weather is considered to be around 90°F (32°C).

At this temperature, the air will be uncomfortable and it will be difficult to sleep. The heat can also make it difficult to stay hydrated and can cause heat exhaustion. When temperatures exceed 90°F (32°C), tent camping can become hazardous.

The heat can be overwhelming, and heat exhaustion is a real risk. It is also important to note that high temperatures can be dangerous for people with existing medical conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. In addition to the heat, other factors should be taken into consideration when tent camping in hot weather.

Humidity can make the air feel hotter and make it more difficult to cool down. Sun exposure can also be an issue, as can the lack of air circulation in the tent. To stay safe and comfortable while tent camping in hot weather, it is important to plan ahead.

Choose a campsite that offers some shade and protection from the sun. Bring plenty of water and stay hydrated. Avoid strenuous activities during the hottest part of the day and take frequent breaks. Wear light and breathable clothing and use a fan to keep air circulating in the tent. Finally, if the temperature becomes too hot, seek shelter in an air-conditioned space.

Related Read: How to Keep Tarp from Flapping?


So finally, what stage are you in? Now, I think you don’t need to worry anymore about how to cool a tent without electricity. What areas you will go camping in or what will be the condition of the campsite and, just follow those tricky smart ways to cool down a hot tent and stay refreshed in the whole camp.

Categories: Camping