When camping there is an art to sleeping well in the cold as well as during those hot summer nights.
While many people search for higher elevations in order to camp in cooler summer temperatures, many still head to the desert or the beach. Whatever draws you to the camping experience, here are a few tips to make your next summertime camp experience comfortable.
I have camped in very hot (and humid) weather on the East coast of the USA as well in the South part of Japan and here’s what I recommend.
- Start by choosing the right tent!
- Air flow and ventilation are your friends.
Tents that have plenty of mesh covered by a 3/4 rain fly will allow hot air to escape while drawing cooler night air in. Be sure to correctly stake out your tent and stretch out each guy line to hold the fly away from the tent walls. This will vent hot air as well as moisture from the inside of your tent.
Position your tent to catch any afternoon shade that may be available. This will start the cooling down process and allow your sleeping gear to cool before you head inside to call it a night.
If I’m not backpacking, I love to take my cot because it allows airflow all around me keeping me cooler.
Unlike winter camping, use an inflatable air mattress rather than a foam pad which will hold the heat.
My next tip is to bring a sheet from your bed and sleep in that! Of course, it’s always prudent to have a light weight sleeping bag with you in case a cold front blows through. Use your sleeping bag as an additional pad for comfort, and sleep on top of it.
Light weight, compressible sleeping bags are inexpensive and readily available in most sporting goods stores. You can choose from rectangular bags with large, square toe boxes, or more form fitting mummy type bags. I prefer the full zippered rectangular bags because I feel restricted in the other types. Other considerations include overall size, weight, and compressibility to match your situation (car camping or backpacking). Choose the one that fits your type of camping and desired level of comfort.
Even though it’s summer, the weather can change bringing in a cold snap. During one ten day campout, the weather was very hot and humid, but then we had a couple of wet and cold nights. I put my bed sheet inside the lightweight sleeping bag and I was super comfortable sleeping.
You can find yourself sleeping comfortably in most any weather if you prepare correctly. Speaking of prepared, check out some of our videos!