One of the best things about camping in your RV is the climate control, but what’s the point of going camping if you don’t spend some time outside?
The sweltering summer heat might be just your thing, or you might be the snowbird of your family. Either way, you need some strategies to cool off when things start to get too sweaty.
Here are our best tips to stay cool and comfortable on your summer camping trips.
Cooling Off While Camping
Here’s the thing about camping in the summertime: you can’t control the temperature outside, no matter how much you’d like. Air conditioning is a wonderful invention that only works in enclosed spaces.
A major part of staying comfortable and safe during a summer camping trip is avoiding the hottest weather completely. Fortunately, you have an RV where you can retreat from the scorching sun, but there are plenty of other things you can do, too.
Plan hikes, picnics, and other outdoor activities in the morning or late afternoon.
Have you ever noticed that avid outdoorsmen are usually early risers? Part of the reason is because it’s the coolest part of the day.
The day is usually hottest around 3:00 in the afternoon, and in the summertime, you should plan to find shade or shelter between noon and 3 while that heat is building. After 3 PM, the temperature starts to drop, and you can assess whether you’re comfortable in those conditions.
If you’re planning an outdoor activity, especially one that involves a lot of physical activity, it’s best to do it in the morning. You don’t necessarily have to wake up at the crack of dawn, but it doesn’t hurt to get as early a start as possible.
Some of us aren’t great at mornings, and that’s okay.
You can also plan your outdoor adventures around dinnertime, but be very careful! You don’t want to be stranded in the dark if you’re far from the trailer when the sun goes down, so plan ahead. Look up what time the sun goes down, pack plenty of supplies before you go off in the wilderness, and aim to get back to camp long before sunset to avoid any disasters.
Embrace afternoon naps on long summer camping trips. You’ll miss the hottest part of the day, and it’s a pleasant indulgence you’ll miss when you go back to the “real world” on Monday.
Seek shade, and wear plenty of sunscreen even when not in direct sunlight.
Did you know that you can get sunburnt through a t-shirt?
Sun protection is important even when you’re not camping, but most of us don’t spend all day outside as part of our normal routines. Slather on that SPF and reapply as directed.
Meanwhile, try to limit your sun exposure by staying in the shade as much as possible.
Pull out the sunshades on your camper while you’re hanging out at the campground. Choose picnic tables that are shaded by trees or umbrellas. And, of course, spend some time in the RV when things get too hot to handle.
Plan water activities during the hot parts of the day.
If you’re in an area with natural bodies of water, plan a short hike with a swim to cool off along the way.
Some campgrounds have pools or splash pads, and those are great for families who are feeling the heat, too.
Be extra diligent about sunscreen when you’re swimming, wading, or relaxing poolside. The reflected sunlight that bounces off the water can burn your skin much faster, and soaking in the pool can wash off the sunscreen you’ve already applied.
Stay well hydrated and use water-cooled clothing to carry away excess heat.
There might be times when you’re not going to be able to get back to the RV to get out of the summer heat, so take precautions to stay safe in the sun.
Always drink plenty of water. In hot and dry weather especially, you might not realize how much moisture you’ve lost through sweating and respiration because it evaporates so quickly. If you feel thirsty, you’re already too dehydrated. Keep drinking!
Sweating might not be enough to keep up with the soaring temperatures, so consider some simple stay-cool clothing options like evaporative bands that you soak in cool water and wear around your neck to evaporate away excess heat. You can also find similar types of hats, vests, and towels that are specifically designed to keep you cool.
As for your regular clothing, choose wisely.
Make sure any hiking gear is hot weather appropriate, and choose natural fibers over synthetics so that you’re not soaking in your own sweat all day.
Choose your camping destination wisely.
There are some parts of the country that are great summer camping destinations, and some that should probably wait until fall. For example, Alaska is best visited during the summer months when it’s light outside and temperatures are reasonable. Death Valley isn’t quite as fun in August.
Dealing with a little bit of summertime heat is part of the experience. Just be safe about it, too.