Everyone loves a hot and sunny camping trip. So much better than a washout – but it still comes with its hazards. Sunstroke, warm beer, insects, and being too hot to sleep all get in the way of a good time. So what can you do?
Make the most of natural shade
Steer clear of the sunniest parts of a campsite and any open ground, and try to camp under the shade of a tree or hedge. There’s a chance that you might end up with some falling twigs or bird poo on your tent – you could always rig up a protective tarp above it – but it’ll be well worth it given the cool, shady air that you’ll experience as the rest of the site fry out in the blazing sun.
If there are no shady spots, work out where the sun is going to rise, and pitch your tent with the ‘foot end’ pointing towards the sun – that way at least you won’t have your bedroom hit by the blazing rays at 4am, giving you a few extra precious minutes of shut-eye.
Make sure your tent can handle it
Get a tent with a decent fabric and a double skin rather than single. This will give you additional insulating properties as well as extra darkness. The darker the tent fabric, the darker the tent – many tents now even come with darkened bedroom compartments or even full blackout technology.
Ensure that your tent has plenty of ventilation. Fly mesh on ALL doors and windows is a must – you want to be able to open the doors to let the breeze through, but simultaneously excluding any pesky bugs.
You’ll become dehydrated a lot faster in hot weather. There are a few steps you can take to keep yourself cool and avoid heatstroke and dehydration.
- Avoid the midday sun. Try to rest during the hottest part of the day, and save hiking and other camping activities for later on when it’s cooler. It’s the ideal time to venture into a shady forest rather than a blazing clifftop walk.
- Wear sunscreen and a hat, and loose, thin cotton clothing. Sunburn makes it harder for your body to regulate its temperature, so prevention is better than cure.
- Drink plenty and eat lots of watery foods. Watermelon, grapes, peaches, ice lollies, and plenty of water will keep you chilled.
Head for the wilderness
Find yourself a forest or seaside campsite. The shade of the trees will keep you cool, and walking in the forest is several degrees cooler than in open ground.
At the beach, the breezes and surf will help you to cool off. Rockpooling, cave exploring, and surfing will all ensure that you, and the whole family, are fresh and chilled.
Some of the best we’ve found are Whitemead Forest Park in the Forest of Dean, and Whitesands Bay Campsite near St Davids in Wales. One shady, one right on the beach – ideal for keeping cool while you camp.