The wild outdoors allows us to get away from our daily hustles and unwind. Nature is peaceful, pure, and relaxing. It is also an unforgiving environment. Temperatures tend to soar inside your tent, especially since most campsites don’t have electric provisioning. Therefore, you need to know how to cool a tent without electricity to enjoy a good night’s sleep.
As a camper, you’ll routinely have to deal with wind and rain. That’s why you must bring your tent along if you’re planning for a long night. On the flip side, tents tend to raise internal temperatures, particularly during the summer months.
Why Are Tents Harder to Keep Cool?
Any tent is critical to outdoor life. However, these clever shelters can do more harm than good. A tent can produce a ‘greenhouse effect’ whereby internal temperatures rise. So you need to know how to cool a tent without electricity when you are out camping.
Generally, most camping tents can prove hard to keep cool because of the following factors.
A tent that receives direct sunlight transfers this energy inside. The internal space doesn’t lose the heat fast enough because of the shape of the tent. Luggage, water vapor, and other solids also hold on to this heat for longer.
Human Body Temperature/Sweat & Respiration
Hiking is a physically intensive activity. After a long day, your body will be sweating and hotter than ever. Naturally, this energy tends to radiate to your external surroundings and eventually raise the heat inside your tent.
How to Cool a Tent Without Electricity?
A cozy tent is neither too hot nor too cold. If you want to beat the heat the next time you are out in the wild, here are our top seven tips on how to keep a tent cool without electricity.
1. Choosing the Correct Tent for Your Needs
There are hundreds of different tents in the market. You can buy tents of various sizes, colors, and shapes depending on your camping needs. Additionally, other tents also have different climate control capabilities, so watch out when purchasing your next camping tent.
Tents that are made from canvas are excellent for hiking trips on colder days because the heavy material does an excellent job of keeping you warm. However, if you’re looking to keep things a little cooler, it’s better to go for lightweight materials like polyester and nylon.
When selecting a tent, most people ignore the effect of color. Lighter shades reflect the sun’s rays while dark colors absorb them. Therefore, a light-colored tent will be much better for keeping the heat out.
It is also better not to pack too many things for a camping trip on a hot summer’s day. The more objects you put inside your tent, the hotter it will be. As for the size, smaller tents don’t have enough headroom for air circulation. Meanwhile, large tents maintain airflow and ventilation, which keeps them cool.
There are adjustable tents where you can vary the amount of headroom inside. Generally, the larger the tent, the better your climate control will be.
2. Set Up Camp at the Right Time
The weather is a variable phenomenon and plays a significant role in any camping trip. Also, at different times of the day, you’ll experience different conditions that will also affect the environment in your tent.
If you pitch your tent early in the day, it will accumulate a lot of heat. Also, any luggage inside the shelter will act as a thermal store and raise internal temperatures.
Unless you plan to sleep as soon as you arrive at the campsite, take your time setting it up. Explore the surroundings first and get your bearing—scout for optimum sites to set up camp and clear any bushes.
Ideally, it would be best if you pitched your tent immediately before sleeping. Doing so provides you with a wonderfully cool environment to sleep in.
3. Optimal Campsite Selection
The location of your campsite is pretty crucial if you want to maintain the optimum conditions for outdoor living. Also, site selection gives you access to essential amenities like electricity, fresh water, and security.
A site with electrical access allows you to plug in an AC device. But you won’t know how to cool a tent without electricity.
Most sites deliver an all-natural environment, so you need to know how to keep a tent cool without electricity. Your campsite should take advantage of tree cover. Abundant leaves provide shade and block most of the sun’s rays from hitting your tent. Remember to avoid bushy places as these harbor mosquitos and other bugs.
Avoid open spaces as they offer no protection from the sun. And of course, don’t forget about the wind. Go for windy campsites to capitalize on your tent’s ventilation. Cool places to set up camp are river banks and the shores of a lake.
4. Use a Reflective Space Blanket
Some campsites have absolutely no shade. If you’ve ever been to the beach, then you already know this. Since you won’t have shade or electricity, you will need a reflective blanket for your tent.
This fabric is shiny and reflects away the sun’s rays. The blanket prevents any thermal energy from the sun from penetrating your tent. So as heat doesn’t go through your tent, the shelter remains cool.
It is a cheap and easy method for tent cooling. Remember to get a large blanket that covers the entire tent.
5. Use Ice to Cool the Air
Most campers nowadays carry pre-packed food. So once they set up camp, only a campfire is needed to prep the meals.
If you are looking for affordable ways to cool a tent without electricity, your regular cooler can get the job done. You will just have to bring along as many ice cubes as possible.
As the ice melts, it takes in the surrounding heat and cools the area. For this to work, you’ll need plenty of ice blocks. Simply pop open your cooler inside the tent and let the ice do its magic.
6. Sufficient Tent Ventilation
A well-ventilated tent is far much easier to keep cool, especially in the absence of electric power. Ventilation outlets allow air to flow inside the tent and escape. This flow means that hotter air is gradually swept away and replaced with cool air.
There are two ways to ventilate your tent. On the one hand, buy a tent with plenty of perforations on the side. These holes should allow wind to pass air through the tent without blowing it away.
Alternatively, you can just unzip your tent when it starts to get hot. The large opening allows hot air to escape and effectively cool your tent.
7. Optimal Camping Clothes
Our bodies are critical sources of heat once we’re inside a camping tent. Therefore, the clothes you wear will also affect the temperatures inside your temporary shelter.
Typically, you should dress appropriately for your camping trip. If the prevailing weather remains chilly through the night, you should definitely bring some heavy clothes.
Most times, you only need a solid sleeping bag for the night. In stable conditions, you don’t need to pack warm clothes. Your backpack can only store the essentials, so just pack some lightweight attire with your sleeping bag.
Heavy clothes are naturally meant to insulate against the heat. They hold a lot of heat from your body as well as the external environment. When the nights are sufficiently warm, you can always ditch the blankets to keep cool all night long.
Why You Must Keep Your Outdoor Tents Cool?
The outdoor experience is starkly different from what you’re used to at home. Your tent’s climate control is squarely your responsibility. While at home, you can comfortably vary prevailing temperatures with a digital AC. But if you are in the wild, you have to up the ante.
Keeping cool allows your body to rest and recover from the long hike. When it is hot, you tend to lose a lot of water through sweat. Many people are unable to recover their body fluids in time and end up dehydrated. Dehydration sucks because you lose a lot of energy to keep going. Also, hot temperatures aren’t suitable for young children.
Nevertheless, keeping your body cool prevents excessive sweating. That’s why a reliable way to stay cool is to allow as much air inside your family tent as possible.
Will a portable AC cool a tent?
Yes, it can. Though outdoorsy and nature lovers may scoff at the idea, some campers enjoy air-conditioning their tents for a comfortable sleep and better temperature regulation.
A portable AC might just work in your tent if:
- If you have an insulated or all-season tent. Besides, the added insulation must keep you comfortable in the winter.
- If you are camping with kids.
- Camping in a hot and humid location where the temperature remains constant during the night might also require a portable ac.
Is there a tent air conditioner?
Yes, there is. Though many people think of a tent air conditioner as a portable ac used in homes, it’s far from that. Tent air conditioners don’t make the surroundings icy like air regular air conditioners. Tent air conditioners only reduce the temperature of the tent by a few degrees to let you relax after a long hard day.
There are multiple types of tent air conditioners that you can choose from:
- Evaporation coolers: These are more of a cooling fan and are ideal for those camping in high heat or humid areas.
- Portable air conditioners: These provide cooling for small spaces. But make sure you buy a battery-operated version, not an electric one, to use during the heat.
- Window air conditioners: If you are camping near a power grind or can install a camping generator, a window air conditioner is a good choice.
Will a dehumidifier cool a tent?
A dehumidifier reduces the temperature in a tent to a great extent by reducing the amount of moisture build-up in the tent’s inside. This reduces the level of condensation inside as well.
Though a dehumidifier significantly reduces condensation, you must not forget the traditional ways of doing the same. It’s best to combine different methods to reduce condensation.
Various types of dehumidifiers are available in today’s market. However, since you are looking for ones appropriate for camping, it’s best to opt for those that are small and portable. Besides, you want an option that does not use electricity.
Two types of dehumidifiers are suitable for camping:
- Desiccant dehumidifiers: As the name suggests, these types of humidifiers work by using the desiccant wheel that absorbs the moisture from the air. They are lightweight and work well in colder areas and keep the noise levels low.
- Dehumidifier bags: These bags are filled with some types of substance like silica gel that draws moisture and removes it from the air. Such bags also remove any lingering odor.
How do I lower the humidity in my tent while camping?
There are multiple ways to reduce humidity inside the tent. The following are just a few of them:
- Create airflow inside the tent.
- Buy a double-layer tent.
- Add extra tarps and rain fly.
- Don’t bring wet clothes and gear in the tent.
- Use a humidifier.
- Spread a footing tarp on the tent floor to prevent it from getting wet.
- Avoid cooking inside the tent.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
It is easy to maintain an off-grid lifestyle, especially if you want to keep your tent cool without electricity. The easiest method to ensure a wonderful experience is to pitch your tent under a tree. Also, set up camp during sunset when temperatures have dropped. Additionally, a reflective blanket will prevent the sun’s rays from penetrating your tent.
The essence of camping is to escape modernity and enjoy life as our forefathers had done before us. You can easily survive the great outdoors without electricity – that’s why most campsites don’t have electric cables. A campfire is critical for enjoying the wild. And of course, remember to pack extra batteries for your flashlight.
If you unzip your tent, cool air will quickly flow inside and replace the warmer conditions. Also, a reflective shade will keep the sun’s rays from penetrating and heating up your tent. If it gets too hot to bear, you can always take apart your tent and enjoy the natural breeze.
The wild outdoors is a fun and challenging place to visit. Whether you are going for a short day hike or an extended camping trip, you are bound to appreciate the challenge that comes with conquering the wild.
Variable climate is a critical factor that adds to the challenge of hiking. Even if we can predict with relative accuracy what the weather will be like tomorrow, there is little we can do to change such conditions.
So when it gets hot, we have to know how to cool a tent without electricity. The easiest way is to buy a big and lightweight tent, as it will have adequate room for air circulation. Also, the material isn’t heavy enough to hold the heat inside but rather dissipates most of it outside.