Sleeping Tips for Hot Weather Camping

Summer is the most popular season for camping, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the most comfortable. A long day of hiking, swimming, or simply sitting in the sunshine can take it out of you, and sweltering summer nights make it difficult to fall asleep. If you’ve ever thought about swearing off camping in the summer because it’s too hot to sleep, read through these sleeping tips for hot weather camping.

Sleeping tips for hot weather camping

Hot weather tent camping can be rather unpleasant. Stale air and sticky heat are a killer combination. While there’s little you can do to control the weather, you can try to make your tent feel cooler.

Placement is key

Think about tent placement. If possible, pitch your tent in windy spot to catch a breeze (i.e. not blocked by hills or trees). Select a site that provides shade in the morning, evening, or both.

Wait for the heat to break

Set up your tent in the evening. If you set your tent up during the day, you’re going to trap a lot of warm air. Your tent will eventually cool off overnight, but an extra toasty tent makes it difficult to fall asleep.

Forgo the fly

Leave the rain fly off your tent unless it’s going to rain. A tent fly traps body heat, blocks the wind, and prevents air flow.

Sleep on air

Use an air core sleeping pad rather than a foam core pad. Air core pads are bad for cold weather, but perfect for hot weather camping. A layer of air provides less insulation while still offering a comfortable surface to sleep on.

Opt for a cot

A camping cot keeps you off the ground, which provides air flow and keeps you cooler as you sleep. Plus, cots are more comfortable than sleeping on the ground.

Leave the mummy bag at home

Pack a sheet, light blanket or sleeping bag liner instead of using a full sleeping bag.

Hang out

Try a hammock instead of a tent. Hammocks are more breathable and trap less heat than a tent. Just make sure that you use mosquito netting to avoid being eaten alive by bugs.

Your biggest fan

Fans seem like cheating, and they might be. But who cares? A fan makes a big difference in comfort and can help you get past the early evening heat. Backpackers are out of luck, but car campers can bring a battery powered fan for camping. Also, many campgrounds provide electric hookups, so you can bring a box fan to keep your tent cool.


What are your sleeping tips for hot weather camping? Let us know in the comments!

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