Keeping It Cool At Camp: Tips For Safe Hot Camping

hot camping, hot hiking, hot weather camping
Summer is the high season for outdoor adventuring. During the summer months, more hikers hit the trails, more climbers clamber toward summits, and more campers… um… go camping. The long, sunlit days and the temperate nights (not to mention the time off from school and the frequent cashing in of vacation days earned at work — OK so actually I did mention both of those things) make this the ideal time for enjoying the wilderness.

Related: Summertime Hikes

But in case you hadn’t noticed, summer is also the hottest season of the year. It’s true! Just check your almanac. That elevated heat means an elevated potential for dehydration, heat stroke, heat cramps, and more wretched stuff you will do well to avoid. One can safely enjoy the outdoors even on the hottest days of summer so long as proper precaution is taken.

And know the signs of heat-related ailments! If you find yourself or one of your fellow outdoorsmen exhibiting any of the following…

  • Confusion or Extreme Fatigue
  • Dizziness or Fainting
  • Headache, Cramping, and/or Vomiting
  • Pale Skin
  • Rapid Heartbeat

…then it’s time to stop moving, cool down, hydrate, and potentially seek medical assistance. The right time to combat heat exhaustion is before it starts, so take plenty of breaks when trekking or climbing, drink plenty of water at all times, and consider these other steps to have a safe, enjoyable hot camping trip.



Before you set out for a summer hike, take the time to freeze a bottle or two of water. (Remember that you need several liters of water per day when on the go.) Just make sure to leave some room in the bottle, as water expands when frozen and could crack some materials. If you forgot to freeze a bottle, or you just didn’t feel like doing so, instead load a bottle with ice cubes and then top it off with water. You’ll thank yourself a few hours later when you’re pouring sweat in the summer heat yet sipping water that’s as cold as winter’s chill.

hot camping, hot weather camping, tips for camping in hot weather
(A sweaty author in need of dry clothing)


Perspiration keeps you cool thanks to evaporation. The more you sweat, the cooler you will be, so long as that moisture your body produces can dissipate. In extreme humidity, and/or when you are sweating profusely, it becomes harder for your body to cool itself with all that lovely sweat. That’s why it’s important you keep a dry towel or other garment on hand to wipe away your sweat, and why you should change out of sodden clothing clothing regularly. (Ironically, staying dry is also critical for staying warm: wet clothing is a leading contributor to hypothermia, and FYI more outdoorsmen are afflicted with hypothermia during the summer than the winter. The more you know!)


As much as humanly possible, just stay out of the sun. Stay in the shade when you can, and when you can’t do that, keep the sun off your skin. Wearing a hat is critical, and while it might seem counterintuitive, wearing long but lightweight clothing can often keep you cooler than letting the sun fall on your exposed skin. (Do you think the Bedouin wear long robes purely for fashion?) If your skin is going to be in the sun, make sure it is slathered with sun block. A sun burn will elevate your body temperature, and let’s not even get started on the long term damage sun exposure can cause.


You need protein to keep you going when on a hike or climb, but if possible, ingest those meatstuffs, eggs, and other protein sources after you have finished the day’s trek or when you have sufficient time for digestion before getting under way. Digesting protein increases your body’s metabolic activity, a side effect of which is heat. Also make sure to eat smaller meals when on the move outdoors for the same reason. And if you like spicy food, indulge: that spice sweat cools you down without the need for accompanying exertion.

Related: Biolite’s New Camp Cook Stove


Beyond Clothing Can Be Worn in Sub-Zero Temperatures and On Hot Dates

Do your clothes pass the re-warming test? Beyond's do.

The Best Cooking Gear for Car Camping and Backpacking

We’ve rounded up the best camping utensils and appliances to help you make the perfect meal right beside the truck or 20 miles from it.

Honor Presidents’ Day with Some Grooming Tips Inspired by Presidents Past

We've paired up some of our favorite former leaders with a few grooming products we know they would've loved.

6 Men’s Adventure Jackets for Surviving the Worst Weather

A good jacket is an absolute requirement for any adventure. Winter or spring, mountain or rainforest, jackets are your home away from home.

The “World’s Most Dangerous Hiking Path” Reopens in Spain

Few hikes can hold a candle to Spain’s deadly El Caminito del Rey — often dubbed “the world’s most dangerous hiking path.”

3 Once-in-a-lifetime Wilderness Adventures in South America

Experience three of the most bucket list-worthy outdoor adventures on one of the world's most rugged and underexplored continents.

Mezcal and the Magic of Oaxaca, Mexico

Mezcal is certainly one of Oaxaca’s most defining cultural characteristics, but the smoky intoxicant is far from the only reason to visit Oaxaca.

Hat’s Off to Our Favorite Hiking Hats

A good hat should be able to keep your face and neck protected from the sun, your head dry even during driving rains, and should be able to help keep you warm or cool depending on the climate.

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Summit Pack Helps You Ascend without Weighing You Down

The perfect summit pack is much like the perfect one-liner: until it's needed, one is hardly aware of its presence.

Survival Medical: Cleverly Curated First Aid Kits for Any Situation

Be prepared anywhere with these lifestyle specific first aid kits.

Coast Flashlights: The Only Flashlights or Headlamps You’ll Ever Need

take your time and choose wisely; there's a good chance you're going to own it for the rest of your life.

Hang Em’ High: How to Hang a Bear Bag

If you're heading into the backcountry this summer and know you'll be in bear-itory, it's time to learn how to hang a bear bag.

SOG Sync Multitools: Handy Hardware at the Ready

Remember back in the day when pulling out your multitool entailed the multi-step process of reaching to the side or back of your belt, opening a pouch sealed with velcro or a snap, and then finally pulling the actual tool out so you could…

Klymit Sleeping Pads Review – Comfort In the Field

You can pretty much just throw every other sleeping pad away.