How to Keep a Tent Cool

How to Keep a Tent Cool

Now that winter is almost over, you are probably making plans for camping this summer. And one of the main drawbacks when camping is the extreme heat in your tent. While you can avoid the heat during the day, you have no recuse come night time.

Why is my tent so hot?

The main culprit is the tent placement under direct sunlight. Direct sunlight, especially in summer, then the tent is definitely going to be hot inside. The best way to avoid this is to set up your tent in a shaded area. Preferably underneath a tree or beside trees that cast a shadow over it.

Here are some easy ways to keep a tent cool in summer.

Disassemble the tent during the day

This will ensure that the tent is not heated during the day. The heated air may take a while to dissipate during the night but may cause some discomfort before this happens. The best option is to wait till the sun has gone down and the air has cooled down before setting up the tent.

Use a portable cooling fan

This can be battery powered, or plugged into an AC power source. The fan will help cool down the air in the tent considerably. If possible, look for a fan with a mister to cool the air faster using the evaporative cooling effect.

Use a reflective tent cover

This will help refract light from the tent, thus preventing excessive heat accumulation in the tent. Look for a reflective tent cover that will cover the entire surface of the tent exposed to sunlight.

If you own a round or domed tent, you may need to look for another alternative to a standard reflective cover. Anything that can cover the tent while reflecting light would be a great option. Reflective sheets in the market would be great for this purpose.

Take advantage of the breeze

Setup the tent in the general direction of the wind. This will help to cool down the tent using the light summer breeze. Ensure you set up the tent in a position that allows the air to flow through the tent and cool the air within.

Use a tent with ventilation options

Buy a tent with no-see-mesh walls that allow air to flow through the tent. For privacy purposes, opt for a tent with an opaque panel at the bottom of the tent. Tent windows are also a great way to ventilate the tent. The larger the tent windows, the better the air circulation.

You should also consider the tent doors’ location as this will provide another way for ventilating your tent.

Use an ice pack

Another way to cool a tent without electricity is by placing an ice pack in the tent. This will help to keep it cool as the ice melts and evaporates. If you are extremely hot, you can place the ice pack next to your feet to cool down faster. You can also place multiple ice packs around the tent for a more significant cooling effect.

Use a tent pit

Dig out the area you wish to set up your tent and assemble it inside the pit. This will help keep the tent cool using insulation cooling due to the ground’s cold temperature. You can also use sand in the tent’s sandbags if it has some cold ground around the tent.

Use cold towels

Place your towels inside a bucket or ice cooler with ice blocks to cool them down. Then place the towels in your tent, preferably next to your sleeping bag, to cool down the air. You can use carbon ice or water ice to cool down the towels.

Insulate the ground

Place a blanket on the ground to prevent ground heat from seeping into the tent. If your tent has a tent floor, use this as your first layer of defense and a blanket for extra insulation. If you have a picnic blanket or carpet, you can use this instead.

Remove the rainfly

If there is no broadcast for rain, you can remove your rain fly from your tent. This will help to reduce the heat-trapping and help keep the tent cool. The rain fly acts as an extra blanket that is unnecessary during a hot summer month.

Drape a tarp over your tent

Ensure a gap between the tent and the tarp creates a breeze channel. This will help keep your tent cool beneath. This air gap above your tent will create a passive cooling system and cool your outdoor tent.

Camp near a water body

This area is bound to be much cooler than camping sites, not close to a body of water. Find dry ground near the river or lake and proceed to create your camping site. You must ensure that the area is not prone to flooding before you set up camp.

Check this too: How Do You Get Tent Stakes into Hard Ground?


To cool the air faster, apply multiple methods at once. This will ensure you have a higher chance of success. Additionally, you can lower your body temperature to help tolerate the warm air in your tent until it cools down.

Take a cold shower and sleep on your sleeping bag to stay cool. You should also wait till it is colder before going to bed. Lastly, leave the tent doors and windows open for air circulation purposes.