Summer is one of the best seasons for adventure. School’s out for the year, the weather is fine, and you can usually manage to get a couple of days away from work. It’s the perfect time to pile some gear in your car, hit the road and escape into nature.
With that in mind, here are our best tips for warm weather camping, so you can make the most out of the balmy nights and clear skies this summer.
1. Use orange lighting to illuminate your campsite
Bright white lights attract bugs like nobody’s business, a great way to mitigate this is by picking up some orange lighting for illuminating your campsite at night. Warm lighting is less attractive to bugs, so while you may not be able to ditch the mosquito repellent – it will certainly help to minimise their presence.
The warm hue of orange lights is less likely to attract bugs. Image: Korr Lighting
2. Wear light-coloured loose & breathable clothes
Look for long sleeves to protect yourself from the sun, and choose fabrics that are light, will dry faster, and help you regulate your temperatures such as technical synthetics or merino wool.
In warm weather, it can be alright to wear cotton, but keep in mind that it could still be uncomfortable or cause chafing once you start to perspire as it doesn’t dry quickly once wet.
Wear protective clothing to keep you cool. Image: Sea to Summit
3. Set up protection from biting insects
While camping close to the water means you won’t have to walk as far for an afternoon dip, you might want to keep biting insects such as mosquitos and midges in mind. The summer months are prime mosquito breeding times, and they of course breed in water so you might want to put a bit of distance between water and your site.
Aside from mozzies and midges, flies can be a huge pain to deal with when cooking or relaxing outdoors. A quality head net will help you keep your sanity if the blowflies start to swarm, or you can set up a screen room so that you can sit and relax in a ventilated space in peace. Don’t forget to bring the DEET or citronella too just in case, alternatively, the Thermacell mozzie repellers work a treat.
Mozzies will be breeding near water in warm weather, so camp further away from water.
4. Take the fly off your tent for more ventilation
If your tent is made from synthetic material, it is going to get a little bit stuffy in warm weather, as it’s not as breathable as a natural fibre such as cotton.
If you’re sure rain isn’t on the cards, then you can sleep with the fly off to allow for maximum airflow through the tent. This will cool down the temperature inside and keep the air from getting stale.
You could also choose to camp with a canvas tent, as the combination of synthetic and natural fibres allow for more breathability in warm weather.
If your tent and the weather allows, sleeping without the fly will add more air flow. Image: Oztent
5. Don’t forget about electrolytes
When the weather heats up, it’s a given that you need to stay hydrated, but what you might forget to do is top up your electrolytes. A loss of electrolytes can lead to dehydration and other more serious conditions, so have some powder or hydration tablets handy in your camp kitchen or hiking pack.
Be aware that it is possible to drink too much water as well which can result in hyponatremia which is when there is too much water or not enough sodium in your blood. Either way, watching your sodium and water levels is an important consideration for your summer escapades.
You can even get some that are designed to be frozen and eaten as icy poles, so you can swap them out instead of Zooper Doopers on stinking hot days.
Carry and drink more water in warm conditions. Image: Sea to Summit
6. Freeze your food so your icebox/fridge doesn’t work as hard
Cook some meals and pre-freeze them in advance before your camping trip. Not only will that save you time and effort whipping up dinner, but it will also make it easier for your fridge or icebox which will be battling against a higher ambient temperature in Summer.
A quality esky, icebox or fridge will make a world of difference. Image: Coleman
7. Bring your own shade
Shade will not always be available at the campsite, so make sure you bring the awning poles for your tent so you can set up some of your own. If yours doesn’t come with a large enough awning, bring along a gazebo for some extra coverage, or a lighter option such as a tarp set up or compact fly.
Having the option to set up your awning will add versatility and shade. Image: OZtrail
8. Use a cooling towel or bandana to keep your temperature down
A super simple way to keep cool while you go about your outdoor activities in Summer is a cooling towel or neck tie. All you need to do is wet it, hang around your neck, and the water will evaporate slowly over time cooling you down in the process. You can even chuck them in the fridge or esky to chill them before you pop them around your neck.
A portable fan will add fresh air flow on a still night. Image: Coleman
9. Create circular airflow in your shelter
On a hot, stagnant night where there isn’t any airflow, it can be borderline impossible to get some decent shut-eye. If you can’t catch a cool breeze, you can always manufacture one by bringing along a portable camping fan to set up in your tent or caravan and open up any windows and doors leaving screens in place so that you can create circular airflow.
Wearing a hat will also keep you cooler at the campsite. Image: Oztent
10. A hat and sunscreen are a must
Aside from the obvious reason of protection from harmful UV rays, a broad brim hat will do wonders for keeping your head and shoulders cooler, so that don’t forget to chuck one on when setting up and packing down your campsite. Long-sleeved clothing, sunscreen, and sunglasses are also a no-brainer during any activities outside.
What are your best summer camping tips? Let us know in the comments below.