10 Tips for Summer Camping

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Summer is one of the best times of the year 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 warm lighting to avoid attracting bugs

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 repellant – it will certainly help to minimise their presence.

Campsite with orange Korr lighting

The warm hue of orange lights is less likely to attract bugs. Photo: Korr Lighting

2. Set up away from the sizzling afternoon sun

Set up your site carefully to maximise shade from the sun, that way your tent won’t feel like a hot oven when you’re ready to settle in for the night.

Camping in the shade

Setting up your gear in a spot that avoids the afternoon sun will help with the heat. Photo: Black Wolf

3. Camp away from the water to avoid 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 campsite.

Coleman Campsite

Mozzies will be breeding near water in warm weather, so camp further away. Photo: Joolca

4. Take the fly off your tent

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 you’re camping in tropical conditions, where the nights are sweltering, then a mosquito dome will offer maximum breathability and give you the opportunity to stargaze as well.

Tent with fly off

If your tent and the weather allows, sleeping without the fly will add more air flow. Photo: Sea to Summit

5. Bring extra water

This is probably an obvious one, but bringing some extra water makes for a good insurance policy on a summer camping trip. Just make sure you’ve balanced the rest of your gear load to accommodate the extra H20.

It’s also a good idea to take along a water purification system, whether it be tablets, a bottle, or a filter – just in case you run out and need to top up from another source.

Grayl water bottle

Carry and drink more water in warm conditions. Photo: Grayl

6. Invest in a quality icebox or portable fridge

Coughing up the extra dough for a higher quality icebox usually means that you’ll get better insulation and durability, so in the long run, it’ll keep food and bevvies colder for longer. If you need some tips for keeping ice longer in your icebox, check out this article here.

If you’re keen on becoming more self-sufficient on your camping trips, then a 12V fridge is something to look into. With one of these at your disposal, you can stay off the grid for longer and you won’t have to keep topping it up with ice to keep your goods cold.

Man getting drinks from Coleman Esky

A quality esky, icebox or fridge will make a world of difference. Photo: Coleman

7. Don’t forget your awning poles

Shade won’t 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 at the front of your tent. If yours doesn’t come with a large enough awning, bring a gazebo or shelter for some extra cover.

Awning setup outdoors

Having the option to set up your awning will add versatility and shade. Photo: Coleman

8. Ditch the toasty warm down sleeping bag

Keep your expensive down sleeping bag at home, unless you’re expecting really cold nights. You might be better off with a lightweight quilt, blanket, or just a travel liner to keep you more than warm enough on a summer night.

Man and woman lying on Coleman mattress in tent

Your -15° down bag? You can probably ditch it for a lighter option. Photo: Coleman

9. Bring a portable camping fan

On a hot, stagnant night where there isn’t any airflow, it can be borderline impossible to catch some proper 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.

Man operating Coleman fan inside tent

A portable fan will add fresh air flow on a still night. Photo: Coleman

10. Slip, slop, slap and wrap

While everyone always has the best intentions, it’s too easy to forget a step. All it takes is 20 minutes in the sun without a long-sleeved shirt, and you’ll be returning to work the next week with angry red burns. Make sure you keep a long-sleeved shirt, sunscreen, hat and sunglasses with you, and you’ll be all set to enjoy a day out without risking sun damage.

What are your best summer camping tips or hacks? Let us know in the comments below.

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