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How to keep cool when camping in hot weather

Nothing quite beats getting into nature during the Summer holidays here in Western Australia, but proper planning is important as the weather is known to get quite hot. If you plan on camping between December and February, you'll need to take precaution to ensure you and your camping companions don't overheat, which can quickly cause discomfort and ruin your holiday.

Fortunately, there are plenty of steps and camping travel tips you can follow to help keep your campsite and your travel group as cool as possible when camping in the hot and sometimes humid summer weather.

Choose a shaded campsite

When you first arrive at your destination, scope out the area and look for any available camping spots that will provide shade, such as one under large trees.

Be sure to consider how the sun will move overhead throughout the day, as this will impact the amount of shade your spot gets. Look for something that will have shade during the middle of the day when the weather is at its hottest. If you can get shade in the morning and afternoon as well, that's an added bonus!

If you’re planning to stay at a caravan park or campground, look for campsites that have shaded sites available. The added benefits of booking at a caravan park is access to park amenities which can make life that extra bit easier on a hot summer’s day.

Maximise airflow when camping in hot weather

camping in hot humid weather beach

Tents are great for camping in hot weather, but they can also act as greenhouses, trapping the heat inside.

To optimise airflow through your tent, open up the windows to expose the mesh panels, allowing air to pass through. Take note of which way the wind is blowing and set up your tent so that the wind passes straight through it. Camping at the beach is a great way to ensure a good breeze.

If your tent is equipped with a rain cover, take it off if there is no rain on the forecast (which you can check with one of these handy camping apps). While these covers block moisture from getting in, they also block heat and humidity from escaping.

So, don't use one unless you truly need it. Instead, hang a reflective cover over the top of your tent – such as one often used to keep the sun off the dash of their vehicle. This will bounce the sun's rays back up and away from your tent, helping to keep it cooler inside.

Bring plenty of water

When the weather is hot, it is crucial that you stay hydrated, especially if you planning to take a hiking or outdoor adventure summer holiday.

While some campsites may provide fresh, drinkable water, you don't want to be caught without, so be sure to bring plenty with you. Remember to drink consistently throughout the day, not just when you feel thirsty.

If you’re bringing your four-legged pal along for the camping adventure, always ensure that they have access to plenty of fresh water. Unlike us humans, it’s much harder to notice when your pet needs water, so having it readily available will keep them comfortable during your camping trip.

Set up a fan

For additional cooling, especially when the breeze dies down, it’s a good idea to bring along a fan.

Be sure to check with your chosen campsite in advance to see if they provide electricity. A generator is another option for powering your fan, though not all campsites allow them due to the noise they create which can be disruptive to other travellers.

To ensure you are able to power your fan, lights and other devices without disturbing your neighbours, you also have the option of installing some portable solar panels. This way, you can make the most of the sun during the day, using its energy to power everything you need at night.

While solar panels can be a bit costly, you'll enjoy free electricity for many years to come, and you won't be harming the environment in the process.

Go for a swim to cool off

camping in hot weather swimming beach WA

When camping in hot weather, there is nothing quite like a dip in cold water to help cool you down.

Go for a swim in the ocean, a lake or a river. Not only will this bring your temperature down, but it's also a lot of fun! This cooling method is especially effective at night shortly before you go to bed, as a lower body temperature will help you sleep more soundly. If you’re a fan of swimming at Western Australia’s many amazing beaches, look for a caravan park with a beachside location.

If there isn't a body of water near your campsite, a cold shower will do the trick as well! It can also help to drape a wet towel over the back of your neck to keep you cool during the day.

Wear light-coloured clothing

The way you dress can have a major impact on your comfort level when camping in hot, humid weather during summer in WA.

Light-coloured clothing is the best choice, as it will reflect most of the light from the sun, rather than absorbing it. Choose breathable fabrics, like cotton or linen, to maximise airflow, and look for loose-fitting items so the breeze can pass through. If you prefer tight-fitting or performance gear, watch out for sweat-wicking fabrics that won't trap moisture against your skin.

Don't forget to keep reapplying sunscreen

When the weather gets hot, it means that the sun is shining brightly, and the last thing you want is to get a nasty sunburn. Make sure sun cream is on your camping checklist and apply is before heading out each morning, and reapply multiple times throughout the day, especially if you have been swimming or sweating.

Your clothing will provide sun protection as well, so cover up where you can, and wear a hat to protect your face, ears and the back of your neck. Wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes is essential as well.

Reserve your campsite in advance

To ensure you are able to get a prime camping spot with plenty of shade and helpful amenities, it is a good idea to book your West Australian camping holiday well in advance – especially if you’re camping over the Christmas Holidays.

With our range of caravan parks available, you may even be able to snag accommodations that include air conditioning. We have multiple caravan parks and camping sites available across WA, so be sure to get in touch with us early on to reserve your preferred spot. Our team will be happy to help you select the most appropriate site to meet your needs and make the most of your holiday.

Frequently asked questions

26 November 2019

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