Summer camping hacks to help you keep cool in heat

Travelling Well | Jenna Meade | Posted on 13 February 2020

Five clever campsite hacks to keep you from melting when it’s sweltering.

While they’re arguably the best months to get back to camping basics, summer and autumn have the reputation of serving up restless nights in a scorching tent. 

But don't be put off by those extra degrees. With the right forward-planning and handy hacks, you’ll be making a myriad of memories filled with frisbees, camp cook-ups and water sports at a desirable temperature.

From keeping your tent cool and packing the right sidekicks to scoping out the perfect site and efficiently stashing your esky, here’s our round-up of ways to help you relax and enjoy your sunny adventure – without the excess sweat. (Plus, the must have camping gear for 2020.)

Tent set up in front of lake


Five summer camping hacks to help you beat the heat



Begin with the best tent 

Pitch your temporary home with intention. If you’ve got the option, opt for a dome tent with four-sided mesh for maximum breezy comfort.  

The wind is the closest thing you’re getting to air conditioning in the great outdoors, so make sure you open all the doors and windows to maximise cross breezes. Go fly-free and enjoy both a mozzie-free night and a nature-immersive view of the stars. Set up a reflective sunshade, or even a humble tarp, above your tent to block excess rays. 

Scope out the perfect site 

Set up your spot so that it’s shaded from midday onwards. Be sure to be extra vigilant if you’re camping under a tree. Older or unhealthy trees are prone to shedding branches. 

A waterside spot will be hot property, but it’s worth the extra effort to keep the heat away. The breeze from the water will cool down your site, and you’ll be able to take a dip when the temperatures climb.  If a stream isn't an option, a blow-up kiddie pool is a good runner-up for a quick paddle. 

Adjust your sleeping space 

Your tent becomes a greenhouse during a scorching hot day, and stepping into it at night will feel like stepping into a sauna.  

Get into the habit of disassembling your tent after you wake and putting it back up once the sun goes down. While it’s extra effort, it’s energy better spent than rolling around restless when you could be getting some much-needed shut-eye.  An added bonus? The reduction in direct harsh sunlight will increase the lifespan of your tent. 

View out of tent with grass and sand in background
Tents pitched in thick forest


Scope out the perfect site

Set up your spot so that it’s shaded from midday onwards. Be sure to be extra vigilant if you’re camping under a tree. Older or unhealthy trees are prone to shedding branches.

A waterside spot will be hot property, but it’s worth the extra effort to keep the heat away. The breeze from the water will cool down your site, and you’ll be able to take a dip when the temperatures climb.  If a stream dream isn't an option, a blow-up kiddie pool is a good runner-up for a quick paddle.

Adjust your sleeping space

Your tent becomes a greenhouse during a scorching hot day, and stepping into it at night will feel like stepping into a sauna.  

Get into the habit of disassembling your tent after you wake and putting it back up once the sun goes down. While it’s extra effort, it’s energy better spent than rolling around restlessly when you could be getting some much-needed shut-eye. Plus, the reduction of time your tent will spend in direct harsh sunlight will increase its lifespan. 


RACV exclusive member benefits

No tent? No worries. Glamp it up at RACV’s Cobram resort. Campers at Cobram have full access to resort facilities (hello, swimming pools) so you don't have to worry about beating the heat. As well as powered caravan and motorhome sites, they've also got a range of air-conditioned cabins (including pet-friendly options) and apartments. Plus, RACV members get 25 per cent off stays.  

Explore the Sun Country on the Murray at the RACV Cobram Resort