Camping And Hiking Safely in Hot Weather

Dec 6, 2021 | 0 comments

Summer is rapidly approaching and lately it seems summer heat has been getting more and more extreme over the past few years.  Temperatures keep rising and for those of you in trailers with AC, it can be more bearable, but you should be prepared if the AC fails. Others who are in tents, the thin nylon walls do not offer any comfort from the blistering heat. There are ways to camp safely in hot weather.

To make your summer camping experience more pleasurable, anticipate changes in weather and temperature. Check with the national weather service before you pack so you can be prepared and know what to expect.

Sunburn, heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps and dehydration can be serious problems. Here are a few suggestions to help you be prepared:

You won’t need that sleeping bag you used all winter. Get lighter weight, cooler bedding for the hot nights.  Try to find a shaded spot to pitch your tent or park your RV. Tent campers can remove the rain fly during the day and open windows to get fresh air, so it won’t be so hot and stuffy. Usually, it cools down at night. I suggest putting the rain fly on in the evening just in case of a shower during the night and to keep the morning dew out of the tent. A battery operated fan can give you some relief inside the tent, and if you have electric, you don’t need to be a martyr, aside from a fan there are AC units for tents!

Store food and drinks in separate coolers. The drink chest will be opened more frequently and the ice in the food chest will last longer if it is only opened when necessary.

Hiking in hot weather

Try to avoid hiking between noon and 3pm as this is the hottest time of the day.

Choose lightweight loose-fitting clothes, preferably that have a upf rating. Light colors such as white or tan will   reflect the sun’s rays, while dark colors absorb heat. Nylon and polyester are often a better choice than cotton because it breathes and dries quickly. Cotton absorbs moisture, dries very slowly, and can cause chafing. You could also get chilled if the temperature drops in the evening and clothes are still damp.  Wear a hat with a brim rather than a visor to keep the sun off your head, face and neck. A polymer-crystal filled neck bandana soaked in water, can keep your neck cool for longer periods of time. You can find even clothing that’s specifically designed to keep you cool such as Arctic Cool Clothing at

Wear wool or synthetic socks that fit well. Socks that are too big can form wrinkles that rub and socks that are too small can cause pressure points. Blisters can form making your hike a painful one and cause foot pain that could last for days.

Bring a squirt bottle so when the going gets rough you can treat yourself to a cooling cloud of mist when needed. Some even have a fan attached like the ones shown bellow .

Stay hydrated: When you sweat, you are losing water. The human body needs lots of H2O to keep it functioning properly. A few gulps of fluid every 15-20 minutes should replace what you sweat out. While drinking lots of fluid is important, be careful not to overdrink. Overhydrating can  cause your sodium levels in the blood to become so diluted that cell function could become impaired.

 Limit the alcohol.  

Alcohol is a diuretic — a substance that causes increased urination known as diuresis. One glass of wine, one beer, or a shot of hard liquor can cause you to lose nearly half a cup of fluid. When your fluid loss is greater than your fluid intake dehydration sets in.

In addition to diuretic effects that increase urine output, alcohol also inhibits the production of vasopressin, also known as the antidiuretic hormone (ADH).  It tells your kidneys how much water to conserve.  When alcohol causes a decrease in vasopressin, your body can’t retain water as effectively, compounding the effects of dehydration.

Symptoms to watch out for:

  • Dark urine
  • Dry eyes
  • Excessive thirst
  • Irritability
  • Fainting


You will need to rehydrate and replace the electrolytes you have lost. There are lots of products that can replace electrolytes such as Gatorade & smart waters There are also oral rehydration solutions like  It contains a medically relevant amount of electrolytes to help fend off dehydration. You can carry it easily and add it to your bottle of water.

Camping in the hot temperatures need not be a hellish experience if you put some thought into your preparations. Be careful out there!


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