How To Cool A Tent Without Electricity?

How To Cool A Tent Without Electricity

Key Takeaways
● Fans and electric cooling units can be used to keep tents cool without electricity.
● Ice packs, reflective thermal sheets, outdoor canopies, and wet towels can all help to reduce the temperature in a tent.
● Natural ventilation can be achieved by opening windows and zippers on the tent.

Camping is a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and spend some much-needed time in nature. 

But when attempting to sleep in a warm tent, you may question how to cool it down during those hot summer nights.

Fortunately, there are a few ways to have a cool tent without electricity. You can use natural cooling methods to ensure your tent is comfortable and cool for a great night’s rest, such as utilising wind, water, and the shade of trees.

This article will cover some of the best ways to cool your tent without electricity, so keep reading to learn more.

Choose The Right Tent

Choose The Right Tent

When selecting a tent for camping, it is essential to choose one with the right features to help keep you cool. 

Look for a tent with ventilation PANELS near the top and sides; these will allow air to flow through your tent more easily, creating a cooler environment inside.

Ensure your tent also has adequate INSULATION; this will help prevent heat from entering and keep the inside of your tent comfortable.

Also, consider how much SPACE you need when picking out your tent. If camping in hot climates, opt for a larger size to ensure enough room for everyone without being too stuffy or cramped.

This extra space can make all the DIFFERENCE between having an enjoyable night’s sleep and a hot and uncomfortable one.

Pro Tip: A canvas tent is a great choice for hot weather as it is breathable and allows air to circulate.

Utilise The Wind

Utilise The Wind

When cooling off a tent without electricity, the wind can be your best friend. Position the entrance of your tent AWAY from the direction of the wind; this will create a natural draft that can help draw heat out of your tent.

To promote more airflow, hang DAMP towels or sheets outside your tent, as they’ll act like sails to capture the breeze and direct it inside.

Pro Tip: If you don’t have water supply access, keep a spray bottle or water bottle nearby and spritz your tent’s walls with cold water.

Use Reflective And Light-Coloured Materials

Use Reflective And Light-Coloured Materials

If you’re looking for another way to keep your tent cool, then using reflective and light-coloured materials can be effective.

Reflective surfaces will help direct the sun’s rays AWAY from the tent by reflecting them, while lighter colours, such as white or cream, are better at reflecting heat than dark colours, like black [1] (black is known to absorb heat).

To maximise this method, try setting up an umbrella over your tent and use HIGHLY reflective tarps on the sides of it. This will create a barrier between your tent and the direct sunlight, helping to keep it cooler during hot summer days.

Additionally, you can LINE the inside of your tent with light-coloured fabric to help reflect any heat that does enter. Doing so will help keep your tent cooler and make it more comfortable to sleep in.

Ventilate Your Tent Properly

Ventilate Your Tent Properly

Proper ventilation is key to keeping your tent cool without electricity. You can do this by doing these simple steps:

  • Open all the tent windows and doors as much as possible to allow airflow.
  • If you don’t have a fan, planting a few sticks around the entrance of your tent can help promote airflow.
  • Ensure no items are blocking the ventilation panels near the top or sides of your tent.
  • When setting up your tent, position it to have maximum airflow; keep one end higher than the other to create an uphill-downhill direction for hot air to escape.
  • Lastly, avoid cooking in your tent as heat from the stove and smoke can quickly build up and make it uncomfortable inside.

Get Low To Stay Cooler

Get Low To Stay Cooler

Getting low may be the answer if you’re looking for a way to stay cooler without electricity. One of the best ways to keep cool is by sleeping CLOSE to the ground. 

Heat rises, so resting closer to the ground level will minimise exposure to it and help keep your tent as cool as possible.

Additionally, try packing some LIGHTWEIGHT blankets or sheets in your sleeping bags; these can act as insulation between you and the ground and provide an extra layer of comfort while keeping you cooler.

Lastly, ensure no objects are BLOCKING airflow around your bedding; this will ensure that air circulates properly throughout the night and keeps things cool inside (to avoid a stuffy tent).

Pro Tip: If you have enough space, bring an extra air mattress to elevate your sleeping position and help reduce heat buildup.

Utilise Natural Breezes

Utilise Natural Breezes

Utilising natural breezes is an effective way to keep your tent cool without electricity. 

To maximise airflow, make sure that your tent is POSITIONED in an area with a good breeze and try to steer clear of areas with minimal wind or still air.

Additionally, if possible, set up camp near a body of WATER, such as a lake or river; this can help create a natural cooling effect.

Also, prop open the entrance and windows of your tent as WIDE as possible to allow for proper air circulation. Opening flaps on the sides of the tent may also help draw cooler air in while the hot air will escape out the top.

If you don’t have flaps, try using POLES to prop up one end of the tent and create an uphill-downhill direction for airflow.

Set Up A Wind Tunnel With Tarps Or Blankets

Set Up A Wind Tunnel With Tarps Or Blankets

If you’re looking for an extra dose of cold air, consider setting up a wind tunnel with TARPS or blankets [2]. All you need to do is hang a tarp or blanket between two trees and create an opening near the entrance of your tent.

The idea is that the wind travels through the tunnel, picks up speed and forces it into your tent, helping to keep it cooler in hot weather. 

To maximise this method, try WETTING the material before hanging it up; this will help capture even more of the breeze and direct it inside.

To do this right, ensure the entrance is slightly LOWER than the exit to ensure that air flows downhill. 

If you need extra cooling power, try adding ice or cold packs inside the tunnel; this will help keep your summer tent even cooler and make it more comfortable to sleep in.

Use Battery Powered Fans

Use Battery Powered Fans

A battery-powered fan can also be a great way to keep your tent cool without electricity. They may require an initial investment, but they’re lightweight, portable and will provide relief from the heat.

When using a fan, position it, so it’s blowing air out of the tent; this will help expel hot air while allowing cooler air to enter. Additionally, try placing it NEAR ventilation panels to maximise airflow inside your tent.

If you’re looking for a more powerful fan, consider investing in a RECHARGEABLE model. These can be plugged into your car to recharge and provide hours of cooling power without needing electricity.

Place Ice Packs Inside Or Outside The Tent

Place Ice Packs Inside Or Outside The Tent

Ice packs are another great way to keep your tent cool without electricity. Place them inside the tent near areas of VENTILATION for maximum cooling power, or if you prefer to keep them outside, try placing them around the perimeter of your tent.

This will help draw heat away from the entrance and provide relief from hot weather. If ice packs are used this way, COVER them with a blanket or cloth so they don’t melt too quickly.

Additionally, consider freezing up multiple water BOTTLES before you head off on your camping trip; these can be placed strategically around the tent and stay cold for longer than regular ice packs.

This method is excellent when combined with an air tunnel to ensure maximum cooling power.

Try A Cold Shower Before Bedtime

Try A Cold Shower Before Bedtime

Additionally, if you need a good night’s sleep, consider taking a cold shower before settling into bed. This can help lower your body TEMPERATURE and make it easier to drift off to sleep during summer camping.

Just note that it is important for your safety that the water isn’t TOO cold; try aiming for lukewarm temperatures and find the right balance between comfort and coolness. 

Additionally, this method is easy and cost-effective because it uses no electricity or special equipment.

Stay Hydrated To Keep Cool

Stay Hydrated To Keep Cool

Finally, staying hydrated is one of the best ways to keep your body temperature cool during hot weather.

Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, especially WATER and electrolyte drinks, as these can help replenish lost minerals and ensure you stay hydrated in the heat. 

Also, avoid drinking beverages containing caffeine or alcohol, as these can increase dehydration.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

My Ice Packs Are Attracting Insects – What Can I Do?

Make sure to store the ice packs in an airtight container and keep them away from your tent. Additionally, use bug repellent around the perimeter of your campsite to help discourage insects.

Is It Okay To Camp Under A Tree To Stay Cool?

Camping under a tree can provide shade and relief in hot weather. Just make sure to keep an eye out for low-hanging branches that could potentially damage your tent.

Is It Safe To Use A Portable Air Conditioner In My Tent?

While portable air conditioners can provide cooling relief, they require a lot of power and could be dangerous if used in a small space. Additionally, they often come with hefty price tags and may not be suitable for all budgets.



Staying cool on hot camping trips doesn’t have to be a challenge. Using some of the above methods, you can make your tent a comfortable oasis without relying on electricity or expensive equipment.

Remember that staying hydrated is key for keeping cool in the summer heat, and don’t be afraid to get creative with how you beat the heat on your next camping trip!

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Lisa Hayden-Matthews

An avid Skier, bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.
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