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staying cool while camping in summer


  • the Australian summer can make camping in a tent or a caravan a very hot experience and this can potentially result in heat injury, burns, heat rashes and heat illness and dehydration
  • summer days often hit above 38degC in the shade so you van or tent in the midday sun is going to be MUCH hotter
  • if the forecast is for over 42degC - perhaps think twice before going camping unless you know you can cool down in the shade (eg. river) and there is minimal risk of a bushfire in that area and you are not on a dead end road where you could be trapped.
  • a tent in the midday sun when temperatures in the shade are already over 25degC will act as a very hot greenhouse unless you take extra measures to reduce the temperature
    • ensure you have adequate protection from the midday sun
  • inland areas can have large temperature drops overnight on clear cloudless nights with no wind so be prepared to add some warmth
    • the overnight temperatures in Australia's deserts often fall below 0degC!
    • on clear nights, the overnight temperatures generally fall by about 15degC from max. day time temperatures in most inland areas in Australia within 300km of the coast
  • do not camp on the edge of a river or in a dry river bed - a distant summer thunderstorm may cause flash flooding overnight!

Tips for a cooler camp

  • take light, loose clothing
    • should cover as much skin as possible not only for sun protection but also for mosquito protection at dusk
  • consider taking a stretcher bed to get yourself off the ground and increase air circulation under you
  • take a tent that will allow maximum air flows
    • an almost fully mesh tent is ideal for keeping the bugs out but letting you cool down in what ever breeze there may be
    • importantly you need to be able to create a cross-breeze as a minimum and set the tent up to capture as much breeze as possible
    • consider taking a slightly larger tent than usual if possible to ensure you are not to cramped to another person eg. for two hikers, take a 3P mesh tent
    • No-See-Um mesh will reduce the breeze - consider bringing a double mosquito net to set up in the tent so you can leave the mesh doors open
    • alternatively, consider:
      • just a 2P mosquito tent which is fully mesh (if it is not forecast to rain or have strong winds), or,
      • a hammock
  • consider a tent with a Blockout fly to create a darker experience and reduce the radiant heat somewhat as well as allow you to sleep in longer in the morning
    • this will still be far too hot if set up in the sun on a day which is 30degC or more in the shade!
    • you should also put a shade tarp over the top of the tent with some separation from the fly for air flow
  • set the tent up late in the day so the sun does not heat it up too much
  • choose a camp site that will get as much shade from the sun as possible - this may allow you to have a bearable spot to relax in during the midday sun
    • HOWEVER, ensure you are not under a large branch which may fall without warning!
  • consider choosing a camp site near water and especially with the breeze flowing over the water towards you
    • being closer to water may result in more bugs though!
  • bring a tarp or sunshade to cover the tent and be about 1' above it to shade from the sun and allow ventilation between it and the tent
  • at night, remove the fly if rain or thunderstorms are not forecast
  • bring a battery operated or 12V fan
    • consider placing ice in front of the fan for extra cooling
  • bring an inflatable pool to sit in or go for a swim if it is safe to do so (preferably with some shade)
    • consider taking a life jacket so you can float more safely in a river without having to constantly swim
    • take some foot wear to wear into rivers - you will not be able to see sharp objects well
  • take plenty of drinking water to ensure you stay hydrated
australia/staying_cool.txt · Last modified: 2023/01/22 12:40 by gary1

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