Matt Johnson

How to Air Condition Your Tent?

Author: Matt JohnsonPhotos/Graphics: Mike HawthornePublished: Jul 10, 2022Updated: Dec 13, 2023

Summertime is a great time to go camping, but the hot weather can make it uncomfortable. Luckily, there are ways to air condition your tent and make your camping experience more enjoyable.

This article will discuss how to cool your tent using different methods. We will also provide tips on how to stay cool while camping.

Placement of your tent is critical – find some shade!

When camping in the summer, one of the most important things is to keep your tent cool. After all, there’s nothing worse than trying to sleep in a sauna!

Placement is key to keeping your tent cool – you want to find someplace with plenty of shade.

If you can, set up your tent beneath a tree. Not only will the leaves provide extra shade, but they’ll also help to keep the air around your tent cool and circulated.

Another good option is to set up your tent near a river or lake. Often these bodies of water create a breeze that can help to keep your tent cool.

Finally, if you’re struggling to keep your tent cool, you can always try to rig up some sort of awning or tarp above your tent. This will provide extra shading and help to reflect some of the heat away from your tent.

But let’s say you did all these things and your tent is still too hot. What then?

There are a few other things you can do to help keep your tent cool in the summer heat.

Get a tent with air conditioning capabilities.

Tents don’t inherently have air conditioning, but some models are made to accommodate air conditioners. These tents will have unique vents (often called ports) that allow you to run a hose inside your AC unit, cooling the entire tent.

If your tent doesn’t have this feature, you can still bring an AC unit, but you’ll have to get creative with setting it up. One option is to place the unit outside your tent and aim the hose through one of the windows.

We’ve seen it all when campers air condition their tent. Campers and glampers are a creative group regarding keeping cool.

Remember that you’ll need a power source for your AC unit, so if you’re camping in a remote location, you may want to bring along a generator.

Some other options for keeping your tent cool don’t require an AC unit.

Bring a battery-powered fan to help circulate the cold air.

If an AC unit isn’t an option, a battery-powered fan can help to circulate the air inside your tent and make it feel cooler. Just be sure to place the fan near an open window so it can pull in fresh, cool air.

This option is great because it’s relatively inexpensive and easy to set up. However, it will require you to have adequate batteries on hand to power the fan, so be sure to pack extras just in case.

Put ice in a cooler and place it near the fan to help cool down the air.

To cool down the air coming from the fan, you can place a cooler filled with ice near the fan. This will help to circulate cold air throughout your tent further.

It’s worth noting that this is a temporary solution as the ice will eventually melt. However, it can be a helpful way to cool down your tent if you’re only dealing with a short-term heatwave.

Just be sure to empty the melted water of the cooler regularly so it doesn’t become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

You can even take this a step further and make a homemade air conditioning unit from a bucket. Check out this video to get an idea of how it works.

Hang a wet sheet or towel in front of the opening to the tent to keep the cold air in.

Another way to keep the cold air circulating is to hang a wet sheet or towel in front of the opening to your tent. This will help to keep the cool air inside and make it feel cooler overall.

Just be sure to change the sheet or towel regularly so it doesn’t get too hot and humid inside your tent. After a while, the air will start to feel stuffy if it’s not being replaced with fresh, cool air.

Drink lots of fluids and avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can dehydrate you.

Try cooling yourself down if you can’t get the tent cool enough. Drink lots of fluids, especially water, to stay hydrated.

Avoid caffeine and alcohol as they can dehydrate you and make you feel hotter.

If you’re dehydrated, you’ll likely feel hot and sweaty, making it even harder to cool down.

So be sure to drink plenty of fluids and take breaks in the shade if you feel overheated.

Wear light clothing made from natural fibers like cotton, which allow your skin to breathe.

Lastly, be sure to dress appropriately for the heat.

Wear light clothing made from natural fibers like cotton, which allow your skin to breathe. Lightweight shorts and shirts are ideal for hot weather as long as you stay out of the sun. Exposing your skin to the air will help you feel cooler, but exposing your skin to the sun may have the opposite effect.

And if all else fails, there’s always the option of sleeping outside under the stars. Just be sure to use mosquito netting to keep the bugs at bay.

There are several ways to air condition your tent when the temperatures start to rise. We’ve outlined some of our favorite tips in this article, so be sure to try them the next time you’re camping in hot weather. If you have other suggestions for keeping tents cool, please share them with us on Facebook or Twitter.


Matt Johnson

Senior Content Writer

Matt is an experienced camper and glamping enthusiast with a Master's degree in Wildlife Science from Texas A&M University. Authoring posts for GlamperGear, he shares his wealth of knowledge on picturesque campsites, luxurious accommodations, and the best gear for outdoor adventures. His passion for nature and knack for comfort in the wilderness make him an expert guide for your next camping endeavor.

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