July and August are prime time for camping. It’s also prime time for heat in most parts of the country, so unless you have an RV with air conditioning or your idea of camping is a room at the Ramada, you have to be a little creative if you want to sleep well. Here are five tips to help you sleep better in the woods.
Bring a fan and a bowl of ice. While this can’t exactly be called “roughing it”, letting a fan (either battery powered or the plug-in kind) blow over a bowl of ice cubes or a high quality ice pack can create your own personal air conditioner, keeping your tent cool until the temperature drops overnight.
Use a cooling towel. If you prefer to rough it a bit more and not use a fan, pick up one of the new cooling towels that have hit the market recently. They soak up a lot of water and don’t allow it to evaporate quickly. Draping a cooling towel on your neck during the day will keep you cooler. At night, wrap it around your wrist or ankle, or drape it across your chest. It’s not recommended that you wrap it around your neck at night, however, as it could become tangled and choke you.
Pick your tent site correctly. Don’t just waltz into your campsite and orient your tent based on convenience. Spend some time figuring where the shade will be late in the day and which way the breeze (hopefully there is one) is blowing. When pitching your tent, direct it so the air will go through the vents. Also, keep your tent windows open and the rain fly off (so long at it’s not raining) during the day, so heat doesn’t build up in your tent.
Pick your bedding carefully. If it’s very hot, bring a flat sheet and sleep on top of your sleeping back, using the sheet as a blanket. If it gets cooler at night, you can always slip into your bag. Also, new cooling pillows like SleepBetter’s Iso•Cool Memory Foam Pillow can help keep you cool on hot nights.
Take a cool shower or go for a swim before bed. Not only will the water cool you off, it will clean off the the sweat built up on your body throughout the day, which can make you stick to your bedding.