How To Cool A Tent Without Electricity: 10 Ways to Beat the Heat this Summer

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Although tent camping in the summer can be a fun-filled adventure, it can get hot very quickly when the temperatures rise. When camping, especially in a tent, you want to be as comfortable as possible. But how do you stay cool, especially when you have no electricity? An electric fan or portable air conditioner won’t help.

Thankfully, there are several things you can do to cool your tent when you’re lacking a power source. It all starts with choosing a tent with the right features. I’ve compiled a list of 10 tent-cooling hacks you can try on your next camping trip in this article. Let’s take a look!

Cooling Features to Look for In a Tent 

Let’s look at the tent itself before we get to our list of ways to keep your tent cool without electricity. By purchasing a tent with the right features built-in, you’re on your way to a more comfortable camping experience when the temperatures start to soar. Here are some features to look for:

Mesh Material 

Purchasing a tent with mesh material/screens will allow better ventilation and airflow. This is an essential feature if you enjoy camping in the warm summer. Especially if you’re camping with multiple people, mesh material makes all the difference.

Zipper Screens 

Zipper screens are great because you can get more air in the tent, keep them open at night, and no bugs will get into the tent. If your tent has a zipper door, you can leave it open day or evening to help cool off the tent. 

Taller Tent (more headspace) 

Having more space/room in your tent can help keep you a little cooler. A taller tent is terrific because you have more headspace, which is much more comfortable, easy to move around, and less overheating.

Cotton or Canvas Material 

I highly suggest getting a tent with cotton or canvas material. These tents are more breathable, lightweight, less noisy, and easy to set up. They’re typically not as common as nylon/polyester tents, but it’s a must-have if you’re trying to stay cool. 

How to Keep a Tent Cool Without Electricity

Without further ado, here are ten ways you can keep your tent cool this summer when you don’t have access to electric power. Your best bet is to plan ahead, as some of these ideas

1. Use a canvas tent.

Tents are usually made from polyester or nylon material. Most tent material absorbs the heat from the sun and can cause you to overheat more. The best material to get to avoid that is a canvas tent. They are less common because they’re more heavy-duty, but they will prevent your tent from overheating, making your stay/sleep much more comfortable. 

2. Set up your tent in the shade.

Setting up your tent directly in the heat will absorb and overheat the tent throughout the day. I recommend setting up your tent in a shady spot if possible! The shade will keep your tent cool, and any breeze that comes will increase airflow and ventilation. If there are no shaded areas to set up your tent, I suggest waiting until the sun sets to set it up. 

If there is no shade by your campsite, you can always purchase a reflective sunshade for your tent to redirect heat or block it entirely. 

3. Pick the right tent shape.

There is one shape of tent that you’ll want to avoid most to keep cool in the summer. That is a dome-shaped tent. Dome tents are easy to set up and lightweight, but they can get overheated quickly. I suggest finding a tall tent, giving you more space to move around. Because of the dome tent shape, the tent’s roof can be pretty low, giving you minimal headspace and feeling more overheated.

As long as you find a tent with breathable material, mesh, screens, with lots of headspaces, it will be just fine!

4. Purchase a battery-powered fan.

Sometimes, life hacks and DIYs don’t do enough no matter what you do. I suggest bringing one or more battery-powered fans on your camping trip. This way, you don’t have to plug them in, and when it gets cooler outside in the evening, the fans will be circulating cold air instead of hot air during the day in the stuffy tent.

You can get small or big battery-powered fans, depending on your preference. If you’re camping with a larger family, I suggest getting a few small/medium-sized fans to spread them out throughout the tent, and everyone can cool down.

5. Dress for the weather.

If you’re planning a camping trip in the summer, and you know it’ll be hot, bring lots of cooler clothing. It will be much more comfortable if you can’t get the tent cool, be dressed in some lighter clothing, and avoid being overly heated. Shorts, t-shirts, or some light PJ pants are perfect. You can even hang your clothes/PJs somewhere shady to cool them off before changing.

6. Find the best time to set up your tent.

The time of day that you set up your tent is also very important. If you set up your tent during the day but know you won’t be using it until you go to sleep, you’re allowing the tent to soak up the heat from the sun all day until the sunsets. I highly suggest waiting till the evening to set it up, that way you know, it’ll be a nice cool sleep, with no overheating.

7. Always stay hydrated.

Keeping your body hydrated is very important and maybe the only thing you can do when all else fails. If you can, bring a cooler with ice and cold drinks/water bottles. That way, you know you’ll have at least one coke thing to keep your body hydrated and help with the heat. Another thing you can do is put ice or anything cool in front of a fan or open screen so that the air blows out colder.

8. Optimize for ventilation and airflow.

One good way to increase ventilation and airflow is to open any flaps/screens or doors during the day or evening to help bring in any extra airflow or cool breeze. This can help so much! If you have any zipper screens in your tent, that’s the best because if you even struggle with heat at night, you can get some air but avoid bugs coming into the tent. 

9. Sleep outside of your sleeping bag.

Instead of laying fully in your sleeping bag, just lay on top and use a light sheet or blanket for enough warmth. Being in a sleeping bag can be insanely overheating because of the thick material. So, just use it as a comfortable surface to sleep on top of, and a light sheet as a blanket will do the trick.

10. Buy the right tent. 

When shopping for a summertime tent, look for one with a lot of mesh material or screens. The mesh on the tent will allow better airflow and overall ventilation in and throughout the tent. Zipper mesh screens are especially significant because you can quickly close them when you’re too cold, leave them open when you’re hot, and avoid bugs. 


1. Are black tents hotter than other colors?

Black tents absorb more heat from the sun than other tents do. I suggest looking for brighter colored tents; even white is a great idea to help a bit more to stay cool. It can make all the difference! 

2. What else can you do to keep your tent cool if nothing else seems to work? 

If you’ve tried everything and still need something more to help prevent heat, you can use four posts/poles around the tent and put screens or tarps over the top of your tent as a cover/extra layer. Doing this gives the heat from the sun a whole extra layer to get through before it hits your tent! 

3. What’s the best material camping tent to get? 

When purchasing a camping tent, the best material is either canvas or cotton material tent. Cotton insulates very well, and it’s breathable and isn’t as noisy. Canvas tents are spacious, waterproof, durable, and aren’t noisy, even if there’s a breeze. 

Final Thoughts on Keeping your Tent Cool

That concludes our list of the best ways to keep your tent cool without electricity this summer. I hope you found this helpful, and use some tricks next time you go tent camping! Thanks for reading, and share this article with your family and friends!

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