how to cool a tent without electricity

How to Cool a Tent Without Electricity: Seven Tips and Tricks

As much fun as it can be to stay in a tent while you are out hiking or exploring a new area, tents have a bad reputation for trapping heat inside.

No one can be comfortable when you’re stuck inside a stuffy tent trying to get some sleep when the temperature is too high, but what can you do about it?

People who haven’t experienced staying in a tent off-the-grid might suggest plugging in a fan or another cooling appliance, but that’s not possible without electricity.

Today, you will learn how to cool a tent without electricity through these seven tips and tricks.

With these things, you’ll be able to get your tent to stay comfortable while you relax and get some rest.

How to Cool a Tent Without Electricity

Here are the ways to cool a tent without the aid of electricity:

1. Choose the Right Tent

The first thing that will make a big difference in how cool you are while inside a tent is the tent material.

Materials like canvas are excellent at maintaining the inside temperature and keeping some heat out, but they are cumbersome and expensive.

Common, inexpensive materials like nylon and polyester are not very good at keeping a tent cool. Additionally, some tents will have better ventilation than others.

Choosing a tent with ventilation windows or other ways to allow airflow will help hot air spots to go out of the tent.

Specifically, tents with a lot of mesh paneling are perfect since there is a layer of protection, but you aren’t being stifled with sticky, non-circulating air inside.

2. Set Up in the Shade

If possible, try to set up your tent in the shade. Tents set up in direct sunlight will heat up, and the heat trapped inside is going to get very warm.

In fact, the air inside the tent would likely be warmer than the air outside of the tent after the sun rays beat down on the tent all day long.

When you set up in the shade, you are giving yourself a better chance of the tent not overheating.

Of course, every season will be a little bit different, so make sure you choose this depending on the season.

3. Consider the Wind

Another important thing to consider when choosing where you set up your tent is the wind direction and strength.

Pitching your tent in such a way that the breeze will come through the tent will ensure that the tent is better ventilated.

Tents that are well-ventilated will stay cooler, so keeping wind direction in mind while you are pitching your tent is going to do you a big, cooling favor.

If you aren’t sure which direction the wind blows in the area, here’s how to find out:

  • Ask the staff at the campground or local hikers if they have an idea of how the wind usually blows.
  • Look at a weather app to see what direction the wind is blowing.
  • Lick your finger and stick it in the air; whichever side of your finger feels cold is the side the wind is blowing in from.

how to cool a tent without electricity

4. Set Up Only at Night

Often, you won’t need to spend any time in your tent during the day.

While it can be tempting to set up your tent as soon as you get to a campsite, setting up your tent during the day can lead you to be stuck in a hot, stuffy tent all night long.

Tents that sit in the sun all day long will warm up and trap hot air; setting up at night will lead you to have a more comfortable setup.

It can be frustrating not to be set up until it is evening, but this will help when you want to avoid hot weather.

5. Insulate All-Around

If your tent needs to be set up in the sun, you can help to keep the heat out by setting up emergency blankets with the shiny side facing the sun.

The reflective aspect of these blankets will make it so that the sun’s rays do not heat the tent as much, which will help you to stay cooler.

Additionally, you’ll want to insulate yourself from the ground. Putting your tent on top of something as simple as a tarp will change the way that heat seeps into your tent.

Ground heat can be a big factor in why your tent is uncomfortable at night. Thus, adding something as simple as a tarp or tent footprint will improve your experience.

6. Prep Your Body

Sometimes, you won’t be able to cool the tent as much as you want to, but there are ways to ensure your body stays cool enough to sleep comfortably.

Here are some ways to ensure that you are prepared for the heat:

  • Wear loose-fitting clothing and light colors.
  • If possible, fill up a jug with cool water from a stream, and tuck it in the bottom of your sleeping bag to cool your feet down.
  • Put a wet towel on your head and neck while you are trying to fall asleep.
  • Drink a lot of water throughout the day to stay hydrated, so make sure you have the best hydration backpack or water bottle with you.

7. Battery-Powered Fans

While you might not have access to standard electricity, some situations will allow you to bring along battery-powered fans.

Battery-powered fans can help to create airflow whenever the air is completely stagnant.

Stagnant air will be your number one enemy when you are sleeping in a tent, so adding any bit of circulation will make you more comfortable.


At times, camping out in the summer heat can seem like a terrible idea, but camping in summer is one of the best experiences that you can have.

To camp comfortably, take these tips to heart and learn how to cool a tent without electricity.

None of these tips are hard or expensive to enact, so there is no reason not to give them a try.

Remember, the key points are:

  • Don’t let the tent sit in the sun for hours
  • Choose a tent with appropriate ventilation
  • Set up with the direction of the wind
  • Take care of your body

If you do these things, you’ll be able to have a happy, comfortable camping experience.