How to Cool a Tent Without Electricity

Camping is a summer activity that families have enjoyed for generations. However, if you’ve camped somewhere remote, you might not have electricity to cool your tent. It can be brutal laying down trying to sleep in a hot and musty tent. Below, we’ve lined out some practical ways to keep it cool with no power.

Tents will typically get hot (and by hot, we mean hotter than the air around you) due to direct sun exposure and/or lack of ventilation. There’s way more on that below, but shade and ventilation are going to be about the best ways you can cool a tent without electricity.


Ways to Keep a Tent Cool Without Power

Keeping a tent cool starts with where you are pitching it. If you put it in the sun, and it sits there all day, it’s going to be hot when you go to bed. That’s the last thing that you want.

Cooling Tent No Electric

Pitch in the Shade

This seems obvious, but the number one thing you want to do with no electricity is keep the heat out. This means finding a spot that is in the shade when you pitch the tent. You’ll also need to make sure that it is a spot that will stay out of the sun ALL DAY. Don’t just look for a large tree to pitch under. Its shadow will move throughout the day.

Also, the type of tent that you use also matters.  Check out our guide on tents for hot/summer camping.


Pitch Late

Sometimes there’s just no getting around the sun. If this is the case, the best thing that you can do is pitch your tent as late as you possibly can. Make sure that you have a good idea when sunset will be and pitch the tent about 20 minutes before. You don’t want to be in the dark trying to figure out how to put a tent together.

Put the tent somewhere cool in the meantime. You’re trying to avoid heating it. Don’t leave it in the vehicle or it’s trunk. It gets extremely hot in a vehicle during the summer. Park so that the rear bumper hangs over the asphalt. The grassy patch under the rear bumper is a perfect place to keep the tent cool until you are ready to pitch at sunset.


Pitch Often

If it’s the dog days of summer, it’s worth your time to break the tent down until the next sunset. This keeps it cool and bug free. Ensure that you do let it sit in the sun long enough to dry any condensation that may have formed. You don’t want a musty tent when you set it back up.


Keep the Windows Open

If you are camping for more than one nite someplace, pitching and putting the tent away every day isn’t really that practical. In this situation, you want to keep air moving through the tent, particularly as it gets closer to sleeping time.


Keep Humidity Out

Humidity traps heat. Every breath you take adds a little humidity to the tent. That’s why it’s important to give the air a way to escape while you are trying to sleep. Otherwise your body heat and breath make a warm musty cocoon.

Dirty laundry stored in the tent is one of the most common ways that campers can unnecessarily create humidity (and therefore store heat) in their tent. Create a separate bag for your discarded clothing and make sure to store it elsewhere (such as in your vehicle).


Reflective Barrier

If you are trying to keep the tent as cool as possible without electricity, the most effective thing you can use to combat the sun is a reflective barrier. Mylar film is thin and can do a great job of reflecting the sun away from your tent. It comes in rolls.

Pre-cutting it is advisable before you go camping. You can even use a sun shade from a car, if you have one. It’ll cover a large portion of the tent and certainly help keep it cool.


Battery Operated Fan

If you are trying to figure out how to cool your tent without electricity right now, you are out of luck on this next suggestion. To those of you who are planning ahead for camping, I would recommend a mini rechargeable fan. It’ll keep air moving through your tent all night.

They can run for 24 hours on a charge, and can be recharged by USB. You don’t need a power outlet for it. You can recharge it with your car. They can usually be purchased for under 20 bucks.


Wrapping Up

Good luck trying to keep your tent cool with no electricity. Let us know how it went for you by leaving a comment below. Happy camping!

Last update on 2024-05-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API