Some like it hot, others have no choice. If you are going to brave the extreme heat on your next camping adventure, these helpful tips will allow your trip to be cooler than the other side of an travel pillow.
Our bodies are 60% water. Water is the essence of life and vital to all of nature's creation. Moral of the story: We need water and the hotter it is the more of it we need.
Your body needs to keep cool during heat exposure and just because you aren't sweating, doesn't mean you're not at risk of dehydration. In arid climates, perspiration may be at a minimum, but your body is burning through plenty of water trying to keep your engine from overheating.
As a general rule, signs of thirst are strong indicators that you are already dehydrated. Make sure you bring plenty of water with you and avoid diuretics like caffeine, energy drinks, carbonated soft drinks, and alcohol. Boozing it up might leave you with more than just a hangover, when you are at the hands of the sun's wrath for extended periods of time.
An optimal option for re-hydration is coconut water. Coconut water contains more potassium than a banana, and has fifteen times more electrolytes than your typical sports beverage. Electrolytes are essential for hydration to the body, and allows you to retain the water you consume. If you don't have coconut water, it is best to consume water during snacking periods, when electrolytes within your meals will be present.
Keep your water inside your pack or use a hydration pack. Although it may be cumbersome to retrieve, leaving your water exposed on the outside of the pack leaves you with hot water, which isn't pleasant to consume. Many coconut water brands are available in tetra packs, ideal for packing in tight spaces.
Dress the Part
Wear light, airy camping clothes. Cover as much skin as possible. Find clothing options with high UPF ratings to block out the sun. Wearing a hat is critical in protecting the UV rays of the sun while keeping the core temperature lowered. There are no style points when it comes to staying cool when it's hot. Save your Facebook profile pic for a more fashionable affair.
If you have expendable water or a water source at your disposal, staying wet helps fight the heat. A wet bandanna around the neck not only covers it from the sun, but it also keeps you cool.
Shade is vital when it comes to camping in hotter climates. If possible, put your tent under trees or landmarks that provide you with protection from the sun. If you are on the move with no shade, start early, rest in the afternoon, and continue at night. Resting and restricting movement during the hottest parts of the day (2-5pm) is ideal. If you are camping near a lake, go for a swim during this time. No shame in hiding in the shadows when shade can account for a 20-degree temperature swing.
Camping should be adventurous, not dangerous. Follow these simple but important tips to maximize your fun in the sun.