How to Cool a Tent Without Electricity? [17 Easy Fixes]

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you know how important it is to keep your tent cool while camping. Having a hot and stuffy tent can make for a miserable experience. Fortunately, there are several ways to cool down your tent without electricity. This article will detail the different methods of keeping your tent cool without electricity. 


One of the simplest and most effective ways to keep your tent cool is to pick a well-ventilated camping spot. Look for an area with plenty of shade, preferably near a pond or lake that can act as a natural air conditioner. Ensure to also stay away from sites with direct sunlight exposure, which can make the inside of your tent hotter than surrounding areas.

Campsites located at higher altitudes or near bodies of water tend to be cooler than those at lower elevations. If possible, choose a location at a higher altitude or near a lake or river. Additionally, consider setting up your tent in an area with a breeze to help circulate air and keep the inside of your tent cooler.


As mentioned above, ventilation is vital to keeping your tent cool without electricity. Maximize air circulation by having at least two open windows in your tent—one on each side. That way, a natural breeze can come in and circulate your tent. If you’re camping somewhere with powerful winds, use a tarp or other fabric to create a windbreak that blocks gusts of air from entering the tent directly. Opening the air vents is another great way to keep air flowing and eliminate musty smells.

Cooling accessories

portable fan

Although not necessary, a few products are designed specifically for cooling tents without electricity. These can include fans, portable evaporative coolers, and even tent liners made from unique reflective materials that block out the heat. Before investing in one of these accessories, check what options work best for your camping style and location. 

Battery-powered fans, for example, are a great way to keep your tent cool without electricity. Make sure rechargeable batteries and not disposable ones power the fan; otherwise, you’ll need to replace them after each use. Additionally, battery-powered fans can be used with portable evaporative coolers for added cooling power. 

Tent material matters 

The type of material your tent is made of makes a huge difference in staying cool. Look for tents made with lightweight materials such as nylon or polyester that will allow air to circulate more easily. Avoid heavier, thicker materials like canvas and vinyl, which trap heat inside the tent and make it harder to stay cool. 

Additionally, the color of your tent can also have an effect. Dark colors absorb more heat, while lighter colors can act as natural reflectors and block out some of the sun’s rays. If you’re looking to stay cool without using electricity, opt for a tent with reflective technology or a light color to help keep temperatures down.

Use space blankets 

Space blankets are thin sheets of reflective material that can reflect sunlight away from your tent and reduce the heat coming in through the walls. They’re also lightweight and easy to carry around with you, making them perfect for camping trips. To use one effectively, simply place the space blanket, or multiple for that matter, on the side of the tent that gets the most direct sunlight. This will reflect some of the heat away from the tent, allowing it to stay more relaxed even during hot days.

Place a tarp above your tent 


Another great way to keep your tent cool is by placing a tarp above it when you set up camp. Tarps are great because they provide shade from direct sunlight while still allowing some airflow, so you don’t feel stifled inside your tent. If possible, try setting up a large tarp a few feet above your tent to create a makeshift shelter and maximize the cooling effect.

Remove the rain fly

Although having a rain fly on your tent is excellent for protecting you from harsh weather, it can also trap heat inside the tent and make it harder to stay cool. If you’re camping in an area that doesn’t experience much rainfall or have checked the weather forecast and the day looks clear, consider taking off the rain fly for extra ventilation and cooling. 

Keep a close eye on the weather in case of any unexpected changes, as not having your tent protected by a rainfly could leave you open to mother nature’s whims. 

“I’ve left the fly off the tent and slept without any bedding other than the mattress. Not great for privacy but we were by ourselves. At one place I was so hot I don’t think I would have even cared about privacy! It was 42C during the day and didn’t cool down until 5am at about 60% humidity.”


Be mindful when setting up

If you have arrived at your location during the midday heat, chances are that the ground is too hot for comfort. If you plan to set up camp during these hours, try and put a blanket or insulation pad between the ground and your tent to prevent heat from getting in. When the sun eventually sets, remove the insulation since the ground will cool and help keep the tent cool.

Additionally, if you won’t be spending time in the tent immediately, avoid setting it up altogether and wait until the temperatures go down at night. This way, the tent won’t absorb the hot air and will be much cooler when you’re ready to set it up.

Drink lots of water 

Drink water

Staying hydrated is key to staying cool and comfortable in a tent during summer. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will help cool down your body temperature and make it easier for you to sleep at night. Additionally, drinking lots of water helps prevent dehydration which can cause fatigue and dizziness—two things no one wants when trying to relax in their tent.

Use cold water and ice packs

One of the best methods for cooling your tent is using cold water. You can fill up a spray bottle with cold water, then spray directly onto your tent walls or yourself to reduce your temperature quickly. Similarly, you can fill up an ice pack or use a frozen water bottle, wrap it in a cloth, and hold it close to your body to cool off quickly.

We have also seen some people recommend placing frozen water bottles outside of your tent to help keep the air near your tent cooler. We have yet to test this technique, but it could be worth a try.

Larger tents are the way to go

If you plan to camp in hot environments frequently, investing in a larger tent can be the way to go. The more space in your tent, the more air can move inside, making it easier for cool breezes to keep things from getting too hot and stuffy. Smaller tents get hotter quicker since there isn’t enough air within them to circulate, so if possible, try and find a larger tent that provides more space for cooling.

Whenever we go camping with family or friends, we get the 8-person tent that gives us plenty of room and nice air circulation.

Keep the tent door open

We know that privacy is essential, but keeping the tent door open is one of the best ways to keep a tent cool. If your tent has become too hot and stuffy despite all of your efforts, try opening up the door (or windows if they are present) to let some air in. This will help to allow fresh air into the tent, so it doesn’t get too hot and uncomfortable.

Avoid sleeping bags

Sleeping bags can trap heat and make it harder for you to stay cool. Instead, opt for a sheet or light blanket to cover yourself at night.

Pack light

The more items you have inside your tent, the less air circulation there is, which can result in higher temperatures. Keep as few items inside as possible while camping to maximize airflow and help with cooling.

Dress accordingly

During the day, opt for light-colored and lose clothes that won’t absorb heat from the sun. Additionally, wear thin layers at night to stay comfortable without getting too hot.

Take a cold shower

cold shower

If you are getting too hot in the tent, and your campsite has a shower, use it to cool off. A cold shower can help you refresh and ensure your body temperature stays cool so you can sleep comfortably at night.

Taking a cold shower is easy if you stay at the official campsite. In case you are wild camping, you have to be more creative, but there are still plenty of ways to get a cold shower.

Eat less

We don’t mean to starve ourselves, but eating less than usual can help to keep your body temperature from rising. When you eat, your body temperature naturally increases due to your metabolism rising, so try and eat smaller meals or snacks to keep your body temperature at a comfortable level.

Final words

Keeping your tent cool without electricity can be challenging, but it is possible with the right strategies and techniques. Try these tips to stay cool and comfortable during the hot summer without investing in expensive cooling solutions.

About Antonio

I’m Antonio, a passionate traveler, and outdoor lover who’s running this website. I started this site to share my passion for camping, traveling, and bikepacking.