Florida is known for its hot and humid weather, which can make camping in the summer a challenge. However, there are a few things you can do to stay cool camping in the summer in Florida.
Here are some tips to help you feel more comfortable:
- Choose a campsite with plenty of shade. This will help to keep you cool and protected from the sun's rays. To do this you will have to understand the direction the sun moves and which direction your tent faces. Also keep in mind if you want your shaded more in the morning or the evening.
- If you cannot get a shaded campsite set up your tent in a spot that could use nearby vegetation to block the sun for a portion of the day as it moves across the sky. Remember shade trees do not have to be on your spot to give you relief.
- Bring an extra tarp or canopy. A tarp or canopy can provide additional shade for your campsite. Most campgrounds will not allow you to tie ropes, etc. to trees, but your vehicle will be a good place to tie off a lean to are to provide you shade while sitting during the hottest part of the day.
- Be sure to dress for the weather! Wear light, loose-fitting clothing. Avoid wearing cotton clothing, as it will hold in moisture and make you feel hotter. Instead, opt for synthetic fabrics that will wick away sweat. Having a cool, damp handkerchief around you neck will help as well.
- Bring a hat and sunglasses. These will help protect you from the sun's rays. The wider the brim the better for protecting your ears and the back of you neck.
- Bring a portable fan. A portable fan can help to circulate air and keep you cool. You can get battery operated fans, USB charged fans, fans that work from your car lighter, and even misting fans that can be plugged into power sources at car camping spots.
- Bring a spray bottle filled with water for misting. You can use the spray bottle to cool yourself down on hot days. Just a few squirts can fell very refreshing on a steamy day.
- Take breaks in the shade. If you're feeling hot, take a break in the shade and cool down before continuing your activities. Do not try to stay in the full sun for long periods of time. There is typically a large temperature difference just tucking into a shady area.
- Drink plenty of fluids. It's important to stay hydrated, especially in hot weather. Drink plenty of water, sports drinks, or other fluids throughout the day. Know the signs of heat stroke and dehydration!
- Avoid strenuous activity during the hottest part of the day. If you must be active, try to do it during the early morning or late evening when it's cooler. Starting a hike right at dawn and finishing up before 10 am will not only have you back to camp before the hottest part of the day but you will be more likely to encounter more wildlife as they do the same!
- Get wet. If you're really hot, take a dip in a lake or river, or just splash some water on your face and body. Florida has many springs you can camp and swim at. Camping spots at these locations fill up fast so book early and enjoy the 72 degree water that comes right out of the ground!
- Keep your drinks and food cool with battery or plug in coolers. Nothing cools you down like a refreshing, ice cold, glass of water on a hot day! Keep a pack of baby wipes in the cooler for a refreshing toweling off.
- Plan on having cold meals like salads and sandwiches instead of grilling or starting a fire – it’s just too hot for that in the summer. A lantern covered with a colorful piece of cloth is just as pretty to look at after dark and you can just push a button to turn it off to go to bed. Instead of s’mores have the kids make their own ice cream in a bag.
When all else fails just be still! Just relax and enjoy the peace and quiet of the outdoors. Keep a cold drink and a good book at hand and “chill” with the help of a nearby fan. We hope these tips help you to stay cool and comfortable while camping in Florida during the summer. With a little planning and preparation, you can enjoy a safe and comfortable camping trip in Florida even during the summer.