why do tents get so hot

If you’ve ever been camping in the summer and had a restless night because it was so warm inside your tent, you might have wondered – why do tents get so hot?

The outside air might have been pleasantly cool, but the inside of your tent felt like a greenhouse.

Here’s why tents get so hot (and what you can do about it).

Tents Capture Heat Easily … But Can’t Let It Out

The “greenhouse effect” means tents trap warm air during the day. The sun can pass through your tent fabric and heat up the air inside, but the warm air can’t get out again. 

As a result, your tent gets warmer and warmer throughout the day, retaining that heat long into the night.

Reasons Why Your Tent Might Be Hot (and What You Can Do)

Your tent is more likely to be hot if:

You Put Your Tent Up Early in the Day

Did you pitch your tent in the early morning? If so, you’re going to find that it’s pretty hot by the time the sun goes down.

Fix It: If possible, take down your tent completely. Repitch during the evening, once the sun is going down and the air is getting cooler. This is one of the best things you can do to cool your tent.

You Kept the Windows Shut

If your tent was feeling nice and cool inside in the morning, you might have hoped that keeping the windows shut would keep the cool air inside. This won’t work for long: your tent will soon heat up during the day.

Fix It: Open all the windows on your tent so that you can get some airflow. This may not cool your tent a lot, but it should help at least a bit.

You Didn’t Pitch Your Tent In a Shady Spot

Is your tent in direct sunlight? Then it’s going to heat up fast. Maybe there was a bit of shade first thing in the morning, but the sun’s blazing down on your campsite for the rest of the day.

Fix It:Take your tent down and reposition it so that it will be in the shade for as much of the day as possible. (Keep in mind that the shade will move depending on the position of the sun throughout the day.)

You Didn’t Prepare for Hot Weather

If you’re going camping in the summer or during hot weather, you need to think about how you’ll keep your tent cool. But if you normally camp during the spring or autumn, you might not have been prepared for hot weather camping.

Fix It: The cheapest way to cool down your tent is to use a portable fan, plus a cooler filled with bottles of frozen water. Open up the cooler inside your tent, and it’ll help cool the air.

If you’ll be doing a lot of summer camping, it’s worth investing in an air conditioner for your tent. That way, your tent will be pleasantly cool even on warm nights – and you can fully enjoy your camping experience.


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