whats the best way to keep a tent cool in 115 plus heat!

6:37 p.m. on February 17, 2011 (EST)
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im going camping in 115 degree heat,what would be the best way to keep my tent cool.i have a 7x7 tent,and a much bigger 3 room tent and two canopies.thanks

7:07 p.m. on February 17, 2011 (EST)
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Where are you going? Surely it will not be that hot at night? Are you car camping with such a large tent?

I have camped in the deserts of Arizona and southern California where daytime temps were around 120F, but at night the air temperture would drop way down because most of the radiant heat was bounced back into the atmosphere. One thing is be sure to take something to cover your self with other than your clothing for the early morning chill.

My first hikes into the Grand Canyon in October 1983 when the daytime temps were about 120, I used only a groundsheet and a light quilted sheet. You may not need your tent at all.

11:47 p.m. on February 17, 2011 (EST)
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Anything above 90 is going to be uncomfortable. Here in the southern california desert we have a dry heat. It can get to 110 or above. Let me tell you it's no fun camping in that. At night it's still HOT. You don't even want a sheet at that point. I would still use a tent at night to keep bugs off.

My advice is avoid camping at that temperature.

Also as a side note most tents are not made to take direct sunlight. You should only setup when it's getting near dark and pull them down during the day.

10:04 a.m. on February 18, 2011 (EST)
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I'm with DrReaper, it's way too hot for camping. ;-)

4:24 p.m. on February 18, 2011 (EST)
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to be honest, at 115 degrees there is no way to keep anything cool..its kind of a foolish question.

 

on a serious note, when you're in temps that hot, it is counter-intuitive, but necessary that you leave clothes on. Without a shirt on, or with shorts on, the body actually becomes more effective at "cooling" itself via sweating, because the sweat evaporates into the air more easily. With clothing on or near the skin, the sweat gets trapped for a slightly longer period of time, which means the small atmosphere between the skin and clothing is more humid than the air outside of your clothing. The result of a more humid atmosphere is that your body stops sweating AS much, and retains water more easily.

 

On the other extreme of that, you wear SO much clothing that you can't sweat enough, and your body over heats and you die.

 

it's a delicate balance, like anything.

5:51 p.m. on February 18, 2011 (EST)
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With a tent as large as the two you mention, you are obviously car camping. People on Trailspace are pretty much unfamiliar with that sort of camping, preferring to carry their gear in a backpack several miles from any roads.

But, since you are car camping, you could get a room-size air conditioner and a small generator, and just pump the cold air into the tent. Sort of like the military uses in Iraq and Afghanistan.

10:46 p.m. on February 18, 2011 (EST)
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Welcome to Trailspace.com 310albert88!

This should be pretty easy, and might not cost you much: put the two canopies over the tent, with about a foot of space between layers. If the canopies you have aren't big enough, buy a couple cheap poly tarps and put them up on aluminum poles--or wooden ones--or hang them from trees. Set them up so wind gets between everything. You should have a tent fifteen degrees cooler than otherwise. If you have the resources, 3 tarps above will work even better.

If you are on a piece of land which allows it, remove the earth under you tent to a depth practical. If you have a good shovel, and the soil is not stubborn, two people can carve out a good two-foot deep pit in a few hours without much work. Just save the soil and put it back in when your done; you've just aerated the soil, and provided a seldom-seen form of bioturbation.

Also, if those are sustained temperatures, the ground will be radiating off heat something fierce. It may sound crazy, but in some circumstances an insulated layer under you, say, a poncho liner, can keep you cooler than otherwise.

 

11:24 p.m. on February 18, 2011 (EST)
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Larger tents will be cooler than small tents; cabin style tents are cooler than dome tents of simular size.  Keeping the tent wet will provide some relief.  Pitching it in the shade or under a larger tarp (good luck with wind) will take direct sun of the tent. If the tent is the only cover from the sun available, this is going to be a tough trip, even the Bedouin have a tough time camping in heat and they are conditioned to it.

Ed 

11:26 p.m. on February 18, 2011 (EST)
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I have hiked to the bottom of Grand Canyon and camped at Phantom ranch twice, once in mid summer (just to try it) and once in September.  Both times we all slept on a ground cloth with no shelter. It does rain in the canyon and there are bugs. It depends what you are willing to put up with in your comfort zone and how much gear you can take.

Previous suggestions are all correct.  If you must set up a shelter of some kind in the heat, use a second layer tarp above to block the sun and provide a thermal cooling layer of air to pass below it.  Open or flowing water will help cool hot DRY air.  Homes all around me use swamp coolers for cooling homes in the summer desert heat. It is a mini waterfall with a fan blowing air. Less expensive than a traditional air conditioner or heat pump.

Some of us are desert rats so we are thinking of the dry hot summer desert. Where are you going to be in this hi temp, humid or dry?

Good of you to think this through ahead of time.

4:51 a.m. on February 19, 2011 (EST)
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This actually got me thinkin. How about putting a few emergency style space blankets on the roof of the shelter. Or better yet find a material similar and do this. Not saying it would work but its possible being that the design of this material is to reflect heat back to the body. Could it possibly be utilized in another manner such as deflecting heat away from the shelter?

7:54 a.m. on February 19, 2011 (EST)
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This actually got me thinkin. How about putting a few emergency style space blankets on the roof of the shelter. Or better yet find a material similar and do this. Not saying it would work but its possible being that the design of this material is to reflect heat back to the body. Could it possibly be utilized in another manner such as deflecting heat away from the shelter?

Your idea probably will have a positive affect.  I have draped my down sleeping bag over two-man tents resulting in a substantial cooling effect, however, it only works against radiated heat from the sun.  Not much you can do about ambient temperature, except as noted in some of the prior postings.

Ed

9:25 p.m. on February 20, 2011 (EST)
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I guess I have to ask.....WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO GO CAMPING IN 115 DEGREES ?!! Living in the AZ desert myself, when summer (or even spring) arrives the deserts become off limits as far as Im concerned. If its a matter of testing yourself then be prepared for hot like you've never known. Sure its a dry heat but that also works against ya.  Even in the shade temps are still 110, if ya get a breeze its like a blow dryer that dehydrates you even quiker. If you plan on camping with your vehicle bring more water than you would ever think you could drink, and lots of ice cubes plus 1 block in your cooler really helps save the cubes. I would'nt recomend packing in anywhere that has'nt got lots of water available, you would have to carry atleast 1 gallon for every day out just for drinking. Hike at night or no later than about 11 am. then seek shade for the rest of the day. As for the tent, no matter what you do its still gonna be hotter than hell in there during the day! Will be cooler outside the tent at night but bugs & spiders will be intense on the ground.  Good luck and PLEASE be carefull. Heat can kill you just like the cold if not prepared for it.

10:44 p.m. on February 20, 2011 (EST)
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i see now that my Q was a little vague.im going to be car camping in the coachella valley in southern california.ive been a few times and it does get well over 100.i was looking for AC tips and the amount of space i should keep between the tents and the canopies.i have a much better idea of how to go about it now.thanks for all the posts,so many make me feel late to my own party.

10:54 p.m. on February 20, 2011 (EST)
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why? the annual coachella valley music and arts festival.im going to fry for sure,but im just looking to make things a little better.

11:38 p.m. on February 20, 2011 (EST)
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115 ain't all that bad. It's tolerable; one can still move, if slowly. Hell, I've ran in 115 degree heat a few times...now, 140 sucks. About the only things one can do in 140 degree temps is sweat, if you've been keeping up on water, and slowly die. Luckily, the day only lasts so long...

Have a great time at Coachella! Just make sure your shirt is at least partially wet for a little evaporative cooling, and while your at it, be sure to help out your fellow co-eds wet theirs as well.

12:05 a.m. on February 21, 2011 (EST)
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Coachella! That will be a blast my friend. My vote, since we are not talking about hitting a national park or anything... is the generator AC idea. I know you can rent the geni but be sure to bring a chain and lock and a strong car bumper to chain it too. Drunken festival goes my try to literally "steal" your oasis of cool.

12:15 a.m. on April 2, 2011 (EDT)
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I'm from New York.  My friends in Brooklyn would say, "Fuggeddaboudit".

Good advice.

 

 

r2

2:10 p.m. on April 2, 2011 (EDT)
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115 ain't all that bad. It's tolerable; one can still move, if slowly. Hell, I've ran in 115 degree heat a few times...now, 140 sucks. About the only things one can do in 140 degree temps is sweat, if you've been keeping up on water, and slowly die. Luckily, the day only lasts so long...

140 degrees?  The highest temperture ever recorded was 136 degrees.

3:22 p.m. on April 7, 2011 (EDT)
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If able to carry a second fly or tarp then put this over the top for double insulation.  Also try to pitch under shade or on the afternoon shaded side of something, e.g. car.  Use the car as a shield from wind too and maybe pitch the second fly or better a large tarp off from the side of the car on the down wind and shaded side.

6:03 a.m. on April 8, 2011 (EDT)
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140 degrees?  The highest temperture ever recorded was 136 degrees.

Recorded being the key word.  The dude who saw 140 didn't live to tell about it.  But we knew he experienced this heat - he was cooked to medium rare!

Ed

5:15 p.m. on April 8, 2011 (EDT)
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Just the thought of 140 makes me feel naseous!

6:27 a.m. on April 9, 2011 (EDT)
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140 degrees?  The highest temperture ever recorded was 136 degrees.

Recorded being the key word.  The dude who saw 140 didn't live to tell about it.  But we knew he experienced this heat - he was cooked to medium rare!

Ed

 

 

Yuk-yuk ....

 

 

r2

7:21 a.m. on April 9, 2011 (EDT)
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Bill S made the best suggestion with using a window unit air conditioner. You put it in the door where it can exhaust outside and zip the door as tight on it as you can. I have done that, it works.

5:04 p.m. on April 11, 2011 (EDT)
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If you want my advice, I'd say ditch the tent and use a tarp instead. Hammocks are nice for hot weather too since you get airflow under you in addition to over you. Really though 115 F is going to make for an uncomfortable camping situation no matter what.

 

You might be able to use the water bottle trick people use for keeping warm, but replace the hot water with the coldest water you can get into your bottle.

8:39 p.m. on April 11, 2011 (EDT)
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Since were past the point of backpacking on this thread and into 7 x7 tents, three room tents, generators; and what,  air conditioners,  Ahhhhhh feels so good ;-}.  Have you thought about misting systems.  If you have a generator than it can be a powered one (or a battery w 12 volt pump), if not, then one might get a little respite with a personal mister.  here's a link to the ones I have http://www.mistymate.com/personal-misters.html .  Got mine at the Goodwill.   Mine are the Misty mate pump 16 0z.  Small enough to carry back packing if your into extras.  If Ice is avaliable you can fill them with ice water and there wonderful.  Makes the hot day a little cooler, of cource keep your clothing wet all day long if possible.

4:10 p.m. on July 4, 2011 (EDT)
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Don't know if this works yet but I'm going to try a "space blanket" laid on backwards on the tent fly. It is claimed these things reflect 90% of the heat they are exposed to which is why they work so well in keeping an individual warm so why not turn it around so it reflects heat back to the sun. Tents should be shade but as we all know they are not, even with all the doors and windows open. You can't count on a breeze or find shade so the heat has to kept out of the tent period! It sure would be nice to be able to take a nap in a relatively cool tent after a 100 mile bike ride.

5:31 p.m. on July 4, 2011 (EDT)
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But "where" will it feflect 90% the heat and the light.  To my tent of cource, there by blinding me.  I would think this might be a good thing to try when pitching a tent by one's self, but, stick a dome mirror in the blazing hot sun amongst a bunch of outdoor enthusiasts,hummmmmmmm.  Let us know if this reduces the inside temp of the tent, and as well, the changes around the outside of the tent.

6:42 p.m. on July 4, 2011 (EDT)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

This actually got me thinkin. How about putting a few emergency style space blankets on the roof of the shelter. Or better yet find a material similar and do this. Not saying it would work but its possible being that the design of this material is to reflect heat back to the body. Could it possibly be utilized in another manner such as deflecting heat away from the shelter?

 How about a few rolls of tin foil? Would that work or is the material different than those emergency blackets? Plus if you or your buddy goes nuts you could always make hats out of them....

7:01 p.m. on July 4, 2011 (EDT)
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I would think that the space blanket material would hold up better not to mention there is no chance of the sharp points damaging your tent fabric.

I do like the hat idea. Sure is less time consuming than whittling one out of wood.

8:57 a.m. on July 5, 2011 (EDT)
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This is why I love Autumn and Winter.

The heck with heat, bugs, people, traffic ... yada-yada-yada ....

~r2~

12:43 p.m. on July 5, 2011 (EDT)
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Snow..... My favorite season is winter.

3:27 p.m. on July 5, 2011 (EDT)
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OK, if you are worried about blinding people how about putting it under the tent fly. Stick it there with Velcro. It will still reflect heat I think, maybe not. Why not? I don't know. Anyway I'm about to try it both ways if it ever warms up or stops raining in Minnesota.

5:16 p.m. on July 5, 2011 (EDT)
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I don't know if I would do that. The heat that is deflected may not have a good effect on the taped seams of your fly.

5:29 p.m. on July 5, 2011 (EDT)
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Good point. It is a thermoplastic tape so it could perhaps get hot enough to melt. I'll keep an eye on that.

5:47 p.m. on July 5, 2011 (EDT)
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Somebody mentioned 140 degrees F. air temperature as being apparently deadly. Here is a paste from a sauna site:  If you are wondering why Russians and Europeans can boast about having hotter temperatures in their saunas (above 200°F), it’s because while it is allowed on that side of the pond, it isn’t allowed in North America. Be aware that the maximum allowable sauna temperature in Canada and the United States is 194°F (90°C)

10:34 p.m. on July 6, 2011 (EDT)
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"I pity the fool ! "  --  (TV's "Mr. T" )
 

10:41 p.m. on July 7, 2011 (EDT)
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Here is the military's solution (no kidding):


AC-for-tent.jpg

Ed

12:21 p.m. on July 8, 2011 (EDT)
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This is a good example of the well established oxymoron, "military intelligence".

4:11 p.m. on July 8, 2011 (EDT)
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Hey Ed, Thanks for the link.  It's good to see that they nations money supply is in such good hands and being spent in such a thoughtfull, carfully monitered manor (sincker). 

7:25 p.m. on July 8, 2011 (EDT)
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It's more to do with politicians than military.. that is all I will say about the politics of the deal..

on the other hand, to not take care of the troops in harms way,  environmental casualties can  and sometimes outnumber the battle casualties. The military has learned from trench foot, frost bite, heat stroke,  plus others and brings resources to bear to cover those contingencies. and that is more intelligent than a silly quote that demeans.. Read history.

9:08 p.m. on July 8, 2011 (EDT)
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Oh good grief, the 20.2 billion figure is such an obvious trumped up number.

Give me a couple minutes and I can show you how it costs me 28.00 to run down to the market and buy a cucumber.

Cost of notepad for grocery list

Pen and pencil

Fees paid to consultant (how many cucumbers & what kind)

Fuel for vehicle

Driving time (I have to pay myself for time spent of course)

Wear & tear on vehicle + maintenance costs

Wear on tires

Pro rate on auto insurance

Pro rate of vehicle property tax

Cost of other items I bought just because I was there to buy a cucumber

Cucumber - .75

-----------------------------

Total..........................................................28.00

10:49 p.m. on July 8, 2011 (EDT)
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This thread is rather humorus and I hope thee wil be many more posts.  How Many here have pitched a tent in 100+/- conditions.  I have, and will do everything in my power to avoid pitching a tent where it is 115 deg.  If you pitch a tent where its 115 deg, well,  it's 115 Deg.  We do have to live with our choices.  There is not much you can do about it as tents have a R value of, wait, do tents even have a R value rating?  Wearing wet clothing as much as possible keeping it wet all day long if possible as well as pitching your tent in the shade is about all you really can do,  other than that there really is not much else your can do unless you dig a pit in the earth to pitch your tent as the ambient temp of the soil is usually 10-15 deg lower than ambient temp of the air.  If the ambient temp of the air is 115 well you get what you get.  I was suppose to go on a trip in a few weeks only to find the estimated temp will be 90+ with little shade and no bodies of water nearby.     Blehhh!  Canceled that trip and will take of this next weekend to camp by a stream in Cascades where the estimated temp will be in the mid 70's.  Since this is car camping question I think that Ed's link was right on the money.  The same question does come up in the rural and city enviorment.  It's too hot what do I do?  The answer is easy, move or get AC (but don't pitch a tent here).  But please, please keep the ideas coming, one never know what we'll stumble on.

@ trout.  What ever the cost to get all of that suff over there is the cost, including all the residual costs.  One of the reasons the national dept is 14 trillion $'s is we don't count every penny that the gov is spending.  $14 trillion in pennies is a boat(s) load of pennies.

11:54 p.m. on July 8, 2011 (EDT)
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trouthunter said:

Oh good grief, the 20.2 billion figure is such an obvious trumped up number...

My intent providing the link wasn't to bitch over costs, I know they can be spun; rather I only wanted to indicate the image was not photoshopped, at least not by me.

But if we were addressing the value quotient of this policy, perhaps using larger tents, hence a more desirable surface area/mass ratio, hence lower energy costs might be something the pentagon could consider.

10:43 a.m. on July 9, 2011 (EDT)
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Haha,

My post was meant to be purely humorous, not critical of anyone here or their viewpoint of course.

I believe in accountability, I also believe in being efficient.

As a business owner I have also learned that being efficient to a fault can cost more money than the waste you are trying to control.

In construction we throw away or give excess lumber away because it would cost to much to warehouse and manage it.

It would be quite easy for an "Expert" to make the case that we are wasteful and inefficient and should be subject to strict regulation regarding this practice. In reality it would have the opposite effect.

I see it as ideal efficiency vs. realistic practicality.

For example, Xmarts just pass the cost of shoplifting on to the customer instead of searching everyone leaving their store which would be very expensive and unpopular, although you could make an argument that it would be the correct thing to do and would curtail theft and that would benefit society in the long run (?). If they did so, wouldn't the customers still pay the price in the end?

I'm just tossing my thoughts about here, not trying to be too serious, although I do try to be as efficient and responsible in my own life as is possible.

I do think that if government were spending "their own money" and not taxpayer dollars, things would be done a lot differently.

I really don't know how to solve that one.

6:11 a.m. on July 19, 2011 (EDT)
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This is am excellent answer. I had thought of a canopy, but not layers.

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