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Beat the Summer Heat: Essential Gear and Techniques for Boondockers

Kyle Arnold-profile-image
Kyle Arnold
April 21, 2023

TL;DR: Stay cool while boondocking in summer by seeking shade, staying hydrated, and cooking outdoors. Essential gear includes solar-powered fans and outdoor cooking equipment. Harvest Hosts provides access to 8,000+ unique locations for an enhanced off-grid experience.

Beat the Summer Heat: Essential Gear and Techniques for Boondockers

Boondocking is what RVs were made for doing. They offer an exciting and adventurous way to enjoy the great outdoors. Boondockers—or those who camp off-grid—are often faced with the challenge of staying cool during the summer months. 

With temperatures reaching scorching levels in many parts of the world, it's essential for boondockers to have the right gear and techniques to beat the summer heat—or run to areas that are more comfortable. We'll explore some of the essential gear and techniques for boondockers to stay cool and comfortable during these blistering summer months.

Techniques for Staying Cool

There are quite a few things you can do to help alleviate some of the discomfort and down sides to those hot summer days. Here are some of the best ways to deal with these issues.

Search For Shade

Shade is truly a boondockers best friend—sorry fido! During those summer months, finding shade can be the difference between a trip being memorable for a good reason, and one you’d rather forget as soon as possible. wp-content-uploads-2023-04-2-1.png

Strategically Park Your RV

In addition to seeking shade trees, don’t forget your RV casts its own shadow too. If there is a specific view or feature you are hoping to enjoy, you might want to park in a way that helps create shade in the best spot.  Lastly for this topic, think about the way the sun rises and sets. If you have a wall of windows, you will have to come to terms that your RV will act like a greenhouse because of those windows. Consider facing those windows in the direction of the sunrise to help warm up your morning—and prevent your evenings from being unbearable.

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is crucial for beating the summer heat. Boondockers should aim to drink at least a half gallon—two to three liters—of water per day, and they should carry water with them at all times.

Cook Outside

Plan ahead and aim to cook outside. If this means bringing a grill or developing skills to cook over open flames, it is worth keeping that heat outside of your RV—plus it can help save resources on board.

Be One With Your Surroundings

Natural bodies of water, such as lakes, rivers, and streams, are great for staying cool during the summer months. Even taking a chair into a shallow creek and leaving your feet in the water can bring much needed relief.wp-content-uploads-2023-04-3-1.png

Don’t forget you can swim or wade in the water to cool off, and you can also use it for other outdoor activities, such as fishing or kayaking. However, it's essential to be aware of the potential dangers of natural water sources, such as strong currents or underwater hazards.

Strategic Planning Is Key

Be sure to plan your activities in the cooler parts of the day. Boondockers who plan their physical activities in the early morning or late evening will find it much more enjoyable. Likewise, try to avoid being stuck inside your RV during the heat of the day.

Essential Gear for Beating the Heat

There are certain materials that are nice to have when camping, but might be essential if you are boondocking. Here are some of our top choices for beating the heat while boondocking.

Outdoor Cooking Gear

Some people keep it simple when camping and others see it as their time to take their time, regardless of who you are keeping your cooking outside matters. A couple of cast iron skillets for cooking over the fire and a couple Ove Gloves—or comparable hot pads—can make cooking outside quite enjoyable.

Coffee Making Solutions

Most people aren’t waiting for a fire to have their first cup of coffee—in fact you probably shouldn't attempt to make a fire until the caffeine hits your body.  Consider getting a couple different ways to get that caffeine in your body. To conserve energy, you might want to avoid using a traditional coffee pot. Here are a couple other options that are equal in their simplicity and quality. Harvest Hosts Members enjoy a great discount on Wildland Coffee—and this is a great way to enjoy a single cup of coffee. Wildland Coffee is a single serve coffee bag—similar to a tea bag—that allows campers a simple way to enjoy their first cup of coffee in the morning. One of the easiest ways to make coffee while boondocking is by using a French Press. If you are camping with multiple people, this is the better option. You can make larger portions by simply adding coffee and hot water—plus waiting four minutes—together in the French Press and then you have enough to share.

Solar Powered Everything

Solar is a great friend to those who love boondocking. Preserving your battery bank power for things like recharging phones, laptops, and other devices is imperative for most boondockers. By implementing solar powered lights, fans, and more you will prolong your time off grid. A solar powered fan is a must. This solar powered fan can help keep you cool and adds in the protection from a lot of flying insects—especially mosquitos. A simple breeze will often keep mosquitos at bay. That alone is worth the investment.

Boondocking Addicts Might Consider These

Solar generators, improved battery banks, and portable air conditioners are next level luxuries for those who want to make boondocking a regular thing. These three things can take boondocking from roughing it to just another day. Harvest Hosts Members are in luck too. They offer a plethora of amazing Member Discounts on their site to help make life better while off grid. Here are some of the best solar generator offers on our discounts page.  EcoFlow offers Harvest Hosts Members $100 off any Delta Series, $50 off any River Series, or 10% off any of their power kits. Jackery offers up to $280 off their solar generators. Battle Born batteries are known across the industry as the best option for leading battery technology and quality. And Harvest Host Members should be thrilled to know they can save big on their next battery upgrade. Upgrading your storage capacity is going to allow you to push the limits of your time off grid. Eco Flow offers a new product called the EcoFlow Wave. This is a portable air conditioner that is completely changing the reality for RVers going off the grid. With the EcoFlow Wave you can now have climate control anywhere you go.

Boondocking for the Win

Boondocking during the summer months can be an incredible experience and can help alleviate the stressors of life from you. Getting back to nature and experiencing the simplicity it offers can really help with maintaining a healthy emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing. But nature can be tough!With the right gear and techniques, you can stay cool and comfortable in even the hottest conditions. Shade, cooking outside, and enjoying the natural resources around you, can help keep you rejuvenated and joyful. But finding the best locations can help too.

Harvest Hosts Can Help

Harvest Hosts can help busy RVers find their next boondocking location. With the All-Access Membership, you can enjoy 8,000+ locations across North America. These locations are spread through North America and offer some of the best wineries, golf courses, farms, and views you’ll find anywhere.

About Harvest Hosts
Harvest Hosts is a unique RV camping membership that offers self-contained RVers unlimited overnight stays at over 5,612 small businesses across North America with no camping fees. Boondock at farms, wineries, breweries, attractions, and other one-of-a-kind destinations throughout North America, and you’ll get peace of mind knowing that a safe place to stay is always nearby!
Kyle Arnold-profile-image
Kyle Arnold
I'm a freelance adventure travel copywriter. My wife, 2 dogs and I have been on many adventures together in either a big, blue bus or our camper van. While touring the country, we take advantage of checking out new towns, hikes and waterways. We are often found hiking, paddling or drinking coffee and love meeting new people.