April 15, 2022
Florida camping season usually runs from February to May to avoid excessive heat, but some people will continue into the summer. Bless their hearts. For those people, we have 8 things to consider when choosing camping gear. Read on to learn more.
In Florida, it’s best to have a tent with a lot of mesh. When it’s hot, ventilation is a key factor. Many opt for less expensive tents which often lack this feature. With the sun beating down on it, these tents become a bit of an oven. Most tents have what is referred to as a bath tub floor. When the sides of this design are high, it is a bit like sleeping in a bath tub. Even when there is mesh above, any breeze will flow above you, and not across you. These sides don’t have to be high to work towards keeping water out when it rains.
Maximize the ventilation of your tent with a fan. There is nothing worse that a hot humid night with no air movement. When car camping where power hookup exists, run an extension cord to your tent. Otherwise there are a number of battery operated fans on the market. Some use alkaline batteries, and other can be hooked up to USB power banks.
Many ask us about air conditioners for tents. While they exist, understand that they are power hungry and inefficient. First of all, tents are not insulated to hold the cold inside. Any air conditioner will essentially cool the outdoors, and never cycle off. If you want air conditioning, consider a trailer or motorhome. Learn how to build your own air conditioner.
Hammock camping has become more popular. One has more air flow all around, and there is less issue with uneven ground. The down side is strict rules in some parks regarding attaching them to trees. Consult the local park authority regarding its rules. Use at least a 1 inch strap to wrap around the trees. The width of the straps is important so as not to harm the layer under the bark.
Unless you have a refrigerator in your camper, invest in a quality cooler with a higher level of insulation. Less expensive coolers won’t hold the cold as long, particularly if you open and close it often. A cooler with thicker walls will insure your perishables with stay colder longer.
When carrying you gear and clothing on your bag, look for good ventilation across the back panel. You will still sweat, but the added venting will allow the sweat to evaporate which will cool you. This type of back panel has an open mesh stretched across your back. See photo. Backpacks like these range in size from daypack to multi-day adventures.
The Florida sun can be brutal. Be sure to protect yourself with quick dry clothing with at lease a UPF of 30. Quick dry clothing will help you stay cool through evaporative heat loss. Some clothing is also treated with products which enhance the cooling effect. Leading into the next topic, clothing can be treated for insect repellency.
Be prepared to defend yourself from ticks and mosquitos by having repellant handy. Clothing can be treated with Permethrin. Exposed skin can be treated by topical sprays and lotions, like Deet and Pircaridin
Lastly going into the summer, we enter into our wet season. Afternoon thunderstorms almost arrive like clockwork. Some will just accept they will get wet, and later dry off. If you want to stay dry, look for rain gear with the highest level of breathability you can afford. The classic yellow rubber rain coat is definitely waterproof, but doesn’t breathe. This results in getting wet by your own sweat. Waterproof breathable rain jackets will allow some of the heat and sweat vapor to escape keeping you dry and not completely overheated. Note: The functioning of breathable membrane technology works best when there is a high difference in temperature and humidity between the interior and exterior of the jacket. The best you can get in many Florida situations is taking the edge off the heat.
We hope this list helps you while enjoying the wilds of Florida. If you have any questions, remember our staff is experienced in the sports to which we cater. Ask them what they use, and what they do. They’ll be glad to share. Questions can also be answered via email at firstname.lastname@example.org