On average, about 10,000 people are hospitalized, and hundreds die from heat-related incidents each year.
Many of these people are exposed to the heat when doing outdoor activities like camping or hiking.
Sadly, one summer, a California family succumbed to the grueling temperatures while spending time outdoors.
John and Ellen G. had been enjoying the outdoors with their young daughter.
The family was hiking in the Northern California mountains when temperatures reached 109 degrees.
According to the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office, the family tried to make multiple calls and send texts asking for help.
One text that didn’t go through said, “No water overheating with baby.”
During the investigation, the sheriff’s department found multiple pictures the family took on their outdoor trip including family photos.
The investigation into the deaths involved over 30 law enforcement agencies because police had to rule out many different causes for the deaths.
Police ruled out murder, lightning strikes, poisoning, drugs, and suicide. In the end, the family ran out of water and died from heat exposure.
The family had an 85-ounce water jug with them that was found empty.
A wildfire had recently occurred in the area where the family was hiking and there was no shade from the sun.
The family was about 1.5 miles from their car when they succumbed to the heat.
The tragic story about this family can serve as a reminder that heat can easily kill you if you’re caught unprepared.
This could happen if you’re caught in a disaster, and you’re forced to leave your home and sleep in a tent.
Even if you’re prepared to camp with minimal gear, there could come a time when you need to get and stay cool.
If you have been camping in hot conditions you’ve likely experienced how miserable it is to sleep when you are sweating like crazy.
This is why it might be worth adding a tent air conditioner to your gear. (I know, an interesting piece of gear that you probably never thought about.)
Benefits of a tent A/C:
These days, quality tents are made with durable materials that can provide some insulation.
A portable air conditioner does a good job of removing humidity from the air inside the tent and works well in hot and humid environments.
Most AC units have a single exhaust hose that is exposed to the outside.
This means there is less risk of somebody stealing the AC unit from outside your tent, since they would need to physically get inside the tent to carry it off.
Drawbacks to tent AC:
One of the biggest drawbacks is that AC units aren’t small, so they take up space inside the tent.
So, if you are bugging out and have your whole family with you in one tent, it could be cramped quarters.
Another concern is that AC units need a decent amount of power. You need to ensure you have a reliable power source.
If you’ve got those bases covered, there are a few portable air conditioning options that could work well in a tent, and you could try the next time you go camping.
Zero Breeze Mark 2:
The Zero Breeze is specifically designed for tent camping. It’s battery-powered with a high-performance battery featuring a 5-hour run time.
The Zero Breeze has a 10-minute fast cooling mode and utilizes a dual hose design.
The best thing about the Breeze is that it’s easily portable and is very quiet. But, the Zero Breeze sells for $1,500 so it’s not cheap.
BougeRV Portable Air Conditioner:
The BougeRV air conditioner is similar to the Zero Breeze. The biggest difference is that it uses a regular AC/DC power source.
The AC is still relatively quiet and only weighs about 23 pounds. It has a touch panel set up that is easy to use and adjust the temperature.
There is also the option to run the fan without the AC to keep air flowing.
Finally, there is the option to set the temperature on the AC so it will cycle on and off during the night while you sleep.
That way, you won’t have to constantly fool with it to get the desired temperature.
The BougeRV sells for about $1,000.
Evapolar EvaChill Portable Air Cooler:
The Evapolar is one of the most portable AC units you will find.
It has a 3-in-1 design so it cools, purifies, and humidifies all in one. It has a carrying handle and single button control.
The AC unit uses water and evaporative technology. It weighs less than two pounds and is powered by a USB connection.
Since it uses less power, you could connect it to a power bank or solar charger to keep it running.
The Evapolar is easy to use and sells for $100. It’s one of the most cost-effective options but won’t produce the same amount of cooling as the other choices.
No matter where you live in the U.S., heat related injuries and death can occur.
And even if you don’t suffer a heat injury, it’s miserable and uncomfortable to sleep when you’re sweating.
So, consider one of these portable AC units that can make camping a lot more enjoyable.