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Question Of The Week

Cool Camping Spots For Hot Weather

Tally Lake in Montana is where the trees are tall and the lake is very deep and cold.  I took both my dog and disabled cat into the water to cool them off.  We also visited the Big Sky Waterpark.  They have some big trees that we parked under to keep the pets comfortable.

We rely heavily on cooling towels, a system of computer fans in the camper, and doing our best to suck it up.” – Melissa Malejko, 2002 Chevy Silverado 2500HD, 1981 Okanagan

Bristlecone Pine Forest, California

“Elevation, elevation, elevation, shade, shade, shade.  Last summer we escaped the heat to the White Mountains and the High Sierras.

The Bristlecone Pine Forest in the White Mountains has the oldest trees in the world.  Some are over 5,000 years old. The elevation is from 8,000 to 11,000 feet and the temperatures stayed in the 70s in June.

Campgrounds do not have hook-ups, but you won’t need them.  Horseshoe Meadow in the Sierras also stays in the 70s in August.  Again, there are no hook-ups and no need.  There are lots of trails for horses and hikers.” – Marc Wilde, 2017 Ford F250, 2017 Adventurer

Michigan Forest Roads

“I am in the woods 90-percent of the time.  Even in July and August, the north Michigan woods are cool and comfortable.

The days are warm and nights are always cool.  The canopy of the trees keeps the sun off the camper.  I don’t have an air conditioner and have never considered it.  The pop-up Palomino has plenty of ventilation.  The entire upper sidewalls open up to screens or I zip up the windows if it rains.  It’s just like sleeping in a tent but with all the conveniences on board and I’m not sleeping on the ground.

In reality, if I didn’t require a CPAP machine every night I’d leave my small inverter generator at home.  I run two Group 27 batteries, which is plenty enough juice for a weekend or longer stays.

Of course camping like we do in the woods precludes the use of solar power.  Not much sunlight comes through the canopy, at least not nearly enough to make solar a viable option.” – Daryl Davis, 1997 Ford F350, 2014 Palomino SS-1500

Georgia Pass, Colorado

“Living in Colorado makes it pretty easy to get away from the heat if we want to make the short drive.  We almost always camp above 9,000 feet, even during the winter.

Even when its sweltering in on the plains, it rarely gets above 80-degrees at higher elevations.  Two years ago, in the middle of July, when record breaking temperatures were running rampant, we were camped on Georgia Pass at 11,800 feet and the temperate never exceeded 70.  That’s less than three hours from home and includes seven miles of unpaved roads at 10 to 15 miles per hour to the top.

We just bought a 2001 Lance and will make our maiden outing this weekend.” – John Bailey, 2001 Ford F-250, 2005 Hallmark

Puget Sound Boat Camping Vince

Above: The Puget Sound

“Here in Oregon, everybody knows that the coast is almost always 20-degrees cooler than inland during heat waves.  The problem is that everybody knows.  So, unless you are right on it and manage to reserve a site somehow, you’re stuck in the valley with 100-degree temperatures, which are not as rare as you think here in the Northwest.

The second problem is that, during these heat waves, the coast can actually be equally uncomfortable, like 60-degrees and foggy.  There is, however, a place about two to three miles from the beach that is just perfect (seriously).  There are not too many campgrounds or much to do there though.  There is one place we know of but we’re not telling.

The third problem with the Oregon coast is traffic jams – all the way around.

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