Keep It Cool With Your Portable Air Conditioner When You Go Camping


Spending time outdoors is great. With our fast-paced, always busy, always stressful daily lives, it is important to find the time to take a step back, breathe, and enjoy the beauty this world has to offer. This is probably why people still enjoy going camping.

Camping can be a really fun and incredible experience, but for those not yet used to braving the great outdoors, it can sometimes get uncomfortable, especially during the hot season. This is why something like a small portable air conditioner for camping can make a big difference towards your camping experience.

While not all campers choose to use a portable air conditioner, it can be helpful especially if you are new to camping. Staying cool is not only a means to get more comfortable, it is also important for your health and overall safety. Camping during the summer is probably one of the best times to camp, but with the rising temperatures of our earth, sometimes the heat can get a little bit out of hand and almost unbearable.


According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, or the EPA, a total of about 8,000 Americans have suffered from heat-related deaths from 1979 to 2014 . Heat exhaustion happens when your body cannot keep itself cool. The body cools down when you sweat and it evaporates.

On humid days, it is harder for your sweat to evaporate, which is why you usually feel extra hot and heavy. If the sweat cannot evaporate or it is not enough to help cool your body, your body temperature will rise and there is a possibility of getting heat stroke.

Heat stroke happens when your body rises above 104°F. Heat stroke is worse than heat exhaustion as it can cause damage to the organs or brains, and in some cases be fatal. Sometimes we may not consider heat stroke or heat exhaustion when we go camping but it is always a looming possibility.

As great as it is to stay outdoors, it doesn’t mean you have to skip on your well-being. Not all campsites will have a pool, a lake, or a body of water nearby where you can cool off in, so something as simple as having a portable air conditioner can be the difference between a great camping trip versus a trip to the hospital.

Lifesmart EZcool Single Port Indoor/Outdoor Portable Air Cooler for 250 Sq Feet


So I guess one of the first things you’ll be asking is if you will actually need an air conditioner for your camping trip. I’ve already mentioned the possibilities of heat exhaustion and heat stroke (if that doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will).

But the truth is, not many people will need an air conditioning unit for your tent or your Rvs, and not many people use it. But hear me out. If you are the type of person who has a health condition and cannot be in the heat too much, this may be a factor for you to consider getting one.

Mayo Clinic talks about how health conditions like heart or lung disease, or factors such as age and others can increase your risk of getting heat stroke . While camping is great, there is no reason to risk your health. Another time you may need an air conditioning unit for your tent, is if you go camping in really hot, and really humid places – and I mean, really hot and humid.

rv-campingAsses the environment that you will be camping in or plan to camp in, in the future. Trust me when I say feeling overly hot can ruin a great camping trip. It will get you feeling agitated and irritable, and if you’re camping with others it can turn up some pretty nasty fights.

You can avoid ruining your trip by taking an air conditioner with you. But really, one of the most convincing reasons that can help you decide whether you want to get one or not, is comfort. Simple as that. With so many camping products and tools in the market today, and with the way camping itself is developing, it’s almost quite pointless to “suffer” the “old school” kind of camping. I mean, isn’t one of the reasons you go camping is to relax?

How could you possibly feel relaxed when you are sweating bullets and barking at anyone who comes within a few feet of you?


When buying an air conditioner for your camping trips, there are a few things you need to consider. One of the first things you need to think about is your budget – how much are you actually willing to spend for this product?

They can vary greatly in price due to the variety of their sizes and features, so think about what you are willing to spend on it. The next thing to consider is how you are actually going to be using it. Do you foresee yourself taking this with you during a long hike or just a short camping trip? Will it go in your RV or will you be lugging it around everywhere you go?

When you consider how you will be using it, you can decide on how portable you want it to be. If you know you’ll be going through rugged terrain often to get to your campsite, you’ll want a product that you can easily carry around with you, without causing too much problems.

IcyBreeze Portable Air Conditioner

If you know you’re using it on easy camping trips where you won’t need to go to far, deserted places, you can be more flexible when choosing it’s portability and look at other features you may find interesting. A final thing you should consider is how it actually works. Is it the type of air conditioner that needs you to bring water and ice with it to fill it up? If it is, will you be alright with that? Or is it a simple, “plug and play” type of unit where you just plug it and go?

There are a variety of products out there with different features and different requirements. When you really think about what you need in the product, you will be able to create an informed decision without regretting it later on down the line or without feeling like you’ve lost a great deal of money.

To help you some more in making a decision, we can go over five different products out there on the market that you can easily find on Amazon. We will go through the basic pros and cons of each one to help you make a decision on which one you want to go for.

The five best small portable air conditioners f0r camping

Last update on 2017-08-21 PST - Details

LG Portable Air Conditioner with Remote Control in White

The first air cooler is from LG. LG makes both air conditioners and heaters that are portable and can be brought along on your camping trips. This single port indoor/outdoor air cooler brand new and is simple enough to use.

LG LP0817WSR 8,000 BTU 115V Portable Air Conditioner with Remote Control in White Portable Air Conditioner
  • 8,000 BTU portable air conditioner with auto evaporation system
  • Cools a room up to 200 sq. Ft. With up to 1.8 pints per hour dehumidification

Last update on 2017-08-21 PST - Details


  • Can cover up to 200 square feet so your tent shouldn’t be a problem
  • Can be used for up to 10 hours with 1 gallon of water
  • Relatively small at 27.4” tall
  • Weights 58.4lbs with a carry handle so it is easily portable


  • Evaporative coolers are not as cold as actual air conditioners
  • It can get quite loud
  • No 12v adapter included
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This next cooler from GoCool looks a lot like a mini fridge than an air conditioner, but you can still try it out for your camping trips, since it was really made for camping tents or RV campers.

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  • It can hold a lot of water – 4 one gallon jugs, 9 two liter bottles or about 40lbs of bagged ice
  • It has wheels to help with maneuverability and so you don’t have to carry it
  • It also has a pull out/collapsible handle like a suitcase to move it around easier
  • It can dehumidify the air


  • It is quite expensive.
  • Relatively big and bulky at 17.3” wide, 20” long and 24” high
  • You will need ice and water, which can be a hassle to bring around. You will need to be quick as well or your ice might melt on you
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Whynter Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner

This cooler from Whynter is another product you can try to help cool down your tent. You can use it for your tent, in your car, in truck or boat cabins, campers, small rooms, offices and other small spaces. It mentions that it can cool the temperature around (61°F – 89°F).

Whynter 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner (ARC-14S)
  • Three operational modes: air conditioner, fan or dehumidifier
  • Full thermostatic control (61°F - 89°F) with digital readout, 24 hour programmable timer

Last update on 2017-08-21 PST - Details


  • It also has a pull out/collapsible handle as well as wheels to help you move it around easily
  • It is relatively small at 19″ W x 16″ D x 35.5″ H
  • Very simple to use – just simply plug it in and it will start to work


  • It is very expensive at $$$ for a brand new unit and about
  • There are no other settings to adjust the cooler
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This air conditioner was not actually made for camping, but you can get creative with it, since it will do the job anyway. It was made for supplementary cooling of IT equipment and is priced at around $$$ on Amazon.

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  • It can cool a room of up to 500 square meters, so cooling a tent or an RV camper shouldn’t be a problem
  • There is no need for a floor drain or a water collection tank
  • There is a ducted vent so you can direct the air to flow to a specific place
View Product


  • It is relatively big at 11.81 x 19.88 x 30.63 inches so you might have a harder time carrying it on your camping trip especially if you are going on a long hike before reaching your camp site
  • It is pricey.
  • It wasn’t really meant for camping trips but rather small office spaces, so this might be more suited for your RV camper


Last on the list is the air conditioner from IcyBreeze. It comes in three colors (red, blue and lime green) and is priced at $$$ on Amazon. This one is a pretty cool product because of its dual feature – it is an air conditioner but also serves as a drink cooler.

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  • It is a two-in-one product. You get the air conditioner but it is also a cooler where you can store your drinks
  • It is supplied with a 12V power supply chord that you can plug into any standard cigarette lighter outlet
  • It is battery operated so you can take it anywhere
  • It has wheels and a pull out handle for easier mobility and portability
  • The lid has two cup holders as well
  • It can last up to 6 hours on low cool (when running on battery)


  • It is quite bulky at 23.5 x 16.2 x 18.5 inches
  • It only lasts about 2.5 hours on high cool (when running on battery)
  • It is either battery run or plugged into a cigarette lighter outlet. You will not be able to plug it in if there are no cigarette lighter outlets around.
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After going through all those products, I would have to say my favorite would be the one from IcyBreeze. I find it really awesome that they were able to turn a drink cooler into an air conditioner as well, therefore making lugging it around worth it, because not only will you be able to cool your tent, you’ll have cold drinks as well; a two-in-one product.

Everything you need to fight the treat of heat exhaustion or heat stroke during your camping trip, which as we talked about earlier can be a present threat. Plus the two cup holders on the lid, is a nifty idea to help remind you to always stay hydrated.

The colors are really eye catching as well and it’s price is right around the middle of the products we’ve seen. It’s great that they added the wheels and the handle to help you move it around better, making it portable enough to take on your camping trip.

So the next time you’re out camping during the unbearably hot weather, you can consider taking with you an air conditioner to help you not only stay comfortable but keep you away from heat exhaustion or heat stroke and any discomfort.


The author Joshua

Hi, my name is Joshua. founder of MadOutdoorist.Com, I was born into a lovely family that loves nature and adventure. My goal at Mad Outdoorist is to provide you with all the information you need for a successful out-of-city adventure. It is my desire to encourage you to push beyond any physical limit you may have.

1 Comment

  1. The Whynter dual hose is just perfect! The unit is just what I needed for my summer camping. It completely turns my tent that was almost unusable during such season into a comfortable place to have a nice time. Great product!

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