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Tips To Keep Cool and Keep The Bugs Away

5 min read 0 Comments

Summer means more time to find ways to escape the city -- or at least escape the usual routine -- and head outdoors for a breath of fresh air. And along with that delicious breath of fresh, outdoor air, there will also be a few other familiar faces of summertime. Hello blistering heat, and biting bugs! Neither should be a deterrent to having a rejuvenating time in the outdoors though, so we've pulled together some inTents tips to keep cool and keep the bugs away! 


If you’re considering becoming a tent host, or if you want to have something in your family that can be around for generations to provide a reliable retreat space, guest room, or just a really fun camping tent, this bell tent set-up is ideal to keep cool and keep the bugs away...

A white canvas bell tent that has an extended hallway connected to the front door, an awning for extra shade to keep cool.

Fernweh Bell Tent + Bell Tent Fly Cover + XL Awning

This set up makes so much sense, creating a fun and functional home away from home for shelter, shade, and respite from biting bugs and other unwanted irritants. Here's why these 3 pieces work so well to help keep cool and keep bugs away.

Fernweh Bell Tent Features

  • Walls up or walls down? Your choice! The 360 degree double sidewall can unzip and roll up, revealing a bug-stopping mesh screen netting. Ventilation, without the mosquitoes! 
  • Spaciousness! There is ample room to actually just hang out and have a great time in the Fernweh. Escape the hottest time of the day with a siesta inside the well-ventilated, shady bell tent. Loads of room! The 16" (5M) diameter means there's 212 square feet of space to chill out in. 
  • More ventilation? Less? In addition to the sidewalls that can roll up, there are 4 screened windows as well as the door that can be zipped open or closed. You'll find the perfect cross-breeze, guaranteed.
  • Just for your peace of mind, in those circumstances where it's hot and windy out (high desert, you know what we mean), the Fernweh can withstand gusts up to 50 mph.
A person rolls up the walls of a canvas bell tent.

Roll up sidewalls make it even easier to keep cool and keep bugs away.

Bell Tent Fly Cover

  • This bell tent fly cover helps to reduce the internal tent temperature during hot summer days, plus helps to insulate during cold nights.
  • This cover can even be set up on its own to create a 16' shade structure!  (like below)
  • In addition to aiding in keeping cool, the bell tent fly cover helps prolong the life of the bell tent, and makes cleaning easier.
A canvas shade fly is set up over a green expanse of lawn with a variety of seating options around in order for people to keep cool in the shade.

Bell Tent Awning 

  • Not only does the XL Bell Tent Awning feel like a red-carpet entryway to a canvas bell tent, it actually adds luxurious shade and shelter with 11.5' of space. Perfect for lounging in the shade outside the tent, or even setting up a cot outdoors for the night!
  • Made from the same, durable, waterproof canvas as the bell tent.
A canvas bell tent with an awning that provides extra space and shade in order to keep cool.

 Add 11.5 more feet of lounge space and shade with the XL Awning.


WHAT ARE YOU WEARING - The hotter it is, the less you wear, right? Not necessarily. Sometimes loose fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing is the cooler option. Plus, loose-fitting clothes help minimize bug bits, too.

YOU'RE NOT DRINKING ENOUGH H2O - We said it, and we know you don't disagree. We all need to drink more water! And this is essential for helping our bodies regulate temperature and stay cool. Keep your water bottle filled and handy at all times, have extra water in your vehicle, and set up a hydration station in your camp kitchen.

SOAK IT UP - A cool cloth to the back of the neck, running water on the wrists, a hat dipped in a stream and then returned to the head ... if water is near your campsite, soak it up, using its natural cooling properties against your skin to help cool down the internal body temperature and find relief.

SPICY IS AS SPICY DOES - It's a funny but true thing, if you eat spicier foods, your body is going to feel the heat. Stay cool before you even get a chance to get too hot by sticking to lighter fare on hotter days. Fruits and greens are always a great idea! Spicy pad thai though ... maybe wait for fall.  

A WELL-TIMED DAY BREAK - The day is long, and you don't need to be out there for all of it! Rise early and get in your activities before the sun hits its zenith, and you hit the wall. Then during those peak hours where the heat is at its most persistent, escape to the sweet, breezy shelter of your canvas bell tent.

A white shade canopy extends over two people on a beach to keep cool in the shade.

Just add a canvas shade fly: The ultimate way to keep cool this summer. 


All is well when you're inside the walls of your comfortable canvas tent. Nothing to bug in here! But for all the time that you'll be spending outside the tent, which will probably be quite a bit, here's some advice on how to not get bit, and to help keep the bugs away.


Avoiding the bug problem as best you can from the get-go is ideal. High and dry is a good rule to abide by when choosing a campsite that's not bogged down by bugs. Standing water is a literal breeding ground for biting bugs, so beware of where you set up camp. And be aware about just how juicy a bug magnet you really are by being mindful about your scents and hygiene products. 


There's really an endless list of bug repellant productson the market, and differing opinions about what works best. We do think that a top tip to keep bugs away is to have a couple of different options on hand; what works well for mosquitoes might not work for biting flies, what works well for Aunt Sally might not work well for Cousin Jake. Sometimes the bite from a bug can be more than a bother, and can be a big ruiner. We encourage you to do your own research to find the options that will work best for you, but here are some ideas:

  • Mosquito coils and lanterns, for larger outdoor spaces
  • Essential oils, diluted and used appropriately
  • Vinegar, spritzed on skin and clothing
  • Wearable repellant, like bracelets
  • Vitamin B1 peel-and-stick patches
  • DEET-based repellants
  • DEET-FREE repellants that work

 This study is a few years old, but offers some good comparative insight on repellants that claim to keep the bugs away. 

A comparison chart of different types of bug repellants.
A chart from an NPR study, updated in 2018.


The natural world is filled with effective repellants to keep the bugs away. Tent hosts may want to consider the allure and natural appeal of using plants and herbs, living and dried, around the tent campsite. They'll offer guests a gorgeously decorated space, utilizing the elements of the outdoors, bringing joy, connection, and comfort. Here are some suggestions for plants and herbs to help keep the bugs away:

  • Lemon thyme
  • Citronella Grass
  • Rosemary
  • Chives
  • Garlic
  • Lemon Grass
  • Basil
  • Catnip
  • Mint
  • Lavender
  • Cedar Trees
A bunch of lemon thyme to keep the bugs away.

Lemon thyme can be used to help deter mosquitoes. 


A tall, cool beverage and someone fanning you with a palm frond? Sounds amazing! Short of that realistically happening, we have one more idea to keep cool. Bring 360 degrees of shade with you anywhere. The Umbrah Shade Kit sets up in 10 minutes, can stay up for as long you need it, and will provide the perfect shady situation, no matter how things heat up. 

It's getting hot in here, so put on your loose-fitting, lightweight clothes ...

Kelli Martinelli
Kelli Martinelli

Kelli believes that experiences > things, and loves helping others make memories. [Former] Freelance communications strategist for small brands with big heart. Love bigger. Reach farther.

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