I love camping. Whether its primitive, paddle camping or car camping, I just love being in the outdoors. But, when you live in Florida or pretty much any other place in the Deep South, summer camping can be harsh because of the high temperatures and even higher humidity. Trying to sleep while you are hot and sweating can be an unpleasant experience and has the tendency to turn a great outdoor adventure into a miserable night outdoors. I’ve tried many different tents hoping that with the right venting and fan set up, I could stay cool in the heat of the summer, but, let’s face it. Most of us, me included, are climatized to air conditioned spaces and no matter how much air flow you get circulating through your tent, the 90 degree nights with 80% percent humidity is tough to deal with. So what can you do? You could buy an RV, or pop up camper, but those are expensive and require a towing vehicle and a place to store it. You could stop camping during the summer months, but that’s no fun. Or you could try my solution.
A few years ago I discovered the AC Boot. It’s manufactured by Outdoor Advantage Connection, a company located in Belvedere, South Carolina and at a price point of $99.95 plus shipping, they created a simple yet ingenious way of air conditioning your tent that is not only easy to attach to almost any type of tent, but is inexpensive and turns your tent into a cool, comfortable space that allows you to beat the heat.
I have two tents with the AC Boot attached. One is a Coleman Instant 12 man tent that has a floor area of 14 x 12 feet. I use this one when I am camping with large groups. The other is a Colman Instant 4 man tent that I use when it’s just me and one or two people. The reason I chose Coleman Instant tents is because they do not have mesh walls and ceilings and are easy to set up. The Weather Tec system they use is tested in winds up to 35 mph and driving rain. I have weathered many storms in these tents and they have never let me down. They always stayed dry and solid.
I once installed an AC Boot on a tent that had a mesh ceiling and found that though it would keep the tent cooler than the outside temperature, the mesh allowed too much cool air to escape. Regardless of which tent I use, I use the same air conditioner which is a 6000 BTU window unit that I found on Craigs list for $50. It cools both tents (especially the 4 man tent) very well and at night has a tendency to actually make it too cold.
Now I realize that to some people, using this product would be considered “Glamping”, but I am of the mindset that I would rather be comfortable and enjoy my outdoor adventures to the fullest than be miserably hot or not camp at all. Not to mention, It’s a great conversation starter. I can’t tell you how many people have stopped by my campsites to inquire about it.
The only drawback to using the AC Boot is that you have to have access to electricity which means you are limited to campgrounds with hook ups or using a generator. But, that is not such a bad trade off because it still allows you go get out into the outdoors during the heat of the summer, and be comfortable doing it.
Find your headwaters,