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A cele.

bration of tents
-from prehistory to the future-
with a buyers guide for campers
E.M.HATTON
: .
THE TENT BOOK
THE TENT BOOK
E. M. HATTON Houghton Mifflin Company Boston 1979
Line drawings by Jane Tenenbaum
Copyright © 1979 by E. M. Hatton
All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by
any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any
information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data
Hatton, E M
The tent book.
Bibliography: p.
Includes index.
1. Tents. I. Title.
TS1860.H37 728
ISBN 0-395-27613-9
ISBN 0-395-28264-0 pbk.
79-9047
Printed in the United States of America
A 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Book design by David Ford
For Chris and Earl laura and Francis
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Invaluable assistance was given me by my agent Heide Lange, my editor
Frances Tenenbaum, and Don Perdue, Clay Jones, Pat Ethridge, Mablen
Jones, Joan Miller, and Alix Elias. If it hadn't been for them you might
not be reading The Tent Book. But so many others were extremely
helpful - Diane Matthews, Joseph Padial, Abel Cruz, Leonard Sprung,
and Lee Black were generosity personified, along with Thierry Demogue,
who translated copious correspondence into French, and Alice Lundoff,
who helped me out while she was in France. Charlie Savage with Dr. Bill
Murtaugh lined me up with those wonderful tents in Krakow, Poland,
Barbara Greenberg helped, and Dr. Jerzy Szablowski, Director of the
Wawel Collection, went beyond the call of duty to supply me with
photos. The architecture section was made possible by the generosity of
Horst Berger of Geiger Berger Consultants, P.C., the four partners of
Vela/Future Tents, Ltd., along with Ron Kinnius at Irving Industries, Rob-
ert J. Sheldon at Birdair, Jim Schmiedeskamp at Owens-Corning Fiberglas
Corporation, and Professor Charles P. Graves at the University of Ken-
tucky. Mary Burczyk and Stu Waugh at the Canvas Products Association
International shared their resources with me, as did Bill Moss of Moss
Tent Works. And special thanks go to Jim Thompson, Carleton Howe,
Jean Demogue, Peter Stamberg, Jill Charlton, Robert Adzema and Joel
Kopp for donating photographs. Raymond Prestia provided me access to
his fine collection, and Ellen Johnston's library was quite helpful: And
special thanks, too, to Katherine Sokolnikoff, Janice Byer, Gail Hayden,
Kai Lofton, Lois and Ian Alsop, Bunny Bodman, Christi Hatcher, Rosalind
Heinz and, last but not least, Jeffrey Aronoff.
This book has relied strongly on photograph archives, and I am in-
debted (both figu ratively and literally) to those that fu rnished me with
the photographs. The New York Public Library Picture Collection, the vii
viii Acknowledgments
Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Lincoln Center
Library for the Performing Arts were treasure troves, and extremely
helpful.
There are others not specifically mentioned who provided me with
leads and general assistance in my quest for material. I thank them as
well. The Tent Book is the culmination of a great deal of energy ... and
it wasn't all the author's.
Hap Hatton
CONTENTS
Acknowledgments vii
I ntroduction xi
Part 1 The Tent in History
1 Europe and Asia 3
2 America 41
3 The Nomads 61
Bibliography 235
Index 239
Part 2 The Tent as Art
4 Architecture 113
5 Tent Art 138
6 Stage and Screen 151
Part 3 Tents for Campers
7 A Consumers' Guide 165
8 Sou rces 222
INTRODUCTION
The tent: versatile, durable, practical, beautiful, portable, economical,
liberating, and fun! Bedouins and backpackers, scouts and soldiers,
mountain-climbers and circuses, you and I, have used tents of every
description all over the globe since civilization began. This is a book
about tents - an adventure in tents - that covers all aspects of them.
Millions of people in this country and abroad are camping out in any
of hundreds of styles of tents, which range from super-lightweight back-
pack tents to more permanent, beautifully designed and furnished, sum-
mer home-substitute tents. Thousands more are building their own from
the kits and instruction books that are available. Nomads on every con-
tinent still migrate with tents ingeniously designed to enable them to live
and go virtually anywhere from the Sahara to Siberia. And young people
have taken the nomadic designs and developed them for their own use
here in this country. Tents have always been present in our literature,
cinema, and theater. Now tents are showing up as sculptural art forms
and tent architecture is beginning to serve as a superb alternative to rigid
right-angled steel and glass.
When you get right down to it, tents are everywhere - in every shape
and form. The photographs in this book illustrate their rich history,
contemporary use, and limitless future. You will find here the ceremonial
tents of Alexander the Great and Napoleon, the Eskimo summer tent,
and tent cities like the Field of the Cloth of Gold (considered the Eighth
Wonder of the World when Henry VIII summit met with Francis I in 1502)
and the San Francisco Earthquake. You'll see Rudolph Valentino's sheik
tent, the circus big top and how it's put together, plus the world's largest
tent building, which is 5.5 million square feet of Fiberglas yarn coated
with Teflon covering 105 acres. And, last but not least, all the latest tents
available to the camper (with information on where to find them). xi
xii Introduction
In tents the romantic and practical are combined, making the practical
even more alluring. Tents are still associated with freedom and the ex-
citement of living and sleeping in the great outdoors and you'll see how
everyone from nomads to royalty has been doing it ... and how you
can do it yourself.
PART 1
THE TENT IN HISTORY
1 EUROPE AND ASIA
Are those my tents where I perceive the fire?
- William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, V.iii .13
The tent, man' s oldest known artificial dwelling and the portable shelter
par excellence, dates back to prehistoric times when people stretched
animal skins over trees. In the next logical step either the tree or its
limbs was made into support poles, and then the shelter could be moved
and pitched anywhere. In areas where wood was scarce, mammoth ribs
and tusks served as a framework.
From these humble beginnings tents grew into incredibly huge and
magnificent pavilions - sumptuous portable palaces with walls lined
with priceless tapestries, the ground covered with exquisite Oriental
rugs, and the tent poles encrusted with precious stones.
Probably the oldest tent on record is that found in Egypt in the tomb
of the twenty-first-Dynasty princess Isimkheb (1000 B. C. ). The tent ceiling
is sky blue with multicolored stars appliqued to it; red and black check-
erboard squares with colorful animals and flowers cover the inside walls.
Prehistoric campsites discovered in Moldova, Russia, date back to
40,000 B.C. Remains of animal bones and tusks, which at one time sup-
ported hides, have been found, and small embankments or earth berms
still exist where early Cro-Magnons anchored their tents by placing rocks,
bones, and earth around the bottom. (These can be compared to the tipi
rings found in the western part of the United States which mark the sites
where tipis stood and rings of stone were used to anchor ~ h e m . ) The
remains of a 28,OOO-year-old tent site were found in southern Russia. The
tent measured some ninety-eight feet long and probably sheltered sev-
eral families as it contained a row of hearths down the center , perhaps
one to a family. 3
4 The Tent in History
The tent remained in this rough form for approximately its first 10,000
years. Cave paintings dating back 10,000 to 20,000 years are the first
pictorial renderings of early tents.
When these early Cro-Magnon nomads moved on they might have
abandoned the old tent, only to build a new one at their next stop, since
one of the ancient taboos (which still exists) among many races strictly
forbids both inhabiting an abandoned dwelling or using the material
from the old one to build a new one.
When weaving was discovered, possibly some 10,000 years ago, woven
fabric was incorporated into the tent, as was felt when it later came into
existence. It is strictly conjecture what the early fabric was woven from
- possibly it was wool, which was definitely used in the days of Christ.
Another possible material is ramie, the flaxlike fiber from the stem of a
woody Asian plant of the nettle family, which has been in existence for
at least 5000 years.
Up to 10,000 years ago several Aryan tribes were living in skin tents.
These people were primarily herdsmen and moved as the seasons af-
fected their livestock's grazing areas. The Turkomans of Asia Minor were
isolated from the influence of neighboring civilizations and the type of
circular tent or yurt they occupied in the early twentieth century was the
same their ancestors used more than 8000 years before. The Lapps are
another example of a culture's development isolated from all outside
influences.
Until the present day, the support poles of tents have been, for the
most part, trees, either in the form of wooden poles or as live trees with
or without their leaves. Incorporating a living tree into the structure of
the tent itself provides maximum stability, so when felt or pelts were
spread over the tree and firmly anchored to the ground, these tents
could withstand anything the elements had to offer.
The idea of the tree-tent has not altogether disappeared. Before the
Ute Indians were moved onto reservations at the turn of the century,
they would rest the poles of their tipis in the fork of two tree branches
and integrate the trunk of the tree into the structu re of the tipi. Apache
girls still participate in an elaborate puberty ceremony which utilizes an
uncovered tipi made of live tree branches. And the Altai Turks of south
central Asia, in a sacrificial ceremony that takes place in the clearing of
a wood, erect a special yurt with the leafy top of a young tree emerging
Prehistoric tent
5 Europe and Asia
from the smoke hole. An interesting point, too, is that among some
peoples the words tree and house have the same meaning.
The earliest recording of the tree-tent was made by Herodotus (The
Histories) when he traveled from Greece to Persia in the fifth century
B.C. He observed the ancient Scythian tribe of the Argippaei dwelling
"each man under a tree, covering it in winter with a white felt cloth."
In the summer they uncovered the trees and lived under them.
TENTS IN THE BIBLE
Our very earliest references to tents come from the Old Testament and
date back to c. 4000 B.C. In Genesis 4:20, "Adah bore Jabal; he was the
father of those who dwell in tents and have cattle." In those ancient
times the way of life was mostly pastoral (the first mention of tents is
connected with the keeping of cattle) and the tent is the only form of
shelter that can sustain that lifestyle. The black desert tent now used by
the Arab nomads on the same terrain is considered the closest in design
to the ancient model. Abraham himself, the first of the patriarchs, was
considered to be a Bedouin and only in this century have the character
and habits of these people undergone change. King Solomon (c. 972-932
B.C.) sang of the Bedouin in Song of Solomon 1 :5. "I am black, but
comely, 0 ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the
curtains of Solomon," Kedar being a biblical name for the Bedouin.
From the Bible we also learn that "Abram dwelled in the land of
Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent
toward Sodom" (Genesis 13:12, c. 2080 B.C.). In 2054 B.C. we are told that
Abraham "sat in the tent-door in the heat of the day" and saw the angels.
At this time of day the external shade of the desert tent is much cooler
than the interior of the tent. And among Bedouin tribes it is the duty of
the chief or sheik to entertain strangers. His tent is usually pitched on
the edge of the encampment toward the trade route or highway from
whence strangers usually approach. This custom accounts for Abraham
being the first to see his visitors.
Esau and Jacob are described in Genesis 25:27: "Esau was a skillful
hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a quiet man, dwelling in tents."
Numbers 24:2-3,5, referring to the tribes descended from Jacob, adds
"And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and saw Israel encamping tribe by tribe.
And the Spirit of God came upon him, and he took up his discourse,
and said, 'The oracle of Balaam the son of Bear, the oracle of the man
whose eye is opened ... how fair are your tents, 0 Jacob, your en-
campments, 0 Israel!'"
In the common Arab tent of today, the women have separate apart-
ments that are made by attaching curtains or carpets to the supports. In
the Old Testament several women had their own tents: specific mention
is made of the tent of Sarah, Abraham's wife; those of Leah and Rachel,
the wives of Jacob; as well as the tents of their maidservants.
After the Flood (3156 B.C.), Noah is mentioned in Genesis 9:21 when
Esau and Jacob. Jacob is considered the tra-
ditional ancestor of the people of Israel and
the tents he used are the same as those
used today in the Arabian desert. (Copyright
de Brunoff 1904)
6 The Tent in History
"he drank of the wine, and became drunk, and lay uncovered in his
tent," and prophesied the destiny of his family. He is quoted as saying,
"Japheth shall dwell in the tents of Shem" (Genesis 9:27). Psalms 84:10
states, "I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to
dwell in the tents of wickedness." And in I Kings 12:16 - "And when all
Israel saw that the king did not hearken to them, the people answered
the king, 'What portion have we in David? We have no inheritance in
the son of Jesse. To your tents, 0 Israel! Look now to your own house,
David.' So Israel departed to their tents."
THE TABERNACLE
The most famous tent of the Old Testament is the Tabernacle and it is
described in the book of Exodus (Chapters 25-27, 30-31, and 35-40). The
Tabernacle was the portable sanctuary constructed by Moses as a place
of worship for the Hebrew tribes during the period of wandering in the
wilderness that preceded their arrival in the Promised Land. It was finally
placed at Shiloh and disappeared into oblivion after the erection in 950
B.C. in Jerusalem of Solomon's Temple, which used the proportions of
the Tabernacle in its design.
The Tabernacle of the Old Testament . In
this rather stylized drawing, the compo-
nents of the Tabernacle complex are visible.
Cattle are being led through the crowd to-
ward the Tabernacle for sacrifice at the altar
which can be seen through the parted cur-
tains. (Sonzogno, Italy)
7 Europe and Asia
The Tabernacle was set up in the center of the camp at every halt and
the Tabernacle complex - whose specifications were dictated by God
to Moses, according to the Bible - consisted of a large court of about
75 x 150 feet surrounding the rectangular Tabernacle tent. The court was
e n c l o ~ e d by linen hangings and had the shape of two adjacent squares
(or a rectangle with a length twice its width). The eastern half contained
the altar of sacrifice for burnt offerings and a copper and bronze basin
holding water for ritual ablutions. In the middle of the western half, in
the Tabernacle itself, was the Ark of the Covenant, which contained the
tablets of the Ten Commandments. The Ark, the sacred wooden chest
of the Hebrews, was overlaid with gold inside and out and was always
veiled; the high priest alone could look upon its uncovered surface.
The Tabernacle tent was formed of ten curtains, in two sets of five, of
fine twined blue and purple linen with interwoven colored figures of
cherubim. All of the forty-eight tent frames were made from acacia wood
overlaid with gold. The interior was divided into two rooms, "the holy
place" and "the most holy place" (Holy of Holies). The outer room, or
holy place, contained a table on which blessed bread was placed, an
altar of incense, and a Menorah, the seven-branched candelabrum of the
Jews. The inner room, or Holy of Holies, was separated from the outer
by a veil of blue, purple, and scarlet with more cherubim, and was
considered to be the actual dwelling place of God Himself, who sat
invisibly throned above a mercy seat or propitiatory, a slab of gold resting
upon the Ark of the Covenant with a cherub at each corner.
The Tabernacle must have been a staggering load to lug through the
wilderness - the metal alone weighed in at some 12,000 pounds, fabric
and hides measured well in excess of 1500 square yards, and there were
also forty-eight gilded support poles as well. This doesn't include the
hangings and framework for the outside wall.
THE KAABA AT MECCA
While the Tabernacle of the Old Testament is considered the first and
most sacred shrine of the Jewish and Christian religions, the Kaaba at
Mecca is equally revered in the Moslem religion and is the place toward
which Moslems face when praying. The Kaaba, like the Tabernacle, is
covered with fabric. Annually a tent city of pilgrims - sometimes num-
bering as many as 200,000 - encamp on the Arafat plain outside Mecca.
Interestingly enough, the world's largest tent building (tension struc-
ture) is being constructed near Mecca at the Jeddah International Airport .
The structure is in keeping with the pilgrim tent cities nearby. It is
composed of two identical roof systems made up of 210 tentlike units.
Five and a half million square feet of Fiberglas coated with Teflon will be
used and an area of 105 acres will be covered. According to projections,
by 1985 the airport will accommodate some 8.6 million passengers an-
nually, and by the year 2000 the number is estimated to reach 16.5
8 The Tent in History
million. At maximum capacity, 100 flight operations per hour will be
handled. As would be expected, the commerce of the city depends
almost completely on the pilgrims as little else is manufactured except
articles of devotion and souvenirs of the holy place.
At the center of Mecca is a large mosque, the Haram, which encloses
the Kaaba. Many legends surround the origin of the Kaaba (from Arabic
for "cube"), but it is traditionally believed to have been built by Abraham
at the command of God (just as the Tabernacle was built to God's order).
In the case of the Kaaba, it was intended to be a replica of God's house
in heaven. Frequently destroyed by floods and reconstructed, it is be-
lieved to have retained its original shape of a double cube, being twice
as h i g ~ as it is long and wide, enclosing a room, the "holy of holies"
(like the inner room of the Tabernacle), the access to which is gained by
a single door. It is here that the sacred stone rests, worn hollow by
centuries of ritual kissing; it is held together by a wide band of silver.
From the roof is suspended the Kiswa (holy carpet), which is renewed
annually at the pilgrimage. It completely covers the holy place except for
gaps at the eastern corner where the Black Stone, which pilgrims kiss,
is exposed and the southern corner with the Yamani Stone, which they
touch in passing as they perform the tawaf, or sevenfold circuit of the
sanctuary along a road which surrounds the Kaaba. Next to the Kaaba is
the Zamzam, a holy well used for religious and medicinal purposes.
The custody of the Kaaba has been keenly sought in the Islamic world.
In the fifth century it passed to the Koreish, an ancient Bedouin tribe to
which Mohammed belonged. After acquiring the Kaaba, they became
one of the most powerful tribes in Arabia. Then in the tenth century, the
The fabric-covered Kaaba in Mecca is the
chief goal of the Moslem religion and the
site toward which the Moslems face when
praying. At the left of the Kaaba is a struc-
ture covering the sacred well, and at the
right is a large tent. (Smithsonian Institu-
tion)
9 Europe and Asia
Karmathians, an independent communist community in lower Mesopo-
tamia, after conquering all of Yemen, carried away the black stone in the
Kaaba and kept it for ten years. And as late as 1932, an Afghan attempted
to steal it.
Up until recently, there was a ban against unbelievers visiting Mecca,
but as early as the nineteenth century, the holy city was visited and
described by others, such as the explorer Sir Richard Burton, whose
tomb is a marble tent.
OLD TESTAMENT TENT MURDERS
There are two tent murders in the Old Testament and both of them were
committed by women against army generals - Judith killed Holofernes
and Jael killed Sisera.
The Old Testament book of Judith probably was written by a Palestinian
before 100 B.C., although some scholars date it later. It tells of an attack
on the Jews by an army led by the Assyrian general Holofernes. Bethulia,
a besieged Jewish city, is about to surrender when Judith, a beautiful
widow of the tribe of Simeon, appears on the scene. Wearing rich attire,
she goes over to the hostile camp, where she is conducted to the general,
whose suspicions are disarmed by the tales she invents. After four days,
Holofernes is smitten with her and, at the close of a sumptuous enter-
tainment, invites her to stay the night with him in his tent. When Holo-
fernes falls asleep, Judith takes his sword, beheads him, and gives the
head to her maid. Both leave the camp (as they had previously done,
ostensibly for prayer) and return to Bethulia with their trophy. After great
rejoicing the Israelites rally against and defeat the enemy. The story is
told with a spirit of God's interest in His people and Judith is portrayed
as a woman of great self-sacrifice, courage, and nobility.
The story of Jael and Sisera is found in Judges 4:18-24. Sisera was a
Canaanite captain who was warring with the children of Israel. Deborah,
a prophetess, was judging the Israelites at that time. She and Barak, a
leader from northern Canaan, routed Sisera and his army. Sisera left his
chariot and fled on foot. Barak pursued his army and put them all to the
sword.
Meanwhile, Sisera came upon the tent of Jael. "And Jael came out to
meet Sisera, and said to him, 'Turn aside, my Lord, turn aside to me;
have no fear.' So he turned aside to her into the tent, and she covered
him with a rug. And he said to her, 'Pray, give me a little water to drink;
for I am thirsty.' So she opened a skin of milk and gave him a drink and
covered him. And he said to her, 'Stand at the door of the tent, and if
any man comes and asks you, "Is anyone here?" say, No.' But Jael the
wife of Heber took a tent peg, and took a hammer in her hand, and went
softly to him and drove the peg into his temple, till it went down into
the ground, as he was lying fast asleep from weariness. So he died. And
behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael went out to meet him, and said to
Tomb of Sir Richard Francis Burton (1821-
1890), English explorer, writer, and linguist.
Burton was one of the first Westerners to
journey to Mecca and Medina and his travel
writings and translations (especially the six-
teen volumes of the Arabian Nights) are re-
markable works. His wife, Isabelle, was as
Christian as Burton was not. Upon his
death, she had extreme unction performed
on his body, then she took his priceless
unpublished works into the garden and
burned them because she felt they were
blasphemous. It is surprising that she would
allow not only her husband but also her-
self to be buried in this tent tomb. (Man-
sell Collection, London)
judith, the jewish heroine, seduced and de-
capitated the Assyrian general Holofernes
and saved her people. This painting by Man-
tegna, done around 1495, shows judith plac-
ing her grisly trophy in her maidservant's
bag in order to carry it from the camp. (Na-
tional Gallery of Art, Widener Collection)
10 The Tent in History
him, 'Come, and I will show you the man whom you are seeking.' So he
went in to her tent; and there lay Sisera dead, with the tent peg in his
temple."
ANCIENT MILITARY TENTS
Assyrian
Tents have been used by armies in all ages. The earliest renderings of
tents are the ancient Assyrian bas-reliefs dating from around 700 B.C.
They were discovered by Sir Austen Henry Layard at Nineveh (Iraq)
between 1842 and 1851. The forms of tent and tent furnishings are similar
to those which still prevail in the East, and it appears that then as now,
when possible, it was a custom to pitch tents within the walls of a city.
These early Assyrian tents show an affinity to earlier tree-supported tents.
Greek
One of the earliest descriptions of Greek military tents is that of Homer,
who described the tent of Achilles in detail. In actuality this "lofty tent"
was more a wooden hut covered with reeds "collected from the marshy
shore." Homer mentions also that the soldiers in the encampment had
skin-covered tents.
The tents of the Macedonians were small, supplying only a necessary
covering when needed for two soldiers. These skin tents could also be
bundled up and used in fording rivers and were similar to the tente
d'abri ("tent of cover"), which has passed down through the ages and is
still used today. The simplest tentes d'abri are improvised by fastening
together skins, blankets, or waterproof sheets over a stick. The larger
ones consist of a rope stretched over poles and fixed into the ground,
over which canvas is thrown and pegged into the earth on each side so
as to fo rm a low ridge.
The tents of Greek commanders were pitched in the center of the
camp and consisted usually of two chambers - one for sleeping and
one for receiving company. The pavilion of Alexander the Great, how-
ever, was enormous and resplendent (as described in the fifteen books
of the Deipnosophists of Athenaeus). Eight pillars gilded with gold sup-
ported a roof emblazoned with designs. In the center was a throne of
gold from which judgments were delivered. Five hundred bodyguards,
or armed court attendants, clothed in magnificent gold-embroidered
attire, surrounded the interior entrances and no unauthorized person
could enter without complying with strict court regulations. The pavilion
is said to have been one of the most fabulous ever seen.
In 324 B.C., a year before his death, Alexander married the daughter of
Darius and married off eighty of his chief officers and friends to girls
from the highest ranking families in Persia. A marriage tent was erected
for the festivities, which lasted five days- The tent was supported by fifty
thirty-foot columns of gold and silver and was huge enough to accom-
Jael, another Jewish heroine, drives a tent
stake through the head of the Canaanite
captain Sisera, her guest. As is common in
many renderings of biblical and other an-
cient scenes, the tents are of the same pe-
riod as the artist, in this case the fifteenth-
century Master of Flemalle.
This Assyrian bas-relief shows a cross sec-
tion of a tent that an Assyrian officer has
entered. Food is being offered him by a
slave and another slave is folding down
the bed. A waterbag hangs from the ridge-
pole. In the adjoining tent a butcher pre-
pares a carcass. Above, left, a man reaches
into a deep cylindrical vessel. Outside the
tents are animals, including two camels, and
at the top is a defensive wall with bastions.
This representation probably belongs to the
Elamite campaigns of Ashurbanipal (668-633
B.C.), then King of Assyria. (Photo: Foto
Marburg, from Berlin VA)
11 Eu rope and Asia
modate a hundred couches and 9000 guests. The tent walls were hung
with tapestries of mythological scenes. A ceremonial dais draped with
gold brocade rested on fifty columns of silver and vermillion. In the back
of the tent there were ninety-two sumptuous nuptial chambers. The tent
itself covered four stadia and was later dubbed the Cosmic Tent or World
Tent of Alexander, so called because the inside of its domed roof was
woven, painted, and brocaded with sun, moon, stars, and all the signs
and deities of the heavens. This design was adapted by Nero and the
Byzantine emperors as a symbol of their imperial power.
In the Greek military encampment, veteran soldiers were placed at the
extremities, therefore guarding the weaker, less-experienced soldiers
and the commander or king. When the Greeks stayed long in one spot,
shrines and altars were erected to their gods and holy services were
performed.
Unlike the Roman encampment, which always followed a set arrange-
ment, the Greek pattern varied from state to state, leader to leader, and
place to place. And while the Roman camp was strictly quadrangular, the
Greek camp was sometimes circular.
In the East, in almost all forms of encampment - the nomad, traveling,
and military - the circular arrangement has always been preferred.
When Alexander the Great invaded Persia,
King Darius III underestimated Alexander's
strength and was defeated by him (331 B.C.) .
Darius fled and was later murdered during
a struggle for power among the Persians.
This highly stylized engraving after a sev-
enteenth-century painting shows Alexander
pardoning the family of Darius in the en-
trance to their tent. (Courtesy Prints Divi-
sion, New York Public Library)
12 The Tent in History
Roman
Much more information exists on the Roman military tent and encamp-
ment. Fragments of ancient Roman leather tents have been found in this
century and records and accounts that have provided us with much
valuable information still exist. Also, renderings of Roman tents appear
on the columns of Antonius and Trajan, which stand in Rome and were
erected to record the military victories of the two emperors. The tents
on Trajan's Column are of three types - those of the rank and file, the
officers, and the commanders.
Our word tent is also derived from the Latin tentus, meaning
"stretched," and a tentorium or tabernaculum was a tent or pavilion. The
Latin phrase sub pellibus, "under skins," used by Cicero and many
others, has been proven beyond doubt to be the equivalent of our
expression "under canvas."
The common tent of the legionnaires was called a papilio after the
butterflies they resembled when the flaps were open and the valances
were lifted up and because the tent was unpacked and spread out from
a long roll that resembled a caterpillar. Figure 3 shows a papilio, which
was made of rectangular pieces of leather sewn together in prominent
seams. Along the edges at each end was a narrow reinforcing, as well as
weatherproofing, piece running down each slope, and under that and
attached to it were the tent flaps. These tents covered a ten-by-ten-foot
area plus another two feet for the guy ropes, called incrementum ten-
surae. The floors were strewn with newly mown grass or straw on which
eight soldiers slept.
The tent fragments found in Great Britain were originally papilio and
it is interesting to note that calfskin was used. This is probably because
these skins are stronger and more pliable: a tent of this material would
have been easier to handle than one of cowhide. Also noteworthy is the
Roman soldier's papilio
Roman officers' tents from Trajan's Col-
umn, 113 A. . D.
13 Europe and Asia
fact that skin, like wood, has a grain or strain factor. A skin, in order to
allow for growth and respiration, is more elastic in the direction of its
width and the leather used in these papilio has been incorporated into
the structure of the tent in such a way as to make use of this quality for
a stronger tent. These pieces of calfskin were stitched together in elab-
orate waterproof welted seams and special knots and stitching provided
greater strength in the parts of the tent that took on more stress and
strain. Also, the leather was always applied with the external skin outward
and pile, velvet, or the internal side inward.
The officers' tent was a taller structure, rather along the lines of a
garden tent. Made of the same joined rectangles of leather, this tent had
an elaborate overfall. Loops were attached to the overfall, and guy ropes
passed through those loops and supported the tent. Leather flaps which
could be tied aside provided access to the tents. The floors were covered
with sod and furnishings such as dining tables and couches were con-
tained within.
The commander's tent was always pitched first. This tent was larger
still and had a marquee of the same kind as the officers - leather roof
with an overfall to which guy ropes were attached. But the sides of these
tents were of cloth, no doubt to make them easy to transport. These
tents dwarfed the others in the encampment - Livy describes one like
it as being 200 feet square. Altars stood before these tents, which have
been compared to temples. Julius Caesar's tent contained a mosaic floor
of portable sections and Emperor Nero's magnificent octagonal tent
broke away from the traditional rectangular design.
A French rendering of a Roman encamp-
ment showing tents and armies, as far as
the eye can see, under the protectioo of
Minerva in her chariot drawn by two
s c r ~ e c h owls. The uniforms are Roman ;
the tents belong to the 1600s.
14 The Tent in History
The Roman encampment was a highly organized fortification. An ad-
vance guard would choose the site and, with a white flag, mark the
location of the general ' s quarters. Then, using that as a reference point,
flags of various colors and designs would be placed to mark that portion
of ground assigned to the various legions. When the army assembled on
the spot, the boundary was established and, while part of the troops
stood watch, the others dug a defensive ditch and made an earth wall
atop which was a palisade of freshly cut trees. The arrangement of the
tents very seldom varied and the trenches were dug, the mounds built
up, and the trees felled even if this was only a one-night stop. Legion-
naires sometimes referred to themselves as " Marius' mules" and it
was no wonder. After a days' march, laden with more than eighty
pounds of equipment (including weapons, armor, cooking utensils, tents
or tent stakes, a spade, ax, and food), they had to prepare a fortified
camp.
The British army used the same plan for military encampments that the
Romans brought to Britain, and now this plan lives on in the armies that
obtained the plan from Great Britain during British occupation. See the
1
2
3 4
5 6
10
D
11
praetorian gate
op ace en sp
mark for et
or
vi viera 5
1 I
G
11
open space where altars were
erected and sacrifices offered
decuman gate
1
2
4 3
6 5
10
Q)
~
00
Roman camp
1. Detachment of allied infantry called Ex-
traordinarii . 2. Detachment of allied cavalry
called Extraordinarii . 3. Select infantry.
4. Select cavalry. 5. Veteran infantry.
6. Veteran cavalry. 7. Tent of the lieuten-
ant-generals. 8. Tent of the praetorium or
general ' s tent. 9. Questorium or treasury.
10. Praefects of the allied. 11 . Trubunes of
the legions. 12. Allied. 13. Legionary.
14. Roman legionary. 15. Cavalry - Triarii.
16. Principes - Hastati. 17. Cavalry -In-
fantry. 18. Cavalry - Infantry.
19. Principes - Hastati. 20. Cavalry - Tri-
arii . 21 . Roman legionary. 22. Legionary .
23. Allied
rampart and ditch
15 Europe and Asia
drawing of the layout of the Roman camp and the photo of the British
encampment on page 14, and note the similarity.
It is strictly an assumption on the part of historians, but the Apostle
Paul was supposedly a maker of tents for the Roman cavalry. Acts 18:1-
3 states, "He left Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a Jew named
Aquila, a native of Pontus . . . because Claudius had commanded all the
Jews to leave Rome. And he went to see them; and because he was of
the same trade he stayed with them, and they worked, for by trade they
were tentmakers."
ROYAL TENTS OF ISLAM
Tents of the royalty in the Middle Eastern empires were sumptuously
bedecked with colorful precious materials and their interiors were os-
tentatiously furnished with the spoils of war. Court l u ~ u r i e s were trans-
ported about from site to site as the armies traveled so that all the
comforts and pleasures of the home court were available. For example,
the Persians even carried about boilers to set up hot baths for themselves
while in transit.
Persian Tents
Persian tent encampments changed very little in arrangement and ap-
pearance from the time of Darius (333 B.C.) until late in the nineteenth
An attack by Kublai Khan is described by the
explorer Marco Polo in book II, chapter I,
of his thirteenth-century manuscript: " They
ascended the hill with alacrity the next
morning and presented themselves before
the army of Nayan, which they found neg-
ligently posted .. . whilst the chief himself
was asleep in his tent accompanied by one
of his wives. " The tents are European, not
Asian. (Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris)
The elephant litter of Kublai Khan, thir-
teenth-century Chinese. Three elephants
sheathed in armor were roped together and
atop them was placed a huge litter with a
tent top. Four men managed the elephants
and the litter carried at least sixteen to
twenty men.
A depiction of the fabled Ghenghis Khan' s
yurt. It has all the sumptuous embroidered
and appliqued drapings and hangings (and
draped stake fence) suited to the opulent
character of the Khans.
16 The Tent in History
century. The king's tent was the focal point and all other tents and
structures were pitched so that every entrance faced the imperial pavil-
ion. Every person - and some encampments numbered 80,000 soldiers
and camp followers - was required to bow to the central tent as they
exited from their own. Princes' tents were distinguished from those of
the viziers and officers by ser-perdeh (or royal curtain screens). Tent
entrance trappings, such as long upright spears for the horsemen and
matchlocks for the infantry, signaled their position in the political and
military hierarchy.
liThe besotted Iranian camp attacked." Here
the Turanians overcome the Iranians in a
night-time surprise attack. The Iranians had
been making merry and had posted no
guards. Two thirds of their army was de-
stroyed. The faces of many of the soldiers
are caricatures of universal types, adding
comic touches to the tragedy depicted. This
painting is from the Shah-Nameh of Shah
Tahmasp (liKing's Book of Kings") from the
first quarter of the sixteenth century. The
tents are superbly decorated yurts, which
were brought to t he Middle East by the in-
vading Mongols in the twelfth and thir-
teenth centuries. (Metropolitan Museum of
Art)
"Majunn in Chains Brought by a Beggar
Woman to Layla's Tent." This is a scene
from the Persian version of Romeo and
Juliet where the lovers have resorted to
disguises in order to see each other: here
the man is the mad beggar in chains.
These paintings were so meticulously done
in regard to details of everyday life that
they are a rich source for historical facts.
Portable black shepherds' tents are at top
with more commodious and decorated
residential tents below. (From the Khamsa
of Nizami Royal Safavid Manuscript of the
sixteenth century, attributed to Mir Sayyid'
Ali, British Museum)
17 Eu rope and Asia
Of course, the shah's tent was the most magnificent of all. For example,
Nadir Shah, who ruled from 1736 to 1747, lined the exterior of his tent
with fine scarlet fabric and the interior with purple satin encrusted with
pearls, diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and amethysts. These jewels de-
picted figures of all the flora and fauna of the world. His tent poles were
similarly inlaid with precious gems as was the set of standing screens
surrounding his peacock throne. The whole dismantled tent required
seven elephants to transport it. The seven-piece roof fit into two chests
carried by one elephant, the screen required another, and the gold tent
pins, jeweled poles, and interior furnishing loaded down five other el-
ephants.
Turkish Tents
Prior to the fifteenth century, rulers such as the Ottoman sultans of
Turkey and the Negus of Ethiopia maintained power by governing from
encampments that were constantly on the move. Though some of these
encampments had walls or buildings for harem, nursery, or kitchen, the
capital itself was the tents of the monarch and his infantry.
Tents of the Turkish sultans were equally colorful and magnificent as
those of the Persians. The tent of Sultan Mahomet IV (c. 1163 A.D.) not
only was covered with silk inside and out but also featured gold em-
broidery on the interior lining (to go with his gold-plated tent posts
naturally). The interior arrangement was much like a modern apartment
with lodgings for all ranks and chambers for pleasure. There was also a
tent for the eunuchs. One of the Turkish tents in Mahomet's encamp-
ment, made in Persia as a gift for the sultan, was said to have taken four
years to construct. It was lined with a single piece of woven camel's hair
and beautifully decorated with festoons and Turkish script.
Turkish Tents in Poland
From the fifteenth through the seventeenth centuries, Poland was more
or less constantly fighting the Turks and the Muscovites. The highly
efficient Islamic armies forced the Poles to develop and adapt their own
fighting techniques, armor, and equipment to match. Poland as the
"rampant of Christendom" withheld the Moslem expansion into Europe
and at the same time absorbed the Eastern styles. All the trade routes
going to the East led through Poland, and commercial trade resulted in
an Orientalization of Polish culture that shaped the artistic tastes of the
Poles for generations to come. The war booty and trade goods brought
back included textiles, carpets, weaponry, pottery, spices, goldsmiths'
products, and precious stones - all of which affected art, fashions,
military science and equipment, music, horse breeding, and many other
aspects of Polish life.
Sixteenth-century Turkish military tents are
seen in this detail from the mural The Siege
of the Battery of St. Elmo, May 27, 1565.
These tents are along the lines of the west-
ern European tents of the period, except
that they are decorated in the Eastern styles
that prevailed. (Frescoes, Grand Master's
Palace, Val etta)
18 The Tent in History
This is a two-poled Turkish oval tent pitched
in the Wawel Museum in Poland (opposite
page). It was taken as war booty in the
seventeenth century by Polish armies. It
measures 44 x 10112 feet. Although the ex-
terior is plain, the interior is blue canvas
decorated with a mosaic of multicolored
satin, canvas, and leather appliques. Also
note that the designs on the tent walls are
repeated directly above on the tent top.
The wall decorations (see this page) con-
sist of a row of Mooresque arcades with
medallions growing out of vases and orna-
mented with sprays of blooming flowers.
The cartouches on the walls contain Sulus
script invocations from the Koran in gilded
leather. The diagonally striped flounce
barely visible at the bottom is three-col-
ored. These patterns closely resemble
those on the walls of Oriental palaces of
the same period. (Wawel Museum, Kra-
kow, Poland)
19 Eu rope and Asia
20 The Tent in History
It was from Persia that the greatest variety of construction and deco-
ration of tents was available. At the battle of Vienna in 1683, several
hundred tents were captured, making Poland the second largest repos-
itory of Turkish tents, after Turkey itself. The various structural styles
were related to function: round or polygonal tents with umbrella-shaped
roofs and oblong ones with rectangular walls and ridge or flat roofs were
used as stables, stores, or dining rooms for the army; square tents like
throne canopies with side walls were used for official purposes; the
spectacular ovals were used for councils of war and ceremonial occa-
sions; and garden tents with draped curtains instead of walls were used
for shade on very hot days. Special-occasion tents (for parades, mon-
archs, and so on) often had antechambers. The tent floors were covered
with rugs, skins, or boards. Lamps and lanterns provided lighting, and
European additions included windowpanes, candelabra, and furniture.
The tents themselves were made of thick (musulbas) , laced together
by ropes, and supported by poles ending in gilded balls. Although plain
on the exterior, on the inside they were decorated with an elaborate
wealth of applique of glossy satin, velvet, cotton, linen, and gilded
leather, all overlaid with detailed embroidery. In the seventeenth century
the overall desired impression was that of a garden in the palace, and
this was achieved through naturalistic renderings of arcades over lamps,
medallions, and vases overlaid with complex flower and plant patterns.
Twelve of these tents exist today in the Wawel Museum in Krakow,
Poland.
Moroccan Tents
The tents of Moroccan royalty also varied little between the eleventh and
nineteenth centuries. The king's scarlet tent called the siwan had a
golden orb on top and was always the first to be set up. No other
structure in the camp was raised until this task was accomplished. Then
a mosque tent and other large marquees for high officials (often joined
by passages of covered canvas), the royal stables, and siwan were en-
closed within an area of about an acre with a nine-foot-high white canvas
wall decorated with dark blue designs. The tents of the rest of the king's
followers were packed snugly together outside the wall, extending in
every direction. They were arranged so close that only a few spaces were
left open for camp exits.
Although the majority of his retinue had white tents, the total effect
was no less grand than those of the Turkish and Persian camps. Vast
quantities of brilliant silken banners brocaded with golden orbs, multi-
colored saddles, ornately decorated horse coverings and trappings, scar-
let and blue infantry uniforms, the imperial parisols of red and gold, and
the nighttime lanterns of colored glass created a theater of color. Stand-
ard bearers, acrobats, snake charmers, men with performing
robed scholars, visiting tribesmen, slaves, dervishes, beggars, mer-
chants, and lepers made up the vast cast of actors.
21 Europe and Asia
Tents erected for the circumcision fete of
the son of the Grand Vizir in Constantino-
ple in 1864. Photo below shows the Grand
Vizir's personal tent used to receive
guests. The larger tent was used for the
actual ceremony itself, which was a great
occasion with much celebration. (Illus-
trated London News)
From Graphic, published in 1877 by illus-
trated Newspapers, Ltd. , this picture is en-
titled "The Eastern Question - Taking Tick-
ets in the Harem" and was "sketched by our
special artist on the steamer from Constan-
tinople to Varna." A simple tent has been
erected to provide shelter for the women of
a sultan's harem. An attendant collects tick-
ets and the curious passengers look on.
22 The Tent in History
SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY HUNTING TENTS OF THE INDIAN
SERAGLIO
Hunting parties of the seventeenth-century Indian sultans were divided
up into two separate camps called Peiche-kanes ("houses which pre-
cede"). One of them kept a constant distance of one day' s journey in
advance of the other. This was done so that at the end of each day's
hunting a fully prepared camp was always ready for the ruler. Each camp
required at least 60 elephants, 200 camels, 100 mules, and 100 porters to
transport it. The elephants carried the largest tents and heavy poles, the
camels bore the smaller tents, and the mules took the luggage and
kitchen tools. The valuable light items, such as the royal porcelain din-
nerware, gilt-painted beds, and precious furnishings, were entrusted to
the porters. The king traveled on men's shoulders in a field throne, by
elephant, or, weather permitting, on horseback. The lords usually trav-
eled stretched out on a bed in a palanquin. Sleeping at ease until they
reached their tents, when they arrived an excellent dinner was awaiting
them since the kitchen and every necessary article had been sent forward
the preceding night immediately after supper. Sixty or more elephants
carried the various ladies of the court who were protected by eunuchs.
The largest tent (called the Am-kas), which was a two-story pavilion,
was erected first on the highest platform. It was used for conducting
affairs of state. The second one up, a smaller bathing tent (the gosle-
kane), was where the king held court every night. The third tent sheltered
the privy council, and the rest serviced the attendants, royal ladies, and
their domestics.
The royal tent fabric was a coarse striped red cloth with an interior
lining of hand-painted chintz ornamented with satin and embroidery of
silk, silver, and gold with fringes on the edges. The ground was covered
with cotton mats about three or four inches deep and then blanketed
with a rich carpet topped with brocaded cushions for seating. The king
gave audiences on a magnificent stage seated under a velvet or flowered
silk canopy. Other royal tents had similar canopies and also lightweight
screen like booths called karguas lined with flowered stain or brocade
with gold and silk fringes.
Outside the enclosed imperial square smaller squares with tents
housed the lesser rajas and omras, who prided themselves on the lofti-
ness of their tents but had to make sure their tents were not conspicuous
enough for the king to notice and, therefore, to command that their
tents be torn down. For that reason too, their tents could not be red as
that was the color reserved for the king.
Beyond the rajas and omras were tents for officers, other attendants,
stables, and a traveling zoo. The procession brought along its own prized
animals: bi rds of prey for show and field sports, dogs, leopards for
hunting antelopes, a species of elk, lions and rhinoceros for display,
Bengali buffaloes to attack lions, and fighting antelopes for the enter-
tainment of the king. Market bazaars for supplying the needs of the
troops were laid out in a wide road through the army in the direction of
the next day's travel. Moreover, guards were posted every 500 feet
23 Europe and Asia
around the whole encampment for robbers were always a threat to this
extravagant procession.
CHINESE TENTS (C. 1700)
Emperors' Tents
The emperor and attendants employed the round yurt and cagelike tents
similar to those used by Tatar tribes during the yearly hunting expedi-
tions. However, the military used a small marching tent.
Chinese Military Tents
From outward appearances, this tent was a tente d'abri (see page 31).
However, the Chinese made it quite complex structurally and much work
went into erecting it. For this small tent with a height of five feet, five
inches, a length of fourteen feet and width of six feet, a framework of
eleven pieces and eighty tent pins were required.
The covering fabric was supported by a wooden top piece consisting
of two vertical poles connected with a horizontal ridge piece with nine
holes in it. Then a nine-piece framework fitted into corresponding sock-
ets was locked in place by iron pipes. Finally the strong linen canvas
(about 105 square feet) was stretched over the sloping roof frame and
was attached to the ground and along its edges by bark rope loops
pegged by large wooden pins.
The tent entrances at both ends had triangu lar cu rtains fitted with
loops and were made from seven narrow strips of joined canvas. The
largest strip was seven feet in height and they progressively decreased
in size down to two inches tall. Plain blue linen lined the interior and
the tent poles carried ornamental shaped iron crowns. The total weight
of the tent hardware and accessories (an ax, spade, shovel, hammer, and
camp kettle) was seventeen pounds.
,
Chinese painting from an early Ming (Iate-
fourteenth-century) handscroll showing the
pavilion of a Chinese nobleman. The main
tent is a yurt and the lattice wall can be seen
inside both the yurt and the tent at far right.
Though austere, this encampment has a
dignity about it, with its curtained wall and
canopy - probably of silk - under which
the nobleman held court. (Metropolitan
Museum of Art)
24 The Tent in History
This Chinese soldiers' tent was used in the
1800s. Eighty pins were required to join
and peg it. Pitching this one was a real un-
dertaking. (From Godfrey Rhodes, Tents
and Tent Life, 1858)
The Chinese Emperor Ch'ien Lung is carried
forth to meet Lord Macartney (at far right),
who was sent to China by George III in an
attempt by the British to ease trade restric-
tions imposed by the emperor on the British
East India Company September 14, 1793.
Macartney refused to kowtow to the Em-
peror and only in an informal setting such
as in front of this gaily decorated tent
could this breach of court etiquette be
made acceptable to the Chinese. (British
Museum)
Chinese "Temple of Heaven," 1877. The
plan of the temple complex generally re-
sembled that of an imperial palace with the
architectural character varying according to
region. The temple shown here is a raised
circular terrace, with descending levels and
various gateway buildings built along the
main axes radiating out from the center cir-
cle (see upper right). The ornate canopy is
for shade as well as for decorative purposes.
(From William Simpson's Meeting the Sun,
1877)
25 Europe and Asia
EUROPEAN TENTS
British Tents
Early Anglo-Saxon soldiers' tents were made merely of cloth or leather
strung on ropes stretched over the tops of long poles and were anchored
by wooden hooks driven into the soil. Their sloped roofs shed the rain
and some even had doors at their entrances.
By the time of Edward II's expedition to Scotland in 1301 A.D. tent fabric
was made of white and dyed linen. Fourteenth-century tournament tents
of the nobility were richly colored, emblazoned with coats of arms, and
often had turret or garret-shaped windows in their roofs. The tents of
Edward III are described as beautifully decorated, lofty, circular, and
bell-shaped with a circular ring about two-thirds up the height onto
which outside ropes were anchored to the ground. The king's tent re-
sembled the nineteenth-century hospital tent except that its walls were
twice as high and ended with a brief sloping top.
In the fifteenth century Henry V used a large blue and green embroi-
dered velvet tent with a gold eagle on top as a rendezvous shelter when
negotiating with the French king for a favorable marriage settlement to
obtain the hand of the French princess Catherine. His future father-in-
This eighteenth-century engraving is one of
a series depicting the victories of the
Chinese Emperor Ch'ien Lung. The wall of
the encampment is formed by a circular tent
structure, and within townspeople are seen
paying tribute to the emperor. (Engraving
by C. N. Cochin from Victoires et conquetes
de f' empereur de fa Chine, Paris, 1770-74.
Prints Division, New York Public Library)
26 The Tent in History
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I 1-1cnOl( pC", .1lhlHt count fCUl'\
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flit
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folltlC . (XHlf (((I. CVtl>}tllr; f't<
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Fourteenth- and fifteenth-century tents
Tents with conical tops were widely used
during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
This fifteenth-century miniature shows the
Crusaders besieging Moslem Ascalon on
the coast of the Holy Land. The weaponry
shown here, such as the bombards or prim-
itive cannons, are of a later period.
Tents were sited to take advantage of the
natural resources and defenses of the ter-
rain. In a siege they were often pitched near
to the enemy walls, and could still be out
of range of the cannon, which in those days
could not fire more than 300 yards. (Biblio-
theque Nationale Service Photographique,
Ms. Fr. 5594)
Twelfth-century French military tent. Tents
of this and the next few centuries were the
most superbly decorated in European his-
tory since the Dark Ages. (Eugene Emman-
uel Viollet-Le-Duc, Dictionnaire raisonne de
mobifier fram;ais de L'epoque Carlo in-
gienne a fa Renaissance, 1858-75)
27 Eu rope and Asia
law countered with a pavilion of blue velvet embroidered with fleurs-de-
Iys. The counselors for the two parties met in a purple velvet tent be-
tween the two camps.
Field of the Cloth of Gold
The idea of a summit meeting in June 1520 between Henry VIII and
Francis I was considered a turning point in relations between Great
Britain and France. Up until then the two monarchs had never met and
rivalry and suspicion prevailed between the two countries. The meeting
was to be a combination political conference, athletic meeting with tour-
naments, jousting, and wrestling, and a festival of music and drums,
topped off with a series of state banquets. So rich were the costumes
and pavilions of both courts that the meeting was dubbed "Field of the
Cloth of Gold" and hailed as the eighth wonder of the world.
Five thousand one hundred and seventy-two English men and women
and 2865 horses crossed the channel to Calais, traveled to Ardres, and
spent a month. The monarchs were housed in a large temporary palace
of brick and timber and the chief cou rtiers were put up in nearby GUlnes
Castle. The others were accommodated in an encampment of nearly 400
tents that Richard Gibson, "Master of the King's Hales, Tents, and Pavil-
ions," had erected in nearby fields. Gibson's tour de force was a vast,
Left: liThe Lady with the Unicorn: Amon
seul desir (tapestry detail). (Musee de
Cluny, Paris)
Tents with dormer windows appeared late
in the fourteenth century and disappeared
shortly thereafter. These two drawings show
tents erected at tournament sites . Top
photo shows two contestants being
blessed by monks before entering into ju-
dicial combat . (From Barfields Historical il-
lustrations, 1938) Bottom photo shows the
feat of arms at a tournament held at In-
glevere, near Calais. (Art Journal, 1868)
28 The Tent in History
highly ornate banqueting tent, covered outside with cloth painted to
look like brickwork and decorated inside with gold and silver cloth,
interlaced with white and green, the Tudor colors. It was compared to
the work of Leonardo da Vinci, who had died at Amboise, France, the
year before, and the fairy-tale palaces of Ariosto's Orlando Furioso.
Henry's tent, called the "Royal Encampment Tent," was constructed
by joining together several large hospital-type tents which were con-
nected by canvas passages at half the height of the tents. The complex
was in crimson silk embroidered with gold and crimson and ornamented
with fringe. His inscription, which ran completely around the tent in gold
letters, read: "DEO:ET:MON:DROET. SEMPER: VIVAT: IN CAETERUS," etc.
The meeting was not entirely a success. As an act of friendship both
men had sworn not to shave their beards until the meeting had taken
place, but Henry shaved his because his number-one wife Catherine of
Aragon didn't like him unshaven (but he was readily forgiven by the
queen mother of France who said love was shown in men's hearts and
not in their beards). While en route to France Henry aroused French
suspicion by meeting at Dover with Charles V of Spain, who was pre-
paring for war with France. Though it was agreed the monarchs would
not take part in any joust or combat against the other, once, on the spur
of the moment, Henry wrestled with Francis, ended up on the ground,
and didn't like it - though Henry later acquitted himself well in the
archery contest. To commemorate the meeting a chapel of Our Lady of
Friendship was to be built and jointly maintained by the kings; it was
never built. A marriage between Mary Tudor and the dauphin was ar-
ranged but never materialized. And during the solemn mass at noon on
Saturday, June 23, fireworks in the shape of a dragon, intended for the
evening's festivities, were accidentally exploded. By 1522 Henry and Fran-
cis were supporting opposing sides in the Hapsburg-Valois struggle and
were right back where they started. Still, the tents of this conference are
the most splendid of the Renaissance, and the Field of the Cloth of Gold
remains one of the most fabulous encampments ever.
A drawing of some of the 400 tents erected
for the Field of the Cloth of Golef. (British
Museum)
Field of the Cloth of Gold, where Henry VIII
and Francis I held a summit meeting in
June 1520. (By Gracious Permission of Her
Majesty Queen Elizabeth II)
29 Europe and Asia
French Tents
A fourteenth-century tent of the duke of Burgundy was made of wooden
planks covered with painted canvas and shaped to look like a castle
flanked by towers. Another made of 30,100 ells (37,625 yards) of fabric
was built to cover a palace courtyard in Dijon at a fete given for the king
and his court, since no hall was large enough to accommodate all the
guests. Afterward the fabric was cut up and sold. At a peace conference
in 1393, his retinue of 3000 was arranged in lines of tents forming a village
with streets. By the fifteenth century the tents of the duke of Burgundy
reached heights of grandeur with exteriors of colored canvas and inte-
riors lined with velvet and silk curtains embroidered with golden leaves.
The window frames and the duke's throne were of solid gold and the
rope stays supporting his tent had gold cords woven into them. The coat
of arms over the entrance was appropriately inlaid with diamonds, pearls,
and other jewels. Four hundred other grand tents of the nobles were
situated around his. On March 2, 1476, the tents of Charles the Bold,
then duke of Burgundy, fell into the hands of the Swiss after the Battle
of Grandson. Tents were always considered prize booty, and those of
the duke of Burgundy were the ultimate in loot.
French military tents of the eighteenth century were single pole struc-
tures made from one piece of canvas and sheltered six to eight soldiers.
Officers had larger pavilion-shaped tents called marquees, which had
bases of six to eight feet and horizontal ridge poles atop two vertical
stakes. These were covered with both a canvas roof and inner lining and
Excellent example of fifteenth-century tents.
Guy ropes branching into five parts distrib-
uted the pull on the eaves of the tent and
were typical of that period. The scene here
shows " D ~ s i r seeking help from Honneur
to rescue Coeur" from the Livre de Coeur
d'Amour Esprins, a chivalric tale from an il-
lustrated manuscript of the fifteenth cen-
tury. (State Library of Vienna)
A Venetian tent, probably fifteenth-century.
This striped yard tent was designed with
weights suspended from the unattached
sides in order to stabilize them. The occu-
pant could enjoy unobstructed views and
breezes and feel more outdoors, while still
being protected from sun and rain . (From
Repository of Arts, Literature, Commerce,
Manufactures, Fashions, and Politics, a,
monthly publication by Ackerman, London,
April 1820: title varies)
Venetian galley with a tent. Tents were
often used aboard ship as seen on the af-
terdeck of the Venetian sailing galley be-
low. Frameworks were usually constructed
when the ship was built and canvas could
be stretched over this when protection
from the elements was needed. (Detail
from a fifteenth-century woodcut by Bern-
hard von Breydenbach which appears in
his book Peregrinatio in Terram Sanctam)
30 The Tent in History
View of Strasbourg in 1744, showing the ar-
rival of Louis XV by the Porte de Severne.
The engraving is by M. Mavye after a draw-
ing by J. M. Weiss. These giant tents were
June 25, 1807, a defeated Tsar Alexander I
meets Napoleon (the shorter monarch)
aboard a lavishly decorated barge moored
midstream near Tilsit in the Neman River,
which separated Western Russia from Na-
set up for the nobility to review the royal
procession as it approached the city. (Col-
lection of Raymond Prestia)
poleonic Europe. The Emperors talked
alone for some three hours, and Napoleon
later wrote that if the t sar " were a woman,
I think I would make him my mi stress."
(New York Publi c Library Prints Division)
Wandering Gypsies in France. Camp has
been made under the light ofthe full moon.
After supper, the women spread out woolen
cloth over the wagons, and the families
sleep inside. The next day, the cloth is taken
down, and the oxen hitched up, and the
migration continues. (Eugene Emmanuel
Viollet-Le-Duc, Histoire de I'habitation hu-
maine depues les temps prehistorique
jusqu' a nos jours, 1875)
31 Europe and Asia
"Modern Tents, " from Grose' s Military An-
tiquities of 1801. His caption reads, "Fig. 1.
A bell-tent viewed in the front. 2. The same
Grose continues, " Fig. 7. A captain's tent or
marquis with a chimney. 8. A captain's mar-
quis shown in a different point of view. 9.
seen in the rear. 3. The center pole with the
cross for supporting the arms."
A field officer' s marquis. 10. His servant's
tent in the rear."
The tente d'abri or "tent of cover" is in-
tended to serve as a temporary bivouac for
troops on the march. It consists of canvas
sheets, a few pegs, and a section of a tent
pole. In constructing a tente d'abri for six
men, four sheets button together to form
the covering and the two remaining sections
close the triangular openings at each end.
These tents have been used by soldiers of
all nations for centuries. (Godfrey Rhodes,
Tenting and Tent Life, 1858)
The Swedish employed a conical tent for
their soldiers during the nineteenth cen-
tury. The British, French, and other armies
used this style in the Crimea. Tents along
this line could not be broken down into
sections and carried like the tente d' abri;
they usually were delivered to campsites by
horse and wagon. This type of tent is easy
to pitch and its conical shape enables it to
withstand wind and shed water quite effi-
ciently. (Godfrey Rhodes, Tenting and Tent
Life, 1858)
32 The Tent in History
Allied camp on plateau before Sebastopol
in the Crimean War (1853-56). Great Britain,
France, Turkey, and later Sardinia were
fighting Russia over treaty rights of interven-
tion and protection of the Christian Holy
Places in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Gol-
gotha, all being under Turkey' s dominion at
the time. Pictured are conical military tents
commonly used in the middle of the nine-
teenth century. (Photograph by Roger
Fenton, Library of Congress)
French Officers delivering punishment to a
guilty soldier, Crimean War, 1855. Note the
striped officers' tents in background with
door flap extended and supported as and
awning. Size and splendid decoration set
apart the officers' tents of previous centu-
ries; striped fabric was the last remnant of
this tradition as modern military tents
moved into the twentieth century.
Sketch made of Queen Victoria's tent dur-
ing her visit to Derricunihy, Killarney, Ire-
land, 1861. This is the famous tent she took
with her wherever she traveled. The banner
flies from the mast, showing that Her Maj-
esty is present . (Illustrated London News
and Sketch, 1861)
33 Europe and Asia
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Ads from the Illustrated London News, late
1880s. The British developed the fly tent as
they ventured into warmer climates. The fly
acts as a sunshade and also keeps the inte-
rior dry during exceptionally heavy rainfall.
"Rot-proof" (right) refers to some of the
early treatments of canvas, such as wet-
wax, which sealed the canvas and pre-
vented mildew.
Meanwhile, back home, garden tents
(left) served the Victorians outside during
mild weather. Manufactured in various
sizes and shapes, they were usually elabo-
rately decorated.
The wet-plate cameraman at work. (From
Photography in the Field, 1853)
The wet-plate cameraman set off for field-
work with all of his elaborate apparatus, in-
cluding his darkroom tent, carried if not on
his back then by wagon or pack animal.
This engraving dates from 1863.
-
34 The Tent in History
were pegged down in the usual way. This double roof helped to water-
proof the tent and insulate it as well. Nineteenth-century military tents
were of four types: the six-man tente d'abri for temporary bivouac pro-
tection, the sixteen-man, oblong and wedge-shaped tente de troupe, the
twenty-man circular tente conique, and the twenty-man walled tente
conique a murail/e.
CORONATION DURBAR OF GEORGE V, KING OF
ENGLAND AND EMPEROR OF INDIA
In December 1911, in the old Mogul capital of Delhi , an absolutely
matchless extravaganza took place. George V, accompanied by his wife
Queen Mary, came to India to be crowned emperor of India. Undoubt-
edly the royal encampment that accommodated the monarchs was the
most splendid in the history of the Western world.
As Prince of Wales, the king had traveled to India in 1905-1906 and,
upon ascending the throne in 1910, one of his first royal decisions was
to return for a coronation durbar. (A durbar is the gathering of chiefs to
pay homage.) The king felt that his visit would " tend to allay unrest and,
I am sorry to say, seditious spirit, which unfortunately exist in some parts
of India."
There were all sorts of problems - if the king were to crown himself
emperor, would this set a precedent and then every monarch have to
follow suit? And what about a crown? The king could not take the crown
of England, which is also the crown of India, from the Tower of London
to India. So, since a new crown would have to be made, who would pay
for it? (It was finally decided that the cost would be covered by Indian
government revenue.)
The royal yacht dropped anchor in Bombay on December 2, 1911,
amidst much fanfare, and after three days in Bombay, their Majesties
boarded a train for Delhi. There they were splendidly received . Every
ruling prince of the Indian Empire was present. There were 161 in all,
each with complete retinue and regalia - elephants, camels, gold and
silver palanquins, mace bearers, bodyguards in chain-and-mail. armor,
horse-drawn drums, riflemen with ancient matchlocks and state swords
and banners, in short, all the symbols of power and sovereignty sym-
bolizing centuries of Asian history.
Some 250,000 people in all descended upon an instant imperial capital,
a tent city covering forty-five square miles, over twice the size of Man-
hattan.
There were 475 separate camps - the emperor's camp alone sprawled
over seventy-two acres and contained more than 2000 tents for 2140
people. The size of the other camps was dependent upon the rank of
the chief involved. All the maharajas encamped in competitive splendor
on plots of from 10,000 to 25,000 square yards, which housed from 100
to 500 attendants. Then there were camps for military detachments,
provincial governors, the governor-general and other dignitaries, as well
as camps for the police, the foreign office, and the massed bands.
Tent used by His Royal Highness the Prince ~
of Wales on a state visit to India in 1905-
1906. This tent was pitched in the old Mon-
gol capital of Delhi, the future site of an-
other splendid encampment in 1911 , when
the Prince returned as King George V to be
crowned emperor of India. (Library of
Congress)
A British encampment at Agra, India, 1858.
The British Army used the same plans for
military encampments that the Romans had
brought to Britain, just as today the last ves-
tiges of the British in India remain with the
Indian Army. (Illustrated London News, July
31 , 1858)
35 Europe and Asia
The Prince of Wales, who was :ater to be-
come George V of England, sits amid the
booty of an afternoon's hunt. (And one
wonders why there are so few tigers left in
India.)
The tent is the standard British fly tent.
Canvas pieces could be attached to guy
ropes supporting the fly in order to protect
the sides from the heat of the sun, as seen
on the right side of this tent. (Library of
Congress)
The drawing room tent for the Prince of
Wales. On the couch surrounding tent
poles, left, and table in foreground are cop-
ies of newspapers (top newspaper, far left,
is the Bombay Gazette), candelabra at-
tached to poles and chandeliers provided
illumination. Also note fireplace with clock
atop mantel left of center. (Library of Con-
gress)
36 The Tent in History
This photograph of the 1911 Delhi Corona-
tion Durbar was taken by the Underwood
and Underwood photographer from the
veranda of the viceroy' s residence. (Library
of Congress)
Queen Mary' s sitting room, Delhi camp.
When George had previously visited India
his tents were not supplied with electricity.
These in 1911 were - note the light switch
on tent pole in foreground. The floors of
the tents were made by laying planking,
then covering that with carpeting. At lower
left can be seen ridges of uneven planking.
The decorator here even had pictures hung
on the tent walls to make Her Majesty feel
more at home. (By Gracious Permission of
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II)
King George and Queen Mary in their pur-
ple, gold, and ermine imperial robes of state
(his was eighteen feet long) stand under the
homage pavilion at the Delhi Durbar. Over
150,000 attended; the effect upon the em-
peror was said to be "profound." (By Gra-
cious Permission of Her Majesty Queen Eliz-
abeth II)
37 Europe and Asia
The services were complex and extensive. There were forty-four miles
of railway line constructed with twenty-nine fully-equipped railroad sta-
tions. Within four days, 190 special trains and 256 regular trains con-
verged on the encampment; 75 million pounds of goods and 100,000
parcels were delivered. There were 2832 miles of telephone line, 1000
miles of telegraph line; a main post office with twenty-five substations
employing 700 people who handled 5.25 million pieces of mail; six major
hospitals and a veterinary hospital; fifty-two miles of water mains, sixty-
five miles of distribution pipes providing 3 million gallons per day for
people and half a million per hour for animals; a dairy with 2000 milch
cows and 500 workers producing 550,000 pounds of milk, 60,000 pounds
of butter, and 12,000 pounds of cream for the nine days. And the animals
consumed 2 billion pounds of fodder.
Their Majesties spent the five days before the durbar in diplomatic
visits. The ruling chiefs were received by the emperor in the throne room
of his pavilion. The empress received the ladies of high estate and was
presented, in true imperial fashion, with jewels and other extravagant
tributes. And there were state banquets, polo tournaments, state church
services, and an elaborate presentation of colors.
The durbar itself was held in a gigantic stadium and more than 150,000
attended. In the middle of the stadium were five levels of platforms. The
top was fifteen feet above the ground and held two gilded thrones
covered by a red and gold canopy, the roof of which was bordered with
crimson and gold velvet.
A causeway connected this pavilion to a lower one, which was the
homage pavilion onto which the emperor and empress descended from
their carriage. After much hullabaloo - gun salutes, national anthems,
speeches, and unfurling of banners - the 355 representatives of the
peoples of India made obeisance to the sovereignty of the emperor and
his consort as the band played, appropriately enough, stately marches
from European operas. Then the emperor and empress walked around
the platform and ascended the twenty-six steps to the summit and stood
before their golden thrones while trumpets blared. Heralds entered on
white horses and read proclamations in English and Urdu. This was
followed by more trumpet fanfare, more national anthems (played by
1600 musicians), salvos of artillery (fi rst from the east, then from the
west), cheers for the emperor, three cheers for the empress, three feux
de joie, and the national anthem yet again.
The emperor made another short speech in which he unexpectedly
announced moving the capital from Calcutta to Delhi. With that, the
master of ceremonies was commanded to close the durbar. And then
out of the amphitheater went the emperor and empress, followed in
descending order of rank by all the notables until 100,000 Indians were
left. These people passed silently before the empty throne of the em-
peror of India. They prostrated themselves before the throne, touched
the fringes of the carpets on which their Majesties had stood, and rubbed
their heads with the soil the emperor had trod upon. And that was the
coronation durbar of 1911. It gave rise to one of the greatest tent cities
in the world and marked the high point of the British Empire. It was the
best durbar ever ... and it was the last.
38 The Tent in History
India, July 1925. Mahatma Gandhi, center,
presides over the thirty-ninth Indian Na-
tional Congress. Twenty thousand delegates
and visitors gathered under this huge white
dome, made of handspun, handwoven
khaddar.
View of Dacca shanty town where many ref-
ugees are temporarily housed. Appalling
conditions confronted the government of
Bangladesh in 1972, when the new nation
came into being as a consequence of a dev-
astating civil war between the army of West
Pakistan and the primarily Bengali popula-
tion of East Pakistan. Fabric, matting, or
cardboard structures serve as shelter for the
refugees. (United Nations/Wolff PAS)
39 Europe and Asia
Samaritan camp, Mt. Gerizim, jordan. Tents
house the Samaritans who travel each year
at Passover to Mt. Gerizim, the chosen place
of God, the only center of worship, and the
"navel of the earth." Beyond the tents is the
altar where animal sacrifices are still made.
Samaritan tradition still holds that the sac-
rifice of Isaac took place here. The 300-year-
old Samaritan temple on Mt. Gerizim was
destroyed in 128 B.C. by the jews, and on
the summit are the ruins of the fortified
Church of justinian (527-565) . (Library of
Congress)
Immigration camp of the Zionist Commis-
sion in Palestine, Tel Aviv. These camps
were the first homes for many of the jews
who came in the late 1940s to what has now
become Israel.
The tents are conical with walls that can
be lifted and tied up to provide ventilation.
(Library of Congress)
40 The Tent in History
Future king of Jordan Emir Abdullah, center,
and his brother Ali, in front of tent with the
standard, in Transjordan, 1946. (Library of
Congress)
Modern Jews observe the festival of Succoth
(from Hebrew sukkah meaning " tent" or
" tabernacle") by constructing symbolic
tents as reminders of the time when the
Israelites had no permanent place to live or
worship. Pictured here is an interior view of
a sukkah constructed at Goldsmidt House
in Jerusalem in 1937. At that time relations
between Jews and Arabs were better, which
accounts for Arabic writing lining the fabric
walls of this structure. (Library of Congress)
Base camp, Nettilling Lake, on the Arctic
Circle in northeast Canada. The members
of this 1916 English expeditionary camp built
a snow wall around their tents to break the
wind just as many nomads erect brush walls
around their tents to serve the same pur-
pose. (National Museums of Canada)
United Nations Emergency Force, Port Said,
Egypt, December 1956. A unique style of
wall tent shown in the background has win-
dows all around and large vents on the roof.
Windows are made of mosquito netting
with zippered flaps inside. With vents and
windows these tents are more suited for use
in dry and warm climates. (United Nations)
Soviet Air Expedition at the North Pole,
1937. The expedition flew in on the plane at
right. A party of four remained at the Pole
for a year making scientific observations. An
insulated black tent served as shelter until
a more permanent structure could be con-
structed. (Illustrated London News)
Twenty-five hundredth Anniversary of the
Persian Empire, Persepolis, Iran, October
1971. A tent city was erected at the ancient
ceremonial center of Persepolis. (Embassy
of Iran)
2 AMERICA
We're tenting tonight on the old campground,
Give us a song to cheer
Our weary hearts, a song of home
And friends we love so dear.
- Walter Kittridge, "Tenting Tonight," U.S. Civil War song
Let the tent be struck.
- Robert E. Lee (1807-1870), last words, October 12, 1870
The tent has played an incredibly large and vital role in the development
of this country. However, our history did not include any of the nobility,
royal courts, chivalry, or pomp that depended on sumptuous tents when
away from palaces or castles. Instead, America was the frontier, a poten-
tially rich one, yes, but those who were exploiting it depended on simple
wall tents to get them where they were going, and when they decided
to stay, they built log cabins.
The tents of the American Revolution were almost all oval or rectan-
gular wall tents of various sizes. There were also smaller "bells of arms"
tents for the storage of arms (see photos). The tents had central poles
with two dowels, which supported the rifle barrels, placed at right angles
about four feet from the ground.
The Continental Army followed British patterns and practice as best
they could under the circumstances. During campaign season there fre-
quently were not enough tents and soldiers who weren't fortunate
enough to crowd into one had to sleep out in the rain and heavy dews.
At the end of the 1777 campaign, for example, each field officer of all
the regiments was allowed a private's tent. Other commissioned officers
were quartered four to a private's tent while noncommissioned officers
George Washington's field tent. (History
and Technology Building, Smithsonian In-
stitution, Washington, D.C.)
42 The Tent in History
and privates were packed eight to a tent. In 1778 in the southern army,
there were reports of twelve privates to a tent. The rest had to sleep
outdoors. In winter quarters soldiers understandably preferred to erect
more permanent log huts with fireplaces and six to eight bunks.
Even George Washington's field tents were modest affairs. While on
campaign, when possible, Washington acquired a large house in the area
for his headquarters. When no suitable houses were near a chosen
campsite, he had at least three tents to serve his needs. The largest, his
" dining marquee" (as he called it) and general headquarters tent used
three poles, measured 18 x 28 feet, and had pink scalloped edging. It
was made of heavy, unbleached woven linen, which accounts for its
excellent condition today. Duck boards were laid for the floor, which
could be dismantled and transported on a baggage wagon. The tent was
returned to Mt. Vernon after the Revolution, and after Washington's
death subsequently passed to the Smithsonian Institution. The general
also had a smaller eight-foot-Iong sleeping tent and a baggage tent.
As the settlers pushed west they did so in canal barges or Conestoga
wagons. Both had tent tops - the canvas could be adjusted to fit con-
ditions, and on the canal boats the entire tent assembly could be re-
moved to facilitate getting under low bridges. The Conestoga wagon
originated in the Conestoga Valley of Pennsylvania in 1725 and was first
used by farmers to carry heavy loads long distances before the advent of
railroads. Later it was adopted by the pioneers as the "prairie schooner"
in the western expansion of this country. Actually the wagon was a tent
atop a wagon. The canvas could be raised, lowered, or removed, ac-
cording to the needs of the occupant. The early pioneers also traveled
with the common wall tent.
THE CAMP MEETING
The life of the early settlers was a lonely and hard one. The desire for
social interaction and religious expression was partly fulfilled by the
camp meeting movement.
Camp meetings were outdoor religious meetings that usually were
held in the summer and lasted for several days. James McGready (c.
1760-1801), a Presbyterian, is generally credited with originating them in
1799-1801 in Logan County, Kentucky. This period also marked a religious
revival in this country and camp meetings spread rapidly.
As the name implies, those who attended camp meetings came pre-
pared to camp out, bringing tents, bedding, and provisions. They would
come from thirty to forty miles away and sometimes as many as 10,000
to 20,000 people would gather. These revivalist retreats centered around
services in large tents or in forest clearings where log benches and a
rude preaching platform constituted an outdoor church. People came
partly out of curiosity, partly out of a need for social contact and festivity,
but mainly for "religion." The meetings would be directed by a number
of preachers who relieved each other in carrying on the services, some-
times preaching in different parts of the campgrounds. Activities
Emigrants entering the Loup Valley, Custer
County, Nebraska, 1886. (Solomon D.
Butcher Collection, Nebraska State Histori-
cal Society)
C & 0 Canal boats, late 1800s. Tents served
as shelter for barge passengers and the fam-
ilies of the boat captains. These deck tents
could also be disassembled easily so the
barges could fit under bridges with low
clearance. (National Park Service)
43 America
included preaching, prayer meetings, hymn singing, weddings, and
baptisms. Shouting, shaking, and rolling upon the ground often
accompanied the tremendous release that followed "conversion."
Understandably, camp meetings were sometimes occasions of wild
enthusiasm and hysteria and they acquired a bad reputation among
conservative churchmen. The Presbyterian Church refused to participate
after 1805, but camp meetings were enthusiastically carried westward to
the frontier by the Methodists, Baptists, Shakers, Disciples, and Cum-
berland Presbyterians, the latter two being direct outgrowths of camp
meetings. The Methodist Church profited most from the camp meeting
and gradually incorporated it into its system of evangelism. By 1811, the
Methodist Bishop Francis Asbury reported in his journal that more than
400 meetings were being held annually along the frontier from Michigan
to Georgia. There was even a National Campmeeting Association for the
Promotion of Holiness, which was established in 1867 and was nonde-
nominational. At diverse encampments on both coasts, hundreds of
conferees would give testimony of their conversions and their having
received the second blessing; then they would return to their local
denominational .church for the winter.
In a modified form camp meetings have continued to be a feature of
social and religious life in the region between the Alleghenies and the
Mississippi River, and they still survive as summer Bible conferences and
assemblies in other parts of the country, such as the Chautauqua Insti-
tution and the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association. But, for the
most part, their significance passed after 1890, along with the frontier
society that created them.
TIPI VARIATIONS
The American Indian lived in one of the most functional and ingenious
tents ever devised - the tipi. (For more information on tipis see Chapter
3, The Nomadics.) But the white man went about eradicating both oc-
cupant and "pagan" tent with a vengeance. Nonetheless there were two
American varieties of tents using the tipi as a point of departure.
Henry Hopkins Sibley, a Confederate general in the Civil War, had th'e
ingenuity to integrate some of the features of the tipi into a field tent for
his forces. The Sibley tent was conical and had a very low cylindrical wall
which could be raised or lowered. The top of the tent was conical, like
the tipi, and there was an opening through which a stove pipe protruded
- the stove was also designed by General Sibley. This tent was superior
to the wall tents being used by the U.S. army in the Indian Wars and saw
widespread use, especially in the West, in the same terrain that spawned
the tipi. This is a classic case of taking some lessons from the enemy.
Another tipi variation was the pyramid tent used by prospectors and
sheepherders. (See the drawing of a modern pyramid tent on page 173.)
The tent was a common sight on the gold fields of California and the
Klondike, and it is actually a square tipi either attached to an exterior
frame of saplings or tied to an overhead tree limb.
This Methodist camp meeting was held in
August 1859 at Sing Sing, New York, so
named because that' s what the people did
there. Ossining is now the name of the
nearest town, but Sing Sing Prison is named
after the old camp meeting site. (Harper's,
1859)
A detachment of the Sixth U.S. Cavalry
camped near a Zuni Indian Pueblo in New
Mexico (1890s) while on a routine practice
march. Pictured here are Sibley tents,
named after Confederate General Henry H.
Sibley. (Arizona Historical Society Library)
44 The Tent in History
CIVIL WAR TENTS
In the Civil War interesting tent variations appeared in winter encamp-
ments. Log walls were erected and then covered with two layers of
canvas which served as a roof. Other canvas-roofed structures had log
walls and additional outside insulating walls of pine branches. Both of
these structures had either fireplaces or wood-burning stoves. In the
latter years of the Civil War the Sibley tent also appeared and in cold
weather short vertical log walls would be used to insulate the exposed
canvas sides.
. ) ~ ; : "
, ; \ ~ ~
Winter camp of a detachment of the 50th
NYV Engineers, U.S. Civil War, November
1864. These tent houses, complete with
chimneys, have been insulated with pine
branches. Gaps were left in the design for
light entry. (Library of Congress)
Winter officers' quarters of Captain J. R.
Coxe and wife at Headquarters, Army of the
Potomac at Brandy Station, U.S. Civil War,
April 1864. This tent cabin has two layers of
canvas - one securely fastened to the struc-
ture and the other draped over it. At right
the overhang and a vertical piece form a
shed. The army took the time to construct
these more permanent structures to with-
stand winter weather. (Library of Congress)
Following the traditional military custom of
requisitioning large houses as headquar-
ters, General Meade used the Wallach
home in Culpeper, Virginia, as his general
headquarters in October 1863. The staff
pitched their tents around the house and,
therefore, were near at hand and the house
could be used for work, dining, and enter-
taining. (Library of Congress)
45 America
THE CHAUTAUQUA MOVEMENT
After the Civil War another social movement that was primarily educa-
tional instead of religious began. This was the Chautauqua movement,
which started in Chautauqua, New York, at a Methodist Episcopal camp
meeting as an assembly for the study of the Bible and Sunday school
methods. The purpose gradually expanded to cover the whole field of
adult education and included popular entertainment. The programs con-
sisted of lectures, music, entertainment, and later drama. Many distin-
guished Americans - authors (Thoreau, Emerson, and Beecher, for ex-
ample), explorers, musicians, and political leaders - contributed and
lectured on the Chautauqua circuit. By 1912, the movement was orga-
nized commercially, and lectures and entertainment were supplied by
the central Chautauqua committees and the lyceum bureau. Tents were
widely used, especially in warmer weather, for these meetings. Radio
and the movies diverted public attention and by 1924 the circuits ended,
although the assembly at Chautauqua continued.
WILD WEST SHOWS
Wild West shows have much in common with circuses except that Wild
West shows emphasized displays and events of America's old West in-
stead of wild animals and acrobats. Also, the Wild West show was usually
presented surrounded by canvas and not under it - the show took place
on an open field surrounded by circus-type seats covered by a canvas
canopy. These shows featured events such as an Indian attack on the
stagecoach, wagon train, or log cabin of a defenseless family, with a
rescue by the u.S. Cavalry; broncobusting, roughriding, roping, Indian
ceremonies, and sharpshooting.
William Frederick "Buffalo Bill" Cody organized the first, the best, and
the most famous Wild West show in 1883 and it toured the United States
and Europe until it closed in 1913. Annie Oakley, "Little Miss Sure-Shot,"
was one of the star attractions of the Wild West show, and film stars such
as Tom Mix and Will Rogers got their start in them. The most recent Wild
West show was Colonel Tim McCoy's Wild West of 1938, and since then
there have been no more.
.. -.----- ... ---- ..
:






• 4
L .................... :
Commemorative stamp of a Chautauqua
tent issued in 1974 on the 100th anniversary
of the movement in the United States.
(United States Post Office Department)
Tents of the Buffalo Bill (William F. Cody)
Wild West Show. (Circus World Museum,
Baraboo, Wisconsin)
46 The Tent in History
Klondike Trading Company Store, late
1880s. Tent stores were a common sight on
the frontier. Only when proprietors were
assured of a steady flow of business would
they abandon their tents and build more
permanent structures. (Library of Congress)
Klondike Gold Rush Camp, Alaska, 1917. It
took eleven trees to construct a framework
for one wall tent - a wasteful use of re-
sources, but it saved the traveler from hav-
ing to carry the extra load of tent poles.
(Photo number 126-AR-4D-S in the National
Archives.)
47 America
Main Street, Nome, Alaska, 1899. Tents
gradually disappeared as more permanent
structures were built to accommodate the
steadily increasing business and population
of the new town. Already a couple of these
tents had semipermanent features, such as
wooden doors (left of center and left of
Behring Saloon). (Library of Congress)
Actresses bound for the Klondike, at Happy
Camp, October 1897. Guess which women
are wearing corsets. (Library of Congress)
48 The Tent in History
Detention camp for yellow fever victims of
Spanish-American War, Franklin, Louisiana,
1899. American battle losses in the war
amounted to 487 men; deaths from disease
were 1995. Half of the army in Cuba was
afflicted with yellow fever and various forms
of malaria. The tent is a standard wall tent
with winglike flaps attached to the fly. In
harsh weather, both door and overhead
flaps could be secured to provide complete
protection within. (Photo number CN-5117
in the National Archives)
San Juan Hill terraced for tents of U.S. Army
encampment, Cuba, Spanish-American War
of 1898. The tents shown here are along the
simple lines of the tente d'abri. Note brush
shelters built over some tents (third and
fifth terraces up). (Harper's pictorial history
of war with Spain, 1899)
Below: Yellow fever in Santiago de Cuba.
In the three years following the Spanish-
American War, when Cuba was under U.S.
military rule, U.S. sanitary engineers under
Major William Gorgas wiped out yellow fe-
ver and malaria. Entire city blocks were
covered with tents and fumigated with cya-
nide derivatives to kill disease-carrying
mosquitos. This technique and the use of
live virus vaccine for immunization later
made possible the building of the Panama
Canal. (photo number 90-G-10A-7 in the
National Archives)
49 America
CIRCUS TENTS - THE LARGEST NOMADICS
As America moved into the twentieth century a rather formidable depar-
ture in tents took place - and that was the circus big top. The circus
itself is associated historically with the circuses of ancient Rome; how-
ever, the modern circus is derived only from the Roman amphitheater,
which gave our circus its shape, if not its size. (The Circus Maximus, for
instance, is said to have had a seating capacity of 350,000.) The Roman
circuses were sometimes covered by canvas, which they also have in
common with the modern circus. (See page 114 for a picture of the
Colosseum vela.) The Roman circus was a round or oval structure with
tiers of seats for spectators enclosing a space in which horse racing or
bloody and brutal spectacles took place. This is the antithesis of the
display of human endeavor, skillful management of animals, and tragic
buffoonery of clowns found in the modern circus.
The modern circus got its start in the latter half of the eighteenth
century with performances of equestrian feats in horse rings strewn with
sawdust and, for the most part, under canvas. Philip Astley (1742-1814),
an English trick rider, discovered that centrifugal force enabled him to
keep his balance if he galloped in a circle and, in so doing, he traced the
first ring. Trick riding shows became the rage. The clown entered the
circus at this point in Philip Astley's show as a comedian on horseback.
The tent, being the most adaptable structure to accommodate a horse
ring, went on the road with these traveling shows as they covered Eu-
rope. In 1793, circuses were opened in New York and Philadelphia and
horses continued to be the main attraction of the program until the early
1800s when wild-animal trainers appeared with their animal acts. In 1859,
with the invention of the flying trapeze (by Jules Leotard) and Charles
Blondin's numerous crossings of Niagara Falls on a tightrope, acrobats
found their way into the circus and by the turn of the century they had
become an integral part of it.
The first circuses in this country performed without ct tent in the open.
But this made it difficult to charge admission so canvas walls promptly
appeared to make the circus a profitable show - those who didn't pay
to get in missed it. Then Aaron Turner and Seth B. Howes added tent
roofs to their mid-Atlantic traveling circuses in the 1820s, which also
enabled them to perform year-round in any kind of weather. Thus the
big top was born. Portable seats for the audience were also introduced
at this time. "Dr." Gilbert Spaulding, whose circus started off traveling
by riverboat, is said to have invented the quarter poles that support the
big top between the central king poles and the side poles. And the big
tops started getting bigger!
Another factor that contributed to the growth of the American circus
was the railroad. In 1872, Barnum, Coup, and Castello made the change
from horse and wagon to train, and all the other circuses that wanted to
keep up did the same. The age of the giant railroad circus had dawned,
and by 1941, "The Greatest Show on Earth" was transported on four
trains made up of 107 seventy-foot railroad cars. Also, W. C. Coup of
Barnum, Coup, and Castello, introduced a system whereby the gaps
50 The Tent in History
Elephants were used to raise the canvas big ~
top and when the circus was on the road
the tent was pitched and struck daily -
sometimes as many as 100 times - as they
moved from town to town. (Photo by Lew
Merrim, Monkmeyer Press Photo Service)
Circus laborers or "roustabouts" of the
Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus roll a load of
canvas and tent poles off a railroad car,
1932. (Circus World Museum, Baraboo, Wis-
consin)
After the center poles were positioned and
secured with guy ropes, the tent canvas was
spread around the poles and fastened to
pole rings so that it could be raised. The
sides of the tent were then raised so ropes
could be run underneath the canvas to the
poles. (Circus World Museum, Baraboo,
Wisconsin)
Elephants were then hitched up to raise the
big top canvas. (Photo: Elizabeth Hibb,
Monkmeyer Press Photo Service)
51 America
52 The Tent in History
Above: Sells Floto Circus, 1921 . Seams in
tent canopy can be seen where the roof
sections are joined together. The joining is
done with the canvas on the ground.
Once it is raised auxiliary poles are placed
underneath. Finally a wall curtain is at-
tached. (Circus World Museum, Baraboo,
Wisconsin)
Big top interior during performance, Ring-
ling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey, 1934.
(Circus World Museum, Baraboo, Wiscon-
sin)
53 America
f
t
)1
) ~
• J -.(
I
Air billowing up big top during teardown.
(Circus World Museum, Baraboo, Wiscon-
sin)
Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey big top
fire of July 6, 1944, Hartford, Connecticut.
The wax waterproofing treatment of canvas
was a fire hazard and there were several
major tent fires during the circus history.
This one was the worst - 168 people were
killed. Many of these deaths were a result
of panicked people clamoring for the exits
when they could have escaped by lifting
and going under the canvas sides of the
big top. (Circus World Museum, Baraboo,
Wisconsin)
Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Cir-
cus World in Florida. Circus World is a per-
manent fixture and the circus can still be
seen there.
54 The Tent in History
between flatcars were bridged so the trains could be loaded from the
end and each fully loaded wagon could be pushed down the entire
length of the train. The modern system of rail-truck freight is based on
the highly efficient technology of the old railroad circus.
In their heyday, from 1880 to 1920, the great American tented circuses
performed in what could be called canvas colosseums. The big top of
the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus was supported by
sixty-five-foot-high ridge poles for canvas which accommodated 10,000
to 12,000 people and covered more than two acres. Most of the other
big tops were somewhat smaller, accommodating about 5000. This was
never the case in Europe where circuses maintained the one-ring format
and met the highest standards. In Europe, in order to expand the area
under the canvas and maintain the one-ring design, the tents were set
up with four center poles forming a square instead of poles in a single-
file line as in the American big tops.
Big business was the impetus that gave America the fabulous spectacle
which became truly The Greatest Show on Earth. From 1840 onward,
circus combines and amalgamations became widespread and by 1929,
the Ringling Brothers, who already controlled six circuses, including
Barnum & Bailey's Greatest Show on Earth, bought out the Circus
Corporation of America, bringing a total of eleven major circuses under
one owner. In Europe, this was not the tradition. The circuses were
predominately family owned and tended to split up rather than combine.
Circus day itself was one of the highlights of the year in towns across
the U.S.A. The town would have already been "papered" by a mass
publicity campaign, which included advertisements in the local papers,
posters, banners, and hand-distributed printed bills. The first train to
pull into the town would be the "flying squadron," which brought the
cook tent, horse tents, menagerie, and steam calliope. This train would
have departed while the circus was in progress in the preceding town.
Next arriving would be the "canvas train" and then the "lumber train"
(bearing construction materials). Wagons would be pulled by horse
teams to the showgrounds, always directed by arrows chalked on posts
and trees by advance men. The lot was a scene of mad activity: acres of
canvas and a forest of poles were assembled before masses of curious
people, called "lot lice" by showmen. Elephants (and later tractors)
would raise the canvas of the big top and the circus would take form.
Then parade call was trumpeted - this was usually about eleven A.M.
The free parade was a spectacle in itself and all activity in the town came
to a standstill for it. After two shows daily and the teardown, which took
place at night, the wagons and teams returned to the trains and disap-
peared into the night.
As the shows got bigger, in order to make them pay, the 10,000-
spectator-tents were erected for one day in each town on a circus sched-
ule. The ring, traditionally Philip Astley's forty-two foot diameter, had to
be flanked by other rings with stages between them to fill the larger
tents. The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Greatest Show on Earth
at one time had three rings and five stages surrounded by a hippodrome
track. This completely changed things - the show could not be limited
55 America
to single acts and became an extravaganza that included aerial ballets
and spectacular processions for mass effect. Traveling became more and
more difficult as well, and, in 1956, increased freight rates and labor
problems forced The Greatest Show on Earth to give up tenting. On the
Heidelberg Raceway outside Pittsburgh, at John Ringling North' s order,
the last big top came down. (A discount house now stands on the site.)
From then on the circus has appeared only in permanent metropolite
buildings such as exhibition halls or their winter quarters. The popularity
of television also contributed to the decline of the circus - even though
it introduced the skill of the performer to a much larger audience, the
actual attendance at performances fell. By the 1960s there were only
thirty small circuses still touring the country, most of them traveling by
road instead of rail. Motorization has enabled the canvas-tent circus to
survive. In Europe the circus is alive and relatively well. In the Soviet
Union, the circus business is booming: there are more than a hundred
permanent and tenting circuses playing annually to about 22 million
people.
THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
In the first half of this century, tents were widely used in times of
cataclysm, world war, drought, and depression. The wall tent provided
most of the shelter, though many people were too poor to afford even
that and erected lean-tos and shanties in forms determined by the ma-
terials at hand.
On April 18, 1906, a violent earthquake, followed by disastrous fires,
destroyed most of San Francisco's central residential and business dis-
tricts. Building losses were approximately $100 million and total property
loss was three times higher. Hundreds of people were killed and thou-
sands were left homeless. Survivors camped in tents amid the ruins on
the dunes west of San Francisco and in Golden Gate Park. Others fled
to outlying towns and by staying there gave impetus to the twentieth-
century suburban growth around the San Francisco Bay area.
In Oklahoma in the 1920s, recurrent droughts burned the wheat in the
fields, and overplanting, overgrazing, and unscientific cropping aided
the weather in making northwest Oklahoma part of the Dust Bowl of the
1930s. A great number of tenant farmers were compelled to leave their
dust-ridden farms and go west as migrant workers. Hard times uprooted
many Americans and a large segment of the population became nomadic,
traveling in a grim search for work.
During the depths of the Depression, impoverished veterans of the
First World War marched on Washington demanding bonus relief . They
lived in squalor under conditions comparable to the frontline trenches
and were finally forcibly evacuated by U.S. Army troops under General
MacArthur.
With the end of the decade, war broke out and war brought jobs.
Migrants and other unemployed workers descended on factories where
jobs were available and tent cities served as living quarters.
Tent shelter, Union Square, aftermath of
San Francisco earthquake of April 18, 1906.
(Library of Congress)
56 The Tent in History
Left: August 4, 1916. City kids under an
improvised tent shelter on the fire escape
of their building on Allen Street, New York
City. The tenting instinct is a strong one,
and children of all ages in all parts of the
world have improvised play tents. (Photo
by von Hartz, Museum of City of New
York)
Right: Fighting tuberculosis on the roof,
New York, early 1900s. Until 1909 tubercu-
losis was the chief cause of death in the
United States. A major factor in its preva-
lence was the overcrowding, poor hygiene
and nutrition rampant in large cities. At
this time fresh outdoor air (even in winter)
was thought to be beneficial. (Photo by
Jacob Riis, Museum of City of New York)
Singing "Over There," the Bonus Expedi-
tionary Army celebrates the news that Con-
gress votes to act on the Patman bonus bill,
June 15, 1932. Approximately 7000 veterans
erected a tent city near the Capitol in Wash-
ington under conditions comparable to
those of the front line trenches. The World
War I veterans were protesting their inade-
quate war-relief benefits. It was considered
shocking to the U.S. population at the time
that veteran soldiers were living in condi-
tions of penury and neglect. Congress
didn't agree and defeated the bill. (Library
of Congress)
57 America
Motor hospital, World War I. This mobile
hospital consisted of two tents extending
from each side of a truck in order to triple
the functional space. (Scientific American,
1914)
The Bell Stretcher Tent in opened and
closed positions. This World War I stretcher
enabled wounded soldiers to be carried
over long distances while being completely
protected from harsh weather that might
worsen their condition. The tent is
equipped with flaps that roll up and down
over mosquito netting. It also folded up in
one piece and required no assembly. Mod-
ern methods of evacuation of the wounded
(such as by helicopter) have phased out the
Bell Stretcher Tent.
Migrant Workers, American River Camp
near Sacramento, San Joaquin Valley, Cali-
fornia, July 1935. These were former Ten-
nessee coal miners following in the wake of
relatives. When they arrived in California
they found conditions no better than they
had been in Tennessee. (Library of Con-
gress)
58 The Tent in History
Japanese-American detention camp during
World War II. (Library of Congress)
A tent camp that accommodates workers
from the gunpowder plant in Childersburg,
Alabama, May 1941. World War II brought
with it jobs, and the tent came through as
quarters for workers flocking to locales
where jobs were available. (Library of Con-
gress)
Tent street, Forrest City, Arkansas, February
1937. A street of modified square Sibley
tents, all with stoves inside, in this camp for
flood refugees. Again the tent provides in-
stant shelter for the homeless. (Photo by
Edwin Locke, Library of Congress)
59 America
Also with the war came the relocation of thousands of Japanese nat-
uralized citizens and native Americans of Japanese descent to detention
camps for the duration of the war. These people lost everything - their
homes and jobs - when they were evacuated.
After the war times were somewhat better, though impoverished mi-
grant workers continued to roam the country and use rough tents for
shelter. In 1968 tents also housed the Poor People's Campaign on the
Mall in Washington, D.C., in a nonviolent protest of the form espoused
by Dr. Martin Luther King. Spring rains quickly turned the ground to
mud and facilities were primitive, but the unifying spirit of nonviolent
This contented carpenter's wife in Mission
Valley near San Diego, California, Decem-
ber 1940, is quoted as saying, "We're living
in a tent because we wouldn't pay anyone
thirty or thirty-five dollars for a two-room
bug trap." (Photo by Russell Lee, Library of
Congress)
A tent serves as a first aid area for New York
City Marathon, October 22,1978. Some 9800
people participated in the five-borough run
of twenty-six miles; of the 1212 who didn' t
make it to the finish line, those who col-
lapsed were treated in emergency units and
temporary tent hospitals set up along the
route. (Photo by Rhoda Galyn)
60 The Tent in History
protest made the venture an inspiring statement for the cause of human
brotherhood and justice. The Mall was also the scene of another protest
encampment in 1978 when five hundred American Indians and other
ethnics marched from San Francisco to Washington in what was called
the Longest Walk. The march was in memory of the tens of thousands
of Indians who perished on forced marches as they were driven from
their homelands in the east.
Fortunately for the most part, tenting today is a happier pastime - the
Woodstock rock festival in August of 1969 was a tent city, Boy Scouts
continue to have their annual Jamborees, and one in four Americans will
go camping this year.
Tent city, Boy Scout Jamboree, August 1977.
This is an international summer camp, held
approximately every four years since 1920.
It is a gathering of thousands of scouts rep-
resenting their countries in the spirit of
world brotherhood. From the beginning the
scout movement has been nonmilitary, non-
political, interdenominational, and interra-
cial. There are also international camps for
scoutmasters (indabas) and handicapped
boys (agoons). (Courtesy Boy Scouts of
America)
3 THENOMADS
To a native place cling not, where folks oppress and hold thee in scant esteem,
But depart the land that exalts the low above the high in dignity,
And take thy flight to a safe retreat , although it were on the skirts of Mount Kaf,
For know full well that a free-born man in his country meets but with disregard
As the pearl within its shell is slighted, and underrated its preciousness.
- Maqamat of Hariri
They think me unworthy
My Mide brethren
but look and see
the length of my wigwam.
- Chippewa Song
The most time-tested and enduring tents are those of nomadic herdsmen
and hunters. These tents are feats of engineering, having been perfected
to totally support the nomadic way of life and provide complete protec-
tion from the most severe environmental extremes. The women, who
are in complete charge of the household, design, construct, pitch, and
strike them. Various styles of nomadic tents have been used since ancient
times.
The nomadic way of life is deeply ingrained, and nomads all over the
world have always been skeptical if not frightened of permanent housing,
though they are presently being forced into it against their will by un-
sympathetic rulers. Nomads have been settled onto reservations or in
ugly housing developments. Sometimes the tent is still pitched next to
the house, though as it wears away with age, it is not repaired and
gradually wi II be done away with.
Nomads have always had their own laws and have never heeded other
rules and regulations; local governments consider them a nuisance and
61
62 The Tent in History
a sign of underdevelopment. Also, in order to wander freely the nomad
uses much more land and therefore is an inconvenience to nations that
prefer to develop their land.
The nomads have taken the specific climatic conditions of their terrain
and have tailor-made efficient and ingenious tents to combat the pre-
vailing elements. For instance, the tipi of the American Indians has as-
sumed several structural forms, each dependent upon the wind condi-
tions and pack animals available to carry it. Eskimo and Lapp tents are
very individualized and efficient Arctic dwellings - the Lapps even have
a summer and a winter tent, both of which serve them well. The black
tent provides optimum shelter from sun and sandstorm on the desert,
and the Mongolian yurt keeps its occupants warm on the bleak Siberian
steppe.
The nomad's mobility has been his salvation. Nomads have been able
to survive simply because of their ability to travel and search out food
for themselves and their herds. And when war or famine has prevailed,
they've simply moved on.
Even a few decades ago nomads wandered freely in their ageless
migrations. In fact, for centuries in Mongolia the yurt was the only
dwelling known besides the Buddhist monasteries. The nomadic way of
life has been a delicate balance of animal husbandry, trade, and perhaps
some crop cultivation. The technological age has upset that balance,
perhaps irrevocably so. One of the most romantic and imaginative ways
of life is disappearing from the earth and unfortunately the vast amount
that could be learned from it wi" also disappear as we become more and
more dependent on our permanent dwellings.
TIPI
"You have noticed," the Indian Black Elk has said, "that everything an Indian
does is in a circle and that is because the Power of the World works in circles
and everything tries to be round. The life of man is a circle from childhood to
ch ildhood. Our tipis were round, like the nests of birds. But the white men have
put us in these square boxes. It is a bad way to live for there can be no power
in a square."
- John G. Neihardt, Black Elk Speaks
Tepee, teepee, or tipi: It is the ideal dwelling of nomadic peoples. It's
easy to set up, easy to take down, and easy to shift. Spanish explorers
in the early 1500s first reported the existence of tipis to Europe, but
they've been used for time immemorial by Indians from New England to
northwest Canada. The tipi is ingeniously designed and engineered to
provide an extremely comfortable, we"-ventilated home in any weather
this continent can whip up, including tornadoes, the scourge of the
southern plains; strong winds cannot pick up its inverted surface. The
tipi is really one of the most superb nomadic tents ever to be developed.
The Mongol yurt is also a remarkable achievement; however, the tipi has
the advantage of being lightweight and easy to transport while the yurt
is cumbersome. But the Mongols have camels as beasts of burden and
the Indians used only dogs and horses.
63 The Nomads
This photograph, which looks like a scene
from a Western movie, taken on January 16,
1891, shows General Miles and his staff
viewing "the largest hostile Indian camp in
the United States," near Pine Ridge, South
Dakota. (Library of Congress)
Flathead Indian encampment in the Salish
Mountains in the central plateau of north-
west Montana c. 1940. This photograph
shows the typical open-ended camp circle,
which usually faced east. Hanging on a tri-
pod frame in foreground is jerky, a staple of
the Indian diet. (Library of Congress)
Prominent tribal leaders - chiefs, leaders
of war parties, and medicine men - occu-
pied superbly decorated tipis, such as this
Arapaho tipi which was " Tent of the Keeper
of the Sacred Pipe" used at an Arapaho sun
dance in 1900. These painted or " medicine"
designs usually originated in dreams and
visions and were handed down from gen-
eration to generation. They were highly
symbolic, representing the supernatural
powers that looked after the owner of the
tipi. In proper ceremonies, the designs
could be purchased and the "medicine"
and rituals " passed" from one owner to the
other. (Photo by J. Otis Wheelock, courtesy
of the American Museum of Natural History)
64 The Tent in History
Some tipi designs were heraldic and painted
to proclaim the heroic deeds or war exploits
of their owners. These two Sioux tipis deal
with the war with the white man. Note
American flag painted on left tipi and tassels
of rawhide strung with beads and bone
hanging from smoke flaps of all three tipis.
(Library of Congress)
These Ute Indians incorporated the trunks
of trees into their tipis. This is reminiscent
of t he first tents of early man, which were
skins thrown over bushes and small trees.
(Western History Collection, Denver Public
Library)
The darkened area at top represents the
darkened sky and the similar border at bot-
tom earth, with what could be sun wheels
in the white area. This tipi is from the Piegan
Indians (a branch of the Blackfoot) of Mon-
tana. Medicine tipis were supposed to pro-
tect the owners and their families from mis-
fortune and sickness and bring good luck
and success in hunting and war. (Library of
Congress)
Crow Lodge fYf 25 Skins, George Catlin, oil
on canvas, 24 x 29 inches. (Courtesy Na-
tional Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian
Institution)
{
.
Pi egan Indian child's painted tipi. Dark area
represents sky above with white discs that
represent constellations; the shapes emerg-
ing from the lower border, representing the
earth, could be those of ancestors. Child's
tipis were rare and reserved only for the
sons of the most prominent family in the
tribe. (Library of Congress)
Northern Arapaho, 1893. A common prac-
tice in extremely cold weather was to con-
struct a windbreak to protect the tipi from
the freezing winds which drive the temper-
atures down to - 40°F and lower. (Photo by
Mooney; Smithsonian Institution.)
65 The Nomads
."
.'
.;..
--'
Sun Dance, painting by Short Bull, Chief
1901(2) of Oglala Dakota Sioux. (Courtesy
American Museum of Natural History)
Interior of tipi of Yellow Kidney and Little
Plune and squaw, Sioux or Piegan. Those
who owned medicine or painted tipis were
also entitled to decorate their tipi lining.
The lining helps insulate and cut moisture
inside the tipi. Note cleared patch on
ground midway between fire pit and clock.
That is the altar for the tipi. And slightly to
left of Yellow Kidney (the older Indian) and
partially visible is a tripodal tent seat com-
posed of three poles, two of which are
carved and support a tapered mat of peeled
willow rods or, as seen above, a hide. Part
of the lower end of the mat is laid on the
ground and acts as a seat. (Library of Con-
gress)
66 The Tent in History
Many people in this country, being brought up on Saturday afternoon
matinees at the local movie theater, are not aware that as an art form
painted tipi covers easily rank as the most expressive and imaginative
esthetic achievement in the long history of Native American nomadic
hunting cultures. Needless to say, we never saw dazzling, superbly dec-
orated t\P\S \n the Hollywood cowboy and Indian movies. It' s true that
most of the Indian population lived in plain tipis; however, prominent
tribal leaders such as chiefs, leaders of war parties, and medicine men
always lived in beautifully painted ones.
A real Indian tipi is always a tilted cone, the back made steeper than
the front in order to brace it against the strong prevailing west winds of
the Great Plains. This tilt also makes for more headroom in the back of
the lodge, where most activity is carried on . The entrance traditionally
faces east - toward the rising sun. Also, the interior is egg-shaped, not
circular.
Women were responsible for everything related to the tipi - design-
ing, sewing, selecting campsites, erecting, and furnishing. The man
would paint history, war records, tribal relationships, or religious sym-
bolism on the tipi covers, but it was the woman who decorated the inside
lining and owned the tipi itself. In fact, in some tribes, all she had to do
to divorce her husband was to throw his possessions outside and that
was that.
There have been changes made in the tipi in the past few centuries.
After the introduction of the horse in the seventeenth and eighteenth
centuries, larger tipis were made by the central tribes since transporting
them became less of a problem. Also, the obliteration of the buffalo by
the white man in the nineteenth century forced a radical change in Plains
Indian technology. Canvas replaced buffalo hide and the custom of
painting tipis, which had been handed down from generation to gener-
ation, gradually faded into the past as the ranks of the Indians were
decreased and thei r spi rit broken on reservations. Before the bison were
nearly exterminated, however, some Indians had already switched to
canvas. It weighed much less and there was not as much work involved
with it, as canvas required no tanning or curing, was easier to sew and
to handle, and enabled the tipi to be made even bigger. Also, when the
Indians obtained wagons and transporting the tipi was no longer a prob-
lem, the diameters of some tipis increased to as much as twenty-eight
feet.
There are three- and four-pole tipis and those in the know can instantly
tell one from the other. These two types are determined by the number
of poles used in the first stage of tipi erecting. Either three or four poles
are tied together some four feet or so from their upper ends and then
a tri- or quadripod foundation is made. The other poles, usually num-
bering fifteen or twenty, are laid in the crotches. The poles are approx-
imately twenty-five feet in length. The three-pole tipi can withstand high
wind better so it was used for the most part by Indians of the open
prairie; the four-pole tipi was used by those in the northwest who lived
nearer to the mountains. The four-pole is less tilted than the three-pole
and has the smoke flaps set farther apart as there is a larger number of
67 The Nomads
poles to be accommodated on the four-pole. In areas with high winds,
the poles usually are set a few inches into the ground in order to add
stability to the tent.
The last pole to be fitted in place is called the lifting pole, so called
because the cover is tied to it and rolled around it, and pole and cover
are set in place at the center of the back of the tipi, opposite the door.
Next, the cover is stretched around the wooden framework, on both
north and south sides, to overlap at the entrance. Wooden pins (lacing
pins) are then inserted horizontally through holes over and under the
doorway to hold the cover securely in place. The tipi cover is firmly
anchored by stakes driven through holes or loops in the bottom edge of
the cover. Before the white man introduced the steel ax to the Indians,
the tipi cover was held to the ground by placing stones around the
bottom. "Tipi rings" of these stones are still to be found in many parts
of the West, and when storms approach rocks and logs are still placed
atop the stakes and along the cover to anchor them more secu rely.
One of the truly ingenious features of the tipi is its smoke flap system.
Smoke flaps are used to keep out snow and rain and to regulate the draft
and smoke from the fireplace, which is slightly forward of center in the
tipi. They are nearly triangular skin flaps that provide an opening starting
slightly above the highest lacing pin used to fasten the tipi cover to the Handling smoke flaps
SWWIND
SWEL TERI NG I
DOWNPOUR
FREEZING
68 The Tent in History
poles. On a three-pole tipi the ends of the flaps are made into little
pockets or ears into which the upper ends of two additional poles are
inserted. On four-pole tipis, there is usually a hole or eyelet through
which a pole is inserted. A person standing outside the tipi can adjust
the flaps as wind or weather changes.
Doors vary - some are quite elaborate and ornate, others are only an
old blanket hung to the lacing pin above the doorway. The hides or cloth
from which the door is constructed are usually stretched by a transverse
stick or a hoop frame. Sometimes doors are decorated with beaded
stripes and fluffy feathers; other times the skin of a large calf or steer
(or bear or buffalo in the old days) is used, with the hair left on to
increase water repellency.
Another unique feature of the tipi is the inside lining. Also referred to
as a dew cloth, the lining keeps dew from condensing inside and there-
fore keeps the interior reasonably dry - drier than any other tent. The
lining also insulates the tipi in cold weather, especially when hay or
brush is piled between it and the tipi cover. The lining sections are from
6 x 8 to 6 x 12 feet in size and are hung all the way around the tipi, with
the sections overlapping. Like decorated tipi covers, only certain women
of the tribe were allowed to decorate their linings; however, the patterns
did not vary as much as tipi cover decorations and there was some
uniformity throughout tribal nations. The linings were vividly colored
and beaded, with dangles made of thongs with co!ored cornhusks or
tassels made of fluffy feathers, dyed hair, or buffalo dewclaws. (A dew-
claw is a vestigial claw, so called because it only reaches the dewy surface
of the ground.)
One other function of the lining in times gone by was its ability to
prevent the casting of shadows from the fi re onto the wall of the tipi.
This was important for safety's sake - so no lurking enemy could see a
shadow at which he could aim and therefore injure the occupant.
The tipi was furnished only with boxes, rawhide cases, pouches, sad-
dlebags, pillows, robes, furs, beds, and backrests. The latter are made
from a tripod of willow 'rods four or five feet high, usually handsomely
carved and decorated, from which a decorated tapered mat (smaller at
the top) made of peeled willow rods woven together would hang. The
mat would be about five feet long, two feet wide at the top, three feet
at the bottom, and could act as the back of a chair for anyone sitting on
the ground.
The lives of the Indians revolved around spiritual symbolism. The floor
of the tipi represented the earth; the walls, the sky; and the poles, the
trails from the earth to the spi rit world beyond. There was also an altar
inside the tipi which was usually a little patch of bare earth, with all grass,
roots, and stubs removed.
Earlier, and smaller, tipis were transported by dogs. As previously
mentioned the horse made it possible to enlarge both the tipi and the
household. (And by the time the Indians obtained wagons their nomadic
existence was practically at an end because the buffalo were gone and
many of the old trails were fenced up.) The tipi poles weigh from fifteen
69 The Nomads
to twenty pounds each and anywhere from fifteen to twenty poles were
needed. One horse could drag eight to ten poles. The scanty household
gear, wrapped in a bundle in the tipi cover, lay across the trailing ends.
An Indian camp, with men, women, children, and household effects,
was able to travel greater distances and with more speed in one day than
could the most well-equipped army of the day. Camp could also be
struck in minutes. Other gear not carried in the tipi cover was carried on
a drag, or travois, which consisted of a platform or netting supported by
two trailing poles somewhat shorter than the tipi poles, the forward ends
of which were fastened to a horse or dog.
Also, sometimes the wounded, the aged, the very young, or puppies
and other pets rode on the travois. When it carried passengers usually
a dome-shaped structu re of wi lIow branches was erected to provide
protection either from the elements or in case it overturned.
On the average it took three horses to carry the household - two
dragging tipi poles and one dragging a travois. Of course, this varied.
Sometimes as many as five horses were needed to move a large tipi and
its accoutrements. Dogs were also used as beasts of burden.
Cooking Tipis
During hot spells, the Indians sometimes had special cooking tipis which
were simply old tipis with the bottom two or three feet of the cover cut
away to provide ventilation; so worn tipis were still used, in a less
important way, instead of being discarded. Also, old tipi coverings were
used in making moccasins, bags, and ground cloths.
Squaw Coolers
Brush arbors (or ramadas, as the Spanish called them) were also con-
structed when the Indians camped for several days during hot spells.
The Indians referred to them as wickies or squaw coolers and they are
still common in Indian homesteads. These are constructed by driving
forked corner poles into the ground and placing stout poles from fork
to fork, then laying cross poles over them at invervals and covering the
entire structure with fresh-cut leafy branches. These serve as a structure
for eating, lounging, cooking, working, and so on. Occasionally a piece
of canvas is stretched and tied to the supports on the windward side.
WICKIUPS
The wickiup is a framework of arched poles and limbs tied together and
covered by brush, bark, rushes, canvas, or mats. It is found among the
more sedentary Indian tribes in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Idaho, and
California and was used by those tribes who· did not follow the buffalo
for their subsistence. This house, too, was erected by the women.
The Apache woman covered her wickiup with a thatch of brush, grass,
leaves, or rushes, while the Sauk and Fox used woven reed matting.
70 The Tent in History
Camp scene, Sauk and Fox Indian. This tent
is made from woven reed mats stretched
over a wooden framework. Canvas is then
added on top to waterproof or, on the wind-
ward side, to insulate. This is located in a
more permanent encampment and a hinged
door has been built in. Note squaw coolers
at right where Indians are congregating.
(Smithsonian Institution)
This photograph, taken by K. T. Dodge in
1899, shows an Apache scout camp in San
Carlos, Arizona. By the turn of the century,
most of the Apache tribes were no longer
tipi dwellers and instead occupied first cir-
cular, dome-shaped wickiups and then
wickiups and wall tents. Alternating rows of
each are pictured above. (Smithsonian In-
stitution)
This photograph of a wickiup was taken in
1880. (N. H. Rose Collection, Western His-
tory Collection, University of Oklahoma Li-
brary)
71 The Nomads
Dance ground and tipis at Mescalero, New
Mexico, July 1956. The uncovered tipi at
left, made from live branches, is a ceremon-
ial tipi built for the puberty rites of Apache
maidens. Many ceremonies involving the
tent and the live tree exist all over the world.
(Smithsonian Institution)
This E. S. Curtis photograph of a sweat
lodge shows a lone Apache warrior ready to
enter the tent. The entire ritual takes several
hours. (Smithsonian Institution)
Sweat tent, Lame Deer, Montana, August
1941. The skull, outside the sweat tent, is
"medicine" and part of the ritual. (Photo by
Marion Post Wolcott on Cheyenne Indian
Tongue River reservation, Library of Con-
gress)
72 The Tent in History
Family of Stump Horn with horse travois,
Cheyenne, Fort Keogh, Montana. Young
woman with baby in cradle mounted on
horse. Two children in travois basket.
(Smithsonian Institution)
Two tipi covers and frames are used to con-
struct this windbreak for a Plains Indian
communion service. (American Museum of
Natural History)
73 The Nomads
Two views of Leg Picture Tipi of Fair-Haired
Old Man by a Kiowa Indian artist, 1897.
(Courtesy National Collection of Fine Arts,
Smithsonian Institution)
Paul Zoiitum painting model tipi, 1897. At
Anadarko, Oklahoma, from 1891 to 1904 at
the request of James Mooney, Smithsonian
Institute ethnologist, twenty-five decorated
buckskin models of the tipis of the Kiowa
Indians were made by Indian artists with
instructions being given by the tipi owners
or their close descendants who occupied
these medicine tipis before being forced to
the reservations. The entire collection was
on exhibit at the Renwick Gallery of the Na-
tional Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian
Institution in Washington, D.C., for most of
1978. (Smithsonian Institution)
In July 1978, five hundred American Indians
and other ethnic supporters marched from
San Francisco to Washington, where for
nine days they camped in protest on the
grounds of the Washington Monument. As
they neared the Capitol, after five months
of walking, their ranks swelled with mem-
bers of various Indian communities and
other supporters, including blacks in the
Washington area. The five month transcon-
tinental protest march was called the Long-
est Walk, in memory of the forced marches
of thousands upon thousands of Indians
who were driven from their land onto res-
ervations in the West. Whole tribes were
obliterated by disease and starvation en
route. (Wide World Photos, Inc:)
74 The Tent in History
Whatever the construction, canvas was usually stretched over the wind-
ward side for insulation or over the top to keep the inside dry. An
opening was left at the top to allow smoke to escape from the fire pit
within and the doorway was simply a low opening over which a blanket
or piece of skin was stretched. The house was reasonably comfortable,
but compared to the tipi it was a rude shelter. Smoke inside the wickiup
was a constant problem and total protection from the elements was not
possible. Also, it takes about four hours to erect a wickiup and a fraction
of that time for the experinced tipi owner to set up a tipi.
Most of the Indians who used wickiups moved outside for the warmer
months and erected squaw coolers or ramadas.
To facilitate moving, the furnishings in the wickiup were kept to a
minimum. The Apaches used wooden bed frames that raised the sleeping
surface some two to three feet off the ground. Brush and dry grass
covered by blankets served as a mattress. Kitchen utensils, baskets, and
bags rounded out the furnishings. Moving camp was an enormous task
for the women. The family horse was loaded to capacity and the women
carried the rest.
SWEAT TENTS
Most of the Indians from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego used a sweat lodge
as an important part of their religion. The American Indian constructed
the sweat lodge by setting long willow shoots in the ground in the form
Nomads still exist in the United States. One
group, besides migrant workers, are Basque
sheepherders in the northwest. The Bas-
ques migrated to the United States be-
tween 1900 and 1930, when there was con-
tinuing civil unrest in Spain and when
American ranchers were recruiting immi-
grants from the Basque regions. Now they
number well over 70,000. After their sheep
are sheared in late Mayor early June,
these sheepherders take their sheep into
the mountains where good grazing land is
available for two to three months. Several
tent manufacturers make sheepherders'
tents, which are usually standard wall tents
with stove-pipe hole and insulating asbes-
tos ring. (Photo by Russell Lee, Library of
Congress)
75 The Nomads
of a circle and then bending them over and twisting and tying them
together in pairs, forming a domelike structure which was then covered
with canvas. The use of a sweat lodge for purification was highly ritu-
alistic, complete with virgins or medicine men collecting the special
stones that were blessed by the holy man of the tribe. Like a small
wigwam, the average sweat lodge could accommodate four to six people
and temperatures of 140 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit were raised by dous-
ing white-hot stones with water.
ESKIMO
Only a people of great ingenuity and strength could have thrived in a
region that lies under snow and ice for six to nine months of the year,
and where vegetables are unprocurable and trees exist only in one or
two marginal districts - so large areas lack wood of any kind, including
driftwood, from which to fabricate houses, tools, and weapons. The
Eskimos' adjustment to such a severe environment has been equaled by
no other group. They inhabit the arctic and subarctic regions of North
America and the Chukchi Peninsula of northeast Siberia; they number
approximately 55,000. Despite their wide dispersal, Eskimos are surpris-
ingly uniform in language, physical type, and culture and speak different
dialects of the same language.
Sea mammals (four or five species of seals and, in certain regions,
beluga, walruses and whales) provide them with food, clothing, shelter,
cooking and lamp oil, tools and weapons; the skill required to secure
these necessities places the Eskimos among the foremost hunters in the
world. Fish and caribou are next in importance in their economy. The
word Eskimo comes from the Algonquian and means "eaters of raw
meat." But it is this practice of eating raw meat that provides their limited
diet with the nutrients they need, which cooking would destroy.
In the summer Eskimos live in caribou and sealskin tents. Then, with
the darkening days of winter, they band together in small groups in
voluntary association, under a leader recognized for his superior ability
to provide for the group. Very few Eskimos live in igloos all winter.
Although they can provide adequate protection for weeks in severe cold,
igloos are used almost exclusively as temporary shelters while traveling
and hunting. The Eskimos reinforce their tents or move into either rock
igloos or earth- or sod-walled structures.
In order to live in tents through the winter, Eskimos cover them with
shrubs and spread a second skin cover over them. In some instances
several families join their tents. In the front part where the tents are
joined the covers are taken away and replaced by a whale rib which
affords passage from one room to another. The rock igloo is constructed
like the snow-block igloo but the sides are banked with sod and the roof
is covered with grass and the summer tent, and lastly with snow. Earth
and sod-walled houses are built on a frame of driftwood, sometimes with
large whale bones acting as structural members. In many cases the poles
Eskimo spring tent on ice at Cape Lockyer,
March 1915. The passageway at the bottom
leads into the tent, which rests on a foun-
dation of packed snow and blocks of ice.
This is one of the many variations of the tent
used by the Eskimo. Their migration pat-
terns and sources of sustenance, and the
time of the year, are directly related to the
type of structure they occupy. (National
Museums of Canada)
Woman mending Alaska winter tent of seal-
skin. The Eskimo tent is made of either seal-
skin or caribou hide, depending on whether
the band of Eskimo are caribou herders or
seal hunters. (Smithsonian Institution)
76 The Tent in History
from the summer tent also serve as supports. Many of the design features
to offset cold and wind are common to these structures - both include
an entrance shelter, snow vault, or storm shed, frequently long and
narrow, to keep out cold and wind. Inside there is always a raised bench
(sleeping bench) to keep occupants up off the colder levels of the house.
During the long winter nights, this bench also is the center for many
other activities such as eating, making tools, and mending equipment.
The windows of these habitations are made from intestines of seal or
walrus and are translucent, not transparent.
The snow-block igloo, on the other hand, is illuminated with a skylight
not of gut but of translucent freshwater ice cut expressly for that purpose.
When the drifting snow of winter is piled over and around these houses,
they can be quite comfortable. But in spring, many of them flood with
water or the roofs cave in and they become uninhabitable. At this time
Chuckchi Eskimo tent, Plover Bay, Siberia,
July 1899. This tent is secured by ropes tied
to large stones and strung over the tent (at
lower right). The large floats of inflated seal-
skins are used with the retrieving harpoon
when whaling. Fastened to the long line
leading from the harpoon head, they offer
enough resistance to exhaust the wounded
animal. Furs and fur garments are hanging
over lines at sides. (Smithsonian Institution)
77 The Nomads
the occupants move back into their tents of seal and caribou skin and go
their separate ways, hunting and fishing until the winter.
The summer tents of the Eskimo vary as much as their houses. The
framework consists of numerous poles, usually lashed together ingen-
iously. These tents are usually not high and are well built and shaped in
such a way as to resist gale winds that whip down from the mountains.
The covering is held down on the outside by a ring of heavy stones or
by ropes (or rawhide strips) wrapped around the tents and attached to
rocks. These various configurations are more or less dependent on the
shape of the wood that is available. Dogs and dogsleds are used in
transporting the tent and household gear. The Eskimos are a littoral
people who rove inland in the summer for freshwater fishing and game
hunting, and in the winter move to the coast where the temperatures
are slightly higher and seal are available.
The Eskimos have mixed to a great extent with the white man and
many of them are giving up the old ways and are being encouraged to
move into houses.
LAPP
The Lapps are found in the northernmost part of Europe in Norway,
Sweden, Finland, and Russia, in an area within the Arctic Circle that is
generally referred to as Lapland. They number about 30,000 and are
concentrated mainly in Norway. The Lapps are thought to have originally
migrated from central Asia, arriving in Norway before the Viking age, as
hunters and fishermen. In northern Norway and Sweden, Lapland is
quite mountainous. In the northeast, in Finland and the Soviet Union, it
is composed mostly of tundra, although there are also extensive forests
and many lakes and rivers. The climate is arctic and vegetation is gen-
erally sparse, except in the forested southern zone. The Lapps have a
milder climate and therefore enjoy more physical comfort than the
Eskimos.
The Lapps are the shortest and most roundheaded race in Europe and
from ancient times have had a great reputation among the Finns and
other neighboring peoples for skill in sorcery. This, along with behavior
the Swedes and 'Norwegians consider unclean, has prejudiced the Scan-
dinavians and the Lapps are not allowed to remain permanently in any
of the towns, nor has there been interbreeding between Lapps and
Scandinavians. The Eskimos, on the other hand, are no longer pureblood
since there has been much interbreeding with the white population
moving into the frontier.
The Lapps may be roughly divided into two classes - the sedentary,
or the Sea Lapps, and the nomadic, or Mountain or Forest Lapps. The
former are fishermen, the latter are hunters and herdsmen. The Moun-
tain and Forest Lapps live in tents year-round. Like the Eskimos, they live
in small encampments that seldom contain more than half a dozen tents.
The reindeer furnishes them with food, clothing, and shelter. Their tents
Another variation of the Eskimo summer
tent , this one is made of caribou hide, Fish
is drying on the small rocks at left. (Smith-
sonian Institution, photograph taken before
1931)
By way of introduction, the Lapps are pro-
ficient skiers.
78 The Tent in History
are conical and some say this Eurasiatic occurrence may have been his-
torically linked with the conical tents of the North American Indians.
The Forest Lapps build tents that very much resemble the tipi and they
cover it with bark and bank it with snow or earth in winter. When they
move their reindeer herds on to new pastures they abandon the bark-
covered tent and rebuild at new pastures. The Mountain Lapps, the more
northerly peoples, carry their tent poles and coverings with them as they
follow the reindeer on the treeless tundra. They move from Sweden over
into Norway during the short summer. There is a special treaty in force
between the two countries to ensure pastorage rights. The Forest Lapps
stay in the forest year-round. Their reindeer are larger than the mountain
peoples' reindeer, and they also fish and farm.
The Mountain Lapps use different types of tents in winter and summer.
The summer tent is conical in shape and is constructed by placing poles,
some forked at the ends and some not, around the circumference of a
circle. The ends come together at a height of eight to ten feet and this
Like the Eskimo, the Lapps use several types
of tents. This one is a summer tent in Nor-
way. (Isefilm, Stockholm)
79 The Nomads
Lapp family outside winter tent.
Serving coffee in the Lapp winter tent. (Cof-
fee grinder is at left atop box.) Logs in fore-
ground mark pathway into the tent. The
floor is covered with twigs, left, over which
hides and blankets are spread. Cheese
hangs on small platform suspended from
the beams. Chain suspended from roof
beams normally supports pots over fire.
(Courtesy Swedish Information Service)
80 The Tent in History
framework is covered with either fabric or hide. The Forest Lapps utilize
this design year-round, always covering it with bark.
The winter tent of the Lapp is more complex. It is more like an Amer-
ican Indian wigwam than a tipi. Against two large parabolas with holes,
a crossbeam is inserted. Fifteen or twenty poles are then rested against
this framework to form a perfect cone, open at the top (the smoke hole
is five feet in diameter), and some fifteen feet in diameter at the base.
The tent is covered with layers of hides and canvas; sometimes insulation
of dirt, grass, or twigs is placed between the layers. And the tent is
always banked. The smoke hole can be covered if the weather demands
it.
The floor is covered with an eight- to ten-inch layer of fresh twigs;
several reindeer-skin bags on the floor serve as chairs, and birchbark
cases, somewhat like our suitcases, are used for storing and carrying
various articles. A central pot is suspended over the fire from the cross-
Accessories of Lapp life. The Lapps are quite
gifted artistically, as can be seen by the pro-
fusion of detail work on the items pictured
here.
96. Njalla, pantry of the wilderness
97-98. Portable cask and ladle
99, 101, 102, 104. Knife handles
100, 113. Suksi and long stick of the skater
106. Knife in sheath
103. Mounting of a kata (Lapp tent)
105. Fragment of a crook in form of spade
107. Female belt with sewing equipment
completed by 110, 111,120
108, 123. Small ladles
109. Woman of Luka
112. Winter sled
114. Ear pick
115. Male belt
116. Pipe of glazed earth
117. Sled driver's stick
118. Daughter of Swedish Lapp
119. Winter boots
121. Soup ladle
122. Lapp of Lulea
124. Pocketbook
125. Summer boots
126. Gold ring
This Illustrated London News drawing of
1877 shows a winter tent being taken
down by Lapp women. Some of these kata
are equipped with doors, such as the one
above. Sledges, reindeer dogs, and
reindeer are seen in foreground .
81 The Nomads
beam connecting the parabolic frames, and the baby crib, when there is
a baby, is also suspended from tent supports above. Reindeer skins are
unrolled for beds - one side of the fire is for the family, the other for
guests. Like the inhabitants of the tipi and the yurt, the side of the fire
opposite the door is considered sacred. In the Lapp tent food is also
stored in that place.
A few of the winter tents are fitted with raised benches and storm
sheds (like the Eskimos' winter dwelling). Also, some tents contain sep-
arate boxlike sleeping shelters within the main tent, each shelter being
used for several occupants. Like the Eskimo summer tent, the design and
interior furnishings of the Lapp dwelling vary throughout Lapland.
During a reindeer migration, when the Mountain Lapp is on the move,
every adult member of the family carries part of the tent. The tent poles
are dragged by reindeer. These poles are drilled with small holes near
the larger end and are then laced to a wide leather strap attached to the
cinch and pack saddle. Then poles are fastened one above the other,
letting the small ends drag on the ground. This method was also used by
some American Indian tribes when they were on the move. The remain-
der of the Lapp household is loaded into sleds, which are pulled by
reindeer.
THE BLACK TENT
The black tent is the primary shelter for nomadic tribes of the entire
coast of North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia (even to the eastern
borders of Tibet). It is so named for the darkness of the pure natural
goat hair used in its fabric even though it is not always black. When the
goat hair is blended with sheep and camel wool and plant fibers it is
often dyed other colors as well. However, some amount of goat hair is
always used for strength because the other materials are shorter, weaker,
and stretch too much.
Although this tent is primarily suited to hot dry climates, it has migrated
from its biblical Mesopotamian origins to a wide range of environments.
Mountain peoples have raised the pitch of its roof steeply to shed rain
and have closed off the sides to insulate the interior. On the other hand,
nomads of the hot deserts have flattened and lowered their roofs and
have opened up the sides to provide ventilation. The dark color is sur-
prisingly functional for residents of both temperature and moisture ex-
tremes. Although the dark hue absorbs heat, the loose weave both allows
hot air to escape and also insulates with air pocke.ts. It shields the interior
from both heat and cold like a wool blanket. The black tent is actually
cooler than light-colored canvas tents which reflect sunlight. The wet
fabric swells to close the holes and lanolin of the hair repels rain, but it
will leak in extended storms. However, the nomads using this structure
rarely live in extremely wet areas. If this tent does become totally soaked
its weight increases so much that it cannot be transported easily by pack
animals. Moreover, because the loose weave lets winds blow through
the fabric, the tents' owners must erect wind barriers made of brush,
82 The Tent in History
mats, or other environmental materials, and also choose sheltered sites
in winter.
The black tent is one of the earliest examples of modular architecture.
It is composed of rectangular fabric panels that can be multiplied to
increase the tent size. Each year new sections are added at the middle,
so that by the time a panel is worn out (in five or six years) it has reached
the outer edges and can be removed. The women spin and weave the
material for the panels, which are often sewn together by the whole
family.
The black tent is also an efficient tension structure that requires very
little wood framing. This is because the heavy weight of the woven fabric
and all stresses are concentrated on a few vertical compression points
on the poles. This is the opposite of the freestanding frame structures of
the .tipi and yurt where the cover and frame are totally independent.
The two major styles of construction follow the differences in geog-
raphy and climate. These two basic types - the Eastern (or Persian) and
Western (or Arab) - are both made from the series of joined rectangular
panels with sewn loops at their margins for attachment to the stays.
However, the historically earlier Eastern tent found in Iran, Afghanistan,
and Tibet places the main rope pressures in the same direction as the
seams (so that the panels don't pull apart) with the poles under the
seams. The Western tent found in Arabia, Iraq, Syria, and west of this
area adds strips across the line of joined rectangles so that the stresses
are across the seams, and the pressures of these tension bands, poles,
and rope stays are independent of the tent fabric itself. The development
of the tension band system was an adaptive response to the attempt to
reinforce the tent fabric against the high desert winds. The Bedouin of
Arabia, the Sinai, Jordan, Syria, Israel, and Iraq have refined this later
design to its height of development for desert use.
Bedouin Black Tents
And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, from "A Psalm of Life"
In Arabic Bedouin means desert dwellers. The Bedouin people are the
nomadic tribes of Arabia, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, and North Africa. The
Bedouin represent about one tenth of the population of the Middle East,
but inhabit or utilize almost nine tenths of its land area. They are of the
same Semitic stock as their sedentary neighbors and, with them, share
a devout belief in Islam, but they are distrustful of any but their own
local traditions and way of life. The Bedouin are full-time tent dwellers
and must move constantly from place to place over the bare and empty
desert to find what little grass there is to feed their sheep, goats, and
83 The Nomads
camels. When the sparse grass is gone, or when the people hear that
rain has fallen elsewhere, they pack up their black tents and travel on.
The tribe is a community of equals headed by a sheik to whom all
members of the tribe are related by blood or through marriage. Large
tribes are divided into clans, and clans into sections, and each section is
composed of a group of families. Each clan, section, and family has its
own chief. The land is divided into recognized tribal orbits within which
these family groups travel. These territories may cover hundreds of miles
and only when there is a drought and no grass or food available can
these boundaries be crossed, and then only with permission of the tribes
who inhabit the area.
Occupationally they are roughly divided into three classes: camel
herders, sheepherders, and goat herders. The camel herders are the first
in prestige and historical importance.
The food supply of the Bedouin includes dates, coffee, flour, and
sometimes dried fish and spices. Occasionally plagues of locusts descend
and the Bedouin fills bags with them for consumption during periods of
famine. Goats and sheep supply them meat and wool, and goats and
camel provide them with milk and cheese. Bread is made from millet or
wheat and fried or roasted, not baked. Wild game like gazelle is always
shot and eaten.
The nomadic way of life of the Bedouin has evolved over thousands of
years to sustain existence in the harsh desert environment.
The black tents of the Bedouin are made from goat hair spun into
thread and woven into long pieces of cloth. The tent is primarily a
sunshade, a roof rectangle supported by poles and offering protection
from blazing temperatures that average 120 degrees Fahrenheit. But,
when required, it must serve as a protective shield against up to one-
hundred-mile-per-hour winds mixed with sand. Sometimes during the
summer the three front posts are not used, and the tent is supported
only by the middle and hind poles, thereby providing more protection
from the intense sun and heat outside.
The average Bedouin tent is eight or ten yards long and half as wide,
but there is an extreme variation in size, depending, of course, on the
wealth and rank of the occupant. The smallest tents are supported by
nine poles altogether - a high 'row running lengthwise down the center
with shorter rows at each side. The height of the taller poles, which
creates a slope in the roof to shed water and facilitates entering, is seven
to ten feet, but the height of the tent at its sides seldom exceeds five
feet. The ropes extend outward from both sides and from the center of
each end.
To pitch the Bedouin tent, first it is spread out on the ground, guy
lines are drawn, tent pegs are driven home with wooden mallets, and
the long tent poles are properly spaced and inserted under the roof
strip. Then, by lifting and pushing, up goes the structure; first one pole
in place, then the next, and so on until the whole goat-hair structure
rests securely on its supports.
Detachable goat-hair curtains form the sides and ends of the tent. They
are fastened to the tent with wooden pins and secured in the ground
A Bedouin nomad with his camel photo-
graphed at Rabach village in Israeli-occu-
pied Sinai, Egypt, April 1973. (Courtesy
United Nations/Nagata)
84 The Tent in History
Kurdish
Bedouin
Black desert tents
A Bedouin tent set up on the desert near ~
the town of Hofuf in eastern Saudi Arabia.
(Courtesy Arabian American Oil Company)
Bedouin encampment in the desert of Wadi ~
Rum, Jordan. This is a small encampment
compared to those of the past, when en-
campments of hundreds of thousands of
tents were annual occurrences for the Be-
douin. (From the film Lawrence of Arabia,
courtesy of Cinemabilia)
85 The Nomads
86 The Tent in History
Though not frequently built anymore, when
the Bedouin were in an area where reeds
were available and they planned to stay
awhile, the women would put together a
structure resembling the wickiup of the
American Indian. These four photographs
illustrate its construction: 1) Suitable papy-
rus reeds are gathered; and 2) woven into
mats on an ingeniously constructed loom;
3) A framework is then built by placing limbs
i n the ground opposite each other, then
tying the tops together; and 4) the mats are
fastened to the framework. This hut does
fall into the tent category as it is constructed
from woven material stretched over a frame-
work. (Photos Library of Congress)
Sultan EI-Atrash and retinue - taken in
men's side of a Bedouin tent at Wadi Sirhan
Desert between Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
The coffee hearth is seen in the foreground,
also note hunting falcon at lower right. This
photograph dates to the early 1900s when
the Bedouin nomad was still at large on the
Arabian desert. Now their numbers have
diminished due to local government inter-
ference. (Library of Congress)
This Bedouin sheik has been given land and ~
a house in a settlement area being devel-
oped by the World Food Programme (spon-
sored by the United Nations arid the Food
and Agricultural Organization). However,
he prefers a tent, which at the moment he
shares with his sons. His wife lives in the
house. As the Arab world moves toward be-
coming a modern industrial society, many
of the Bedouin are leaving their tents. Note
how tent roof has been repaired. (United
Nations/Rice/RE)
87 The Nomads
88 The Tent in History
with iron pegs driven through rope loops. The tent is pitched with its
back to the prevailing winds and storms. The shape of this tent has been
likened to that of the hull of a ship turned upside-down - an interesting
comparison as a ship's hull is so formed to displace water and the
Bedouin tent is aerodynamically designed to resist sandstorm winds of
up to 100 miles per hour. Sometimes bushes are buried and the guy
ropes of the tents are attached to them if the Bedouin doesn't think the
tent stakes will hold.
A curtain woven in elaborate geometric patterns is secured along the
center pole in order to divide the tent into the women' s and men' s
Street scene in Cairo. The traveling litter is
called a bethab and is the riding tent of a
wealthy tribesman. The interiors of the be-
thab are adorned with costly silk and cash-
mere; the seats and backs are lined with
rugs and padded with soft cushions. Truly
a luxurious way to travel. (Photo courtesy of
Trans World Airlines, Inc.)
This tentlike contrivance is a howdah and is
used to carry the nomads from campsite to
campsite. In some Bedouin wedding
processions, the bride is brought forth con-
cealed in a covered howdah. (Library of
Congress)
89 The Nomads
quarters, called, respectively, the harem-lik and the salaam-lik. Cooking
utensils, supplies, children, animals, bedding, and clothing are stored in
the harem-lik and the fire pit for cooking is also here. Guns, spears,
camel saddles, cushions, and rugs are kept in the salaam-lik. This section
also contains a coffee hearth and it is here that male visitors are received
and an elaborate ritual of coffee serving takes place.
Some of the Bedouin tents are quite large and luxurious and are up to
120 feet long. These tents are referred to by the additional number of
central, or wasit, poles used to prop them up. A four-, six-, or ten-wasit
tent means the same to the Bedouin as a four-, six-, or ten-room house
does to us. The male sections can be quite luxurious, with Persian carpets
and a profusion of cushions propped against beautifully inlaid and dec-
orated camel saddles. And exquisitely woven dividing curtains separate
the quarters. The women's section will also be divided since the desert
chieftains occupying large tents will usually have more than one wife,
and these wives with their families occupy separate quarters.
It can take over a dozen camels just to transport the tent. One camel
alone carries the ropes, another the iron pegs used to anchor the main
guy ropes, and so on. It is the women who make, pitch, and strike these
tents.
When a section of a Bedouin tent becomes worn, the woman rips out
that portion and replaces it with new cloth. Goat clippings are always
saved and used to weave new material to mend the tent. The old piece
that comes out of the tent roof can then be used to replace part of a
side curtain. After a Bedouin tent is made - and this is only when a
youth with his wife or wives leaves his parents' home and sets up house-
keeping on his own - it is neither old nor new, since it is constantly
being patched.
The fate of the Bedouin is uncertain. As the Arab world moves toward
becoming a modern industrial society, many of the proud desert ·wan-
derers are being absorbed into a different way of life. Trucks now travel
the old caravan routes and oil pipelines crisscross the desert. Also, since
the First World War, the establishment of countries and borders has
subjected the nomads to control by the governments of countries in
which their wandering areas lie.
Already in areas like southern Jordan, 30,000 of the 70,000 Bedouin
have accepted the homes and settled agricultural life the government
has offered them ...:...- many times pitching their tents next to the houses.
And most of the Bedouin are staying; they have no alternative.
Moroccan Berber Black Tents
The seminomadic Berbers herd sheep and till agricultural areas of the
North African coast along the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts from
Libya to Morocco. Sedentary Berbers using the black tent move up into
the Atlas Mountains every spring and summer. Since this area has con-
siderable rainfall they waterproof their tent canopies with pitch. They
also make black tents for ceremonial events.
Transport of Bedouin tent
90 The Tent in History
At the Moussem celebration the people
trade, sing, dance, ride horses, shoot off
their old muzzle-loaders, pay homage to
Moslem leaders, and worship. Above, riders
with their rifles. (Moroccan National Tourist
Office)
Musicians in front of festival tent. (Moroc-
can Embassy)
These tents are set up near Marrakech, Mo-
rocco, for a Moussem, a local religious cel-
ebration at which the people of a tribe or
the tribes in a region congregate to observe
religious holidays. (Moroccan National
Tourist Office)
City-dwellers in Morocco own tents which ~
they bring by car to camp grounds where
folklorique get-togethers take place. (Mo-
roccan National Tourist Office)
91 The Nomads
The decorations on these tents are a sim-
plified and repeated Moorish order design,
and the tent liners that they fasten to the
interior walls usually have the same design
but are more colorful - typically red and
green. (Photo by Jim Thompson)
Moroccan festival tent, on the plain nort h
of Marrakech. (Photo by Jim Thompson)
92 The Tent in History
This version of the black tent, called the alaarba tent, is a Western type
with the tension band system adapted from the Bedouins who invaded
their lands. Three subsidiary bands and one large central strip called the
triga are used in building these tents. Berbers stretch their fabric over a
curved center ridgepole which is supported by two nearly vertical upright
poles. The triga, which holds these framing elements in place, molds the
distinctive, high curving ridgeline profile of these tents. The undersides
of the poles, which are exposed to the interior, are carved and painted
with geometric designs and hung with protective religious charms.
Women weave the rectangular panels (four or five feet wide) on up-
right rug looms and then dye them in a mixture of pomegranate skins
and copper sulfate to blacken the material. Here the men sew the sec-
tions together, but the women always erect the tent , which is never
pitched in the same location twice. Finally the wall panels are pinned to
the roof edges with iron pins. In winter, reed or rush mats and stone,
brush, wood, or sack walls are added outside for insulation and as wind
breakers. The tent is renewed each October with new sections added at
the middle.
Annually in the Souss area of southern Mo-
rocco in Goulimine a large religious festival
gathers all the nomads of the area. There
are horse and camel races, a "Guedra"
dance under the tent, the sacrifice of a she-
camel for the saint, and the trade of com-
modities varying from wheat to rare or
unique products brought from distant
lands.
This occasion provides the nomads, nor-
mally scattered by the conditions of the en-
vironment in which they live, to become
reunited. This picture shows the encamp-
ment, looking down a row of tent posteriors
on left and open fronts at right . These
striped tents are prevalent in the southern
part of Morocco and variations of this desert
tent are used from Tibet to the African At-
lantic. (Courtesy Moroccan National Tourist
Office)
93 The Nomads
The Berbers arrange their tents in a sacred douar circle made up of
between fourteen and twenty family units around a mosque tent in the
middle which is called the "center pole." This central structure is used
as both a religious school and traveler's sanctuary. They also arrange
brush between each outer tent to form a nighttime corral for their ani-
mals.
Moor Black Tents
The Moors, ancient distant relatives of the Berbers, intermarried with the
Spanish and later with the Arabs after they were expelled from Spain.
They settled in the coastal towns and plains of Morocco occupied by
Arabs while the Berbers lived in the mountainous parts of that country.
The Moor black tent is different from all other North African black
tents, not only by its omission of the Western tension band system, but
also because it is supported by two crossed vertical center poles set into
a short ridgepiece. It is smaller than most other black tent designs and
has little height, except under the peak which is supported by the center
poles, to provide resistance to the desert winds.
Their woven panels are also very narrow in width - sixteen inches
wide for the roof sections and eight inches wide for sections reinforcing
the front and back edges. Distinctive seam stitching is done in light-
colored yarn which contrasts with the dark goat-hair fabric. Since new
panels are periodically added to the middle, the exterior shows graded
shades of color from the darkest brown to blonde. Wooden stay fasteners
are sewn to the narrow edges hemmed around rope and iron pins attach
the side wall panels, which are then weighted with stones on the ground.
The Moors often cover their interior walls with an inner lining of white
cotton for warmth and illumination. Cotton sheets also serve as room
dividers for areas designated for couples or single women. Their fur-
nishings consist of decorated leather pillows, floor mats of grass covered
with rugs, and lashed shelves to store blankets and belongings. The
Moors adopt the Arab tradition by arranging their individual tents in a
line about forty feet apart instead of in a circle as the Berbers do.
Iranian Nomadic Black Tents
The I ranian nomadic black tent has been progressively disappearing. The
government of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi tried to systematically
destroy the nomadic cultures. Use of the black tent by the Lurs, the
Basseri, the Bakhtiari, and Qashqai nomads was outlawed in the 1930s as
an attempt to eliminate these independent tribes. The Kurds in the
Zagros Mountains of Iran survived most successfully in their mountain
strongholds. Although the shah's government was forced to revoke the
antimigration law because of the mass starvation of people and flocks,
it still tried to force nomads to join permanent settlements. Many of the
people live in stone houses in the winter and migrate to the higher
mountain pastures in the spring and summer with their tents. However,
now they are sending their flocks to the pastures with only a few herders
Interior of the men's section of a Moroc-
can tent. (Photo by Jim Thompson in de-
sert east of EI Aaiun, Spanish Sahara.)
Lurs tent in the vicinity of Khorram-abad,
Iran. The framework of this tent consists of
three T-topped poles (forked poles with
crosspieces). These account for the wavy
shape of the roof. Woven matting is placed
around the tent on three sides to act as a
wind break and provide privacy. (Musee de
I'Homme, Phototeque, Paris)
94 The Tent in History
who sleep outside under shelters of poles and branches instead of black
tents.
Iranian black tents (and their ropes), made of pure goat' s hair, are
constructed in two parts. This allows the weight to be distributed to two
pack donkeys when traveling. Each' half is joined to the other by sewn
loops and corresponding toggles on the matching hem edges, which are
reinforced with a band. Supporting guy ropes then tie to the large loops
attached to the ends of the band in a fan-shaped pattern to distribute
the stress. Straight or T-shaped center poles under the center seam and
short straight poles along the outer edges support the fabric.
Although the principal tent structure is similar among the various
tribes, the tents look different because the types of center poles vary
between the straight and T-topped types. Moreover, only certain parts
of t he tents are erected at different times of the year. Single side walls
may be set up as a windbreak while traveling, a roofless box during the
summer, and the complete form with the steep roof in cold weather.
The Lur, Bakhtiari, and Qashqai have wavy roof lines because of their T-
shaped center poles and the Kurds have a peaked silhouette due to their
straight center support.
Kurd Black Tents
The Kurd black tent differs from that of the other Iranian nomads by its
multiple peaked silhouette. The many straight center poles extend right
through the tent ridges. Like those tents of the other tribes, large Kurd
tents are also made in two halves that join together with a rope loop and
toggle system sewn into the edge hems. After the halves are joined the
October 1965. Milder climatic conditions
enable this Iranian nomadic tribe to build
higher tents, though the form follows the
basic black desert tent. Forked poles are
used (see tent on left) to anchor the tent
top. The guy ropes fasten to one side of the
fork, the tent to the other. The sides also
are resting on ropes fastened to these poles,
providing more room within the tent.
(United Nations/PS/PAS)
95 The Nomads
Kurds pin cloth over the gap between the sections and down the sides.
Reed mats are set against the exterior perimeter as exterior walls and
again inside to divide the men's and women's quarters.
The Kurds are traditionally nomads, dating back to before 2000 B.C.,
and Kurdistan is their unrecognized state (despite the many attempts by
the Kurds to be acknowledged). Kurdistan is divided among the mountain
areas of Persia, Iraq, Turkey, and the U.S.S.R., with a population of
approximately 1 million. The Kurds have resisted tribal destruction by
these governments more successfully than many other nomads. Iran has
supported Kurdish uprisings against Iraq, and vice versa. Now each gov-
ernment has focused its attention on the Kurds within their boundaries
and are trying to settle them in villages. A sedentary population is easier
to control than a nomadic one. Many Kurds are semi nomadic, living in
villages during the winter where they plant crops and in summer moving
out into the mountain valleys with their tents and flocks.
NOMADS IN AFGHANISTAN
Afghanistan is one of the few (if not the only) countries in the world in
which the number of nomads is not decreasing. By some international
standards this makes Afghanistan one of the least developed countries
of the world. By others it makes Afghanistan one of the most romantic
and colorful countries of the world. More than 2 million Afghani nomads
wander from the mountains in the center of the country to the lowlands
along the borders, and then back again, always searching for grass for
Kurdistan , Iraq, 1958. Kurdish women have
more freedom than the neighboring Arab
women. They go unveiled, speak f reely to
strangers, and participate in the activities of
the tribe, even to the point of becoming
tribal chiefs on the death of their husbands
and serving on electoral boards. (Photo
United Nations/vb/jf)
Nomads on the road between Kandahar and
Kabul , Afghanistan, 1970. (Photo United Na-
tions/ B. Legelle/ NJ)
. ~
96 The Tent in History
their sheep and goats. These nomads exist outside the structure of so-
ciety and travel with impunity across the borders of Afghanistan into
Pakistan, Iran, or the Soviet Union, and, of course, they pay no taxes to
any of these governments.
Like their counterparts in Arabia, the Afghani live in tents made of goat
hair that are supported by nine poles. But in the case of the Afghan tent,
the rope supports, which run from the tops of the outside poles to
wooden tent stakes in the ground, are inside the tent walls and spread
them outward, therefore providing more room inside the tent. The sides
are either anchored with rocks and branches or staked. The floors are
covered with hand-woven carpets.
The nomad caravans that abound in Afghanistan are an embarrassment
to the government, which feels that the nomadic existence of the nomads
deprives them of the social and health services that are slowly spreading
throughout Afghanistan. Most of the nomads cannot read, the infant
mortality rate is a high 190 per thousand, and in some regions there is
almost twice as much tuberculosis among the nomads as in the settled
popu lation.
Traveling some 100 to 200 miles per year, the nomads provide remote
villagers with meat, butter, cheese, and yoghurt in exchange for vege-
tables, fruit, and nuts. They are also a source of information and news
to villagers who are cut off from the outside world. It is also believed
that many of the nomads carry opium, which is produced in abundance
in eastern Afghanistan.
For the most part things have not changed for these people since
Alexander the Great passed through Afghanistan over two thousand years
ago. The nomads encamp in the lowlands until spring comes and their
sheep have given birth, then they head back into the mountains. The
camel is the beast of burden and the women still do most of the work,
including tending the animals and setting up and taking down camp. The
men do whatever fighting is necessary and for the most part sit around
and talk more than work. Traditions of fighting and revenge are strong,
having come down through the centuries in legends and poems. An
example is this verse in Pashto, the Afghan language:
My beloved returned unsuccessful from battle.
I regret the kiss I gave him last night.
But hospitality also prevails and guests are almost always w,elcomed and
regaled with trays of almonds and raisins and cup after cup of sweet,
milky tea. This, of course, breaks the monotony of camp life for the
nomads and gives the traveler food and shelter.
There are many similarities between the Bedouin and the Afghan no-
mad. To the existence of the former, technology is a threat. But the
Afghan nomad is threatened neither by technology nor the government.
Actually the government of Afghanistan has very little control over its
nomads and it appears that there will be little change among them for
decades to come.
Nomads near their tents at a Koochi camp
near Kandahar, Afghanistan . The Afghani
nomads trade with inhabitants of remote
villages and raise sheep, which they bring
from the mountains to the lowlands as win-
ter approaches. Their tents are the black
goat-hair tents of the Arabian and north Ara-
bian desert. Note brush shelter to the left.
(United Nations/H. K. Lall/NJ)
Hide tents of drought victims in the village
of Bume in southern Ethiopia. These former
nomads no longer have animals or pastures.
Over 1.6 million people in south and south-
east Ethiopia have been affected by the
drought. Other parts of Africa have been
equally hard hit. Annual rains have not
fallen for over six years now - 90 percent
of the animals have died, there are no
crops, people are starving. Emergency as-
sistance provided by various governments
and U.N. agencies is being channeled into
the affected areas by the United Nations
Disaster Relief Coordinator. But it's still not
enough. (Photo United Nations/Jerry
Frank.)
97 The Nomads
MAT AND SKIN TENTS
Mat and skin tents made of light freestanding stick frames covered with
skin, bark, or mats are used by hunting and gathering cultures through-
out the world. The advantage of this tent is that its lightweight cover can
be rolled up for easy transportation. The frame is only taken along when
wood for a new one is scarce. Its disadvantage is that the mat or skin
coverings are weak and cannot be stretched strenuously. This fact ne-
cessitates a complex frame system to support the cover.
There are four basic frame systems: the dome, barrel vault, box, and
box with barrel vault. The dome, which is the oldest and most common
variety, is constructed by bending light poles into arches acrosS each
other and lashing them together. If the arched sticks are set parallel in
a line instead of crossing each other in a circle, they form a barrel vault.
The rectangular box frame made from straight lashed pieces is often
combined with a barrel vault roof so that it sheds rain more efficiently
than a flat top.
These original hutlike tents were the predominant shelter throughout
the whole Middle East until they were replaced by the black tent. Only
a few groups continue to use them even though the mats have been kept
for yurt and black tent side walls in a small area bounded by the western
Sahara, Baluchistan, and northern Kenya. Some tribes, such as the Tuareg
and Baluchi use both types. Mat covered huts are still used as local cheap
housing in South America, Africa, and Asia for non-nomadic peoples
such as the Marsh Arabs of southern Iraq, the barridas squatter towns of
Latin America, and Bangladesh.
Afghan nomad camp in the Hindu Kush
Mountains, 1973. As can be seen above,
level terrain is not necessary for these struc-
tures. When they are dismantled, the mats
are rolled up and the poles tied into bundles
to facilitate moving, though this does not
occur frequently. (Photo United Nations/
Siceloff/PAS)
Northeastern Madagascar, Bezanozano -
tent/hut of bent branches, straw, and mats.
This dwelling always faces west and is highly
symbolic, as are many nomadic tents. The
interior walls of the Bezanozano house are
associated with the twelve zodiacal signs
and therefore with the months. The struc-
ture is supported at the center by a center
pole which is equated to the center of
cosmic space. (Musee de I'Homme, Pho-
toteque, Paris)
98 The Tent in History
Nomadic mat tent dwellers are the original north African native Ham-
ites, descendants of Noah's son Ham. The two major Hamitic groups are
the northern mountain Berber Hamites, who adopted the black tent, and
the western Sahara Tuareg and southern Sahara Teda desert dwellers
who use the mat and skin types. The latter are offspring of ancestral
Berbers who were forced into the desert by the Arab invasion of northern
Africa in the eleventh century.
The Tuareg culture is divided into a feudal system of noble, priest,
vassal, serf, and slave classes. The Tuareg is the only tribe of the Sahara
in which the men are traditionally veiled. These herder nobles used to
be the ancient pirates and robbers of desert caravans - cowboylike
nobles who did no work but were the only owners of camels (the source
of their power). Whole tribes were serfs to the nobles by inheritance
even though they could not be sold or freed like slaves. The slave class,
descendants of war prisoners, are now legally free but still work for their
owners since they can get no other employment.
The Tuareg and Teda women, who are superb leather crafters, make
the skin tent panels in addition to all other leather accessories and
furniture. In contrast to the Arabs these women own their dowry and
property (that is, the tent and all its furnishings) and retain them upon
divorce. (And the women can dissolve their marriages at will.)
Now that many men work in the oil fields and uranium mines and the
flocks have been decimated by droughts the number of tents has been
decreasing. However, the Tuaregs and other nomadic and seminomadic
tribes still make both types - the mat and the skin.
Seminomads who move only a few times a year use the mat type. The
mat panels are made of strips of plaited palm leaves sewn into larger oval
sections for the roof; the wall modules are of grass and straw interwoven
with leather strips. Wall mats are sometimes positioned underneath the
plaited palm roof sections for better resistance to rain.
The frame structure was originally meant to be stationary because it is
too heavy for easy portability. Therefore only the mats are taken during
migration. The frame is made of long acacia roots. Acacia is a type of
ornamental plant that has some varieties that produce gum arabic and
others that produce catechu, which is used in dyeing, tanning, and
medicine. They curve the arches by heating these roots over a fire,
bending them, and tying them down with ropes until the arch is dry and
holds its curved shape. Then final cutting and trimming is done'. Pairs of
curved roots are lashed together into one long piece to make a single
arch.
To set up the frame the Tuareg set three arches into the ground in a
line. At the ends of this they set boxlike frames made of vertical poles
with lashed crosspieces. Finally thinner branches are intertwined through
the arch loops and tied to the ends. At last the mats or skins are tied on.
True Tuareg nomads who travel almost every other week prefer skins
over their frames. The sun-bleached skins become sand colored and
blend into the desert la.ndscape. Although goatskin is preferred for its
strength, sheepskin may also be used. Cattle herders are often forced to
use cowskin but this shrinks and hardens when wet and also requires
tanning and waterproofing with butter. When cowskin is used it is often
Eritrea, Ethiopia - Samhar region nomads.
In Africa, where the mat and the black des-
ert tent coexist, a logical development is the
black desert tent made of woven mats in-
stead of goat-hair fabric. This tent resembles
the Berber tent with its keel-shaped design.
(Musee de I'Homme, Phototeque, Paris)
Gabes, Tunisia, Another variation of the
desert tent, this one striped and humped.
The white stripes mark the locations of sup-
porting ropes sewn into the tent fabric.
Short lengths of wood are tied to each pair
of the ropes and these in turn are fastened
to tent stakes with more rope. Stitching can
also be seen running horizontally to the
stripes where tension bands are sewn into
the tent roof for front and rear support of
the tent. (Musee de I'Homme, Phototeque,
Paris)
99 The Nomads
AI Kharj, Saudi Arabia. Type of temporary
housing in which an employee of AI Kharj
experimental farm lives. The walls are made
of stone and branches and the roof is a tent ,
which could possibly be the tent the worker
and his family resided in as nomads. A can-
vas tent is pitched to far right . (Standard Oil
Company)
Women from a nomadic tribe of sheep-
herders outside Baghdad, Iraq, November
1965. These people have been resettled in
a tent city by the Ministry of Agriculture,
with the support of the United Nations, in
an attempt to develop small-scale agricul-
ture and animal husbandry. These people,
like so many other nomads, have given up
their black desert tents for regulation army
tents (with and without windows) or small
houses, also provided by the government.
(Photo United Nations/ PB/PAS)
Yuruks, near Lycia, Turkey, August 1977.
The Yuruks or seminomadic sheepherders
of Yugoslavia and Turkey are a homogene-
ous tribe of people who preserve in a very
pure form the language, economy, and cus-
toms, and probably also the physical type,
of the old Turks who emigrated from central
Asia. Sedentary during the winter months,
growing crops and making rugs, these Yu-
ruks travel in the summer months, sell their
wares, and graze their goat and sheep
herds. (Photograph by Grace van Hulsteyn)
100 The Tent in History
MAT TENT
SKIN TENT
Left: A view of the women's wing of a de-
sert tent, with the Pyramids of Giza in the
background, early 19OOs. The women's
section is the area for cooking utensils,
supplies, children, animals. Cooking,
weaving, and general housework are per-
formed here. (Library of Congress)
Right: Tuareg mat tent - near Timbuktu,
Mali. (photo by Carleton Howe)
Tuareg mat and skin tents with frame vari-
ations
101 The Nomads
colored reddish yellow with a mixture of red ochre and camel dung.
After roof skins are cut into rectangular panels and sewn together, the
Tuaregs add a fringed edge strip along the seams, which dangles into
the tent interior. This is considered very attractive. Outer edges of the
roof skins are left in their natural irregular shapes so that the extensi"ons
(from the animal limbs) can be tied to the outer poles. An average-sized
goatskin tent will have thirty-five to forty pelts; a large one averages
around 150 of them. The Tuaregs heavily decorate the interior surfaces
of these skins with colored leather and fringes that move with the
breezes. Woven wall mats, wood carving on the beds, and leather cush-
ions all display colorful patterns.
Other variations of mat and skin tents extend through African areas
and tribes such as the Fezzan of Libya, the Eritrea of Ethiopia, the Rendille
of Kenya, the Kel Geres of the Sudan, and the Ad Sek, the Danakil or
Afar, the Somali, and the Beja of Somali land. The choice of mat or skin
is determined by weather, scarcity of materials, and also preference for
decoration. Even though the skins are insufferably warm in the hot
season they are sometimes favored because of their decorative beauty.
Though the skins are heavier, need more side support poles, and are
hot in the summer, mat tents leak and absorb water so that they have to
be dismantled and dried out after each storm. Sometimes the more
quickly assembled lighter mat tents are covered with skins during the
rainy season so that hybrid variations of the two types are created.
YURTS
The yurt is among the most ingenious, waterproof, and luxurious of the
many types of portable dwellings conceived by nomadic tribes, and it
has provided shelter for the wandering Mongolian, his family, and his
animals for thousands of years. These shelters, based on a very light
wooden frame, are solid and strong and provide comfort and warmth in
some of the highest and bleakest parts of the world - the Siberian
steppe.
Genghis Khan (1162-1227) mobilized the ever-warring Mongol princes
into a mighty force and by 1260 his sons ruled a far-flung Eurasian empire,
composed of eastern Europe and most of Asia, which was divided into
four khanates: one comprised all of China and most of east Asia and was
later ruled by Kublai Khan; another in Turkistan; one in Persia; and the
Golden Horde in Russia, founded by the Batu Khan. It was the gorgeous
tents of the Batu Khan that caused his successors to be known as the
Golden Horde. This khanate included large elements of Turkic peoples
who came to be known collectively as Tatar.
The Tatars decorated their yurts with brightly dyed goat hair which
would be pressed into the felt covering to produce intricate designs.
They also installed their larger yurts on wagons. Rubruquis (c. 1215-1270),
the Franciscan friar who was one of the chief medieval travelers and
travel writers, measured between the wheel tracks of one and found the
The Mongol yurt has covered more" of the
world than any other nomadic tent. (From
Henry Yule: The Book of Ser Marco Polo)
Interior of a Tatar yurt. The disposition of
furnishings within the yurt is regulated by
strict ritual and hierarchical order. Drapes
over the marital bed form a tent within the
tent and provide further insulation against
the outside cold. A cradle is strapped to the
side of the tent at left. Carved chests con-
tained the family's possessions, samovar
held tea, scimitar hangs from roof support
at right. (From C. Rechberg, Des Peuples de
la Russie)
102 The Tent in History
These two photographs show stages in con-
struction of the yurt. The sides are a lattice-
work made of willow. The sections fold flat
for good portability and the number used
may vary, allowing the size of the yurt to
change according to the need of the day.
Note reed matting (above) and compres-
sion band encircling the yurt . A door
frame has been lashed into the wooden
wall (below) to carry a stout wooden door
and the compression band has been
lashed to this frame. (Library of Congress)
This photograph, taken before the turn of
the century in Russia, shows a Mongol fam-
ily inside their yurt. Piled behind them are
decorated boxes, roped to facilitate being
carried by camel and containing household
utensils and carved wooden boxes in which
the family valuables are kept . Folded rags
and bedding sit atop the boxes and roof
support poles are visible at top. (Library of
Congress)
103 The Nomads
distance to be twenty feet. The axle was like a ship's mast and twenty-
two oxen were yoked to the wagon, eleven abreast. The wagon carried
a tent pavilion some thirty feet in diameter, for it projected beyond the
wheels at least five feet on either side. It also had latticed windows and
the occupants were able to travel within the tent. This practice of carrying
yurts on wheels is obsolete now in Mongolia. The huge yurts of the
Mongolian noblemen would always be surrounded by smaller yurts,
which housed an entourage of wives. And for centuries the yurt was
virtually the only dwelling known, apart from Buddhist monasteries, in
Mongolia.
Today yurts are still widely used throughout the rich steppe lands of
central Asia and in Ulan Bator, the capital of Mongolia. Nearly 50,000 of
the quarter of a million inhabitants of Ulan Bator still live in them, though
the government is attempting to get the yurt dwellers to move into
housing developments. Also, a university recently started in Ulan Bator
uses yurts as dormitories.
Actually the words yurt and yurta are of Russian origin and have be-
come the Westerner's term for the collapsible felt tent of the Mongols.
For the Mongolian, the correct term is ger, meaning "dwelling." The
English word horde comes directly from the Mongolian ordu, which
means a collection of yurts, hence a tribe, so horde was applied to
Mongol armies.
The Mongols have two types of tents. One is a simple traveling tent
that is a ridge-pole tent covered with dark cotton cloth. Their more
permanent tent is the yurt. The most practical feature of the yurt is its
latticed frame, the sections of which fold flat for easy transporting. This
works on the same principle as the child's safety gate. The number of
sections used may be varied, allowing the size of the yurt to change
according to the needs of the day. Usually, when expanded the sections
stand about the height of a man; however, they can reach tremendous
proportions. Herbert Vreeland in his Mongol Community and Kinship
Structure reported in 1927 that a sixteen-section yurt was so large that
loaded camels were able to walk through its door and six hundred people
were not able to fill it.
To erect a yurt, the sections are expanded and bound together, and a
door frame is also tied to them. Then a compression band or rope is
drawn around the top part of the wall and door frame. This band encir-
cling the structure at the eaves takes the outward thrust of the roof and
therefore supports it. The compression band is that integral component
that makes the yurt work. Next, wooden ribs are lashed to the wall lattice
and joined to a higher central compression ring or crown. Sometimes
there are two pillars holding up the central ring - other times there are
none and the roof is self-supporting. On self-supporting crowns, there
are two arrangements for connecting the ribs with the crown. One in-
volves having roof pieces tapered at one end with loops at the other.
The tapered end fits into a hole in the crown and the other end is looped
to the wall pieces. The other configuration works on the principle of the
ribs of the umbrella. The roof ribs are hinged to the crown and either
branch out to connect with the wall or collapse for transport. In both
A nineteenth-century rendering of a Tatar
yurt. Woven mattings of different decora-
tions and color indicated the social position
of the yurt owner. Matting is used on the
yurts found in Turkestan (a region of central
Asia extending from the Caspian Sea to the
Gobi Desert and including parts of Russia
and China) . (Illustrated London News, Au-
gust, 1873)
104 The Tent in History
A carpenter and a nomad talk business.
Three compression rings at left lean
against lattice framework and a beautifully
decorated door is slightly to right. (Library
of Congress)
Wealthier Mongolian families had more
than just the yurt. Pictured here is a simple
traveling tent, set up outside the wall of a
town. (Library of Congress)
Yurt Interior - Peoples Republic of Mon-
golia, 1953. Mongolian worker, his wife and
children, at home in their yurt. The brazier
of the traditional yurt has been replaced by
the new gas stove. Note iron-framed bed,
at left, with curtains. Chests with print pat-
terns and suitcases have replaced carved
and appliqued boxes. Mirrors, radios,
clock, sewing machines, and photographs
of Stalin and other Soviet leaders are now
standard items. Urban yurt communities ex-
ist throughout Mongolia and the govern-
ment is trying to move the yurt dwellers into
housing developments. (Photo: Eastfoto)
105 The Nomads
The Council of the Wise, in front of their
yurt in the village of Kupre-Bazar, U.S.S.R.
Young couples (like the one shown here),
department chiefs, and villagers through-
out Mongolia can obtain advice from their
local councils of the wise. (Photo: Tass
from Sovfoto)
Forty-four miles from Frunze, capital of
Kirghiz, Southern Russia, 1966. The mod-
ern age reaches the Mongolian nomad.
These nomads gather around a radio with
their morning tea. The two men reclining
are brothers whose ancestors had hired
herders on a feudal basis. They own about
760 head of sheep each and average about
120 lambs to every 100 ewes. The other
man is one of their pensioners. The hats
of the brothers distinguish their rank from
that of their pensioner. They will all make
a winter trek when the weather starts to
change. (Novosti from Sovfoto)
106 The Tent in History
cases the number of ribs corresponds to the number in the wall section,
plus four to six extra pieces attached to the top of the door frame.
The nomads' herds, for the most part, provide the material for the
outer covering of the yurt. Thick felt mats are stretched over the frame-
work and lashed in place or weighted with stones. Occasionally a layer
of canvas is used, but only felt can provide the necessary protection from
the elements. In severe weather with temperatures of minus 50 and 60
degrees Fahrenheit and 90-mile-per-hour winds as many as eight layers
of felt may be required for insulation. Too, the circular shape of the yurt Transport of a yurt
enables it to withstand the high velocity winds and it is easier to heat the
inside because there ar:e no corners for heat to get lost in. Dried yak and
sheep dung bricks are used as fuel.
The doors to the yurt are distinctly decorated with bright inlaid patterns
on front and back. A felt flap is hung over the entrance and put into use
when the door is left open during the day, and also serve as insulation
in cold weather. Another felt flap is attached atop the yurt and, when
weather conditions demand, it can be drawn over the crown. It can also
partially cover the opening in order to enable the wind to create a suction
to draw the smoke from the yurt.
Again, in the yurt as in other nomadic tents, everything is placed in its
traditional position, including the yurt itself, which is always pitched
facing south so that the patch of sunlight shining through the smokehole
acts as a clock. This plan is firmly established. The household equipment
includes cooking utensils, perhaps a samovar, clothing boxes, a storage
bin for boots and shoes, and a cowskin in which a variety of milk from
yaks, sheep, or horses is stored. Leather bags contain goods like rice,
barley, flour, weaving equipment, and extra rugs, mats, or skins. The
altar or shrine box above the bags would house lama statues and images
as well as a variety of offering trays. In extremely cold weather young or
pregnant animals - yaks, calves, and lambs - are brought into the yurt
and the body heat generated by them and the Mongol family enables
the people to sleep with little or no covering.
Yurt-cleaning is simple - and necessary. The furnishings are moved
outside, the felt cover along the vertical wall is removed, and family
members take up positions around the wall, pick up, and relocate the
yurt to a clean patch of ground.
In summer, the canvas and felt closest to the ground can be rolled up,
exposing the latticework and providing ventilation. This is also done with
the tipi in hot weather.
The yurt is fraught with religious symbolism, as is the tipi. As the yurt
evolved, the Mongol began to recognize a symbolic connection between
his dwelling and the universe. The smoke hole became known as the
"Sun Gate" and the "Sky Door." Some yurts, though not the ones
pictured in this book, have eight braces reinforcing the central compres-
sion ring. These are quite similar to the eight-spoked "Wheel of the
Law," which is ubiquitous in Buddhist temples. Outside, the piece of
heavy cloth drawn over the smoke hole is decorated with a design similar
to the ancient Chinese "cloud collar." The flames in the fire pit symbol-
ized the gate to the underworld. Smoke rising from the fire was referred
to as the "World Tree" moving from earth to God. Every morning an
107 The Nomads
Another Turkish yurt, on this one a highly
ornate band of cloth is wrapped around two
thirds of the circumference and the deco-
rated doors at right identify this tent as the
dwelling of a high-ranking personage. The
cord draped over the left side is used to pull
the felt cover over the smoke hole. (Musee
de I'Homme, Phototeque, Paris)
This yurt of the Akcha of Northern Afghan-
istan has a higher and more conical dome.
The shape and coverings of the yurt may
vary according to the tribe and region. (Mu-
see de I' Homme, Phototeque, Paris)
108 The Tent in History
offering would be made by pouring tea on the iron grate of the fire pit.
The religious man of some tribes would climb a ladder and examine the
flow of smoke from the smoke hole in order to obtain omens or messages
from above.
An interesting point is that the Mongolian herdsmen were not wood
craftsmen and therefore depended on the inhabitants of wooded re-
gions, who were fine carpenters, for the component parts of their yurts.
The central compression ring was always a purchased item, and doors
and latticework were also available from artisans who earned their living
making them.
The yurt could be erected in about a half an hour and dismantled and
loaded in about the same amount of time. The parts were then loaded
onto one or two camels, with the compression ring being placed hori-
zontally atop one camel load. Having the camel as a beast of burden
enabled the Mongols to develop this heavier weight, highly efficient
tent.
TIBET
Before Tibet was annexed to the People's Republic of China in 1951, it
was known as the land of lamas, and Lahasa, the capital, was the mecca
of Lamaism (a form of Mahayana Buddhism). Pilgrims, with their tents,
flocked to Lahasa from places as far away as Manchuria, Mongolia, and
the U.S.S.R. Now all this has changed; even the Dalai Lama fled to India
during a 1959 revolt against the Chinese occupation forces, and tent
cities of the pilgrims no longer exist around Lahasa. The main tent dwell-
ers of Tibet are the nomadic herdsmen who compose nearly half of the
populatio_n-.
Tibet itself lies on a high plateau surrounded by the world's highest
mountain masses. The lofty Himalayan chain sprawls along the entire
southern frontier and blocks off the warm monsoon winds from the
Indian Ocean. And Tibet is crossed from east to west by smaller ranges.
Even in the eastern portion, which is drained by many of the great rivers
of east and southeast Asia (the Yangtze, Mekong, Yellow, to name a
few), the valley bottoms are as high as mountain peaks - 10,000 feet
and over. Tibet possesses an incredibly harsh, bare, seemingly uninhab-
itable terrain and is called by its inhabitants "the Region of the Glacier-
Snow Mountains." Good soil is seldom found and crops, when planted,
are threatened by drought, hail, and sudden frosts. The land sustains a
small peasant population. The remainder of the Tibetans who are not
lamas are nomadic and pasture their flocks mostly in the uplands at
altitudes of more than 14,000 feet, mainly in the wilderness of north-
western Tibet. Other pastoral groups migrate seasonally, spending the
winters in the lowlands and grazing their animals on mountain slopes in
the summer.
The tents of these nomads resemble the black tents of the Bedouin in
size, support system, and shape. But while the Bedouin tent is made of
goat hair, the Tibetan tent fabric is woven from only the black hair of
109 The Nomads
yak steers, which has been pulled, not shorn, from their bellies. This
makes for a reasonably waterproof fabric that becomes increasingly more
so from the smoke and soot of dung fires within the tents.
For the most part, these tents are square in shape and average around
thirty square feet and are six to seven feet high in the center. The tent
is composed of two sections, with a division in the center running from
front to rear. The strips of fabric from which the tent is made also run
from front to rear and are anywhere from eJght to twelve inches wide.
The tent cloth is heavy and each section, with its tent poles, makes a yak
load. The tents vary in size due to the fact that they are renewed annually
piece by piece, like their Bedouin counterparts. So after a tent has been
in use for a year, it is never completely old or completely new. New
pieces - one for each side - are sewn on each side of the center
division because it is this central division that acts as a smoke hole, and
there is a substantial amount of wear and tear over the hearth because
a system of loops and toggles (made of horn) forms a two-foot-wide
combination skylight and smoke hole. During storms there is a flap that
is pulled and fastened over this vent to keep out the rain and snow.
The tent is supported by six poles - two in the center, which are six
or seven feet long, and four shorter, one at each of the sides. Eight guy
ropes, one at each corner and one midway on each side, keep the tent
stretched tautly over the poles. Each of these yak hair ropes (this hair
comes from other parts of the yak) is fastened to the tent roof in a three-
cord spread, then stretched over the top of an external prop pole, and
These tents of the Tibetan nomads are made
from yak hair which is pulled, not shorn,
from the bellies of the yak. This tent is sup-
ported by six poles (as opposed to the cus-
tomary nine of the Bedouin) and, unlike the
desert tent, has a central vent in the roof.
(Photo: Library of Congress)
110 The Tent in History
finally is pegged securely to the ground. In frozen ground iron pegs are
necessary, though sometimes boulders serve as anchors. The prop poles
may be adjusted in distance and angle to provide any desired pull on
the roof of the tent. This enables the tent to be more adaptable to the
high winds. The walls also are adjustable - they can hang free or be
pegged slightly outward. Of course, there are many variations in the size
and shape of these tents throughout Tibet. Some are quite large -
constructed from three or four sections. Others are smaller and irregular;
however, all are supported with guy ropes and prop poles.
Inside the tent there are two sections. Entering from the front by the
center pole, the right side contains the elaborate family altar in the far
corner and prized possessions stacked along the side. The Tibetans carry
with them yak-hide bags and wooden chests filled with food and with all
the normal household items that would be found in any permanent
dwelling, including large churns in which tea is mixed with butter to
fortify the nomad against the cold. These possessions stacked against the
walls also insulate the tent. The open space by the hearth is for the men
and guests. The left side is where the women do their work and sit by
the fire. That area contains a pile of fuel (yak or sheep dung) in the front
corner and kitchen utensils in boxes and bags spread along the back.
Butter and cheese making equipment is also kept in this area.
The nomadic Tibetans also have pup tent-like shelters that are used
for sleeping on the rim of the encampment or where the herds settle
down for the night. Many pastoral families also have smaller tents for
travel or picnicking. These are very simple affairs - usually a ridge-pole
style, that is conical in shape or a rectangular roofed tent that utilizes
the guy rope, external prop suspension system of the black tent.
Less often found among the nomads are ceremonial yurts, or "god
houses" for the group. The Tibetans have resisted using the yurt and the
black tent is sacred to them; however, it is a status symbol to have a yurt
in reserve for use in entertaining high-ranking persons or celebrating
special occasions.
The Tibetan wears an oversized large-sleeved felt raincoat that looks
like a walking tent and, when riding horseback, this tent covers the rider,
all his gear, and half the horse; when seated by the fire it can cover
belongings and both food being consumed and half the fire upon which
food is being cooked. When the Tibetan beds down, it covers both bed
and gear.
The Tibetans make felt from sheep's wool and there is great demand
for it. Felt is also made into circular pieces, sometimes as much as ten
feet in diameter, and forms a makeshift tent that protects caravan loads,
the traveler, and the traveler's gear.
There is a set pattern of placement when the community is on the
move and tents are pitched. These patterns can vary from the common
"tent circle" or, sometimes, more distance is kept between the tents, in
which case the neighborly relationship is retained. As would be expected
in a country as rugged as Tibet, the encampments sometimes must
conform to the terrain, and tents may be found scattered along valleys
or interspersed on level ground on ridges or in ravines.
PART 2
THE TENT AS ART
4 ARCHITECTURE
To accomplish a task with a minimum use of materials is finally the only inter-
esting problem.
- Bernard Lafaille
From their inception, tents and permanent structures have gone their
separate and independent ways, both of them reaching incredible
heights and extremes. Then a few decades ago, the tent, due to tech-
nological developments, began to be considered a feasible alternative to
conventional right-angled steel and glass. And now the tent - in the
form of air-supported and tension structures - is becoming an integral
part of modern architecture.
Before this century, only occasionally did the tent exert its influence
on architecture and vice versa. One time-tested example of the tent's
incorporation into architecture is the convertible roof or tent top that
has provided shade and protection for streets, marketplaces, town
squares, courtyards and amphitheaters through the centuries and
throughout the world. In ancient Rome the grandest theaters and am-
phitheaters, among them the Colosseum, had velum tent tops that could
be extended and retracted, and, appropriately enough, sailors were in
charge of that operation.
From comments in Roman literature, the theater vela were supposedly
introduced in 69 B.C. and a fresco in Pompeii dating from 59 B.C. showing
a Pompeii amphitheater velum was discovered in a building near the
amphitheater in 1869. Little is known of the actual workings of these
roofs. They consisted of cables attached to massive beams, and cloth
was fastened to the cables with eyelets. Linen was predominantly used,
though decadent Rome was, in various theaters, shaded by silk. Some
vela were also beautifully decorated - Nero is responsible for two - 113
114 The Tent as Art
The Roman Colosseum under canvas. The
vela of the Colosseum above is reminis-
cent of the roof of the Pantheon (a circu-
lar temple constructed in 27 s.c. and still
standing in Rome), which has a similarly
proportioned round hole in its roof.
Hall of State in the palace of an Egyptian
monarch. Again, the fabri c roof is applied,
this time in the form of pieces of decorated
material (probably linen) strung from sup-
porting poles. (From Jacob von Falke' s Art
In the House, Historical, Critical, and Aes-
thetical Studies on the Decoration and Fur-
nishings of the Dwelling, 1879)
The Agora of Athens in the 1860s. Again a
velum, though a ragged one, is in use.
Agora is the Ancient Greek term used for
marketplace, which was also the popular
place of assembly. (From W. F. Ainsworth,
All Round the World, 1869)
This Pompeian fresco dates from 59 s.c. (ten
years after the conception of theater velum)
and is the only known pictorial rendering of
an ancient theater velum. It shows the Pom-
peii amphitheater and its velum, which
hangs between two towers of the adjacent
city wall and partially covers the amphithea-
ter. Note the small fabric structure in the
foreground. (Editorial Photocolor Archives)
115 Arch itectu re
In 1781, in the midst of civil strife in Sweden,
King Gustavus III felt that the Chinese pa-
vilions that composed the palace complex
at Haga should be placed under guard and,
for guard houses, had erected metal tent s
fashioned after those used by the Ottoman
sultans for large receptions in the sixteenth
and seventeenth centuries. Decorated in
several colors (one is blue and the other is
striped), these guardhouse tents are painted
in trompe-l'oeil and decorated with simu-
lated fringes, braid, drapes. The crown of
the kings of Sweden is on the roof of the
one on the right.
A shopping street in Manama on Bahrain
Island, Saudi Arabia. Again, fabric is used to
provide protection from the sun . Through
the ages fabric has been used to cover out-
door gathering places and transform them
into cool and comfortable areas. (Arabian
American Oil Company)
116 The Tent as Art
and the one in the Pompeii amphitheater was made of sky-blue cloth
decorated with stars. The other covered the Pompeii theater in Rome
and showed Nero as a deified charioteer against a purple sky with golden
stars. These fabric tent tops over buildings reached proportions that
remained unequalled until this century.
The vela of ancient Rome covered areas that the existing structural
technology was unable to duplicate with rigid materials. And today, even
though these areas can be spanned without depending on fabric, cloth
remains by far the most practical covering: it can do the job faster and
cheaper, and conserves energy as well. The new Pontiac, Michigan,
Silverdome stadium's air-supported roof of woven Fiberglas coated with
Teflon covers ten acres. The stadium, which seats 80,638, was completed
ahead of schedule and did not exceed the budget. Jeddah International
Airport near Mecca, Saudi Arabia, which is due to open in 1980, will
cover a whopping 105 acres. In the centuries between the Pompeii am-
phitheater and the Silverdome fabric has been used over everything from
Egyptian palaces to streets in Saudi Arabia.
There has been other interaction between tents and buildings. Tents
have on occasion been camouflaged to look like buildings: for example,
ptolemy II, king of ancient Egypt from 285 to 246 B. C., had the ceiling of
his domical tent painted to look like stone, and, in the Field of the Cloth
of Gold in 1520, the walls of one of Richard Gibson's fabulously decorated
and designed tents were painted in trompe-l'oeil to resemble brickwork.
At the other extreme, there have been buildings constructed to look like
tents, for instance, when the Greeks captured the field tent of Xerxes,
the king of Persia who invaded Greece in 480 B.C., they were so impressed
with it they modeled the theater of Pericles in Athens after it. And metal
Steel tent. Project for the World's Colum-
bian Exposition, Chicago, 1893. Architect:
Leroy S. Buffington (1847-1931), drawing
by Harvey Ellis (1852-1904). Buffington's ar-
chitectural business was located in Minne-
apolis and, in 1885, was the city's largest.
He patented a steel skeleton construction
technique on which modern skyscraper
technology is based, and one of his diver-
gences from that type of architecture was
this steel tent. Harvey Ellis, the artist, was
with Buffington's firm only two years, dur-
ing which time he completed this drawing.
(Northwest Architectural Archives, Univer-
sity of Minnesota)
117 Architecture
tents were built in 1781 at the palace of Haga in Stockholm, Sweden, to
resemble the tents used by Turkish sultans for large receptions when the
Ottoman Empire was at its height.
More recently tents were pitched indoors, as was fashionable during
the Empire period of France (1804-1815). Rooms were also built or dec-
orated to look like tent interiors.
Another interesting and more logical innovation is the tent house,
which has enjoyed great popularity in this country. Religious camp com-
munities, state sanitariums, and tourist resorts have used them quite
successfully, saving themselves the cost of erecting and maintaining
permanent structures and certainly providing more of a sense of adven-
ture for their clientele. Various manufacturers make permanent camping
tents designed for platform campsites, and superbly designed tents in-
tended to be used in place of an often-unaffordable summer house are
also on the market. As the tent becomes the hottest thing in architectural
design for large buildings, it stands to reason that the tent house also
has an exciting futu reo
It is only in this century that the tent has entered the field of architec-
ture and this was, unobtrusively, in the form of air-supported structures
designed for military needs. Air-supported structures, of course, are just
that - airtight structures supported by slight interior air pressure. Fans
or blowers provide the pressure and entrance to and exit from these
buildings is usually through an air lock. The air-supported structure is
distinguished from the inflated structure by the fact that in the inflated
structure the occupied area is not under pressure and the walls of the
building are filled with air - like an air mattress.
In response to the U.S. government's need for a means of protecting
A tent house at the New York state sanitar-
ium at Ray Brook in the Adirondack Moun-
tains. The tent house has enjoyed great pop-
ularity in this country, especially at resorts
and religious communities. At the turn of
the century camping was not considered the
exciting return to nature it is today. It was
still strongly associated with pioneering and
the rough lifestyle of the frontier and was,
therefore, not genteel. Camping was also
difficult for women wearing the Victorian
fashions that were in style. Children, how-
ever, were encouraged to camp out, and
did. And vacationing in a tent house served
as the equivalent of camping out for the
adults.
118 The Tent as Art
and enclosing the large, highly sensitive radar antennae developed after
the Second World War on the Distant Early Warning (DEW) line in the
Arctic, Walter Bird - who is now recognized as one of the pioneers in
the field of design and fabrication of air structures - developed the first
large (fifty feet in diameter, forty feet high) air-supported radome in 1948
while he was with Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory (now CALSPAN) in
Buffalo. Radio waves could be transmitted almost without resistance
through the light neoprene-coated Fiberglas walls, full weather protec-
tion of the instruments inside was provided, and transmission efficiencies
could be maintained in adverse weather, thereby eliminating snow, ice,
and wind factors.
In 1956, Bird and four associates went on to organize Birdair Structures,
Incorporated, to promote the development of commercial structures as
well as to continue doing military research. Birdair has participated in
the construction of practically every important fabric structure since
then. In the late 1950s, publicity on air structures resulted in the forma-
tion of several other companies that started manufacturing bubbles for
use as warehouses, pool and tennis court enclosures, and exhibition
spaces - in short, air structures began to find applications when the low
cost and portability factors produced a need.
Meanwhile, innovations in tension-supported structures kept pace.
Unlike an air-supported or inflatable tent, tension or tensile structures
are membrane and high-strength cable structures that derive their sta-
bility from their geometric shape of opposing curvatures. Two basic
principles are at work in the tension structure: one, the intersecting
cables (and there can be a hundred or a hundred thousand of them)
must curve in opposite directions to provide equilibrium; two, the cables
must be prestressed to the point where the structure will remain stable
under the varying loads (such as wind, rain, snow, and so on) to which
it might be subjected. Since tension structures do not require airtight
construction and therefore use no air locks or blowers, energy can be
saved. But, to be considered in the cost of tension fabric structures is a
slightly higher initial cost because of cables and other steel supports
necessary.
Buildings with tension-supported roofs were the predecessors of mod-
ern tension structures. The pioneer of tension buildings is the arena in
Raleigh, North Carolina. For years considered the most important large-
span cable net structure, it was designed in 1950 by architect Matthew
Nowicki and engineered by Fred M. Severud. The building has a cable-
supported membrane roof and was originally planned with a neoprene-
coated cover membrane; however, building code restrictions then in
effect dictated the use of sheet metal instead.
Other early tension structures were designed by the late Eero Saarinen
and engineered by Severud. The David S. Ingalls Hockey Rink at Yale
University in New Haven, Connecticut (1957-1958) , has a gracefully
curved roof composed of a web of steel cables stretched, not only
between the spine and side walls, but also running parallel with the
spine to prevent flutter. The ends of the building are braced with steel
trusses. Saarinen's Dulles International Airport in Virginia is the first
Walter W. Bird, one of the leading authori-
ties on air structures, standing atop a ra-
dome. (Photo : Birdair)
Pentadome-A, built by Walter Bird for the
Air Ballistics Missile Agency, was used as a
principal Armed Forces Day exhibit at An-
drews Air Force Base for several years. It
also served as a rocket workshop. Large ob-
jects such as rockets could be air-locked in
through the long, cylinder-shaped structure
at left and then set up in the large dome.
These membranes encapsulated 50,000
square feet. (Photo: Birdair)
119 Arch itectu re
/
The Raleigh arena, one of the earliest and
best of the large-span cable-net structures.
Steel cables in tension take the roof loads
and inclined, reinforced concrete arches in
compression take the loads from the cables.
The thrust of the arches is in turn taken by
concrete tripods with prestressed under-
ground ties to prevent slipping of the foot-
ings. The hall is used mainly for cattle
shows. (Severud-Perrone-Sturm-Bandel ,
Consulting Engineers)
Raleigh Arena, suspended roof under con-
struction. (Geiger Burger Associates, P.c. )
Saarinen designed and Severud engineered
the reception building at Dulles Interna-
tional Airport in Virginia. Its cable-sus-
pended roof is slung between two rows of
concrete piers.
120 The Tent as Art
commercial airport designed exclusively for jets and its cable-suspended
roof is slung between two rows of shaped concrete columns.
In 1962, architect Victor Lundy and engineer Horst Berger designed
the Unitarian Church in Hartford, Connecticut. This building sported a
wooden plank roof supported by cables. Berger refers to this structure
as the "missing link," but it is a fine example of the kind of innovation
and daring tension design that has led to the breakthroughs of today. In
1965, with Fred Severud, Berger engineered the University of Virginia's
new Field House which uses a combination of precast and cast-in-place
concrete combined with post-tensioning. The architects were Baskervill
and Son. Following along the same principles as those at work in the
roof of the Mongolian yurt, this structure contains an outside tension
ring that was post-tensioned by wrapping it with cable, just as a fabric
compression band is wrapped around the yurt. Ribs radiating into a
smaller central compression ring were anchored into the outside tension
ring, and precast lightweight concrete shells were placed on the frame-
work.
Another architect who has designed some splendid tension structures
is Kenzo Tange. His roof for the Shizuoka Convention Hall (1953-1954),
the magnificent National Indoor Stadium for the 1964 Olympic Games in
Tokyo, the Takamatsu Prefectural Office (1955-1958), and his design for
a housing complex over Tokyo Bay are tension buildings. They possess
the heavy look of some of the other tension buildings of the time due
to the limited number of acceptable lightweight building materials avail-
able. For instance, the roof of the Olympic swimming hall is suspended
from a pair of fourteen-inch cables hung between twin concrete towers.
From each side of this falls the curved metal tension roof, sweeping out
to semicircular compression arches formed by the seating galleries
within. The striking exterior design of this and the neighboring gymna-
sium also produces equally arresting interiors.
In the 1950s, Sheldahl built this dome of
transparent polyester foil. This tent struc-
ture which looks almost like a giant mush-
room, rests on a light tube platform at roof
height. Entry is from beneath. (Sheldahl)
This air-supported membrane was built by
the Sheldahl Company in Northfield, Min-
nesota, as a grain silo. It measures sixty-
seven yards in diameter, and up until the
early 1960s was the largest pneumatic struc-
ture with radial cables. The wooden wall
retained the grain. (Sheldahl)
121 Architecture
University of Virginia field house, 1965. Ar-
chitects : Baskervill and Son. Engineers:
Fred Severud and Horst Berger. Built on the
same compression-band principle as the
Mongolian yurt, the concrete dome, which
spans 282 feet, is composed of thirty-two
columns arranged on a circle. Precast arch
ribs insert against the columns and deliver
their horizontal thrust to a cast-in-place,
post-tensioned ring at the periphery and a
Hampton Roads Coliseum. Architects: A. G.
Odell , Jr., and Associates; Engineer: Fred
Severud. This 6.S-million-dollar colosseum
also applies the yurt compression-ring prin-
ciple. The roof consists of forty-eight two-
inch diameter cables supporting ring
trusses. The cable is anchored at the top of
cast-in-place compression ring in the cen-
ter . The outside ring is post-tensioned by
wrapping it with ten layers of wire, just as
a fabric compression band is wrapped
around the eave of the yurt to support the
roof supports. Precast lightweight shells
span between the ribs, producing the un-
dulating shape which so beautifully matches
the hills of Virginia. (Geiger Berger Associ-
ates, P.c.)
folded precast panels, which in turn trans-
mit the horizontal forces to the compres-
sion ring, which can be seen approximately
thirteen feet below the cable anchorage.
(Severud-Perrone-Stu rm-Bandel, Consult-
ing Engineers)
Though not a tension structure, this fluted
dome designed by Philip Johnson at New
Harmony, Indiana, in 1960, appears to be
draped over a Jacques Lipchitz sculpture
commemorating nineteenth-century uto-
pian communities in Indiana. (Philip John-
son)
Unitarian Church in Hartford, Connecticut,
designed by Victor Lundy and Horst Berger.
(Geiger Berger Associates, P.c.)
122 The Tent as Art
Kenzo Tange also designed this model for
a 50-billion-dollar urban complex to be built
over Tokyo Bay. ("There would be a min-
imal amount of land speculation," the ar-
chitect's report is quoted as saying.)
West German architect Frei Otto is one of
the acknowledged experts in the field of
lightweight construction. He has designed
tension structures to cover everything from
ocean bottoms to cities in the Arctic. This
aircraft hangar tent was designed by Otto
in the mid-1950s and is composed of a
membrane with ridge and bracing cables.
The tent manufacturer Stromeyer in Kon-
stanz, Germany, manufactured these
hangar tents in large series.
Japan's foremost architect Kenzo Tange de-
signed two magnificent tension structures
as stadiums for the 1964 Olympic Games in
Tokyo. The three cable networks support-
ing the roof can be seen in the photo above.
First, fourteen-inch cables run from ground
level and between twin concrete towers,
similar to a suspension bridge. Second, the
roof is slung from the fourteen-inch cables
to the semicircular compression arches
formed by the seating galleries on each
side. Third, transverse cables running from
opposite points on the semicircular arches
further support the welded steel plate deck
and stabilize the roof against flutter.
Birdair in Buffalo, New York, developed this
hybrid radome which combines both single
and dual wall construction. The single-wall
"curtain" can be raised during critical
phases of antenna testing. The surrounding
dual wall of the dome is composed of in-
flated toroidal segments, like those making
up an air mattress. (Birdair)
This unique application of stretched fabric
provides shelter for a walkway which links
the computer center to the main building
of the IBM Havant Plant, Hampshire, Eng-
land. Arup Associates were the architects
and engineers for the factory complex.
Frei Otto. Project: Medical Academy, Ulm,
1965. These centrally supported radial "ca-
ble nets" were, by a strange coincidence,
woven in Frei Otto's studio by a spider at
the tip of a model for a crane. Lightweight
structures comply completely with the laws
of nature.
123 Architecture
Another of Tange's projects, this one only in the model stage, is a 50-
billion-dollar urban complex that would be built over Tokyo Bay. Two
suspended highways spanning the bay enclose the business and indus-
trial structures and segregate them from the residential complexes, which
sprawl over the bay on each side of the highway system and municipal
area. These residential units are subcities composed of tentlike "mega-
structures" hovering over the water on pylons. Each carved facade would
contain fifty stories of apartments with public terraces and playgrounds
represented by the cutout areas on the curved surface. Schools, shop-
ping facilities, parking, and monorail terminals would be situated within
the cavity formed by the two facades. Tange's plan is to let the people
plan their own houses on platforms created within the tent walls. This
would provide some personal freedom and individuality within the urban
complex. Tange developed this type of building while studying at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
One of the tension achievements of the 1960s was architect Frei Otto's
West German Pavilion at Expo '67 in Montreal. This really caught the
public eye and, with the giant megastructure covering all indoor facilities
for the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972, set the precedent for scores
of large-scale tentlike structures to follow.
In the mid 1940s, shortly before Walter Bird was developing his ra-
domes, Frei Otto, while in a prisoner-of-war camp in Chartres, was put
in charge of a construction team repairing bridges. A shortage of mate-
rials and an abundance of labor enabled him to begin experiments in
tension structures, and he engineered new designs in bridge-building
using tension principles. Twenty-two years later came the West German
Pavilion and the Stuttgart Institute of Lightweight Structures, which Otto
founded and from whence his diverse and formidable works emerge.
In the 1970s, inflated and tension structures, in order to satisfy building
codes as permanent structures, had to use conventional materials for
roofing. Until that time all architectural membranes deteriorated in sun-
Fabric roof of the West German Pavilion
being fitted into place. The size of the work-
ers gives an idea of the scale of the struc-
ture.
The roof of the West German pavilion at
Expo '67 in Montreal established Frei Otto
as one of the most significant and exciting
innovators in contemporary architecture.
The roof is made of a prestressed steel-cable
network of high and low points in a state of
equilibrium with an outer covering of lami-
nated canvas and an underslung roof skin
made of translucent polyester fabric.
124 The Tent as Art
light and open air, severely limiting their lifespan and rendering them
impractical. It was their potential use for traveling shows and exhibitions
that sustained and developed the air and tension structures. Being tem-
porary, building permits were obtainable and short-life membranes could
be used. Unusual shapes and their unique characteristics attracted atten-
tion, and lower cost, easy transportability, and easy removal at the con-
clusion of the exhibition made them ideal for this purpose.
The U.S. Pavilion at Expo '70 in Osaka, Japan, gave the air structure
the impetus it needed. Birdair had developed the Cabledome@l concept,
which was an extremely stable, cable-reinforced air dome that could be
used to provide low-cost and efficient structures in sizes up to 1000 feet
in diameter. Designed as a permanent structure with panels individually
replaceable (without deflating the building), this structure was proposed
for use as a sports arena or stadium, but no investors seemed interested
in taking it on. Meanwhile, Davis Brody, Architects, had been awarded
the design commission for a unique dual-wall air structure they had
proposed and that Birdair was to fabricate. Then Congress cut appropri-
ations in half and there was a need to maintain exhibit space while greatly
reducing the cost of the structure; the cable-reinforced air-supported
roof was chosen as the solution to the problem.
The design of the Osaka Expo '70 Pavilion was 250 x 450 feet with
sloping earth berms to blend into the roof to provide uniform aerody-
namic loading over the full roof. One hundred thousand square feet
were encapsulated. This air-supported structure required the circulation
of 40,000 cubic feet of air per minute. Osaka is typhoon territory and this
low-silhouette structure was capable of withstanding 150-mile-an-hour
winds. Also, the earth around Osaka is swampy, making it impossible to
anchor the fabric in the ground. Engineer David Geiger, who in 1968 had
formed a partnership with Horst Berger, patented both a diamond-
shaped pattern of steel cables over which a vinyl-coated Fiberglas fabric
Roof over the open-air theater in the abbey
ruins in Bad Hersfeld, West Germany, 1968.
This membrane roof of PVC-coated polyes-
t er can be centrally bunched at the main
mast to provide an open-air theater or low-
ered in four minutes to cover the theater.
This retractable protective covering can al so
be dismantled and stored at the end of the
theater season, thereby prolonging its li fe.
Section of roofing of the main sports area
in the Olympiapark, Munich, 1972. Thi s
prestressed cable-net construction of ridges
and hollows (or high and low points in a
state of equilibrium) is covered with acrylic
glass sheets which are flexibly linked to-
gether and buffer-supported. Some 89,500
square yards are covered by this tension
roof. The covered area for the stadium
alone is approximately 41 ,250 square yards.
The size and technical complexity of this
structure make it one of Frei Otto' s most
formidable.
125 Architecture

EVER'r'OTHER MONDAY. NEWS · PHOTO COVERAGE OF NEW YORK. PENNSYLVANIA. NEW JERSEY. DELAWARE
One of the prime uses of air-supported
structures is on construction sites . Thi s mas-
sive tent covers a site in which all founda-
tion, underground piping, and el ectrical
work is being done. Work can proceed un-
interrupted through the winter. (Environ-
mental Structures, Inc.)
When work is completed, the bubbl e is de-
flated, dismantled, lifted f rom the com-
pleted site, and returned to the manufac-
turer for cleaning and re-use.
(Environmental Structures, Inc. )
Birdair has developed this 78-foot-wide by
420-foot-long prototype design to evaluate
a lower cost method for " mothballing" in-
active ships until needed for service. It pro-
vides a unique solution for environment al
control by covering, sealing, and dehu-
midifying the enclosed space. (Birdair St ruc-
tures, Inc.)
126 The Tent as Art
was stretched and an elliptical-shaped concrete compression ring in
which the cables carrying the fabric were anchored. In this case the ring
sat atop the earth berm, but in other structures it has been used atop
columns or walls. From the computer analysis involved in the project,
Geiger developed and patented techniques for determining the place-
ment and loading of cable net restraints for the low-profile, air-supported
fabric roof. These same principles and techniques now have made it
possible to cover huge spans such as the 10.4-acre Pontiac, Michigan,
Silverdome.
The success of the Osaka Pavilion caused a surge of interest in air
structures for many applications. But the air-supported-structure industry
still lacked a fabric that could satisfy building codes and be permanent
enough to meet the needs of prospective investors and satisfy lending
institutions. Again, it was another government need (just as the military's
need had inspired development of pneumatic radomes in the 1940s and
the Expo '70 Pavilion was a government commission) that prompted the
most important advance in the field: an acceptable fabric. The National
Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), looking for a new fabric
for Apollo astronauts' space suits, commissioned Owens-Corning Fiber-
glas Corporation to come up with a durable and noncombustible, yet
thin, light, and flexible fabric.
Owens-Corning had been experimenting with an ultrafine glass yarn
called Beta yarn. Under contract to NASA, they wove the yarn into fabric,
had it coated with Teflon TFE fluorocarbon resin manufactured by DuPont
This picture speaks for itself. The roof of the
U.S. Pavilion at Expo '70 was delivered by
truck to the construction site. To try this
with any other kind of roof you need truck
fleets. (Geiger Berger Associates, P.c.)
U.S. Pavilion, Expo '70 in Osaka, Japan.
(Geiger Berger Associates, P.c.)
127 Architecture
Company, and the astronauts were set for takeoff. Later, David Geiger,
in his search for a suitable membrane to cover his newly developed
support system, worked with Owens-Corning, DuPont, and Chemical
Fabrics of Bennington, Vermont, to adapt this fabric to construction use.
It was thickened, woven into stronger and more porous fabric, and
coated with more Teflon TFE. Now the tent - which had always been
covered with material subject to weather deterioration - could be con-
sidered a permanent item.
Teflon TFE-coated Beta Fiberglas has a potential service life of at least
twenty years; is virtually impervious to the effects of weather and sun-
light; won't stretch, shrink, mildew, or rot; is very strong, lightweight,
and flame resistant (it can pass the "burning brands" fire test in which
heated wood blocks are placed on it); and requires no cleaning because
dirt cannot stick to its surface. Its cost is also 30 to 40 percent as much
as conventional roofing.
The first application of this material was for the LaVerne College Stu-
dent Center in LaVerne, California, in 1973. This tensioned fabric struc-
ture was designed by the Shaver Partnership and fabricated by Birdair.
The multiconed fabric membrane is supported by a network of cables
attached to steel columns that function like circus-tent poles. Geiger-
Berger engineered the project and conducted computer analysis to de-
termine the best placement of cables and columns, which are set at 15-
degree angles. The use of fabric covering on this student center reduced
building costs 30 percent below that of conventional construction.
With the technology gained at Osaka and the first usage of the new
Fiberglas Teflon material at LaVerne College, the permanent tent building
now is gradually becoming an economic and visual alternative to con-
ventional steel, glass, and concrete buildings. Conventional buildings, in
all their modernity, have not been able to take on the truly space-age
look that comes so naturally to the modern tent architecture of today.
Since the first permanent tent structure (LaVerne Student Center) was
erected in 1973, the concept has taken hold and currently more than one
hundred Fiberglas fabric structures are in design or study stages. These
projects range from sports and recreation complexes to structures en-
closing shopping centers, schools, apartments, and community facilities
from Alaska to Saudi Arabia.
While David Geiger has made momentous contributions on the air-
supported front, his partner Horst Berger made a most significant break-
through in tension-structure engineering by discovering how to describe
mathematically the shape of a tension structure - a problem that had
hitherto eluded tension-structure designers. Berger developed a proce-
dure to feed into a computer the predetermined locations of points on
curves in space from an initial assumed shape. With this input estab-
lished, the computer then corrects the geometry for one point at a time,
allowing for stress loads, until all points are corrected and the accurate
geometry of the entire structure is found. The computer output gives all
cable forces, cable lengths, and fabric patterns. It's a design process in
reverse, Berger says, that has the prestress forces as input and the shape
as output.
The LaVerne College Student Center, La-
Verne, California, was designed by The
Shaver Partnership in 1968 and represents
the first permanent, enclosed Fiberglas fab-
ric roof structure in the United States and
one of the first major attempts to reduce
construction costs of large enclosed edu-
cational facilities. The flexible design per-
mits rearrangement of the interior to
accommodate athletic events, student ac-
tivities, theatrical productions, and other
recreational programs. (Photo courtesy of
Birdair, who fabricated the structure.)
The tent roof of the LaVerne structure cov-
ers 1.4 acres. The Student Center' s fabric
roof was erected in three days, and the
smaller Drama Lab roof (upper left in photo)
took one day, with necessary tensioning of
fabric on both following over the next few
days. The Drama Lab encloses 10,671 square
feet to the Student Center's 68,383. (Birdair
Structures, Inc.)
128 The Tent as Art
To house a variety of Bicentennial celebra-
tions in Philadelphia in 1976, Architects
H2C2 and Engineer Horst Berger of Geiger
Berger conceived a series of emblematic
and festive tents that were placed around
the city. The Independence Mall Pavilion
houses a theater and the masts of the ten-
sion structure were tilted to ease forces on
the valley cable anchorages. The fabricators
(Birdair) received a pattern that specified
both dimensions and fabric strengths. Be-
cause supporting cables came to a peak at
different angles, the connector is asym-
metrical to bring them to the same working
point with equal forces. (Geiger Berger As-
sociates, P.c.)
The Folklife Pavilion consists of ten rows of
what are in effect half tents, together span-
ning sixty-eight feet. Supported by fifty-five-
foot vertical masts, the structure comprises
two rows of radial tents, with fabric cut away
outside the masts. The fabric membrane is
constructed essentially of parallel flat strips,
stressed by cables only at the ridges (mast
to mast), valleys (ground to ground), and
the edges . (Geiger Berger Associates, P.c.)
129 Architecture
U.S. Pavilion at Expo '74, Spokane, Wash-
ington. In the previous world' s fair in
Osaka, the U.S. Pavilion was an air-sup-
ported fabric structure. In Expo '74 the ex-
hibition hall was fabric, but the building was
a tension structure with a radial cable-net
roof supported by a central column. (Geiger
Berger Associates, P.c.)
130 The Tent as Art
Berger developed this procedure while working on radial tent roofs
resting on square bases at Great Adventure Amusement Park in New
Jersey. These buildings went up in 1974, and at the correct prestressing
force, the tops of the tents came within one-eighth inch of the design
elevation, proving the accuracy of the design. Fabric structures had been
a sideline for Berger up until then; now he is considered one of the
experts in the fabric-tension-structure field. His diverse, totally engi-
neered designs are superb achievements.
The computer method of designing tension structures is a new and
efficient approach to the problem. It is also strictly an engineering ap-
proach since the ultimate shape of the structure is dependent upon the
computer results. The architectural approach brings the computer into
playas a final check on results that are obtained by making a soap-film
model. This is the method used by Frei Otto and many other lightweight
structure architects, including Vela/Future Tents, Ltd., who furnished the
following account.
First, a stretch model giving the basic architectural boundaries is built.
This is a crude model and there is enormous flexibility at this stage of
the design, and the architect can experiment with curvatures. Usually a
minimum of two or three models are constructed. (This, by the way, is
the way Horst Berger starts his projects, and he also relies heavily on his
models.)
Next the soap-film model is made. The principle behind this is that any
shape a soap bubble can assume is in a state of equilibrium (all forces
Drawing computer pictures at Columbia
University. The twelve knobs at right can
produce any configuration or geometric ad-
justment to obtain a corrected cable ge-
ometry on a designed structure. (Geiger
Berger Associates, P.c.)
A computer drawing of multiple radial tent
structures. The input is the engineer's pre-
determined location of points on curves in
space from an initial assumed shape. The
computer then charts and corrects the ge-
ometry on every stress point until all points
check out correctly. (Geiger Berger Associ-
ates, P.c.)
131 Architecture
The computer method of designing tension
structures is one approach to the problem.
The other involves working with soap-film
models and has been used by Frei Otto and
many other lightweight structure architects,
including Vela/Future Tents, Ltd., of New
York City, who furnished the author with
photographs and an explanation of the
process.
When Vela/Future Tents was commis-
sioned to design modular tent units for
Anchor Industries, they first constructed
several stretch models in order to start de-
veloping their design. At this stage a mini-
mum of two or three models will be con-
structed.
Next a soap-film model is made. After the
design has been refined, the critical sec-
tions of the model are photographed
through the grid on the front of the soap
box. After the coordinates and points in space
on the structure are confirmed, a cutting
pattern for the fabric is made and an exact
simulation of the tent is constructed.
Anchor Industries will supply these tents
to rental agencies who in turn will lease
them for parties, industrial fairs, etc. One
unique feature of these tents is they are
composed of modular units which can be
sewn together in cruciform, square, or rec-
tangular shapes. The latter two' would pro-
duce courtyards surrounded by the tent.
132 The Tent as Art
being equalized), and a structure of that form can be built, and it will be
in harmony with the laws of nature. A frame with threads is dipped into
a soap and g\ycerin solution. Wheels located at the ends of the threads
allow them to be lengthened or shortened so modifications in the design
can be made. The framework is mounted upside down and lowered into
a Plexiglas box containing the solution. When it is raised, a soap film
should form on the threads. This is a minimal surface where all forces
on the surface are equal. If a soap membrane won't form, then changes
in the design must be made. The architect experiments with the natural
forces until he is satisfied with the design.
Next a camera is set up in front of the machine and the critical sections
are through a grid on the front of the soap box. In this
wayan exact section through a major axis is recorded and mathematical
formulas can establish coordinates and stress points. These figures are
then checked out by computer and from this a cutting pattern for the
fabric can be made. Now the final model is made, and this is an exact
simulation of the tent to which only slight refinements in the design may
be made. It is this model that can be subjected to wind-tunnel, snow-
loading, or any other kind of stress test.
The architects at Vela/Future Tents feel that these models are abso-
lutely necessary: lightweight tension structures are not easy to visualize
and they say it is therefore necessary to work continually with the form
in the shape it will be assuming, and that is the model. But whatever the
approach, it is virtually impossible for a tension structure that conforms
to the harmonious laws of nature to be unattractive.
The largest air-supported structure in the U.S. is the Silverdome,
twenty-five miles south of Detroit in Pontiac, Michigan, and home of the
Detroit Lions. The Silverdome is so named because of the silvery, trans-
lucent effect of the fabric roof. It is just the success story the industry
needed, displaying all the advantages of a fabric structure: it goes up
quickly (the Pontiac Silverdome was finished 100 days ahead of schedule),
it is lightweight and therefore less expensive to support (the combined
fabric dome weighs 200 tons, where a comparably sized conventional
roof would weigh about 6000), it is translucent and thus offers significant
savings in lighting (even the minimum level of natural light on overcast
days is ample for any indoor activity. Also, the light is glareless and
shadowless, providing optimum visibility for participants and spectators
alike; it is ideal light for telecasting purposes; and it is a less expensive
alternative to a conventional roof. (The Silverdome was comp1eted within
construction budget: $529 per seat. At current prices the per-seat cost
for the Houston Astrodome would be more than twice that figure and
for the New Orleans Superdome, nearly five times.)
Now under development are thermal-active fabrics that will limit solar
heat gain in summer, but utilize it in winter. Some work is being done
on ways to capture the solar heat between two fabric layers and direct
it to air-conditioning equipment. Another alternative would be some sort
of a shutter mechanism - perhaps retractable solar shades - that would
admit 65 percent of the solar heat when desired: At this point no further
heating would be required. One structure that has been planned and
Great Adventure Amusement Park, New Jer-
sey. Work on this structure in 1975 led to
one of the most significant breakthroughs
in tension-structure engineering - how to
mathematically describe the shapes of a ten-
sion structure. It was developed in deter-
mining the exact geometry and stress pat-
terns of this radial tent resting on a square
base structure. The computer program de-
veloped the shape and provided the cable
lengths and the patterning dimension for
the fabric. (Geiger Berger Associates, P.c.)
Architect Paul Rudolph designed this sports
stadium with a tensioned roof for Dam-
mamm, Saudi Arabia. (Paul Rudolph)
133 Architecture
After serving NBC's Today show in New
York during the Democratic presidential
nominating conventions of 1976, this pat-
ented fabric structure designed by Geiger
Berger Associates was packed up and sent
to Kansas City where it was pitched atop a
hotel and helped NBC through the Repub-
lican convention. The frame is constructed
of twelve pipes of equal length, which
equalize prestress forces. (Geiger Berger
Associates, P.c.)
University of Riyadh Recreational Facility,
Saudi Arabia. Because of the windswept lo-
cation, subject to severe sandstorms, the
building was designed to have a low silhou-
ette, a cable-reinforced, air-supported roof,
supported on earth berms faced with rock.
Mechanical rooms, locker rooms, offices,
and other facilities are located under the
berm. These structures also serve to anchor
and distribute the high cable loads under
windy conditions. (Birdair Structures, Inc.)
134 The Tent as Art
Bullock' s department store of Menlo Park,
Northern California, chose a fabric roof to
cover a 96 x 162 foot opening in a metal
deck roof, and in doing so became the first
retail establishment covered with a perma-
nent Teflon-coated Fiberglas fabric roof.
Here workers winch skin onto framework
made of laminated wood arches braced by
steel tubes and cross-ties resting on steel
columns in the building's frame. Quadri-
pods were temporarily erected atop arches
to assist in winching. Thin strips of fabric
(hanging down) are attached to top of
arches before the fabric goes on. (Geiger
Berger Associates, P.c.)
Another tent, also designed by Vela/Future
Tents, Ltd. This tent serves as a bedroom
for partner Nicholas Goldsmidt's New York
loft. Modern architecture has done away
with fabric indoors (except for curtains) and
here it serves as an excellent alternative to
a dry wall room. This tent is ten feet high
and covers a nine-foot-square area. A room
this size would be claustrophobic, the tent
is not. The curtain wall can be opened or
closed and the roof is a prestressed mem-
brane connected to the ceiling and cabled
to the floor. The interior is lined with hand-
dyed silk, giving it an exotic flare. The
frame is aluminum, and it took only a few
hours to erect. (Vela/Future Tents, Ltd.)
Pontiac Silverdome, home of the Detroit
Lions, has the world' s largest air-supported
dome to date. The dome is restrained and
shaped by a network of eighteen large steel
cables. The three-inch diameter cables vary
in length from 550 to 750 feet and weigh up
to 15,000 pounds each. They were installed
by a giant Sikorsky Skycrane helicopter in-
stead of cranes and winches, which saved
three weeks in construction time and 25
percent in costs. (Geiger Berger Associ-
ates, P.c.)
These upside-down tents are located atop
an open plaza in front of a Duval County
office building in Jacksonville, Florida.
Rather than being stretched upward into
tentlike peaks - the basic tension design
- the canopy' s fabric is pulled downward
to form two inverted funnels. Masts in the
center of each funnel support the fabric's
edge by means of horizontal bars, alleviat-
ing the need for support from other build-
ings or ground anchors.
Architect William Morgan and Engineer
Horst Berger designed the 46-foot-wide,
113-foot-long canopy. (Geiger Berger Asso-
ciates, P.c.)
The fabric vaults on the two-story building
can be seen glowing at night and have al-
ready begun to be compared to a piece of
female lingerie. The Owens-Corning Fiber-
glas fabric coated with DuPont Teflon is a
light beige color when it arrives from the
fabricators; however, it quickly bleaches to
a stark white. Dirt cannot stick to its surface,
it won't stretch, shrink, mildew, or rot; it's
strong, lightweight and flame resistant, and
it costs 30 to 40 percent as much as conven-
tional roofing. Bullock's also plans to save
$21,000 a year in electricity costs alone as a
result of this heat-reflective roof. The roof
covers 18,000 square feet. (Owens-Corning
Fiberglas Corp.)
This superbly designed tension structure
will be erected at Sea World in Orlando,
Florida, providing a soothing and sensible
contrast to the nearby Disney World com-
plex. The building is designed by Horst Ber-
ger. (Geiger Berger Associates, P.c.)
135 Architecture
Tenting in paradise - Maho Bay, St. John,
u .S. Virgin Islands. Maho Bay is a new
camping resort dedicated to the belief that
it is possible to live in comfort and harmony
with a fragile environment without spoiling
it. The tent houses measure sixteen feet by
sixteen feet and are set on plank decks
that cantilever over thickly wooded hill-
sides. Each contains a primary sleeping
area, a living room that converts into a
second bedroom, a screened cooking and
dining area and an open porch for private
sun-bathing. (Maho Bay Camps, Inc.)
This soaring 100-foot-high freeform tent
covers a combination skating rink, tennis
court, and exhibition space in St. Louis' Ed-
gar M. Queeny Park. The peaked fabric roof
is 223 feet long and 134 feet wide at its ex-
tremes. The masts are simply designed and
made from three five-inch-diameter stand-
ard pipes arranged in a triangle and laced
with short 1.5-inch-diameter sections. Ar-
chitect is Jones Mayer Associates, Inc., St.
Louis, which developed the design with
Horst Berger. (Geiger Berger Associates,
P.c.)
136 The Tent as Art
The world's largest fabric structure: the
cost, $180 million; the size, 105 acres or 80
football or 53 soccer fields; the place, Jed-
dah International Airport, Jeddah, Saudi
Arabia, some 30 miles from Mecca. (Ow-
ens-Corning Fiberglas Corporation)
Not at all out of the question is midtown
New York covered by a Cars
would be kept out and the underneath area
would have the freshest air in Manhattan.
The idea of controlling the environment of
an entire community by enclosing it in a
huge membrane is no longer science fic-
tion. (Birdair Structures, Inc.)
137 Architecture
would incorporate these retractable shades is the Government Services
Administration fabric structure in Denver, a huge structure called Meg
2 that would provide office space for several thousand government work-
ers. The fabric roof is transparent around the perimeter and above the
tree-lined main boulevard that bisects the structure so the occupants get
a view of the Colorado mountains as they work.
The abundance of oil money in the Middle East has enabled the Arabs
to commission the largest fabric structure in the world at the Jeddah
International Airport near Mecca. The structure will cover 105 acres (ten
times the area under the Silverdome), the cost will be $180 million, and
by 1980, when the first part opens, it will begin accommodating an
estimated 720,000 Moslems making their annual pilgrimage to the Kaaba
in Mecca by air. The airport structure will consist of two identical roof
systems and 5.5 million square feet of Fiberglas coated with Teflon will
be used to form 210 tentlike units - each 148 feet square - which will
be anchored to 148-foot-high pylons and suspended 66 feet above the
terminal floor at their four corners, sweeping up to 115 feet high at their
peaks . Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill are the architects and have de-
signed a structure quite in keeping with the spirit of the place - the
tentlike units composing the air terminal roof blend harmoniously with
the spreading tent cities set up around Mecca to accommodate the
pilgrims. This is probably one of the greatest structures to be built in
modern times ... and it's a tent.
5 TENT ART
If the bough of eternity has grown from the root of your good fortune, and if life
is a fitting garment upon your body - beware! lean not against this tent of the
body which is a shade for you, for its four pegs are weak.
- The RubaiyfJ.t of Omar Khayyam*
You can't take everything with you when you leave on the midlife journey ...
if I could give everyone a gift for the send-off on this journey, it would be a tent.
A tent for tentativeness. The gift of portable roots.
- Gail Sheehy, Passages
A surprising number of artists consider their work to fall within the
aesthetic framework of the tent. Particularly in this era of conceptual art,
where the viewer's interaction with the artist's material is an essential
part of the work, the tent form is a willing participant in the exchange of
energy. The tent is shelter; it is framework and facade; it is both a
primitive and a living shape.
If a single criterion qualifies the works that follow as tents, it is the
artists' explanations of their own visions. What we see in the form must
at times give way to what the artists have seen.
Of the twenty individuals represented, it is interesting that the majority
- indeed, the first twelve whose works are discussed - are women.
Even more significantly, almost all of the artists who relate their works
comfortably to the tent form are women. Certainly fabric art has been
labeled "feminine art": throughout every era the materials involved in
tentmaking and its sheltering shapes have been basic to woman's rela-
tionship to her world.
Harriet Feigenbaum builds deceptively primitive structures out of
branches, wire, and sometimes rocks and hay. Her works evoke a mul-
* Khayyam is Persian for "tentmaker. " 138
139 Tent Art
tiplicity of times and places - Druidic emplacements, hut and haystack
shapes, corncribs and baptistries, forests turned deserts. Hers are tent
armatures: where there is a covering it is likely to be hay, in structures
that to a great extent resemble yaks. Her vision is architectural. Her
strong, clean shapes appeal to the intellect as much as to the emotions.
Battery Park City - A Mirage began as a spoof on the luxury
housing that was to have been built over the past ten years on this
Hudson River landfill site near Wall Street. It consisted of linked tripod
" dwellings" on sand whose visual focus (enter now landscape archi-
tecture) was Ellis Island, the traditional entry point of the alien " invader"
of America.
Ms. Feigenbaum's Cycles are a series of site-specific projects that
juxtapose elements of diverse cultures and times - in this instance,
methods of drying and curing hay which are likewise sheltering in form.
Nil Yalter, born in Turkey and living now in France, is a very thorough
tentmaker. Her 1974 Yurt (or Topak Ev, Turkish for "circular house")
embodies a diversity of tent images - the ancient shelter form, stark
metal sculpture, a meditation space, a museum of individual works on
animal hides, and textual matter. It is a particular duality of the yurt that
intrigues Ms. Yalter, however: in those cultures, including Turkey's,
where the yurt is still found , it is both a lifetime shelter and a lifetime
prison for the woman who inhabits it. Exploding the traditional prudery
of the yurt dweller, Ms. Yalter has here emblazoned the exterior of the
enclosure with images of the vagina.
Feigenbaum, Cycles, trees, branches, hay,
about 10 acres, Nassau County Museum of
Fine Arts, New Yo rk, 1976.
Harri et Feigenbaum, Battery Park City - A
Mirage, branches, wire, 100' x 10', Art on
the Beach, 1978.
140 The Tent as Art
Barbara Zucker's Dark Huts, part of a 1973 exhibition at Sarah Lawrence
College, are deliciously yurtlike, both in form and placement, though in
miniature. Each of the fifty-odd structures was given an opening.
Katherine Sokolnikoff's tent subjects are "the shapes and structures that
people in other cultures created and endowed with great significance."
Her Porcelain Garden Tent is a rare miniature of the genre. Her human-
scale Tuareg Tent, shown here on the Battery Park landfill we saw above
(and later stolen from an exhibition at the University of Pennsylvania's
Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia) was conceived with various
interchangeable fabric shields: a "summer" cover of horsehair and silk
shown here, and for late fall in Philadelphia, a cotton organdy silk-
screened by The Fabric Workshop to simulate the woven-palm mats of
the A"in tribe.
Miriam Sharon, an Israeli, has also worked with ancient tent forms. Her
1976 Negev Sand Tent project involved the recreation of a period Bedouin
tent with help from both the Iben-Barry Bedouins and workers at
the Kerem Shalom kibbutz. Ms. Sharon is interested, in all her work,
in a kind of "meditation space," calling the viewer to consider more
profoundly his enviror)ment, and in the case of the sand tent, to
preserve it.
In 1977, Ms. Sharon brought her Sand Tent Surfaces to a factory in the
coastal town of Naharia. These are four works resembling collapsed tents
which were attached to (in most instances, hung loosely from) the inte-
rior walls of the work space. The soft textures and enveloping shapes
offered repose and relief from the machine age.
In related "Desert People" projects, such as Ashdoda, Ms. Sharon has
animated a group of assistants wearing tentlike costumes who seek to
involve spontaneously the Ashdod harbor workers in sensitivity rituals.
One seaman reported that for the first time in twenty years, he "really
felt the rocks in front of his boat."
Nil Yalter, Yurt, metal, felt, hides, 8' x 8' ,
1974.
Barbara Zucker, Dark Huts, hydrocal,
cheesecloth, pigment, 50 units, "In
Spaces" exhibition, Sarah Lawrence Col-
lege, 1973.,
141 Tent Art
Sokolnikoff , Tuareg Tent, branches, horse-
hair, silk, Art on the Beach, New York, 1978.
Katherine Sokolnikoff, Porcelain Garden
Tent, 7" x 5" x 8", Collection of Dr. Ar-
thur Ashman, 1978.
Sharon, Ashdoda, Harbor " Desert People"
Project, Ashdod Harbor, Israel , 1978.
(Photo: Rachael Harpaz)
Sharon, Sand Tent Surfaces, Project in fac-
tory in Naharia, Israel, 1977.
142 The Tent as Art
Mary Beth Edelson, Mother's House, black
hand-painted canvas, 9' x 7' x 13',
N.A.M.E. Gallery, Chicago, 1978.
Edelson, Inner Space, Private ritual perform-
ance in front of tent construction, New York
City, 1978.
143 Tent Art
Mary Beth Edelson's tents are primarily environments for meditation or
ritual, and they are often womb related - dark, soft, offering shelter.
Mother's House, shown here, accommodates one person at a time on a
soft mattress and contains a photographic piece, Aging in Diana's Grove,
portraying in a series of images (some superimposed) the slow aging of
a woman. The tent itself defines the passage from the outside world to
her mythic world, the setting for the exploration of self or for interaction
wHh others, for mythic rites, and for what Ms. Edelson describes as
"photographic rituals" of the human body in its shroud (another "tent"
which evokes another passage).
Ms. Edelson's private ritual performance of Inner Space, here in a time
exposure, took place in front of Mother's House.
Anne Healy has been exhibiting fabric works since 1970. Her tent-
shaped installations date primarily from 1968-1973.
Death's Door (1972) is of yellow nylon cloth over aluminum rods and
wood. It is, in tent terms, upright.
Hellebore (1973) is of black nylon and is, as tents go, upside-down.
Mildred Stanley lives and works in suburban Virginia. In 1969-1971 her
work concentrated on fabrics that often assumed tent shapes - cheese-
cloth, paper, or nylon as seen here in her Ceiling Piece (1969). From
1971-1975, tent framing and hardware became increasingly important in
Anne Healy, Oeath's Door, nylon, cloth,
aluminum rods, wood, 10' x 10' x 10',1972.
Healy, Hellebore, nylon cloth and rope, 10'
x 11' x 7',1973.
Stanley, Ceiling Piece, nylon fabric, 8' x 8'
X 8', 1969.
144 The Tent as Art
her work (see photograph on sometimes supplanting the tent
fabric entirely. \
In her Dreamboat installations, Diana Carulli uses transparent fabrics
in a .Ioose tent shape as a scrim on which to project visual images.
Sometimes chosen with a single objective and sometimes at random, the
images are calculated to induce or influence dreams while inside the
shelter. In the photograph, a projection is visible in the upper left corner
of the dreamboat, while the artist lies inside below.
Jody Pinto's Tall Chair (1977) is a smaller version of a thirty-five-foot-tall
work exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia in
1976. The spectator is invited into the work, there to experience in a new
way his or her own person and environment: the participant is both
and exposed.
For the same show Ms. Pinto designed a remarkable piece of "tent-
wear," the Dress/Hammock/Enclosure, seen in the photograph in the
closed position. It can be worn as a dress but expands into a hammock
and then into a tentlike enclosure when the wearer wishes to rest or
sleep. Ms. Pinto writes: "It was possible to strap yourself into a tree by
letting out a series of straps within the garment's hood, hem, back, and
arms, or, in the case of the other garment, by removing a quiver (worn
over the shoulder and leaning against the wall in the photograph), which
contains two thick branches and two lengths of rope. The branches slip
into the hem and hood of the garment and the rope fastens to the
branches of a nearby tree." The piece recalls animals who carry their
own shelters about with them.
Hera was born Betty Calvert in New Orleans and worked under the
name Betty Voelker until 1977, the year she began exploring tent forms.
Her Sweet Skirt - which was part of a show, "Locations, " in the Rose
Art Museum at Brandeis University in 1977 - is a construction of three
concentric circles of white taffeta, trimmed with hot pink ribbons and
plastic flowers. It is much too large to be worn, but it may be entered.
Inside are the less innocent paraphernalia of womanhood: birth-control
pills, mirrors, doll parts, baby bottle nipples, and so on.
Death Singer, another tent work from the same Brandeis University
exhibit, is a deep purple celebration of death and its images. It too is
intended to be entered.
The tent works that follow emphasize framework instead of covering.
Often they are the symbol rather than the shelter.
Mildred Stanley's Yellow/Pink Piece marks the evolution of her work
from fabric to armature.
Merle Temkin's art is designed to be portable and collapsible. (She is
a New York City artist and feels strongly the premium of space.) Her 1978
Shelter for a Small Animal evokes the shelter and, at the same time, the
animal it might shelter.
The detail from Sweet Man (1978) shows fantasy in both shape and
material - mylar over cardboard over wood. It is another work that
hovers between animal and shelter.
Diana Carulli , Dreamboat, ripstop nylon
over plastic tubing, 6' x 7' X 8', 1978.
Jody Pinto, Tall Chair, wood, cheesecloth,
rope, 35' x 8' , Institute of Contemporary
Art, Philadelphia, 1976.
145 Tent Art
Hera, Death Singer, velvet, rayon, earth,
plastic candles, flowers, flamelit bulbs,
wood, 8' x 7' x 10', " Locations, " exhibi-
tion, Rose Art Museum, Brandeis Univer-
sity, 1977.
Mildred Stanley, Yellow/Pink Piece (detail),
wood, rope, 12' x 16' x 8', 1975.
Pinto, Dress /Hammock /Enclosures, Institute
of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, 1976.
Merle Temkin, Shelter for a Small Animal,
wood sticks, sisal rope, 3' x 3', 1978.
Hera, Sweet Skirt, nylon net taffeta, rib-
bons, silk flowers, mirrors, dolls, 10' x 10',
" Locations" exhibition, Rose Art Museum,
Brandeis University, 1977.
Temkin, Sweet Man (detail), mylar over
cardboard over wood, 4' x 6', 1978.
146 The Tent as Art
The metal framework for Nil Valter's Yurt exists alone as a clean piece
of sculpture, inviting meditation within its symbolic shelter.
Harriet Feigenbaum's An Octagonal Domed Building (1978) is an Ital-
ian baptistry turned tent armature. Its primitive materials - branches
and wire - contrast with the complexity of its construction.
Robert Stackhouse, like Harriet Feigenbaum and Mildred Stanley (in her
later works) creates what might be called tent frames - but as long
passageways, such as Running Animals/Reindeerway (1976) and Niagara
Dance (1977). In Shiphall, a Passage Structure Borrowing Some Lines from
the Oseberg Burial Ship (1977), the saddle roofline is an aesthetic bridge
between ancient maritime shapes and modern tent shapes produced by
artists like Audrey Hemenway.
Audrey Hemenway describes the construGtion of her Garden Web, an
open-work tent of wood and synthetic rope designed to keep animals
out of a 25 x 40-foot garden: "It was a long, tedious job, rather like
knitting a house." Both strength of line and strength of frame (which,
like a bird or an early airplane, is a whole made up of fragile parts) drew
her to the tent form.
Ecological Environment (1977) is a major work in terms of size alone,
enclosing 1600 square feet under four irregular peaks and a saddle roof
that "accepts" weather.
---
--t
,
Harriet Feigenbaum, An Octagonal Domed
Building, branches, wire, 14%' x 8', O. K.
Harris Gallery, 1978.
Nil Yalter, Yurt (framework), metal, 8' x 8' ,
1974.
147 Tent Art
Stackhouse, Shiphal/ . .. (exterior) .
Audrey Hemenway, Garden Web, wood and synthetic rope, 25' x 40' x 12', 1977-1978.
Robert Stackhouse, Shiphal/, a Passage
Structure Borrowing Some Lines from the
Oseberg Burial Ship (interior), wood, 66' x
11' x 16', Walker Art Center, Minneapolis ,
1977.
Hemenway, Ecological Environment, fiber
glass, cable, 1600 sq. ft., 1974.
148 The Tent as Art
Cornelius Rogge, Tent-Project, Park Rijks-
museum Kroller-Muller, Otterlo, Holland,
1976.
Cornelius Rooge, whose recent tent works in Holland are cleanly linear
and architectural in character, calls his tents "vulgar offers" catering to
the public taste. He neither expects his viewers to interpret his work nor
desires that they do so. Its meaning, he insists, will become clear in time.
Sam Cady, a New York artist who summers in the country, creates
illusionistic life-sized paintings of objects such as tents and rowboats on
shaped canvas or Masonite. The subjects appear realistically three-di-
mensional as can be seen by these two paintings from his tent series,
Tent Billowing in the Wind and Tent, Late Morning (Sears Best). These
are freestanding works that look like giant cut-outs.
leandro Katz writes of his paper, bamboo, string, and audio construc-
tion, The Teepee: "Writing a statement on my work is almost to reverse
the process involved in it, since the work originates precisely in the
region where language is formed: instead of entering the institution of
grammar and its norms, it chooses to remain outside such norms and to
establish a preliminary checkpoint where the conditions of what is said
are first examined by a series of critical references that precede articu-
lation - like repeating a word until one realizes its oddity."
Byron Burford's Great Byron Burford Circus of Artistic Wonders (of Iowa
City, Iowa) is a creative fusion of the visual and the performing arts, held
inside a classic canvas circus tent provided by a grant from the National
Endowment for the Arts. Though here the tent is traditional, the per-
formances inside are far from it: Mr. Burford's tableau of circus images
and sounds, such as the figure of a tiger raising and lowering its paws
almost imperceptibly, repeats itself every eighteen minutes to the spec-
tators inside the darkened tent. Live performances are often part of the
experience at his gala openings - sideshows, "visiting" circus bands,
Rogge, Inside Out Tent, canvas, iron frame,
strips, 51' x 51' x 80', Amstelpark, Amster-
dam, 1978.
149 Tent Art
Sam Cady, Tent Billowing in the Wind, oil
on canvas, 6'6" x 7'9".
Cady, Tent, Late Morning (Sears Best), oil
on canvas, 6' x 18'.
Leandro Katz, The Teepee, paper, bam-
boo, string, and audio construction, John
Gibson Gallery, Inc., 1978.
Byron Burford, The Great Byron Burford Cir-
cus of Artistic Wonders, Iowa City, Iowa
(exterior).
Burford, Circus (interior).
150 The Tent as Art
and zoo animals, almost anything that contributes to the evocation of
the circus. Professor Burford (of the University of Iowa) has taken his
show to the Venice Biennale and has received grants from the Ford and
Guggenheim foundations. His work is a museum that visits museums.
Rafael Ferrer's tent constructions are related to his love of maps and
faraway places; his real love, however, appears to be pigment. Like Nil
Yalter's Yurt, his tent is simultaneously a collection of artifacts and im-
ages.
Mr. Ferrer's three major tentworks, La Luna, Sudan, and Sahara (or La
Vida Secreta) date from 1976-1977. A Philadelphia canvas-maker pro-
duced the tent forms according to the artist's specifications. His first
tent, La Luna, was ten feet square and windowless - capable of hiding
the artist at a gallery opening (Mr. Ferrer's idea). His second, Sudan, was
eight feet square with small bifurcated windows on each side and a
toucan perched inside near the roof. Sahara (or La Vida Secreta) is a
triangular tent with a nineteen-foot-Iong fac;ade "like a Spanish colonial
church, very high in front in order to exaggerate its importance," whose
2 x 4-foot entrance, in Mr. Ferrer's words, leads "nowhere." The colors
are of almost unimaginable strength and sensitivity.
Christo, whose project to wrap the Whitney Museum is shown above,
does not feel his works fall within the tent format. His materials and
construction techniques - in such pieces as the 1970-1972 Valley Curtain
in California (documented in the Maysles Brothers' film, Running Fence)
and the 1969 Wrapped Coast, where untold numbers of weathered rocks
were sheltered by a million square feet of canvas, are close cousins of
the tent, even if his inspiration is not.
Rafael Ferrer, Sudan, mixed media, 81" x
96" x 96", Nancy Hoffman Gallery, 1976.
(Photo: Bevan Davies)
Christo, Whitney Museum Wrapped, litho-
graph and collage, Whitney Museum of
American Art, New York, 1971 .
Christo, Wrapped Coast, one million sq. ft.,
Little Bay, Australia, 1969.
6 STAGE AND SCREEN
Therefore let us devise some entertainment for them in their tents.
- William Shakespeare, Love's Labor Lost, IV.iii.373
In its relation to the tent, ballet is a special case among the performing
arts. The tent in ballet is closest to being its own art form because of its
possibilities for movement and its integration into the visual whole of
the work. The photograph of Oscar Araiz's Le Sacre du Printemps, which
opens this chapter, is perhaps the best example of the tent that is at
once set, costume, and sculpture. It is the unifying element in the cho-
reography, a co-participant with the dancers.
Alwin Nikolais, whose dancers are often clothed in unusual fabric
constructions, has shown a particular affinity for the tent. (Mr. Nikolais
is responsible for sets, lighting, and costumes, as well as choreography.)
Two of his ballets are especially relevant: /I Mirrors" (1958), from the
series Vaudeville of the Elements, opens with an unshaped terra-cotta-
colored cloth, which assumes a peaked tent shape as it moves upward,
finally glowing with light. His ballet Tent (1968) employs a full company
of dancers in motion under - and in shifting relation to - the suspended
fabric of the set.
The tent in legitimate theater has its own history of magic. It could
bring an audience inside an enclosure with the performers, as in Jumbo;
it could isolate the performers, physically and/or emotionally, from the
audience, as in Victoria Regina, for example, where we see the queen
very much inside The Queen's Tent, and we hope we're not observed as
intruders; or in the case of an untold number of opera sets, the tent's 151
152 The Tent as Art
Sheri Cook is the central figure in this
grouping from Oscar Araiz's ballet, Le Sacre
du Printemps, in a 1978 performance by
the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. (Photo: Jack
Mitchell)
The set from Alwin Nikolais' 1958 ballet,
"Mirrors," from the series Vaudeville of the
Elements. (Photo: David S. Berlin)
A scene from the Nikolais ballet Tent, first
performed by the Nikolais Dance Theater in
1968 and still in the company repertoire.
(Photo: Brynn Manley for Chimera Foun-
dation for Dance)
153 Stage and Screen
softness was able to suggest vast perspectives that hard architectural
designs could manage only with difficulty.
But America is the country of the movies, and the history of the movie
epic is to a great extent the history of the tent in cinema: it has been
near impossible to produce such a major work without vast quantities of
tent cloth. Of course sandy biblical tales and Roman doings in the eastern
Mediterranean both seemed to require huge budgets and a screening
time of at least three hours. But the tent, along with sex and violence,
was a fundamental element in almost every superfilm that predated Star
Wars.
Not that there wasn't room in the movies for genteel European tents,
Shakespearean tents, safari and Salome tents - and a selection of dis-
tinctly American tents such as one might find in any county seat in Ohio,
for the circus, the revival, the garden party, and the campground.
But they began in the desert .. .
Surely the most riveting tent scene of the
early cinema was Rudolph Valentino' s in
The Sheik (1921) . As film censorship was
even less developed than film-making,
moviegoers were treated to Middle Eastern
passions they had only dreamed of seeing
on the vaudeville stage. Somehow Valen-
tino emerged from this tent both " breath-
less" and "panting."
The 1917 production of Cleopatra (shot in
California in the summer of 1916) duplicated
enough of Egypt and Rome to be compared
favorably with the spectacles of D. W. Gri f-
fith. Theda Bara played Cleopatra with
much rolling of the eyes. Here Miss Bara, in
the chariot , is driven down an avenue of
tents to her final appointment with the asp.
This is Camp Cecil B. DeMille, built for the
1923 extravaganza, The Ten Command-
ments. It was the largest location camp buil t
to that time, housing a production staff of
2500 in separate men's and women' s quar-
ters (note the "no-man' s-land, " as it was
referred to, in between) . For its day The Ten
Commandments had a massive budget ,
some 1.5 million dollars : Mr . DeMille,
nevertheless, called it " the cheapest picture
ever made" because of the almost instant
return on his capital - and all this despite
scathing reviews of the film' s melodramati c
second half, set in modern times. (Photo :
Museum of Modern Art)
154 The Tent as Art
In this harem scene from the 1925 Ben-Hur
with Ramon Navarro, acres of cloth were
draped from MGM's ceilings. "Probably the
most comprehensive spectacular ever
filmed," wrote the New York Times re-
viewer. Six years later, the film was re-re-
leased with recorded music and additional
sound effects.
On the Broadway stage, Rodgers and Hart's
Jumbo, which opened at the Hippodrome
in 1935, used the tent to good effect . The
stage was extended over the pit to create a
vast circus arena, and a warm red canopy
covered both performers and audience.
Brooks Atkinson wrote that the circus was
recreated "in both odor and appearance."
155 Stage and Screen
That same year at the Broadhurst Theater,
Helen Hayes had one of her greatest
triumphs in Victoria Regina. Here, as Queen
Victoria, she surveys her favorite country-
side at Balmoral from inside a garden tent ,
while waiting for Prime Minister Disraeli.
(photo: Museum of the City of New York)
Shakespeare' s Richard 11 opened on Broad-
way at the St . James Theater in 1937 to ec-
static reviews and excesses of royal blue
tentcloth. In the "accusation of treason"
scene pictured here, Maurice Evans (as King
Richard) is seated at right. Second on his
right is Augustin Duncan, the play's old and
near-blind director, in the role of John of
Gaunt - in the tiger-striped sleeves.
(photo: Museum of the City of New York)
Ten years later, Loretta Young as the Prin-
cess Berengaria prepares to wreak havoc on
Henry Wilcoxon (Richard the Lion-Hearted)
in this unforgiving publicity shot for Para-
mount's The Crusades (1935) . Critics praised
Miss Young who, if her acting was less than
inspired, still bore up well under the weight
of the name Berengaria.
156 The Tent as Art
Left : In a classic depression-era spoof, Ali
Baba Goes to Town (20th Century-Fox,
1937), Eddie Cantor appears as Aloysius
Babson, an American who falls in love with
an entire movie troupe on location in the
desert, joins them as an extra and, after an
overdose of painkiller, finds himself in
Baghdad in the year 937 - his name, of
course, shortened to Ali Baba. This is the
pre-painkiller Mr. Cantor.
Right: In Baghdad he is blessed with a ha-
rem of 365 wives, led by Gypsy Rose Lee.
One of the harem numbers is entitled
" Swing Is Here to Sway. "
Among the African genre films was 20th
Century-Fox' s Stanley and Livingstone of
1939. Here we see Spencer Tracy as Henry
Stanley, still on the trail of old Sir Cedric
Hardwicke, who plays David Livingstone.
The plot doesn't trouble itself overly with
historical fact: you see, Tracy is in love with
Nancy Kelly, who loves only Richard
Greene. But the whole affair got good re-
views for Tracy. (Photo : Museum of Modern
Art, New York)
157 Stage and Screen
Arabian Nights, released by Universal Pic-
tures in 1942, was produced by Walter Wan-
ger, the then president of the Academy of
Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, who
should have known better. He made almost
no effort to connect his movie to Sir Richard
Burton' s classic tales of the same name. Of
course, Maria Montez does bring a '40s
freshness to the role of Scheherazade.
The New York Times reported a number of
" harem dames in peek-a-boo slacks. "
A rare shot of a harem at rest . (In thi s film
the production stills are infinitely more in-
teresting than the final footage.)
The end of the Second World War signaled
a return to the screen of some serious cin-
ema. Laurence Olivier's 1945 production of
Henry V begins as a stage play set in the old
Globe Theatre of Shakespeare' s time, then
shifts in an astonishingly believable fashion
to rural France in the scenes preceding the
Battle of Agincourt . The Elizabethan stage
sets at the Globe are as accurate as the
French and English battle tents. (Photo:
HBW Films)
158 The Tent as Art
In King Solomon's Mines (MGM, 1950),
Deborah Kerr and Stewart Granger have
tracked down Miss Kerr's explorer brother,
Richard Carlson, under a tent one might
expect to see on the beach at Deauville.
(Photo: Museum of Modern Art, New York)
Left : Now this gentleman and his dark
steed would be fun in any tent. It is as
close as we come to the flying horse of
the original Arabian Nights.
Right : In the 1953 production of
Julius Caesar, MGM brought together
James Mason (shown here as Brutus),
Sir John Gielgud, Marlon Brando, and
Louis C. Calhoun under director
Joseph L. Mankiewicz. But Mr. Mason
never looks quite at ease around so many
tents and so much armor.
159 Stage and Screen
In a yet-to-be-explained scene from King
Richard and the Crusaders (Warner Broth-
ers, 1954), Laurence Harvey (Sir Kenneth)
receives an arrow from Rex Harrison (Sala-
din)'s bow, stands up and - no arrow! It's
an unexpected bit of humor that shows the
elasticity, indeed the indestructibility, of
Laurence Harvey and of Sir Walter Scott's
The Talisman, on which the film was based.
(Photo: Museum of Modern Art, New York)
Not so lucky the recipient of this Mongol
sword thrust - from an unidentified Span-
ish production of Genghis Khan. (Photo:
Movie Star News)
A latter-day desert epic, Columbia Picture' s
1962 Lawrence of Arabia, with Peter
O'Toole, shows the tent unfairly pitted
against the airplane (albeit a World War I
vintage craft). Actually, three hours and
forty minutes is a lot of time for action film
cliches. (Photo: Cinemabilia)
160 The Tent as Art
In the 1963 version of Cleopatra, director
Joseph L. Mankiewicz and producer Walter
Wanger were back, in Todd-A-O, for four
hours and three minutes of "surpassing en-
tertainment." Though costuming and make-
up fell prey to a certain updating, the sets
involving Cleopatra's barge - with draper-
ies drawn for the feast and orgy in honor of
Mark Antony - are given higher marks for
historical accuracy.
The draped crib belonging to Cleopatra and
Caesar's child has clean enough lines, but
isn't that congoleum on the floor and a
stereo cabinet against the far wall?
The tent reached deeper into Americana
with the 1960 United Artists production of
Elmer Gantry, starring Burt Lancaster. The
revival circuit was portrayed at its most con-
vincing - in a tighter form, most critics felt,
than it had been in Sinclair Lewis's original
1927 novel.
161 Stage and Screen
In David Storey's play, The Contractor, first
produced in America in 1971 and shown
here in its 1973 production at Chelsea's
Westside Theater, the action of the play is
set around the erection and dismantling by
five workmen of a garden tent for a home
wedding. (As tent construction goes, this is
quite a change from Broadway' s Carnival of
1961, where an entire circus tent was set up
on stage in the few minutes after curtain-
rise.) The Contractor' s purposefully slow
pacing and the symbolism of the tent ' s re-
moval at the end leave the viewer with the
feeling that, despite enormous turmoil,
nothing much has really happened. (Photo:
Amnon Ben Nomis)
The garden tent is very American, too. In
The Godfather (Paramount, 1972), Marlon
Brando, as Don Vito Corleone, dances with
the daughter he has just given away in mar-
riage to one of the slugs on the left.
(Photo: Museum of Modern Art, New
York)
162 The Tent as Art
Carry On Camping (Peter Rogers Produc-
tions, 1972) is marvelous relief. "A signifi-
cant opportunity for sheer vulgarity buffs"
(N. Y. Times), it is a late product of the Eng-
lish series that began with Carry on, Nurse
and, some fear, will never end. It is the kind
of movie where the actors keep their real
first names on the screen. Shown here are
the ladies of the Chayste Place Finishing
School - fleeing innuendo, perhaps?
(Photo: New York Public Library)
And, peace almost theirs, "Sid" James and
"Joan" Sims deplore the miseries of "life in
the open and sex in secret." (Photo: New
York Public Library)
PART 3
TENTS FOR CAMPERS
7 A CONSUMERS' GUIDE
Sometimes as I am falling asleep in a dark, quiet room I have for a mO.ment a
great and treasurable illusion of the past. The wall of a tent leans up over my
face, not visible but audible, a slanting plane of faint sound: the susurrous of
blown snow. Nothing can be seen. The light-emission of the Chabe stove is cut
off, and it exists only as a sphere of heat, a heart of warmth. The faint dampness
and confining cling of my sleeping-bag; the sound of the snow; barely audible,
Estraven' s breathing as he sleeps; darkness. Nothing else. We are inside, the two
of us, in shelter, at rest, at the center of all things. Outside, as always, lies the
great darkness, the cold, death's solitude.
- Ursula K. LeGuin, The Left Hand of Darkness
Designers are having a field day with camping tents, producing an abun-
dance of unique styles made from both natural and space-age fabrics in
bold and daring colors. The tent has come a long way from the bulky,
highly flammable "wet-wax"-coated model that required at least two
persons to get it out of the car trunk, carry it to the campsite, and pitch
it. Modern tents are lightweight, stronger, compact, more weatherproof,
and a breeze to pitch and take down. They range from plain to fancy, all
the way from basic pups to family tents complete with dining rooms,
bedrooms, curtains, and wall pockets for storage. Some weigh as little
as four pounds (including stakes and poles) and sleep one or two; others
sleep ten or more with room to spare for play and storage. And the guy
lines we used to trip over have been done away with on many new
models, as have obtrusive center poles and the smells that used to
emanate from the old models when they got hot (though no one really
found them offensive).
The vast number of new designs and developments has resulted from
the old reliable supply and demand principle: camping is now the fourth 165
166 Tents for Campers
most popular sport in the U.S. today. Even before the onset of the
Second World War there were some 20 million automobile campers
following the highway trails in this country. In 1977, over 58 million
campers - one American in every four - visited one of the more than
20,000 campgrounds on the continent, and well over half of them camped
out in tents. The demand for new and better tents absolutely exists and
manufacturers are competing to make their tents lighter, stronger, room-
ier, more weatherproof, and easier to pitch. No matter how, when, or
where you intend to use a tent - whether it be for backpacking, moun-
tain climbing, or leisurely vacationing; in winter or summer; in a public
campground or alone by the seashore, in the woods, on a mountain, or
atop or attached to yotJr car - there' s a tent for you at a price you can
afford to pay. In short, there' s something for everyone.
Doing a little homework before heading out to buy a tent can save
both time and money, not to mention enhance your camping trips as a
result of your having chosen the right tent. Establishing needs and prior-
ities - number of people, where and how you' ll be camping, and so on
- i s essential.
How many people should the tent accommodate? For comfort , at least
twenty-one square feet of floor space per person, and about half that for
small children, is required for maximum comfort and ease of movement.
If you use cots, you should allow for more. If you pack a lot of gear,
some storage space should be included in your estimate of necessary
space. Also bear in mind that tents with rectangular floors use space
more efficiently than those with square or circular floors. For example,
a 7 x 9-foot (63 square feet) tent will provide more room between
sleepers than an 8 x 8-foot (64 square feet) or one with an eight-foot
diameter (50 square feet).
What shape is best? Tents with vertical sides afford more usable space
than those with sloping sides. If you' re tenting in rainy areas, you' ll need
enough room to stand up and move around while you and whomever
you're camping with wait for the rain to let up. On the other hand, low-
profile tents with sloping sides shed water and wind best, so sacrifices
may have to be made if you plan on camping in windy or rainy a r e a ~ .
Cabin-style tents with vertical sides are roomy and are recommended
for large families and semipermanent camps. With mode'rn outside
frames they are easily erected and this makes them suitable for car
camping - traveling by day and camping out at night.
Many families prefer to use a medium-sized tent (about 8 x 10 feet)
for the adults and a smaller pup for the kids (5 x 7 feet). But it' s best to
have the adult tent slightly on the large side; kids can get scared during
the night and come scurrying in with the adults. On such occasions, the
pup can be used for storage.
Backpackers need lighter, smaller tents they can easily carry for long
distances. Snow camping and high-altitude mountaineering demand
strong, stable tents with built-in safety features. These tents must be able
to withstand heavy winds and snow loads and often have two entrances
in case one becomes blocked. Also special venting is provided in case
167 A Consumers' Guide
you have to cook inside, and vestibules and special pockets are optional.
To sum it up, the tent must be chosen for the efficiency with which it
can meet its intended use. There are designs, features, and materials to
fit virtually every need, and the consumer is fortunate that the market
has such an abundance of variations. What you want you can get.
DESIGNS TO CHOOSE FROM
Even though it may appear that with all the options and designs no two
tents are alike, they still come in a number of basic styles.
Tarp Tent
Actually nothing more than a flat sheet of protective material, the tarp
tent is an old standby and good for pleasant summer weather. It is water-
resistant, lightweight, pliable, and usually requires no more than a rope,
a tree, and some imagination to make it into any workable shape.
The tarp tent, however, does fall short because it lacks protection at
ground level: its loose sides are not attached to a floor, making the
occupant quite vulnerable to rain, wind, dust , and mosquitos. Prices Tarp tent
range from three dollars for a small plastic tarp to thirty dollars for a
good coated nylon style.
Tube Tent
Though it can serve as adequate shelter on a balmy summer night, don't
expect protection from any wind or rain, and watch the condensation
resulting from body moisture condensing on the nonbreathable plastic
walls. The tube tent is simply a plastic sleeve and resembles a large
garbage bag open on both ends. It is suspended by running a line
through the tent and tying it to two trees. Then the sides are expanded
by placing heavy stones along them on the inside of the tent. These tents
weigh a couple of pounds and cost about three or four dollars. You get
what you pay for here, and that's very little, though it can be enough.
Modified Tube Tent
Called a "super tube" by some manufacturers, all the modified tube has
in common with the tube is its open-ended design, and in the case of
the modified tube the open ends are usually covered with mosquito
netting. Not having any ends or solid flap panels makes this tent unsuit-
able for use in the rain, wind, or cold. And, like the tube, condensation
can be a problem as this tent is constructed of urethane-coated fabric,
which is also nonbreathable. The floor is made of a heavier grade of the
same material. Aluminum poles support the tent and pegs anchor it.
Tube tent
A pullout (see page 171) on each side provides adequate sleeping space Modified tube tent
inside.
Future improvements will probably make this tent a viable alternative.
168 Tents for Campers
Without end flaps and breathing fabric it is suitable for use only in
moderate weather or extremely arid zones. These tents are also reason-
ably priced at about fifty dollars. The weight of tent, pegs, and poles is
in the vicinity of three pounds.
One-Person Shelter
These superlight tents are among the latest innovations in tent design.
Though highly effective, they are not popular because hiking is not a
one-person activity. The tents are not adequate for alpine or deep winter
use, and none of them comes equipped with a frost liner, even as an
option, perhaps because manufacturers are in agreement that winter
camping should not be done alone. One-person shelter
Many of these designs use the backpack as an integral part of the
shelter, so an obvious advantage is that the contents of the pack are
handy. Actually the tent is little more than a fancy sleeping-bag cover.
One-person tents have a sewn-in floor, mosquito netting, and a venting
system, but no rainfly (a rooflike structure suspended above the tent,
see below). They weigh from two to four pounds and prices usually
start at sixty dollars.
Pup/Scout Tent
These small or medium-sized tents are generally supported by two ver-
tical end poles and are held taut by guy lines staked into the ground.
They're simple and sturdy and are used for one or two campers with a
minimum amount of gear. A-frame tents are a variation on the pup tent,
as are backpacking tents (see below). A-frames have support poles that
follow the lines of the tent sides rather than center poles which allows
easier access to the tent.
Backpacking Tent
This is one of the best compromises of weight and design. Backpacking
tents are almost always made of lightweight nylon and are intended to
take, at most, just a few minutes to erect. Since nylon, unlike heavier
cotton, can't be both waterproof and breathable, most nylon tents are
made of breathable fabric and come equipped with a waterproof rainfly.
Most are small, though some models sleep more than four. And, most
of these can be separated into more than one pack, so no one carries
the whole load.
The standard backpacker's tent usually lacks a couple of features that
Pup/scout tent
can be handy on the trail - a vestibule, which is a short compartment Backpacking tent with fly
at the front for gear stowage, boot removal, cooking, and brushing off
snow; and a frost shield or liner, which would extend the practical use
of the tent into all seasons. These features are available on snow and
expedition tents.
Backpack models weigh anywhere from three to twelve pounds and
range in cost from about fifty to two hundred dollars.
169 A Consumers' Guide
Lineless or A-Frame Tent
Self-supporting tents are extremely popular among campers. Most of
these tents are modified pup and wall-design tents and come equipped
with a rainfly. Aluminum alloy poles (they pack in sections) are inserted
through sleeves at either end or partially inside the tent after the floor
is spread out and staked down. The pairs of poles join at the top and are
held to the floor below by grommets. Lines extending from the pole tops
and tent sides are staked down to hold the tent securely. Properly tied
down, the tent stands up very well in high winds.
The lineless tent - and there are many variations on the design - may
be pitched on an area only slightly larger than the tent floor itself, and
no bushes, trees, or ropes are required for guy line support. One obvious
advantage is that on crowded camp trails there's no worry about anyone
tripping over guy ropes since, of course, there are none.
These tents weigh and cost only slightly more than the standard back-
packer's tent. All in all, this is an excellent choice. Most models run from
$100 to $250; a good quality unit can be had for about $125. Weight runs
five to twelve pounds.
Snow Tent
These tents have elaborate entrance, vestibule, vent, and anchoring sys-
tems. Though designed for winter operation, they serve in summer as
well since many hikers cannot afford both the more costly winter tent
and a lightweight tent for other seasons.
Most models have a snow tunnel entrance at one end with a standard
flap arrangement at the vestibule end. This allows for easy entrance if
gear is stowed or if cooking is taking place at the vestibule exit. Some of
these tents have a zippered cook hole in the tent floor, which lets the
occupant cook inside during harsh weather without messing the floor.
Even so, it's best to cook inside only when absolutely necessary: nylon
is not fully fireproof and begins to melt at fairly low temperatures and
stoves, portable heaters, and even small candles use oxygen and gen-
erate massive amounts of carbon monoxide. So an efficient vent system
is as imperative as keeping the flame away from the tent fabric.
In many cases the winter tent will require flukes or snow anchors
instead of regular stakes. Also, this tent has wide flaps along the bottom
of the side walls, which may be loaded with snow for added stability and
warmth.
Weight and costs are substantially more than the standard backpacking
tent. Plan on anywhere from eight to twelve pounds and at least $150 to
$250. And bear in mind that with the potential perils of winter camping,
the extra weight and cost are totally justified.
Expedition Tent
The expedition tent takes the snow tent design to its ultimate, incorpo-
rating the finest materials and workmanship to provide shelter in the
Lineless or A-frame tent
Snow tent
170 Tents for Campers
most extreme conditions. Many models include an optional snow liner
and extra-long fly that almost reaches the ground. For long-term camping
at high altitudes in bitter cold, all models include a highly efficient vent
system, the double-entry system, and a cooking hole or vestibule. And
fabric research has produced Gore-Tex, which under ideal conditions is
a breathing and waterproof material that renders the rainfly unnecessary
(though manufacturers recommend carrying one along for added wind
and cold protection) .
Some of these tents come with an insulated floor composed of two
layers of waterproof material between which is a waffled insulating grid. Expedition tent
The result is tiny air pockets that help keep cold out, though some
manufacturers have discontinued this feature since lightweight sleeping
pads that are somewhat more efficient are now available.
The expedition tent, like the snow tent, can serve the hiker year round,
but the expedition tent can sometimes be too warm inside in intense
summer heat.
Weights range from about six to twelve pounds or more, like the snow
tent, but prices are higher, up to $300.
Exoskeleton Tent
A variation on the lineless theme, the exoskeleton tent is completely
self-supporting as well. This tent is hooked to several assembled sections
of aluminum tubing that hold it firm, tight, and highly stable. The in-
volved frame does require extra tubing, which adds weight, but you're
spared stakes and ropes. Also, the entire tent can easily be lifted and
repositioned.
These tents, as with most all-purpose tents, have a netted window at
the rear and a separate mosquito net inside the weather flap. The over-
hang of the contoured rainfly allows the flaps to be left open in humid
heat and still protect the interior from the rain. A disadvantage, however,
is the difficulty of stabilizing these flaps in a high wind, especially with
the rainfly attached (which aggravates the situation). Only a few come
equipped with wind lines near the top.
Exoskeletons vary in size. A two-person model weighs from ten to
twelve pounds and the four-person tent can hit twenty-five pounds,
which disqualifies it for backpacking. The price of the smaller units varies
widely - from $200 down - while the larger unit can cost $200 to $300
and up.
Dome Tent
The dome is another of the lineless models, but provisions have been
made on it for securing a stabilized network if a strong wind whips up.
From an engineering point of view (and Buckminster Fuller's) the dome
is one of the most efficient shelter designs possible - it is quite stable
in wind, can handle weight from snow or water accumulation, and makes
best use of space in relation to exterior size. The more refined dome
Exoskeleton tent
designs can be pitched in a couple of minutes with a half-dozen fiber Dome tent
171 A Consumers' Guide
glass rods. Like the exoskeleton, this tent can be picked up and carried
once it's erected. Most models include a rainfly as standard equipment
since the upper portion has to be made of breathing fabric.
One early disadvantage of the dome was occasional difficulty in sep-
arating the fiber glass support rods that were joined by metal ferrules.
This would happen after the tent had been weighted down by rain or
snow, bending the rods somewhat and causing the connections to
freeze. Manufacturers have now solved this problem and domes are
enjoying the popularity they rightly deserve.
The rainfly on the dome is a bit heavy, and frost shields are not
available, though rather good protection from rain and cold is offered
by the rainfly alone. Models weigh from under six to over thirteen
pounds complete and cost from about $100 to $275.
One modification of the dome has only four supports and a rectangular
floor and is appropriately called a "wedge" by a company that manufac-
tures it. It defeats the initial purpose of the dome, but makes a fine trail
shelter nonetheless.
Tunnel Tent
The tunnel tent is a newcomer to the market, and has proven itself to be
one of the most stable and comfortable tents made, performing perfectly
against the very worst of conditions.
A rainfly is built into the tent and the shape is aerodynamic and capable
of withstanding severe winter winds, heavy rains, or thousands of pounds
of snow loading. And no amount of wind will make the rainfly flap. Tunnel tent
Though it takes a little more time to erect than some of the simpler tents,
the extra comfort and safety obtained make it worth it. A disadvantage
is the means of entry and exit, which is made difficult by the guy lines
supporting the tent. Weighing in at just six pounds, there are two shells
of fabric - an inner breathing shell and an outer waterproof shell, with
an optional vestibule and hollow fiber glass supports with aluminum
ferrules that are kept together by shock cords (see page 180) and don't
stick together.
This tent has been enthusiastically accepted by serious mountaineers
and so far is only manufactured by Early Winters & Recreational Equip-
ment, Inc., though other companies make variations. The price with the
vestibule can exceed $300. It may be too much money and tent for some,
but in this case you get what you pay for.
Wall Tent
The wall tent has been around for centuries and can be as large or as
small as specific needs demand. Basically an A-shaped configuration with
high vertical walls, there is a great deal of living space inside. The tent
is supported either with two wooden poles or the poles plus a horizontal
ridgepole to keep the tent from sagging. Guy lines attach to the sides
and hold them outward.
Wall tents can be rigged to keep the floor free of supports; however, Wall tent
172 Tents for Campers
this is usually contrived by cutting down a dozen or so stout young trees
and constructing an exterior frame with them. (See photo of an encamp-
ment in the Klondike that uses this method, page 46.) Environmental
considerations have rightly discontinued this practice.
This tent tends to weigh a lot, especially with poles and pegs, but it is
still one of the old reliables for the vehicular, horseback, or boat camper.
With all that weight - and they can w e i g ~ over 300 pounds - at least
you get a lot of room: The tent has a high weight to space ratio.
Cabin Tent
The cabin tent is a wall tent with high vertical sides usually supported by
an exterior frame that can be a roof-truss style or a yoke-type.
The roof-truss style is the predominant design. Three horizontal poles
- a center ridgepole and two opposite eave poles - are connected
independently to vertical poles leading to the ground. The three-section
outside frame makes for a sound, stable structure that is easy to set up.
Tension is adjusted by shortening or lengthening the poles. The only
disadvantage is that the ridgepole is in the middle of the doorway, but
the doorway is designed to be big enough for easy entrance and exit on
each side of the pole.
The other cabin-shaped tents have a yoke-type frame, so called be-
cause the frame supports and shapes the tent with bowed poles con-
nected by a cent{al horizontal ridgepole (like a yoke) . There are no eave
poles on this tent; the U-shape yokes pass around to the sides of the
tent and dig into the ground. The obvious advantage is that the door is
not blocked with this arrangement. The potential disadvantage is main-
taining tension if the ground is soft: fabric tension is adjusted by moving
the uprights from one spot in the ground to another.
These cabin tents provide a lot of interior room and uninterrupted
floor space; they come in many sizes and sleep from four to ten. Some
are equipped with attached or attachable screen rooms or awnings for
sleeping out on balmy nights or relaxing in the shade. Families like the
roominess and convenience of a cabin tent.
Prices range from $100 to about $275 and cabin tents weigh anywhere
from twenty to sixty pounds.
Umbrella Tent
Medium-sized and square, umbrella tents have characteristic pyramid-
shaped roofs with sides that gradually slope outward. The older models
are of the inside frame variety, the new ones are supported by an exterior
frame that makes a roomy enough interior for two to four people; the
older center pole models limit both headroom and living space. The
umbrella tent is a favorite of boat and car campers because of a desirable
ratio of weight to room and comfort. This tent is carried in a canvas bag
and fits quite easily into a boat or car trunk.
The average umbrella tent weighs no more than forty pounds, many
weigh less, and it is not much of a problem to carry to a tent site, even
Cabin tents: A. roof-truss cabin tent;
B. yoke-type cabin tent
Umbrella tent
173 A Consumers' Guide
one that is a substantial distance from the unloading point. Smaller
models can, with difficulty, accommodate up to four cots; prices range
from $50 to $200.
Ice-Fishing Tent
The ice-fishing tent - usually similar to the design of an umbrella tent
with an exterior framework - can be set up on the ice to shield the
occupant from the icy winter winds that come lashing across large frozen
expanses.
The few models available come equipped with features such as base
sod cloths to keep out wind, jigging holes with flap covers built into the
floor, rings inside for suspending equipment, and special vents. The tent
anchors into the ice with metal spikes.
Some carrying bags for these tents have handles and rings so they can
easily be attached to snow machines. Total weight is about eight pounds
and they retail for about $50 or $60, though there is one handmade
model available, complete with a wooden floor, that sells for as much as
$150.
Pyramid Tent
The lighter weight pyramid tent works nicely for large hiking parties.
One pyramid tent can sleep three or four people and weighs less than
two backpacker's tents, which hold two people each. These tents have
a vertical side that provides a large floor area in relation to the weight of
the tent. Headroom is limited along the sides and there is a center pole,
which can sometimes restrict use of space, but the tent allows for effi-
cient heating, enough sleeping room, and a gathering place for all the
hikers in your group. Also, the shape can take quite a load of snow
without great loss of interior space. These tents have provided shelter
for serious mountain climbers and have proven their worth repeatedly.
The larger pyramids aren't carried by most hikers because of their
weight. The rainfly for these tents is also big and bulky. Otherwise they're
efficient tents, especially for long stops at base camps.
A good pyramid-style backpack tent sells for anywhere from $100 to
$200 and weighs in at approximately eleven pounds.
Another version of the pyramid tent doesn't have sides that are per-
pendicular to the ground. It is actually a square tipi and enjoys some
popularity among car and boat campers. Headroom can be limited, but
there's a large amount of floor space in relation to overall size. Pyramid
tents have been used by full-time campers like sheepherders and pros-
pectors and were a common sight on the gold fields of California and
the Klondike. One of their advantages is the shape, which sheds rain and
snow more readily than other tents. They can be supported by an im-
provised outside frame, tied to an overhead tree limb, and one manu-
facturer produces a four-cornered aluminum frame. Like the umbrella
and hiker's pyramid, a center pole severely restricts room inside.
This tent does not have an efficient space to weight ratio and saw its
Ice-fishing tent
A
Pyramid tents: A. with wall; B. without
wall
B
174 Tents for Campers
greatest use earlier in this century, but it will undoubtedly continue to
find applications.
Explorer Tent
The forward half of the explorer tent bears a resemblance to a wall tent
and the rear half is a pyramid. Good headroom is available upon entering,
but not for long as the shape begins dropping quickly toward the back.
Another disadvantage is that the back slope collects rain or snow and
can bear down on the occupant in his or her cot. Interior support systems
can also be a problem: center poles can restrict use of interior space.
For these reasons the explorer tent is not one of the more popular tents.
The explorer tent is slightly lighter than the umbrella, though the
weight difference is negligible when considering how much more space
you get with the umbrella tent.
Baker Tent
The baker tent is a modified lean-to with a front wall that can be raised
to provide open-air cooking and lounging space or closed to protect the
inside area against wind and rain. The tent was originally designed to
facilitate heating by allowing a reflecting fire inside. But open fires in
tents are dangerous and so this feature is not an advantage.
A baker tent is fairly heavy for the space you get inside and almost
impossible to fit with a rainfly. The open design prevents condensation
from forming inside, so baker tents are made of fully waterproofed
canvas drill. These tents do make good supply tents or additional sleep-
ing quarters in mild weather, and they may also be connected right to
your car.
Baker tents are still manufactured and can fit the needs of some camp-
ers. L. L. Bean's catalogue price for their nylon baker tent is $101,
screened porch is $24, and a vertical protecting side curtain is another
$13.
Screen or Net Tent
These warm-weather specials have either mosquito netting for sides or
flaps that roll up to expose large panels of netting. On a still, dry summer
night they can be perfection.
They come in various designs, though they are for the most part A-
frame or cabin tent designs. The smaller ones weigh very little and can
certainly provide the occupant with the feeling of sleeping under the
stars, but there is neither protection from the elements nor privacy in
any kind of group camping situation, unless your tent has flaps that car
zip up to cover the netting.
On the smaller models made of netting without canvas flaps, neither
the weight nor cost is much less than that of a more traditional canvas
tent. And if the extra flaps are provided to cover the netting, allow for
even more weight and expense. The screen or net tent is called a fair-
Explorer tent
Baker tent
B
Screen or net tents: A. one-person; B.
family
175 A Consumers' Guide
weather tent and it's just that. One weighs about six pounds and can
cost up to $100.
The screen cabin tent is usually used as a dining tent and can add an
element of luxury to your camping trip. They make excellent backyard
dining and party quarters as well. But again, the same drawbacks with
net sides exist. The models with polyethylene roofs imported from east-
ern Asia (mainly Taiwan) retail for from $45 to $55 whereas the canvas
roof models go for between $80 and $130. The cheaper model is quite a
popular item these days.
Cottage Tent
These are among the largest and most luxurious tents available. Some
models are extravaganzas with as many as two or three bedrooms, a
kitchen, sun porch, clothes closet, and provision for a rubberized bath-
tub. This model also sports an aluminized fabric roof that reflects heat
or cold away from the lucky occupants. The roof also has holes lined
with asbestos for cooking and heating stove pipes. This model takes man
and machine (mobile crane) to erect, but less luxurious, more easily
manageable, and totally adequate cabin tents are available for the person
who really wants a home away from home. Cottage tents are heavy and
expensive, but they are an excellent choice for the very long term camp.
Once you get one to the site and get it erected, it's a waste if you don't
stay awhile. Some guides and outfitters erect them at their base of
operations and leave them up all season. The average cottage tent costs
about $250.
FABRIC
A tent must be comfortable and dry. This means the material must have
two qualities that are difficult to combine in a lightweight fabric -
breathability and water-repellency. Breathability refers to the fabric's
ability to let air circulate through it: you do not want to keep the exhaled
moisture of the tent's occupants in because stuffiness and condensation
on the tent's walls results. The human body can exhale a pint of moisture
during a night, and if the moisture cannot escape, you'll wake up in it.
The other side of the tent is exposed to rain - and it can rain more
than a pint - so your tent fabric must be able to protect you from
without as well. Cotton fabric is the only material that breathes and is
waterproof, but it is heavy and not suited for lightweight backpacking
tents. Cotton also is subject to mildew and rot if not dried and stored
properly. If touched from the inside of the tent during a rainstorm, it
will begin to leak as a result of capillary action. Also, cotton fibers can
swell and shorten when wet so tent stakes must be loose enough to
avoid the wet tent's pulling the stakes from the ground or tearing seams.
Also, cotton weaves tend to weigh more after treatment with fire retar-
dants than nylons do. But the advantages of cotton still make it king in
the tent busi ness.
Cottage tent
176 Tents for Campers
Featherweight nylon is ideal in the weight department, but it falls flat
in breathability and water-repellency. As a solution for the backpacker
who needs the lightest tent possible, manufacturers make the roofs of
their nylon tents out of porous nylon so body-produced heat and mois-
ture can pass out, and they suspend a waterproof fly a few inches above
the roof to shed water. This system works okay; however, in wet weather,
the double roof's ability to eliminate water from within can become
overloaded, making it quite uncomfortable inside.
At present there are two synthetic fabrics designed especially to in-
corporate breathability and water repellency.
1. Gore-Tex, a super-lightweight , Teflon-like plastic film, has pores that
are 20,000 times smaller than a water droplet (so it sheds water) and more
than 700 times larger than water vapor molecules (so moisture can pass
through the fabric). It is so thin that it must be bonded to another fabric
or sandwiched between two fabrics, usually ripstop nylon and rayon.
Gore-Tex works best when body heat warms the air and creates a slightly
higher vapor pressure inside the tent. It is this pressure which pushes
water vapor through the Gore-Tex and out the tent . If vents are open,
no pressure can build up inside and the moisture stays in and condenses
on the cooler surfaces of the fabric, just as it does on uncoated nylon.
And in cold weather , when the occupants are bundled up in their sleep-
ing bags, since the heat stays in the bags and does not heat the air, a
Gore-Tex canopy can frost up. But it remains a formidable achievement,
and under the right conditons, it does work.
2. A fabric that is expected to be a breakthrough in the family-tent field
has been developed by a major fabric-producing company. In addition
to combining water repellency and breathability, it is one-third lighter
than canvas and will not rot or mildew. The fabric is made of polypro-
phlene and is composed of three layers - the two outer layers are made
of strong, durable material and the center layer is a feltlike mat consisting
of very fine filaments. These layers are melded into a sandwich that has
excellent flexibility, even at low temperatures, and will never stretch or
shrink. These qualities have contributed to the creation of even more
exciting and functional tent designs as fabric behavior has always been
a limitation. (In fact , Bill Moss [ see pages 190- 192], has used this f abric
in new designs for himself and for the manufacturer. ) The material is also
flame retardant (additives increase its inherent flame retardant qualities
along with making it more durable) , and it breathes and repels water
better than canvas. A water particle cannot find its way through the
labyrinth of very fine fibers but air can pass through freely. This fabric
acts on the principle of a maze in repelling water and breathing, whereas
Gore-Tex can be compared to a selective sieve.
So, besides the two newer fabrics mentioned above, campers have
had a choice of the heavier cotton tent, the nylon fly tent , or a variety of
tents made from either nylon or polyester with cotton to incorporate the
breathability advantages of cotton with the lightweight features of the
synthetic fabric. The two materials can be woven together in a blend or
specific fabrics are used on specific sections of the tent. Some tents have
cotton tops and synthetic walls. (This is not a bad idea if the tent is to be
used in cold, windy areas, since relatively impermeable wall s can prove
=o:rc::lUTt:rtU:I-=- +-- Weft
(fi ll ing)
DUCK
DRILL
Weave of fabri c
177 A Consumers' Guide
a better buffer against cold winds than porous cotton.) Other tents have
breathable walls and waterproof roofs. The floors are usually made of
heavy-duty vinyl-covered nylon. This stands up to the abuse a floor gets.
Plastic has also been used as a floor material, but it can become dry and
brittle and crack after prolonged use, so avoid it.
It's all a matter of weight and compactness. A lightweight fabric must
be used in order to make a tent easy to carry for the hiker and com-
pactable for him or her to stuff into a small bag, although weight and
compactness are not necessarily prime considerations for the camper
who will take the tent to the campsite by car, boat, or on horseback.
Again, it is your demands that determine the type of fabric you will want.
The following (with the exception of the two new fabrics mentioned
above) are the fabrics that have been most commonly used by tent
makers:
Duck
This is the strongest and heaviest of cotton tent fabrics. The name is
derived from a trademark of a duck stenciled on heavy sailcloth imported
from Europe about 1840. Duck is tightly woven so that each warp yarn
passes over or under the weft or filling yarn. This construction is similar
to that of loop potholders made by children. Duck is manufactured in
weights from seven to fifteen ounces per square yard. Army bivouac and
truck tarps are made from twelve- to fifteen-ounce duck, while seven- to
eight-ounce weights are suitable for camping tents, though some of the
larger wall and cottage tents are made from ten-ounce duck. The density
of this fabric is an advantage in that it provides privacy for those inside
the tent. If only duck were lighter, it would be perfect for all tents.
Twill and Drill
Twill is woven in such a way that each warp yarn passes over two or
more weft yarns, under the next two, and so on, producing a staggered
weave that creates a noticeable diagonal pattern in the weave of the
cloth. Denim blue jean fabric is a twill and has a very high thread count
per square inch. Drill is a twill cloth that is more loosely woven into a
three-leaf twill. Khaki is drill cloth, and drill is the lowest quality of tent
fabric.
Cotton Poplin
This is a ribbed, tightly woven sturdy fabric made by using weft yarns
that are heavier and coarser than warp yarns. Poplin comes in weights
from four to eleven ounces per square yard. Five-and-a-half- to eight-
ounce weight poplin is used on some of the better family tents.
Ripstop Nylon
Nylon is the staple of backpackers and other tent-weight-conscious
campers, and ripstop is the form of nylon most commonly used. It has
a gridwork of heavy threads woven in at intervals - usually quarter-inch
- to increase fabric strength.
178 Tents for Campers
Nylon Taffeta
This lustrous-finish lightweight nylon is the same on both sides and has
good abrasion resistance. Taffeta may weigh less than two ounces per
square yard and is sometimes coated with polyurethane to make it water-
proof.
Vinyl-Coated Nylon
Used for tent floors, this heavyweight plastic-coated nylon is stronger
and more resistant to abrasion than coated taffeta. However, its vinyl
coating has been known to soften or peel if exposed to harsh solvents,
such as insecticides or kerosene.
Polyethylene-Coated Polyethylene
Just that. It's water and mildew proof and is commonly used for tarpaulins
and tent floors. It is a tough woven fabric with a polyethylene coating on
both sides.
FIRE-RETARDANT AND WATERPROOF TREATMENTS
In 1972, the Camping Division of the Canvas Products Association Inter-
national developed the CPAI-84 flammability standard. This states that a
fabric be fire-retardant but not fireproof. On fabric that has been treated
with flame retardant, when subject for twelve seconds to a flame, the
fabric smolders but will not ignite, and when the flame is removed, the
fire will die. This legislation came about largely because of the public's
strong reaction to children being burned in play tents made of highly
flammable wax-finished cotton. (Cotton is wet-waxed in order to water-
proof it.) In fact, most of the early tent fires, including the tragic Ringling
Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Big Top fire of 1944 in which 168 persons were
killed, resulted from the highly flammable properties of wet-wax canvas.
Cotton tents waterproofed with a light dry finish won't flash-flame,
though they will burn slowly. And with a flame-retardant treatment, they
will smolder when exposed to flame. However, when treated they are
more expensive, stiffer, darker in color, and some 20 percent heavier
than similarly untreated fabric. So, still, there are definite disadvantages
to flame-retardant treatment of cotton tents.
Moreover, the National Park Service and the United States Forest Serv-
ice have not found a single case of anyone being burned in a backpack-
ing-type tent (which is made from nylon and never wet-waxed) . Many
backpackers, along with Backpacking magazine, object to flame-retar-
dants being used because they are possibly carcinogenic. Some tent
fabrics are treated with Tris, the same carcinogenic chemical used on
children's sleepwear, which caused a recent stir, and the possible haz-
ards of the modified thiourea compounds also in use are as yet unde-
termined. Backpackers also object to flame retardant fabrics because
179 A Consumers' Guide
they think flame-retardant treatment is perhaps unnecessary: the nylon
and Gore-Tex materials used on backpacking tents do not flash-flame
like cotton does, they burn with a small localized flame, smolder, and
melt. But, at the present time, California, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Min-
nesota, and Michigan require that camping tents sold in their states meet
CPAI-84 standards. These regulations have given Gore-Tex a rough time
- in the CPAI tests; it doesn't extinguish quickly enough after the flame
source is removed and therefore cannot be sold in the five states men-
tioned above. Many manufacturers don't want to deal with a fabric they
can't market nationwide.
No matter how tightly nylon fabric is woven, it is never waterproof
because the threads will not expand when wet to fill the holes between
the threads. Also, the threads do not absorb the waterproofing chemicals
used on cotton, so nylon has to be coated with a polymer, polyurethane,
or vinyl finish which can peel off the tent with time and use. When this
vinyl coating is applied to both sides of a tent it will stick because it
bonds right through the nylon, but it substantially increases the weight
of the tent. But waterproofing is a necessity with nylon and if it is treated
only on one side and peels off with wear and tear, it can be recoated.
Cotton, on the other hand, being a natural fiber, swells when wet and
therefore is theoretically waterproof. But if touched during a rainstorm
from the inside, it will leak by capillary action, and loosely woven drills
and twills are by no means waterproof fabrics. Tightly woven poplin and
duck can be waterproofed with a light dry finish, but the more loosely-
woven fabrics require the heavy "wet-wax" finish, and this finish is quite
susceptible to mildew as well as being the fire hazard mentioned above.
CONSTRUCTION
The best way to evaluate the workmanship, construction, and basic de-
sign of any tent is to set it up right there in the retail outlet. Though they
may not like it, salespersons should be willing to allow this, especially if
it may mean a sale. And it's the only way you as a consumer will really
know whqt you're getting - as opposed to taking an unfamiliar tent
home with you and then not being satisfied with it. Perhaps if there is a
display model available, you can take it down and then set it up again.
If it's not possible or practical to set up the tent in the store, make sure
it is returnable.
Below are listed the component parts and systems of the tent with tips
on what to look for and avoid in each area.
Framing
Tents are either internally or externally framed. Before you buy a tent,
inspect the poles. They should be free of burrs so they won't bind when
being joined or snag the tent fabric. More manufacturers are coming out
with shock-corded poles. Shock cord is an elastic rope made of bands
of rubber sheathed in nylon. By running a length of shock cord through
180 Tents for Campers
the hollow tubes that are to be joined in order to set up the tent, the
sections snap easily into position and there's no fumbling for the right
poles since they're already attached. Also, the possibility of losing a pole
section is eliminated. Shock-corded poles are a definite advantage and
are usually found on the better backpacking tents. However, so far only
one or two tent manufacturers have shock-corded the poles of their
larger family tents. Shock cords are also used quite efficiently as guy
ropes. (See next section, Anchoring.)
A few tents come with aluminum pole segments that telescope inside
each other. This makes them quite compact, but they are subject to
bending and jamming if proper care and handling are not exercised.
Poles are usually made of aluminum alloy. The most common are 6061,
6063, and 7001. Some of these alloys are tempered and you can identify
them by the letter T in the code number, such as 6063-T6.
Joints made of brass-an-aluminum or plastic-an-aluminum are far bet-
ter than pure aluminum because they are less likely to freeze, and they
wear better. Nevertheless, joints can jam. To prevent this it is always
best to keep pole joints lubricated with oil or silicone spray. If poles do
get stuck, heat them where they are jammed. Just keep in mind that your
stove or fire can melt the aluminum, so rotate the pole to distribute heat
evenly. Then a tap should dislodge it.
Poles used on the new dome and tunnel tents must be very flexible
and very strong. The most popular material for flexible tent poles is a
fiber glass rod some 5/16 inch in diameter, which is attached to a metal
sleeve or ferrule, forming a joint into which another rod is inserted. This
pole-support system has the disadvantage of being heavier than rigid
aluminum and can splinter or jam under heavy stress. When purchasing
a tent with fiber glass poles, check to make sure there are no cracks in
the poles or splinters at the ends. If there are, it indicates a weak pole.
Two other alternatives exist for the support of dome and tunnel tents.
One is flexible aluminum alloy, the other is hollow fiber glass. Aluminum
alloy has less spring than fiber glass and makes for a more rigid tent.
The hollow poles also can be shock-corded. Hollow fiber glass is the
lightest of all, and the machine-alloy connectors nearly eliminate joint
failures.
On tents with outside frames, the bottom tips of most aluminum tent
poles are supported by a grommet or similar device to secure the poles
to the corners of the tent floor. This keeps the poles from sinking into
the ground
t
thereby maintaining the form of the tent. Another way is to
have an aluminum ring with a sliding pin that slips into the base of the
pole sewn into each corner of the tent. Eureka! Tent, Inc., in Bingham-
ton, New York, came up with this and it is successful in that the normal
stress and strain of a pole in a side pocket is absorbed by the ring and
pin. One other method of anchoring poles to tent sides is to have them
slip into fabric pockets at the pole base. But pockets can sometimes be
too snug or too short, and they are subject to abrasion where the pole
bottoms touch the ground.
Tents without a means of securing the poles at the base are likely to
be floppy in windy weather.
FRAME CONNECTIONS
bent tubing with slip-fit
plastic fittings
FRAME LENGTH ADJUSTMENT LOCKS
1
0
I spring-loaded button
spring-loaded
STAKE LOOPS
metal (, ! / / fabric
~ ~
.......
i i / ' ~ \ \ // i \\\
~
metal wire
with cord
"",,'W'
UPRIGHT ENDS
open plastic-
tube capped
o ~
pointed
with flange
ij
V
Tent construction details
181 A Consumers' Guide
Anchoring
The number of stakes and guy lines used in pitching a tent depends
entirely on the tent design and the camping conditions. When staking
are poor, tent performance suffers because stakes cannot
hold firmly in sand, snow, and soft or muddy soil. When the stakes pull
out, conventional tents collapse. In conditions such as these, self-sup-
porting tents perform best, but they also have to be securely anchored
or, if there's nobody inside to hold them down, they will literally blow
away.
Different ground surfaces dictate the use of different stakes. Tent
stakes come in a variety of styles, and all have their limitations. Light
aluminum or steel skewers, which work well only in firm soil or packed
snow, are furnished with most tents. A spiral-threaded long nail put out
by Camp Trails Company in Arizona is one of the best stakes of this type.
The wider stakes made of aluminum and plastic are designed for softer
ground. Most manufacturers supply only one type of stake with their
tents; an exception is Stephenson's of Woodland Hills, California, who
supplies none and leaves that decision up to the buyer, who knows best
where he or she is going to be camping. Veteran campers have always
carried a variety of extra stakes to fit the various terrains they'll be
camping on.
When purchasing a tent , if metal stakes are supplied, check to make
sure they are well finished. Poles and pegs should have no burrs to snag
the tent material when it is packed. Hammering also can burr a metal
stake, so check your stakes before packing them up.
The stake loops are another important factor in tent strength. These
are the attachments that are most subject to stress, both from hammering
the stakes in and holding the tent in place. Check the size of the tent' s
stake loops. Some manufacturers produce tents with loops through
which only very thin stakes will fit. Fabric loops should be large enough
to accept intermediate metal rings or a variety of stakes. Check to make
sure the loops are securely sewn to the tent fabric. Metal rings between
the loops and the stakes are a good idea - they are quite strong and
help prevent rough stake edges from abrading and weakening the loop
fabric. Rings are also preferred whenever stakes are driven deeply into
the ground, burying the loops. Grit can become embedded in the fabric
loop and the loop will eventually weaken.
There are also various ways to anchor a tent when staking will not
work. Several manufacturers sell wide blades or deadman anchors (also
Tent stakes: (left to right) aluminum
skewer with " 0 " closure at end ; plasti c
stake; aluminum " U" peg; aluminum
channeled stake (semicircular shaf t of alu-
minum sheet with rolled lip at top for
line); long nail ; angle snow peg
Anchoring alternati ves in snew
182 Tents for Campers
called snow flukes), which are designed to be buried under snow or
sand. Buried tent stakes, stuffed sacks, or tree branches will also suffice.
Snow flaps (see page 169) are also an advantage in pitching a tent
because rocks, logs, sand, or snow can be piled on the flaps to anchor
the tent in sites where staking would not provide adequate holding
power.
Guy lines are made from Manila rope, nylon rope, or elasticized shock
cords. The shock cords are more expe'nsive but are well worth the cost
because they cushion the stresses caused by wind and allow for the
natural stretching and shrinking of cotton fabric.
Tent Seams
The best and strongest tent seams are both double-stitched and flat-
felled. A flat-felled seam is one in which the fabric edges are wrapped
around each other into interlocking)'s and sewn into double seams so
that there are no open raw edges and the stitching binds together four
layers of material. These seams, when properly sealed, will not leak and
will withstand high winds. The next strongest seam is the lapped seam,
and the weakest of all is the plain seam. All three types are strongest
when they are double-stitched, which is considered a minimum essential
construction requirement for all types of tent seams.
Seams with fewer than four and one half or five stitches to the inch
will be weak (this flaw is common in less expensive tents). Better models
have from seven to twelve stitches per inch, but more than twelve will
weaken the fabric. It is recommended that high altitude tents, which
must be especially wind-resistant, have at least eight stitches per inch
and be double-stitched in flat-fell seams. The number of stitches per inch
is related to the material used for the tent. Heavy cotton swells and can
only take about six stitches per inch but nylon and other light materials
may require seven or more.
Note the quality of sewing as well as the number of stitches per inch.
Variations in the tightness of the thread, badly puckered and crooked
seams, large needle holes, and dangling loose ends, where the stitching
stops before the end of the seam, weaken the tent construction and
contribute to leakage. All seams should end with either backstitching,
which is a type of sewing in which the stitch is run back on itself, or be
tied off to lock the seam and prevent it from opening or unraveling.
Thread materials have varying strengths and weaknesses. Cotton
thread by itself lacks sufficient strength to withstand heavy winds and is
used in very inexpensive tents. However, wet cotton swells to plug the
needle holes and stops leakage through them. Nylon is strongest but
also stretches and is deteriorated by the ultraviolet radiation of sunlight
and may melt during high-speed sewing. Dacron almost equals the hold-
ing power of nylon, resists the elements, and can be used with smaller
needles (thereby creating smaller seam holes), but is less elastic. The
most popular tent thread is a combination blend of a polyester core
covered with a cotton exterior. This core is strong and rot resistant and
PLAIN SEAM - WEAKEST
1cr=====-
- ~ rr- -=}#-- -- --
si ngl e stitched double stitched
LAPPED SEAM - STRONGER
I
I )
II
eli )
single stitched double sti tched
FLAT FELLED SEAM - STRONGEST
= ~ =
1\
si ngl e stitched doubl e stitched
Tent seams
183 A Consumers' Guide
is protected by the outside cotton which expands to fill the needle holes
and also bonds well to seam sealants.
Even the best made tents may leak through the stitching holes. Seam
sealants may be purchased, and sometimes they are supplied free with
the tent by some manufacturers. When it is correctly applied to both
sides of the seam the sealant not only weatherproofs but also protects
the thread from deterioration by the elements and bonds and strength-
ens the stitch holes. Take along a tiny container of sealant on camping
trips to plug small leaks.
Stress Points
Examine closely all stress areas such as stake and guy line loops, O-ring
and grommet attachments, and zipper seams to make sure that these
seam ends are reinforced with extra stitching. In better tents these points
will be reinforced with additional fabric sewn into and along the tent
seams.
Different tent styles have varying stress areas. A-frame models put
primary wind loading stress on peaks, poles, guys, and stakes and sec-
ondary pressures on the side wall guys and stakes. Center pole types,
which put lower angle strain on the sides and corner guys and the peak
and pole have fewer stake problems. Tunnels and domes supported by
flexible fiber glass rods pull primarily on the pole joints and less on the
sides. External frame tents require extra fabric reinforcement on their
pole sleeve ends where their canopy joins the frame and also sometimes
on side wall guy points.
You can minimize stress on these areas by using additional guy lines
and by siting your tent so that the lower, most vulnerable half is protected
from the wind. Winter and high altitude campers can also build snow
barriers or dig their tent platform down into the snow. On a windy site
you can increase your tent stability by opening any windward apertures
and closing the leeward ones to make your fabric inflate or balloon to
lessen any deformation and movement.
Floors
In almost every environment visited by the camper, from the alpine ridge
to the desert, the tent floor is a positive element of safety and comfort.
It keeps dampness, insects, dirt, and debris out.
Floors are best made from heavy-duty vinyl-coated nylon, polyure-
thane-coated nylon taffeta, or polyethylene-coated woven polyethylene.
Many manufacturers recommend that ground sheets of nylon or plastic
be placed underneath the tent floor to keep out moisture as well as to
protect the floor from sharp objects on the ground. Others recommend
an inside sheet to protect the floor from abrasion of shoes and cot rails.
Placing the sheet inside will also trap water that leaks into the tent
through its floor and corner seams.
Most tents feature tub floors with edges that extend part way up the
sides. When it's raining out, equipment within that is touching the coated
184 Tents for Campers
sides of the tub floor will not start a leak and, therefore, stay dry.
Excessively high coated sidewalls are not necessary and only increase
condensation.
You should also check to see where the floor seams are placed. There
inevitably will be seams near the ground, but the fewer the better. They
can leak.
Entries
Family tents Family tents usually have one door, and, considering the
type of use a family tent gets, one door is sufficient. Occasionally there
will be full doors front and back. Stag brand tents by Hirsh Weis of
Portland, Oregon, also have a split seam in back with a zipper opening
marked as an emergency door. Most doors on family tents split down
the middle and consist of a screen and a storm flap cover. It's far better
for both of these to be zippered so they can be opened from both
outside and inside. And zippers should slide easily and close without
leaving a gap for insects to enter. Some tents have tie tapes to secure
storm flaps, but this is not such a good arrangement.
Ideally the door should be protected by an overhang that lets you
enter through the screen during a rainstorm without letting rain enter
the tent. Some tents have awnings that provide substantial extra shelter
in front of the door. Protection over the door is a definite advantage, if
not a necessity.
An awning can provide an extra room to the family tent when it is
equipped with walls and mosquito netting is draped from it. This is an
option to consider if you need the extra space.
Backpacking tents Most backpacking tents, especially those used at
high altitudes, have two entries - one zippered and one tunnel. Zip-
pered entrances open wide and are quick and easy to use for entering
and venting the tent. They also produce a taut wind-resistant surface
when closed. Their drawback is the fact that zippers can jam. Not only
can they ice up when exposed to water and wet snow, they cannot stop
fine blown snow from penetrating the tent. Because the zippered entry
can become incapacitated, a tunnel entrance is also built into the back-
backing tent. The tunnel is simply a sleeve closed by a drawstring, and
because of its function as an escape exit, the tunnel is located at the
opposite end of the tent from the door. Also, the tunnel can be joined
to the tunnel of another tent to provide passage from one tent to another.
The disadvantage to tunnels is that they can be difficult to tie, gather
tightly, or use for venting, and entry or exit usually has to be made on
all fours.
The vestibule is another form of entrance. It is an extension of the fly
or canopy beyond the tent door. Vestibules vary in size and can be
optional or built-in. They can be a useful place for cooking or storing
packs and other gear, and they provide a means to keep the rain away
from an open tent door.
For summer hiking, the vestibule is not a necessity. It adds weight and
185 A Consumers' Guide
expense to the tent. In summer a simple solution is to carry a lightweight
tarp to cover gear or to set up as a windbreak for outdoor camping.
Windows and Vents
Family tents Ventilation in most family tents is provided by two or more
screened windows and the door. For rainy or cold weather it's best to
have storm flaps that can be closed or partly closed, preferably by zip-
pers, from the inside. Sometimes window storm flaps are secured only
by tie tapes on the outside. They are only slightly less rainproof than
zippered closures, but the disadvantage of having to secure them from
the outside in a rainstorm is obvious.
Some family tents have triangular windows that open from the top
point, enabling the camper to make a small or large opening with ease.
This works well.
Vents - especially those on non breathable nylon tents - should have
protective awnings or covers so they can be left at least partially open in
rainy weather and body moisture can escape from the tent.
Backpacking tents Backpacking tents have vents, not windows. And
proper venting in the backpacking tent is absolutely imperative; people
have suffocated in sealed tents and carbon monoxide poisoning is one
of the primary causes of death in winter camping. When cooking inside
your tent, make absolutely certain the tent is properly ventilated as
carbon monoxide can kill with no warning: you simply fall asleep and
never awaken.
A gasoline stove should also n('ver be filled inside a tent. Gasoline
vapor is highly combustible and can explode. So be careful with a stove
in a tent. Spilled gasoline can also disintegrate the urethane finish on
the tent floor.
The accepted procedure for providing good ventilation in backpacking
tents is to have ridge vents at front and back which provide cross ven-
tilation. These vents are placed as near the ridgeline as possible. In that
position they exhaust warm air and are close enough under the tent fly
to be protected; therefore, the vent can be left open in foul weather.
Instead of having two ridge vents, many tents have one at the rear and
let the door itself act as the front vent. If a door zips down the center
and across the bottom (like an inverted T), it won't work as well as if the
doors zip up the sides, with the two zippers meeting at the apex. This
type of door forms quite an efficient ridgeline vent right under the fly.
An exhaust vent is important for any tent in which cooking will be
taking place. Usually located at the highest point in the tent, some
exhaust vents look like small tunnel entrances. The purpose of these
vents is to draw air out, so bear in mind another source of fresh air must
be available to enable air to flow.
Sometimes this other vent is a chimney vent which is located at the
bottom of the tent and, when open, supposedly creates a chimney effect
draw: cooler air enters through the chimney vent and forces moist, warm
186 Tents for Campers
air out through a top vent or door. This type of vent is handy and works
well on a still day or night when the draft created will force stagnant
warm air out, but in foul weather rain and snow enter the vent and it
cannot be used.
Cook Holes
In backpacking winter and expedition tents, where the occupants literally
can get snowed in, a zippered cook hole lets them cook inside.
In many cases cooking is done on the ground of a floorless vestibule.
But when the vestibule is attached to the tent and shares the tent floor,
it should have a cook hole: if not for cooking, then for placing wet boots
and soiled apparel.
Some people, instead of using a cook hole, carry sheets of Masonite
or asbestos on which they place their stove, and this makes for a sturdy
enough arrangement.
The main disadvantage to cook holes is their being vulnerable to
damage from being trod upon with heavy boots. They also may leak
water.
The original cook hole was called a "relief hole" and was designated
as an indoor latrine. It is also handy for sweeping debris out of the tent.
Zippers
Family tents One way of judging the quality of a tent-is by checking the
zippers. Good tents have larger ones (numbers five or six); inferior tents
have small zippers that will break after the first season's use and maybe
even trap you in your tent in the process. Coil zippers are self-correcting
(to a point) and are smoother than the toothed ones, though the toothed
ones are still the strongest and are less apt to fail. Both are used, so let
your needs determine which you select - pick the toothed if you camp
along sandy beaches or mud flats because the coil zippers are clogged
easily by sand and dirt. Brass zippers are excellent except around corners,
and they are stronger and more durable than the nylon ones. Avoid
aluminum zippers - they jam and break easily.
A little care will prolong the life of metal zippers. Clean them occa-
sionally with a toothbrush and lubricate the teeth by rubbing a candle
over them. Another point to check is the placement of zippers. The same
rules apply to family tents as backpacking tents and are covered in the
following section.
Backpacking tents Zippers must be conveniently placed for efficient
operation of .any tent, and especially the backpacking tent. Mosquito
netting zippers should follow the same pattern and direction as the door
zippers. Then, when you unzip, the door zipper is right there.
The worst zipper pattern is the inverted T. This is a sure sign of an
inexpensive tent. Its greatest disadvantage is that the door peak cannot
be opened for ventilatior, and in order to leave the mosquito netting
open it has to be gathered or tied aside.
187 A Consumers' Guide
Most backpacking tents have a semicircular quonset style or arch door
opening that can be easily opened with a single sweep of the hand.
Another type of door is the triangular one with zippers along each side.
This style provides easy ventilation because the top can be left unzipped,
forming a small triangular ridge vent. Triangular doors are larger than
arched doors, but the latter are a bit easier to use.
No-See-Um-Proof Netting
No-see-ums, or punkies, are tiny flying insects that are common to the
lake states and Canada. They are fierce biters and tiny enough to pass
through standard mosquito netting. Tents with no-see-um-proof netting
are preferred by most hunters and fishermen, and logically so. Its dis-
advantages are that it tears easily and its fine mesh is rather difficult to
s e ~ through. It is also more expensive and is found only on the best
tents.
Modesty Curtains or Dutch Doors
The modesty curtain is a short piece of fabric between three and four
feet long which is attached to the inside of a family tent door to screen
the interior from outside view. Since this does not extend all the way to
the tent roof, it permits ventilation on hot days while providing privacy
in a crowded campground.
A similar type of arrangement is the Dutch door, which is the modesty
curtain sewn onto the mosquito netting so it becomes a permanent part
of the flap. The fabric panel often is not removable and can block the
passage of air, but only to a negligible degree.
Clothing loops
O-rings or brass hooks at the ridge of better tents create storage facilities
for clothing and tools. Although battery-powered lanterns can be safely
supported by these loops, gasoline and kerosene ones cannot. These
mantle lanterns generate enough heat to burn through the material of
even flame-retardant tents. While butane and propane lanterns are safer
than the gasoline models because they do not flare, these also must be
kept away from the walls. In addition, both liquid and bottled gas lamps
deplete the oxygen and fill the tent interior with poisonous carbon
monoxide. Do not hang any heaters from these loops and only use
catalytic models inside your tent.
COLOR
Choose the color of your tent fabric not only with your climatic and
environmental conditions in mind but also with caution. While bright
hues are attractive and cheery in overcast cool weather, some poorly
made models are the brightest and some of the best tents come only in
188 Tents for Campers
duller colors. In addition, strong reds and oranges can aggravate tension
in some people and make a tent interior feel even warmer on a hot day.
However, if your camping areas are cool, cloudy, or heavily shaded by
trees, dark fabrics will make you feel colder and may fail to admit enough
light for you to find your belongings. The same dark color may be
relaxing in areas with constant hot and dazzling sunlight. Also consider
whether you want your tent to blend in with the natural colors of your
surroundings or whether you prefer a high-visibility structure that is easy
to locate from a distance,. For example, light blue cannot only be de-
pressing in cold weather but can also be difficult to locate in a snowy
landscape during the late afternoon. On the other hand, pearl gray and
light blue are ideal for heat reflection in hot weather and transmit light
to the interior very well. Tents made of two or more colors, such as ones
with a light roof and dark walls or even stripes, are a happy solution for
some campers. Others are irritated by the resulting multicolored light
and color effects.
TENT CARE
Camping tents that are adequately cared for may last fiteen years or
more. The average tent spends most of its time in storage as the average
camper uses it only twenty-one days a year. Maintenance and proper
packing and storage are essential to insure the tent's long life and usa-
bility.
Do not pack a wet tent unless unavoidable. However, if you must,
unpack and dry the tent (preferably in the sun) the first chance you get.
Some tents can be machine dried, but manufacturers agree that air drying
is better. A wet cotton tent may be stored temporarily for a day or two,
and the nylon tent, of course, will not mildew - but dampness breeds
rot in natural fibers and even synthetic fiber tents often have cotton
zipper tapes and stitching. Metal zippers and grommets may also corrode
if a tent is not thoroughly dry when packed.
Before packing, clean out the tent with a whiskbroom and soft sponge
to remove any crumbs or assorted debris (pebbles, pine needles, twigs,
and so on). Canvas and nylon are more apt to puncture than tear, so
sweep the tent thoroughly. Organic matter that is not removed will
ferment. Try to wipe up bird droppings and sap spots before they dry
and harden. If this is not possible, scrub them off with a mild soap and
water solution and a soft brush. Don't use harsh detergents or solvents
as they may damage the tent's waterproof and/or flame-retardant coat-
ings. Vacuum the inside of the tent if you can, or turn the tent inside
out and shake it. After loosely rolling up the tent, sweep off any dirt
sticking to the outside.
Avoid folding the tent (especially along the same lines each time) or
stuffing it into too snug a container (which will cause creases to form),
as this may weaken the fabric along those folds. Tents may be kept in
waterproof sacks while camping or traveling, but for longer-term storage
use a porous sack capable of holding the loosely rolled tent without
cramming. Avoid leaving the tent in a waterproof covering for long
189 A Consumers' Guide
periods of time - especially stored in the trunk of a car where the heat,
dark, and probable dampness are ideal conditions for breeding bacteria
and mildew.
Metal pegs, joints, or poles may corrode and stain the tent fabric or
cause creases if they are not packed separately. If you must pack every-
thing together, cover the sharp-pointed ends with fabric or cardboard to
prevent punctures. Metal parts exposed to salt sea air corrode rapidly;
check and clean before packing.
Store the tent in a dry, well-ventilated area. Concrete floors are to be
avoided as they can produce enough moisture to cause mildew. Air your
tent as often as you can. This helps to disperse moisture from conden-
sation and to prevent mildew.
Mildew occurs as spotty discolorations with a distinctly musty odor. It
will destroy any natural fabric or thread on which it forms if it is not
removed. If mildewing occurs, wash out with a mild soap and dry (in the
sun, if possible) and then apply a mildew-retarding solution, which can
be purchased from a hardware or camping supply store.
New tents should be checked for waterproofing before being used.
Cotton tents should be pitched and hosed down completely. This will
cause the material to shrink somewhat, making the weave tighter and
more waterproof, and weather the canvas so it is less likely to mildew.
Rub beeswax or paraffin into the stitching on canvas seams and work it
in with your fingers. In a pinch, even Chap Stick will work. Better yet,
buy and apply a commercial canvas-waterproofing treatment. Some man-
ufacturers furnish these sealants with their tents.
Nylon tents may be waterproofed with silicone sprays and plastic seal-
ants. Test first for leaks, but be sure the tent is dry before applying
waterproofing and allow plenty of drying time for the sealant to set.
Small holes may be repaired with waterproof adhesive tape applied
from the outside, preferably after the tent is dry, and small leaks may be
stopped by the application of wax inside and out.
To prevent stress damage to grommets and guy lines from high winds,
attach loops of shock cord to all guys and awning lines. Shock cord can
be purchased at camping supply stores as can extra grommets and tools
with which to apply them.
While camping, try to carry such items as tape, safety pins, needle and
thread, and pieces of tent fabric for emergency repairs. Although most
tents are flame resistant, all are easily damaged by fire. Nylon will melt,
and even a small spark or cigarette burn can cause a hole to smolder
through cotton canvas. Never cook inside a tent unless it was specifically
designed for that purpose - in which case follow the manufacturer' s
directions carefully. The citric acid in orange juice or lemonade can
damage nylon, so be wary of spills. Gasoline will ruin rubber and cause
urethane coating to peel off so keep it away from your tent floor . Clear
your tent site of small obstructions before setting up - floors can be
damaged by such simple nuisances as sharp stones and sticks. Don't use
aerosol products such as insect repellents or hair spray in or even nearby
a tent. These products may contain chemicals that destroy the tent' s
waterproofing and flame resistant coatings.
" Did you ever see a cubical bubble?" Int er-
view with Buckminster Fuller, The North
Face. The North Face is not afraid to try new
designs and they have come up with some
remarkable ones. With the introduction of
the Oval Intention in the f all of 1975 they
were the first tent manufacturer to employ
R. Buckminster Fuller' s patented geodesi c
principles into the backpackable tent mar-
ket . In recognition of Fuller' s invention of
the geodesic dome (and now over 100,000
exist in over fifty countries), The North Face
dedicated their 1978 spring-summer catalog
to him, and, when he paid a visit, they de-
clared it "Bucky Day" and presented him
with the six-meter, six-frequency geodesic
dome you see him stepping out of. (Cour-
tesy of The North Face)
Penthouse Manufacturing, Inc., in Carlin-
ville, Illinois, makes this car-top tent.
190 Tents for Campers
Tents can be washed, and sometimes even in the washing machine.
But check the instructions (and be sure to remove the guy lines before
you do it). And if you've got a larger family tent that won't fit into the
machine or you're hesitant about machine washing your backpacking
tent, then you must resort to using a sponge and water in the shower,
the bathtub, or the backyard. Dry-cleaning fluid will help remove pitch
and resin, though this and some detergents can clog the pores of Gore-
Tex. To clean Gore-Tex use cold water and a very mild, pure, low-sudsing
soap (such as Ivory Flakes). Hot water and strong detergents can also
cause the Gore-Tex laminate to peel off. To dry the tent, the general
consensus is that the sun does the best job.
Just give your tent a little consideration; after all, it is not indestructi-
ble. And a little care goes a long way.
TENTMAKERS, MANUFACTURERS, AND THEIR TENTS
Two innovative tentmakers are Bill Moss in Maine and "Tent Tom" Glenn
in Nepal. Moss's tents are futuristic while Glenn's are keeping an age-
old craft alive and well. The manufacturers, on the other hand, are
innovators in their own right. You can now purchase either the old
reliable tent styles with most of the flaws ironed out or try some of the
newer dome, tunnel, or hybrid types.
Most of the tentmakers and manufacturers included here will supply
you with catalogs and current price lists free of charge. It only costs the
price of a postcard, so you definitely owe it to yourself to investigate the
market. It's constantly changing - manufacturers are phasing out old
models, introducing new ones, developing new materials and hardware
- you name it, they're working on it.
Listed in the charts at the end of this chapter you will find data supplied
directly by various manufacturers. The charts give pertinent information
on all the tents available from each one, but this is by no means the last
word, or even a complete listing of manufacturers. At a glance you can
see which companies specialize in the type of tent that interests you,
and then there is specific information, plus selected photographs, to
enhance your k[1owledge of their line. The following section is geared
to provide you, the tent buyer, with information it might otherwi,se take
weeks to accumulate and to enable you to talk "tents" at any sporting
goods store. With this material to get you started you will be more likely
to end up with the right tent for your needs.
Bill Moss - Master Artist-Tentmaker
"I am an artist. A tent to me is a piece of sculpture you can get into,"
- Bill Moss
Bill Moss is an artist-craftsman who has restored the ancient art of
tentmaking to its royal standards of excellence in designing for the fu-
ture. His works have been shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New
Moss-designed tents in Abu Dhabi on the
Persian Gulf. These tents are capable of
withstanding 100 mph winds and maintain-
ing temperature below 85° inside on 120°
days,
191 A Consumers' Guide
York and he is the inventor of the paper dome cottages coated with
plastic, emergency tent shelters which when dropped by helicopters
open and inflate like parachutes before they hit the earth, and over thirty
patented tent and tentlike structures. One of his achievements that is
taking hold is the Optimum 200 - a leakproof summer house that packs
into a two-foot square box and weighs a total of fifty-five pounds, has
no-cost air conditioning to keep the interior twenty-five degrees cooler
than the outdoors, and is a meticulously crafted space-age sculpture
shaped like a three-leaf clover with swooping fluid curves.
Unlike many works of art these tents are made to withstand heavy
utilitarian use and punishment by the elements. Jacques Cousteau's
oceanography expedition used Moss's tents on Easter Island. The Smith-
sonian Institution commissioned Moss to design its canvas pavilion for
the 1976 Bicentennial Folk Festival in Washington, D.C. Moss created the
interior of the Ford Pavilion at Expo '74 in Spokane, Washington, and the
respected L. L. Bean outdoor equipment company hired him to create a
two-man camping tent. The Arabs, supreme tent-masters of the ages,
have bought large hunting tents as well as thousands of smaller shelters
used for temporary housing of Arab emirate families, construction sites,
schools, and hospitals.
Mr. Moss began as a painter and studied art. He later worked in the
U.S. Navy as an underwater demolition diver and even taught painting
to the officers. For the next ten years he illustrated outdoor scenes for
Ford Times, and his assignments sometimes found him camping out in
"heavy, smelly, leaky tents." Meanwhile, he had begun making his own
sculptured fabric paintings, which finally departed from the wall to be-
come walk-into environments. At last, his 1957 design of a pop tent for
the Ford Company fused his art and visions together. He decided to
commit himself to the perfection of his tents.
For several years Moss licensed his designs to other manufacturers,
insisting on design control through membership on their boards of di-
rectors. By 1975 he established his own tent company - Moss Tent
Works, Inc., in Camden, Maine - to assure the total artistic freedom
and precise quality of workmanship necessary for the proper production"
of his creations. His wife Marilyn, a weaving expert experienced in man-
aging a leather goods shop, became the general manager, and his father-
in-law, a retired General Motors research director, became the first com-
pany president.
Moss's revolutionary tension-structure designs tackled a problem that
most architects had avoided because of conservative clients and the
difficulty of design. Moss solved the two main drawbacks of the pup
tent: its lack of space near the top of its inverted V shape and its con-
centration of stresses where the fabric meets the tent poles. Other typical
solutions aggravated the existing situation by merely enlarging the whole
size of the tent and reinforcing the same stress point. In contrast, Moss
eliminated these issues entirely by using a flexible fiber glass rod through
a sleeve to make a covered arch instead of an A-frame. Not only did this
multiply the interior space but it also distributed the tent pressures over
the entire surface. The cut of the stretched fabric produces tension to
Top: The O'Dome, an experimental vaca-
tion home fabricated of plastic-coated pa-
per. Bottom: Star Gazer, a freestanding ur-
ethane-coated tent.
The Siesta Sunshade with detachable floor
(for laundering or separate use).
192 Tents for Campers
hold the fiber glass poles in their pockets. These poles In turn transfer
those stresses back out again onto the cloth to make the covering ma-
terial a structural support itself instead of an independent skin. This
makes it possible for some tents to be freestanding and require only
enough anchorage to the earth to prevent their shifting in the wind. This
concept is now widespread and has been integrated into the design lines
of many manufacturers.
Another striking feature of Moss's tents is the winglike hyperbolic
paraboloid shape (illustrated, for instance, by the Optimum 200), one
which is also used by other contemporary architects. This form not only
is the single solution for creating constant tension across the entire
surface of a material but it also spills the wind by bending away from the
direction of the pressure. To design a tent with strains evenly distributed
over the widest areas, Moss sketches his works in paper to find the weak
points and also makes cloth models combining arcs, parabolas, and eye
shapes. (Called by architects vesica pis cis, which refers to the intersec-
tion of circles. Church doors are often designed this way.) Because of all
these design factors both the fabric and all construction craftwork must
be of excellent quality - as indeed they are, at Moss Tent Works, Inc.
Tent Tom - Upholding Ancient Tradition in Nepal
California-born Tom Glenn has been living in Katmandu, Nepal, since
1971. Known locally in Nepal as "Tent Tom," he began, in 1972, to
organize a factory to produce beautiful handwoven tents and canopies,
fabrics and rugs. Glenn's tents are inspired by traditional Nepalese and
Tibetan designs sometimes enhanced by innovations of his own. He has
spent several years researching weaving and dyeing techniques and ex-
ploring Himalayan design. These tents were customarily used by royalty
and the upper classes for outings in the Himalayan mountain regions.
The appliqued designs are symbolic and could identify the tent owner at
a glance.
All tents include ropes made by hand from goat's hair and bamboo
stakes, and are usually made from cotton drill weave and tapestry fabrics
(other available materials include nylon, fire-proofed canvas, and PVC-
coated fabric). The tents are vividly decorated with bias tape applique,
an ancient craft form flexible enough to show off both traditional and
original designs. "Tent Tom" also supplies accessory pillows that are
appliqued in the same design as the tent. And if you want a Tibetan-type
hand-knotted wool carpet to cover the floor , that too can be ordered
with the tent: rugs are Glenn's other specialty.
The whole enterprise is a blend of East and West. Tom has combined
traditional Eastern craftsmanship with elements of contemporary design
and function. These tents are not curiosity pieces but splendid works of
art that are extremely functional.
Various models and designs are available on import order, and tents
can be custom-made as well. Tom's mother, Mrs. Pat Heald, handles
United States distribution of her son' s tents and rugs. For more infor-
mation, write her at Design Center Northwest, 5701 Sixth Avenue South,
Suite 219, Seattle, Washington 98108.
193 A Consumers' Guide
" Tent Tom" Glenn fastening a guy rope on
one of his appliqued Himalayan tents.
Avother of Glenn' s tents, based on ancient
Himalayan designs and handmade at his
factory in Katmandu, Nepal.
194 Tents for Campers
Manufactu rer
ANCHOR INDUSTRIES P.O. Box 3477 1100 Burch Dr. Evansville, Indiana 47733
Dimensions
Height Length
(inches) x Capacity Number
Weight Width Rating of
Model Type Materials Ibs. oz. MaxIMin (inches) (# persons) Entries Colors Special Features
Woodsman Wall Tent wall poly.-cotton assorted
(5 models)
smallest (W-97) 55 72/36 108 x 84 3 2
largest (W-1416) 95 90/42 168 x 192 8 2
Woodsman Supreme wall poly.-cotton assorted
(5 models)
smallest (WS-97) 70 72/36 108 x 84 3 2
largest (WS-1416) 130 90/42 168 x 192 11 2
Grizzly (GR-8610) exoframe poly.-cotton 35 84/66 102 x 120 4 blue or 2-
tone green
Huntsman (HT57) pup poly.- 16 8 42 60 x 84 2 light blue or
cotton, nyl . light green
Mountain tent pup poly.- 24 8 72 90 x 102 3 2 side vents
(MT7686) cotton, nyl.
Backpacker (BP58) backpack rip. nyl. 7 8 52 60 x 94 3 yellow roof
with orange
or blue
Canoe (CA7686) backpack rip . nyl. 9 8 72 90 x 102 3 yellow roof 2 wnds.
with orange
or blue
Universal wall duck nyl. & khaki, custom sizes
dac. duck white, or and wnds.
gray avail.
International pyramid duck, nyl. most popular khaki, custom sizes
Pyramidal tent are white, or and wnds.
168 x 168 gray avail.
192 x 192
Tee-Pee (3 models) tipi army duck white
smallest TP12FR 65 150 144 diameter
largest TP18FR 90 177 216 diameter
Permanent camp (7 wall cotton assorted permanent
models) platform
smallest (PC-98) 80 84/36 108 x 96 3 2 complete
largest (PC-1620) 180 120/60 192 x 240 15 2
Assembly tents assembly* assorted
* Available in custom orders
Anchor Industries Permanent Camp
Anchor Industries Huntsman
195 A Consumers' Guide
Man ufactu re r
A16 WILDERNESS CAMPING OUTFITTERS 4620 Alvarado Canyon Rd. San Diego, California 92120
Model Type
Half Dome (4-person) dome
(2-person)
Trail Tarp tarp
Manufacturer
Materials
rip. nyl.
rip. nyl.
Weight
Ibs. oz.
6
5 4
101/2
Dimensions
Height Length
(inches) x
Width
Max/Min (inches)
48 83 x 94
50 52 x 94
NA 1201/2 x 120112
ALASKA TENT & TARP, INC. 529 Front St. Fairbanks, Alaska 99701
Model
Wall Tent (15 models)
smallest (T10983)
largest (T11320)
Dog Sled Tent
(T10801)
A16 Half Dome
Type Materials
wall canvas
A-frame canvas
Dimensions
Height Length
(inches) x
Weight Width
Ibs. oz. Max/Min (i nches)
15 72/36 72 x 96
37 90/48 114 x 144
21 66 90 x 90
Rain fly on A16 Half Dome
Capacity Number
Rating of
(# persons) Entries Colors
4 blue or
2 green
golden
brown
Capacity Number
Rating of
(# persons) Entries Colors
off-white
4+ 2
6+ 2
2+
Alaska wall tent
Special Features
1 wnd., dble.
wall
Special Features
overlapping
door flaps,
rope reinforced
eaves &
corners, FR
models avail.,
mosquito
netti ng opt. ,
arctic tent
dbl. wall
construction,
top vent , tent
folds to l' x 8'
bundle to fit in
dog sled
196 Tents for Campers
Manufacturer
ATHALON PRODUCTS, HIGH LONESOME 3333 E. 52nd Ave. Denver, Colorado 80216
Dimensions
Height Length
(inches) x Capacity Number
Weight Width Rating of
Model Type Materials Ibs. oz. Max/Min (inches) (# persons) Entries Colors Special Features
High Lonesome (2 cabin cotton duck white 3 wnds.
models) nyl. vny.
smallest 80/48 96 x 120 2
largest 84/48 120 x 144 4
Woodsman (4 models) wall cotton duck white 1 wnd., full
smallest nyl. vny. 80/48 96 x 120 2 2 screen door
largest 112/60 168 x 192 8 2
Guide (8 models) wall cotton duck white asbestos shield,
smallest nyl. vny. 80/48 96 x 120 2 sad cloth, wnd.
largest 110/60 192 x 240 12 ridge-pole
openings
Outfitter (4 models) wall cotton duck white sad cloth
smallest nyl . vny. 80/48 96 x 120 2
largest 99/60 144 x 168 6
Herder (5 models) pyramid cotton duck white
smallest w/wall nyl . vny. 75/30 84 x 84 2
largest 105/48 120 x 120 4
Colorado range (3 pyramid cotton duck white no center pole
models) nyl. vny.
smallest 87 72 x 96 2
largest 90 114 x 114 4
Whelen Lean-to lean-to nyl. or 83 84 x 72 2 orange or avail. in 2
cotton white fabrics
Athalon High Lonesome The Guide
197 A Consumers' Guide
Manufacturer
l. l. BEAN, INC. Freeport, Maine 04033
Dimensions
Height
(inches)
Weight
Model Type Materials Ibs. oz. Max/Min
Allagash tent A-frame rip./nyl.,
small (55480) taf./nyl. 6 42
large (55490 10 72
Pine Tree Lodge (3 cabin nyl./poplin
models, #10, 12, 13)
smallest (#10) 35 90/60
largest (#13) 51 96/60
Nylon Baker tent baker nyl./poplin 11 12 72/20
(5546R)
Nylon Umbrella tent umbrella nyl./poplin
(3 models)
smallest (5612R#8) 18 3 78
largest (5611 R#12) 27 12 92
Manufacturer
Length
x
Width
(i nches)
84 x 60
108 x 84
96 x 120
120 x 156
90 x 90
84 x 96
139 x 139
Capacity Number
Rating of
(# persons) Entries Colors
2
4
green or
gold
pearl gray
green
Special Features
dbl. walls, 1
wnd.
FR avail. , 3
wnds.
floor, 1 wnd.,
net door, opt.,
6' x 20'
screened porch
green/gold 3 wnds.
3
6
BISHOP'S ULTIMATE OUTDOOR EQUIPMENT 310 Millwood Rd. Bethesda, Maryland 20034
Dimensions
Height Length
(inches) x Capacity Number
Weight Width Rating of
Model Type Materials Ibs. oz. Max/Min (inches) (# persons) Entries Colors Special Features
Ultimate (2-person) external rip. nyl. 10 40/36 84 x 60 2+ 2 burnt 2 pocks., shock
frame box orange/ cords
(4-person) 16 6 60/54 108 x 84 4+ 2 white 4 pocks.
(6-person) 30 13 77/68 144 x 96 6+ 2 6 pocks.
Pachlite II A-frame rip. nyl. (w/ ridge- 46/45 84 x 60 2+ 2 burnt 2 pocks.,
pole) orange/pale ridgepole
9 6 blue/white
Net tent I-pole rip. nyl. 5 40/36 84 x 48 2 burnt 2 pocks., WP
wedge orange/ door and fly
white
L. L. Bean Baker tent Bishop' s Expedition Tent
198 Tents for Campers
Manufacturer
CANNONDALE CORPORATION 35 Pulaski St. Stamford, Connecticut 06902
Dimensions
Height Length
(inches) x Capacity Number
Weight Width Rating of
Model Type Materials Ibs. oz. Max/Min (inches) (# persons) Entries Colors Special Features
Wabash (C-891) backpack rip. nyl. 8 12 57/36 87 x 48 2 gold/rust/ 1 wnd., 1 vest.
87 x 72 blue
Lackawanna (C-892) backpack rip. nyl. 9 8 46/46 87 x 58 2 2 gold/rust/ 2 vests.
blue
Aroostook (C-893) backpack rip. nyl. 11 6 72/72 87 x 72 3-4 2 gold/rust/ 2 vests.
blue
Susquehanna (C-895) backpack rip. nyl. 7 6 46/46 87 x 58 2 gold/rust/ 1 wnd., 1 vest.
blue
Cannondale Susquehanna and the Bugger bicycle trailer
Cannondale Wabash
199 A Consumers' Guide
Manufacturer
THE COLEMAN CO., INC. 250 N. St. Francis St. Wichita, Kansas 67201
Dimensions
Height Length
(inches) x Capacity Number
Weight Width Rating of
Model Type Materials Ibs. oz. Max/Min (inches) (# persons) Entries Colors Special Features
Peak 1@l (#838) backpack ny!. 5 10 44/40 97 x 60 2 yellow/ 1 wnd.,
brown weather fly,
cargo pock. ,
under wnd.,
stuff sack, opt.
shock cord kit
(#856) 7 10 59/54 97 x 84 4
Coleman® Models:
Family Classic cabin- poly., vny. 36 84/72 132 x 120 5 1 db!. white/tan 2 wnds.
(#8481 B840) exoframe
Mid-sized Classic cabin poly. , vny. 35 78/69 120 x 96 4 1 db!. white/tan 2 wnds.
(#8481 B830) exoframe
Compact Classic cabin poly., vny. 19 60/56 96 x 81 3 1 dbl . white/tan 1 wnd.
(#8481-810) exoframe
Backpack Classic Backpack ny!. 6 6 42/37 93 x 60 2 1 zip white/tan vent w/weather
(#8551A814) side fly
Delux Oasis cabin poly-cotton, 52 90/60 156 x 108 6 1 db!. white/green 3 wnds.
(#8471A22) exoframe vny.
Family Oasis cabin poly-cotton, 48 90/60 144 x 96 5 1 dbl. white/green 3 wnds.
(#8471A832) exoframe vny.
Delux American Cabin poly., vny. 37 84/54 156 x 120 6 1 db!. white/green 3 wnds.
Heritage (#8491-865) exoframe dutch
Family American Cabin poly., vny. 34 78/54 134 x 98 5 1 db!. white/green 3 wnds.
Heritage (#8491 B825) exoframe dutch
Compact American Cabin poly., vny. 30 78/54 116 x 86 4 1 db!. white/green 2 wnds.
Heritage (#8491 B815 exoframe dutch
Villa del Mar (#8426- Cabin poly., vny. 48 96 144 x 108 5 2 flaps tan/gold 2 wnds.
874) exoframe
Vacationer Cabin ny!., vny. 29 78 134 x 98 5 1 dbl. white/red 3 wnds.
(#8491 A845) exoframe dutch
Mountain (#8428-800) pop- poly., vny. 15 42 84 x 60 2 1 dbl. green 3 wnds.
exoframe dutch
Coleman Villa del Mar®
Coleman Vacationer
Villa del Mar® with Van Conversion Kit
200 Tents for Campers
Manufactu rer
DENVER TENT COMPANY 4004 Grape St. Denver, Colorado 80216
Dimensions
Height Length
(inches) x
Weight Width
Model Type Materials Ibs. oz. Max/Min (inches)
King (139KS) cabin poly.-cotton 55 90/60 156 x 108
Royal (4 models) cabin poly.-cotton
smallest (97R) 31 85/40 108 x 84
largest (915R) 55 85/40 108 x 180
Crown (109C) cabin poly.-cotton 47 90/60 120 x 108
Denver (675BP) backpack rip./taf./nyl. 6 8 48/12 72 x 90
Coleman Peak 1@> two- and four-man
Capacity Number
Rating of
(# persons) Entries
8 1
double
door
1
3 double
8+ door
5 1
double
door
2 1 flap
Colors Special Features
3 wnds., FR
1 wnd.
1 wnd.
1 wnd., NP
w/fly
Denver Tent Company Denver Backpack
201 A Consumers' Guide
Manufacturer
EARL Y WI NTERS, LTD. 110 Prefontaine PI. S. Seattle, Washington 98104
Dimensions
Height Length
(inches) x
Weight Width
Model Type Materials Ibs. oz. Max/Min (inches)
Starship® (#0105) dome Gore-Tex® 6.6 48 108 x 72
laminate*
Light Dimension® tunnel Gore-Tex® 3.8 39/19 97 x 56
(#0102) laminate*
Winterlight® (#0103) tunnel Gore-Tex® 4.5 39/25 102 x 56
laminate*
Earth Station@> (#0104) dome Gore-Tex® 9.7 54 92 side-side
laminate* 102 corner-
corner
Sleep Inn® sleeping Gore-Tex® 1 : 1 NA 90 x 32
bag cover laminate*
& bivvy
sack
Omnipotent® (#0101) tunnel integrated 6.3 38/29 93 x 54
dbl. wall* *
w/vest. 139 x 54
* Gore-Tex® laminate: nylon taffeta-Gore-Tex® membrane-polyester nexus.
** Outer Wall: 2.2 oz. polymer coated nylon; Inner Wall: 1.5 oz nylon.
Early Winters Earth Station
Early Winters Omnipotent
Capacity Number
Rating of
(# persons) Entries Colors Special Features
2-3
2
2
4
2
gold or 1 wnd., 4
green shock-corded
alum. poles, 4
pocks.
gold or back vent, 2
green shock-corded
fg. poles, 2
netting pocks.
2 gold or 3 shock-corded
green fg. poles, 2
pocks.
gold or 2 big wnds., 6
green shock-corded
alum. poles
(equal lengths),
4 pocks., free-
standing
NA gold or mosquito
green netting
2 blue dbl. wall, opt .
vest. zips to
front door,
Gore-Tex®
doors, 4 shock-
corded FG
poles
About as small as a tent can get, Early Win-
ters Sleep Inn
202 Tents for Campers
Manufacturer
EUREKA! TENT, INC. 625 Conklin Rd., P.o. Box 966 Binghamton, New York 13902
Dimensions
Height Length
(inches) x Capacity Number
Weight Width Rating of
Model Type Materials Ibs. oz. Max/Min (inches) (# persons) Entries Colors ~ p e c i a l Features
Catskill (3 models) backpack rip./nyl. taf. green/yellow no-see-um
smallest A-frame 6 42 60 x 84 2 netting
largest 10 6 72 84 x 102 4
Mojave A-frame taf./nyl. 4 15 42 60 x 84 green no-see-um
netting
Timberline: small ext. rip./nyl. 42 63 x 86 2 copper/ no-see-um
large frame, 5 58 86 x 104 4 sandstone netting, 1 wnd.,
backpack green/yellow opt. vest.,
shock-corded
frame
Timberline Base Camp ext . rip., poly. 17 10 75 102 x 123 dark green opt. vest.
frame, willow green
backpack
Alpine: small ext. frame rip. 9 10 44 60 x 93 2 copper/blue
large exo-frame 15 12 65 84 x 106 3 green/yellow
Saranac backpack rip., 6 5 42 60 x 120 2 green/yellow attached vest .,
taf./.nyl. no-see-um
netting
Yukon dome rip. 7 9 48 60 x 90 2 1 A- willow 1 roof vent
Door green/yellow
Aleutian/ (hexagon) dome rip. 9 12 52 86 x % 2 2 A- willow 1 roof vent
Doors green/yellow
Back Country pyramid, rip. 5 12 64 96 x 42 1 A- copper/
backpack Door sandstone
green/ye Ilow
Mt. Marcy mod. taf./nyl. 4 4 42 60 x 96 2 green 3 wnds.
wall,
backpack
Nu Lite backpack taf. 3 12 42 60 x 88 2 assorted
Space Tent : small ext . frame poplin 54 96/ 72 120 x 120 tan 3 wnds .
umbrella
large umbrella 65 96/ 72 141 x 141
Eureka! Tent Riverside Lodge, in use at
Strawberry Fields by the Sea, a camping and
cottage resort on Robin's Bay, Jamaica
Eureka! Timberline without rain fly
203 A Consumers' Guide
Dimensions
Height Length
(inches) x Capacity Number
Weight Width Rating of
Model Type Materials Ibs. oz. Max/Min (inches) (# persons) Entries Colors Special Features
Riverside Lodge (4 cabin poplin pearl gray 3 wnds .
models)
smallest 46 90/60 120 x 96
largest 60 96/60 192 x 120
Lakeside cabin poplin, 80 108/60, 72 192 x 120 pearl gray 7 wnds., 2
vny./nyl. rooms
Terrace Tent cabin poplin, 56 96/60, 72 120 x 120 pearl gray 3 wnds.,
vny./nyl. awning
Chateau (3 models) cabin tan 2 wnds.
smallest 7 27 72/42 86 x 90
largest 12 38 84/52 135 x 96
Travel-aire ext. frame poplin, 23 80/60 104 x 104 tan 1 wnd.
umbrella vny./nyl.
Drawtite® (3 models) exo poplin tan 1 vent, 1 wnd.
smallest, Alpine 14 (Fr.) (Rear) 60 X 93 2
48/30
largest, Storm King 44 (Fr.) (Rear) 108 X 147 5
78/50
Vagabond 9 umbrella poplin, vny. 28 80/60 104 x 104 tan 2 wnds.
Screen House screen poplin 2, zip tan
small 1210 32 92/68 120 x 144
large 1410 35 92/68 120 x 168
Trail-Lite backpack taf.!nyl. 7 4 72 84 x 104 4 green
Portage Special wall taf. 7 2 72/24 84 x 87 3 green 3 wnds.
Portage Special II backpack taf. 7 14 72/24 84 x 108 4 green 3 wnds.
Mountain Tent backpack poplin, 9 42 60 x 96 2 tan
vny./nyl.
Mountain Major backpack poplin, 13 12 60 72 x 108 3 tan
vny./nyl.
Mountain Cruiser backpack poplin, 18 4 72 90 x 96 4 tan
vny./nyl.
Caddis modified rip./nyl. 7 (end) 43 x 96 2 caramel/
tube 43/35 sandstone
Expedition ext. frame rip./nyl. opt. vest.
Timberline: small backpack 8 14 42 63 x 86 2
large 12 6 58 86 x 104 4
Summit A-frame rip./nyl. 7 11 57 60 x 102 2
Expedition Summit A-frame rip./nyl. 8 11 57 60 x 102 2 caramel/ snow tunnel
sandstone entrance
Great Western (3 hybrid rip./poly. willow 3 wnds.
models) umbrella green/yellow
smallest 18 3 78/66 84 x 84
largest 27 4 92/76 139 x 139
Teton: small cabin rip./nyl., 25 3 84/60 120 x 96 sandstone/ 3 wnds.
large poly. 28 5 84/60 144 x 108 tan
Chenango Flu nyl./poly. 11 90/72 144 x 144 assorted
Ice-Fishing umbrella poplin/ 73/63 85 x 85 1 wnd., 1 vent
vny.
Indian Teepee poly./cotton 168 Dia.180
204 Tents for Campers
Manufactu rer
GERRY CO. 5450 North Valley Highway Denver, Colorado 80216
Dimensions
Height Length
(inches) x Capacity Number
Weight Width Rating of
Model Type Materials Ibs. oz. Max/Min (i nches) (# persons) Entries Colors
Mountain Ark (T140) A-frame nyl. 6 12 46 88 x 57 2 brown/
orange with
khaki fly
Windjammer (T142) tripodal nyl. 7 9 48 84 x 96 2- 3 brown/gold
exo with khaki
fly
Year Round II (T106) backpack nyl. 6 14 43/36 92 x 55 2 blue/gold or
brown/gold/
khaki
Camponaire II (T113) modified nyl. 9 8 65/42 84 x 78 3 blue/gold or
pyramid brown/gold/
khaki
Fortnight II ( T114) modified nyl. 10 14 72/48 84 x 96 4 blue/gold or
pyramid brown/gold/
khaki
Meadow (T303) backpack nyl. 5 6 48/44 84 x 54 2 green/khaki
48/32
Mosquito (T301 ) backpack nyl. 5 5 44/32 84 x 48 2 green
84 x 54
Man ufactu re r
HIRSCH-WEISS White Stag 5203 S.E. Johnson Creek Blvd. Portland, Oregon 97222
Model Type
Skyliner (2 models) cabin
large (#20053)
extra large (#20054)
Gerry Fortnight II
Materials
poly.-cotton
Weight
Ibs. oz.
45
52
Dimensions
Height Length
(inches) x
Max/Min
93/60
96/60
Width
(inches)
140 x 107
168 x 118
Gerry Windjammer
Capacity
Rating
(# persons)
5
7
Number
of
Entries Colors
1 silver/blue
dutch
door
Special Featu res
skylight
1 wnd.
Special Features
5 wnds., adj.
spring-loaded
frame, roped in
floor w/wire
stake loops
205 A Consumers' Guide
Dimensions
Height Length
(inches) x Capacity Number
Weight Width Rating of
Model Type Materials Ibs. oz. Max/Min (inches) (# persons) Entries Colors Special Features
Van Tent (#20055) van polyester 27 87/76 93 x 83 2-3 2 silver/ 3 wnds.,
poly.-cotton dutch pumpkin magnetic tape
doors
Van/Pickup tent van poly.- 21 87/76 103 x 84 3 1 silver/ 1 wnd., zip,
#21048 cotton, & dutch pumpkin opening for
nyl. door vehicle
Oakwood (3 models) cabin poly.-cotton 1 silver/green
small (#20056) 33 81/56 114 x 91 4 dutch 3 wnds., spring-
door loaded frame,
roped in floor
w/wi re stake
loops
extra large (#20058) 45 94/60 173 x 104 6 4 wnds
Parkdale (2 models) cabin poly.-cotton 1 blue or 3 wnds., adj.
small (#20059) 26 78/54 115 x 91 4 dutch green or frame
large (#20060) 34 84/54 138 x 104 5 door pumpkin
Ranger (2 models) cabin poly.- pumpkin/ 3 wnds., adj .
small (#21049) cotton, 20 78/54 116 x 89 4 dutch green frame
large (#21050) polyester 25 84/54 138 x 104 5 door
Cape Cod (2 models) cabin poly.- 1 pumpkin/ 3 wnds., adj .
small (#21051) cotton, 16 75/57 116 x 91 4 dutch brown frame
large (#21052) polyester 21 84/60 137 x 104 4 door
Breezy Hatchback (2 cabin poly.- 1, zip. pumpkin/
models) cotton, green
small (#21053) polyester 19 75/51 114 x 90 4 3 wnds., adj .
frame
large (#21054) 24 78/54 137 x 100 5 4 wnds., adj.
frame
Sky Country (2 backpack rip.-nyl. & brown 1 rear vent, free
models) w/fly nyl.
standing shock-
small (#24058) 6 9 45 66 x 90 2 corded frame
large (#24059) 9 12 60 90 x 108 4
High Country (2 backpack rip./nyl. blue front-rear
models) w/fly vents, vest.,
small (#24060) 7 11 45 66 x 90 2 shock-corded
large (#24061) 10 15 62 90 x 108 4 frame
Hirsch-Weis White Stag Camping Skyliner
Hirsch-Weis White Stag Alpine II
Hirsch-Weis White Stag Sky Country
206 Tents for Campers
HIRSCH-WEISS (cont.)
Dimensions
Height Length
(i nches) x Capacity Number
Weight Width Rating of
Model Type Materials Ibs. oz. Max/Min (inches) (# persons) Entries Colors Special Features
Igloo (#24065) backpack rip. nyl./taf. 6 11 50 62 x 94 2 green rear vent, fg.
w/fly nyl.
frame
Alpine (3 models) backpack rip. nyl./taf. green rear vent,
smallest (#24062) w/fly nyl. 6 42 60 x 90 2 shock-corded
largest (#24064) 10 5 72 84 x 102 4 dbl. A-frame
Trail Companion (3 backpack rip. nyl./taf. brown 1 wnd. , alum.
models) w/fly nyl.
poles
smallest (#24066) 4 10 42 60 x 84 2
largest (#24068) 8 13 72 84 x 96 4
High Lake (2 models) backpack rip.-nyl./ green 1 wnd.
small (#24045) rip.-poly. 5 42 60 x 84 2
large (#24046) 6 12 60 84 x 84 4
Packer (#24069) backpack rip.-nyl./ 4 36 54 x 84 2 blue 1 wnd.
rip.-poly.
Manufacturer
HOLUBAR MOUNTAINEERING, LTD. P.O. Box 7 Boulder, Colorado 80302
Dimensions
Height Length
(i nches) x Capacity Number
Weight Width Rating of
Model Type Materials Ibs. oz. Max/Min (i nches) (# persons) Entries Colors Special Features
Chateau backpack rip./nyl. 10 4 66/28 125 x 86 3 blue 2 wnds. vents,
avail. as kit
4-Person backpack rip./nyl. 10 11 72/36 % x 96 4 2 gold 2 wnds.
(at doors)
Expedition expedi- rip./nyl. 10 47/47 114 x 60 2 (w/gear) 2 gold/brown
tion
Tarp tent tarp ·132 x 108 5 brown
Royalight II backpack rip./nyl. 6 14 54/30 90 x 60 2 blue rear vent
window
Holubar Chateau
207 A Consumers' Guide
Manufacturer
JANSPORT Paine Field Industrial Park Everett, Washington 98204
Dimensions
Height Length
(i nches) x Capacity Number
Weight Width Rating of
Model Type Materials Ibs. oz. Max/Min (inches) (# persons) Entries Colors Special Features
Trail Dome (2-3) dome dac./nyl. 7 6 50 87 x 100 2/3 blue/ gray or 1 vent , 1 top
green vent
tumbleweed
Large Trail Dome (4-6) dome poly./nyl. 13 69 115 x 132 4/6 blue/ gray or 1 wnd. , 1 top
green vent
tumbleweed
Original Trail Wedge wedge rip. 5 6 52 53 x 90 2 1 wnd.
(4460)
Mountain Dome dome nyl. dac. / 8 8 50 87 x 100 2/3 2 blue/orange/ 2 vents, 1
(4468) rip. gray or tunnel
green/
yellow/
tumbleweed
Isodome 1 dome dac./rip, 15 14 54 125% x 103 4 to 6 blue/orange/ 3 wnds., top
nyl./taf. gray or vent
green/
yellow/
tumbleweed
2 10 1 48 96 x 80 3- 4 yellow/ gray/ vent in door
russet fly, top vent
3 8 6 48 90 x 67 2- 3 yellow/ gray/ vent in door
russet fly, top vent
Jansport Isodome
208 Tents for Campers
Manufacturer
KIRKHAM'S OUTDOOR PRODUCTS AM Tent and Awning Co.
Model Type Materials
Expandable (#7199) modular duck &
nylon
Springbar Vacationer hybrid nylon
(#8140) cabin
Springbar Traveler (2 cabin duck &
models) nylon
small (#8180)
large (#9110)
2-Man Campsite 2-man cotton &
(#939-E) cabin nylon
Cabana (#8315) cabin cotton
3-Man Campsite cabin cotton &
(#952) nylon
Supr-Lyt (3 models) backpack rip. nyl. &
smallest (#850) taf. nyl.
Wall (10 standard wall cotton duck
sizes available) or wax-
smallest treated fi re-
largest retardant
fabric
Backpacking backpack rip. nyl.,
model #40 (db I. wall) taf. nyl.
model #50
model #60
Kirkham' s Outdoor Products Springbar
Modular
Dimensions
Height Length
(inches) x
Weight Width
Ibs. oz. Max/Min (inches)
42 8 85/65 108 x 108
40 88 168 x 120
44 12 85/ 75 120 x 96
48 12 85/ 75 132 x 120
12 12 41 /38 93 x 60
14 12 78/60 84 x 48
24 12 74/64 96 x 78
5 36 84 x 84
36 84/48 120 x 96
93 120/60 240 x 192
7 41 96 x 48
8 4 41 93 x 60
10 8 53 90 x 90
3125 S. State St. Salt Lake City, Utah 84119
Capacity Number
Rating of
(# persons) Entries Colors Special Features
4
7 to 8
4
5
2
3
2
6
15
2
2-3
3-4
2 pearl modular system
gray/off- Springbar®
white
pearl gray freestand ing
Springbar®
pearl Springbar®, 1
gray/white window
pearl gray Springbar®
tan Springbar®
used for
dressing or
portable john
pearl gray Springbar®
blue, green Springbar® for
low humidity
regions
white or no Springbar®
dark olive
green
twin skylights,
1 tan/rust no guying
2 tan/orange needed on fly
2 tan/blue
Kirkham's Outdoor Products Springbar
Model 955
209 A Consumers' Guide
Man ufactu re r
lAACKE & JOYS CO. 1432 N. Water St. Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202
Dimensions
Height length
(inches) x Capacity Number
Weight Width Rating of
Model Type Materials Ibs. oz. Max/Min (inches) (# persons) Entries Colors Special Features
Wanderlust (#302) backpack rip. nyl. 9 3 64/36-49 72 x 96 3 gold 1 wnd., acces.
pocks.
Expedition (#401) backpack rip. nyl. 7 5 48 60 x 86 2 orange/blue 1 wnd., access.
pocks., A-frame
poles-
interchangeable
Pack Lite II (#201) backpack rip. nyl. 6 1 50/30 60 x 84 2 gold 1 wnd.,
interchangeable
poles
Camper (#901) umbrella army duck 53 8 90/74 118 x 118 5 1 pearl gray 3 wnds., rear
dutch wnd. has vny.
pane
Camper FR (#922) umbrella army duck 56 90/74 118 x 118 5 1 pearl gray 3 wnds., FR
dutch
Campmaster (#951) umbrella army duck 64 90/74 118 x 150 6 1 pearl gray 3 wnds., rear
dutch ext., vny. pane,
mildew
resistant
Junior Umbrella umbrella army duck 21 80 87 x 87 2 pearl gray 1 wnd.
(#761) screen
Explorer (#851) explorer can. poplin 15 8 72 96 x 84 3 tan 1 screened vent
screen
Nomad (#105) cabin can. poplin, 32 8 84/60 108 x 90 3 pearl gray 3 wnds.
vny. screen
Vagabond (#103) cabin can. poplin 44 8 90/60 120 x 96 3 tan 4 wnds.
screen
Cruisemaster (#862) explorer can . poplin 12 84/72 84 x 72 2 pearl gray 1 wnd., extend
& stake out
door for
storage
Kitchen Camper screen can. poplin, 30 90/68 132 x 132 6 2 pearl gray opt. wind
(#921) cabin nyl. net, screen curtain
vny.
Wrangler (#1011) cabin can. poplin 54 90/63 144 x 120 6 yellow 4 wnds., front
screen & rear vny.
& panes
storm
Laacke & Joys Wildwood® Forest View
Laacke & Joys Wildwood® Kitchen Camper
210 Tents for Campers
LAACKE & JOYS CO. (cant.)
Dimensions
Height Length
(inches) x Capacity Number
Weight Width Rating of
Model Type Materials Ibs. oz. Max/Min (inches) (II persons) Entries Colors Special Features
Wrangler FR (#1022) cabin can. poplin 61 90/63 144 x 120 6 yellow 4 winds., FR
screen
&
storm
Forest View (#881) umbrella army duck 72 96/ 77 168 x 120 6 1 pearl gray 6 wnds., 2 rear
dutch vny. panes
Wayfarer (#601) modified can. poplin, 16 72 102 x 84 3 pearl gray 1 screen vent,
wall vny. FR
Man ufactu re r
MOSS TENT WORKS, INC. Camden, Maine 04843
Dimensions
Height Length
(inches) x Capacity Number
Weight Width Rating of
Model Type Materials Ibs. oz. Max/ Min (i nches) (II persons) Entries Colors Special Features
Optimum 200 hybrid cotton/ nyl. 64 84 9 white 2 wnds.,
vacation home
Trillium dome 13 (door) 6 3 tan/off-white
65/42 fly
Sundance hybrid 7 2 (fr.)(rear) 95 x 43 2 yellow freestanding,
53/34 95 x 66 self-erecting, fly
is part of tent
Parawing: small tarp nyl. 144 x 144 hyperbolic
large 228 x 228 paraboloid
shape
Eave II tunnel nyl./rip, taf . 6 2 (fr.)( rear) 90 x 70 2 beige/yellow fly vest., 1 wnd.
40/29
Eave III tunnel nyl./rip, taf. 7 (fr. )( rear) 90 x 79 3 beige/yellow fly vest., 1 wnd.
46/37
Salus backpack rip./taf. 4 45 96 x 42
96 x 66
Siesta Sunshade 3/4 dome cotton 54 67 x 67
Star Gazer free- urethane 6 52 86 x 70 2 It. tan/ screened top
standing coated dk. tan wnd.
taf./rip. nyl.
Moss Tent Works Optimum 200 (interior) Moss Optimum 200 (exterior) Moss Trillium
211 A Consumers' Guide
Manufacturer
THE NORTH FACE 1234 Fifth St. Berkeley, California 94710
Dimensions
Height Length
(inches) x Capacity Number
Weight Width Rating of
Model Type Materials Ibs. oz. Max/Min (inches) (# persons) Entries Colors Special Featu res *
Morning Glory pyramid nylon 13 8 72/42 168 x 96 4 navy/gold or shock-corded
taupe poles, zip cook
hole
VE 23 dome nylon 7 12 46 98 x 84 2 sand/green shock-corded
poles, zip cook
hole,2 net
wnds .
VE 24 dome nylon 8 13 49 98 x 81 2 gold/sand shock-corded
poles, zip cook
hole,2 net
wnds.
Tuolumne backpack nylon 5 8 50/36 84 x 50 2 navy/gold or shock-corded
taupe/blue poles, zip cook
hole, 2 net
wnds.
Sierra backpack nylon 6 15 48 89 x 56 2 navy/gold shock-corded
taupe/gold poles, zip cook
hole, 2 net
wnds.
Moss Salus
The North Face Morning Glory
Moss Eave
212 Tents for Campers
THE NORTH FACE (cant.)
Dimensions
Height Length
(inches) x Capacity Number
Weight Width Rating of
Model Type Materials Ibs. oz. Max/Min (inches) (# persons) Entries Colors Special Features·
Mountain expedi- nylon 7 5 48 94 x 56 2 2 navy/gold shock-corded
tion taupe/green poles, zip cook
hole,2 net
wnds.
Oval Intention dome nylon 9 14 51 /42 114 x 79 3-4 gold/navy, shock-corded
goldltaupe poles, zip cook
hole,2 net
wnds .
North Star geodesic nylon 15 55 109 x 102 4 3 sand/gold cook hole
dome
* All tents come with fly sheet, VE 24 and North Star have full-coverage fly sheets.
North Face North Star
North Face Oval Intention
North Face VE 23
213 A Consumers' Guide
Manufacturer
OUTDOOR VENTURE CORPORATION
Model Type Materials
Backpackers (5 pup
models) poly-
smallest (#90-121) ethylene
largest (#90-145) nyl. taf.
Ice tent (#90-400) ice poly.
Van tent (#90-600) van po Iy. -cotto n
Hikers tents (2 nyl.
models)
90-419 cabin
90-510 umbrella
House Canopy canopy poly. &
fiber glass
Screen tents (3 cabin poly-
models) ethylene
smallest (#90-277)
largest (#90-274)
Outdoor Venture Corporation The Enter-
prise
Box 337
Weight
Ibs. oz.
5
30
8
38
7 8
18
37
17
35
Stearns, Kentucky 42647
Dimensions
Height Length
(inches) x Capacity Number
Width Rating of
Max/Min (inches) (# persons) Entries Colors
38 72 x 60 2 blue
56 84 x 84 3 orange
64 60 x 60 2 tan
90/70 108 x 108 1 tan /white
dutch
door
2 to 3 blue/white
73/57 49 x 49
73/48 49 x 49
88/71 144 x 144 yellow &
blue
blue/yellow
96/72 138 x 138
88/72 144 x 144
Outdoor Venture Van Tent
Outdoor Venture Ice Fishing
Special Features
freestanding
frame, interior
hose sod cloth
2 side wnds.
1 wnd.
214 Tents for Campers
Manufactu rer
PAUL PETZOLDT WILDERNESS EQUIPMENT P.O. Box 489 Lander, Wyoming, 82520
Model Type Materials
Super Wand backpack nyl.
Baja backpack nyl.
Rain Fly backpack nyl.
Paul Petzoldt Wilderness Equipment Rain
Fly
Dimensions
Height length
(inches) x Capacity Number
Weight Width Rating of
lbs. oz. Max/Min (inches) (# persons) Entries
12 48-43/14 102 x 60 2+ 2
9 2 48-45/14 102 x 60 2+
2 132 x 108 2
Wilderness Baja Tent
Colors Special Features
tan/green cook hole,
tunnel, nyl. &
screen door
green
green
215 A Consumers' Guide
Manufactu rer
REI CO-OP Recreational Equipment, Inc. P.O. Box C-8812S Seattle, Washington 98188
Model Type Materials
Ascent A-frame nyl. &
cotton
Ridge A-frame nyl. &
cotton
Dome dome nyl. &
cotton
Cirque backpack nyl. &
cotton
Solarium tunnel nyl. &
cotton
Great Pyramid expedi- nyl. &
tion ext. cotton
frame
McKinley II expedi- nyl. &
tion cotton
Crestline Expedit'n expedi- nyl. &
tion cotton
Recreational Equipment, Inc., Great Pyra-
mid
Weight
Ibs. oz.
6 2
11
6 15
5 12
7 12
11 5
11 11
8 4
Dimensions
Height Length
(inches) x
Width
Max/Min (inches)
41/12 41f2 x 8
46/11 96 x 37-54
52/10 84 side-sd
96 cor-cor
54/12 96 (long)
64 (across
mid)
42 (each end)
43/10 30 (vest.)
107 x 64
78/23 96 x 80
88/32 96 x 78
46/11 28/1 vest.
88 x 60
' t REI with snowflaps
Capacity Number
Rating of
(# persons) Entries Colors
2 1 arch brown/sand/
blue
2 1 zip. brown/green
arch
2-3 1 zip. green/yellow
arch /sand
2 1 zip. yellow/
arch brown
3 2 zip. yellow/sand
4+ 2 yellow/sand
(tunnel
&
arch)
4 2 yellow/sand
(tunnel
& zip-
pered
U)
2-3 2 red/sand
(tunnel
&
arch)
Special Featu res
dbl. wall, no
ext. fly
vest . included
vest. included
216 Tents for Campers
Manufacturer
RIVENDELL MOUNTAIN WORKS P.O. Box 199 Victor, Idaho 83455
Dimensions
Height Length
(inches) x Capacity Number
Weight Width Rating of
Model Type Materials Ibs. oz. Max/Min (inches) (# persons) Entries Colors Special Features
Bombshelter expedi- nyl. 5 12 35 97 X 46 2 gold/rust/tan 2 vents, 2
tion tunnel/ pocks.,
flap ridgepole
Gore-Tex® expedi- Gore- S 35 97 x 46 2 1 gold/rust 2 vents, opt.
Bombshelter tion Tex®/nyl. tunnel/ cook hole, frost
flap liner, & snow
flaps
Rivendell Mountain Works Bombshelter
217 A Consumers' Guide
Manufacturer
SEATTLE TENT AND FABRIC 900 N. 137 St. P.O. Box 33576 Seattle, Washington 98133
Dimensions
Height Length
(inches) x Capacity Number
Weight Width Rating of
Model Type Materials Ibs. oz. MaxIMin (inches) (# persons) Entries Colors Special Features
5 models: wall duck neutral, gray also in 2 other
smallest 18 72/36 84 x 108 fabric weights
largest 49 114/48 168 x 192
Scout Jamboree wall duck 12 68/24 108 x 84 2 green 1 wnd.
Umbrella Tent umbrella duck & nyl. 30 85/68 108 x 108 2-3 green 1 wnd.
38 85/68 108 x 144 2 wnds.
Cabin Camper wall duck & nyl. 44 84/48 108 x 144 6 green
Cabin Camper Delux wall poly. -cotton 50 84/48 108 x 144 6 green 3 wnds.
& nyl.
Himalaya tent backpack- poly.-cotton 7 9 73 89 x 101 3 light
explorer & nyl. green/yellow
Zen tent backpack- dac.-nyl. & 6 53/17 72 x 43 2 light
explorer nyl. green/yellow
Tee Pee (12 models) tipi
smallest 10.38 oz. 20 120 (dia.) 4 white/khaki/
largest army duck 70 240 (dia.) 15 pearl gray
smallest 10 oz. white 19 120 (dia.) 4 white
largest duck 64 240 (dia.) 15
Seattle Tent & Fabric Himalaya
218 Tents for Campers
Man ufactu re r
SIERRA DESIGNS 247 Fourth Street
Model Type Materials
Starflight -explorer nyl.
Wilderness expedi- nyl.
tion
Glacier expedi- nyl.
tion
3-Man pyramid nyl.
Pleasure Dome expedi- nyl.
tion
pyramid
Aireflex backpack nyl.
Octadome (5ft. x 7ft.) dome nyl.
Octadome (6ft. x 8ft.) dome nyl.
Sierra Designs Octadome, with Yosimite
Half Dome
Oakland, California 94607
Dimensions
Height Length
(inches) x
Weight Width
Ibs. oz. Max/ Min (inches)
4 11 54/12 % x 64
6 10 45/36 88.5 x 55
7 11 45/45 118 x 53
8 72/13 93 (corner to
corner)
11 79/13 96 (corner to
corner)
6 48 86 x 53
8 -3
68 78 (side-side)
84 (corner-
corner)
10 1 78 89 (si de-side)
97 (corner-
corner)
Sierra 3-Man
Capacity Number
Rating of
(# persons) Entries Colors Special Features
blue/yel/ow
2 blue, green cook hole
or orange
3 2 green or cook hole
blue
3 orange or 1 wnd.
blue
3 green/blue 2 wnds., cook
hole
2 blue/yellow 2 wnds.
4 4 wnds., dbl.
wall
3 4 wnds., dbl.
wall
Sierra Starflight
219 A Consumers' Guide
Man ufactu re r
TRAILWISE 2407 Fourth Street Berkeley, California 94710
Dimensions
Height length
(inches) x Capacity Number
Weight Width Rating of
Model Type Materials Ibs. oz. Max/Min (inches) (II persons) Entries Colors Special Features
Fitzroy III A-frame rip./nyl., 8 5 51/49 102 x 60 2 2 blue or no-see-um-
rip./taf., green, gold proof net,
poly- or navy shock-corded
urethane poles, snow
tun., fly, WR
Great Arc Tent geodesic taf., poly- 6 8 44/24 102 x 64 2 no-see-um-
dome urethane proof net, WR
Trailwise Fitzroy III
220 Tents for Campers
Man ufactu re r
THE WENZEL COMPANY 1280 Research Boulevard St. Louis, Missouri 63132
Di mensions
Height Length
(inches) x Capacity Number
Weight Width Rating of
Model Type Materials Ibs. oz. Max/ Min (inches) (# persons) Entries Colors Special Features
Eagle (3 models) cabin poly./cotton green/white
smallest (22107) 18 74/48 84 x 84 2 1 wnd.
largest (22109) 23 74/56 144 x 108 5 2 wnds.
Flamezel (3 models) cabin poly./cotton brown/beige 2 wnds.
smallest (24002) 26 78/56 120 x 96 4
largest (24004) 40 82/56 168 x 120 6
Vantage (3 models) cabin poly./cotton white/gold
smallest (22120) 26 80/57 120 x 96 4 2 wnds.
largest (22122) 42 84/58 168 x 120 6 3 wnds.
Thunderbird (3 cabin poly./cotton gold/bronze
models)
smallest (22111) 28 82/58 120 x 96 4 2 wnds .
largest (22113) 42 84/58 168 x 120 6 3 wnds.
Vantage Continental cabin poly./cotton 48 78/58 180 x 106 6 green/yellow 6 wnds., 2
(21113) awnings
Thunderbird Cottage cottage poly./cotton 38 81 / 70 144 x 108 5 gold/bronze 3 wnds .
(21116)
Flamezel Screen cabin/ poly./cotton 46 91 /66 & 60 108 x 180 6 white/blue 3 wnds.
(21175) screen
Flamezel Umbrella umbrella poly./cotton 20 75/58 96 x 96 3 blue/white 1 wnd.
(#211105)
The Wenzel Company Tall Trail
Wenzel Vantage® Continental
221 A Consumers' Guide
Dimensions
Height Length
(inches) x Capacity Number
Weight Width Rating of
Model Type Materials Ibso OZo MaxIMin (inches) (# persons) Entries Colors Special Features
Flamezel Mountain scout poly./cotton 7 38 60 x 84 2 1 (zip blue storm door
(#21101) front)
Flamezel Pup (#21100) play polYo/cotton 5 38 58 x 81 2 blue front open, no
door
Skyliner (#21125) backpack nyl. 5 38 60 x 84 2 blue 1 wnd o
Wilderness (#24001) backpack nyl. 6 60/18 84 x 84 3 1 (zip brown/ 1 wndo
front) mustard
Shenandoah (#21127) backpack nyl. 5 42 60 x 84 2 1 (zip orange 1 wndo
front)
Tall Trail (Teepee) tipi nyl. 6 88 84 x 84 3 2 green 2 wndso
(#21126) (storm
screen)
Vantage Screen screen poly./cotton 38 90/70 144 x 144 7 2 (zip) blue/white
House (#21114)
Flamezel Screen screen poly 0/ cotton 35 90/70 144 x 144 7 2 (zip) blue/white
House (#22114)
(#22115) polyethyl - 20 96/72 138 x 138 6 1 (zip blue
ene nyl. screen)
Flamezel Dining canopy poly- 12 96/72 138 x 138 6 blue
Canopy (#22116) ethylene
Wenzel Vantage® Cabin Tent
Wenzel Flamezel ® Screen Tent
8 SOURCES
The white tents showed their canvas walls,
Where brief sojourners, in the cool, soft air,
Forgot their inland heats, hard toil, and year-long care.
- from liThe Tent on the Beach" by John Greenleaf Whittier
This is the where-to-get-it section with listings of tent renters, manufac-
turers, tipi-makers, recreational vehicles (trailers with collapsible tent
tops), tent kit suppliers, yurt designers, and books and magazines on
tents and tenting. The tent field is booming, and therefore changing, so
by no means should you expect this list to be all-inclusive, though you
can expect it to be quite useful.
TENT RENTERS
The following is a list of firms that
rent Fair, Party, and Commercial (FPC)
tents. They are arranged
alphabetically by state and city.
Alabama
Worth Tent Rental Co.
Rt.4
Elba 36323
(FPC)
Arizona
Phoenix Tent & Awning Co., Inc.
2533 N. 16t h St .
Phoenix 85006
(FPC)
California
HOG/West
625 Hazel St .
Glendale 91201
(FPC)
Lodi Tent & Awning Co.
701 N. Sacramento St.
Lodi 95240
(FPC)
Canvas Specialty
7344 E. Bandini Blvd.
Los Angeles 90040
(PC)
Goodwin-Cole Co.
1315 Alhambra Blvd.
Sacramento 95816
(PC)
Stuart-Sauter Co.
100 Utah Ave.
San Francisco 94103
(FPC)
Colorado
Denver Tent Co.
4004 Grape St.
Denver 80216
(PC)
223 Sources
Connecticut
Cunningham & Upson, Inc.
46-44 Hotchkiss St.
New Haven 06511
(FPC)
Bailey & Staub, Inc.
Box 67
New London 06320
(FPC)
E. G. Loomis & Son, Inc.
213 Boston Post Rd.
Orange 06477
(FPC)
Deicke Tent & Equipment Co.
785 High Ridge Rd.
Stamford 06905
(FPC)
Stamford Tent & Equipment Co.
860 High Ridge Rd.
Stamford 64801
(FPC)
Strong Tent & Awning Corp.
21 Maple Ave.
Windsor 06095
Florida
Florida Tent Rental, Inc.
3573 E. 10th Ct.
Hialeah 33013
(FPC)
Georgia
Andrew Tent Co., Inc.
P. O. Box 4400
Albany 31706
(FPC)
Bailie's Canvas Specialties
2344 Walden Dr.
Augusta 30904
(FPC)
Illinois
ESL Tent Co.
26 S. 20th St.
Belleville 62221
(FPC)
Danville Tent & Awning Co.
1706 Warrington Ave.
P.O. Box 63
Danville 61832
(FPC)
Galesburg Canvas Products
187 W. Losey St.
Galesburg 61401
(PC)
HDO Productions, Inc.
1520 Berkley Rd.
Highland Park 60035
(FPC)
Parasol Tent Rental, Inc.
P.O. Box 557
Highland Park 60035
(PC)
Peoria Tent & Awning Co.
513 N. Franklin St.
Peoria 61651
(FPC)
Armbruster Manufacturing Co.
8600 Old Route 66 S.
Springfield 62707
(FPC)
Indiana
Bauer's Tent Rental
R.R. 5 Box 108-A
Evansville 47711
(FPC)
Fort Wayne Tent Rental Co.
P.O. Box 7547
Fort Wayne 46807
(FPC)
Wolf Camp & Sailing Center
2405T W. Jefferson Blvd.
Fort Wayne 46804
(FC)
Lafayette Tent & Awning Co., Inc.
125 S. Fifth St.
Lafayette 47901
(FPC)
Terre Haute Tent & Awning Co.
315 N. 9th St.
Terre Haute 47807
(FPC)
Iowa
Cedar Rapids Tent & Awning Co.
533 First St., S.W.
Cedar Rapids 52404
(FPC)
Ottumwa Tent & Awning Co.
635 W. 2nd St.
Ottu mwa 52501
(FPC)
Waterloo Tent & Awning
1029 Commercial St.
Waterloo 50702
(FPC)
Kansas
Wichita Ponca Canvas Products, Inc.
611 E. Central Ave.
Wichita 67201
(PC)
Louisiana
Foster Co., Inc.
746 Tchoupitoulas St.
New Orleans 70190
(P)
Maine
Air-O-Structures, Inc.
P.O. Box 296
Auburn 04210
(FPC)
Maryland
HDO/East
11010 Parklawn Dr.
Rockville 20852
(FPC)
Massachusetts
Alfred G. Peterson & Sons, Inc.
491 W. Main St.
Avon 02322
(P)
Peterson/Cape Cod Awning, Inc.
290 Falmouth Rd.
Hyannis 02601
(PC)
Smith Rents Tents
1520 East St.
Pittsfield 01201
(FPC)
Jesse G. Willis, Inc.
580 Pleasant St.
Watertown 02172
(PC)
Michigan
Fox Tent & Awning Co.
617 S. Ashley
Ann Arbor 48106
(FPC)
Benton Harbor Awning & Tent Co.
2275 M-139
Benton Harbor 49022
(PC)
Minnesota
Expressive Tent Rental, Inc.
P.O. Box 634
Minneapolis 55440
(PC)
224 Tents for Campers
Missouri
Coglizer Tent & Awning Co.
106 Joplin St.
Joplin 64801
(FPC)
Nebraska
Rogers Tent & Awning Co., Inc.
240 E. 1 st St.
Fremont 68025
(FPC)
Lincoln Tent & Awning
3900 Cornhusker Hwy.
Lincoln 68504
(FP)
New Jersey
Deming Tent Co.
470 West Side Ave.
Jersey City 07304
(P)
Green Tent Co.
54 N. Main St.
Wh a rto n 07885
(P)
New York
Smith Awning & Tent Co.
56-58 Grant Ave.
Auburn 13021
(FPC)
Brownie Tent Rentals
McBride Ave.
Clinton 13323
(FPC)
Nassau Tent & Awning Corp.
Farmingdale 11735
(P)
P. J. McBride, Inc.
12 Evans Ave.
Farmingdale 11735
(FPC)
Darby Tent Co., Inc.
77-22 164th St.
Flushing 11366
(FPC)
Geneva Awning & Tent Works
96 Lewis St.
Geneva 14456
(FPC)
S. L. Doery & Son Corp.
299 Rockaway Tpk.
Long Island 11559
(P)
The A & B Tent Co.
Peekskill 10566
(P)
Ohio
The South Akron Awning Co.
763 Kenmore Blvd.
Akron 44314
(FPC)
O'Neil Awning & Tent, Inc.
895 Walnut St.
Canal Winchester 43110
(FPC)
A Aable Rents Co.
1512 Green Rd.
Cleveland 44121
(FPC)
Shaffer Tent & Awning Co.
P.O. Box 247
Coshocton 43812
(FPC)
Glawe Manufacturing Co.
2269 N. Fairfield Rd.
Dayton 45431
(FPC)
Delphos Tent & Awning Co.
1454 N. Main St.
Delphos 45833
(FPC)
Toledo Tent Co.
300 Fassett St.
Toledo 43605
(FPC)
Oklahoma
Southwest Canvas Manufacturing Co.
2901 S.E. 15th St.
Oklahoma City 73109
(FPC)
Oregon
SEE Companies
12200 Jantzen Dr.
Portland 97303
(FPC)
See Fabric & Decorating, Inc.
2215 Claxter Rd., N.E.
Salem 97303
(FPC)
Pennsylvania
AI's Awning Shop
1721 W. 26th St.
Erie 16508
(FP)
A. Mamaux & Son
120 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh 15222
(FPC)
York Tent & Awning Co., Inc.
9 E. 7th Ave.
York 17404
(FPC)
Tennessee
Chattanooga Tent & Awning Co.
1110 Oak St.
Chattanooga 37404
(FPC)
Mahaffey Tent Co., Inc.
3826 Old Getwell Rd.
Memphis 38118
(FPC)
Memphis Delta Tent & Awning Co.
P.O. Box 287
Memphis 38101
(FPC)
Crown Tent & Awning Co.
717 3rd Ave. N.
Nashville 37201
(FPC)
Nashville Tent & Awning Co.
615 20th Ave., N.
Nashville 37203
(FPC)
Texas
CBF Industries, Inc.
P.O. Box 20204
10404 Harry Hines Blvd.
Dallas 75220
(FPC)
Alexander Tent Co.
119 Gray St.
Houston 77002
(FPC)
Aquila & Priscilla Tent Makers
Rt. 1 Box 355
Waco 76710
(FC)
Virginia
Norfolk Tent Co., Inc.
2401 Monticello Ave.
Norfolk 23517
(FPC)
225 Sources
Sunnyside Awning & Tent Co.
P.O. Box 2602
Roanoke 24010
(FPC)
Washington
Camp Lewis Tent & Awning Co.
1111 First Ave.
Seattle 98101
(FPC)
Mike Prebesac
2601 Elliott Ave., Rm. 4311
Seattle 78121
(FPC)
Wisconsin
Tom's Tent Rentals
3405 Gen.eva Ln.
LaCrosse 54601
(FPC)
John Gallagher Company
305 S. Bedford St.
Madison 53703
(FPC)
Dow Canvas Products, Inc.
2705 Calument Ave.
Manitowoc 54220
(FPC)
CAMPING TENT MANUFACTURERS
Alaska
Alaska Tent & Tarp, Inc.
529 Front St.
Fairbanks 99701
Arizona
Gila River Indian Enterprises, Inc.
2000 Vavages
Coolidge 85228
Camp Trails Company
4111 W. Clarendon Ave.
Phoenix 85019
Arkansas
Little Rock Tent & Awning Co.
1213 Broadway
Little Rock 72202
California
North Face
Tent Dept.
1234 Fifth St.
Berkeley 94710
Sierra Designs
Fourth & Addison Sts.
Berkeley 94710
Ski Hut
Tent Div.
1615 University Ave.
Berkeley 94710
Stephenson's
23206 Hatteras St.
Woodland Hills 91364
Trailwise
2407 Fourth St.
Berkeley 94710
Pacific T ent/ Ascente
P.O. Box 2028
Fresno 93718
Outdoor Products
530 South Mai n
Los Angeles 90013
Riverside Tent & Awning Co.
3226 Franklin Ave.
Riverside 92507
Adventure 16 (A16) Wilderness
Camping Outfitters
4620 Alvarado Canyon Rd.
San Diego 92120
Sullivan Co., Inc.
245 S. Van Ness Ave.
San Francisco 94103
Colorado
Holubar Mountaineering Ltd.
Box 7
Boulder 80302
Athalon Products/High Lonesome
3333 E. 52nd Ave.
Denver 80216
Denver Tent Co.
4004 Grape St.
Denver 80216
Frostline, Inc.
P.O. Box 2190
Boulder 80302
IGL-Wisc. Awning & Tent, Inc.
8768 W. Fond Du Lac Ave.
Milwaukee 53225
(FPC)
Oshkosh Teht & Awning Co., Inc.
135 High Ave.
Oshkosh 54902
(FPC)
Wyoming
Kistler Tent & Awning Co.
Box 671
Casper 82602
(FPC)
Gerry Division
Outdoor Sports, Inc.
5450 North Valley Highway
Denver 80216
UTE Mountain Corp.
P.O. Box 3602
Englewood 80110
Pueblo Tent & Awning Co., Inc.
P.O. Box 34
Pueblo 81055
Connecticut
Cannondale Corp.
35 Pu laski St.
Stamford 06902
Georgia
Georgia Tent & Awning Co.
228 Margaret St. S.E.
Atlanta 30315
Idaho
Rivendell Mountain Works
P.O. Box 199
Victor 83455
Illinois
Penthouse Manufacturing, Inc.
Dept. PP
126 Broad St.
Carlinville 62626
Chicago Tent
1900 W. 18th PI.
Chicago 60608
226 Tents for Campers
O' Henry Tent & Awning Co.
4862 N. Clark St.
Chicago 60640
Indiana
Anchor Industries Inc.
1100 Burch Dr.
P.O. Box 3477
Evansville 47733
American Tent & Awning ~ o .
632 S. East St.
Indianapolis 46225
Midwest Tent & Awning Co.
P.O. Box 64
Indianapolis 46206
Lafayette Tent & Awning Co.
125 S. Fifth St.
Lafayette 47901
Terre Haute Tent & Awning Co.
315 N. 9th St.
Terre Haute 47807
Iowa
Burlington Tent & Awning Co.
Burlington 54601
Centerville Tent & Awning Co.
1019 S. 18th St.
Centerville 52544
Burch Manufacturing Co., Inc.
618 First Ave., N.
Fort Dodge 50501
Mason City Tent & Awning Co.
408 S. Federal
Mason City 50401
Kansas
Hutchinson Tent & Awning
821 S. Main
Hutchinson 67501
Topeka Tent & Awning Co.
320 E. 2nd St.
Topeka 66603
Coleman Co., Inc.
250 N. St. Francis St.
Wichita 67201
Wichita Ponca Canvas Products, Inc.
Box 2177
611 E. Central
Wichita 67201
Kentucky
Debrovy, Hyman & Sons
415 E. Market St.
Louisville 40202
Outdoor Venture Corp.
Box 337
Stearns 42647
Louisiana
Monroe Tent & Awning Co.
West Monroe 71291
Maine
Air-O-Structures, Inc.
129 N. River Rd.
Auburn 04210
Moss Tent Works, Inc.
Camden 04843
L. L. Bean
Freeport 04033
Maryland
Loane Brothers, Inc.
310 N. Eutaw St.
Baltimore 21201
Bishop's Ultimate Outdoor Equipment
6804 Millwood Rd.
Bethesda 20034
C. R. Daniels, Inc.
3453 Ellicott Center Dr.
Ellicott City 21043
Massachusetts
Eastern Mountain Sports, Inc.
1041 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston 02215
Michigan
Fox Tent & Awning Co.
617 S. Ashley
Ann Arbor 48104
Battle Creek Tent & Awning Co.
128 E. Michigan Ave.
Battle Creek 49014
Acme Tent & Awnings Co.
18326 John R St.
Detroit 48203
Minnesota
Duluth Tent & Awning Co., Inc.
1610 W. Superior St.
Duluth 55806
Mankato Tent & Awning Co.
1021 Range St.
Man kato 56001
Holgaard's Inc.
3550 S. Hwy. 100
Minneapolis 55416
Missouri
Baker-Lockwood Awning & Tent Co.
12918 2nd St., B
Grandview 64030
Kansas City Tent & Awning Co.
1616 E. 31st St.
Kansas City 64109
Jefferson Tent & Awning Co.
2930 Gravois Ave.
St. Louis 63118
Wenzel Company
1280 Research Blvd.
St. Louis 63132
New Hampshire
Don Fisher Custom Canvas &
Upholstery
Homestead Bldg., Rte. 3
Meredith 03253
New York
Eureka! Tent, Inc.
625 Conklin Rd.
P.O. Box 966
Binghamton 13902
Buffalo Awning & Tent Manufacturing
Co.
384 Broadway
Buffalo 14204
Service Canvas Co., Inc.
147 Swan St.
Buffalo 14203
Jamaica Tent Co., Inc.
94 E. Industry Court
Deer Park 11729
Thomas Black & Sons
930 Ford St.
Ogdensburg 13669
North Carolina
D. W. Norvell Tent Manufacturing Co.
2210 High Point Rd.
Greensboro 27403
Kearns Tent & Awning Co., Inc.
P.O. Box 1748
2227 S. Main St.
High Point 27261
Carolina Awning & Tent
Manufacturing Co.
Rocky Mount 27801
Ohio
South Akron Awning Co.
763 Kenmore Blvd.
Akron 44314
227 Sources
R. J. Patton & Co.
1908 Dunlap St.
Cincinnati 45214
Queen City Awning & Tent Co.
318 E. 8th St.
Cincinnati 45202
Shaffer Tent & Awning Co.
Rte.3
P.O. Box 247
Coshocton 43812
Roloson Tent & Awning Co.
302 S. Union
Lima 45801
National Canavas Products Corp.
901 Buckingham St.
Toledo 43607
Oklahoma
W. L. Dumas Manufacturing Co.
210 S. Main
Commerce 74339
Oregon
Star Route
Box 41
Cloverdale 97112
Hirsh Weis
White Stag
5203 S.E. Johnson Creek Blvd.
Portland 97206
Pennsylvania
Ehmke Manufacturing Co., Inc.
5200 N. Belfield Ave.
Philadelphia 19144
Webb Manufacturing Co. , Inc.
1243 Carpenter St.
Philadelphia 19147
Tennessee
Camel Tent & Awning Co.
111 Jackson Ave. , E.
Knoxville 37915
Crown Tent & Awning Co.
717 3rd Ave. , N.
Nashville 37201
RECREATIONAL VEHICLES
California
Happy Traveler Coaches, Inc.
3291 Russell
Riverside 92501
Nashville Tent & Awning Co. , Inc.
615 20th Ave., N.
Nashville 37203
Texas
CBF Industries, Inc.
10414 Harry Hines Blvd.
Dallas 75220
Dallas Tent & Awning
2907 Gaston Ave.
Dallas 75226
EI Paso Tent & Awning Co.
7322 N. Loop
EI Paso 79907
W. K. Hill Awning & Tent Co.
1111 W. Drew
Box 66086
Houston 77006
San Antonio Tent & Awning Co.
P.O. Box 20426
4311 Dividenti
San Antonio 78220
Utah
Kirkham' s Outdoor Products
AAA Tent & Awning Co.
24 W. Fifth Ave. S.
Salt Lake City 84101
Vermont
Metzger Brothers, Inc.
Rutland 05701
Virginia
Hogshire Tent & Awning
Manufacturing Co., Inc.
2401 Hampton Blvd.
Norfolk 23517
Washington
JanSport
Paine Field Industrial Park
Everett 98204
Camp Lewis Tent & Awning Co.
1111 First Ave.
Seattle 98101
Indiana
AMF/Skamper Div.
P.O. Box 338
State Rd. 15 Bristol 46507
Early Winters, Ltd.
110 Prefontaine Place, S.
Seattle 98104
Eddie Bauer Expedition Outfitter
P.O. Box 3700
Seattle 98124
Puget Sound Tent & Awning Co.
2107 Third Ave.
Seattle 98101
REI CO-CP
Recreational Equipment, Inc.
P.O. Box C-88125
Seattle 98188
Seattle Tent & Fabric Products Co.
P.O. Box 33576
900 N. 137th
Seattle 98133
Spokane Tent & Awning Co.
1916 E. Sprague Ave.
Spokane 99202
K-2 Corporation
Vashon 98070
Mountain Products Corp.
123 S. Wenatchee Ave.
Wenatchee 98801
Yakima Tent & Awning Co. , Ltd.
P.O. Box 391
Yakima 98907
Wisconsin
Laacke & Joys Co., Wildwood®
1432 N. Water St.
Milwaukee 53202
The Godske Company
1234-36 Thirteenth St.
Racine 53403
Wausau Tent & Awning Co ., Inc.
315 S. 4th St.
Wausau 54401
Wyoming
Paul Petzoldt Wilderness Equipment
P.O. Box 489
Lander 82520
Midas International
55667 CR 155
Elkhart 46514
228 Tents for Campers
I
Recreational vehicle. (Courtesy of Starcraft
Company)
Sioux tipi, by Goodwin-Cole Tentmakers
229 Sources
Ski Tow, Mfg.
29194 Phillips St.
Elkhart 46514
Starcraft Co.
2703 College Ave.
Goshen 46526
Steury Corp.
310 Steury Ave.
Goshen 46526
Travel Equipment Corp.
64686 U.S. 33 E.
P.O. Box 512
Goshen 46526
Coachmen Industries, Inc.
P.O. Box 30
Middlebury 46540
Jayco, Inc.
State Rd. 13 S.
P.O. Box 460
Middlebury 46540
Rockwood, Inc.
201 Elm St.
P.O. Box 85
Millersburg 46543
Vega Corp.
P.O. Box 26
Syracuse 46567
TENT KITS
Mountain Adventure Kit Company
(formerly PolarGuard Kit Company)
11230 See Drive
Whittier, California 90606
(2-person tents)
Frostline
P.O. Box 2190
Boulder, Colorado 80302
(2-person, 3-person, and poncho or
tube tents)
Holubar Mountaineering Ltd.
Box 7
Boulder, Colorado 80302
(2-person and 3-person tents)
TIPI MAKERS
Arizona
Phoenix Tent & Awning Co.
2533 N. 16th St.
Phoenix 85006
Venture Campers
W. Ohio St.
Topeka 46571
Ayr-Way Campers
Div. Rural Rte. 1, Hwy. 6
Wawaka 46794
Iowa
Superior Ideal, Inc.
1107 S. 7th
Oskaloosa 52577
Massachusetts
Jewell Manufacturing Co., Inc.
Dascomb Rd.
Tewksbury 01876
Michigan
Viking Recreational Vehicles, Inc.
580 W. Burr Oak St. M-86
P.O. Box 488
Centerville 49032
Krown Mfg.
1165 Reynolds Rd.
Charlotte 48813
Vanguard Industries
1047 M-86 W.
Colon 49040
Altra
5541 Central Ave.
Boulder, Colorado 80301
(2-person tents)
Emskits
Eastern Mountain Sports, Inc.
1041 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, Massachusetts 02215
(2-person tents)
Sun Down Sleeping Company
979 Willamette St.
Eugene, Oregon 97217
(2-person tents)
California
Tipi Makers
339 15th St. Shoppe 150
Oakland 94612
J. c. Goss Co.
6330 E. Jefferson Ave.
Detroit 48209
Vesely Company
2101 N. Lapeer Rd.
Lapeer 48446
Minnesota
Bethany
6820 Auto Club Rd.
Minneapolis 55438
North Carolina
Cox Trailers, Inc.
P.O. Box 339
Grifton 28530
How-Lo Campers, Inc.
403 E. 28th
Kannapolis 28081
Pennsylvania
Coleman
Camping Trailer Div.
P.O. Box 111
Somerset 15501
Wisconsin
Curtiss Campers, Inc.
Rte.1
Loyal 54446
Note: The book Trailside Shelters by
Skye Davis (Harrisburg, Pa.: Stackpole
Books, 1977) is a handy and complete
reference book on tents and includes
a chapter entitled "Making Your Own
Portable Shelter."
Goodwin-Cole Co.
1315 Alhambra Blvd.
Sacramento 95816
230 Tents for Campers
Simpson & Fisher
240 Steuart
San Francisco 95816
Indiana
Anchor Industries
P.O. Box 3477
1100 Burch Dr.
Evansville 47733
Missouri
The Wenzel Company
1280 Research Blvd.
St . Louis 63132
YURTS IN AMERICA
New York
Eureka! Tent , Inc.
625 Conklin Rd.
P.O. Box 966
Binghamton 13903
Pennsylvania
Webb Manufacturing Co. , Inc.
1243 Carpenter St.
rhiladelphia 19147
Vermont
Evergreen Tipi Makers
East Hardwick 05836
Yurts can be used as portable camping structures or as permanent
homes, but if you want one, you'll probably have to build it yourself. No
manufacturer in the U.S. makes completed yurts. American interest in
hand-built, homemade yurts developed from the recent trend to explore
low-cost shelter alternatives. A few dollars will buy a set of plans. Ma-
terials may run from two to three hundred dollars, or considerably less
depending on how many of the supplies are salvaged from junk yards,
demolition sites, and the like - or whether, for example, you chop your
own poles.
William Coperthwaite, who first introduced and championed the
home-built yurt in America, says he was motivated to design a structure
that unskilled adults and children could build themselves, " participating
in a major way in the creation of their own shelter. " Coperthwaite' s yurts
take only two or three days to construct, thus allowing " more people to
feel a sense of accomplishment before reaching their threshold of dis-
couragement, " as well as providing just about the fastest permanent
shelter possible.
He describes his organization, The Yurt Foundation, as an information
pool that provides technical knowledge to those exploring lifestyles
closer to nature.
The Cascade Shelter, and Chuck and Laurel Cox, both sell designs for
portable yurts; and Cascade Shelter, a co-op, also offers a variety of kits
and will sell individual or custom yurt parts as well. Cascade Shelter has
come up with its own design (developed for the Hoedad co-op who live
and plant trees in the Oregon mountains) - not, they say, the traditional
yurt - but practical, lightweight, strong, and easily struck.
Chuck and Laurel Cox, former students of Coperthwaite's, published
plans for a portable sixteen-foot and/or twenty-foot insulated yurt.
They've lived in their yurt for five years, including a year in Alaska, and
have moved it at least three times. -
Finally, Len Charney has written an inexpensive soft-cover book called
Build a Yurt. It's 134 pages long and includes plans, line drawings, pho-
Washington
Seattle Tent & Fabric Products Co.
900 N. 137th
Seattle 98133
Note: A thorough book on tipis is The
Indian Tipi (Norman, Oklahoma: Uni-
versity of Oklahoma Press, 1957) by
Reginald and Gladys Laubin. Ballan-
tine Books in New York has recently
published this in paperback.
231 Sources
Interior of yurt designed by Chuck and Lau-
rel Cox
Exterior view of yurts
Tightening cable on concentric yurt de-
signed by Bill Coperthwaite, founder of the
Yurt Foundation
Roof of concentric yurt
232 Tents for Campers
tographs, and step-by-step instructions written in cheerful, easily under-
stood prose. He also refers back to Bill Coperthwaite (as do Cascade
Shelter and the Coxes) as the best source of yurt information and sug-
gests writing to The Yurt Foundation if you run into any problems. Here
are the add resses:
Permanent yurts:
The Yurt Foundation
Bucks Harbor, Maine 04618
Plans: Standard yurt, 17 feet: $5.00
Concentric yurt, 32 feet (supplement to standard yurt plan): $5.00
Little yurt, 12 feet: $5.00
Build A Yurt by Len Charney
(New York: Collier Books, 1974)
$3.95
Po rtable yu rts:
Ch uck and Lau rei Cox
Cox Farm
Crane Crossing Road
Plaistow, New Hampshire 03865
Plans for a 16-foot and 20-foot yurt: $4.00
"How to Build a Portable Yurt"
by Cascade Shelter
4500 Aster St.
Springfield, Oregon 97477
$8.00
BOOKS AND MAGAZINES
Several very helpful books for the tent enthusiast are the Backpacking
Equipment Buyer's Guide by William Kemsley and the editors of Back-
packer Magazine (New York: Collier Books, 1977), which gives a com-
plete rundown on all available backpacking and camping equipment,
and Skye Davis' Trailside Shelters. Another book that can serve as a guide
to living outdoors is Soft House by Steve Futterman (New York: Harper
& Row, 1976). The Canvas Products Association International, 350 Endi-
cott Building, St. Paul, Minnesota 55101, tel: (612) 222-2508, has a camping
brochure entitled, "Camping; It's a Natural," which is free upon request.
It' s a fine introduction to camping.
Camping Journal, Backp.acker, Consumer Research, and Consumer Re-
ports magazines publish sporadic reviews and ratings of tents. Any of
these are worth consulting before you purchase a tent.
And 1979 Woodall's Campground Directory, No. American Edition
(published by Woodall Publishing Co., 500 Hyacinth Pl., Highland Park,
'''inois 60035 and distributed by Simon & Schuster in New York) lists and
rates 17,000 campgrounds.
BIBLIOGRAPHY INDEX
233
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Andrist, Ralph K., editor in charge. The American Heritage History of the Confi-
dent Years. New York: American Heritage Publishing Company, 1969.
Appelbaum, Stanley, ed. The New York Stage: Famous Productions in Photo-
graphs. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1976.
Arthaud, Claude. Enchanted Visions: Fantastic Houses and Their Treasures. New
York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1972.
Bartlett, John. Familiar Quotations, 14th Edition. Edited by Emily Morison Beck.
Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1968.
Bates, Daniel G. "Nomads and Farmers: the Yoruks of Southeast Turkey." Uni-
versity of Michigan Journal no. 52, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1973.
Berger, Horst. "The Engineering Discipline of Tent Structures." Architectural
Record, February 1975, pp. 81-88.
Bernier's Travels: Journey to Kachemire. Written at Lahor, 1665. Amsterdam,
Holland: P. Marret, 1724.
The Holy Bible. Revised Standard Version. New York: Thomas Nelson and Sons,
1952.
Bird, Walter W., and Kinnius, Ronald A. "The History of the Air Structures in the
USA." Pamphlet distribution by Birdair Structures, hic., Buffalo, N.Y., 1976.
Brand, Stewart, ed. The Last Whole Earth Catalog. Menlo Park, Calif.: Whole
Earth Truck Store, 1971.
Brent, Peter. T. E. Lawrence. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1975.
Briggs, Lloyd Cabot. "Living Races of the Sahara Desert." Harvard University,
Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology Paper, vol. 28, no. 2. Cam-
bridge, Mass.: Peabody Museum, 1958.
Charney, Len. Building a Yurt: The Low-Cost Mongolian Round House. New
York: Collier Books, 1974.
Clarke, Thurston. The Last Caravan. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1978.
"Family Tents." Consumer Report. July 1977, pp. 424-429.
Coon, Carleton Stevens. "Tribes of the Rif." Harvard, African Studies, vol. IX.
Cambridge, Mass.: Peabody Museum, 1931.
Cronyn, George W., ed. American Indian Poetry: An Anthology of Songs and
Chants. New York: Liveright, 1962.
Davis, Skye. Trailside Shelters. Harrisburg, Pa.: Stackpole Books, 1977. 235
236 Bibliography
de Combray, Richard. Caravansary. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Co., Inc.,
1978.
Drew, Philip. Frei Otto: Form and Structure. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press,
1976.
Ekvall, Robert B. Fields on the Hoof. Nexus of Tibetan-Nomadic Pastoralism. New
York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1968.
Ekvall , Robert B. Tents Against the Sky: A Novel of Tibet. New York: Farrar Straus
and Young, 1955.
Ewers, John C. Murals in the Round. Painted Tipis of the Kiowa and Kiowa-Apache
Indians. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1978.
Faegre, Torvald. Tents: Architecture of the Nomads. Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor
Press/Doubleday, 1979.
Field, Claud. Dictionary of Oriental Quotations (Arabic and Persian) . New York:
MacMillan Co., 1911, repub. by Detroit : Gale Research Co. , 1969.
Futterman, Steve. Softhouse. New York: Harper & Row, 1976.
Glaeser, Ludwig. The Work of Frei Otto. New York: The Museum of Modern Art ,
1972.
Haggerty, James J. Spinoff 1978, An Annual Report. National Aeronautics and
Space Administration, Office of Space and Terrestrial Applications, Tech-
nology Utilization Division. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing
Office, January 1978.
Hassnick, Royal B. Cowboys and Indians - An Illustrated History. New York:
Promontory Press, 1976.
Hazen, Charles D. Modern European History. New York: H. Holt & Co., 1917.
Herodotus. The Histories. Translated by Aubrey de Selincourt. Baltimore: Pen-
guin Books, 1954.
1L5: A History of Convertible Roofs. Stuttgart, Germany: Institute of Lightweight
Structures, 1973.
Jacobson, Cliff. "Consumer' s Guide: Tents." Camping Journal, August- Septem-
ber 1977.
Kahn, Lloyd, ed. Shelter. Bolinas, Calif.: Shelter Publications, 1973.
Kemsley, William, and the editors of Backpacker Magazine. Backpacking Equip-
ment Buyer's Guide. New York : Collier Books, 1977.
Laubin, Reginald and Gladys. The Indian Tipi. Its History, Construction, and Use.
Norman, Okla.: University of Oklahoma Press, 1957.
LeGuin, Ursula K. The Left Hand of Darkness. New York: Ace Books, 1969.
Lippard, Lucy. " Body, House, City, Civilization, Journey. " Dwellings, Institute
for Contemporary Art , University of Pennsylvania, 1978.
Mcintyre, James, and Richmond, I. A. "Tents of the Roman Army and Leather
from Birdoswald." Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeo-
logical Society, N.s.v.34. Transac. Kendal, 1934.
Mails, Thomas E. The People Called Apache. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: ' Prentice-
Hall, 1974.
Maxwell, Gavin. Lords of the Atlas. London: Longmans, 1966.
Meiss, Millard. The Great Age of Fresco: Discoveries, Recoveries, and Survivals.
New York: George Braziller in association with the Metropolitan Museum of
Art, 1970.
Nansen, Charles. " Comeback of the Canvas Camp. " Field and Stream, April 1972.
National Geographic Society. Vanishing Peoples of the Earth. Washington, D.C.:
National Geographic Society, 1968.
Nervi, Pier Luigi, gen. ed. History of World Architecture. Translated by Robert
Erich Wolf. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. , 1978.
Nicolaisen, Johannes. Ecology and Culture of the Pastora1 Tuareg. Copenhagen:
National Museum of Copenhagen, 1963.
Oliver, Paul , ed. Shelter in Africa. Londo·n: The Overlook Press, 1971 .
Otto, Frei. Tensile Structures, vols. 1 and 2. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1973.
Peterson, Harold Leslie. Arms and Armor in Colonial America. Harrisburg, Pa.:
Stackpole Books, 1956.
237 Bibliography
Peterson, Harold Leslie. The Book of the Continental Soldier. Harrisburg, Pa.:
Stackpole Books, 1968.
Petrus, jerzy T.; Piatkiewicz-Dereniowa, Maria; and Piwocka, Magdalena. The
Orient in the Wawel Collections. Translated by Krystyna Malcharek. Wawel
State Collections of Art, Poland.
Phillips, David F. "High Noon for the Empire." Horizon, Winter 1976, pp. 56-61.
Polo, Marco. Travels. Kansas City, Kan.: Haldeman & julius, 1924.
Pritchard, james B. The Ancient Near East in Pictures Relating to the Old Testa-
ment. Princeton, N.j.: Princeton University Press, 1954.
Raswan, Carl R. Black Tents of Arabia (My Life Among the Bedouins). New York:
Creative Age Press, 1947.
Rhodes, Godfrey. Tents and Tent-Life. London: Smith, Elder and Company,
Cornhill, 1858.
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Translated by Parichehr Kasra. Delmar, N.Y.:
Scholars' Facsimiles and Reprints, 1975.
Rudofsky, Bernard. The Prodigious Builders. New York: Harcourt Brace jovano-
vich, 1977.
Schanche, Don A. "Tentmaking: A Collapsing Craft." International Herald Trib-
une, Oct. 20, 1978.
Sheehy, Gail. Passages: Predictable Crises of Adult Life. New York: E. P. Dutton
and Company, Inc., 1974.
Sisson, Charles jasper, ed. William Shakespeare: The Complete Works. New
York: Harper & Row, 1953.
Tents. Tangents XX: Twentieth in a series of discussions from Koppers for the
building design profession. Pamphlet by Koppers Architectural and Con-
struction Materials. Pittsburgh: Koppers Company, Inc., 1978.
Soderstrom, Neil. "Tents for Family Camping." Consumer's Research Magazine,
August 1977, pp. 7-13.
Tuchman, Barbara. A Distant Mirror: The Fourteenth Century. New York: Alfred
Knopf, 1978.
Welch, Stuart Cary. A King's Book of Kings: The Shah-Nameh of Shah Tahmasp.
New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1976.
Welch, Stuart Cary. Persian Painting: Five Royal Safavid Manuscripts of the 16th
Century. New York: George Braziller, Inc., 1976.
Williams, Neville. Henry VIII and His Court. London: Sphere Books, 1973.
Yule, Sir Henry. The Book ofSerMarco Polo. London: j. Murray, 1929.
INDEX
AAA Tent & Awning Co. See
Kirkham's Outdoor Products
Abraham, 5, 8
Afghani nomads, 9 5 ' ~ " 9 7
A-frame, 168, 169
Agora of Athens, 114
Air-supported structure, 116-137;
defined, 117
Akcha, the, yurts of, 103
Alaarba tent, 92
Alaska Tent & Tarp, Inc., 194
Alexander I, Tsar, 30
Alexander the Great, 96; World Tent
(Cosmic Tent) of, 10, 11
Ali Baba Goes to Town (film), 156
American Revolution, 41, 42
Anchor Industries, 130, 131, 193
Anchoring, 181, 182
Apache Indians, 69, 70; puberty
ceremony, 4, 71
Arabian Nights (film), 157
Arapaho Indians, 63
Architecture, materials used: Roman,
113-116; radomes, 118; modern,
123, 126, 127, 132, 134
Arctic expeditions: and England, 40;
and USSR, 40
Arup Associates, 122
A16 Wilderness Camping Outfitters,
194
Assyrian, 10
Athalon Products, High Lonesome,
195
Backpacking tent, 168; entries, 184;
windows and vents, 185, 186;
zippers, 186, 187
Baker tent, 174
Bakhtiari, 93, 94
Baluchi, 84, 97
Bangladesh, refugee camp in, 38
Baskervill and Son, and University of
Virginia field house, 120, 121
Basque sheepherders, in U.S.A., 74
Basseri, 93
Bean, L. L., Inc., 191, 196
Bedouin, 5, 82-89, 92, 96, 106, 108;
construction of, 83, 88, 89
"Bells of arms," tents, 41
Bell stretcher, 57
Ben-Hur (film), 154
Berber, 84, 89-93, 98
Berger, Horst, 120, 121, 127, 131, 134,
135
Bethab (traveling litter), 88
Biblical women's tents, 5
Big top. See Circus
Bird, Walter W., 118
Birdair Structures, Inc., 118, 122, 124,
125,127,128,133,136
Bishop's Ultimate Outdoor
Equipment, 196
Black desert tent, 5, 16, 81-100; as
tension structure, 82, 92; Eastern
(Persian), 82; men's section, 89;
Western (Arabic), 82; women's
section, 5, 88, 89, 95, 100
239
240 Index
Bonus Expeditionary Army, 55, 56
Boy Scout Jamboree, 59, 60
British army, 14, 15, 25, 31, 32, 34
Breathability. See Fabric
Brush arbors. See Squaw coolers
Buffington, Leroy S., 116
Bullock's department store (Menlo
Park, Northern California), 134
Burford, Byron, 148, 149
Burgundy, dukes of, 29
Burton, Sir Richard, tomb of, 9
Cabin tent, roof-truss and yoke-type
designs, 172
C & a Canal boat, tents atop, 42
Cabledome, @) concept, 124; See also
Cable-net structure
Cable-net structure, 118-124, 126, 128,
129, 132, 133
Cady, Sam, 148, 149
Caesar, Julius, 13
Camping tents: books and magazines
about, 232; color choices for, 187;
construction of, 179-187; designs
for, 167-175; estimating size of, 166,
167; fabric for, 175-178; floors in,
183,184; framing of, 179, 180;
manufacturers of, 225-229; rental
of, 222-225
Camp meetings, 42, 43
Cannondale Corporation, 197
Care of tent, 188-190
Car-top tent, 189
Carryon Camping (film), 162
Carulli, Diana, 144
Cascade Shelter, 231, 232
Cecil B. DeMille, Camp, 153
Charney, Len, 231, 232
Chautauqua Institution, 43, 45
Chemical Fabrics (Bennington,
Vermont), 127
Ch'ien Lung, 24, 25
Chinese: emperor's, 23-25; military,
23, 24; Temple of Heaven, 24
Christo, 150
Chuckchi Eskimos, 76
Circus, 49-55, 148, 149
Cities. See Tent cities
Civil War, 44
Cleopatra (film), 153, 160
Clothing loops, 187
Cody, William F. ("Buffalo Bill"), 45
Coleman Co., Inc., 198
Colosseum, the, 113, 114
Computer method of design, tension
structures, 127, 130-132
Conestoga wagon, 42
Conical tent, 26, 31, 32, 34; Lapp, 78;
in Palestine, 39; tente conique, 34;
tente conique a muraille, 34; Sibley,
43; tipi, 62-73
Contractor, The (play), 161
Cook holes, 186
Coperthwaite, William, and Yurt
Fou ndation, 227, 231, 232
Coronation Durbar (1911), 34-37
Cosmic Tent. See Alexander the
Great, World Tent of
Cottage tent, 175
Cotton. See Fabric
Cox, Chuck and Laurel, 226, 231, 232
CPAI-84 flammability standard, 178,
179
Crimean War, 31, 32
Cro-Magnon, 3, 4
Crow Indians, 64
Crusaders, 26
Crusades, The (film), 155
Darius, 10,11
Darkroom tent, 33
DeMille, Cecil. See Cecil B. DeMille,
Camp
Denver Tent Company, 199
Depression, Great (1929), 55
Dew cloth. See Tipi, lining of; Fabric
Dome tent, 38, 75, 170
Duck. See Fabric
Dulles International Airport (Virginia),
118-120
DuPont (Teflon). See Fabric
Dutch doors, 187
Duval County office building
(Jacksonville, Florida), 134
Early Winters, Ltd., 200
Earthquake, San Francisco (1906), 55
Eastern Mountain Sports, Inc., 201
Edelson, Mary Beth, 142, 143
Edward II, 25
Elmer Gantry (film), 160
EMS. See Eastern Mountain Sports,
Inc.
Entries, tent, 184, 185
Environmental Structures, Inc., 125
Eritrea (Ethiopia), 98, 101
Eskimo, 62, 75, 76; summer tent, 75,
77; winter tent, 75, 76
Eureka! Tent, Inc., 202, 203
Exoskeleton tent, 170
Expedition tent, 169, 170
Explorer tent, 174
Fabric, of camping tents, 175-178;
breathability of, 175; cotton, 175,
241 Index
177,179; drill, 177; duck, 177;
DuPont (Teflon), 126-127, 134; of
early tents, 4; featherweight nylon,
176, 178, 179; fire-retardant
treatment of, 178, 179; Gore-Tex,
170,177,178-179; nylon taffeta,
178; polyethylene-coated
polyethylene, 178; polyprophlene,
176; poplin, 177; ripstop nylon,
177; for tipi lining, 68; twill, 177;
vinyl-coated nylon, 178;
waterproofing treatment of, 178,
179; water-repellency of , 175
Family tents: entries, 184; windows
and vents, 185; zippers, 186
Feigenbaum, Harriet, 138, 139, 146
Ferrer, Rafael, 150
Field house, University of Virginia,
120, 121
Field of the Cloth of Gold, 27,28,116
Fire-retardants. See Fabric
Fi res, tent, 53, 178
Flathead Indians, 63
Fly tent , British, 33, 35
Folklife Pavilion (Philadelphia
Bicentennial), 128
French, 26, 27, 29, 31, 32, 34
Fuller, Buckminster, 170, 189
Garden tent, Victorian, 33
Geiger-Berger Associates, P. c., 119,
121, 124, 126-130, 132-135
Geiger, David, 124, 126, 127
Genghis Khan, 15, 101
Genghis Khan (film), 159
George V, coronation durbar of, 34-
37
Ger, 103; see also Yurts, nomadic
Gerry Co., 204
Gandhi, Mahatma, 38
Gibson, Richard, 27, 28, 116
Glenn, Tom (" Tent Tom" ), 192
"God houses." See Yurts, ceremonial
Godfather, The (film), 161
Golden Horde, 101
Goldsmidt, Nicholas, 134
Goodwin-Cold Tentmakers, 226
Gore-Tex. See Fabric
Government Services Administration
(Denver, Colorado), 137
Grand Vizir, Constantinople, 21
Great Adventure Amusement Park
(New jersey) , 131, 132
"Greatest Show on Earth, " 49, 54, 55;
see also Ringling Brothers and
Barnum & Bailey Circus
Greek, 10, 11
Gustavus III of Sweden. See Haga,
Sweden, metal tents
Guy lines, 29,35,95,181,182
Gypsies, French, 30
Haga, Sweden, metal tents of, 115,
116-117
Hamites,98
Hampton Roads Coliseum, 121
Healy, Anne, 143
Hebrew tribes, 5-7
Hemenway, Audrey, 146, 147
Henry V, 157
Henry VIII, 27, 28
Hera, 144, 145
Herodotus,S
High Lonesome. See Athalon Products
Hirsch-Weiss /White Stag, 204-206
Holofernes, 9
Holubar Mountaineering, Ltd. , 206
Holy of Holies, 7
Hospital Tents, 48, 56, 57, 59
Howdah, 88
H2C2 (architects) , 128
IBM, Havant Plant of, 122
Ice-fishing tent, 173
Igloos, 75, 76
Independence Mall Pavilion
(Philadelphia Bicentennial), 128
India, 17th-century hunting tents in ,
22, 23
Inflated structure, defined, 117
Ingalls, Davis 5., Hockey Rink (Yale
University),118
Iranian nomadic tent , 93, 94
Isimkheb, Princess, 3
jacob,S
jael , 9, 10
jansport, 207
japanese-American detention camp,
58, 59
jeddah International Airport (Saudi
Arabia) , 7, 116,136,137
johnson, Philip, 121
jones Mayer Associates, Inc., 135
judith, 9
Julius Caesar (film) , 158
Jumbo (film) , 151 , 154
Kaaba (Mecca), 7, 8, 137
Katz, Leandro, 148, 149
Khan, Batu, 101
King Richard and the Crusaders (film),
159
King Solomon's Mines (film), 158
Kiowa Indians, 73
242 Index
Kirkham' s Outdoor Products, AAA
Tent & Awning Co. , 208
Kits, tent , 230
Klondike Gold Rush camps, 46, 47
Kublai Khan , 15, 101
Kurds, 84, 93-95
L. l. Bean, \nc. See Bean, L. L., Inc.
Laacke & Joys Co. , 209, 210
" Lady with the Unicorn" (tapestry), 27
Lapps, 4, 62, 77-81 ; Forest, 77, 78, 80;
Mountain, 77, 78, 81 ; Sea, 77;
summer tent, 78; tent transport, 81;
winter tent , 79, 81
LaVerne College Student Center
(LaVerne, California) , 127
Lawrence of Arabia (film), 159
Le Sacre du Printemps (ballet), 151,
152
Lineless tent , 169
Longest Walk (1978), 60, 73
Lot, 5
Lundy, Victor, 120, 121
Lurs, 93, 94
Maho Bay Camps, Inc. , 135
Mahomet IV, Sultan, 17
Mary, Queen , coronation durbar of,
36, 37
Mat and skin tents, 97, 98, 100, 101;
frame systems, 97
Meg 2. See Government Services
Administration
Metal tents. See Haga, Sweden
Migrant workers camps, 55, 57, 58
Mirrors (ballet) , 151 , 152
Modesty curtains, 187
Mohammad Rezi Shah Pahlavi, 93
Mongols, 16, 62, 101-104, 107
Moorish black tent , 84, 93
Morgah, William, 134
Moroccan, 20, 84, 89-92
Moses, 6
Moss, Bill , 190-192; Moss Tent Works,
Inc., 210
Nadir Shah , 17
Napoleon I , 30
National Indoor Stadium (Tokyo) , 120,
122
Nero, Emperor, 13, 113, 116
Net t ent , 174, 175
New Harmony, Indiana, Philip
Johnson' s dome in , 121
New York City Marathon, 59
Niko lai s, Alwin , 151 , 152
No-see-um-proof netting, 187
Noah , 5, 6
Nomads, tent s of, 61-109; see also
individual nomadic tribes
North Face, The, 189, 211 , 212
Nowicki, Matthew, 118
Nylon. See Fabric
Odell , Jr. , and Associates, A. G. , 121
Old Testament , 5, 6, 9, 81
Olympiapark (Munich), 124
One-person shelter, 168
Open-air theater (Bad Hersfeld, West
Germany), 124
Otto, Frei , 122-124, 130
Outdoor Venture Corp., 213
Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corp. , 126,
127, 134, 136
Palestine, refugee camps in , 39
Papilio, 12, 13
Paul , Saint , 15
Pegs. See Stakes
Pentadome-A, 118
Persepolis . See Persian Empire, 2500th
anniversary of
Persian Empire, 2500th anniversary of ,
40
Persian tents, 15-1 7
Petzoldt , Paul , Wilderness Equipment,
214
Piegan Indians, 64
Pinto, Jody, 144, 145
Poles, 179-180
Polyethylene-coated polyethylene.
See Fabri c
Polyprophlene. See Fabri c
Pompeii , amphitheater in, 113, 114,
116
Poor People' s Campaign (1968) , 59,60
Prehistoric t ents, 3, 4
Ptolemy 11 , 116
Pup/scout tent , 168
Pyramid tent , 43, 173, 174
Qashqai , 93, 94
Queeny, Edgar M. , Park, 135
Radomes, 118, 122
Raleigh arena, 118, 119
Ramadas. See Squaw coolers
Recreational Equipment , Inc. See REI
Co-op
Recreational vehicles, 229-230
REI Co-op/ Recreational Equipment ,
Inc. , 215
Renters, tent. See Camping tents,
rental of
Revival meetings. See Camp meetings
Richard /I (Shakespeare), 155
243 Index
Ridge-pole tent, 103, 109
Ringling Brothers and Barnum &
Bailey Circus, 49, 52-55
Rivendell Mountain Works, 216
Riyadh , University of (Saudi Arabia),
recreational facility at, 133
Roman, 11-14
Rooge, Cornelius, 148
Rubruquis (Franciscan friar) , as first
travel writer, 101
Rudolph, Paul, 132
Saarinen, Eero, 118, 119
Samaritans, 39
San Francisco earthquake (1906), 55
Sauk and Fox Indians, 69, 70
Scout tent, See Pup/scout tent
Screen tent,174,175
Scythians, 5
Sea World (Orlando, Florida), 134
Seams, tent, 182, 183
Seattle Tent and Fabric Co., 217
Severud, Fred M., 118-121
Shah of Iran. See Mohammad Reza
Shah Pahlavi
Sharon, Miriam, 140, 141
Shaver Partnership, 127
Sheldahl Company, 120
Shiek, The (film) , 153
Shizuoka Convention Hall, 120
Sibley, Henry Hopkins, 43; and Civil
War tent (Sibley tent), 43, 44, 58
Sierra Designs, 218
Silverdome (pontiac, Michigan), 116,
126, 132, 134
Sioux Indians, 64; Oglala Dakota
Sioux, 65
Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill , 137
Skin tents, See Mat and skin tents
Sisera, 9, 10
Snow tent, 169
Soap-film model, tension structure
design, 131, 132
Sokolnikoff, Katherine , 140, 141
Solomon, King, 5
Somali, 101
Spanish-American War , 48
Squaw coolers, 69, 70
Stackhouse, Robert, 146, 147
Stakes, 181, 182
Stanley, Mildred, 143, 145
Stanley and Livingston (film), 156
Storey, David, 161
Stress points, 183
Stromeyer, 122
Stuttgart Institute of Lightweight
Structu res , 123
Succoth tents, 40
" Super tube. " See Tube tent,
modified
Sweat tent , 71 , 74, 75
Tabernacle, 6, 7
Takamatsu Prefectural Office, 120
Tange, Kenzo, 120, 122
Tarp tent, 167
Tatars, 23, 101, 103
Teda (Sahara desert dwellers), 98
Teflon (TFE-coated Beta Fiberglas).
See Fabric
Temkin , Merle, 144, 145
Temple of Heaven. See Chinese tents
Ten Commandments, The (film) , 153
Tension structures , 118- 137; defined,
118
Tent (ballet) , 151, 152
Tent cabin , 44
Tent cities , 7, 8, 34, 37- 40, 55 , 59, 60,
99, 108
Tent house, 117
Tent hut, 86, 97
Tente d 'abri, 10, 23, 31 , 34, 48
T ente de troupe, 34
Tibetan , 106-109; construction of, 108,
109
Tipis, 62- 73; child' s, 64; construction
of, 66-68; cooking, 69; four-pol e,
66; lining of , 68; material s of , 66,
68, 70; painting of , 63- 66, 73;
smoke flap system, 64, 67, 68;
symbolism of, 62- 64, 68, 71 ;
transport of, 62, 66, 68, 69, 72;
three-pole, 66, 67; variations, 43,
44; women responsibl e for , 66, 69,
74
Tipi makers, 230- 231
Tokyo Bay, housing complex, 120,
122, 123
Tournament s, 27
Trailwise, 219
Trajan's Column , 12
Travois, 69, 72
Tree tent, 4, 5, 10, 64, 71
Tuareg, 97, 98, 100, 101
Tube tent, modified, 167, 168
Tunnel tent , 171
Turkish, 17; in Poland, 17-20
Tu rks, Altai , 4
Twill and drill. See Fabri c
Ulm Medical Academy (West
Germany), 122
Umbrella tent , 172, 173
Unitarian Church (Hartford,
Connecti cut) , 120, 121
244 Index
United States Pavilion: Expo '70, 124,
126; Expo '74, 129
Ute Indians, 4, 64
Val entino, Rudolph, 153
Vela, 113-116
Vela / Future Tents, Ltd., 130-132, 134
Venetian , 29
Vents, 185, 186
Vestibule, 184, 185
Victoria, Queen, 32
Victoria Regina (play) , 151, 155
Voelker, Betty. See Hera
Wall tent, 40, 41, 46, 48, 55, 70, 74,
171, 172
Washington , George, 41, 42
Waterproofing. See Fabric
Water-repellency. See Fabric
Wawel Museum (Poland), Turkish
tents in, 18, 20
" Wedge" tent, 171
Wenzel Company, The, 220, 221
West German Pavilion, Expo '67, 123
White Stag. See Hirsch Weiss
Wickiups, 69, 70, 74, 86
Wild West shows, 45
Wilderness Equipment. See Petzoldt,
Paul, Wilderness Equipment
Windows, tent , 185, 186
Xerxes, 116
Yalter, Nil , 139, 140, 146
Yurt , nomadic, 4, 15, 16, 23, 62, 101-
107, 120, 121; ceremonial, 109;
construction of, 102, 103, 106;
materials of, 101, 105-107;
symbolism of, 103, 106, 107;
wagons, erected on, 101 , 103
Yurt Foundation, 227, 231, 232
Yurts in America, 231 , 232
Yuruks (Turkish sheepherders) , 99
Zippers, 186, 187
Zucker, Barbara, 140
,/ Throughout civilization, tents have symbolized both shelter and freedom, and today's
renaissance of tents is a tribute to both factors. While millions of campers are taking to
the outdoors, modern architects are designing futuristic tent buildings. Already, as this
book shows, there are summer-home tents, department store tents, and the world's
largest airport a 105-acre tent.
17TH-CENTURY TURKISH TENT WAWEL MUSEUM, KRAKOW, POLAND
The Tent Book, with nlore than 400 photographs, is a fascinating look at tents and tent
cities in history and the arts. Here you'll see the Tabernacle, as God decreed its
construction to Moses; the Field of the Cloth of Gold, site of a 1520.summit meeting
between Henry VIII and Francis I; George Washington's tent; and a behind-the-scenes
look at the Big Top.
Like tents themselves, The Tent Book cornbines romance with practicality A concluding
section on camping tents is a complete consumer's guide to their selection and care,
with a directory of sources.
FRONT JACKET PHOTOGRAPH BY PAUL ORATOSSKY; TENT DESIGNED BY BILL MOSS, MOSS, TENT WORKS, INC.
!SBN: 0-395-28264-0
$9.95
6-87399
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY © 1979

THE TENT BOOK

THE TENT BOOK

E. M. HATTON

Houghton Mifflin Company

Boston

1979

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Hatton. electronic or mechanical.Line drawings by Jane Tenenbaum Copyright © 1979 by E. Includes index. TS1860. 1. Printed in the United States of America A 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Book design by David Ford . M. E M The tent book. Tents. including photocopying and recording. Hatton All rights reserved . Title. without permission in writing from the publisher. 728 79-9047 ISBN 0-395-27613-9 ISBN 0-395-28264-0 pbk . Bibliography: p.H37 I. or by any information storage or retrieval system. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means.

For Chris and Earl laura and Francis .

.

Barbara Greenberg helped. and Professor Charles P. along with Ron Kinnius at Irving Industries. Jill Charlton. The New York Public Library Picture Collection. But so many others were extremely helpful . and Alice Lundoff. went beyond the call of duty to supply me with photos. Graves at the University of Kentucky. my editor Frances Tenenbaum. Jean Demogue. Leonard Sprung. And special thanks go to Jim Thompson. and Dr. Kai Lofton.Diane Matthews.C. Bill Murtaugh lined me up with those wonderful tents in Krakow.. Mary Burczyk and Stu Waugh at the Canvas Products Association International shared their resources with me. Jerzy Szablowski. and I am indebted (both figu ratively and literally) to those that fu rnished me with the photographs. This book has relied strongly on photograph archives. the four partners of Vela/Future Tents. Joan Miller. If it hadn't been for them you might not be reading The Tent Book. along with Thierry Demogue. The architecture section was made possible by the generosity of Horst Berger of Geiger Berger Consultants. Robert Adzema and Joel Kopp for donating photographs. Clay Jones. who helped me out while she was in France. Lois and Ian Alsop. Ltd. and Alix Elias. Bunny Bodman. P. Peter Stamberg. Christi Hatcher. the vii . Poland. as did Bill Moss of Moss Tent Works. last but not least. Abel Cruz. Director of the Wawel Collection. Pat Ethridge. Raymond Prestia provided me access to his fine collection. Carleton Howe. too. Sheldon at Birdair. to Katherine Sokolnikoff. Robert J. and Ellen Johnston's library was quite helpful: And special thanks. Jeffrey Aronoff. who translated copious correspondence into French. Charlie Savage with Dr. and Don Perdue. Jim Schmiedeskamp at Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corporation. Rosalind Heinz and. Gail Hayden.. Janice Byer.ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Invaluable assistance was given me by my agent Heide Lange. Joseph Padial. and Lee Black were generosity personified. Mablen Jones.

The Tent Book is the culmination of a great deal of energy .viii Acknowledgments Library of Congress.. and the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts were treasure troves. the Smithsonian Institution. I thank them as well. Hap Hatton . and extremely helpful.. There are others not specifically mentioned who provided me with leads and general assistance in my quest for material. and it wasn't all the author's.

CONTENTS Acknowledgments vii I ntroduction xi Part 1 The Tent in History 1 2 3 Europe and Asia 3 America 41 The Nomads 61 Part 2 The Tent as Art 4 5 6 Architecture 113 Tent Art 138 Stage and Screen 151 Part 3 Tents for Campers 7 8 A Consumers' Guide 165 Sou rces 222 Bibliography 235 Index 239 .

.

Thousands more are building their own from the kits and instruction books that are available. economical. summer home-substitute tents. and tent cities like the Field of the Cloth of Gold (considered the Eighth Wonder of the World when Henry VIII summit met with Francis I in 1502) and the San Francisco Earthquake. beautiful. cinema. When you get right down to it. the circus big top and how it's put together. contemporary use.that covers all aspects of them. tents are everywhere . Millions of people in this country and abroad are camping out in any of hundreds of styles of tents. and limitless future. have used tents of every description all over the globe since civilization began.in every shape and form . This is a book about tents . scouts and soldiers. Nomads on every continent still migrate with tents ingeniously designed to enable them to live and go virtually anywhere from the Sahara to Siberia. you and I. all the latest tents available to the camper (with information on where to find them). xi . and fun! Bedouins and backpackers. Now tents are showing up as sculptural art forms and tent architecture is beginning to serve as a superb alternative to rigid right-angled steel and glass. The photographs in this book illustrate their rich history. and theater. the Eskimo summer tent.an adventure in tents . And. last but not least. plus the world's largest tent building. mountain-climbers and circuses. liberating. durable.5 million square feet of Fiberglas yarn coated with Teflon covering 105 acres. You'll see Rudolph Valentino's sheik tent. practical. And young people have taken the nomadic designs and developed them for their own use here in this country. beautifully designed and furnished. Tents have always been present in our literature. You will find here the ceremonial tents of Alexander the Great and Napoleon. which is 5.INTRODUCTION The tent: versatile. portable. which range from super-lightweight backpack tents to more permanent.

xii Introduction In tents the romantic and practical are combined.. . and how you can do it yourself. Tents are still associated with freedom and the excitement of living and sleeping in the great outdoors and you'll see how everyone from nomads to royalty has been doing it .. making the practical even more alluring.

PART 1 THE TENT IN HISTORY .

1 EUROPE AND ASIA

Are those my tents where I perceive the fire? William Shakespeare , Julius Caesar, V .iii .13

The tent, man ' s oldest known artificial dwelling and the portable shelter par excellence, dates back to prehistoric times when people stretched animal skins over trees. In the next logical step either the tree or its limbs was made into support poles, and then the shelter could be moved and pitched anywhere. In areas where wood was scarce, mammoth ribs and tusks served as a framework. From these humble beginnings tents grew into incredibly huge and magnificent pavilions - sumptuous portable palaces with walls lined with priceless tapestries, the ground covered with exquisite Oriental rugs , and the tent poles encrusted with precious stones. Probably the oldest tent on record is that found in Egypt in the tomb of the twenty-first-Dynasty princess Isimkheb (1000 B. C. ). The tent ceiling is sky blue with multicolored stars appliqued to it; red and black checkerboard squares with colorful animals and flowers cover the inside walls. Prehistoric campsites discovered in Moldova, Russia, date back to 40,000 B.C. Remains of animal bones and tusks, which at one time supported hides, have been found, and small embankments or earth berms still exist where early Cro-Magnons anchored their tents by placing rocks, bones, and earth around the bottom. (These can be compared to the tipi rings found in the western part of the United States which mark the sites where tipis stood and rings of stone were used to anchor ~ hem.) The remains of a 28,OOO-year-old tent site were found in southern Russia. The tent measured some ninety-eight feet long and probably sheltered several families as it contained a row of hearths down the center , perhaps one to a family.

3

4

The Tent in History

Prehistoric tent

The tent remained in this rough form for approximately its first 10,000 years . Cave paintings dating back 10,000 to 20,000 years are the first pictorial renderings of early tents. When these early Cro-Magnon nomads moved on they might have abandoned the old tent, only to build a new one at their next stop, since one of the ancient taboos (which still exists) among many races strictly forbids both inhabiting an abandoned dwelling or using the material from the old one to build a new one. When weaving was discovered, possibly some 10,000 years ago, woven fabric was incorporated into the tent, as was felt when it later came into existence. It is strictly conjecture what the early fabric was woven from - possibly it was wool, which was definitely used in the days of Christ. Another possible material is ramie, the flaxlike fiber from the stem of a woody Asian plant of the nettle family, which has been in existence for at least 5000 years. Up to 10,000 years ago several Aryan tribes were living in skin tents. These people were primarily herdsmen and moved as the seasons affected their livestock's grazing areas. The Turkomans of Asia Minor were isolated from the influence of neighboring civilizations and the type of circular tent or yurt they occupied in the early twentieth century was the same their ancestors used more than 8000 years before. The Lapps are another example of a culture's development isolated from all outside influences. Until the present day, the support poles of tents have been, for the most part, trees, either in the form of wooden poles or as live trees with or without their leaves. Incorporating a living tree into the structure of the tent itself provides maximum stability, so when felt or pelts were spread over the tree and firmly anchored to the ground, these tents could withstand anything the elements had to offer. The idea of the tree-tent has not altogether disappeared. Before the Ute Indians were moved onto reservations at the turn of the century, they would rest the poles of their tipis in the fork of two tree branches and integrate the trunk of the tree into the structu re of the tipi. Apache girls still participate in an elaborate puberty ceremony which utilizes an uncovered tipi made of live tree branches. And the Altai Turks of south central Asia, in a sacrificial ceremony that takes place in the clearing of a wood, erect a special yurt with the leafy top of a young tree emerging

5

Europe and Asia

from the smoke hole. An interesting point, too, is that among some peoples the words tree and house have the same meaning. The earliest recording of the tree-tent was made by Herodotus (The Histories) when he traveled from Greece to Persia in the fifth century B.C. He observed the ancient Scythian tribe of the Argippaei dwelling "each man under a tree, covering it in winter with a white felt cloth." In the summer they uncovered the trees and lived under them.

TENTS IN THE BIBLE
Our very earliest references to tents come from the Old Testament and date back to c. 4000 B.C. In Genesis 4:20, "Adah bore Jabal; he was the father of those who dwell in tents and have cattle." In those ancient times the way of life was mostly pastoral (the first mention of tents is connected with the keeping of cattle) and the tent is the only form of shelter that can sustain that lifestyle. The black desert tent now used by the Arab nomads on the same terrain is considered the closest in design to the ancient model. Abraham himself, the first of the patriarchs, was considered to be a Bedouin and only in this century have the character and habits of these people undergone change. King Solomon (c. 972-932 B.C.) sang of the Bedouin in Song of Solomon 1 :5. "I am black, but comely, 0 ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon," Kedar being a biblical name for the Bedouin. From the Bible we also learn that "Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom" (Genesis 13:12, c. 2080 B.C.). In 2054 B.C. we are told that Abraham "sat in the tent-door in the heat of the day" and saw the angels. At this time of day the external shade of the desert tent is much cooler than the interior of the tent. And among Bedouin tribes it is the duty of the chief or sheik to entertain strangers. His tent is usually pitched on the edge of the encampment toward the trade route or highway from whence strangers usually approach. This custom accounts for Abraham being the first to see his visitors. Esau and Jacob are described in Genesis 25:27: "Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a quiet man, dwelling in tents." Numbers 24:2-3,5, referring to the tribes descended from Jacob, adds "And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and saw Israel encamping tribe by tribe. And the Spirit of God came upon him, and he took up his discourse, and said, 'The oracle of Balaam the son of Bear, the oracle of the man whose eye is opened . . . how fair are your tents, 0 Jacob, your encampments, 0 Israel!'" In the common Arab tent of today, the women have separate apartments that are made by attaching curtains or carpets to the supports. In the Old Testament several women had their own tents: specific mention is made of the tent of Sarah, Abraham's wife; those of Leah and Rachel, the wives of Jacob; as well as the tents of their maidservants. After the Flood (3156 B.C.), Noah is mentioned in Genesis 9:21 when

Esau and Jacob. Jacob is considered the traditional ancestor of the people of Israel and the tents he used are the same as those used today in the Arabian desert. (Copyright de Brunoff 1904)

6

The Tent in History

"he drank of the wine, and became drunk, and lay uncovered in his tent," and prophesied the destiny of his family. He is quoted as saying, "Japheth shall dwell in the tents of Shem" (Genesis 9:27). Psalms 84:10 states, "I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness." And in I Kings 12:16 - "And when all Israel saw that the king did not hearken to them, the people answered the king, 'What portion have we in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. To your tents, 0 Israel! Look now to your own house, David.' So Israel departed to their tents."

THE TABERNACLE
The most famous tent of the Old Testament is the Tabernacle and it is described in the book of Exodus (Chapters 25-27, 30-31, and 35-40). The Tabernacle was the portable sanctuary constructed by Moses as a place of worship for the Hebrew tribes during the period of wandering in the wilderness that preceded their arrival in the Promised Land. It was finally placed at Shiloh and disappeared into oblivion after the erection in 950 B.C. in Jerusalem of Solomon's Temple, which used the proportions of the Tabernacle in its design.

The Tabernacle of the Old Testament . In this rather stylized drawing, the components of the Tabernacle complex are visible. Cattle are being led through the crowd toward the Tabernacle for sacrifice at the altar which can be seen through the parted curtains. (Sonzogno, Italy)

the Kaaba at Mecca is equally revered in the Moslem religion and is the place toward which Moslems face when praying. fabric and hides measured well in excess of 1500 square yards. a slab of gold resting upon the Ark of the Covenant with a cherub at each corner. an altar of incense. All of the forty-eight tent frames were made from acacia wood overlaid with gold. by 1985 the airport will accommodate some 8.consisted of a large court of about 75 x 150 feet surrounding the rectangular Tabernacle tent. In the middle of the western half. The Tabernacle must have been a staggering load to lug through the wilderness .whose specifications were dictated by God to Moses. According to projections. and there were also forty-eight gilded support poles as well. of fine twined blue and purple linen with interwoven colored figures of cherubim. and scarlet with more cherubim.the metal alone weighed in at some 12. or Holy of Holies. according to the Bible .7 Europe and Asia The Tabernacle was set up in the center of the camp at every halt and the Tabernacle complex . The Tabernacle tent was formed of ten curtains.6 million passengers annually. The inner room. was the Ark of the Covenant. and was considered to be the actual dwelling place of God Himself. and by the year 2000 the number is estimated to reach 16. is covered with fabric.000 pounds. It is composed of two identical roof systems made up of 210 tentlike units.sometimes numbering as many as 200. was overlaid with gold inside and out and was always veiled. The court was enclo~ed by linen hangings and had the shape of two adjacent squares (or a rectangle with a length twice its width). The outer room. contained a table on which blessed bread was placed. Five and a half million square feet of Fiberglas coated with Teflon will be used and an area of 105 acres will be covered. and a Menorah. The Ark. like the Tabernacle.5 .000 . who sat invisibly throned above a mercy seat or propitiatory.encamp on the Arafat plain outside Mecca. or holy place. The structure is in keeping with the pilgrim tent cities nearby. the world's largest tent building (tension structure) is being constructed near Mecca at the Jeddah International Airport . The interior was divided into two rooms. the high priest alone could look upon its uncovered surface. was separated from the outer by a veil of blue. which contained the tablets of the Ten Commandments. the seven-branched candelabrum of the Jews. Annually a tent city of pilgrims . This doesn't include the hangings and framework for the outside wall. THE KAABA AT MECCA While the Tabernacle of the Old Testament is considered the first and most sacred shrine of the Jewish and Christian religions. "the holy place" and "the most holy place" (Holy of Holies). The Kaaba. the sacred wooden chest of the Hebrews. in the Tabernacle itself. purple. Interestingly enough. in two sets of five. The eastern half contained the altar of sacrifice for burnt offerings and a copper and bronze basin holding water for ritual ablutions.

Then in the tenth century. the Haram. At maximum capacity. which encloses the Kaaba. being twice as hig~ as it is long and wide. In the fifth century it passed to the Koreish. which pilgrims kiss. worn hollow by centuries of ritual kissing. Next to the Kaaba is the Zamzam. Many legends surround the origin of the Kaaba (from Arabic for "cube"). it was intended to be a replica of God's house in heaven. (Smithsonian Institution) .8 The Tent in History million. In the case of the Kaaba. 100 flight operations per hour will be handled. but it is traditionally believed to have been built by Abraham at the command of God (just as the Tabernacle was built to God's order). the The fabric-covered Kaaba in Mecca is the chief goal of the Moslem religion and the site toward which the Moslems face when praying. Frequently destroyed by floods and reconstructed. a holy well used for religious and medicinal purposes. which is renewed annually at the pilgrimage. and at the right is a large tent. it is believed to have retained its original shape of a double cube. At the left of the Kaaba is a structure covering the sacred well. or sevenfold circuit of the sanctuary along a road which surrounds the Kaaba. As would be expected. It is here that the sacred stone rests. they became one of the most powerful tribes in Arabia. After acquiring the Kaaba. the "holy of holies" (like the inner room of the Tabernacle). which they touch in passing as they perform the tawaf. It completely covers the holy place except for gaps at the eastern corner where the Black Stone. From the roof is suspended the Kiswa (holy carpet). At the center of Mecca is a large mosque. The custody of the Kaaba has been keenly sought in the Islamic world. an ancient Bedouin tribe to which Mohammed belonged. it is held together by a wide band of silver. the commerce of the city depends almost completely on the pilgrims as little else is manufactured except articles of devotion and souvenirs of the holy place. enclosing a room. the access to which is gained by a single door. is exposed and the southern corner with the Yamani Stone.

give me a little water to drink. for I am thirsty. and said to Tomb of Sir Richard Francis Burton (18211890). shows judith placing her grisly trophy in her maidservant's bag in order to carry it from the camp. Both leave the camp (as they had previously done. and nobility. an Afghan attempted to steal it. and linguist. the holy city was visited and described by others.C. Meanwhile. Bethulia. It tells of an attack on the Jews by an army led by the Assyrian general Holofernes. whose tomb is a marble tent. This painting by Mantegna. London) judith. Wearing rich attire. although some scholars date it later. such as the explorer Sir Richard Burton. an independent communist community in lower Mesopotamia. After four days. was as Christian as Burton was not. Burton was one of the first Westerners to journey to Mecca and Medina and his travel writings and translations (especially the sixteen volumes of the Arabian Nights) are remarkable works. whose suspicions are disarmed by the tales she invents. It is surprising that she would allow not only her husband but also herself to be buried in this tent tomb. And he said to her. English explorer. carried away the black stone in the Kaaba and kept it for ten years. Sisera was a Canaanite captain who was warring with the children of Israel. till it went down into the ground. (National Gallery of Art. then she took his priceless unpublished works into the garden and burned them because she felt they were blasphemous. Sisera left his chariot and fled on foot. Sisera came upon the tent of Jael. was judging the Israelites at that time. The Old Testament book of Judith probably was written by a Palestinian before 100 B. a beautiful widow of the tribe of Simeon.9 Europe and Asia Karmathians. And he said to her. No. Jael went out to meet him. "Is anyone here?" say. OLD TESTAMENT TENT MURDERS There are two tent murders in the Old Testament and both of them were committed by women against army generals . there was a ban against unbelievers visiting Mecca. a prophetess. have no fear. Upon his death. but as early as the nineteenth century. Holofernes is smitten with her and. (Mansell Collection. She and Barak. she had extreme unction performed on his body. as he was lying fast asleep from weariness. The story of Jael and Sisera is found in Judges 4:18-24. routed Sisera and his army. So he died. 'Stand at the door of the tent. After great rejoicing the Israelites rally against and defeat the enemy. writer. appears on the scene. and went softly to him and drove the peg into his temple. When Holofernes falls asleep. my Lord. Barak pursued his army and put them all to the sword. Deborah. Widener Collection) . is about to surrender when Judith. Up until recently. The story is told with a spirit of God's interest in His people and Judith is portrayed as a woman of great self-sacrifice. And as late as 1932. ostensibly for prayer) and return to Bethulia with their trophy. and if any man comes and asks you. as Barak pursued Sisera. at the close of a sumptuous entertainment. courage. Judith takes his sword. where she is conducted to the general. and took a hammer in her hand. done around 1495. a leader from northern Canaan. beheads him. and gives the head to her maid. the jewish heroine. after conquering all of Yemen. "And Jael came out to meet Sisera. and she covered him with a rug. 'Pray.Judith killed Holofernes and Jael killed Sisera. And behold.' So he turned aside to her into the tent. His wife. she goes over to the hostile camp. 'Turn aside. and said to him. invites her to stay the night with him in his tent.. a besieged Jewish city. Isabelle. turn aside to me.' So she opened a skin of milk and gave him a drink and covered him. seduced and decapitated the Assyrian general Holofernes and saved her people.' But Jael the wife of Heber took a tent peg.

As is common in many renderings of biblical and other ancient scenes. The tents of the Macedonians were small. left. and I will show you the man whom you are seeking. They were discovered by Sir Austen Henry Layard at Nineveh (Iraq) between 1842 and 1851.' So he went in to her tent. clothed in magnificent gold-embroidered attire. The simplest tentes d'abri are improvised by fastening together skins. In the adjoining tent a butcher prepares a carcass . a year before his death. The pavilion of Alexander the Great.one for sleeping and one for receiving company. including two camels. These skin tents could also be bundled up and used in fording rivers and were similar to the tente d'abri ("tent of cover"). Five hundred bodyguards. Above. drives a tent stake through the head of the Canaanite captain Sisera. the tents are of the same period as the artist.C. who described the tent of Achilles in detail. which has passed down through the ages and is still used today. and it appears that then as now. which lasted five days. The pavilion is said to have been one of the most fabulous ever seen." ANCIENT MILITARY TENTS Assyrian Tents have been used by armies in all ages. or armed court attendants. when possible. The forms of tent and tent furnishings are similar to those which still prevail in the East. and at the top is a defensive wall with bastions. The larger ones consist of a rope stretched over poles and fixed into the ground. This representation probably belongs to the Elamite campaigns of Ashurbanipal (668-633 B. another Jewish heroine.). and there lay Sisera dead. supplying only a necessary covering when needed for two soldiers. 'Come. This Assyrian bas-relief shows a cross section of a tent that an Assyrian officer has entered. or waterproof sheets over a stick.C. it was a custom to pitch tents within the walls of a city. (Photo: Foto Marburg. In 324 B. with the tent peg in his temple. was enormous and resplendent (as described in the fifteen books of the Deipnosophists of Athenaeus). A waterbag hangs from the ridgepole. however. Alexander married the daughter of Darius and married off eighty of his chief officers and friends to girls from the highest ranking families in Persia. her guest.C. Food is being offered him by a slave and another slave is folding down the bed. then King of Assyria. In the center was a throne of gold from which judgments were delivered. over which canvas is thrown and pegged into the earth on each side so as to fo rm a low ridge.10 The Tent in History him. from Berlin VA) . Greek One of the earliest descriptions of Greek military tents is that of Homer. These early Assyrian tents show an affinity to earlier tree-supported tents." Homer mentions also that the soldiers in the encampment had skin-covered tents. a man reaches into a deep cylindrical vessel. The tents of Greek commanders were pitched in the center of the camp and consisted usually of two chambers . The earliest renderings of tents are the ancient Assyrian bas-reliefs dating from around 700 B. A marriage tent was erected for the festivities. In actuality this "lofty tent" was more a wooden hut covered with reeds "collected from the marshy shore. Outside the tents are animals.The tent was supported by fifty thirty-foot columns of gold and silver and was huge enough to accom- Jael. surrounded the interior entrances and no unauthorized person could enter without complying with strict court regulations.. in this case the fifteenthcentury Master of Flemalle. Eight pillars gilded with gold supported a roof emblazoned with designs. blankets.

When Alexander the Great invaded Persia . so called because the inside of its domed roof was woven. painted.C. The tent walls were hung with tapestries of mythological scenes.the nomad. Unlike the Roman encampment. therefore guarding the weaker. leader to leader. in almost all forms of encampment . and all the signs and deities of the heavens. stars. The tent itself covered four stadia and was later dubbed the Cosmic Tent or World Tent of Alexander.11 Eu rope and Asia modate a hundred couches and 9000 guests. Darius fled and was later murdered during a struggle for power among the Persians . New York Public Library) . and place to place. In the Greek military encampment. This highly stylized engraving after a seventeenth-century painting shows Alexander pardoning the family of Darius in the entrance to their tent. In the East. When the Greeks stayed long in one spot.the circular arrangement has always been preferred. King Darius III underestimated Alexander's strength and was defeated by him (331 B. In the back of the tent there were ninety-two sumptuous nuptial chambers. shrines and altars were erected to their gods and holy services were performed. And while the Roman camp was strictly quadrangular. and brocaded with sun. A ceremonial dais draped with gold brocade rested on fifty columns of silver and vermillion. This design was adapted by Nero and the Byzantine emperors as a symbol of their imperial power. (Courtesy Prints Division. the Greek camp was sometimes circular.) . and military . moon. veteran soldiers were placed at the extremities. the Greek pattern varied from state to state. traveling. which always followed a set arrangement. less-experienced soldiers and the commander or king.

renderings of Roman tents appear on the columns of Antonius and Trajan. These tents covered a ten-by-ten-foot area plus another two feet for the guy ropes. The floors were strewn with newly mown grass or straw on which eight soldiers slept. Our word tent is also derived from the Latin tentus. and the commanders. Also noteworthy is the Roman soldier's papilio Roman officers' tents from Trajan's Column.D. has been proven beyond doubt to be the equivalent of our expression "under canvas. which was made of rectangular pieces of leather sewn together in prominent seams. meaning "stretched. Along the edges at each end was a narrow reinforcing. . This is probably because these skins are stronger and more pliable: a tent of this material would have been easier to handle than one of cowhide. which stand in Rome and were erected to record the military victories of the two emperors. as well as weatherproofing. the officers.12 The Tent in History Roman Much more information exists on the Roman military tent and encampment. Figure 3 shows a papilio. 113 A. Also.those of the rank and file. "under skins." and a tentorium or tabernaculum was a tent or pavilion. The tent fragments found in Great Britain were originally papilio and it is interesting to note that calfskin was used. The Latin phrase sub pellibus. and under that and attached to it were the tent flaps." used by Cicero and many others." The common tent of the legionnaires was called a papilio after the butterflies they resembled when the flaps were open and the valances were lifted up and because the tent was unpacked and spread out from a long roll that resembled a caterpillar. piece running down each slope. called incrementum tensurae. . Fragments of ancient Roman leather tents have been found in this century and records and accounts that have provided us with much valuable information still exist. The tents on Trajan's Column are of three types .

or the internal side inward.leather roof with an overfall to which guy ropes were attached. in order to allow for growth and respiration. Also. The commander's tent was always pitched first. This tent was larger still and had a marquee of the same kind as the officers . like wood. Leather flaps which could be tied aside provided access to the tents. and guy ropes passed through those loops and supported the tent. velvet. is more elastic in the direction of its width and the leather used in these papilio has been incorporated into the structure of the tent in such a way as to make use of this quality for a stronger tent. as far as the eye can see. . But the sides of these tents were of cloth. A skin. has a grain or strain factor. the tents belong to the 1600s . These tents dwarfed the others in the encampment . under the protectioo of Minerva in her chariot drawn by two scr~ech owls. Altars stood before these tents. rather along the lines of a garden tent. no doubt to make them easy to transport. Loops were attached to the overfall. The uniforms are Roman .Livy describes one like it as being 200 feet square. These pieces of calfskin were stitched together in elaborate waterproof welted seams and special knots and stitching provided greater strength in the parts of the tent that took on more stress and strain. this tent had an elaborate overfall. The officers' tent was a taller structure. The floors were covered with sod and furnishings such as dining tables and couches were contained within. Made of the same joined rectangles of leather. Julius Caesar's tent contained a mosaic floor of portable sections and Emperor Nero's magnificent octagonal tent broke away from the traditional rectangular design .13 Europe and As ia fact that skin. the leather was always applied with the external skin outward and pile. which have been compared to temples. A French rendering of a Roman encampment showing tents and armies.

and now this plan lives on in the armies that obtained the plan from Great Britain during British occupation. 17. An advance guard would choose the site and. 19. 18. Questorium or treasury. 22 . Principes . Cavalry . they had to prepare a fortified camp. 10. Allied Q) ~ 00 1 2 op en sp ace for mark et or vi viera 5 1 2 3 4 4 3 5 10 6 D 11 G 1 I 11 6 5 10 open space where altars were erected and sacrifices offered rampart and ditch decuman gate . Cavalry . 2. 14. the boundary was established and . Praefects of the allied . Tent of the praetorium or general ' s tent. The arrangement of the tents very seldom varied and the trenches were dug.Hastati. ax. flags of various colors and designs would be placed to mark that portion of ground assigned to the various legions. Legionnaires sometimes referred to themselves as " Marius' mules" and it was no wonder. with a white flag. 23. 20. Principes . 11 . Trubunes of the legions. Cavalry . 4. laden with more than eighty pounds of equipment (including weapons. When the army assembled on the spot. Select cavalry. Cavalry -Infantry . 5. Allied . 21 . Select infantry. 15. 12. Detachment of allied cavalry called Extraordinarii.Triarii. Tent of the lieutenant-generals . mark the location of the general ' s quarters. using that as a reference point. Veteran cavalry.Hastati.Triarii. Legionary . a spade. After a days' march. and the trees felled even if this was only a one-night stop. 6. and food). Detachment of allied infantry called Extraordinarii . 13. Then. while part of the troops stood watch.14 The Tent in History The Roman encampment was a highly organized fortification. the others dug a defensive ditch and made an earth wall atop which was a palisade of freshly cut trees. Legionary . cooking utensils. tents or tent stakes. The British army used the same plan for military encampments that the Romans brought to Britain. 7. Veteran infantry. Roman legionary. 8. Roman legionary.Infantry. armor. 16. 3. 9. See the praetorian gate Roman camp 1. the mounds built up.

and note the similarity. . For example. . but the Apostle Paul was supposedly a maker of tents for the Roman cavalry. A depiction of the fabled Ghenghis Khan ' s yurt. Persian Tents Persian tent encampments changed very little in arrangement and appearance from the time of Darius (333 B. Court lu~uries were transported about from site to site as the armies traveled so that all the comforts and pleasures of the home court were available. thirteenth-century Chinese. of his thirteenth-century manuscript: " They ascended the hill with alacrity the next morning and presented themselves before the army of Nayan. It is strictly an assumption on the part of historians. (Bibliotheque Nationale. Three elephants sheathed in armor were roped together and atop them was placed a huge litter with a tent top. And he went to see them. chapter I.. for by trade they were tentmakers. because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. a native of Pontus . Paris) The elephant litter of Kublai Khan.) until late in the nineteenth An attack by Kublai Khan is described by the explorer Marco Polo in book II. the Persians even carried about boilers to set up hot baths for themselves while in transit. not Asian. . Acts 18:13 states. And he found a Jew named Aquila. and they worked. whilst the chief himself was asleep in his tent accompanied by one of his wives. "He left Athens and went to Corinth. and because he was of the same trade he stayed with them.C." ROYAL TENTS OF ISLAM Tents of the royalty in the Middle Eastern empires were sumptuously bedecked with colorful precious materials and their interiors were ostentatiously furnished with the spoils of war. " The tents are European .15 Europe and Asia drawing of the layout of the Roman camp and the photo of the British encampment on page 14. Four men managed the elephants and the litter carried at least sixteen to twenty men . . It has all the sumptuous embroidered and appliqued drapings and hangings (and draped stake fence) suited to the opulent character of the Khans. which they found negligently posted .

liThe besotted Iranian camp attacked. The tents are superbly decorated yurts. These paintings were so meticulously done in regard to details of everyday life that they are a rich source for historical facts." This is a scene from the Persian version of Romeo and Juliet where the lovers have resorted to disguises in order to see each other: here the man is the mad beggar in chains.was required to bow to the central tent as they exited from their own. Two thirds of their army was destroyed. adding comic touches to the tragedy depicted. Princes' tents were distinguished from those of the viziers and officers by ser-perdeh (or royal curtain screens). such as long upright spears for the horsemen and matchlocks for the infantry.16 The Tent in History century. (From the Khamsa of Nizami Royal Safavid Manuscript of the sixteenth century." Here the Turanians overcome the Iranians in a night-time surprise attack.000 soldiers and camp followers .and some encampments numbered 80. (Metropolitan Museum of Art) "Majunn in Chains Brought by a Beggar Woman to Layla's Tent. Portable black shepherds' tents are at top with more commodious and decorated residential tents below. which were brought to t he Middle East by the invading Mongols in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Every person . The Iranians had been making merry and had posted no guards. This painting is from the Shah-Nameh of Shah Tahmasp (liKing's Book of Kings") from the first quarter of the sixteenth century. British Museum) . attributed to Mir Sayyid' Ali. The king's tent was the focal point and all other tents and structures were pitched so that every entrance faced the imperial pavilion. signaled their position in the political and military hierarchy. The faces of many of the soldiers are caricatures of universal types. Tent entrance trappings.

or kitchen. The whole dismantled tent required seven elephants to transport it. There was also a tent for the eunuchs. For example. and many other aspects of Polish life.D. armor. (Frescoes. May 27. Sixteenth-century Turkish military tents are seen in this detail from the mural The Siege of the Battery of St. rulers such as the Ottoman sultans of Turkey and the Negus of Ethiopia maintained power by governing from encampments that were constantly on the move. jeweled poles.) not only was covered with silk inside and out but also featured gold embroidery on the interior lining (to go with his gold-plated tent posts naturally). fashions. and the gold tent pins. rubies. 1163 A. weaponry. the screen required another. except that they are decorated in the Eastern styles that prevailed. It was lined with a single piece of woven camel's hair and beautifully decorated with festoons and Turkish script.17 Eu rope and Asia Of course. The war booty and trade goods brought back included textiles. the shah's tent was the most magnificent of all. carpets. who ruled from 1736 to 1747. and commercial trade resulted in an Orientalization of Polish culture that shaped the artistic tastes of the Poles for generations to come.all of which affected art. and equipment to match. The highly efficient Islamic armies forced the Poles to develop and adapt their own fighting techniques. The tent of Sultan Mahomet IV (c. These tents are along the lines of the western European tents of the period. One of the Turkish tents in Mahomet's encampment. made in Persia as a gift for the sultan. The seven-piece roof fit into two chests carried by one elephant. lined the exterior of his tent with fine scarlet fabric and the interior with purple satin encrusted with pearls. . Val etta) Turkish Tents Prior to the fifteenth century. diamonds. Poland was more or less constantly fighting the Turks and the Muscovites. was said to have taken four years to construct. and interior furnishing loaded down five other elephants. emeralds. Tents of the Turkish sultans were equally colorful and magnificent as those of the Persians. These jewels depicted figures of all the flora and fauna of the world. Poland as the "rampant of Christendom" withheld the Moslem expansion into Europe and at the same time absorbed the Eastern styles. military science and equipment. Turkish Tents in Poland From the fifteenth through the seventeenth centuries. 1565. Elmo. pottery. the capital itself was the tents of the monarch and his infantry. horse breeding. All the trade routes going to the East led through Poland. Nadir Shah. The interior arrangement was much like a modern apartment with lodgings for all ranks and chambers for pleasure. music. goldsmiths' products. His tent poles were similarly inlaid with precious gems as was the set of standing screens surrounding his peacock throne. nursery. spices. and amethysts. Though some of these encampments had walls or buildings for harem. Grand Master's Palace. and precious stones .

(Wawel Museum. canvas. Poland) . The wall decorations (see this page) consist of a row of Mooresque arcades with medallions growing out of vases and ornamented with sprays of blooming flowers. Krakow. Although the exterior is plain . The cartouches on the walls contain Sulus script invocations from the Koran in gilded leather. These patterns closely resemble those on the walls of Oriental palaces of the same period. It measures 44 x 10112 feet. and leather appliques. Also note that the designs on the tent walls are repeated directly above on the tent top. the interior is blue canvas decorated with a mosaic of multicolored satin. It was taken as war booty in the seventeenth century by Polish armies .18 The Tent in History This is a two-poled Turkish oval tent pitched in the Wawel Museum in Poland (opposite page). The diagonally striped flounce barely visible at the bottom is three-colored.

19 Eu rope and Asia .

No other structure in the camp was raised until this task was accomplished. dervishes. and vases overlaid with complex flower and plant patterns. on the inside they were decorated with an elaborate wealth of applique of glossy satin. Then a mosque tent and other large marquees for high officials (often joined by passages of covered canvas). The king's scarlet tent called the siwan had a golden orb on top and was always the first to be set up. and the nighttime lanterns of colored glass created a theater of color. beggars. and siwan were enclosed within an area of about an acre with a nine-foot-high white canvas wall decorated with dark blue designs. Standard bearers. The tent floors were covered with rugs. Although the majority of his retinue had white tents . Although plain on the exterior. men with performing monk~ys. acrobats. velvet. or dining rooms for the army. The tents themselves were made of thick line~ (musulbas) . slaves. The tents of the rest of the king's followers were packed snugly together outside the wall. making Poland the second largest repository of Turkish tents. the total effect was no less grand than those of the Turkish and Persian camps. scarlet and blue infantry uniforms. and garden tents with draped curtains instead of walls were used for shade on very hot days . Twelve of these tents exist today in the Wawel Museum in Krakow. extending in every direction. or boards. ornately decorated horse coverings and trappings. the royal stables. The various structural styles were related to function: round or polygonal tents with umbrella-shaped roofs and oblong ones with rectangular walls and ridge or flat roofs were used as stables.20 The Tent in History It was from Persia that the greatest variety of construction and decoration of tents was available. stores. and gilded leather. Lamps and lanterns provided lighting. snake charmers. and supported by poles ending in gilded balls. skins. several hundred tents were captured. after Turkey itself. candelabra. Moroccan Tents The tents of Moroccan royalty also varied little between the eleventh and nineteenth centuries. medallions. laced together by ropes. and lepers made up the vast cast of actors. the imperial parisols of red and gold. the spectacular ovals were used for councils of war and ceremonial occasions. At the battle of Vienna in 1683. Poland. linen . cotton. visiting tribesmen. monarchs. In the seventeenth century the overall desired impression was that of a garden in the palace. They were arranged so close that only a few spaces were left open for camp exits. Vast quantities of brilliant silken banners brocaded with golden orbs. and this was achieved through naturalistic renderings of arcades over lamps. and so on) often had antechambers. multicolored saddles. merchants. square tents like throne canopies with side walls were used for official purposes. . all overlaid with detailed embroidery. and furniture . Special-occasion tents (for parades. robed scholars. and European additions included windowpanes.

21 Europe and Asia Tents erected for the circumcision fete of the son of the Grand Vizir in Constantinople in 1864. Photo below shows the Grand Vizir's personal tent used to receive guests.Taking Tickets in the Harem" and was "sketched by our special artist on the steamer from Constantinople to Varna. (Illustrated London News) From Graphic. this picture is entitled "The Eastern Question .. Ltd . which was a great occasion with much celebration. An attendant collects tickets and the curious passengers look on. published in 1877 by illustrated Newspapers. The larger tent was used for the actual ceremony itself. ." A simple tent has been erected to provide shelter for the women of a sultan's harem.

and fighting antelopes for the entertainment of the king. silver. and gold with fringes on the edges. and their domestics . This was done so that at the end of each day's hunting a fully prepared camp was always ready for the ruler. The largest tent (called the Am-kas). The elephants carried the largest tents and heavy poles. stables. their tents could not be red as that was the color reserved for the king. 200 camels. Sixty or more elephants carried the various ladies of the court who were protected by eunuchs. a species of elk. and a traveling zoo. It was used for conducting affairs of state. The king traveled on men's shoulders in a field throne. a smaller bathing tent (the goslekane). such as the royal porcelain dinnerware. or. and the mules took the luggage and kitchen tools. to command that their tents be torn down. The second one up. who prided themselves on the loftiness of their tents but had to make sure their tents were not conspicuous enough for the king to notice and. when they arrived an excellent dinner was awaiting them since the kitchen and every necessary article had been sent forward the preceding night immediately after supper. Outside the enclosed imperial square smaller squares with tents housed the lesser rajas and omras. leopards for hunting antelopes. Market bazaars for supplying the needs of the troops were laid out in a wide road through the army in the direction of the next day's travel. Bengali buffaloes to attack lions. and the rest serviced the attendants. dogs. The king gave audiences on a magnificent stage seated under a velvet or flowered silk canopy. therefore . Sleeping at ease until they reached their tents. the camels bore the smaller tents. royal ladies. guards were posted every 500 feet . The ground was covered with cotton mats about three or four inches deep and then blanketed with a rich carpet topped with brocaded cushions for seating. 100 mules. which was a two-story pavilion. The lords usually traveled stretched out on a bed in a palanquin. Each camp required at least 60 elephants. One of them kept a constant distance of one day' s journey in advance of the other. The third tent sheltered the privy council. lions and rhinoceros for display. Other royal tents had similar canopies and also lightweight screen like booths called karguas lined with flowered stain or brocade with gold and silk fringes. was erected first on the highest platform. gilt-painted beds. was where the king held court every night. The royal tent fabric was a coarse striped red cloth with an interior lining of hand-painted chintz ornamented with satin and embroidery of silk. The procession brought along its own prized animals: bi rds of prey for show and field sports. weather permitting. by elephant. and precious furnishings. other attendants. and 100 porters to transport it. For that reason too. Beyond the rajas and omras were tents for officers. The valuable light items. on horseback. were entrusted to the porters. Moreover.22 The Tent in History SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY HUNTING TENTS OF THE INDIAN SERAGLIO Hunting parties of the seventeenth-century Indian sultans were divided up into two separate camps called Peiche-kanes ("houses which precede").

spade. with its curtained wall and canopy . The tent entrances at both ends had triangu lar cu rtains fitted with loops and were made from seven narrow strips of joined canvas. a length of fourteen feet and width of six feet.23 Europe and Asia around the whole encampment for robbers were always a threat to this extravagant procession. The total weight of the tent hardware and accessories (an ax. . 1700) Emperors' Tents The emperor and attendants employed the round yurt and cagelike tents similar to those used by Tatar tribes during the yearly hunting expeditions. Plain blue linen lined the interior and the tent poles carried ornamental shaped iron crowns. this encampment has a dignity about it. Finally the strong linen canvas (about 105 square feet) was stretched over the sloping roof frame and was attached to the ground and along its edges by bark rope loops pegged by large wooden pins. However.probably of silk . (Metropolitan Museum of Art) . this tent was a tente d'abri (see page 31). For this small tent with a height of five feet. and camp kettle) was seventeen pounds. Chinese Military Tents From outward appearances. hammer. the military used a small marching tent. shovel. The main tent is a yurt and the lattice wall can be seen inside both the yurt and the tent at far right. Chinese painting from an early Ming (Iatefourteenth-century) handscroll showing the pavilion of a Chinese nobleman.under which the nobleman held court. five inches . CHINESE TENTS (C. Then a nine-piece framework fitted into corresponding sockets was locked in place by iron pipes. Though austere. the Chinese made it quite complex structurally and much work went into erecting it. The covering fabric was supported by a wooden top piece consisting of two vertical poles connected with a horizontal ridge piece with nine holes in it. However. a framework of eleven pieces and eighty tent pins were required. The largest strip was seven feet in height and they progressively decreased in size down to two inches tall.

The plan of the temple complex generally resembled that of an imperial palace with the architectural character varying according to region." 1877. 1877) . Pitching this one was a real undertaking. Tents and Tent Life. (From William Simpson's Meeting the Sun. (British Museum) Chinese "Temple of Heaven. 1793. The ornate canopy is for shade as well as for decorative purposes. 1858) The Chinese Emperor Ch'ien Lung is carried forth to meet Lord Macartney (at far right). with descending levels and various gateway buildings built along the main axes radiating out from the center circle (see upper right). who was sent to China by George III in an attempt by the British to ease trade restrictions imposed by the emperor on the British East India Company September 14. (From Godfrey Rhodes. The temple shown here is a raised circular terrace. Eighty pins were required to join and peg it.24 The Tent in History This Chinese soldiers' tent was used in the 1800s. Macartney refused to kowtow to the Emperor and only in an informal setting such as in front of this gaily decorated tent could this breach of court etiquette be made acceptable to the Chinese.

lofty. The wall of the encampment is formed by a circular tent structure.25 Europe and Asia EUROPEAN TENTS British Tents Early Anglo-Saxon soldiers' tents were made merely of cloth or leather strung on ropes stretched over the tops of long poles and were anchored by wooden hooks driven into the soil. tent fabric was made of white and dyed linen. circular. New York Public Library) . Their sloped roofs shed the rain and some even had doors at their entrances. His future father-in- This eighteenth-century engraving is one of a series depicting the victories of the Chinese Emperor Ch'ien Lung. Fourteenth-century tournament tents of the nobility were richly colored. and often had turret or garret-shaped windows in their roofs. The king's tent resembled the nineteenth-century hospital tent except that its walls were twice as high and ended with a brief sloping top. emblazoned with coats of arms. Cochin from Victoires et conquetes de f'empereur de fa Chine. By the time of Edward II's expedition to Scotland in 1301 A. (Engraving by C. and bell-shaped with a circular ring about two-thirds up the height onto which outside ropes were anchored to the ground. Prints Division. The tents of Edward III are described as beautifully decorated. 1770-74. In the fifteenth century Henry V used a large blue and green embroidered velvet tent with a gold eagle on top as a rendezvous shelter when negotiating with the French king for a favorable marriage settlement to obtain the hand of the French princess Catherine. N. and within townspeople are seen paying tribute to the emperor. Paris.D.

tt }lIt (\ !lUll. rounml'1(r qUl(:.qtuf lA'ur .. < fOll&1mt tfftmrrbf q :::: t-ftfjw~ r~l~ (rUt' ([" {tt.'t-llllfUt& .1 . (Bibliotheque Nationale Service Photographique. In a siege they were often pitched near to the enemy walls. Ot~ & [. Tents were sited to take advantage of the natural resources and defenses of the terrain.m(fHU~ fulf"\l 'lm 0 . 1858-75) fttn.""' ...m& fa mtt'bl " 6«. u-.::. ov ~ f. such as the bombards or primitive cannons. which in those days could not fire more than 300 yards. 5594) Twelfth-century French military tent.. ((. The weaponry shown here.6Cc qUtilc Oltrcu6M V. are of a later period.lit I (t{'(tH.mr lJ!Ollt Jfttfm "t. ct lUU'l1'Ur qtll(~ af f t(t'fnUU't({ ttV wit . [.f.l. .'ur rourfufum .1IC fitCH lXntc Il\lH~ 1-1cnOl( pC". (Eugene Emmanuel Viollet-Le-Duc. f~ f't< ~111~ f\'((\. CVtl>}tllr. Dictionnaire raisonne de mobifier fram. Fr.tCluCftc 'flIt t.i\' d. Tents of this and the next few centuries were the most superbly decorated in European history since the Dark Ages. and could still be out of range of the cannon.Jf.nov fr l'. flit «. Ms.ef.ais de L'epoque Carlo ingienne a fa Renaissance.26 The Tent in History Fourteenth. «1 lI(t . V!1)(O'(t romutr pH rott...')«cuttt' (. "..~ 111~ ~ f. I(~o(r . 'fm(~tOt~ ()lttl'l'l1ttttttr f'lft (Il1tTtr fl~~ ~ tmu'&. . This fifteenth-century miniature shows the Crusaders besieging Moslem Ascalon on the coast of the Holy Land.H((\1!f ~h1Hr (!'t\e CUt' &fr.and fifteenth-century tents Tents with conical tops were widely used during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries .1lhlHt count fCUl'\ HOWer f~ "mH~ tthUI.l folltlC .fill f~1'n1t f('t(l~ ~lUOU'Hrt'l1" . ~l . umHlt \\11t1( \'ttl(lItt~ .lIt tnut' (flX\lHtl. (XHlf (((I.w :::..

These two drawings show tents erected at tournament sites . Top photo shows two contestants being blessed by monks before entering into judicial combat . Field of the Cloth of Gold The idea of a summit meeting in June 1520 between Henry VIII and Francis I was considered a turning point in relations between Great Britain and France. Tents. Paris) law countered with a pavilion of blue velvet embroidered with fleurs-deIys. (From Barfields Historical illustrations. So rich were the costumes and pavilions of both courts that the meeting was dubbed "Field of the Cloth of Gold" and hailed as the eighth wonder of the world. near Calais. jousting. The monarchs were housed in a large temporary palace of brick and timber and the chief cou rtiers were put up in nearby GUlnes Castle. athletic meeting with tournaments. The meeting was to be a combination political conference. and wrestling. and spent a month. The others were accommodated in an encampment of nearly 400 tents that Richard Gibson. topped off with a series of state banquets. Up until then the two monarchs had never met and rivalry and suspicion prevailed between the two countries." had erected in nearby fields. traveled to Ardres. "Master of the King's Hales. 1868) . Tents with dormer windows appeared late in the fourteenth century and disappeared shortly thereafter. and Pavilions. 1938) Bottom photo shows the feat of arms at a tournament held at Inglevere. The counselors for the two parties met in a purple velvet tent between the two camps. Five thousand one hundred and seventy-two English men and women and 2865 horses crossed the channel to Calais.27 Eu rope and Asia Left: liThe Lady with the Unicorn: Amon seul desir (tapestry detail). (Art Journal. (Musee de Cluny. Gibson's tour de force was a vast. and a festival of music and drums.

Henry wrestled with Francis. and didn't like it . SEMPER: VIVAT: IN CAETERUS." was constructed by joining together several large hospital-type tents which were connected by canvas passages at half the height of the tents." etc. intended for the evening's festivities. A marriage between Mary Tudor and the dauphin was arranged but never materialized. Still. which ran completely around the tent in gold letters. and the fairy-tale palaces of Ariosto's Orlando Furioso. were accidentally exploded. it was never built. the tents of this conference are the most splendid of the Renaissance. ended up on the ground. the year before. The meeting was not entirely a success. once.28 The Tent in History highly ornate banqueting tent. A drawing of some of the 400 tents erected for the Field of the Cloth of Golef.though Henry later acquitted himself well in the archery contest. It was compared to the work of Leonardo da Vinci. and the Field of the Cloth of Gold remains one of the most fabulous encampments ever. His inscription. And during the solemn mass at noon on Saturday. fireworks in the shape of a dragon. To commemorate the meeting a chapel of Our Lady of Friendship was to be built and jointly maintained by the kings. but Henry shaved his because his number-one wife Catherine of Aragon didn't like him unshaven (but he was readily forgiven by the queen mother of France who said love was shown in men 's hearts and not in their beards). June 23. While en route to France Henry aroused French suspicion by meeting at Dover with Charles V of Spain. the Tudor colors. By 1522 Henry and Francis were supporting opposing sides in the Hapsburg-Valois struggle and were right back where they started. The complex was in crimson silk embroidered with gold and crimson and ornamented with fringe. Henry's tent. who was preparing for war with France. on the spur of the moment. called the "Royal Encampment Tent. read: "DEO:ET:MON:DROET. Though it was agreed the monarchs would not take part in any joust or combat against the other. interlaced with white and green. (By Gracious Permission of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II) . (British Museum) Field of the Cloth of Gold. France. who had died at Amboise. As an act of friendship both men had sworn not to shave their beards until the meeting had taken place. covered outside with cloth painted to look like brickwork and decorated inside with gold and silver cloth. where Henry VIII and Francis I held a summit meeting in June 1520.

Frameworks were usually constructed when the ship was built and canvas could be stretched over this when protection from the elements was needed. Another made of 30. These were covered with both a canvas roof and inner lining and A Venetian tent. At a peace conference in 1393. which had bases of six to eight feet and horizontal ridge poles atop two vertical stakes. the tents of Charles the Bold. Manufactures. fell into the hands of the Swiss after the Battle of Grandson. and those of the duke of Burgundy were the ultimate in loot. while still being protected from sun and rain . Guy ropes branching into five parts distributed the pull on the eaves of the tent and were typical of that period .100 ells (37. Tents were often used aboard ship as seen on the afterdeck of the Venetian sailing galley below. then duke of Burgundy. This striped yard tent was designed with weights suspended from the unattached sides in order to stabilize them . (Detail from a fifteenth-century woodcut by Bernhard von Breydenbach which appears in his book Peregrinatio in Terram Sanctam) . The window frames and the duke's throne were of solid gold and the rope stays supporting his tent had gold cords woven into them. The scene here shows "D~sir seeking help from Honneur to rescue Coeur" from the Livre de Coeur d 'Amour Esprins. Tents were always considered prize booty. Afterward the fabric was cut up and sold. April 1820 : title varies) Excellent example of fifteenth-century tents. and other jewels.625 yards) of fabric was built to cover a palace courtyard in Dijon at a fete given for the king and his court. The coat of arms over the entrance was appropriately inlaid with diamonds. The occupant could enjoy unobstructed views and breezes and feel more outdoors. a. 1476. By the fifteenth century the tents of the duke of Burgundy reached heights of grandeur with exteriors of colored canvas and interiors lined with velvet and silk curtains embroidered with golden leaves. (From Repository of Arts. London. On March 2. (State Library of Vienna) Venetian galley with a tent. monthly publication by Ackerman. a chivalric tale from an illustrated manuscript of the fifteenth century. Fashions . since no hall was large enough to accommodate all the guests.29 Europe and Asia French Tents A fourteenth-century tent of the duke of Burgundy was made of wooden planks covered with painted canvas and shaped to look like a castle flanked by towers. pearls. Literature. Commerce. and Politics. probably fifteenth-century. Four hundred other grand tents of the nobles were situated around his. Officers had larger pavilion-shaped tents called marquees. French military tents of the eighteenth century were single pole structures made from one piece of canvas and sheltered six to eight soldiers. his retinue of 3000 was arranged in lines of tents forming a village with streets.

After supper. (Collection of Raymond Prestia) June 25. M. These giant tents were set up for the nobility to review the royal procession as it approached the city . and the migration continues. The next day. 1807. Weiss . The Emperors talked alone for some three hours. Histoire de I'habitation humaine depues les temps prehistorique jusqu 'a nos jours. I think I would make him my mi stress.30 The Tent in History View of Strasbourg in 1744. which separated Western Russia from Na- poleonic Europe. The engraving is by M." (New York Public Library Prints Division) Wandering Gypsies in France. a defeated Tsar Alexander I meets Napoleon (the shorter monarch) aboard a lavishly decorated barge moored midstream near Tilsit in the Neman River. and the families sleep inside. (Eugene Emmanuel Viollet-Le-Duc. Mavye after a drawing by J. 1875) . the cloth is taken down. and the oxen hitched up. the women spread out woolen cloth over the wagons. Camp has been made under the light ofthe full moon. showing the arrival of Louis XV by the Porte de Severne. and Napoleon later wrote that if the t sar " were a woman .

they usually were delivered to campsites by horse and wagon. In constructing a tente d'abri for six men. and a section of a tent pole. 7. 1858) Grose continues. (Godfrey Rhodes. French." The tente d'abri or "tent of cover" is intended to serve as a temporary bivouac for troops on the march. and other armies used this style in the Crimea . 9. These tents have been used by soldiers of all nations for centuries. 1. The same seen in the rear. 8. (Godfrey Rhodes. Tents along this line could not be broken down into sections and carried like the tente d 'abri. This type of tent is easy to pitch and its conical shape enables it to withstand wind and shed water quite efficiently. The center pole with the cross for supporting the arms. " from Grose' s Military Antiquities of 1801. 10. Tenting and Tent Life." The Swedish employed a conical tent for their soldiers during the nineteenth century. His caption reads. It consists of canvas sheets. "Fig. 1858) . 2. Tenting and Tent Life. A captain's tent or marquis with a chimney. " Fig . four sheets button together to form the covering and the two remaining sections close the triangular openings at each end. a few pegs. 3. A bell-tent viewed in the front. A captain's marquis shown in a different point of view. His servant's tent in the rear. A field officer' s marquis.31 Europe and Asia "Modern Tents. The British.

Turkey.32 The Tent in History Allied camp on plateau before Sebastopol in the Crimean War (1853-56). Crimean War. striped fabric was the last remnant of this tradition as modern military tents moved into the twentieth century. (Photograph by Roger Fenton. Size and splendid decoration set apart the officers' tents of previous centuries. Bethlehem. Great Britain. This is the famous tent she took with her wherever she traveled. 1861. 1855 . and later Sardinia were fighting Russia over treaty rights of intervention and protection of the Christian Holy Places in Jerusalem. Library of Congress) French Officers delivering punishment to a guilty soldier. Note the striped officers' tents in background with door flap extended and supported as and awning . 1861) . showing that Her Majesty is present . Ireland. France. The banner flies from the mast. (Illustrated London News and Sketch. all being under Turkey' s dominion at the time. and Golgotha. Sketch made of Queen Victoria's tent during her visit to Derricunihy. Pictured are conical military tents commonly used in the middle of the nineteenth century. Killarney.

33

Europe and Asia
Ads from the Illustrated London News, late 1880s. The British developed the fly tent as they ventured into warmer climates. The fly acts as a sunshade and also keeps the interior dry during exceptionally heavy rainfall. "Rot-proof" (right) refers to some of the early treatments of canvas, such as wetwax, which sealed the canvas and prevented mildew. Meanwhile, back home, garden tents (left) served the Victorians outside during mild weather. Manufactured in various sizes and shapes, they were usually elaborately decorated.

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The wet-plate cameraman at work . (From Photography in the Field, 1853)

The wet-plate cameraman set off for fieldwork with all of his elaborate apparatus , including his darkroom tent, carried if not on his back then by wagon or pack animal. This engraving dates from 1863.

34 The Tent in History

were pegged down in the usual way. This double roof helped to waterproof the tent and insulate it as well. Nineteenth-century military tents were of four types: the six-man tente d'abri for temporary bivouac protection, the sixteen-man, oblong and wedge-shaped tente de troupe, the twenty-man circular tente conique, and the twenty-man walled tente

conique

a murail/e.

Tent used by His Royal Highness the Prince ~ of Wales on a state visit to India in 19051906. This tent was pitched in the old Mongol capital of Delhi, the future site of another splendid encampment in 1911 , when the Prince returned as King George V to be crowned emperor of India. (Library of Congress)

CORONATION DURBAR OF GEORGE V, KING OF ENGLAND AND EMPEROR OF INDIA
In December 1911, in the old Mogul capital of Delhi , an absolutely matchless extravaganza took place. George V, accompanied by his wife Queen Mary, came to India to be crowned emperor of India. Undoubtedly the royal encampment that accommodated the monarchs was the most splendid in the history of the Western world. As Prince of Wales, the king had traveled to India in 1905-1906 and, upon ascending the throne in 1910, one of his first royal decisions was to return for a coronation durbar. (A durbar is the gathering of chiefs to pay homage.) The king felt that his visit would " tend to allay unrest and, I am sorry to say, seditious spirit, which unfortunately exist in some parts of India." There were all sorts of problems - if the king were to crown himself emperor, would this set a precedent and then every monarch have to follow suit? And what about a crown? The king could not take the crown of England, which is also the crown of India, from the Tower of London to India. So, since a new crown would have to be made, who would pay for it? (It was finally decided that the cost would be covered by Indian government revenue.) The royal yacht dropped anchor in Bombay on December 2, 1911, amidst much fanfare, and after three days in Bombay, their Majesties boarded a train for Delhi. There they were splendidly received . Every ruling prince of the Indian Empire was present. There were 161 in all, each with complete retinue and regalia - elephants, camels, gold and silver palanquins, mace bearers, bodyguards in chain-and-mail. armor, horse-drawn drums, riflemen with ancient matchlocks and state swords and banners, in short, all the symbols of power and sovereignty symbolizing centuries of Asian history. Some 250,000 people in all descended upon an instant imperial capital, a tent city covering forty-five square miles, over twice the size of Manhattan. There were 475 separate camps - the emperor's camp alone sprawled over seventy-two acres and contained more than 2000 tents for 2140 people. The size of the other camps was dependent upon the rank of the chief involved. All the maharajas encamped in competitive splendor on plots of from 10,000 to 25,000 square yards, which housed from 100 to 500 attendants. Then there were camps for military detachments, provincial governors, the governor-general and other dignitaries, as well as camps for the police, the foreign office, and the massed bands.

A British encampment at Agra, India, 1858. The British Army used the same plans for military encampments that the Roman s had brought to Britain, just as today the last ve stiges of the British in India remain with th e Indian Army. (Illustrated London News, July 31 , 1858)

35

Europe and Asia

The Prince of Wales, who was :ater to become George V of England, sits amid the booty of an afternoon's hunt. (And one wonders why there are so few tigers left in India.) The tent is the standard British fly tent. Canvas pieces could be attached to guy ropes supporting the fly in order to protect the sides from the heat of the sun, as seen on the right side of this tent. (Library of Congress)

The drawing room tent for the Prince of Wales. On the couch surrounding tent poles, left, and table in foreground are copies of newspapers (top newspaper, far left, is the Bombay Gazette ), candelabra attached to poles and chandeliers provided illumination. Also note fireplace with clock atop mantel left of center. (Library of Congress)

36 The Tent in History

This photograph of the 1911 Delhi Coronation Durbar was taken by the Underwood and Underwood photographer from the veranda of the viceroy' s residence. (Library of Congress)

Queen Mary' s sitting room, Delhi camp . When George had previously visited India his tents were not supplied with electricity . These in 1911 were - note the light switch on tent pole in foreground. The floors of the tents were made by laying planking , then covering that with carpeting . At lower left can be seen ridges of uneven planking. The decorator here even had pictures hung on the tent walls to make Her Majesty feel more at home. (By Gracious Permission of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II)

King George and Queen Mary in their purple , gold, and ermine imperial robes of state (his was eighteen feet long) stand under the homage pavilion at the Delhi Durbar. Over 150,000 attended; the effect upon the emperor was said to be "profound." (By Gracious Permission of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II)

37

Europe and Asia

The services were complex and extensive. There were forty-four miles of railway line constructed with twenty-nine fully-equipped railroad stations. Within four days, 190 special trains and 256 regular trains converged on the encampment; 75 million pounds of goods and 100,000 parcels were delivered. There were 2832 miles of telephone line, 1000 miles of telegraph line; a main post office with twenty-five substations employing 700 people who handled 5.25 million pieces of mail; six major hospitals and a veterinary hospital; fifty-two miles of water mains, sixtyfive miles of distribution pipes providing 3 million gallons per day for people and half a million per hour for animals; a dairy with 2000 milch cows and 500 workers producing 550,000 pounds of milk, 60,000 pounds of butter, and 12,000 pounds of cream for the nine days. And the animals consumed 2 billion pounds of fodder. Their Majesties spent the five days before the durbar in diplomatic visits. The ruling chiefs were received by the emperor in the throne room of his pavilion. The empress received the ladies of high estate and was presented, in true imperial fashion, with jewels and other extravagant tributes. And there were state banquets, polo tournaments, state church services, and an elaborate presentation of colors. The durbar itself was held in a gigantic stadium and more than 150,000 attended. In the middle of the stadium were five levels of platforms. The top was fifteen feet above the ground and held two gilded thrones covered by a red and gold canopy, the roof of which was bordered with crimson and gold velvet. A causeway connected this pavilion to a lower one, which was the homage pavilion onto which the emperor and empress descended from their carriage. After much hullabaloo - gun salutes, national anthems, speeches, and unfurling of banners - the 355 representatives of the peoples of India made obeisance to the sovereignty of the emperor and his consort as the band played, appropriately enough, stately marches from European operas. Then the emperor and empress walked around the platform and ascended the twenty-six steps to the summit and stood before their golden thrones while trumpets blared. Heralds entered on white horses and read proclamations in English and Urdu. This was followed by more trumpet fanfare, more national anthems (played by 1600 musicians), salvos of artillery (fi rst from the east, then from the west), cheers for the emperor, three cheers for the empress, three feux de joie, and the national anthem yet again. The emperor made another short speech in which he unexpectedly announced moving the capital from Calcutta to Delhi. With that, the master of ceremonies was commanded to close the durbar. And then out of the amphitheater went the emperor and empress, followed in descending order of rank by all the notables until 100,000 Indians were left. These people passed silently before the empty throne of the emperor of India. They prostrated themselves before the throne, touched the fringes of the carpets on which their Majesties had stood, and rubbed their heads with the soil the emperor had trod upon. And that was the coronation durbar of 1911. It gave rise to one of the greatest tent cities in the world and marked the high point of the British Empire. It was the best durbar ever ... and it was the last.

Twenty thousand delegates and visitors gathered under this huge white dome. Appalling conditions confronted the government of Bangladesh in 1972. handwoven khaddar.38 The Tent in History India. made of handspun. View of Dacca shanty town where many refugees are temporarily housed . Fabric. matting. (United Nations/Wolff PAS) . presides over the thirty-ninth Indian National Congress. when the new nation came into being as a consequence of a devastating civil war between the army of West Pakistan and the primarily Bengali population of East Pakistan. Mahatma Gandhi. or cardboard structures serve as shelter for the refugees. July 1925. center.

The tents are conical with walls that can be lifted and tied up to provide ventilation. Gerizim. These camps were the first homes for many of the jews who came in the late 1940s to what has now become Israel. Tents house the Samaritans who travel each year at Passover to Mt. jordan. The 300-yearold Samaritan temple on Mt. Gerizim was destroyed in 128 B.C. (Library of Congress) . and on the summit are the ruins of the fortified Church of justinian (527-565) . Samaritan tradition still holds that the sacrifice of Isaac took place here. and the "navel of the earth. (Library of Congress) Immigration camp of the Zionist Commission in Palestine. the only center of worship. the chosen place of God.39 Europe and Asia Samaritan camp. by the jews." Beyond the tents is the altar where animal sacrifices are still made. Gerizim. Tel Aviv. Mt.

October 1971. (Illustrated London News) Modern Jews observe the festival of Succoth (from Hebrew sukkah meaning " tent" or " tabernacle") by constructing symbolic tents as reminders of the time when the Israelites had no permanent place to live or worship . The expedition flew in on the plane at right. in front of tent with the standard. With vents and windows these tents are more suited for use in dry and warm climates. (Library of Congress) Base camp. 1937. (Embassy of Iran) . on the Arctic Circle in northeast Canada. Persepolis. (Library of Congress) United Nations Emergency Force. At that time relations between Jews and Arabs were better. An insulated black tent served as shelter until a more permanent structure could be constructed. 1946. (National Museums of Canada) Soviet Air Expedition at the North Pole. in Transjordan. center. A unique style of wall tent shown in the background has windows all around and large vents on the roof.40 The Tent in History Future king of Jordan Emir Abdullah. which accounts for Arabic writing lining the fabric walls of this structure. Iran. A party of four remained at the Pole for a year making scientific observations. December 1956. and his brother Ali. A tent city was erected at the ancient ceremonial center of Persepolis. Nettilling Lake. The members of this 1916 English expeditionary camp built a snow wall around their tents to break the wind just as many nomads erect brush walls around their tents to serve the same purpose. Egypt. Windows are made of mosquito netting with zippered flaps inside. Port Said . Pictured here is an interior view of a sukkah constructed at Goldsmidt House in Jerusalem in 1937. (United Nations) Twenty-five hundredth Anniversary of the Persian Empire.

yes. Give us a song to cheer Our weary hearts.C. The tents had central poles with two dowels. Smithsonian Institution. The tents of the American Revolution were almost all oval or rectangular wall tents of various sizes . D. chivalry. There were also smaller "bells of arms" tents for the storage of arms (see photos). Instead. royal courts. At the end of the 1777 campaign.S. America was the frontier. they built log cabins. 1870 The tent has played an incredibly large and vital role in the development of this country. last words. October 12. Other commissioned officers were quartered four to a private's tent while noncommissioned officers George Washington's field tent. "Tenting Tonight. which supported the rifle barrels. During campaign season there frequently were not enough tents and soldiers who weren't fortunate enough to crowd into one had to sleep out in the rain and heavy dews. (History and Technology Building.) . Civil War song Let the tent be struck. our history did not include any of the nobility.2 AMERICA We're tenting tonight on the old campground. or pomp that depended on sumptuous tents when away from palaces or castles." U. a potentially rich one.Walter Kittridge. Lee (1807-1870). Washington. and when they decided to stay. . However. The Continental Army followed British patterns and practice as best they could under the circumstances. for example. a song of home And friends we love so dear. but those who were exploiting it depended on simple wall tents to get them where they were going. Robert E. each field officer of all the regiments was allowed a private's tent. placed at right angles about four feet from the ground.

measured 18 x 28 feet. The rest had to sleep outdoors. sometimes preaching in different parts of the campgrounds. according to the needs of the occupant.42 The Tent in History and privates were packed eight to a tent. late 1800s. and after Washington's death subsequently passed to the Smithsonian Institution. but mainly for "religion . The tent was returned to Mt. when possible. James McGready (c. Actually the wagon was a tent atop a wagon. Duck boards were laid for the floor. When no suitable houses were near a chosen campsite. As the name implies. there were reports of twelve privates to a tent. he had at least three tents to serve his needs. partly out of a need for social contact and festivity. In 1778 in the southern army. The largest. Kentucky. is generally credited with originating them in 1799-1801 in Logan County. Activities C & 0 Canal boats. Later it was adopted by the pioneers as the "prairie schooner" in the western expansion of this country. This period also marked a religious revival in this country and camp meetings spread rapidly. which accounts for its excellent condition today. his " dining marquee" (as he called it) and general headquarters tent used three poles. While on campaign. lowered. Washington acquired a large house in the area for his headquarters.000 people would gather." The meetings would be directed by a number of preachers who relieved each other in carrying on the services. those who attended camp meetings came prepared to camp out. a Presbyterian. The Conestoga wagon originated in the Conestoga Valley of Pennsylvania in 1725 and was first used by farmers to carry heavy loads long distances before the advent of railroads. Custer County. which could be dismantled and transported on a baggage wagon. (National Park Service) . The desire for social interaction and religious expression was partly fulfilled by the camp meeting movement. Nebraska State Historical Society) THE CAMP MEETING The life of the early settlers was a lonely and hard one. It was made of heavy. Even George Washington's field tents were modest affairs. and provisions. bedding. or removed.000 to 20. and had pink scalloped edging. Both had tent tops . Tents served as shelter for barge passengers and the families of the boat captains. People came partly out of curiosity. The early pioneers also traveled w ith the common wall tent. They would come from thirty to forty miles away and sometimes as many as 10. The canvas could be raised. (Solomon D . Butcher Collection. The general also had a smaller eight-foot-Iong sleeping tent and a baggage tent. 1760-1801). As the settlers pushed west they did so in canal barges or Conestoga wagons. These deck tents could also be disassembled easily so the barges could fit under bridges with low clearance. and on the canal boats the entire tent assembly could be removed to facilitate getting under low bridges.the canvas could be adjusted to fit con ditions. Emigrants entering the Loup Valley. unbleached woven linen. Nebraska. bringing tents. 1886. In winter quarters soldiers understandably preferred to erect more permanent log huts with fireplaces and six to eight bunks. These revivalist retreats centered around services in large tents or in forest clearings where log benches and a rude preaching platform constituted an outdoor church. Vernon after the Revolution. Camp meetings were outdoor religious meetings that usually were held in the summer and lasted for several days.

along with the frontier society that created them. But. This is a classic case of taking some lessons from the enemy. so named because that' s what the people did there . such as the Chautauqua Institution and the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association. and rolling upon the ground often accompanied the tremendous release that followed "conversion. Sibley.the stove was also designed by General Sibley. By 1811. Nonetheless there were two American varieties of tents using the tipi as a point of departure. but Sing Sing Prison is named after the old camp meeting site. which was established in 1867 and was nondenominational. the latter two being direct outgrowths of camp meetings. hurch for the winter. like the tipi. weddings. named after Confederate General Henry H . 1859) TIPI VARIATIONS The American Indian lived in one of the most functional and ingenious tents ever devised . had th'e ingenuity to integrate some of the features of the tipi into a field tent for his forces. shaking. The top of the tent was conical. Shakers. (See the drawing of a modern pyramid tent on page 173. but camp meetings were enthusiastically carried westward to the frontier by the Methodists." Understandably. and baptisms. Shouting.) But the white man went about eradicating both occupant and "pagan" tent with a vengeance. The Methodist Church profited most from the camp meeting and gradually incorporated it into its system of evangelism. A detachment of the Sixth U . hundreds of conferees would give testimony of their conversions and their having received the second blessing. (Arizona Historical Society Library) . Baptists. Pictured here are Sibley tents . Ossining is now the name of the nearest town. their significance passed after 1890. (Harper's . for the most part.) The tent was a common sight on the gold fields of California and the Klondike. At diverse encampments on both coasts. Cavalry camped near a Zuni Indian Pueblo in New Mexico (1890s) while on a routine practice march . the Methodist Bishop Francis Asbury reported in his journal that more than 400 meetings were being held annually along the frontier from Michigan to Georgia. This tent was superior to the wall tents being used by the U. Another tipi variation was the pyramid tent used by prospectors and sheepherders. c In a modified form camp meetings have continued to be a feature of social and religious life in the region between the Alleghenies and the Mississippi River. This Methodist camp meeting was held in August 1859 at Sing Sing. (For more information on tipis see Chapter 3.S. and there was an opening through which a stove pipe protruded . Henry Hopkins Sibley. Disciples. army in the Indian Wars and saw widespread use.S.the tipi. then they would return to their local denominational . New York . The Sibley tent was conical and had a very low cylindrical wall which could be raised or lowered. in the same terrain that spawned the tipi. a Confederate general in the Civil War. There was even a National Campmeeting Association for the Promotion of Holiness. and Cumberland Presbyterians. The Nomadics. especially in the West. and they still survive as summer Bible conferences and assemblies in other parts of the country. and it is actually a square tipi either attached to an exterior frame of saplings or tied to an overhead tree limb. camp meetings were sometimes occasions of wild enthusiasm and hysteria and they acquired a bad reputation among conservative churchmen. hymn singing. prayer meetings.43 America included preaching. The Presbyterian Church refused to participate after 1805.

Winter camp of a detachment of the 50th NYV Engineers. (Library of Congress) Winter officers' quarters of Captain J. Log walls were erected and then covered with two layers of canvas which served as a roof. complete with chimneys. (Library of Congress) . U. General Meade used the Wallach home in Culpeper. In the latter years of the Civil War the Sibley tent also appeared and in cold weather short vertical log walls would be used to insulate the exposed canvas sides. Gaps were left in the design for light entry. were near at hand and the house could be used for work. April 1864. Civil War. November 1864. This tent cabin has two layers o f canvas ..44 The Tent in History CIVIL WAR TENTS In the Civil War interesting tent variations appeared in winter encampments. Other canvas-roofed structures had log walls and additional outside insulating walls of pine branches. have been insulated with pine branches.: " . as his general headquarters in October 1863. (Library of Congress) . Coxe and wife at Headquarters. These tent houses. R. dining. At right the overhang and a vertical piece form a shed.S . The army took the time to construct these more permanent structures to withstand winter weather. U. The staff pitched their tents around the house and.one securely fastened to the structure and the other draped over it.\~~ Following the traditional military custom of requisitioning large houses as headquarters. Virginia. therefore.S. Army of the Potomac at Brandy Station .) ~ . and entertaining. Civil War. Both of these structures had either fireplaces or wood-burning stoves.

.... Wisconsin) . and later drama. entertainment. The purpose gradually expanded to cover the whole field of adult education and included popular entertainment. and sharpshooting... The most recent Wild West show was Colonel Tim McCoy's Wild West of 1938.. (Circus World Museum . Many distinguished Americans . Tents were widely used. with a rescue by the u. and lectures and entertainment were supplied by the central Chautauqua committees and the lyceum bureau.45 America THE CHAUTAUQUA MOVEMENT After the Civil War another social movement that was primarily educational instead of religious began. for example).. explorers. and since then there have been no more. Tents of the Buffalo Bill (William F. New York.the show took place on an open field surrounded by circus-type seats covered by a canvas canopy. or log cabin of a defenseless family. This was the Chautauqua movement. Cody) Wild West Show .. Radio and the movies diverted public attention and by 1924 the circuits ended.. and Beecher.authors (Thoreau. which started in Chautauqua. broncobusting. ---... the Wild West show was usually presented surrounded by canvas and not under it . Annie Oakley. music. "Little Miss Sure-Shot.- • • • • • • ~ L~r(!)J~~r1 ~~J~~il©~ : ~ .S. These shows featured events such as an Indian attack on the stagecoach. especially in warmer weather... the movement was organized commercially.. roughriding.. L .. The programs consisted of lectures. By 1912. Also.. ~ -. the best. (United States Post Office Department) 4 WILD WEST SHOWS Wild West shows have much in common with circuses except that Wild West shows emphasized displays and events of America's old West instead of wild animals and acrobats.contributed and lectured on the Chautauqua circuit. Emerson. and film stars such as Tom Mix and Will Rogers got their start in them.. for these meetings.----. roping. musicians. -. wagon train.. William Frederick "Buffalo Bill" Cody organized the first.. Cavalry..: Commemorative stamp of a Chautauqua tent issued in 1974 on the 100th anniversary of the movement in the United States . although the assembly at Chautauqua continued.. Indian ceremonies.. at a Methodist Episcopal camp meeting as an assembly for the study of the Bible and Sunday school methods. and the most famous Wild West show in 1883 and it toured the United States and Europe until it closed in 1913. Baraboo.." was one of the star attractions of the Wild West show. and political leaders .

but it saved the traveler from having to carry the extra load of tent poles. It took eleven trees to construct a framework for one wall tent . (Photo number 126-AR-4D-S in the National Archives . 1917. Tent stores were a common sight on the frontier . late 1880s. (Library of Congress) Klondike Gold Rush Camp.a wasteful use of resources. Alaska.46 The Tent in History Klondike Trading Company Store .) . Only when proprietors were assured of a steady flow of business would they abandon their tents and build more permanent structures .

47 America Main Street. (Library of Congress) . Nome. at Happy Camp. Guess which women are wearing corsets . Tents gradually disappeared as more permanent structures were built to accommodate the steadily increasing business and population of the new town . 1899. October 1897. such as wooden doors (left of center and left of Behring Saloon). Alaska. (Library of Congress) Actresses bound for the Klondike. Already a couple of these tents had semipermanent features.

48 The Tent in History Detention camp for yellow fever victims of Spanish-American War. Spanish-American War of 1898.S. (photo number 90-G-10A-7 in the National Archives) . (Harper's pictorial history of war with Spain. when Cuba was under U.S. This technique and the use of live virus vaccine for immunization later made possible the building of the Panama Canal. Half of the army in Cuba was afflicted with yellow fever and various forms of malaria. sanitary engineers under Major William Gorgas wiped out yellow fever and malaria. American battle losses in the war amounted to 487 men. 1899. deaths from disease were 1995. The tents shown here are along the simple lines of the tente d'abri. The tent is a standard wall tent with winglike flaps attached to the fly. Entire city blocks were covered with tents and fumigated with cyanide derivatives to kill disease-carrying mosquitos. In the three years following the SpanishAmerican War. military rule.S . Cuba. (Photo number CN-5117 in the National Archives) San Juan Hill terraced for tents of U. Franklin. Note brush shelters built over some tents (third and fifth terraces up). both door and overhead flaps could be secured to provide complete protection within . U. Army encampment. In harsh weather. 1899) Below: Yellow fever in Santiago de Cuba. Louisiana.

which gave our circus its shape. and all the other circuses that wanted to keep up did the same. is said to have invented the quarter poles that support the big top between the central king poles and the side poles." Gilbert Spaulding. (The Circus Maximus. Trick riding shows became the rage. "The Greatest Show on Earth" was transported on four trains made up of 107 seventy-foot railroad cars. The modern circus got its start in the latter half of the eighteenth century with performances of equestrian feats in horse rings strewn with sawdust and. he traced the first ring. W. Coup of Barnum. for instance. which they also have in common with the modern circus. Then Aaron Turner and Seth B. which also enabled them to perform year-round in any kind of weather. The circus itself is associated historically with the circuses of ancient Rome. being the most adaptable structure to accommodate a horse ring.those who didn't pay to get in missed it. and Castello made the change from horse and wagon to train. acrobats found their way into the circus and by the turn of the century they had become an integral part of it. under canvas. circuses were opened in New York and Philadelphia and horses continued to be the main attraction of the program until the early 1800s when wild-animal trainers appeared with their animal acts. (See page 114 for a picture of the Colosseum vela. Coup. Barnum.) The Roman circuses were sometimes covered by canvas. In 1872. Philip Astley (1742-1814). In 1859. Portable seats for the audience were also introduced at this time . if not its size. The age of the giant railroad circus had dawned. and by 1941. whose circus started off traveling by riverboat.49 America CIRCUS TENTS - THE LARGEST NOMADICS As America moved into the twentieth century a rather formidable departure in tents took place . in so doing. Also. with the invention of the flying trapeze (by Jules Leotard) and Charles Blondin's numerous crossings of Niagara Falls on a tightrope. went on the road with these traveling shows as they covered Europe . The first circuses in this country performed without ct tent in the open. Coup. the modern circus is derived only from the Roman amphitheater. Thus the big top was born.000. and tragic buffoonery of clowns found in the modern circus. is said to have had a seating capacity of 350. discovered that centrifugal force enabled him to keep his balance if he galloped in a circle and. C. however. and Castello.and that was the circus big top.) The Roman circus was a round or oval structure with tiers of seats for spectators enclosing a space in which horse racing or bloody and brutal spectacles took place. "Dr. for the most part. an English trick rider. In 1793. The tent. This is the antithesis of the display of human endeavor. Howes added tent roofs to their mid-Atlantic traveling circuses in the 1820s. And the big tops started getting bigger! Another factor that contributed to the growth of the American circus was the railroad. The clown entered the circus at this point in Philip Astley's show as a comedian on horseback. But this made it difficult to charge admission so canvas walls promptly appeared to make the circus a profitable show . introduced a system whereby the gaps . skillful management of animals.

(Photo: Elizabeth Hibb. (Circus World Museum. 1932. Monkmeyer Press Photo Service) . the tent canvas was spread around the poles and fastened to pole rings so that it could be raised. Wisconsin) After the center poles were positioned and secured with guy ropes. (Circus World Museum.as they moved from town to town. Baraboo . Monkmeyer Press Photo Service) Circus laborers or "roustabouts" of the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus roll a load of canvas and tent poles off a railroad car. Wisconsin) Elephants were then hitched up to raise the big top canvas .50 The Tent in History Elephants were used to raise the canvas big ~ top and when the circus was on the road the tent was pitched and struck daily sometimes as many as 100 times . The sides of the tent were then raised so ropes could be run underneath the canvas to the poles. Baraboo. (Photo by Lew Merrim.

51 America .

Once it is raised auxiliary poles are placed underneath. Baraboo. Finally a wall curtain is attached. Baraboo. Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey. (Circus World Museum.52 The Tent in History Above: Sells Floto Circus. (Circus World Museum. 1934. 1921 . Wisconsin) Big top interior during performance. The joining is done with the canvas on the ground. Wisconsin) . Seams in tent canopy can be seen where the roof sections are joined together.

J -.53 America Air billowing up big top during teardown. Barnum & Bailey big top fire of July 6. Connecticut. Circu s World is a pe rmanent fixture and the circus can still be seen there . Wisconsin) Ringling Brothers.( I )~ • . This one was the worst . Baraboo . The wax waterproofing treatment of canvas was a fire hazard and there were several major tent fires during the circus history. Baraboo . (Circus World Museum . Hartford . (Circus World Museum . Wisconsin) f t )1 Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circu s World in Florida. Many of these deaths were a result of panicked people clamoring for the exits when they could have escaped by lifting and going under the canvas sides of the big top. 1944.168 people were killed.

Wagons would be pulled by horse teams to the showgrounds. and hand-distributed printed bills. in order to make them pay. The modern system of rail-truck freight is based on the highly efficient technology of the old railroad circus. traditionally Philip Astley's forty-two foot diameter. horse tents. The town would have already been "papered" by a mass publicity campaign. The free parade was a spectacle in itself and all activity in the town came to a standstill for it." which brought the cook tent. and steam calliope. In Europe. the tents were set up with four center poles forming a square instead of poles in a singlefile line as in the American big tops. As the shows got bigger. The ring. This train would have departed while the circus was in progress in the preceding town. including Barnum & Bailey's Greatest Show on Earth. the great American tented circuses performed in what could be called canvas colosseums. Circus day itself was one of the highlights of the year in towns across the U. Then parade call was trumpeted .000 to 12. After two shows daily and the teardown.000spectator-tents were erected for one day in each town on a circus schedule. the Ringling Brothers. Next arriving would be the "canvas train" and then the "lumber train" (bearing construction materials). bringing a total of eleven major circuses under one owner. The first train to pull into the town would be the "flying squadron. Elephants (and later tractors) would raise the canvas of the big top and the circus would take form. always directed by arrows chalked on posts and trees by advance men. Big business was the impetus that gave America the fabulous spectacle which became truly The Greatest Show on Earth.the show could not be limited . The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Greatest Show on Earth at one time had three rings and five stages surrounded by a hippodrome track. In their heyday.000 people and covered more than two acres. had to be flanked by other rings with stages between them to fill the larger tents.M .54 The Tent in History between flatcars were bridged so the trains could be loaded from the end and each fully loaded wagon could be pushed down the entire length of the train. called "lot lice" by showmen. the wagons and teams returned to the trains and disappeared into the night. accommodating about 5000. bought out the Circus Corporation of America. The circuses were predominately family owned and tended to split up rather than combine.this was usually about eleven A. which took place at night. From 1840 onward. Most of the other big tops were somewhat smaller.S. from 1880 to 1920. in order to expand the area under the canvas and maintain the one-ring design. who already controlled six circuses. the 10. This was never the case in Europe where circuses maintained the one-ring format and met the highest standards. The big top of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus was supported by sixty-five-foot-high ridge poles for canvas which accommodated 10. This completely changed things .A. this was not the tradition. posters. In Europe. menagerie. The lot was a scene of mad activity: acres of canvas and a forest of poles were assembled before masses of curious people. banners. circus combines and amalgamations became widespread and by 1929. which included advertisements in the local papers.

world war. Traveling became more and more difficult as well. A great number of tenant farmers were compelled to leave their dust-ridden farms and go west as migrant workers . The wall tent provided most of the shelter. and overplanting. aftermath of San Francisco earthquake of April 18. Hard times uprooted many Americans and a large segment of the population became nomadic. Hundreds of people were killed and thousands were left homeless. most of them traveling by road instead of rail. and unscientific cropping aided the weather in making northwest Oklahoma part of the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. Union Square . During the depths of the Depression. recurrent droughts burned the wheat in the fields. the last big top came down. Army troops under General MacArthur. at John Ringling North ' s order. the circus business is booming: there are more than a hundred permanent and tenting circuses playing annually to about 22 million people. overgrazing. 1906. Motorization has enabled the canvas-tent circus to survive.even though it introduced the skill of the performer to a much larger audience . though many people were too poor to afford even that and erected lean-tos and shanties in forms determined by the materials at hand . THE TWENTIETH CENTURY In the first half of this century. tents were widely used in times of cataclysm. 1906. a violent earthquake . and . (A discount house now stands on the site . On April 18.) From then on the circus has appeared only in permanent metropolite buildings such as exhibition halls or their winter quarters . the actual attendance at performances fell. In Oklahoma in the 1920s.55 America to single acts and became an extravaganza that included aerial ballets and spectacular processions for mass effect. On the Heidelberg Raceway outside Pittsburgh. impoverished veterans of the First World War marched on Washington demanding bonus relief. drought. increased freight rates and labor problems forced The Greatest Show on Earth to give up tenting. In Europe the circus is alive and relatively well. The popularity of television also contributed to the decline of the circus . followed by disastrous fires. Migrants and other unemployed workers descended on factories where jobs were available and tent cities served as living quarters. war broke out and war brought jobs. With the end of the decade. (Library of Congress) . By the 1960s there were only thirty small circuses still touring the country. destroyed most of San Francisco's central residential and business districts.S. Building losses were approximately $100 million and total property loss was three times higher. Tent shelter. Others fled to outlying towns and by staying there gave impetus to the twentiethcentury suburban growth around the San Francisco Bay area. in 1956. They lived in squalor under conditions comparable to the frontline trenches and were finally forcibly evacuated by U. traveling in a grim search for work. Survivors camped in tents amid the ruins on the dunes west of San Francisco and in Golden Gate Park. In the Soviet Union. and depression.

The World War I veterans were protesting their inadequate war-relief benefits. Congress didn't agree and defeated the bill." the Bonus Expeditionary Army celebrates the news that Congress votes to act on the Patman bonus bill. New York City. early 1900s. (Photo by Jacob Riis. At this time fresh outdoor air (even in winter) was thought to be beneficial. City kids under an improvised tent shelter on the fire escape of their building on Allen Street.S. poor hygiene and nutrition rampant in large cities. and children of all ages in all parts of the world have improvised play tents. Museum of City of New York) Right: Fighting tuberculosis on the roof. It was considered shocking to the U. Museum of City of New York) Singing "Over There. (Photo by von Hartz. The tenting instinct is a strong one. (Library of Congress) . Until 1909 tuberculosis was the chief cause of death in the United States. 1916. 1932. New York. June 15. Approximately 7000 veterans erected a tent city near the Capitol in Washington under conditions comparable to those of the front line trenches . A major factor in its prevalence was the overcrowding. population at the time that veteran soldiers were living in conditions of penury and neglect.56 The Tent in History Left: August 4.

Modern methods of evacuation of the wounded (such as by helicopter) have phased out the Bell Stretcher Tent. American River Camp near Sacramento. July 1935. (Library of Congress) . California. This World War I stretcher enabled wounded soldiers to be carried over long distances while being completely protected from harsh weather that might worsen their condition. Migrant Workers. This mobile hospital consisted of two tents extending from each side of a truck in order to triple the functional space. (Scientific American. 1914) The Bell Stretcher Tent in opened and closed positions. When they arrived in California they found conditions no better than they had been in Tennessee. The tent is equipped with flaps that roll up and down over mosquito netting.57 America Motor hospital. It also folded up in one piece and required no assembly. San Joaquin Valley. World War I. These were former Tennessee coal miners following in the wake of relatives.

all with stoves inside. Arkansas. (Library of Congress) A tent camp that accommodates workers from the gunpowder plant in Childersburg. A street of modified square Sibley tents. Alabama. (Photo by Edwin Locke. in this camp for flood refugees. and the tent came through as quarters for workers flocking to locales where jobs were available. (Library of Congress) Tent street.58 The Tent in History Japanese-American detention camp during World War II. Forrest City. February 1937. Again the tent provides instant shelter for the homeless. May 1941. Library of Congress) . World War II brought with it jobs.

is quoted as saying.when they were evacuated. but the unifying spirit of nonviolent . October 22. In 1968 tents also housed the Poor People's Campaign on the Mall in Washington.their homes and jobs .59 America This contented carpenter's wife in Mission Valley near San Diego. Martin Luther King. (Photo by Rhoda Galyn) Also with the war came the relocation of thousands of Japanese naturalized citizens and native Americans of Japanese descent to detention camps for the duration of the war. of the 1212 who didn 't make it to the finish line. Library of Congress) A tent serves as a first aid area for New York City Marathon. though impoverished migrant workers continued to roam the country and use rough tents for shelter. "We're living in a tent because we wouldn't pay anyone thirty or thirty-five dollars for a two-room bug trap. those who collapsed were treated in emergency units and temporary tent hospitals set up along the route.1978. Spring rains quickly turned the ground to mud and facilities were primitive." (Photo by Russell Lee. December 1940. California. Some 9800 people participated in the five-borough run of twenty-six miles.C. in a nonviolent protest of the form espoused by Dr.. After the war times were somewhat better. These people lost everything . D.

nonpolitical. Boy Scout Jamboree. It is a gathering of thousands of scouts representing their countries in the spirit of world brotherhood. tenting today is a happier pastime . Fortunately for the most part. There are also international camps for scoutmasters (indabas) and handicapped boys (agoons). held approximately every four years since 1920. Boy Scouts continue to have their annual Jamborees. Tent city. The Mall was also the scene of another protest encampment in 1978 when five hundred American Indians and other ethnics marched from San Francisco to Washington in what was called the Longest Walk. From the beginning the scout movement has been nonmilitary. This is an international summer camp. August 1977.the Woodstock rock festival in August of 1969 was a tent city. The march was in memory of the tens of thousands of Indians who perished on forced marches as they were driven from their homelands in the east. interdenominational. and interracial. (Courtesy Boy Scouts of America) .60 The Tent in History protest made the venture an inspiring statement for the cause of human brotherhood and justice. and one in four Americans will go camping this year.

it is not repaired and gradually wi II be done away with. construct. For know full well that a free-born man in his country meets but with disregard As the pearl within its shell is slighted. But depart the land that exalts the low above the high in dignity. pitch. design. and strike them. who are in complete charge of the household. Chippewa Song The most time-tested and enduring tents are those of nomadic herdsmen and hunters . where folks oppress and hold thee in scant esteem. Nomads have always had their own laws and have never heeded other rules and regulations. although it were on the skirts of Mount Kaf. local governments consider them a nuisance and 61 . and underrated its preciousnes s. Maqamat of Hariri They think me unworthy My Mide brethren but look and see the length of my wigwam.3 THENOMADS To a native place cling not. And take thy flight to a safe retreat . though they are presently being forced into it against their will by unsympathetic rulers. having been perfected to totally support the nomadic way of life and provide complete protection from the most severe environmental extremes. These tents are feats of engineering. Various styles of nomadic tents have been used since ancient times . Nomads have been settled onto reservations or in ugly housing developments. and nomads all over the world have always been skeptical if not frightened of permanent housing . Sometimes the tent is still pitched next to the house. The women. The nomadic way of life is deeply ingrained. though as it wears away with age .

The black tent provides optimum shelter from sun and sandstorm on the desert.the Lapps even have a summer and a winter tent. Even a few decades ago nomads wandered freely in their ageless migrations. The nomadic way of life has been a delicate balance of animal husbandry. for centuries in Mongolia the yurt was the only dwelling known besides the Buddhist monasteries . . Eskimo and Lapp tents are very individualized and efficient Arctic dwellings . we"-ventilated home in any weather this continent can whip up. The Mongol yurt is also a remarkable achievement. or tipi: It is the ideal dwelling of nomadic peoples. each dependent upon the wind conditions and pack animals available to carry it. but they've been used for time immemorial by Indians from New England to northwest Canada. Black Elk Speaks Tepee. In fact. Spanish explorers in the early 1500s first reported the existence of tipis to Europe. For instance. the tipi of the American Indians has assumed several structural forms. trade." the Indian Black Elk has said. But the white men have put us in these square boxes. It's easy to set up. easy to take down. The technological age has upset that balance. The life of man is a circle from childhood to ch ildhood. like the nests of birds. the scourge of the southern plains.62 The Tent in History a sign of underdevelopment. The tipi is really one of the most superb nomadic tents ever to be developed. Our tipis were round. the tipi has the advantage of being lightweight and easy to transport while the yurt is cumbersome. "that everything an Indian does is in a circle and that is because the Power of the World works in circles and everything tries to be round." . The nomad's mobility has been his salvation . And when war or famine has prevailed. and perhaps some crop cultivation. and the Mongolian yurt keeps its occupants warm on the bleak Siberian steppe. The nomads have taken the specific climatic conditions of their terrain and have tailor-made efficient and ingenious tents to combat the prevailing elements. strong winds cannot pick up its inverted surface. both of which serve them well. One of the most romantic and imaginative ways of life is disappearing from the earth and unfortunately the vast amount that could be learned from it wi" also disappear as we become more and more dependent on our permanent dwellings. they've simply moved on.John G. teepee. The tipi is ingeniously designed and engineered to provide an extremely comfortable. Neihardt. Also. TIPI "You have noticed. including tornadoes. perhaps irrevocably so. But the Mongols have camels as beasts of burden and the Indians used only dogs and horses. Nomads have been able to survive simply because of their ability to travel and search out food for themselves and their herds. and easy to shift. however. in order to wander freely the nomad uses much more land and therefore is an inconvenience to nations that prefer to develop their land. It is a bad way to live for there can be no power in a square.

This photograph shows the typical open-ended camp circle. Otis Wheelock . shows General Miles and his staff viewing "the largest hostile Indian camp in the United States. courtesy of the American Museum of Natural History) . a staple of the Indian diet.63 The Nomads This photograph. These painted or " medicine" designs usually originated in dreams and visions and were handed down from generation to generation . 1891. Hanging on a tripod frame in foreground is jerky." near Pine Ridge. (Library of Congress) Flathead Indian encampment in the Salish Mountains in the central plateau of northwest Montana c. which looks like a scene from a Western movie. In proper ceremonies. (Photo by J.chiefs .occu pied superbly decorated tipis . which usually faced east. representing the supernatural powers that looked after the owner of the tipi. taken on January 16. 1940. lead ers of war parties. They were highly symbolic. and medicine men . the designs could be purchased and the "medicine" and rituals " passed " from one owner to the other. such as this Arapaho tipi which was " Tent of the Keeper of the Sacred Pipe" used at an Arapaho sun dance in 1900. (Library of Congress) Prominent tribal leaders . South Dakota.

Smithsonian Institution. Child 's tipis were rare and reserved only for the sons of the most prominent family in the tribe. 1893. Medicine tipis were supposed to protect the owners and their families from misfortune and sickness and bring good luck and success in hunting and war. (Library of Congress) Pi egan Indian child 's painted tipi. A common practice in extremely cold weather was to construct a windbreak to protect the tipi from the freezing winds which drive the temperatures down to . oil on canvas. This is reminiscent of t he first tents of early man. 24 x 29 inches.40°F and lower. with what could be sun wheels in the white area. Denver Public Library) Northern Arapaho . which were skins thrown over bushes and small trees. the shapes emerging from the lower border. Note American flag painted on left tipi and tassels of rawhide strung with beads and bone hanging from smoke flaps of all three tipis. George Catlin.) Crow Lodge fYf 25 Skins. (Co urtesy National Collection of Fin e Arts. representing the earth. Smithsonian Institution) . { . (Library of Congress) These Ute Indians incorporated the trunks of trees into their tipis.64 The Tent in History Some tipi designs were heraldic and painted to proclaim the heroic deeds or war exploits of their owners. This tipi is from the Piegan Indians (a branch of the Blackfoot) of Montana. could be those of ancestors. These two Sioux tipis deal with the war with the white man. (Photo by Mooney. Dark area represents sky above with white discs that represent constellations. (Western History Collection . (Libra ry of Congress) The darkened area at top represents the darkened sky and the similar border at bottom earth.

. Those who owned medicine or painted tipis were also entitled to decorate their tipi lining. --' Sun Dance. Part of the lower end of the mat is laid on the ground and acts as a seat. Sioux or Piegan. a hide. That is the altar for the tipi. (Library of Congress) .65 The Nomads . And slightly to left of Yellow Kidney (the older Indian) and partially visible is a tripodal tent seat composed of three poles. Chief 1901(2) of Oglala Dakota Sioux. as seen above. (Courtesy American Museum of Natural History) Interior of tipi of Yellow Kidney and Little Plune and squaw." . The lining helps insulate and cut moisture inside the tipi. Note cleared patch on ground midway between fire pit and clock... painting by Short Bull. two of which are carved and support a tapered mat of peeled willow rods or.'.

prominent tribal leaders such as chiefs.toward the rising sun. larger tipis were made by the central tribes since transporting them became less of a problem. some Indians had already switched to canvas. Canvas replaced buffalo hide and the custom of painting tipis. in some tribes. and enabled the tipi to be made even bigger. the back made steeper than the front in order to brace it against the strong prevailing west winds of the Great Plains. as canvas required no tanning or curing. The man would paint history. was easier to sew and to handle. The entrance traditionally faces east . Women were responsible for everything related to the tipi . Also. A real Indian tipi is always a tilted cone. when the Indians obtained wagons and transporting the tipi was no longer a problem.and four-pole tipis and those in the know can instantly tell one from the other. and furnishing. superbly decorated t\P\S \n the Hollywood cowboy and Indian movies. gradually faded into the past as the ranks of the Indians were decreased and thei r spi rit broken on reservations. tribal relationships. In fact. but it was the woman who decorated the inside lining and owned the tipi itself. however. the interior is egg-shaped. usually numbering fifteen or twenty.designing. There have been changes made in the tipi in the past few centuries. not circular. It weighed much less and there was not as much work involved with it. There are three.66 The Tent in History Many people in this country. After the introduction of the horse in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Needless to say. These two types are determined by the number of poles used in the first stage of tipi erecting. however. are not aware that as an art form painted tipi covers easily rank as the most expressive and imaginative esthetic achievement in the long history of Native American nomadic hunting cultures. sewing. This tilt also makes for more headroom in the back of the lodge. the obliteration of the buffalo by the white man in the nineteenth century forced a radical change in Plains Indian technology. leaders of war parties. The other poles. the four-pole tipi was used by those in the northwest who lived nearer to the mountains. Either three or four poles are tied together some four feet or so from their upper ends and then a tri. and medicine men always lived in beautifully painted ones. all she had to do to divorce her husband was to throw his possessions outside and that was that. we never saw dazzling. Before the bison were nearly exterminated.or quadripod foundation is made. the diameters of some tipis increased to as much as twenty-eight feet. war records. The three-pole tipi can withstand high wind better so it was used for the most part by Indians of the open prairie. selecting campsites. or religious symbolism on the tipi covers. are laid in the crotches. which had been handed down from generation to generation. erecting. The poles are approximately twenty-five feet in length. Also. The four-pole is less tilted than the three-pole and has the smoke flaps set farther apart as there is a larger number of . where most activity is carried on . being brought up on Saturday afternoon matinees at the local movie theater. It' s true that most of the Indian population lived in plain tipis. Also.

The tipi cover is firmly anchored by stakes driven through holes or loops in the bottom edge of the cover. and pole and cover are set in place at the center of the back of the tipi. One of the truly ingenious features of the tipi is its smoke flap system. and when storms approach rocks and logs are still placed atop the stakes and along the cover to anchor them more secu rely. on both north and south sides. the tipi cover was held to the ground by placing stones around the bottom. which is slightly forward of center in the tipi. The last pole to be fitted in place is called the lifting pole. Next. Before the white man introduced the steel ax to the Indians. They are nearly triangular skin flaps that provide an opening starting slightly above the highest lacing pin used to fasten the tipi cover to the Handling smoke flaps SWWIND SWELTERI NG I DOWNPOUR FREEZING . Wooden pins (lacing pins) are then inserted horizontally through holes over and under the doorway to hold the cover securely in place. the poles usually are set a few inches into the ground in order to add stability to the tent. "Tipi rings" of these stones are still to be found in many parts of the West. to overlap at the entrance.67 The Nomads poles to be accommodated on the four-pole. In areas with high winds. so called because the cover is tied to it and rolled around it. opposite the door. the cover is stretched around the wooden framework. Smoke flaps are used to keep out snow and rain and to regulate the draft and smoke from the fireplace.

There was also an altar inside the tipi which was usually a little patch of bare earth. The linings were vividly colored and beaded. On a three-pole tipi the ends of the flaps are made into little pockets or ears into which the upper ends of two additional poles are inserted. so called because it only reaches the dewy surface of the ground. only certain women of the tribe were allowed to decorate their linings.drier than any other tent. with the sections overlapping. The mat would be about five feet long. The lining also insulates the tipi in cold weather. Doors vary . the sky. beds. On four-pole tipis. (And by the time the Indians obtained wagons their nomadic existence was practically at an end because the buffalo were gone and many of the old trails were fenced up. (A dewclaw is a vestigial claw. especially when hay or brush is piled between it and the tipi cover. there is usually a hole or eyelet through which a pole is inserted. The tipi was furnished only with boxes.) The tipi poles weigh from fifteen .so no lurking enemy could see a shadow at which he could aim and therefore injure the occupant. the trails from the earth to the spi rit world beyond.) One other function of the lining in times gone by was its ability to prevent the casting of shadows from the fi re onto the wall of the tipi. This was important for safety's sake . from which a decorated tapered mat (smaller at the top) made of peeled willow rods woven together would hang. however. The lining sections are from 6 x 8 to 6 x 12 feet in size and are hung all the way around the tipi. others are only an old blanket hung to the lacing pin above the doorway. with dangles made of thongs with co!ored cornhusks or tassels made of fluffy feathers. other times the skin of a large calf or steer (or bear or buffalo in the old days) is used. with the hair left on to increase water repellency.some are quite elaborate and ornate. pillows. and the poles. roots. robes. three feet at the bottom. The latter are made from a tripod of willow 'rods four or five feet high. usually handsomely carved and decorated. the walls. the patterns did not vary as much as tipi cover decorations and there was some uniformity throughout tribal nations. and could act as the back of a chair for anyone sitting on the ground. Like decorated tipi covers. rawhide cases. Sometimes doors are decorated with beaded stripes and fluffy feathers.68 The Tent in History poles. furs. Another unique feature of the tipi is the inside lining. and stubs removed. saddlebags. dyed hair. the lining keeps dew from condensing inside and therefore keeps the interior reasonably dry . or buffalo dewclaws. pouches. Earlier. Also referred to as a dew cloth. A person standing outside the tipi can adjust the flaps as wind or weather changes. and backrests. and smaller. tipis were transported by dogs. The floor of the tipi represented the earth. The hides or cloth from which the door is constructed are usually stretched by a transverse stick or a hoop frame. As previously mentioned the horse made it possible to enlarge both the tipi and the household. with all grass. The lives of the Indians revolved around spiritual symbolism. two feet wide at the top.

was able to travel greater distances and with more speed in one day than could the most well-equipped army of the day. with men. bark. sometimes the wounded. Sometimes as many as five horses were needed to move a large tipi and its accoutrements. and so on. so worn tipis were still used. too. as the Spanish called them) were also constructed when the Indians camped for several days during hot spells. was erected by the women. On the average it took three horses to carry the household . . When it carried passengers usually a dome-shaped structu re of wi lIow branches was erected to provide protection either from the elements or in case it overturned. in a less important way. the Indians sometimes had special cooking tipis which were simply old tipis with the bottom two or three feet of the cover cut away to provide ventilation. Dogs were also used as beasts of burden. cooking. lay across the trailing ends. Cooking Tipis During hot spells. children. These are constructed by driving forked corner poles into the ground and placing stout poles from fork to fork. women. while the Sauk and Fox used woven reed matting. or puppies and other pets rode on the travois. These serve as a structure for eating. Also. New Mexico. An Indian camp. the very young. lounging. rushes.69 The Nomads to twenty pounds each and anywhere from fifteen to twenty poles were needed. Idaho. The Apache woman covered her wickiup with a thatch of brush. grass. Utah. Camp could also be struck in minutes. which consisted of a platform or netting supported by two trailing poles somewhat shorter than the tipi poles . or travois . One horse could drag eight to ten poles. the aged. and California and was used by those tribes who · did not follow the buffalo for their subsistence. this varied. Other gear not carried in the tipi cover was carried on a drag. It is found among the more sedentary Indian tribes in Arizona.two dragging tipi poles and one dragging a travois. and household effects. Of course. This house. or mats. old tipi coverings were used in making moccasins. WICKIUPS The wickiup is a framework of arched poles and limbs tied together and covered by brush. and ground cloths. or rushes. working. then laying cross poles over them at invervals and covering the entire structure with fresh -cut leafy branches . canvas. The Indians referred to them as wickies or squaw coolers and they are still common in Indian homesteads. the forward ends of which were fastened to a horse or dog. instead of being discarded. bags. The scanty household gear. Squaw Coolers Brush arbors (or ramadas. Occasionally a piece of canvas is stretched and tied to the supports on the windward side . Also. leaves. wrapped in a bundle in the tipi cover.

(Smithsonian Institution) This photograph of a wickiup was taken in 1880. Dodge in 1899. to insulate . This tent is made from woven reed mats stretched over a wooden framework. Canvas is then added on top to waterproof or. on the windward side. shows an Apache scout camp in San Carlos. Sauk and Fox Indian. Rose Collection. dome-shaped wickiups and then wickiups and wall tents. Note squaw coolers at right where Indians are congregating. T. Western History Collection. This is located in a more permanent encampment and a hinged door has been built in. By the turn of the century. H . University of Oklahoma Library) . (Smithsonian Institution) This photograph. taken by K. most of the Apache tribes were no longer tipi dwellers and instead occupied first circular. Alternating rows of each are pictured above. (N. Arizona.70 The Tent in History Camp scene.

New Mexico. made from live branches. S. outside the sweat tent.71 The Nomads Dance ground and tipis at Mescalero. Many ceremonies involving the tent and the live tree exist all over the world. August 1941. (Smithsonian Institution) This E. (Smithsonian Institution) Sweat tent. July 1956. Lame Deer. Library of Congress) . The skull. is "medicine" and part of the ritual. The uncovered tipi at left. Curtis photograph of a sweat lodge shows a lone Apache warrior ready to enter the tent. The entire ritual takes several hours. (Photo by Marion Post Wolcott on Cheyenne Indian Tongue River reservation. is a ceremonial tipi built for the puberty rites of Apache maidens. Montana.

72 The Tent in History Family of Stump Horn with horse travois. (Smithsonian Institution) Two tipi covers and frames are used to construct this windbreak for a Plains Indian communion service. Two children in travois basket. Fort Keogh. Montana. (American Museum of Natural History) . Cheyenne. Young woman with baby in cradle mounted on horse.

At Anadarko. Whole tribes were obliterated by disease and starvation en route. Smithsonian Institution in Washington. including blacks in the Washington area. (Smithsonian Institution) In July 1978. for most of 1978. where for nine days they camped in protest on the grounds of the Washington Monument. Oklahoma. from 1891 to 1904 at the request of James Mooney. Inc:) . D. their ranks swelled with members of various Indian communities and other supporters. As they neared the Capitol. after five months of walking. 1897. 1897.. The five month transcontinental protest march was called the Longest Walk. Smithsonian Institute ethnologist.C. twenty-five decorated buckskin models of the tipis of the Kiowa Indians were made by Indian artists with instructions being given by the tipi owners or their close descendants who occupied these medicine tipis before being forced to the reservations . (Courtesy National Collection of Fine Arts. five hundred American Indians and other ethnic supporters marched from San Francisco to Washington. Smithsonian Institution) Paul Zoiitum painting model tipi. (Wide World Photos.73 The Nomads Two views of Leg Picture Tipi of Fair-Haired Old Man by a Kiowa Indian artist. in memory of the forced marches of thousands upon thousands of Indians who were driven from their land onto reservations in the West. The entire collection was on exhibit at the Renwick Gallery of the National Collection of Fine Arts.

and bags rounded out the furnishings. Moving camp was an enormous task for the women. Now they number well over 70. The family horse was loaded to capacity and the women carried the rest. An opening was left at the top to allow smoke to escape from the fire pit within and the doorway was simply a low opening over which a blanket or piece of skin was stretched. canvas was usually stretched over the windward side for insulation or over the top to keep the inside dry. Kitchen utensils. these sheepherders take their sheep into the mountains where good grazing land is available for two to three months. The Basques migrated to the United States between 1900 and 1930. Several tent manufacturers make sheepherders' tents. The American Indian constructed the sweat lodge by setting long willow shoots in the ground in the form . are Basque sheepherders in the northwest. but compared to the tipi it was a rude shelter.74 The Tent in History Nomads still exist in the United States. Brush and dry grass covered by blankets served as a mattress. when there was continuing civil unrest in Spain and when American ranchers were recruiting immigrants from the Basque regions. baskets. To facilitate moving. besides migrant workers. One group. After their sheep are sheared in late Mayor early June. (Photo by Russell Lee. Most of the Indians who used wickiups moved outside for the warmer months and erected squaw coolers or ramadas. The Apaches used wooden bed frames that raised the sleeping surface some two to three feet off the ground. Library of Congress) Whatever the construction. SWEAT TENTS Most of the Indians from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego used a sweat lodge as an important part of their religion. The house was reasonably comfortable. Smoke inside the wickiup was a constant problem and total protection from the elements was not possible. which are usually standard wall tents with stove-pipe hole and insulating asbestos ring. Also. the furnishings in the wickiup were kept to a minimum. it takes about four hours to erect a wickiup and a fraction of that time for the experinced tipi owner to set up a tipi.000.

so large areas lack wood of any kind. Eskimos are surprisingly uniform in language. tools and weapons.75 The Nomads of a circle and then bending them over and twisting and tying them together in pairs. and where vegetables are unprocurable and trees exist only in one or two marginal districts . (National Museums of Canada) Woman mending Alaska winter tent of sealskin . In many cases the poles Eskimo spring tent on ice at Cape Lockyer. which cooking would destroy. the skill required to secure these necessities places the Eskimos among the foremost hunters in the world. walruses and whales) provide them with food. Very few Eskimos live in igloos all winter. The passageway at the bottom leads into the tent. physical type.000. ESKIMO Only a people of great ingenuity and strength could have thrived in a region that lies under snow and ice for six to nine months of the year. with the darkening days of winter. (Smithsonian Institution) . In some instances several families join their tents. and the time of the year. they band together in small groups in voluntary association. The Eskimos reinforce their tents or move into either rock igloos or earth. clothing.or sod-walled structures. The rock igloo is constructed like the snow-block igloo but the sides are banked with sod and the roof is covered with grass and the summer tent. Although they can provide adequate protection for weeks in severe cold. Then. This is one of the many variations of the tent used by the Eskimo. March 1915. and weapons. Sea mammals (four or five species of seals and. they number approximately 55. In order to live in tents through the winter. igloos are used almost exclusively as temporary shelters while traveling and hunting. depending on whether the band of Eskimo are caribou herders or seal hunters. and lastly with snow. under a leader recognized for his superior ability to provide for the group. In the front part where the tents are joined the covers are taken away and replaced by a whale rib which affords passage from one room to another. In the summer Eskimos live in caribou and sealskin tents. Fish and caribou are next in importance in their economy. which rests on a foundation of packed snow and blocks of ice. Like a small wigwam. including driftwood. The Eskimo tent is made of either sealskin or caribou hide. tools. shelter. The use of a sweat lodge for purification was highly ritualistic. The Eskimos' adjustment to such a severe environment has been equaled by no other group. complete with virgins or medicine men collecting the special stones that were blessed by the holy man of the tribe. in certain regions. They inhabit the arctic and subarctic regions of North America and the Chukchi Peninsula of northeast Siberia." But it is this practice of eating raw meat that provides their limited diet with the nutrients they need. cooking and lamp oil. The word Eskimo comes from the Algonquian and means "eaters of raw meat. beluga. sometimes with large whale bones acting as structural members. Eskimos cover them with shrubs and spread a second skin cover over them. forming a domelike structure which was then covered with canvas. Despite their wide dispersal. from which to fabricate houses. Their migration patterns and sources of sustenance. Earth and sod-walled houses are built on a frame of driftwood. the average sweat lodge could accommodate four to six people and temperatures of 140 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit were raised by dousing white-hot stones with water. and culture and speak different dialects of the same language. are directly related to the type of structure they occupy.

on the other hand. this bench also is the center for many other activities such as eating. The snow-block igloo. snow vault. At this time Chuckchi Eskimo tent. This tent is secured by ropes tied to large stones and strung over the tent (at lower right).both include an entrance shelter. is illuminated with a skylight not of gut but of translucent freshwater ice cut expressly for that purpose. Plover Bay. frequently long and narrow. making tools. But in spring. Fastened to the long line leading from the harpoon head.76 The Tent in History from the summer tent also serve as supports. The large floats of inflated sealskins are used with the retrieving harpoon when whaling. When the drifting snow of winter is piled over and around these houses. many of them flood with water or the roofs cave in and they become uninhabitable. Many of the design features to offset cold and wind are common to these structures . not transparent. or storm shed. Siberia. (Smithsonian Institution) . During the long winter nights. Inside there is always a raised bench (sleeping bench) to keep occupants up off the colder levels of the house. July 1899. they can be quite comfortable. they offer enough resistance to exhaust the wounded animal. to keep out cold and wind. Furs and fur garments are hanging over lines at sides. The windows of these habitations are made from intestines of seal or walrus and are translucent. and mending equipment.

The reindeer furnishes them with food. The Eskimos. along with behavior the Swedes and 'N orwegians consider unclean. The Lapps are the shortest and most roundheaded race in Europe and from ancient times have had a great reputation among the Finns and other neighboring peoples for skill in sorcery. they live in small encampments that seldom contain more than half a dozen tents . and Russia. Their tents By way of introduction. In the northeast. the latter are hunters and herdsmen. Fish is drying on the small rocks at left. although there are also extensive forests and many lakes and rivers. In northern Norway and Sweden. are no longer pureblood since there has been much interbreeding with the white population moving into the frontier. in an area within the Arctic Circle that is generally referred to as Lapland. and the nomadic. The Mountain and Forest Lapps live in tents year-round. except in the forested southern zone. The climate is arctic and vegetation is generally sparse. hunting and fishing until the winter. They number about 30. Another variation of the Eskimo summer tent. or Mountain or Forest Lapps. The Eskimos have mixed to a great extent with the white man and many of them are giving up the old ways and are being encouraged to move into houses. Dogs and dogsleds are used in transporting the tent and household gear. the Lapps are proficient skiers. and shelter. clothing. (Smithsonian Institution . Lapland is quite mountainous. . as hunters and fishermen. nor has there been interbreeding between Lapps and Scandinavians. it is composed mostly of tundra. arriving in Norway before the Viking age. The summer tents of the Eskimo vary as much as their houses. The covering is held down on the outside by a ring of heavy stones or by ropes (or rawhide strips) wrapped around the tents and attached to rocks. on the other hand. has prejudiced the Scandinavians and the Lapps are not allowed to remain permanently in any of the towns. or the Sea Lapps. photograph taken before 1931) LAPP The Lapps are found in the northernmost part of Europe in Norway. The Lapps are thought to have originally migrated from central Asia. and in the winter move to the coast where the temperatures are slightly higher and seal are available. These tents are usually not high and are well built and shaped in such a way as to resist gale winds that whip down from the mountains. The Lapps may be roughly divided into two classes .77 The Nomads the occupants move back into their tents of seal and caribou skin and go their separate ways. The Eskimos are a littoral people who rove inland in the summer for freshwater fishing and game hunting. These various configurations are more or less dependent on the shape of the wood that is available. The former are fishermen.the sedentary. usually lashed together ingeniously. The framework consists of numerous poles. Like the Eskimos. this one is made of caribou hide. in Finland and the Soviet Union.000 and are concentrated mainly in Norway. Finland. Sweden. The Lapps have a milder climate and therefore enjoy more physical comfort than the Eskimos. This.

The Mountain Lapps. the more northerly peoples. When they move their reindeer herds on to new pastures they abandon the barkcovered tent and rebuild at new pastures. (Isefilm. around the circumference of a circle. Their reindeer are larger than the mountain peoples' reindeer. They move from Sweden over into Norway during the short summer. The Forest Lapps build tents that very much resemble the tipi and they cover it with bark and bank it with snow or earth in winter. There is a special treaty in force between the two countries to ensure pastorage rights. carry their tent poles and coverings with them as they follow the reindeer on the treeless tundra. This one is a summer tent in Norway. Stockholm) . some forked at the ends and some not. The Mountain Lapps use different types of tents in winter and summer. and they also fish and farm. the Lapps use several types of tents.78 The Tent in History are conical and some say this Eurasiatic occurrence may have been historically linked with the conical tents of the North American Indians. The summer tent is conical in shape and is constructed by placing poles. The ends come together at a height of eight to ten feet and this Like the Eskimo. The Forest Lapps stay in the forest year-round.

79 The Nomads Lapp family outside winter tent. Cheese hangs on small platform suspended from the beams. left. (Courtesy Swedish Information Service) .) Logs in foreground mark pathway into the tent. The floor is covered with twigs. Serving coffee in the Lapp winter tent. (Coffee grinder is at left atop box. over which hides and blankets are spread. Chain suspended from roof beams normally supports pots over fire.

Winter boots 121. Some of these kata are equipped with doors . Soup ladle 122. Fragment of a crook in form of spade 107. The Lapps are quite gifted artistically. Mounting of a kata (Lapp tent) 105. 123. Daughter of Swedish Lapp 119. Male belt 116. or twigs is placed between the layers. Fifteen or twenty poles are then rested against this framework to form a perfect cone. always covering it with bark. Portable cask and ladle 99. and some fifteen feet in diameter at the base. Njalla. Pocketbook 125. are used for storing and carrying various articles. reindeer dogs. Gold ring This Illustrated London News drawing of 1877 shows a winter tent being taken down by Lapp women. Winter sled 114. A central pot is suspended over the fire from the crossAccessories of Lapp life.120 108. 113. The winter tent of the Lapp is more complex . 102. sometimes insulation of dirt. several reindeer-skin bags on the floor serve as chairs. Knife in sheath 103. It is more like an American Indian wigwam than a tipi. Sled driver's stick 118. and reindeer are seen in foreground . Knife handles 100. Summer boots 126. Woman of Luka 112. 96. Against two large parabolas with holes. 111. and birchbark cases. open at the top (the smoke hole is five feet in diameter). pantry of the wilderness 97-98. as can be seen by the profusion of detail work on the items pictured here. such as the one above. Small ladles 109.80 The Tent in History framework is covered with either fabric or hide. And the tent is always banked. Female belt with sewing equipment completed by 110. Suksi and long stick of the skater 106. Sledges . The floor is covered with an eight. The smoke hole can be covered if the weather demands it. somewhat like our suitcases. Lapp of Lulea 124. The Forest Lapps utilize this design year-round. grass. 104. The tent is covered with layers of hides and canvas. Pipe of glazed earth 117. . 101.to ten-inch layer of fresh twigs. Ear pick 115. a crossbeam is inserted.

letting the small ends drag on the ground. is also suspended from tent supports above. the other for guests. The dark color is surprisingly functional for residents of both temperature and moisture extremes. A few of the winter tents are fitted with raised benches and storm sheds (like the Eskimos' winter dwelling). Moreover. These poles are drilled with small holes near the larger end and are then laced to a wide leather strap attached to the cinch and pack saddle. but it will leak in extended storms. On the other hand. The black tent is actually cooler than light-colored canvas tents which reflect sunlight. Reindeer skins are unrolled for beds . It shields the interior from both heat and cold like a wool blanket. Like the inhabitants of the tipi and the yurt. each shelter being used for several occupants. because the loose weave lets winds blow through the fabric. some amount of goat hair is always used for strength because the other materials are shorter. the nomads using this structure rarely live in extremely wet areas. weaker. which are pulled by reindeer. The tent poles are dragged by reindeer. Although this tent is primarily suited to hot dry climates. the loose weave both allows hot air to escape and also insulates with air pocke. The wet fabric swells to close the holes and lanolin of the hair repels rain. Although the dark hue absorbs heat. Like the Eskimo summer tent.ts. The remainder of the Lapp household is loaded into sleds. and stretch too much. and the baby crib. Also. If this tent does become totally soaked its weight increases so much that it cannot be transported easily by pack animals.one side of the fire is for the family. the Middle East. nomads of the hot deserts have flattened and lowered their roofs and have opened up the sides to provide ventilation.81 The Nomads beam connecting the parabolic frames. THE BLACK TENT The black tent is the primary shelter for nomadic tribes of the entire coast of North Africa. This method was also used by some American Indian tribes when they were on the move. Then poles are fastened one above the other. In the Lapp tent food is also stored in that place. every adult member of the family carries part of the tent. when the Mountain Lapp is on the move. During a reindeer migration. When the goat hair is blended with sheep and camel wool and plant fibers it is often dyed other colors as well. some tents contain separate boxlike sleeping shelters within the main tent. the side of the fire opposite the door is considered sacred. . and Asia (even to the eastern borders of Tibet). However. the tents' owners must erect wind barriers made of brush. Mountain peoples have raised the pitch of its roof steeply to shed rain and have closed off the sides to insulate the interior. It is so named for the darkness of the pure natural goat hair used in its fabric even though it is not always black. the design and interior furnishings of the Lapp dwelling vary throughout Lapland. However. it has migrated from its biblical Mesopotamian origins to a wide range of environments. when there is a baby.

and North Africa. but they are distrustful of any but their own local traditions and way of life. Iraq. Syria. like the Arabs. Israel. and Tibet places the main rope pressures in the same direction as the seams (so that the panels don't pull apart) with the poles under the seams. from "A Psalm of Life" In Arabic Bedouin means desert dwellers. with them. and the pressures of these tension bands. Shall fold their tents. and . Syria. Bedouin Black Tents And the night shall be filled with music.are both made from the series of joined rectangular panels with sewn loops at their margins for attachment to the stays. so that by the time a panel is worn out (in five or six years) it has reached the outer edges and can be removed. The development of the tension band system was an adaptive response to the attempt to reinforce the tent fabric against the high desert winds. Jordan. goats. Syria. . It is composed of rectangular fabric panels that can be multiplied to increase the tent size.the Eastern (or Persian) and Western (or Arab) . Jordan. And as silently steal away. This is because the heavy weight of the woven fabric and all stresses are concentrated on a few vertical compression points on the poles. and also choose sheltered sites in winter. The two major styles of construction follow the differences in geography and climate. share a devout belief in Islam. but inhabit or utilize almost nine tenths of its land area. Each year new sections are added at the middle. The women spin and weave the material for the panels. the Sinai. The Bedouin of Arabia. Afghanistan. The Bedouin represent about one tenth of the population of the Middle East. The Western tent found in Arabia. or other environmental materials. This is the opposite of the freestanding frame structures of the .82 The Tent in History mats. The black tent is one of the earliest examples of modular architecture. and Iraq have refined this later design to its height of development for desert use. The Bedouin people are the nomadic tribes of Arabia. Iraq. and rope stays are independent of the tent fabric itself. poles.Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. These two basic types . However. The black tent is also an efficient tension structure that requires very little wood framing. the historically earlier Eastern tent found in Iran. which are often sewn together by the whole family. They are of the same Semitic stock as their sedentary neighbors and. and west of this area adds strips across the line of joined rectangles so that the stresses are across the seams.tipi and yurt where the cover and frame are totally independent. And the cares that infest the day. The Bedouin are full-time tent dwellers and must move constantly from place to place over the bare and empty desert to find what little grass there is to feed their sheep.

The food supply of the Bedouin includes dates. first it is spread out on the ground. and the tent is supported only by the middle and hind poles. The camel herders are the first in prestige and historical importance. and clans into sections. not baked. flour. or when the people hear that rain has fallen elsewhere. April 1973. and then only with permission of the tribes who inhabit the area. and each section is composed of a group of families. by lifting and pushing.a high 'row running lengthwise down the center with shorter rows at each side. it must serve as a protective shield against up to onehundred-mile-per-hour winds mixed with sand. is seven to ten feet. up goes the structure. Large tribes are divided into clans. Goats and sheep supply them meat and wool. Egypt. a roof rectangle supported by poles and offering protection from blazing temperatures that average 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The tribe is a community of equals headed by a sheik to whom all members of the tribe are related by blood or through marriage. and sometimes dried fish and spices. and family has its own chief. But. then the next. and so on until the whole goat-hair structure rests securely on its supports. To pitch the Bedouin tent. first one pole in place. Detachable goat-hair curtains form the sides and ends of the tent. Bread is made from millet or wheat and fried or roasted. of course.83 The Nomads camels. Each clan. The black tents of the Bedouin are made from goat hair spun into thread and woven into long pieces of cloth. and the long tent poles are properly spaced and inserted under the roof strip. but there is an extreme variation in size. coffee. when required. sheepherders. Wild game like gazelle is always shot and eaten. Occupationally they are roughly divided into three classes: camel herders. Occasionally plagues of locusts descend and the Bedouin fills bags with them for consumption during periods of famine. depending. The land is divided into recognized tribal orbits within which these family groups travel. they pack up their black tents and travel on. The smallest tents are supported by nine poles altogether . tent pegs are driven home with wooden mallets. (Courtesy United Nations/Nagata) . on the wealth and rank of the occupant. They are fastened to the tent with wooden pins and secured in the ground A Bedouin nomad with his camel photographed at Rabach village in Israeli-occupied Sinai. but the height of the tent at its sides seldom exceeds five feet. guy lines are drawn. and goat herders. Sometimes during the summer the three front posts are not used. When the sparse grass is gone. The average Bedouin tent is eight or ten yards long and half as wide. The tent is primarily a sunshade. which creates a slope in the roof to shed water and facilitates entering. The nomadic way of life of the Bedouin has evolved over thousands of years to sustain existence in the harsh desert environment. These territories may cover hundreds of miles and only when there is a drought and no grass or food available can these boundaries be crossed. Then. The ropes extend outward from both sides and from the center of each end. The height of the taller poles. section. thereby providing more protection from the intense sun and heat outside. and goats and camel provide them with milk and cheese.

Jordan.84 The Tent in History Black desert tents Kurdish A Bedouin tent set up on the desert near the town of Hofuf in eastern Saudi Arabia . courtesy of Cinemabilia) . This is a small encampment compared to those of the past. (From the film Lawrence of Arabia. (Courtesy Arabian American Oil Company) ~ Bedouin Bedouin encampment in the desert of Wadi ~ Rum. when encampments of hundreds of thousands of tents were annual occurrences for the Bedouin.

85 The Nomads .

These four photographs illustrate its construction: 1) Suitable papyrus reeds are gathered. However. the women would put together a structure resembling the wickiup of the American Indian. and 4) the mats are fastened to the framework . and 2) woven into mats on an ingeniously constructed loom. 3) A framework is then built by placing limbs in the ground opposite each other. (Library of Congress) This Bedouin sheik has been given land and ~ a house in a settlement area being developed by the World Food Programme (sponsored by the United Nations arid the Food and Agricultural Organization). he prefers a tent. This hut does fall into the tent category as it is constructed from woven material stretched over a framework. This photograph dates to the early 1900s when the Bedouin nomad was still at large on the Arabian desert. many of the Bedouin are leaving their tents. His wife lives in the house. Note how tent roof has been repaired.taken in men's side of a Bedouin tent at Wadi Sirhan Desert between Jordan and Saudi Arabia . Now their numbers have diminished due to local government interference. As the Arab world moves toward becoming a modern industrial society. which at the moment he shares with his sons. The coffee hearth is seen in the foreground. also note hunting falcon at lower right. then tying the tops together. when the Bedouin were in an area where reeds were available and they planned to stay awhile. (Photos Library of Congress) Sultan EI-Atrash and retinue .86 The Tent in History Though not frequently built anymore. (United Nations/Rice/RE) .

87 The Nomads .

Truly a luxurious way to travel. In some Bedouin wedding processions.88 The Tent in History Street scene in Cairo. A curtain woven in elaborate geometric patterns is secured along the center pole in order to divide the tent into the women' s and men ' s . The interiors of the bethab are adorned with costly silk and cashmere.) This tentlike contrivance is a howdah and is used to carry the nomads from campsite to campsite . (Library of Congress) with iron pegs driven through rope loops . The shape of this tent has been likened to that of the hull of a ship turned upside-down . Sometimes bushes are buried and the guy ropes of the tents are attached to them if the Bedouin doesn't think the tent stakes will hold. Inc. the seats and backs are lined with rugs and padded with soft cushions. the bride is brought forth concealed in a covered howdah. (Photo courtesy of Trans World Airlines. The tent is pitched with its back to the prevailing winds and storms.an interesting comparison as a ship's hull is so formed to displace water and the Bedouin tent is aerodynamically designed to resist sandstorm winds of up to 100 miles per hour. The traveling litter is called a bethab and is the riding tent of a wealthy tribesman.

These tents are referred to by the additional number of central. or wasit. .many times pitching their tents next to the houses. The old piece that comes out of the tent roof can then be used to replace part of a side curtain. supplies. Since this area has considerable rainfall they waterproof their tent canopies with pitch. and rugs are kept in the salaam-lik. another the iron pegs used to anchor the main guy ropes.. When a section of a Bedouin tent becomes worn. spears. six-. the establishment of countries and borders has subjected the nomads to control by the governments of countries in which their wandering areas lie. children. animals. since the First World War. Trucks now travel the old caravan routes and oil pipelines crisscross the desert. A four-.89 The Nomads quarters. Guns.. they have no alternative. It is the women who make. And most of the Bedouin are staying. poles used to prop them up. After a Bedouin tent is made .000 of the 70. And exquisitely woven dividing curtains separate the quarters. or ten-wasit tent means the same to the Bedouin as a four-. Sedentary Berbers using the black tent move up into the Atlas Mountains every spring and summer. and clothing are stored in the harem-lik and the fire pit for cooking is also here.000 Bedouin have accepted the homes and settled agricultural life the government has offered them .. One camel alone carries the ropes. As the Arab world moves toward becoming a modern industrial society.it is neither old nor new. pitch. and strike these tents. The male sections can be quite luxurious. since it is constantly being patched. with Persian carpets and a profusion of cushions propped against beautifully inlaid and decorated camel saddles. Already in areas like southern Jordan. The fate of the Bedouin is uncertain. It can take over a dozen camels just to transport the tent. cushions. Also. They also make black tents for ceremonial events. six-. the harem-lik and the salaam-lik. the woman rips out that portion and replaces it with new cloth. Cooking utensils.. Transport of Bedouin tent Moroccan Berber Black Tents The seminomadic Berbers herd sheep and till agricultural areas of the North African coast along the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts from Libya to Morocco. Goat clippings are always saved and used to weave new material to mend the tent. Some of the Bedouin tents are quite large and luxurious and are up to 120 feet long. The women's section will also be divided since the desert chieftains occupying large tents will usually have more than one wife.and this is only when a youth with his wife or wives leaves his parents' home and sets up housekeeping on his own . and these wives with their families occupy separate quarters. camel saddles. 30. or ten-room house does to us.. many of the proud desert ·w anderers are being absorbed into a different way of life.:. This section also contains a coffee hearth and it is here that male visitors are received and an elaborate ritual of coffee serving takes place. and so on. bedding. respectively. called.

sing. for a Moussem. dance. and worship. shoot off their old muzzle-loaders. Morocco. (Moroccan National Tourist Office) ~ . ride horses. (Moroccan National Tourist Office) City-dwellers in Morocco own tents which they bring by car to camp grounds where folklorique get-togethers take place. (Moroccan Embassy) These tents are set up near Marrakech. riders with their rifles. pay homage to Moslem leaders.90 The Tent in History At the Moussem celebration the people trade. a local religious celebration at which the people of a tribe or the tribes in a region congregate to observe religious holidays. Above. (Moroccan National Tourist Office) Musicians in front of festival tent.

typically red and green. (Photo by Jim Thompson ) . (Photo by Jim Thompson) Moroccan festival tent. and the tent liners that they fasten to the interior walls usually have the same design but are more colorful . on the plain nort h of Marrakech.91 The Nomads The decorations on these tents are a simplified and repeated Moorish order design.

This picture shows the encampment. This occasion provides the nomads . The triga. (Courtesy Moroccan National Tourist Office) . The tent is renewed each October with new sections added at the middle. These striped tents are prevalent in the southern part of Morocco and variations of this desert tent are used from Tibet to the African Atlantic. wood. Berbers stretch their fabric over a curved center ridgepole which is supported by two nearly vertical upright poles. There are horse and camel races. brush. are carved and painted with geometric designs and hung with protective religious charms. In winter. Three subsidiary bands and one large central strip called the triga are used in building these tents. which holds these framing elements in place. which is never pitched in the same location twice. is a Western type with the tension band system adapted from the Bedouins who invaded their lands. The undersides of the poles. Annually in the Souss area of southern Morocco in Goulimine a large religious festival gathers all the nomads of the area . and the trade of commodities varying from wheat to rare or unique products brought from distant lands . the sacrifice of a shecamel for the saint. a "Guedra" dance under the tent. molds the distinctive. but the women always erect the tent . Finally the wall panels are pinned to the roof edges with iron pins. reed or rush mats and stone. normally scattered by the conditions of the environment in which they live. Here the men sew the sections together. which are exposed to the interior. high curving ridgeline profile of these tents. called the alaarba tent. or sack walls are added outside for insulation and as wind breakers.92 The Tent in History This version of the black tent. to become reunited . looking down a row of tent posteriors on left and open fronts at right . Women weave the rectangular panels (four or five feet wide) on upright rug looms and then dye them in a mixture of pomegranate skins and copper sulfate to blacken the material.

The government of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi tried to systematically destroy the nomadic cultures. They settled in the coastal towns and plains of Morocco occupied by Arabs while the Berbers lived in the mountainous parts of that country.93 The Nomads The Berbers arrange their tents in a sacred douar circle made up of between fourteen and twenty family units around a mosque tent in the middle which is called the "center pole. Interior of the men's section of a Moroccan tent. Iran. Distinctive seam stitching is done in lightcolored yarn which contrasts with the dark goat-hair fabric. the Bakhtiari. floor mats of grass covered with rugs. not only by its omission of the Western tension band system. However. Use of the black tent by the Lurs. (Photo by Jim Thompson in desert east of EI Aaiun. but also because it is supported by two crossed vertical center poles set into a short ridgepiece. to provide resistance to the desert winds. Wooden stay fasteners are sewn to the narrow edges hemmed around rope and iron pins attach the side wall panels. it still tried to force nomads to join permanent settlements. The Moors often cover their interior walls with an inner lining of white cotton for warmth and illumination. The Moor black tent is different from all other North African black tents. Although the shah's government was forced to revoke the antimigration law because of the mass starvation of people and flocks. The Kurds in the Zagros Mountains of Iran survived most successfully in their mountain strongholds. Woven matting is placed around the tent on three sides to act as a wind break and provide privacy . which are then weighted with stones on the ground. These account for the wavy shape of the roof. It is smaller than most other black tent designs and has little height. Cotton sheets also serve as room dividers for areas designated for couples or single women. The framework of this tent consists of three T-topped poles (forked poles with crosspieces). Moor Black Tents The Moors. intermarried with the Spanish and later with the Arabs after they were expelled from Spain. Their furnishings consist of decorated leather pillows. They also arrange brush between each outer tent to form a nighttime corral for their animals. except under the peak which is supported by the center poles. Since new panels are periodically added to the middle. Many of the people live in stone houses in the winter and migrate to the higher mountain pastures in the spring and summer with their tents." This central structure is used as both a religious school and traveler's sanctuary. Spanish Sahara. the Basseri. the exterior shows graded shades of color from the darkest brown to blonde. The Moors adopt the Arab tradition by arranging their individual tents in a line about forty feet apart instead of in a circle as the Berbers do. Paris) . Their woven panels are also very narrow in width . Phototeque . and lashed shelves to store blankets and belongings.sixteen inches wide for the roof sections and eight inches wide for sections reinforcing the front and back edges. (Musee de I'Homme. ancient distant relatives of the Berbers.) Iranian Nomadic Black Tents The I ranian nomadic black tent has been progressively disappearing. now they are sending their flocks to the pastures with only a few herders Lurs tent in the vicinity of Khorram-abad . and Qashqai nomads was outlawed in the 1930s as an attempt to eliminate these independent tribes.

This allows the weight to be distributed to two pack donkeys when traveling. The Lur. (United Nations/PS/PAS) Kurd Black Tents The Kurd black tent differs from that of the other Iranian nomads by its multiple peaked silhouette. After the halves are joined the . The many straight center poles extend right through the tent ridges. October 1965. and Qashqai have wavy roof lines because of their Tshaped center poles and the Kurds have a peaked silhouette due to their straight center support. large Kurd tents are also made in two halves that join together with a rope loop and toggle system sewn into the edge hems . are constructed in two parts. Like those tents of the other tribes.94 The Tent in History who sleep outside under shelters of poles and branches instead of black tents. the tent to the other. providing more room within the tent. Milder climatic conditions enable this Iranian nomadic tribe to build higher tents. The sides also are resting on ropes fastened to these poles . the tents look different because the types of center poles vary between the straight and T-topped types. Forked poles are used (see tent on left) to anchor the tent top. Single side walls may be set up as a windbreak while traveling. which are reinforced with a band . made of pure goat' s hair. Iranian black tents (and their ropes). The guy ropes fasten to one side of the fork. and the complete form with the steep roof in cold weather. a roofless box during the summer. Straight or T-shaped center poles under the center seam and short straight poles along the outer edges support the fabric. Bakhtiari. Supporting guy ropes then tie to the large loops attached to the ends of the band in a fan-shaped pattern to distribute the stress . Each' half is joined to the other by sewn loops and corresponding toggles on the matching hem edges. though the form follows the basic black desert tent. Although the principal tent structure is similar among the various tribes. Moreover. only certain parts of t he tents are erected at different times of the year.

speak freely to strangers. Now each government has focused its attention on the Kurds within their boundaries and are trying to settle them in villages. with a population of approximately 1 million. Many Kurds are semi nomadic.S. Kurdistan is divided among the mountain areas of Persia. (Photo United Nations/vb /jf) NOMADS IN AFGHANISTAN Afghanistan is one of the few (if not the only) countries in the world in which the number of nomads is not decreasing. always searching for grass for Nomads on the road between Kandahar and Kabul . and Kurdistan is their unrecognized state (despite the many attempts by the Kurds to be acknowledged). Afghanistan . Kurdistan .S.R. and then back again. and participate in the activities of the tribe. Kurdish women have more freedom than the neighboring Arab women. and the U. (Photo United Nations/ B. Iraq. They go unveiled.95 The Nomads Kurds pin cloth over the gap between the sections and down the sides. dating back to before 2000 B. living in villages during the winter where they plant crops and in summer moving out into the mountain valleys with their tents and flocks. even to the point of becoming tribal chiefs on the death of their husbands and serving on electoral boards . A sedentary population is easier to control than a nomadic one. The Kurds have resisted tribal destruction by these governments more successfully than many other nomads. and vice versa.C. Turkey. By others it makes Afghanistan one of the most romantic and colorful countries of the world . Reed mats are set against the exterior perimeter as exterior walls and again inside to divide the men's and women's quarters. Iran has supported Kurdish uprisings against Iraq. Iraq.. 1970. By some international standards this makes Afghanistan one of the least developed countries of the world. 1958.~ . The Kurds are traditionally nomads.. More than 2 million Afghani nomads wander from the mountains in the center of the country to the lowlands along the borders. Legelle/ NJ) .

of course. This.) My beloved returned unsuccessful from battle. then they head back into the mountains. the nomads provide remote villagers with meat. which they bring from the mountains to the lowlands as winter approaches. Over 1. people are starving.e lcomed and regaled with trays of almonds and raisins and cup after cup of sweet. the Afghani live in tents made of goat hair that are supported by nine poles. The nomads encamp in the lowlands until spring comes and their sheep have given birth. Like their counterparts in Arabia. (United Nations/H. But in the case of the Afghan tent. Emergency assistance provided by various governments and U.96 The Tent in History their sheep and goats.N. But hospitality also prevails and guests are almost always w. The sides are either anchored with rocks and branches or staked . therefore providing more room inside the tent. and in some regions there is almost twice as much tuberculosis among the nomads as in the settled popu lation. (Photo United Nations/Jerry Frank. They are also a source of information and news to villagers who are cut off from the outside world. the infant mortality rate is a high 190 per thousand. These former nomads no longer have animals or pastures. There are many similarities between the Bedouin and the Afghan nomad. For the most part things have not changed for these people since Alexander the Great passed through Afghanistan over two thousand years ago. The nomad caravans that abound in Afghanistan are an embarrassment to the government. Iran. To the existence of the former. But it's still not enough. Actually the government of Afghanistan has very little control over its nomads and it appears that there will be little change among them for decades to come. including tending the animals and setting up and taking down camp. there are no crops. The Afghani nomads trade with inhabitants of remote villages and raise sheep.90 percent of the animals have died. and. The camel is the beast of burden and the women still do most of the work. Annual rains have not fallen for over six years now .6 million people in south and southeast Ethiopia have been affected by the drought. are inside the tent walls and spread them outward. Most of the nomads cannot read. I regret the kiss I gave him last night. Afghanistan . . Their tents are the black goat-hair tents of the Arabian and north Arabian desert. Note brush shelter to the left. the Afghan language: Nomads near their tents at a Koochi camp near Kandahar. butter. or the Soviet Union. Traveling some 100 to 200 miles per year. having come down through the centuries in legends and poems. the rope supports. These nomads exist outside the structure of society and travel with impunity across the borders of Afghanistan into Pakistan. agencies is being channeled into the affected areas by the United Nations Disaster Relief Coordinator. The floors are covered with hand-woven carpets. of course. which is produced in abundance in eastern Afghanistan. Lall/NJ) Hide tents of drought victims in the village of Bume in southern Ethiopia. The men do whatever fighting is necessary and for the most part sit around and talk more than work. and nuts. K. and yoghurt in exchange for vegetables. Traditions of fighting and revenge are strong. they pay no taxes to any of these governments. which run from the tops of the outside poles to wooden tent stakes in the ground. fruit. breaks the monotony of camp life for the nomads and gives the traveler food and shelter. Other parts of Africa have been equally hard hit. cheese. technology is a threat. which feels that the nomadic existence of the nomads deprives them of the social and health services that are slowly spreading throughout Afghanistan. An example is this verse in Pashto. milky tea. It is also believed that many of the nomads carry opium. But the Afghan nomad is threatened neither by technology nor the government.

Phototeque. and mats . There are four basic frame systems: the dome. though this does not occur frequently. The advantage of this tent is that its lightweight cover can be rolled up for easy transportation. box. These original hutlike tents were the predominant shelter throughout the whole Middle East until they were replaced by the black tent. This dwelling always faces west and is highly symbolic. As can be seen above. or mats are used by hunting and gathering cultures throughout the world. The dome. they form a barrel vault. straw. is constructed by bending light poles into arches acrosS each other and lashing them together. the mats are rolled up and the poles tied into bundles to facilitate moving. If the arched sticks are set parallel in a line instead of crossing each other in a circle. as are many nomadic tents . 1973. Africa. and Bangladesh. level terrain is not necessary for these structures. and Asia for non-nomadic peoples such as the Marsh Arabs of southern Iraq. The structure is supported at the center by a center pole which is equated to the center of cosmic space.97 The Nomads Afghan nomad camp in the Hindu Kush Mountains. (Musee de I'Homme. which is the oldest and most common variety. Bezanozano tent/hut of bent branches . such as the Tuareg and Baluchi use both types. The rectangular box frame made from straight lashed pieces is often combined with a barrel vault roof so that it sheds rain more efficiently than a flat top. Mat covered huts are still used as local cheap housing in South America. barrel vault. and northern Kenya. Northeastern Madagascar. Some tribes. Only a few groups continue to use them even though the mats have been kept for yurt and black tent side walls in a small area bounded by the western Sahara. the barridas squatter towns of Latin America. Baluchistan. bark. The interior walls of the Bezanozano house are associated with the twelve zodiacal signs and therefore with the months. and box with barrel vault. The frame is only taken along when wood for a new one is scarce. Paris) . Its disadvantage is that the mat or skin coverings are weak and cannot be stretched strenuously. (Photo United Nations/ Siceloff/PAS) MAT AND SKIN TENTS Mat and skin tents made of light freestanding stick frames covered with skin. This fact necessitates a complex frame system to support the cover. When they are dismantled.

Although goatskin is preferred for its strength. Therefore only the mats are taken during migration. This tent resembles the Berber tent with its keel-shaped design. (Musee de I'Homme. Cattle herders are often forced to use cowskin but this shrinks and hardens when wet and also requires tanning and waterproofing with butter. who adopted the black tent. and slave classes. and the western Sahara Tuareg and southern Sahara Teda desert dwellers who use the mat and skin types. the wall modules are of grass and straw interwoven with leather strips. a logical development is the black desert tent made of woven mats instead of goat-hair fabric. and tying them down with ropes until the arch is dry and holds its curved shape. where the mat and the black desert tent coexist. sheepskin may also be used .98 The Tent in History Nomadic mat tent dwellers are the original north African native Hamites.) Now that many men work in the oil fields and uranium mines and the flocks have been decimated by droughts the number of tents has been decreasing. The white stripes mark the locations of supporting ropes sewn into the tent fabric. tanning. bending them. The latter are offspring of ancestral Berbers who were forced into the desert by the Arab invasion of northern Africa in the eleventh century. Paris) . The Tuareg and Teda women. and medicine. The sun-bleached skins become sand colored and blend into the desert la. Paris) Gabes. (And the women can dissolve their marriages at will. serf. Ethiopia . When cowskin is used it is often Eritrea. which is used in dyeing.Samhar region nomads. Wall mats are sometimes positioned underneath the plaited palm roof sections for better resistance to rain. Pairs of curved roots are lashed together into one long piece to make a single arch. priest. These herder nobles used to be the ancient pirates and robbers of desert caravans . They curve the arches by heating these roots over a fire. The Tuareg culture is divided into a feudal system of noble. The two major Hamitic groups are the northern mountain Berber Hamites. Acacia is a type of ornamental plant that has some varieties that produce gum arabic and others that produce catechu. Phototeque . Finally thinner branches are intertwined through the arch loops and tied to the ends. Phototeque. (Musee de I'Homme. In Africa. The Tuareg is the only tribe of the Sahara in which the men are traditionally veiled. Short lengths of wood are tied to each pair of the ropes and these in turn are fastened to tent stakes with more rope.the mat and the skin. The slave class. Then final cutting and trimming is done'. descendants of war prisoners. In contrast to the Arabs these women own their dowry and property (that is. At the ends of this they set boxlike frames made of vertical poles with lashed crosspieces .ndscape. the Tuaregs and other nomadic and seminomadic tribes still make both types . Seminomads who move only a few times a year use the mat type. However.cowboylike nobles who did no work but were the only owners of camels (the source of their power). descendants of Noah's son Ham. are now legally free but still work for their owners since they can get no other employment. Another variation of the desert tent. this one striped and humped . Whole tribes were serfs to the nobles by inheritance even though they could not be sold or freed like slaves. The frame is made of long acacia roots. The frame structure was originally meant to be stationary because it is too heavy for easy portability. True Tuareg nomads who travel almost every other week prefer skins over their frames. At last the mats or skins are tied on. The mat panels are made of strips of plaited palm leaves sewn into larger oval sections for the roof. vassal. make the skin tent panels in addition to all other leather accessories and furniture. Tunisia . who are superb leather crafters. Stitching can also be seen running horizontally to the stripes where tension bands are sewn into the tent roof for front and rear support of the tent. To set up the frame the Tuareg set three arches into the ground in a line. the tent and all its furnishings) and retain them upon divorce.

which could possibly be the tent the worker and his family resided in as nomads . Saudi Arabia. (Photo United Nations/ PB/PAS) Yuruks. These people have been resettled in a tent city by the Ministry of Agriculture. Type of temporary housing in which an employee of AI Kharj experimental farm lives. also provided by the government. and probably also the physical type. A canvas tent is pitched to far right . like so many other nomads. near Lycia. growing crops and making rugs. The walls are made of stone and branches and the roof is a tent. and graze their goat and sheep herds. with the support of the United Nations. Iraq. These people. November 1965. economy. of the old Turks who emigrated from central Asia. sell their wares.99 The Nomads AI Kharj. (Photograph by Grace van Hulsteyn) . (Standard Oil Company) Women from a nomadic tribe of sheepherders outside Baghdad. and customs. in an attempt to develop small-scale agriculture and animal husbandry. The Yuruks or seminomadic sheepherders of Yugoslavia and Turkey are a homogeneous tribe of people who preserve in a very pure form the language. Turkey. have given up their black desert tents for regulation army tents (with and without windows) or small houses. Sedentary during the winter months . August 1977. these Yuruks travel in the summer months.

with the Pyramids of Giza in the background.near Timbuktu. animals.100 The Tent in History Left: A view of the women's wing of a desert tent. Mali. The women's section is the area for cooking utensils. children. weaving. Cooking. (photo by Carleton Howe) MAT TENT Tuareg mat and skin tents with frame variations SKIN TENT . and general housework are performed here. supplies. (Library of Congress) Right: Tuareg mat tent . early 19OOs.

The Mongol yurt has covered more"of the world than any other nomadic tent. the Tuaregs add a fringed edge strip along the seams. After roof skins are cut into rectangular panels and sewn together. and are hot in the summer. composed of eastern Europe and most of Asia. one in Persia. The choice of mat or skin is determined by weather. the Danakil or Afar. which was divided into four khanates: one comprised all of China and most of east Asia and was later ruled by Kublai Khan. Other variations of mat and skin tents extend through African areas and tribes such as the Fezzan of Libya. and luxurious of the many types of portable dwellings conceived by nomadic tribes. Drapes over the marital bed form a tent within the tent and provide further insulation against the outside cold. the Kel Geres of the Sudan. Des Peuples de la Russie) . Even though the skins are insufferably warm in the hot season they are sometimes favored because of their decorative beauty. mat tents leak and absorb water so that they have to be dismantled and dried out after each storm. Woven wall mats. the Franciscan friar who was one of the chief medieval travelers and travel writers. which dangles into the tent interior. waterproof. based on a very light wooden frame. 1215-1270). and the Golden Horde in Russia. and also preference for decoration. need more side support poles. his family. and it has provided shelter for the wandering Mongolian. This khanate included large elements of Turkic peoples who came to be known collectively as Tatar. It was the gorgeous tents of the Batu Khan that caused his successors to be known as the Golden Horde. are solid and strong and provide comfort and warmth in some of the highest and bleakest parts of the world . A cradle is strapped to the side of the tent at left. and leather cushions all display colorful patterns. Rechberg. measured between the wheel tracks of one and found the Interior of a Tatar yurt. These shelters. scimitar hangs from roof support at right. (From Henry Yule: The Book of Ser Marco Polo) YURTS The yurt is among the most ingenious. The Tuaregs heavily decorate the interior surfaces of these skins with colored leather and fringes that move with the breezes. This is considered very attractive. founded by the Batu Khan. Sometimes the more quickly assembled lighter mat tents are covered with skins during the rainy season so that hybrid variations of the two types are created. wood carving on the beds. and the Ad Sek. and the Beja of Somali land. Carved chests contained the family's possessions. and his animals for thousands of years. scarcity of materials. Rubruquis (c. The disposition of furnishings within the yurt is regulated by strict ritual and hierarchical order. a large one averages around 150 of them. samovar held tea. the Rendille of Kenya. the Eritrea of Ethiopia. They also installed their larger yurts on wagons.101 The Nomads colored reddish yellow with a mixture of red ochre and camel dung. Outer edges of the roof skins are left in their natural irregular shapes so that the extensi"ons (from the animal limbs) can be tied to the outer poles. the Somali. another in Turkistan. Genghis Khan (1162-1227) mobilized the ever-warring Mongol princes into a mighty force and by 1260 his sons ruled a far-flung Eurasian empire. (From C. An average-sized goatskin tent will have thirty-five to forty pelts. The Tatars decorated their yurts with brightly dyed goat hair which would be pressed into the felt covering to produce intricate designs.the Siberian steppe. Though the skins are heavier.

Folded rags and bedding sit atop the boxes and roof support poles are visible at top . The sections fold flat for good portability and the number used may vary. roped to facilitate being carried by camel and containing household utensils and carved wooden boxes in which the family valuables are kept . (Library of Congress) . Note reed matting (above) and compression band encircling the yurt . (Library of Congress) This photograph. allowing the size of the yurt to change according to the need of the day. taken before the turn of the century in Russia. shows a Mongol family inside their yurt. Piled behind them are decorated boxes. A door frame has been lashed into the wooden wall (below) to carry a stout wooden door and the compression band has been lashed to this frame.102 The Tent in History These two photographs show stages in construction of the yurt. The sides are a latticework made of willow.

To erect a yurt. One is a simple traveling tent that is a ridge-pole tent covered with dark cotton cloth.000 of the quarter of a million inhabitants of Ulan Bator still live in them. which means a collection of yurts. wooden ribs are lashed to the wall lattice and joined to a higher central compression ring or crown. August. On self-supporting crowns. the capital of Mongolia. Also. 1873) . in Mongolia. And for centuries the yurt was virtually the only dwelling known. It also had latticed windows and the occupants were able to travel within the tent. (Illustrated London News. for it projected beyond the wheels at least five feet on either side. In both A nineteenth-century rendering of a Tatar yurt. which housed an entourage of wives. allowing the size of the yurt to change according to the needs of the day. Actually the words yurt and yurta are of Russian origin and have become the Westerner's term for the collapsible felt tent of the Mongols.103 The Nomads distance to be twenty feet. The most practical feature of the yurt is its latticed frame. One involves having roof pieces tapered at one end with loops at the other. The compression band is that integral component that makes the yurt work. For the Mongolian. Then a compression band or rope is drawn around the top part of the wall and door frame. there are two arrangements for connecting the ribs with the crown. The number of sections used may be varied. however. This works on the same principle as the child's safety gate. Sometimes there are two pillars holding up the central ring . a university recently started in Ulan Bator uses yurts as dormitories. The wagon carried a tent pavilion some thirty feet in diameter. Matting is used on the yurts found in Turkestan (a region of central Asia extending from the Caspian Sea to the Gobi Desert and including parts of Russia and China) . This band encircling the structure at the eaves takes the outward thrust of the roof and therefore supports it. though the government is attempting to get the yurt dwellers to move into housing developments. the correct term is ger.other times there are none and the roof is self-supporting. The roof ribs are hinged to the crown and either branch out to connect with the wall or collapse for transport. hence a tribe. Nearly 50. the sections of which fold flat for easy transporting. Today yurts are still widely used throughout the rich steppe lands of central Asia and in Ulan Bator. The huge yurts of the Mongolian noblemen would always be surrounded by smaller yurts. The axle was like a ship's mast and twentytwo oxen were yoked to the wagon. eleven abreast. meaning "dwelling. and a door frame is also tied to them. Next. Usually. Woven mattings of different decorations and color indicated the social position of the yurt owner. the sections are expanded and bound together. apart from Buddhist monasteries. they can reach tremendous proportions. Their more permanent tent is the yurt. The tapered end fits into a hole in the crown and the other end is looped to the wall pieces. when expanded the sections stand about the height of a man. The other configuration works on the principle of the ribs of the umbrella. The Mongols have two types of tents. so horde was applied to Mongol armies." The English word horde comes directly from the Mongolian ordu. This practice of carrying yurts on wheels is obsolete now in Mongolia. Herbert Vreeland in his Mongol Community and Kinship Structure reported in 1927 that a sixteen-section yurt was so large that loaded camels were able to walk through its door and six hundred people were not able to fill it.

and photographs of Stalin and other Soviet leaders are now standard items. at left. (Photo: Eastfoto) .104 The Tent in History A carpenter and a nomad talk business. radios. Mirrors. (Library of Congress) Wealthier Mongolian families had more than just the yurt. with curtains. clock. 1953. Mongolian worker. The brazier of the traditional yurt has been replaced by the new gas stove. sewing machines. set up outside the wall of a town. Note iron-framed bed. Chests with print patterns and suitcases have replaced carved and appliqued boxes. Three compression rings at left lean against lattice framework and a beautifully decorated door is slightly to right. at home in their yurt. Urban yurt communities exist throughout Mongolia and the government is trying to move the yurt dwellers into housing developments. (Library of Congress) Yurt Interior . Pictured here is a simple traveling tent. his wife and children.Peoples Republic of Mongolia.

S. They will all make a winter trek when the weather starts to change. (Photo: Tass from Sovfoto) Forty-four miles from Frunze. The two men reclining are brothers whose ancestors had hired herders on a feudal basis. The hats of the brothers distinguish their rank from that of their pensioner. The other man is one of their pensioners. capital of Kirghiz.S. They own about 760 head of sheep each and average about 120 lambs to every 100 ewes. 1966. Southern Russia. in front of their yurt in the village of Kupre-Bazar. Young couples (like the one shown here). U.R.105 The Nomads The Council of the Wise. The modern age reaches the Mongolian nomad . These nomads gather around a radio with their morning tea. department chiefs. (Novosti from Sovfoto) . and villagers throughout Mongolia can obtain advice from their local councils of the wise.

and relocate the yurt to a clean patch of ground. Leather bags contain goods like rice. The yurt is fraught with religious symbolism. The altar or shrine box above the bags would house lama statues and images as well as a variety of offering trays. Too. provide the material for the outer covering of the yurt. sheep. pick up. calves. when weather conditions demand. The doors to the yurt are distinctly decorated with bright inlaid patterns on front and back. As the yurt evolved. the canvas and felt closest to the ground can be rolled up. This plan is firmly established. Yurt-cleaning is simple . The smoke hole became known as the "Sun Gate" and the "Sky Door. flour. and lambs . Thick felt mats are stretched over the framework and lashed in place or weighted with stones." which is ubiquitous in Buddhist temples. the felt cover along the vertical wall is removed. and extra rugs. as is the tipi. exposing the latticework and providing ventilation. the Mongol began to recognize a symbolic connection between his dwelling and the universe." The flames in the fire pit symbolized the gate to the underworld. and also serve as insulation in cold weather. In severe weather with temperatures of minus 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit and 90-mile-per-hour winds as many as eight layers of felt may be required for insulation. mats. in the yurt as in other nomadic tents. The furnishings are moved outside. Outside. have eight braces reinforcing the central compression ring. the piece of heavy cloth drawn over the smoke hole is decorated with a design similar to the ancient Chinese "cloud collar. or skins. for the most part. and a cowskin in which a variety of milk from yaks. This is also done with the tipi in hot weather. Smoke rising from the fire was referred to as the "World Tree" moving from earth to God. everything is placed in its traditional position. the circular shape of the yurt enables it to withstand the high velocity winds and it is easier to heat the inside because there ar:e no corners for heat to get lost in. It can also partially cover the opening in order to enable the wind to create a suction to draw the smoke from the yurt." Some yurts. A felt flap is hung over the entrance and put into use when the door is left open during the day.106 The Tent in History cases the number of ribs corresponds to the number in the wall section. These are quite similar to the eight-spoked "Wheel of the Law. Every morning an Transport of a yurt . weaving equipment. barley. a storage bin for boots and shoes. but only felt can provide the necessary protection from the elements. The nomads' herds. perhaps a samovar. including the yurt itself.yaks. The household equipment includes cooking utensils. In summer.and necessary. though not the ones pictured in this book. Again. Another felt flap is attached atop the yurt and. which is always pitched facing south so that the patch of sunlight shining through the smokehole acts as a clock. Occasionally a layer of canvas is used.are brought into the yurt and the body heat generated by them and the Mongol family enables the people to sleep with little or no covering. clothing boxes. Dried yak and sheep dung bricks are used as fuel. In extremely cold weather young or pregnant animals . and family members take up positions around the wall. it can be drawn over the crown. or horses is stored. plus four to six extra pieces attached to the top of the door frame.

on this one a highly ornate band of cloth is wrapped around two thirds of the circumference and the decorated doors at right identify this tent as the dwelling of a high-ranking personage. (Musee de I' Homme. The shape and coverings of the yurt may vary according to the tribe and region. Phototeque. (Musee de I'Homme. Paris) . Paris) This yurt of the Akcha of Northern Afghanistan has a higher and more conical dome. The cord draped over the left side is used to pull the felt cover over the smoke hole .107 The Nomads Another Turkish yurt. Phototeque.

even the Dalai Lama fled to India during a 1959 revolt against the Chinese occupation forces. the valley bottoms are as high as mountain peaks . and sudden frosts. The remainder of the Tibetans who are not lamas are nomadic and pasture their flocks mostly in the uplands at altitudes of more than 14. support system. Mekong. An interesting point is that the Mongolian herdsmen were not wood craftsmen and therefore depended on the inhabitants of wooded regions.S. Pilgrims. The central compression ring was always a purchased item. Tibet possesses an incredibly harsh. highly efficient tent. seemingly uninhabitable terrain and is called by its inhabitants "the Region of the GlacierSnow Mountains. was the mecca of Lamaism (a form of Mahayana Buddhism). Mongolia. hail. the Tibetan tent fabric is woven from only the black hair of . Yellow.000 feet and over. Even in the eastern portion. for the component parts of their yurts. The main tent dwellers of Tibet are the nomadic herdsmen who compose nearly half of the populatio_ n-.000 feet.108 The Tent in History offering would be made by pouring tea on the iron grate of the fire pit. Having the camel as a beast of burden enabled the Mongols to develop this heavier weight. and doors and latticework were also available from artisans who earned their living making them. The tents of these nomads resemble the black tents of the Bedouin in size. The parts were then loaded onto one or two camels. flocked to Lahasa from places as far away as Manchuria. mainly in the wilderness of northwestern Tibet. The land sustains a small peasant population." Good soil is seldom found and crops. Now all this has changed. to name a few). when planted. it was known as the land of lamas. and shape. and the U. with their tents. are threatened by drought. the capital. Tibet itself lies on a high plateau surrounded by the world's highest mountain masses. which is drained by many of the great rivers of east and southeast Asia (the Yangtze.R.10. spending the winters in the lowlands and grazing their animals on mountain slopes in the summer. bare. and Lahasa. and tent cities of the pilgrims no longer exist around Lahasa. Other pastoral groups migrate seasonally. But while the Bedouin tent is made of goat hair. The religious man of some tribes would climb a ladder and examine the flow of smoke from the smoke hole in order to obtain omens or messages from above. And Tibet is crossed from east to west by smaller ranges. who were fine carpenters. TIBET Before Tibet was annexed to the People's Republic of China in 1951. The lofty Himalayan chain sprawls along the entire southern frontier and blocks off the warm monsoon winds from the Indian Ocean.S. The yurt could be erected in about a half an hour and dismantled and loaded in about the same amount of time. with the compression ring being placed horizontally atop one camel load.

makes a yak load. unlike the desert tent.109 The Nomads yak steers. from the bellies of the yak . This tent is supported by six poles (as opposed to the customary nine of the Bedouin) and. So after a tent has been in use for a year.two in the center. from their bellies. keep the tent stretched tautly over the poles. not shorn. these tents are square in shape and average around thirty square feet and are six to seven feet high in the center. This makes for a reasonably waterproof fabric that becomes increasingly more so from the smoke and soot of dung fires within the tents. Eight guy ropes. not shorn. New pieces . The strips of fabric from which the tent is made also run from front to rear and are anywhere from eJght to twelve inches wide. and These tents of the Tibetan nomads are made from yak hair which is pulled. The tent cloth is heavy and each section. The tent is supported by six poles . and four shorter. The tents vary in size due to the fact that they are renewed annually piece by piece. The tent is composed of two sections. Each of these yak hair ropes (this hair comes from other parts of the yak) is fastened to the tent roof in a threecord spread. which has been pulled. has a central vent in the roof. one at each corner and one midway on each side. and there is a substantial amount of wear and tear over the hearth because a system of loops and toggles (made of horn) forms a two-foot-wide combination skylight and smoke hole. one at each of the sides .one for each side . which are six or seven feet long. like their Bedouin counterparts. it is never completely old or completely new. For the most part. During storms there is a flap that is pulled and fastened over this vent to keep out the rain and snow. (Photo: Library of Congress) .are sewn on each side of the center division because it is this central division that acts as a smoke hole. with a division in the center running from front to rear. with its tent poles. then stretched over the top of an external prop pole.

Others are smaller and irregular. and forms a makeshift tent that protects caravan loads. it is a status symbol to have a yurt in reserve for use in entertaining high-ranking persons or celebrating special occasions. it covers both bed and gear. however. This enables the tent to be more adaptable to the high winds. As would be expected in a country as rugged as Tibet. The walls also are adjustable . The prop poles may be adjusted in distance and angle to provide any desired pull on the roof of the tent.they can hang free or be pegged slightly outward. The Tibetan wears an oversized large-sleeved felt raincoat that looks like a walking tent and. . though sometimes boulders serve as anchors. and half the horse. there are many variations in the size and shape of these tents throughout Tibet. when riding horseback. including large churns in which tea is mixed with butter to fortify the nomad against the cold. the traveler. Of course. external prop suspension system of the black tent. Inside the tent there are two sections. sometimes. and tents may be found scattered along valleys or interspersed on level ground on ridges or in ravines . The open space by the hearth is for the men and guests. the right side contains the elaborate family altar in the far corner and prized possessions stacked along the side. The left side is where the women do their work and sit by the fire. Butter and cheese making equipment is also kept in this area . The nomadic Tibetans also have pup tent-like shelters that are used for sleeping on the rim of the encampment or where the herds settle down for the night. this tent covers the rider. Less often found among the nomads are ceremonial yurts. In frozen ground iron pegs are necessary. in which case the neighborly relationship is retained. however. That area contains a pile of fuel (yak or sheep dung) in the front corner and kitchen utensils in boxes and bags spread along the back. the encampments sometimes must conform to the terrain.110 The Tent in History finally is pegged securely to the ground. when seated by the fire it can cover belongings and both food being consumed and half the fire upon which food is being cooked. all are supported with guy ropes and prop poles. Many pastoral families also have smaller tents for travel or picnicking. Some are quite large constructed from three or four sections. all his gear. or "god houses" for the group. The Tibetans carry with them yak-hide bags and wooden chests filled with food and with all the normal household items that would be found in any permanent dwelling. The Tibetans have resisted using the yurt and the black tent is sacred to them. These are very simple affairs . sometimes as much as ten feet in diameter. Felt is also made into circular pieces. Entering from the front by the center pole. These possessions stacked against the walls also insulate the tent. and the traveler's gear. These patterns can vary from the common "tent circle" or. more distance is kept between the tents. When the Tibetan beds down. that is conical in shape or a rectangular roofed tent that utilizes the guy rope. There is a set pattern of placement when the community is on the move and tents are pitched. The Tibetans make felt from sheep's wool and there is great demand for it.usually a ridge-pole style.

PART 2 THE TENT AS ART .

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though decadent Rome was. courtyards and amphitheaters through the centuries and throughout the world. had velum tent tops that could be extended and retracted. Before this century. in various theaters. and cloth was fastened to the cables with eyelets. Then a few decades ago. town squares. began to be considered a feasible alternative to conventional right-angled steel and glass. Bernard Lafaille From their inception. among them the Colosseum.in the form of air-supported and tension structures . and a fresco in Pompeii dating from 59 B. the tent. shaded by silk. both of them reaching incredible heights and extremes . due to technological developments. Some vela were also beautifully decorated .C.4 ARCHITECTURE To accomplish a task with a minimum use of materials is finally the only interesting problem. and. In ancient Rome the grandest theaters and amphitheaters. appropriately enough. They consisted of cables attached to massive beams. marketplaces. only occasionally did the tent exert its influence on architecture and vice versa. From comments in Roman literature. sailors were in charge of that operation. And now the tent . the theater vela were supposedly introduced in 69 B. Little is known of the actual workings of these roofs.Nero is responsible for two - 113 . tents and permanent structures have gone their separate and independent ways. One time-tested example of the tent's incorporation into architecture is the convertible roof or tent top that has provided shade and protection for streets. showing a Pompeii amphitheater velum was discovered in a building near the amphitheater in 1869. Linen was predominantly used.is becoming an integral part of modern architecture.C.

and Aesthetical Studies on the Decoration and Furnishings of the Dwelling. and still standing in Rome).c. is in use. though a ragged one. which was also the popular place of assembly. The vela of the Colosseum above is reminiscent of the roof of the Pantheon (a circular temple constructed in 27 s. Hall of State in the palace of an Egyptian monarch. All Round the World. (From W . (Editorial Photocolor Archives) . Ainsworth . 1869) This Pompeian fresco dates from 59 s. (From Jacob von Falke's Art In the House. Again a velum. which has a similarly proportioned round hole in its roof. Agora is the Ancient Greek term used for marketplace. Note the small fabric structure in the foreground. Again . It shows the Pompeii amphitheater and its velum. 1879) The Agora of Athens in the 1860s. which hangs between two towers of the adjacent city wall and partially covers the amphitheater. the fabri c roof is applied.114 The Tent as Art The Roman Colosseum under canvas. (ten years after the conception of theater velum) and is the only known pictorial rendering of an ancient theater velum. this time in the form of pieces of decorated material (probably linen ) strung from supporting poles. Critical.c. F. Historical.

had erected metal tent s fashioned after those used by the Ottoman sultans for large receptions in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries . drapes. these guardhouse tents are painted in trompe-l'oeil and decorated with simulated fringes. fabric is used to provide protection from the sun . (Arabian American Oil Company) . The crown of the kings of Sweden is on the roof of the one on the right. Decorated in several colors (one is blue and the other is striped). in the midst of civil strife in Sweden . Through the ages fabric has been used to cover outdoor gathering places and transform them into cool and comfortable areas. for guard houses. Again.115 Arch itectu re In 1781. King Gustavus III felt that the Chinese pavilions that composed the palace complex at Haga should be placed under guard and . braid. Saudi Arabia . A shopping street in Manama on Bahrain Island.

Architect: Leroy S.. Jeddah International Airport near Mecca. during which time he completed this drawing. Silverdome stadium's air-supported roof of woven Fiberglas coated with Teflon covers ten acres. And today.638. Harvey Ellis. Buffington (1847-1931). Saudi Arabia. Chicago. Project for the World's Columbian Exposition. there have been buildings constructed to look like tents. the artist. Michigan. was the city's largest. cloth remains by far the most practical covering: it can do the job faster and cheaper. These fabric tent tops over buildings reached proportions that remained unequalled until this century. There has been other interaction between tents and buildings. And metal Steel tent. which seats 80.C. The new Pontiac. Tents have on occasion been camouflaged to look like buildings: for example.. The stadium. drawing by Harvey Ellis (1852-1904). In the centuries between the Pompeii amphitheater and the Silverdome fabric has been used over everything from Egyptian palaces to streets in Saudi Arabia. He patented a steel skeleton construction technique on which modern skyscraper technology is based. Buffington's architectural business was located in Minneapolis and. for instance. had the ceiling of his domical tent painted to look like stone. and conserves energy as well. University of Minnesota) . and.116 The Tent as Art and the one in the Pompeii amphitheater was made of sky-blue cloth decorated with stars. they were so impressed with it they modeled the theater of Pericles in Athens after it. The vela of ancient Rome covered areas that the existing structural technology was unable to duplicate with rigid materials. The other covered the Pompeii theater in Rome and showed Nero as a deified charioteer against a purple sky with golden stars. At the other extreme. which is due to open in 1980. will cover a whopping 105 acres. ptolemy II. even though these areas can be spanned without depending on fabric. 1893. was with Buffington's firm only two years. the king of Persia who invaded Greece in 480 B. when the Greeks captured the field tent of Xerxes. the walls of one of Richard Gibson's fabulously decorated and designed tents were painted in trompe-l'oeil to resemble brickwork. C. was completed ahead of schedule and did not exceed the budget. and one of his divergences from that type of architecture was this steel tent. in 1885. (Northwest Architectural Archives. king of ancient Egypt from 285 to 246 B. in the Field of the Cloth of Gold in 1520.

are just that . It was still strongly associated with pioneering and the rough lifestyle of the frontier and was. not genteel.airtight structures supported by slight interior air pressure. to resemble the tents used by Turkish sultans for large receptions when the Ottoman Empire was at its height. were encouraged to camp out. however. Children. in the form of air-supported structures designed for military needs. state sanitariums. The tent house has enjoyed great popularity in this country. As the tent becomes the hottest thing in architectural design for large buildings. therefore.S. as was fashionable during the Empire period of France (1804-1815). of course. At the turn of the century camping was not considered the exciting return to nature it is today. More recently tents were pitched indoors. Another interesting and more logical innovation is the tent house. And vacationing in a tent house served as the equivalent of camping out for the adults. . and tourist resorts have used them quite successfully. especially at resorts and religious communities. Fans or blowers provide the pressure and entrance to and exit from these buildings is usually through an air lock. it stands to reason that the tent house also has an exciting futu reo It is only in this century that the tent has entered the field of architecture and this was. which has enjoyed great popularity in this country. government's need for a means of protecting A tent house at the New York state sanitarium at Ray Brook in the Adirondack Mountains. Sweden.117 Architecture tents were built in 1781 at the palace of Haga in Stockholm. Various manufacturers make permanent camping tents designed for platform campsites. and superbly designed tents intended to be used in place of an often-unaffordable summer house are also on the market. Religious camp communities.like an air mattress. Camping was also difficult for women wearing the Victorian fashions that were in style. Air-supported structures. and did. The air-supported structure is distinguished from the inflated structure by the fact that in the inflated structure the occupied area is not under pressure and the walls of the building are filled with air . Rooms were also built or decorated to look like tent interiors. unobtrusively. saving themselves the cost of erecting and maintaining permanent structures and certainly providing more of a sense of adventure for their clientele. In response to the U.

The building has a cablesupported membrane roof and was originally planned with a neoprenecoated cover membrane. Other early tension structures were designed by the late Eero Saarinen and engineered by Severud. standing atop a radome. cylinder-shaped structure at left and then set up in the large dome . it was designed in 1950 by architect Matthew Nowicki and engineered by Fred M. Radio waves could be transmitted almost without resistance through the light neoprene-coated Fiberglas walls. thereby eliminating snow. and transmission efficiencies could be maintained in adverse weather. full weather protection of the instruments inside was provided. highly sensitive radar antennae developed after the Second World War on the Distant Early Warning (DEW) line in the Arctic. built by Walter Bird for the Air Ballistics Missile Agency. Bird and four associates went on to organize Birdair Structures. two . But.118 The Tent as Art and enclosing the large.in short. The pioneer of tension buildings is the arena in Raleigh. Severud. In the late 1950s. It also served as a rocket workshop. publicity on air structures resulted in the formation of several other companies that started manufacturing bubbles for use as warehouses. the intersecting cables (and there can be a hundred or a hundred thousand of them) must curve in opposite directions to provide equilibrium . Large objects such as rockets could be air-locked in through the long. forty feet high) air-supported radome in 1948 while he was with Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory (now CALSPAN) in Buffalo. and so on) to which it might be subjected . (Photo : Birdair) Pentadome-A. Bird . Walter Bird . For years considered the most important largespan cable net structure. Saarinen's Dulles International Airport in Virgin ia is the first Walter W. and exhibition spaces . Ingalls Hockey Rink at Yale University in New Haven. was used as a principal Armed Forces Day exhibit at Andrews Air Force Base for several years. innovations in tension-supported structures kept pace. Since tension structures do not require airtight construction and therefore use no air locks or blowers. Meanwhile.who is now recognized as one of the pioneers in the field of design and fabrication of air structures . The ends of the building are braced with steel trusses. Incorporated. Connecticut (1957-1958) . The David S. rain. Birdair has participated in the construction of practically every important fabric structure since then. North Carolina. pool and tennis court enclosures. air structures began to find applications when the low cost and portability factors produced a need. Two basic principles are at work in the tension structure: one. to promote the development of commercial structures as well as to continue doing military research. building code restrictions then in effect dictated the use of sheet metal instead. not only between the spine and side walls. snow. the cables must be prestressed to the point where the structure will remain stable under the varying loads (such as wind. tension or tensile structures are membrane and high-strength cable structures that derive their stability from their geometric shape of opposing curvatures. and wind factors. Buildings with tension-supported roofs were the predecessors of modern tension structures.000 square feet. one of the leading authorities on air structures. energy can be saved. In 1956. but also running parallel with the spine to prevent flutter. to be considered in the cost of tension fabric structures is a slightly higher initial cost because of cables and other steel supports necessary. Unlike an air-supported or inflatable tent.developed the first large (fifty feet in diameter. These membranes encapsulated 50. ice. (Photo: Birdair) . has a gracefully curved roof composed of a web of steel cables stretched. however.

(Geiger Burger Associates .119 Arch itectu re The Raleigh arena. Consulting Engineers) Raleigh Arena. The thrust of the arches is in turn taken by concrete tripods with prestressed underground ties to prevent slipping of the footings . Its cable-suspended roof is slung between two rows of concrete piers. The hall is used mainly for cattle shows. P. reinforced concrete arches in compression take the loads from the cables. (Severud-Perrone-Sturm-Bandel . suspended roof under construction.c. / . Steel cables in tension take the roof loads and inclined . ) Saarinen designed and Severud engineered the reception building at Dulles International Airport in Virginia. one of the earliest and best of the large-span cable-net structures.

The architects were Baskervill and Son. Berger engineered the University of Virginia's new Field House which uses a combination of precast and cast-in-place concrete combined with post-tensioning. They possess the heavy look of some of the other tension buildings of the time due to the limited number of acceptable lightweight building materials available. Sheldahl built this dome of transparent polyester foil. This building sported a wooden plank roof supported by cables. this structure contains an outside tension ring that was post-tensioned by wrapping it with cable. Following along the same principles as those at work in the roof of the Mongolian yurt. just as a fabric compression band is wrapped around the yurt. with Fred Severud. From each side of this falls the curved metal tension roof. Connecticut. Entry is from beneath. as a grain silo. This tent structure which looks almost like a giant mushroom. The wooden wall retained the grain. Ribs radiating into a smaller central compression ring were anchored into the outside tension ring. the Takamatsu Prefectural Office (1955-1958). Berger refers to this structure as the "missing link. (Sheldahl) This air-supported membrane was built by the Sheldahl Company in Northfield. the magnificent National Indoor Stadium for the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo. rests on a light tube platform at roof height. In 1962. For instance. and precast lightweight concrete shells were placed on the framework. the roof of the Olympic swimming hall is suspended from a pair of fourteen-inch cables hung between twin concrete towers.120 The Tent as Art commercial airport designed exclusively for jets and its cable-suspended roof is slung between two rows of shaped concrete columns. Minnesota." but it is a fine example of the kind of innovation and daring tension design that has led to the breakthroughs of today. Another architect who has designed some splendid tension structures is Kenzo Tange. In 1965. and up until the early 1960s was the largest pneumatic structure with radial cables . architect Victor Lundy and engineer Horst Berger designed the Unitarian Church in Hartford. (Sheldahl) . In the 1950s. sweeping out to semicircular compression arches formed by the seating galleries within. His roof for the Shizuoka Convention Hall (1953-1954). The striking exterior design of this and the neighboring gymnasium also produces equally arresting interiors. and his design for a housing complex over Tokyo Bay are tension buildings. It measures sixtyseven yards in diameter.

c. 1965. The roof consists of forty-eight twoinch diameter cables supporting ring trusses . Precast arch ribs insert against the columns and deliver their horizontal thrust to a cast-in-place.. designed by Victor Lundy and Horst Berger. Jr. which spans 282 feet. The outside ring is post-tensioned by wrapping it with ten layers of wire.S-million-dollar colosseum also applies the yurt compression-ring principle. is composed of thirty-two columns arranged on a circle. Connecticut. in 1960. the concrete dome. which in turn transmit the horizontal forces to the compression ring .121 Architecture University of Virginia field house. The cable is anchored at the top of folded precast panels . (Geiger Berger Associates. Precast lightweight shells span between the ribs. This 6. appears to be draped over a Jacques Lipchitz sculpture commemorating nineteenth-century utopian communities in Indiana. Odell . (Philip Johnson) Hampton Roads Coliseum. producing the undulating shape which so beautifully matches the hills of Virginia. just as a fabric compression band is wrapped around the eave of the yurt to support the roof supports. (Severud-Perrone-Stu rm-Bandel. this fluted dome designed by Philip Johnson at New Harmony. Engineer: Fred Severud. which can be seen approximately thirteen feet below the cable anchorage. Engineers: Fred Severud and Horst Berger.c. Built on the same compression-band principle as the Mongolian yurt. Consulting Engineers) Unitarian Church in Hartford. Architects : Baskervill and Son. (Geiger Berger Associates. Indiana. and Associates. post-tensioned ring at the periphery and a cast-in-place compression ring in the center . P.) . Architects: A. P.) Though not a tension structure. G.

England .122 The Tent as Art Kenzo Tange also designed this model for a 50-billion-dollar urban complex to be built over Tokyo Bay. This unique application of stretched fabric provides shelter for a walkway which links the computer center to the main building of the IBM Havant Plant. fourteen-inch cables run from ground level and between twin concrete towers . The three cable networks supporting the roof can be seen in the photo above. Hampshire.) Japan's foremost architect Kenzo Tange designed two magnificent tension structures as stadiums for the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Project: Medical Academy." the architect's report is quoted as saying. These centrally supported radial "cable nets" were. manufactured these hangar tents in large series. This aircraft hangar tent was designed by Otto in the mid-1950s and is composed of a membrane with ridge and bracing cables. transverse cables running from opposite points on the semicircular arches further support the welded steel plate deck and stabilize the roof against flutter. 1965. The surrounding dual wall of the dome is composed of inflated toroidal segments . Birdair in Buffalo . Third . Second. He has designed tension structures to cover everything from ocean bottoms to cities in the Arctic. . New York. (Birdair) Frei Otto. Germany. by a strange coincidence. woven in Frei Otto's studio by a spider at the tip of a model for a crane. Lightweight structures comply completely with the laws of nature. Arup Associates were the architects and engineers for the factory complex. developed this hybrid radome which combines both single and dual wall construction. West German architect Frei Otto is one of the acknowledged experts in the field of lightweight construction. The tent manufacturer Stromeyer in Konstanz. The single-wall "curtain" can be raised during critical phases of antenna testing. like those making up an air mattress . ("There would be a minimal amount of land speculation. the roof is slung from the fourteen-inch cables to the semicircular compression arches formed by the seating galleries on each side . Ulm. similar to a suspension bridge. First.

set the precedent for scores of large-scale tentlike structures to follow. had to use conventional materials for roofing. Twenty-two years later came the West German Pavilion and the Stuttgart Institute of Lightweight Structures. One of the tension achievements of the 1960s was architect Frei Otto's West German Pavilion at Expo '67 in Montreal. The roof is made of a prestressed steel-cable network of high and low points in a state of equilibrium with an outer covering of laminated canvas and an underslung roof skin made of translucent polyester fabric. in order to satisfy building codes as permanent structures. These residential units are subcities composed of tentlike "megastructures" hovering over the water on pylons. and he engineered new designs in bridge-building using tension principles. Schools. with the giant megastructure covering all indoor facilities for the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972. This really caught the public eye and. Two suspended highways spanning the bay enclose the business and industrial structures and segregate them from the residential complexes. was put in charge of a construction team repairing bridges. Each carved facade would contain fifty stories of apartments with public terraces and playgrounds represented by the cutout areas on the curved surface. . In the mid 1940s. this one only in the model stage. shopping facilities.123 Architecture Another of Tange's projects. which Otto founded and from whence his diverse and formidable works emerge. Until that time all architectural membranes deteriorated in sun- Fabric roof of the West German Pavilion being fitted into place. The size of the workers gives an idea of the scale of the structure. The roof of the West German pavilion at Expo '67 in Montreal established Frei Otto as one of the most significant and exciting innovators in contemporary architecture. In the 1970s. This would provide some personal freedom and individuality within the urban complex. shortly before Walter Bird was developing his radomes. Tange developed this type of building while studying at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. inflated and tension structures. is a 50billion-dollar urban complex that would be built over Tokyo Bay. Frei Otto. parking. which sprawl over the bay on each side of the highway system and municipal area. A shortage of materials and an abundance of labor enabled him to begin experiments in tension structures. while in a prisoner-of-war camp in Chartres. Tange's plan is to let the people plan their own houses on platforms created within the tent walls. and monorail terminals would be situated within the cavity formed by the two facades.

thereby prolonging its life. It was their potential use for traveling shows and exhibitions that sustained and developed the air and tension structures. 1972. the cable-reinforced air-supported roof was chosen as the solution to the problem.124 The Tent as Art light and open air. Pavilion at Expo '70 in Osaka. The U. which was an extremely stable. Japan. Some 89 . Being temporary. Thi s prestressed cable-net construction of ridge s and hollows (or high and low points in a state of equilibrium) is covered with acrylic glass sheets which are flexibly linked together and buffer-supported. 1968. . One hundred thousand square feet were encapsulated.000 cubic feet of air per minute. Engineer David Geiger. This retractable protective covering can al so be dismantled and stored at the end o f th e theater season. Meanwhile. This membrane roof of PVC-coated polyest er can be centrally bunched at the main mast to provide an open-air theater or lowered in four minutes to cover the theater.S. Designed as a permanent structure with panels individually replaceable (without deflating the building). The design of the Osaka Expo '70 Pavilion was 250 x 450 feet with sloping earth berms to blend into the roof to provide uniform aerodynamic loading over the full roof. Also. This air-supported structure required the circulation of 40. The size and technical complexity of this structure make it one of Frei Otto' s most formidable. West Germany. Unusual shapes and their unique characteristics attracted attention. Davis Brody. and lower cost. easy transportability. Birdair had developed the Cabledome@l concept.500 square yards are covered by this tension roof. making it impossible to anchor the fabric in the ground. patented both a diamondshaped pattern of steel cables over which a vinyl-coated Fiberglas fabric Roof over the open-air theater in th e abbey ruins in Bad Hersfeld. this structure was proposed for use as a sports arena or stadium. Munich . the earth around Osaka is swampy. Osaka is typhoon territory and this low-silhouette structure was capable of withstanding 150-mile-an-hour winds. but no investors seemed interested in taking it on. The covered area for the stadium alone is approximately 41 . who in 1968 had formed a partnership with Horst Berger. and easy removal at the conclusion of the exhibition made them ideal for this purpose. gave the air structure the impetus it needed.250 square yard s. Then Congress cut appropriations in half and there was a need to maintain exhibit space while greatly reducing the cost of the structure. cable-reinforced air dome that could be used to provide low-cost and efficient structures in sizes up to 1000 feet in diameter. Architects. severely limiting their lifespan and rendering them impractical. building permits were obtainable and short-life membranes could be used. Section of roofing of the main sports area in the Olympiapark . had been awarded the design commission for a unique dual-wall air structure they had proposed and that Birdair was to fabricate.

and dehumidifying the enclosed space . (Birdair St ructures.) Birdair has developed this 78-foot-wide by 420-foot-long prototype design to evaluate a lower cost method for " mothballing" in active ship s until needed for service. Inc. the bubble is deflated . Thi s massive tent covers a site in which all foundation . DELAWA RE One of the prime uses of air-supported structures is on construction sites . and el ectrical work is being done . and returned to the manufacturer for cleaning and re-use . PENNSYLVANIA . (Environmental Structures .) When work is completed .) . (Environmental Structures .125 Architecture (~()J: rsrl'lt(J(~rl'I()NI~I~lt ® EVER'r'OTHER MONDAY. lifted f rom th e com pleted site. NEW JERSEY. sealing . underground piping. Inc. Work can proceed uninterrupted through the winter. NEWS · PHOTO COVERAGE OF NEW YORK . It provides a unique solution for environment al control by covering. dismantled . Inc.

Michigan. The roof of the U. Japan. Geiger developed and patented techniques for determining the placement and loading of cable net restraints for the low-profile. Again. looking for a new fabric for Apollo astronauts' space suits.) . had it coated with Teflon TFE fluorocarbon resin manufactured by DuPont This picture speaks for itself. In this case the ring sat atop the earth berm. But the air-supported-structure industry still lacked a fabric that could satisfy building codes and be permanent enough to meet the needs of prospective investors and satisfy lending institutions. yet thin. Owens-Corning had been experimenting with an ultrafine glass yarn called Beta yarn. From the computer analysis involved in the project. P. (Geiger Berger Associates. Pavilion . P.S. Silverdome.c. Under contract to NASA. Pavilion at Expo '70 was delivered by truck to the construction site . they wove the yarn into fabric.4-acre Pontiac. (Geiger Berger Associates. and flexible fabric. light.126 The Tent as Art was stretched and an elliptical-shaped concrete compression ring in which the cables carrying the fabric were anchored. commissioned Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corporation to come up with a durable and noncombustible. These same principles and techniques now have made it possible to cover huge spans such as the 10. it was another government need (just as the military's need had inspired development of pneumatic radomes in the 1940s and the Expo '70 Pavilion was a government commission) that prompted the most important advance in the field: an acceptable fabric.c.S . Expo '70 in Osaka. To try this with any other kind of roof you need truck fleets. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). air-supported fabric roof. The success of the Osaka Pavilion caused a surge of interest in air structures for many applications.) U. but in other structures it has been used atop columns or walls.

Inc. The use of fabric covering on this student center reduced building costs 30 percent below that of conventional construction. or rot. the concept has taken hold and currently more than one hundred Fiberglas fabric structures are in design or study stages. student activities. cable lengths. and Chemical Fabrics of Bennington. (Photo courtesy of Birdair. is very strong. his partner Horst Berger made a most significant breakthrough in tension-structure engineering by discovering how to describe mathematically the shape of a tension structure . With the technology gained at Osaka and the first usage of the new Fiberglas Teflon material at LaVerne College.a problem that had hitherto eluded tension-structure designers. the permanent tent building now is gradually becoming an economic and visual alternative to conventional steel.) The tent roof of the LaVerne structure covers 1. Since the first permanent tent structure (LaVerne Student Center) was erected in 1973. Now the tent .127 Architecture Company. glass. Berger developed a procedure to feed into a computer the predetermined locations of points on curves in space from an initial assumed shape. and the astronauts were set for takeoff. The flexible design permits rearrangement of the interior to accommodate athletic events. These projects range from sports and recreation complexes to structures enclosing shopping centers. The Drama Lab encloses 10. DuPont. LaVerne. lightweight. David Geiger. California. shrink. California. and the smaller Drama Lab roof (upper left in photo) took one day. that has the prestress forces as input and the shape as output. with necessary tensioning of fabric on both following over the next few days .) . Berger says. have not been able to take on the truly space-age look that comes so naturally to the modern tent architecture of today. was designed by The Shaver Partnership in 1968 and represents the first permanent. mildew. to adapt this fabric to construction use. GeigerBerger engineered the project and conducted computer analysis to determine the best placement of cables and columns. It's a design process in reverse. and coated with more Teflon TFE. in all their modernity. theatrical productions. With this input established. The first application of this material was for the LaVerne College Student Center in LaVerne. apartments.383. The Student Center' s fabric roof was erected in three days. Its cost is also 30 to 40 percent as much as conventional roofing. This tensioned fabric structure was designed by the Shaver Partnership and fabricated by Birdair. and community facilities from Alaska to Saudi Arabia. Vermont. and requires no cleaning because dirt cannot stick to its surface. Later. in his search for a suitable membrane to cover his newly developed support system. The computer output gives all cable forces. worked with Owens-Corning. While David Geiger has made momentous contributions on the airsupported front. in 1973. It was thickened. the computer then corrects the geometry for one point at a time. which are set at 15degree angles. Teflon TFE-coated Beta Fiberglas has a potential service life of at least twenty years.which had always been covered with material subject to weather deterioration . and fabric patterns. is virtually impervious to the effects of weather and sunlight. The LaVerne College Student Center. won't stretch. woven into stronger and more porous fabric. (Birdair Structures. and flame resistant (it can pass the "burning brands" fire test in which heated wood blocks are placed on it).671 square feet to the Student Center's 68. until all points are corrected and the accurate geometry of the entire structure is found. enclosed Fiberglas fabric roof structure in the United States and one of the first major attempts to reduce construction costs of large enclosed educational facilities. who fabricated the structure.could be considered a permanent item. schools. The multiconed fabric membrane is supported by a network of cables attached to steel columns that function like circus-tent poles. and other recreational programs. and concrete buildings. allowing for stress loads.4 acres. Conventional buildings.

stressed by cables only at the ridges (mast to mast). the connector is asymmetrical to bring them to the same working point with equal forces. P. with fabric cut away outside the masts. valleys (ground to ground). and the edges . Architects H2C2 and Engineer Horst Berger of Geiger Berger conceived a series of emblematic and festive tents that were placed around the city. Because supporting cables came to a peak at different angles. together spanning sixty-eight feet. The fabric membrane is constructed essentially of parallel flat strips. The fabricators (Birdair) received a pattern that specified both dimensions and fabric strengths. (Geiger Berger Associates.c. P. the structure comprises two rows of radial tents. Supported by fifty-fivefoot vertical masts.) . The Independence Mall Pavilion houses a theater and the masts of the tension structure were tilted to ease forces on the valley cable anchorages .128 The Tent as Art To house a variety of Bicentennial celebrations in Philadelphia in 1976.c. (Geiger Berger Associates.) The Folklife Pavilion consists of ten rows of what are in effect half tents.

P.S. Pavilion was an air-supported fabric structure. Washington.S.129 Architecture U. In the previous world 's fair in Osaka.) . (Geiger Berger Associates.c. the U. In Expo '74 the exhibition hall was fabric. but the building was a tension structure with a radial cable-net roof supported by a central column. Pavilion at Expo '74. Spokane .

Ltd.) A computer drawing of multiple radial tent structures. The computer method of designing tension structures is a new and efficient approach to the problem. and he also relies heavily on his models. who furnished the following account. and the architect can experiment with curvatures. including Vela/Future Tents.130 The Tent as Art Berger developed this procedure while working on radial tent roofs resting on square bases at Great Adventure Amusement Park in New Jersey. This is the method used by Frei Otto and many other lightweight structure architects. P.. (This. P.c. proving the accuracy of the design. is the way Horst Berger starts his projects. The principle behind this is that any shape a soap bubble can assume is in a state of equilibrium (all forces Drawing computer pictures at Columbia University. This is a crude model and there is enormous flexibility at this stage of the design. It is also strictly an engineering approach since the ultimate shape of the structure is dependent upon the computer results. Fabric structures had been a sideline for Berger up until then. a stretch model giving the basic architectural boundaries is built. First.) Next the soap-film model is made.c. The input is the engineer's predetermined location of points on curves in space from an initial assumed shape. The architectural approach brings the computer into playas a final check on results that are obtained by making a soap-film model. The computer then charts and corrects the geometry on every stress point until all points check out correctly. totally engineered designs are superb achievements. the tops of the tents came within one-eighth inch of the design elevation. The twelve knobs at right can produce any configuration or geometric adjustment to obtain a corrected cable geometry on a designed structure. by the way. now he is considered one of the experts in the fabric-tension-structure field. and at the correct prestressing force. His diverse. (Geiger Berger Associates. Usually a minimum of two or three models are constructed. These buildings went up in 1974. (Geiger Berger Associates.) .

or rectangular shapes. who furnished the author with photographs and an explanation of the process. The other involves working with soap-film models and has been used by Frei Otto and many other lightweight structure architects. After the design has been refined . a cutting pattern for the fabric is made and an exact simulation of the tent is constructed . square. Next a soap-film model is made. Anchor Industries will supply these tents to rental agencies who in turn will lease them for parties. . At this stage a minimum of two or three models will be constructed. industrial fairs. After the coordinates and points in space on the structure are confirmed. etc. One unique feature of these tents is they are composed of modular units which can be sewn together in cruciform. including Vela/Future Tents . they first constructed several stretch models in order to start developing their design . When Vela/Future Tents was commissioned to design modular tent units for Anchor Industries. of New York City. The latter two ' would produce courtyards surrounded by the tent. Ltd ..131 Architecture The computer method of designing tension structures is one approach to the problem. the critical sections of the model are photographed through the grid on the front of the soap box .

is the Silverdome.c. It is this model that can be subjected to wind-tunnel.) Architect Paul Rudolph designed this sports ~ stadium with a tensioned roof for Dammamm. This is a minimal surface where all forces on the surface are equal. Also. it is virtually impossible for a tension structure that conforms to the harmonious laws of nature to be unattractive. The Silverdome is so named because of the silvery. New Jersey.how to mathematically describe the shapes of a tension structure. (Paul Rudolph) . A frame with threads is dipped into a soap and g\ycerin solution. where a comparably sized conventional roof would weigh about 6000). It is just the success story the industry needed. it is lightweight and therefore less expensive to support (the combined fabric dome weighs 200 tons.) Now under development are thermal-active fabrics that will limit solar heat gain in summer. displaying all the advantages of a fabric structure: it goes up quickly (the Pontiac Silverdome was finished 100 days ahead of schedule). In this wayan exact section through a major axis is recorded and mathematical formulas can establish coordinates and stress points. a soap film should form on the threads. and it is a less expensive alternative to a conventional roof. But whatever the approach. Now the final model is made. These figures are then checked out by computer and from this a cutting pattern for the fabric can be made. the light is glareless and shadowless. Another alternative would be some sort of a shutter mechanism . (The Silverdome was comp1eted within construction budget: $529 per seat. Some work is being done on ways to capture the solar heat between two fabric layers and direct it to air-conditioning equipment. Saudi Arabia. If a soap membrane won't form. It was developed in determining the exact geometry and stress patterns of this radial tent resting on a square base structure . and this is an exact simulation of the tent to which only slight refinements in the design may be made . Next a camera is set up in front of the machine and the critical sections are photogr~phed through a grid on the front of the soap box.that would admit 65 percent of the solar heat when desired: At this point no further heating would be required.perhaps retractable solar shades . and it will be in harmony with the laws of nature. At current prices the per-seat cost for the Houston Astrodome would be more than twice that figure and for the New Orleans Superdome. The architects at Vela/Future Tents feel that these models are absolutely necessary: lightweight tension structures are not easy to visualize and they say it is therefore necessary to work continually with the form in the shape it will be assuming.132 The Tent as Art being equalized). Wheels located at the ends of the threads allow them to be lengthened or shortened so modifications in the design can be made. (Geiger Berger Associates. translucent effect of the fabric roof. and that is the model. and a structure of that form can be built. it is ideal light for telecasting purposes. Michigan. One structure that has been planned and Great Adventure Amusement Park. snowloading. When it is raised. twenty-five miles south of Detroit in Pontiac. and home of the Detroit Lions. it is translucent and thus offers significant ~ savings in lighting (even the minimum level of natural light on overcast days is ample for any indoor activity. or any other kind of stress test.S. nearly five times. providing optimum visibility for participants and spectators alike. The computer program developed the shape and provided the cable lengths and the patterning dimension for the fabric. The framework is mounted upside down and lowered into a Plexiglas box containing the solution. but utilize it in winter. P. The largest air-supported structure in the U. The architect experiments with the natural forces until he is satisfied with the design. Work on this structure in 1975 led to one of the most significant breakthroughs in tension-structure engineering . then changes in the design must be made.

locker rooms . (Birdair Structures . a cable-reinforced. P. supported on earth berms faced with rock. the building was designed to have a low silhouette. Inc.c. subject to severe sandstorms . which equalize prestress forces. (Geiger Berger Associates. and other facilities are located under the berm. offices . Saudi Arabia. Because of the windswept location.) . These structures also serve to anchor and distribute the high cable loads under windy conditions. air-supported roof. The frame is constructed of twelve pipes of equal length.) University of Riyadh Recreational Facility.133 Architecture After serving NBC's Today show in New York during the Democratic presidential nominating conventions of 1976. this patented fabric structure designed by Geiger Berger Associates was packed up and sent to Kansas City where it was pitched atop a hotel and helped NBC through the Republican convention. Mechanical rooms.

the basic tension design . The curtain wall can be opened or closed and the roof is a prestressed membrane connected to the ceiling and cabled to the floor. (Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corp. The roof covers 18. The three-inch diameter cables vary in length from 550 to 750 feet and weigh up to 15.c. The dome is restrained and shaped by a network of eighteen large steel cables.) Another tent. P. providing a soothing and sensible contrast to the nearby Disney World complex.) Pontiac Silverdome. They were installed by a giant Sikorsky Skycrane helicopter instead of cranes and winches. it quickly bleaches to a stark white. Here workers winch skin onto framework made of laminated wood arches braced by steel tubes and cross-ties resting on steel columns in the building's frame.) . (Geiger Berger Associates. Bullock's also plans to save $21. chose a fabric roof to cover a 96 x 162 foot opening in a metal deck roof. Modern architecture has done away with fabric indoors (except for curtains) and here it serves as an excellent alternative to a dry wall room. giving it an exotic flare . P. P. (Vela/Future Tents.000 a year in electricity costs alone as a result of this heat-reflective roof. Northern California. A room this size would be claustrophobic. or rot. The Owens-Corning Fiberglas fabric coated with DuPont Teflon is a light beige color when it arrives from the fabricators. Florida. Ltd. 113-foot-long canopy. The interior is lined with handdyed silk. which saved three weeks in construction time and 25 percent in costs. Thin strips of fabric (hanging down) are attached to top of arches before the fabric goes on. Masts in the center of each funnel support the fabric's edge by means of horizontal bars . Rather than being stretched upward into tentlike peaks . Architect William Morgan and Engineer Horst Berger designed the 46-foot-wide. the tent is not. Ltd. The building is designed by Horst Berger.134 The Tent as Art Bullock' s department store of Menlo Park. Dirt cannot stick to its surface. alleviating the need for support from other buildings or ground anchors. This tent is ten feet high and covers a nine-foot-square area. and it costs 30 to 40 percent as much as conventional roofing. (Geiger Berger Associates. (Geiger Berger Associates. and in doing so became the first retail establishment covered with a permanent Teflon-coated Fiberglas fabric roof. lightweight and flame resistant. mildew. also designed by Vela/Future Tents. it won't stretch.) The fabric vaults on the two-story building can be seen glowing at night and have already begun to be compared to a piece of female lingerie.c. (Geiger Berger Associates.) This superbly designed tension structure will be erected at Sea World in Orlando.c.000 square feet.c. Florida. Quadripods were temporarily erected atop arches to assist in winching.000 pounds each . home of the Detroit Lions. P. it's strong. The frame is aluminum. and it took only a few hours to erect. shrink.) These upside-down tents are located atop an open plaza in front of a Duval County office building in Jacksonville. has the world ' s largest air-supported dome to date . This tent serves as a bedroom for partner Nicholas Goldsmidt's New York loft. however.the canopy' s fabric is pulled downward to form two inverted funnels.

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Architecture

Tenting in paradise - Maho Bay, St. John , u .S. Virgin Islands. Maho Bay is a new camping resort dedicated to the belief that it is possible to live in comfort and harmony with a fragile environment without spoiling it. The tent houses measure sixteen feet by sixteen feet and are set on plank decks that cantilever over thickly wooded hillsides. Each contains a primary sleeping area, a living room that converts into a second bedroom, a screened cooking and dining area and an open porch for private sun-bathing . (Maho Bay Camps, Inc.)

This soaring 100-foot-high freeform tent covers a combination skating rink, tennis court, and exhibition space in St. Louis' Edgar M. Queeny Park. The peaked fabric roof is 223 feet long and 134 feet wide at its extremes. The masts are simply designed and made from three five-inch-diameter standard pipes arranged in a triangle and laced with short 1.5-inch-diameter sections. Architect is Jones Mayer Associates, Inc., St. Louis, which developed the design with Horst Berger. (Geiger Berger Associates ,

P.c.)

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The Tent as Art

The world's largest fabric structure: the cost, $180 million; the size, 105 acres or 80 football or 53 soccer fields; the place, Jeddah International Airport, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, some 30 miles from Mecca. (Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corporation)

Not at all out of the question is midtown New York covered by a me~brane . Cars would be kept out and the underneath area would have the freshest air in Manhattan. The idea of controlling the environment of an entire community by enclosing it in a huge membrane is no longer science fiction. (Birdair Structures, Inc.)

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Architecture

would incorporate these retractable shades is the Government Services Administration fabric structure in Denver, a huge structure called Meg 2 that would provide office space for several thousand government workers. The fabric roof is transparent around the perimeter and above the tree-lined main boulevard that bisects the structure so the occupants get a view of the Colorado mountains as they work. The abundance of oil money in the Middle East has enabled the Arabs to commission the largest fabric structure in the world at the Jeddah International Airport near Mecca. The structure will cover 105 acres (ten times the area under the Silverdome), the cost will be $180 million, and by 1980, when the first part opens, it will begin accommodating an estimated 720,000 Moslems making their annual pilgrimage to the Kaaba in Mecca by air. The airport structure will consist of two identical roof systems and 5.5 million square feet of Fiberglas coated with Teflon will be used to form 210 tentlike units - each 148 feet square - which will be anchored to 148-foot-high pylons and suspended 66 feet above the terminal floor at their four corners, sweeping up to 115 feet high at their peaks . Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill are the architects and have designed a structure quite in keeping with the spirit of the place - the tentlike units composing the air terminal roof blend harmoniously with the spreading tent cities set up around Mecca to accommodate the pilgrims. This is probably one of the greatest structures to be built in modern times ... and it's a tent.

5 TENT ART

If the bough of eternity has grown from the root of your good fortune , and if life is a fitting garment upon your body - beware! lean not against this tent of the body which is a shade for you, for its four pegs are weak . The RubaiyfJ.t of Omar Khayyam *

You can't take everything with you when you leave on the midlife journey ... if I could give everyone a gift for the send-off on this journey, it would be a tent. A tent for tentativeness. The gift of portable roots . Gail Sheehy, Passages

A surprising number of artists consider their work to fall within the aesthetic framework of the tent. Particularly in this era of conceptual art, where the viewer's interaction with the artist's material is an essential part of the work, the tent form is a willing participant in the exchange of energy. The tent is shelter; it is framework and facade ; it is both a primitive and a living shape. If a single criterion qualifies the works that follow as tents, it is the artists' explanations of their own visions. What we see in the form must at times give way to what the artists have seen. Of the twenty individuals represented, it is interesting that the majority - indeed, the first twelve whose works are discussed - are women. Even more significantly, almost all of the artists who relate their works comfortably to the tent form are women. Certainly fabric art has been labeled "feminine art": throughout every era the materials involved in tentmaking and its sheltering shapes have been basic to woman's relationship to her world. Harriet Feigenbaum builds deceptively primitive structures out of branches, wire, and sometimes rocks and hay. Her works evoke a mul* Khayyam is Persian for "tentmaker. " 138

139

Tent Art

tiplicity of times and places - Druidic emplacements, hut and haystack shapes, corncribs and baptistries, forests turned deserts. Hers are tent armatures: where there is a covering it is likely to be hay, in structures that to a great extent resemble yaks. Her vision is architectural. Her strong, clean shapes appeal to the intellect as much as to the emotions. Battery Park City - A Mirage began as a spoof on the luxury housing that was to have been built over the past ten years on this Hudson River landfill site near Wall Street. It consisted of linked tripod " dwellings " on sand whose visual focus (enter now landscape architecture) was Ellis Island, the traditional entry point of the alien " invader" of America. Ms. Feigenbaum's Cycles are a series of site-specific projects that juxtapose elements of diverse cultures and times - in this instance, methods of drying and curing hay which are likewise sheltering in form. Nil Yalter, born in Turkey and living now in France , is a very thorough tentmaker. Her 1974 Yurt (or Topak Ev, Turkish for "circular house") embodies a diversity of tent images - the ancient shelter form , stark metal sculpture, a meditation space, a museum of individual works on animal hides, and textual matter. It is a particular duality of the yurt that intrigues Ms. Yalter, however: in those culture s, including Turkey's, where the yurt is still found , it is both a lifetime shelter and a lifetime prison for the woman who inhabits it. Exploding the traditional prudery of the yurt dweller, Ms. Yalter has here emblazoned the exterior of the enclosure with images of the vagina.

Feigenbaum , Cycles, trees , branch es, hay, about 10 acres, Nass au County Mu se um of Fin e Arts, New Yo rk , 1976.

Harri et Feigenbaum , Battery Park City - A Mirage , branches, wire, 100' x 10', Art on the Beach, 1978.

Yurt. hung loosely from) the interior walls of the work space . an Israeli. hides. metal. In 1977. The soft textures and enveloping shapes offered repose and relief from the machine age. Sharon is interested. Dark Huts. felt. "In Spaces" exhibition. 1974. 8' x 8' . are deliciously yurtlike. in a kind of "meditation space. and in the case of the sand tent. Each of the fifty-odd structures was given an opening." calling the viewer to consider more profoundly his enviror)ment. has also worked with ancient tent forms. Sharon has animated a group of assistants wearing tentlike costumes who seek to involve spontaneously the Ashdod harbor workers in sensitivity rituals. Her humanscale Tuareg Tent. 50 units. In related "Desert People" projects. such as Ashdoda. Sarah Lawrence College. both in form and placement. Katherine Sokolnikoff's tent subjects are "the shapes and structures that people in other cultures created and endowed with great significance. 1973. shown here on the Battery Park landfill we saw above (and later stolen from an exhibition at the University of Pennsylvania's Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia) was conceived with various interchangeable fabric shields: a "summer" cover of horsehair and silk shown here. Ms. in all her work. Ms. to preserve it." Nil Yalter. cheesecloth. though in miniature.." Her Porcelain Garden Tent is a rare miniature of the genre. hydrocal. Her 1976 Negev Sand Tent project involved the recreation of a period Bedouin tent with help from both the Iben-Barry Bedouins and workers at the Kerem Shalom kibbutz. part of a 1973 exhibition at Sarah Lawrence College. . and for late fall in Philadelphia. One seaman reported that for the first time in twenty years. he "really felt the rocks in front of his boat. pigment. Barbara Zucker. Miriam Sharon. Ms.140 The Tent as Art Barbara Zucker's Dark Huts. a cotton organdy silkscreened by The Fabric Workshop to simulate the woven-palm mats of the A"in tribe. Sharon brought her Sand Tent Surfaces to a factory in the coastal town of Naharia. These are four works resembling collapsed tents which were attached to (in most instances.

(Photo: Rachael Harpaz) Katherine Sokolnikoff. silk . Harbor " Desert People" Project. 7" x 5 " x 8". Art on the Beach . Sharon. Collection of Dr. branches. Ashdod Harbor. 1978. Project in factory in Naharia. 1978. Porcelain Garden Tent. Israel.141 Tent Art Sokolnikoff. Sharon. Israel . Ashdoda. horsehair. Tuareg Tent. Arthur Ashman. New York. Sand Tent Surfaces. 1977. 1978. .

E. black hand-painted canvas. 9' x 7' x 13'. Private ritual performance in front of tent construction. N. 1978. 1978. Chicago.142 The Tent as Art Mary Beth Edelson. Edelson. New York City. Inner Space.M.A. . Gallery. Mother's House.

or nylon as seen here in her Ceiling Piece (1969). Oeath 's Door. Aging in Diana's Grove. soft. nylon. nylon cloth and rope. Mildred Stanley lives and works in suburban Virginia. upright. took place in front of Mother's House. Death's Door (1972) is of yellow nylon cloth over aluminum rods and wood. Her tentshaped installations date primarily from 1968-1973. Ceiling Piece. 10' x 10' x 10'. Ms. 10' x 11' x 7'. 8' x 8' X 8'. Edelson's private ritual performance of Inner Space. The tent itself defines the passage from the outside world to her mythic world. upside-down. Hellebore. and they are often womb related . From 1971-1975. accommodates one person at a time on a soft mattress and contains a photographic piece. in tent terms. 1969. aluminum rods. portraying in a series of images (some superimposed) the slow aging of a woman. the setting for the exploration of self or for interaction wHh others. Edelson describes as "photographic rituals" of the human body in its shroud (another "tent" which evokes another passage). as tents go. . paper. Mother's House. Anne Healy.1972. offering shelter. wood. here in a time exposure.1973. Healy. Hellebore (1973) is of black nylon and is.143 Tent Art Mary Beth Edelson's tents are primarily environments for meditation or ritual. In 1969-1971 her work concentrated on fabrics that often assumed tent shapes . tent framing and hardware became increasingly important in Stanley.cheesecloth. It is.dark. shown here. and for what Ms. Anne Healy has been exhibiting fabric works since 1970. cloth. nylon fabric. for mythic rites.

The detail from Sweet Man (1978) shows fantasy in both shape and material .Ioose tent shape as a scrim on which to project visual images. The tent works that follow emphasize framework instead of covering. doll parts. "Locations. The spectator is invited into the work." the Dress/Hammock/Enclosure. sometimes supplanting the tent fabric entirely.mylar over cardboard over wood. another tent work from the same Brandeis University exhibit. Sometimes chosen with a single objective and sometimes at random. which contains two thick branches and two lengths of rope . It is another work that hovers between animal and shelter. Ms. rope. Tall Chair. the images are calculated to induce or influence dreams while inside the shelter. Death Singer. Pinto designed a remarkable piece of "tentwear. while the artist lies inside below. Diana Carulli . 1978. It too is intended to be entered. Hera was born Betty Calvert in New Orleans and worked under the name Betty Voelker until 1977. back.) Her 1978 Shelter for a Small Animal evokes the shelter and. hem. or. trimmed with hot pink ribbons and plastic flowers. the year she began exploring tent forms. (She is a New York City artist and feels strongly the premium of space. . cheesecloth . is a deep purple celebration of death and its images. Diana Carulli uses transparent fabrics in a . The branches slip into the hem and hood of the garment and the rope fastens to the branches of a nearby tree. at the same time. For the same show Ms. Merle Temkin's art is designed to be portable and collapsible. It can be worn as a dress but expands into a hammock and then into a tentlike enclosure when the wearer wishes to rest or sleep. It is much too large to be worn. 1976. \ In her Dreamboat installations." The piece recalls animals who carry their own shelters about with them. in the case of the other garment. Jody Pinto's Tall Chair (1977) is a smaller version of a thirty-five-foot-tall work exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia in 1976. and arms. a projection is visible in the upper left corner of the dreamboat. 35 ' x 8' . Inside are the less innocent paraphernalia of womanhood: birth-control pills. Her Sweet Skirt . Pinto writes: "It was possible to strap yourself into a tree by letting out a series of straps within the garment's hood.is a construction of three concentric circles of white taffeta. Mildred Stanley's Yellow/Pink Piece marks the evolution of her work from fabric to armature. there to experience in a new way his or her own person and environment: the participant is both prot~cted and exposed. 6' x 7' X 8'. mirrors. Often they are the symbol rather than the shelter. the animal it might shelter. In stitute of Contemporary Art. " in the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University in 1977 . by removing a quiver (worn over the shoulder and leaning against the wall in the photograph). but it may be entered. Jody Pinto . ripstop nylon over plastic tubing. Dreamboat. wood . seen in the photograph in the closed position.144 The Tent as Art her work (see photograph on pag~45). and so on. baby bottle nipples. Philadelphia.which was part of a show. In the photograph.

Yellow/Pink Piece (detail). Sweet Skirt. Pinto. Temkin. plastic candles. Brandeis University. Death Singer. Shelter for a Small Animal. 10' x 10'. Merle Temkin. sisal rope. . wood . 8' x 7' x 10'. Institute of Contemporary Art. 1977. Philadelphia. 12' x 16' x 8'. flamelit bulbs. Dress /Hammock /Enclosures. " Locations" exhibition . Sweet Man (detail). silk flowers. Mildred Stanley. mirrors. dolls. mylar over cardboard over wood. wood. rayon. 1978. 1977. rope. velvet. 3' x 3'. 4' x 6'. flowers.145 Tent Art Hera. Brandeis University. Rose Art Museum. earth. wood sticks. 1976. ribbons. 1978. " Locations. 1975. nylon net taffeta. Rose Art Museum . Hera. " exhibition.

is a whole made up of fragile parts) drew her to the tent form.branches and wire . the saddle roofline is an aesthetic bridge between ancient maritime shapes and modern tent shapes produced by artists like Audrey Hemenway.but as long passageways. O. 8' x 8' . like a bird or an early airplane.146 The Tent as Art The metal framework for Nil Valter's Yurt exists alone as a clean piece of sculpture. --- -. metal. Harriet Feigenbaum. Robert Stackhouse." Both strength of line and strength of frame (which. branches. K. tedious job.contrast with the complexity of its construction. Audrey Hemenway describes the construGtion of her Garden Web. Harris Gallery. In Shiphall. 1974. Ecological Environment (1977) is a major work in terms of size alone. 1978. enclosing 1600 square feet under four irregular peaks and a saddle roof that "accepts" weather. Yurt (framework). an open-work tent of wood and synthetic rope designed to keep animals out of a 25 x 40-foot garden: "It was a long. Harriet Feigenbaum's An Octagonal Domed Building (1978) is an Italian baptistry turned tent armature.t Nil Yalter. rather like knitting a house. inviting meditation within its symbolic shelter. wire. Its primitive materials . 14%' x 8'. An Octagonal Domed Building. . . like Harriet Feigenbaum and Mildred Stanley (in her later works) creates what might be called tent frames . such as Running Animals/Reindeerway (1976) and Niagara Dance (1977). a Passage Structure Borrowing Some Lines from the Oseberg Burial Ship (1977).

1977. 1974. (exterior) . wood. 25' x 40' x 12'. Shiphal/. cable. Walker Art Center. Stackhouse. 1977-1978. Audrey Hemenway. Minneapolis . 66' x 11' x 16'. fiber glass.147 Tent Art Robert Stackhouse... ft. Ecological Environment. . a Passage Structure Borrowing Some Lines from the Oseberg Burial Ship (interior). Hemenway. . Garden Web. Shiphal/ . wood and synth etic rope. 1600 sq.

Amstelpark .148 The Tent as Art Cornelius Rogge. held inside a classic canvas circus tent provided by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. creates illusionistic life-sized paintings of objects such as tents and rowboats on shaped canvas or Masonite. The Teepee: "Writing a statement on my work is almost to reverse the process involved in it. Rogge. 1978. since the work originates precisely in the region where language is formed: instead of entering the institution of grammar and its norms. repeats itself every eighteen minutes to the spectators inside the darkened tent. Park Rijksmuseum Kroller-Muller. Tent Billowing in the Wind and Tent. such as the figure of a tiger raising and lowering its paws almost imperceptibly. calls his tents "vulgar offers" catering to the public taste. He neither expects his viewers to interpret his work nor desires that they do so . leandro Katz writes of his paper. Live performances are often part of the experience at his gala openings . strips." Byron Burford's Great Byron Burford Circus of Artistic Wonders (of Iowa City. Cornelius Rooge. 1976. the performances inside are far from it: Mr. "visiting" circus bands. and audio construction. whose recent tent works in Holland are cleanly linear and architectural in character. The subjects appear realistically three-dimensional as can be seen by these two paintings from his tent series. Burford's tableau of circus images and sounds.like repeating a word until one realizes its oddity. Amsterdam . it chooses to remain outside such norms and to establish a preliminary checkpoint where the conditions of what is said are first examined by a series of critical references that precede articulation . will become clear in time. string. Holland. These are freestanding works that look like giant cut-outs. he insists. a New York artist who summers in the country. Inside Out Tent. Sam Cady. canvas. Otterlo. Late Morning (Sears Best). Its meaning. 51' x 51' x 80'. Though here the tent is traditional. Iowa) is a creative fusion of the visual and the performing arts.sideshows. Tent-Project. bamboo. iron frame . .

6' x 18'. paper. Byron Burford. The Great Byron Burford Circus of Artistic Wonders. Burford. Cady. string. Tent Billowing in the Wind.. The Teepee. oil on canvas. Iowa City. and audio construction. oil on canvas. Inc.149 Tent Art Sam Cady. John Gibson Gallery. . 1978. Late Morning (Sears Best). Tent. Circus (interior). 6'6" x 7'9". Iowa (exterior). bamboo. Leandro Katz.

His second. . 1969." whose 2 x 4-foot entrance. was ten feet square and windowless . Rafael Ferrer. very high in front in order to exaggerate its importance. Sudan. ft. Nancy Hoffman Gallery. are close cousins of the tent. His materials and construction techniques .ade "like a Spanish colonial church." The colors are of almost unimaginable strength and sensitivity. leads "nowhere. Sudan.in such pieces as the 1970-1972 Valley Curtain in California (documented in the Maysles Brothers' film. Running Fence) and the 1969 Wrapped Coast. in Mr. Like Nil Yalter's Yurt. 81" x 96" x 96". does not feel his works fall within the tent format. Rafael Ferrer's tent constructions are related to his love of maps and faraway places.capable of hiding the artist at a gallery opening (Mr. His first tent. appears to be pigment. and Sahara (or La Vida Secreta) date from 1976-1977. where untold numbers of weathered rocks were sheltered by a million square feet of canvas. Ferrer's words. Mr. Little Bay.150 The Tent as Art and zoo animals. 1971 . lithograph and collage. Sudan. Whitney Museum Wrapped. His work is a museum that visits museums. Ferrer's three major tentworks. Wrapped Coast. New York. Christo. La Luna.. was eight feet square with small bifurcated windows on each side and a toucan perched inside near the roof. his real love. (Photo: Bevan Davies) Christo. his tent is simultaneously a collection of artifacts and images. Professor Burford (of the University of Iowa) has taken his show to the Venice Biennale and has received grants from the Ford and Guggenheim foundations. 1976. even if his inspiration is not. almost anything that contributes to the evocation of the circus. Christo. Sahara (or La Vida Secreta) is a triangular tent with a nineteen-foot-Iong fac. Whitney Museum of American Art. A Philadelphia canvas-maker produced the tent forms according to the artist's specifications. Australia. mixed media. Ferrer's idea). one million sq. however. La Luna. whose project to wrap the Whitney Museum is shown above.

the suspended fabric of the set. as in Victoria Regina. which opens this chapter. IV. (Mr. The photograph of Oscar Araiz's Le Sacre du Printemps. and we hope we're not observed as intruders.) Two of his ballets are especially relevant: /I Mirrors" (1958). as well as choreography . and sculpture. opens with an unshaped terra-cottacolored cloth. ballet is a special case among the performing arts. which assumes a peaked tent shape as it moves upward. or in the case of an untold number of opera sets. Love's Labor Lost. it could isolate the performers. William Shakespeare.iii. has shown a particular affinity for the tent. from the audience.6 STAGE AND SCREEN Therefore let us devise some entertainment for them in their tents. lighting. It is the unifying element in the choreography. physically and/or emotionally. His ballet Tent (1968) employs a full company of dancers in motion under . Nikolais is responsible for sets.and in shifting relation to . from the series Vaudeville of the Elements. and costumes. Alwin Nikolais. is perhaps the best example of the tent that is at once set. where we see the queen very much inside The Queen's Tent. for example. finally glowing with light. The tent in legitimate theater has its own history of magic. as in Jumbo. a co-participant with the dancers . The tent in ballet is closest to being its own art form because of its possibilities for movement and its integration into the visual whole of the work. costume. whose dancers are often clothed in unusual fabric constructions. It could bring an audience inside an enclosure with the performers. the tent's 151 .373 In its relation to the tent.

in a 1978 performance by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. "Mirrors.152 The Tent as Art Sheri Cook is the central figure in this grouping from Oscar Araiz's ballet. first performed by the Nikolais Dance Theater in 1968 and still in the company repertoire. (Photo: Jack Mitchell) The set from Alwin Nikolais' 1958 ballet. Berlin) A scene from the Nikolais ballet Tent." from the series Vaudeville of the Elements. Le Sacre du Printemps. (Photo: David S. (Photo: Brynn Manley for Chimera Foundation for Dance) .

is driven down an avenue o f tents to her final appointment with th e asp . some 1. housing a production staff o f 2500 in separate men's and women ' s quarters (note the "no-man ' s-land. built for th e 1923 extravaganza . set in modern times. Somehow Valen tino emerged from this tent both " breathless" and "panting . But the tent. (Photo : Museum of Modern Art) .and all this despite scathing reviews of the film ' s melodramati c second half. in between) . safari and Salome tents ." The 1917 production of Cleopatra (shot in California in the summer of 1916) duplicated enough of Egypt and Rome to be compared favorably with the spectacles of D . Not that there wasn't room in the movies for genteel European tents. Gri ffith. It was the largest location camp buil t to that time .5 million dollars : Mr . Shakespearean tents. " as it was referred to. and the campground. along with sex and violence. nevertheless. Of course sandy biblical tales and Roman doings in the eastern Mediterranean both seemed to require huge budgets and a screening time of at least three hours. As film censorship was even less developed than film-making . in the chariot . moviegoers were treated to Middle Eastern passions they had only dreamed of seeing on the vaudeville stage . DeMille . But America is the country of the movies. But they began in the desert . the garden party. the revival. and the history of the movie epic is to a great extent the history of the tent in cinema: it has been near impossible to produce such a major work without vast quantities of tent cloth.and a selection of distinctly American tents such as one might find in any county seat in Ohio. Here Miss Bara. The Ten Commandments ..153 Stage and Screen softness was able to suggest vast perspectives that hard architectural designs could manage only with difficulty. For its day The Ten Commandments had a massive budget . W . Surely the most riveting tent scene of th e early cinema was Rudolph Valentino ' s in The Sheik (1921) . This is Camp Cecil B. was a fundamental element in almost every superfilm that predated Star Wars. DeMille . . Theda Bara played Cleopatra with much rolling of the eyes. called it " the cheapest picture ever made" because of the almost instant return on his capital . for the circus .

acres of cloth were draped from MGM's ceilings. used the tent to good effect . The stage was extended over the pit to create a vast circus arena. Rodgers and Hart's Jumbo. which opened at the Hippodrome in 1935. On the Broadway stage. "Probably the most comprehensive spectacular ever filmed." . the film was re-released with recorded music and additional sound effects." wrote the New York Times reviewer.154 The Tent as Art In this harem scene from the 1925 Ben-Hur with Ramon Navarro. and a warm red canopy covered both performers and audience . Brooks Atkinson wrote that the circus was recreated "in both odor and appearance. Six years later.

155 Stage and Screen That same year at the Broadhurst Theater. in the role of John of Gaunt . Maurice Evans (as King Richard) is seated at right. (photo: Museum of the City of New York) Ten years later. (photo: Museum of the City of New York) Shakespeare' s Richard 11 opened on Broadway at the St . if her acting was less than inspired. Second on his right is Augustin Duncan. the play's old and near-blind director. while waiting for Prime Minister Disraeli. Critics praised Miss Young who. as Queen Victoria.in the tiger-striped sleeves. . Loretta Young as the Princess Berengaria prepares to wreak havoc on Henry Wilcoxon (Richard the Lion-Hearted) in this unforgiving publicity shot for Paramount's The Crusades (1935) . still bore up well under the weight of the name Berengaria. she surveys her favorite countryside at Balmoral from inside a garden tent. Here. James Theater in 1937 to ecstatic reviews and excesses of royal blue tentcloth. Helen Hayes had one of her greatest triumphs in Victoria Regina . In the "accusation of treason " scene pictured here.

led by Gypsy Rose Lee. Here we see Spencer Tracy as Henry Stanley. after an overdose of painkiller. finds himself in Baghdad in the year 937 . (Photo : Museum of Modern Art. who plays David Livingstone. Ali Baba Goes to Town (20th Century-Fox. 1937). Right: In Baghdad he is blessed with a harem of 365 wives . New York) . Tracy is in love with Nancy Kelly. shortened to Ali Baba. an American who falls in love with an entire movie troupe on location in the desert. One of the harem numbers is entitled " Swing Is Here to Sway.his name.156 The Tent as Art Left : In a classic depression-era spoof. The plot doesn't trouble itself overly with historical fact: you see. This is the pre-painkiller Mr. Cantor. still on the trail of old Sir Cedric Hardwicke. who loves only Richard Greene. joins them as an extra and. But the whole affair got good reviews for Tracy. " Among the African genre films was 20th Century-Fox's Stanley and Livingstone of 1939. Eddie Cantor appears as Aloysius Babson. of course.

Maria Montez does bring a '40s freshness to the role of Scheherazade. who should have known better.157 Stage and Screen Th e N ew York Times reported a number of " harem dames in pee k-a-boo slacks.) Arabian Nights. (Photo: HBW Films) . released by Universal Pictures in 1942. " A rare shot of a harem at rest . was produced by Walter Wanger. Laurence Olivier's 1945 production of Henry V begins as a stage play set in the old Globe Theatre of Shakespeare' s time . then shifts in an astonishingly believable fashion to rural France in the scenes preceding the Battle of Agincourt . The Elizabethan stage sets at the Globe are as accurate as the French and English battle tents . the then president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He made almost no effort to connect his movie to Sir Richard Burton ' s classic tales of the same name. The end of the Second World War signaled a return to the screen of some serious cinema . Of course. (In thi s film the production stills are infinitely more interesting than the final footage.

Marlon Brando . It is as close as we come to the flying horse of the original Arabian Nights . Deborah Kerr and Stewart Granger have tracked down Miss Kerr's exp lorer brother. under a tent one might expect to see on the beach at Deauville. (Photo: Museum of Modern Art.158 The Tent as Art Left : Now this gentleman and his dark steed would be fun in any tent. In King Solomon's Mines (MGM. Calhoun under director Joseph L. Right : In the 1953 production of Julius Caesar. Mason never looks quite at ease around so many tents and so much armor. Sir John Gielgud. Richard Carlson. MGM brought together James Mason (shown here as Brutus). and Louis C. New York) . Mankiewicz. 1950). But Mr.

(Photo: Cinemabilia) .from an unidentified Spanish production of Genghis Khan. on which the film was based . Columbia Picture' s 1962 Lawrence of Arabia. three hours and forty minutes is a lot of time for action film cliches. Actually. with Peter O'Toole.no arrow! It's an unexpected bit of humor that shows the elasticity. (Photo: Museum of Modern Art.159 Stage and Screen In a yet-to-be-explained scene from King Richard and the Crusaders (Warner Brothers. 1954). (Photo: Movie Star News) A latter-day desert epic. New York) Not so lucky the recipient of this Mongol sword thrust . Laurence Harvey (Sir Kenneth) receives an arrow from Rex Harrison (Saladin)'s bow. shows the tent unfairly pitted against the airplane (albeit a World War I vintage craft). indeed the indestructibility. stands up and . of Laurence Harvey and of Sir Walter Scott's The Talisman.

for four hours and three minutes of "surpassing entertainment. Mankiewicz and producer Walter Wanger were back. director Joseph L. most critics felt.are given higher marks for historical accuracy." Though costuming and makeup fell prey to a certain updating.160 The Tent as Art In the 1963 version of Cleopatra.with draperies drawn for the feast and orgy in honor of Mark Antony . but isn't that congoleum on the floor and a stereo cabinet against the far wall? The tent reached deeper into Americana with the 1960 United Artists production of Elmer Gantry. . the sets involving Cleopatra's barge . than it had been in Sinclair Lewis's original 1927 novel.in a tighter form. starring Burt Lancaster. in Todd-A-O. The draped crib belonging to Cleopatra and Caesar's child has clean enough lines. The revival circuit was portrayed at its most convincing .

dances with the daughter he has just given away in marriage to one of the slugs on the left. (As tent construction goes. (Photo: Museum of Modern Art. first produced in America in 1971 and shown here in its 1973 production at Chelsea's Westside Theater. In The Godfather (Paramount. as Don Vito Corleone. this is quite a change from Broadway' s Carnival of 1961. 1972).161 Stage and Screen In David Storey's play. the action of the play is set around the erection and dismantling by five workmen of a garden tent for a home wedding . where an entire circus tent was set up on stage in the few minutes after curtainrise. despite enormous turmoil. New York) . Marlon Brando.) The Contractor' s purposefully slow pacing and the symbolism of the tent ' s removal at the end leave the viewer with the feeling that. (Photo: Amnon Ben Nomis) The garden tent is very American . too . The Contractor. nothing much has really happened.

"Sid" James and "Joan" Sims deplore the miseries of "life in the open and sex in secret.162 The Tent as Art Carry On Camping (Peter Rogers Productions. Times). it is a late product of the English series that began with Carry on. "A significant opportunity for sheer vulgarity buffs" (N . 1972) is marvelous relief." (Photo: New York Public Library) .fleeing innuendo. It is the kind of movie where the actors keep their real first names on the screen. Nurse and. Shown here are the ladies of the Chayste Place Finishing School . perhaps? (Photo: New York Public Library) And. some fear. will never end. peace almost theirs. Y.

PART 3 TENTS FOR CAMPERS .

.

others sleep ten or more with room to spare for play and storage. Estraven ' s breathing as he sleeps. quiet room I have for a mO. The vast number of new designs and developments has resulted from the old reliable supply and demand principle: camping is now the fourth 165 . as have obtrusive center poles and the smells that used to emanate from the old models when they got hot (though no one really found them offensive). stronger. more weatherproof. LeGuin. a heart of warmth.ment a great and treasurable illusion of the past. The faint dampness and confining cling of my sleeping-bag. not visible but audible. compact. at the center of all things. Nothing else. Modern tents are lightweight. barely audible . The wall of a tent leans up over my face . They range from plain to fancy. producing an abundance of unique styles made from both natural and space-age fabrics in bold and daring colors. Ursula K. The light-emission of the Chabe stove is cut off. Some weigh as little as four pounds (including stakes and poles) and sleep one or two. the two of us. Outside . and pitch it. all the way from basic pups to family tents complete with dining rooms. death's solitude. And the guy lines we used to trip over have been done away with on many new models. lies the great darkness. a slanting plane of faint sound: the susurrous of blown snow. darkness. in shelter. highly flammable "wet-wax"-coated model that required at least two persons to get it out of the car trunk. as always. We are inside. and wall pockets for storage. carry it to the campsite. The tent has come a long way from the bulky. the sound of the snow. curtains. and a breeze to pitch and take down.7 A CONSUMERS' GUIDE Sometimes as I am falling asleep in a dark . Nothing can be seen. The Left Hand of Darkness Designers are having a field day with camping tents. the cold. bedrooms. and it exists only as a sphere of heat. at rest.

visited one of the more than 20. some storage space should be included in your estimate of necessary space. But it' s best to have the adult tent slightly on the large side.S.traveling by day and camping out at night. No matter how. in a public campground or alone by the seashore. How many people should the tent accommodate? For comfort . the pup can be used for storage.number of people. over 58 million campers .whether it be for backpacking . or atop or attached to yotJr car . in winter or summer. there' s something for everyone. and well over half of them camped out in tents. The demand for new and better tents absolutely exists and manufacturers are competing to make their tents lighter. Snow camping and high-altitude mountaineering demand strong. lowprofile tents with sloping sides shed water and wind best. in the woods. Backpackers need lighter. or where you intend to use a tent . Doing a little homework before heading out to buy a tent can save both time and money. where and how you ' ll be camping. If you use cots. stronger. more weatherproof. In 1977. On the other hand. when. or leisurely vacationing. you should allow for more . not to mention enhance your camping trips as a result of your having chosen the right tent. If you pack a lot of gear.000 campgrounds on the continent. smaller tents they can easily carry for long distances. These tents must be able to withstand heavy winds and snow loads and often have two entrances in case one becomes blocked. On such occasions. is required for maximum comfort and ease of movement. so sacrifices may have to be made if you plan on camping in windy or rainy area~.166 Tents for Campers most popular sport in the U.there' s a tent for you at a price you can afford to pay.one American in every four . Also special venting is provided in case . With mode'rn outside frames they are easily erected and this makes them suitable for car camping . Even before the onset of the Second World War there were some 20 million automobile campers following the highway trails in this country. today. kids can get scared during the night and come scurrying in with the adults. at least twenty-one square feet of floor space per person . and about half that for small children. stable tents with built-in safety features. Cabin-style tents with vertical sides are roomy and are recommended for large families and semipermanent camps . a 7 x 9-foot (63 square feet) tent will provide more room between sleepers than an 8 x 8-foot (64 square feet) or one with an eight-foot diameter (50 square feet). Establishing needs and priorities . and easier to pitch. on a mountain . Also bear in mind that tents with rectangular floors use space more efficiently than those with square or circular floors. roomier. you ' ll need enough room to stand up and move around while you and whomever you're camping with wait for the rain to let up.is essential. What shape is best? Tents with vertical sides afford more usable space than those with sloping sides. For example. In short. If you ' re tenting in rainy areas . and so on . Many families prefer to use a medium-sized tent (about 8 x 10 feet) for the adults and a smaller pup for the kids (5 x 7 feet). mountain climbing.

Prices range from three dollars for a small plastic tarp to thirty dollars for a good coated nylon style. does fall short because it lacks protection at ground level: its loose sides are not attached to a floor. What you want you can get. don't expect protection from any wind or rain. It is suspended by running a line through the tent and tying it to two trees .167 A Consumers' Guide you have to cook inside. Tube tent Modified Tube Tent Called a "super tube" by some manufacturers. Tarp tent Tube Tent Though it can serve as adequate shelter on a balmy summer night. The floor is made of a heavier grade of the same material. making the occupant quite vulnerable to rain. You get what you pay for here. the tarp tent is an old standby and good for pleasant summer weather. Tarp Tent Actually nothing more than a flat sheet of protective material. DESIGNS TO CHOOSE FROM Even though it may appear that with all the options and designs no two tents are alike. and usually requires no more than a rope. the tent must be chosen for the efficiency with which it can meet its intended use. wind. and mosquitos. a tree. And. pliable. Then the sides are expanded by placing heavy stones along them on the inside of the tent. Modified tube tent . and watch the condensation resulting from body moisture condensing on the nonbreathable plastic walls. There are designs. It is waterresistant. which is also nonbreathable. and vestibules and special pockets are optional. Aluminum poles support the tent and pegs anchor it. lightweight. and some imagination to make it into any workable shape. The tube tent is simply a plastic sleeve and resembles a large garbage bag open on both ends. like the tube. condensation can be a problem as this tent is constructed of urethane-coated fabric. however. and the consumer is fortunate that the market has such an abundance of variations . wind. or cold. A pullout (see page 171) on each side provides adequate sleeping space inside. Not having any ends or solid flap panels makes this tent unsuitable for use in the rain. The tarp tent. and that's very little. To sum it up. features. all the modified tube has in common with the tube is its open-ended design. These tents weigh a couple of pounds and cost about three or four dollars. Future improvements will probably make this tent a viable alternative. dust. and in the case of the modified tube the open ends are usually covered with mosquito netting. and materials to fit virtually every need. they still come in a number of basic styles. though it can be enough.

The weight of tent. pegs. so an obvious advantage is that the contents of the pack are handy. Backpack models weigh anywhere from three to twelve pounds and range in cost from about fifty to two hundred dollars. which would extend the practical use of the tent into all seasons. and poles is in the vicinity of three pounds. They're simple and sturdy and are used for one or two campers with a minimum amount of gear.a vestibule. Many of these designs use the backpack as an integral part of the shelter. Backpacking tent with fly . A-frame tents are a variation on the pup tent. Since nylon. They weigh from two to four pounds and prices usually start at sixty dollars. A-frames have support poles that follow the lines of the tent sides rather than center poles which allows easier access to the tent. Backpacking tents are almost always made of lightweight nylon and are intended to take. These features are available on snow and expedition tents. though some models sleep more than four. most of these can be separated into more than one pack. Though highly effective. One-Person Shelter These superlight tents are among the latest innovations in tent design.168 Tents for Campers Without end flaps and breathing fabric it is suitable for use only in moderate weather or extremely arid zones. see below). Most are small. even as an option. so no one carries the whole load. most nylon tents are made of breathable fabric and come equipped with a waterproof rainfly. The standard backpacker's tent usually lacks a couple of features that can be handy on the trail . These tents are also reasonably priced at about fifty dollars. perhaps because manufacturers are in agreement that winter camping should not be done alone. unlike heavier cotton. as are backpacking tents (see below). cooking. can't be both waterproof and breathable. boot removal. One-person tents have a sewn-in floor. and a venting system. at most. and none of them comes equipped with a frost liner. And. just a few minutes to erect. but no rainfly (a rooflike structure suspended above the tent. which is a short compartment at the front for gear stowage. One-person shelter Pup/Scout Tent These small or medium-sized tents are generally supported by two vertical end poles and are held taut by guy lines staked into the ground . mosquito netting. and a frost shield or liner. Actually the tent is little more than a fancy sleeping-bag cover. and brushing off snow. they are not popular because hiking is not a one-person activity. Pup/scout tent Backpacking Tent This is one of the best compromises of weight and design. The tents are not adequate for alpine or deep winter use.

there are none. Some of these tents have a zippered cook hole in the tent floor. All in all. vent. Plan on anywhere from eight to twelve pounds and at least $150 to $250. it's best to cook inside only when absolutely necessary: nylon is not fully fireproof and begins to melt at fairly low temperatures and stoves. And bear in mind that with the potential perils of winter camping. they serve in summer as well since many hikers cannot afford both the more costly winter tent and a lightweight tent for other seasons. and anchoring systems. Properly tied down. Weight and costs are substantially more than the standard backpacking tent. The lineless tent .169 A Consumers' Guide Lineless or A-Frame Tent Self-supporting tents are extremely popular among campers. Most of these tents are modified pup and wall-design tents and come equipped with a rainfly. and no bushes. Most models have a snow tunnel entrance at one end with a standard flap arrangement at the vestibule end. this is an excellent choice . Even so. Weight runs five to twelve pounds. the tent stands up very well in high winds. Lines extending from the pole tops and tent sides are staked down to hold the tent securely. Snow tent Expedition Tent The expedition tent takes the snow tent design to its ultimate. Also.and there are many variations on the design . of course. These tents weigh and cost only slightly more than the standard backpacker's tent. So an efficient vent system is as imperative as keeping the flame away from the tent fabric. the extra weight and cost are totally justified. In many cases the winter tent will require flukes or snow anchors instead of regular stakes. Though designed for winter operation. Aluminum alloy poles (they pack in sections) are inserted through sleeves at either end or partially inside the tent after the floor is spread out and staked down. which lets the occupant cook inside during harsh weather without messing the floor.may be pitched on an area only slightly larger than the tent floor itself. One obvious advantage is that on crowded camp trails there's no worry about anyone tripping over guy ropes since. The pairs of poles join at the top and are held to the floor below by grommets. Lineless or A-frame tent Snow Tent These tents have elaborate entrance. trees. vestibule. this tent has wide flaps along the bottom of the side walls. or ropes are required for guy line support. which may be loaded with snow for added stability and warmth. Most models run from $100 to $250. incorporating the finest materials and workmanship to provide shelter in the . portable heaters. a good quality unit can be had for about $125. and even small candles use oxygen and generate massive amounts of carbon monoxide. This allows for easy entrance if gear is stowed or if cooking is taking place at the vestibule exit.

but you're spared stakes and ropes. The result is tiny air pockets that help keep cold out. Weights range from about six to twelve pounds or more. These tents. and a cooking hole or vestibule. Expedition tent Exoskeleton Tent A variation on the lineless theme. as with most all-purpose tents. the entire tent can easily be lifted and repositioned. like the snow tent. which disqualifies it for backpacking. which adds weight. Exoskeletons vary in size. like the snow tent. can serve the hiker year round. Some of these tents come with an insulated floor composed of two layers of waterproof material between which is a waffled insulating grid. The overhang of the contoured rainfly allows the flaps to be left open in humid heat and still protect the interior from the rain.from $200 down . This tent is hooked to several assembled sections of aluminum tubing that hold it firm. can handle weight from snow or water accumulation. A disadvantage.it is quite stable in wind. The involved frame does require extra tubing. however. and makes best use of space in relation to exterior size. especially with the rainfly attached (which aggravates the situation). up to $300. though some manufacturers have discontinued this feature since lightweight sleeping pads that are somewhat more efficient are now available . all models include a highly efficient vent system. but the expedition tent can sometimes be too warm inside in intense summer heat. and highly stable. Exoskeleton tent Dome Tent The dome is another of the lineless models. From an engineering point of view (and Buckminster Fuller's) the dome is one of the most efficient shelter designs possible . A two-person model weighs from ten to twelve pounds and the four-person tent can hit twenty-five pounds. Many models include an optional snow liner and extra-long fly that almost reaches the ground. which under ideal conditions is a breathing and waterproof material that renders the rainfly unnecessary (though manufacturers recommend carrying one along for added wind and cold protection) . tight. The more refined dome designs can be pitched in a couple of minutes with a half-dozen fiber Dome tent . the double-entry system. is the difficulty of stabilizing these flaps in a high wind. but prices are higher. The price of the smaller units varies widely . Also. but provisions have been made on it for securing a stabilized network if a strong wind whips up .170 Tents for Campers most extreme conditions. the exoskeleton tent is completely self-supporting as well. The expedition tent. Only a few come equipped with wind lines near the top. And fabric research has produced Gore-Tex.while the larger unit can cost $200 to $300 and up. For long-term camping at high altitudes in bitter cold. have a netted window at the rear and a separate mosquito net inside the weather flap.

this tent can be picked up and carried once it's erected. Most models include a rainfly as standard equipment since the upper portion has to be made of breathing fabric. which is made difficult by the guy lines supporting the tent. or thousands of pounds of snow loading. And no amount of wind will make the rainfly flap. and has proven itself to be one of the most stable and comfortable tents made. Manufacturers have now solved this problem and domes are enjoying the popularity they rightly deserve. and frost shields are not available. however. A disadvantage is the means of entry and exit. It defeats the initial purpose of the dome. but in this case you get what you pay for.an inner breathing shell and an outer waterproof shell. there are two shells of fabric . This would happen after the tent had been weighted down by rain or snow. It may be too much money and tent for some. though other companies make variations. Weighing in at just six pounds. Models weigh from under six to over thirteen pounds complete and cost from about $100 to $275. Inc. This tent has been enthusiastically accepted by serious mountaineers and so far is only manufactured by Early Winters & Recreational Equipment. Tunnel tent Wall Tent The wall tent has been around for centuries and can be as large or as small as specific needs demand.. though rather good protection from rain and cold is offered by the rainfly alone. heavy rains. Tunnel Tent The tunnel tent is a newcomer to the market. with an optional vestibule and hollow fiber glass supports with aluminum ferrules that are kept together by shock cords (see page 180) and don't stick together. The rainfly on the dome is a bit heavy. but makes a fine trail shelter nonetheless. Wall tent . One modification of the dome has only four supports and a rectangular floor and is appropriately called a "wedge" by a company that manufactures it. The tent is supported either with two wooden poles or the poles plus a horizontal ridgepole to keep the tent from sagging. bending the rods somewhat and causing the connections to freeze.171 A Consumers' Guide glass rods. there is a great deal of living space inside. performing perfectly against the very worst of conditions. One early disadvantage of the dome was occasional difficulty in separating the fiber glass support rods that were joined by metal ferrules. The price with the vestibule can exceed $300. Like the exoskeleton. Though it takes a little more time to erect than some of the simpler tents. Wall tents can be rigged to keep the floor free of supports. the extra comfort and safety obtained make it worth it. Guy lines attach to the sides and hold them outward. Basically an A-shaped configuration with high vertical walls. A rainfly is built into the tent and the shape is aerodynamic and capable of withstanding severe winter winds.

The potential disadvantage is maintaining tension if the ground is soft: fabric tension is adjusted by moving the uprights from one spot in the ground to another. horseback. or boat camper. especially with poles and pegs . page 46. they come in many sizes and sleep from four to ten.172 Tents for Campers this is usually contrived by cutting down a dozen or so stout young trees and constructing an exterior frame with them .at least you get a lot of room: The tent has a high weight to space ratio. This tent is carried in a canvas bag and fits quite easily into a boat or car trunk. so called because the frame supports and shapes the tent with bowed poles connected by a cent{al horizontal ridgepole (like a yoke) . Cabin tents: A. yoke-type cabin tent Umbrella Tent Medium-sized and square. The roof-truss style is the predominant design. the new ones are supported by an exterior frame that makes a roomy enough interior for two to four people. The average umbrella tent weighs no more than forty pounds. Tension is adjusted by shortening or lengthening the poles. Some are equipped with attached or attachable screen rooms or awnings for sleeping out on balmy nights or relaxing in the shade. Prices range from $100 to about $275 and cabin tents weigh anywhere from twenty to sixty pounds. These cabin tents provide a lot of interior room and uninterrupted floor space. The only disadvantage is that the ridgepole is in the middle of the doorway.are connected independently to vertical poles leading to the ground. Families like the roominess and convenience of a cabin tent. but the doorway is designed to be big enough for easy entrance and exit on each side of the pole. There are no eave poles on this tent. many weigh less. the U-shape yokes pass around to the sides of the tent and dig into the ground. stable structure that is easy to set up. The obvious advantage is that the door is not blocked with this arrangement. The umbrella tent is a favorite of boat and car campers because of a desirable ratio of weight to room and comfort. but it is still one of the old reliables for the vehicular. and it is not much of a problem to carry to a tent site. B. The other cabin-shaped tents have a yoke-type frame. the older center pole models limit both headroom and living space. roof-truss cabin tent. even Umbrella tent . This tent tends to weigh a lot.and they can weig~ over 300 pounds . The older models are of the inside frame variety. The three-section outside frame makes for a sound.) Environmental considerations have rightly discontinued this practice . Three horizontal poles . With all that weight . umbrella tents have characteristic pyramidshaped roofs with sides that gradually slope outward.a center ridgepole and two opposite eave poles . (See photo of an encampment in the Klondike that uses this method. Cabin Tent The cabin tent is a wall tent with high vertical sides usually supported by an exterior frame that can be a roof-truss style or a yoke-type .

jigging holes with flap covers built into the floor. and a gathering place for all the hikers in your group. Also. B. especially for long stops at base camps. Like the umbrella and hiker's pyramid. which can sometimes restrict use of space. These tents have a vertical side that provides a large floor area in relation to the weight of the tent. a center pole severely restricts room inside. Another version of the pyramid tent doesn't have sides that are perpendicular to the ground.173 A Consumers' Guide one that is a substantial distance from the unloading point. Headroom can be limited. Total weight is about eight pounds and they retail for about $50 or $60. prices range from $50 to $200. The few models available come equipped with features such as base sod cloths to keep out wind. which sheds rain and snow more readily than other tents. Headroom is limited along the sides and there is a center pole. The larger pyramids aren't carried by most hikers because of their weight. with wall. A good pyramid-style backpack tent sells for anywhere from $100 to $200 and weighs in at approximately eleven pounds. One of their advantages is the shape. These tents have provided shelter for serious mountain climbers and have proven their worth repeatedly. This tent does not have an efficient space to weight ratio and saw its A Pyramid tents: A. with difficulty.can be set up on the ice to shield the occupant from the icy winter winds that come lashing across large frozen expanses. The tent anchors into the ice with metal spikes. and one manufacturer produces a four-cornered aluminum frame. the shape can take quite a load of snow without great loss of interior space. but there's a large amount of floor space in relation to overall size. that sells for as much as $150. They can be supported by an improvised outside frame. It is actually a square tipi and enjoys some popularity among car and boat campers. The rainfly for these tents is also big and bulky. Smaller models can. rings inside for suspending equipment. though there is one handmade model available. but the tent allows for efficient heating. complete with a wooden floor. without wall B . Some carrying bags for these tents have handles and rings so they can easily be attached to snow machines.usually similar to the design of an umbrella tent with an exterior framework . Pyramid tents have been used by full-time campers like sheepherders and prospectors and were a common sight on the gold fields of California and the Klondike. Otherwise they're efficient tents. which hold two people each. Ice-Fishing Tent The ice-fishing tent . tied to an overhead tree limb. One pyramid tent can sleep three or four people and weighs less than two backpacker's tents. and special vents. accommodate up to four cots. Ice-fishing tent Pyramid Tent The lighter weight pyramid tent works nicely for large hiking parties. enough sleeping room.

Explorer tent Baker Tent The baker tent is a modified lean-to with a front wall that can be raised to provide open-air cooking and lounging space or closed to protect the inside area against wind and rain. Good headroom is available upon entering. but it will undoubtedly continue to find applications. Explorer Tent The forward half of the explorer tent bears a resemblance to a wall tent and the rear half is a pyramid . And if the extra flaps are provided to cover the netting. so baker tents are made of fully waterproofed canvas drill.174 Tents for Campers greatest use earlier in this century. A baker tent is fairly heavy for the space you get inside and almost impossible to fit with a rainfly. Another disadvantage is that the back slope collects rain or snow and can bear down on the occupant in his or her cot. unless your tent has flaps that car zip up to cover the netting. one-person . L. They come in various designs. The explorer tent is slightly lighter than the umbrella. But open fires in tents are dangerous and so this feature is not an advantage. Bean's catalogue price for their nylon baker tent is $101. The open design prevents condensation from forming inside. The screen or net tent is called a fair- B Screen or net tents: A. and a vertical protecting side curtain is another $13. For these reasons the explorer tent is not one of the more popular tents. but not for long as the shape begins dropping quickly toward the back. The smaller ones we igh very little and can certainly provide the occupant with the feeling of sleeping under the stars. Baker tent Screen or Net Tent These warm-weather specials have either mosquito netting for sides or flaps that roll up to expose large panels of netting. neither the weight nor cost is much less than that of a more traditional canvas tent. These tents do make good supply tents or additional sleeping quarters in mild weather. allow for even more weight and expense. and they may also be connected right to your car. B. The tent was originally designed to facilitate heating by allowing a reflecting fire inside. family . dry summer night they can be perfection. though they are for the most part Aframe or cabin tent designs . screened porch is $24. On a still. Baker tents are still manufactured and can fit the needs of some campers . On the smaller models made of netting without canvas flaps. but there is neither protection from the elements nor privacy in any kind of group camping situation. though the weight difference is negligible when considering how much more space you get with the umbrella tent. Interior support systems can also be a problem: center poles can restrict use of interior space. L.

They make excellent backyard dining and party quarters as well. This model also sports an aluminized fabric roof that reflects heat or cold away from the lucky occupants. .and it can rain more than a pint . This model takes man and machine (mobile crane) to erect. Cotton also is subject to mildew and rot if not dried and stored properly. If touched from the inside of the tent during a rainstorm. Also.175 A Consumers' Guide weather tent and it's just that. but they are an excellent choice for the very long term camp. it's a waste if you don't stay awhile. Some models are extravaganzas with as many as two or three bedrooms. This means the material must have two qualities that are difficult to combine in a lightweight fabric breathability and water-repellency. Cotton fabric is the only material that breathes and is waterproof. The models with polyethylene roofs imported from eastern Asia (mainly Taiwan) retail for from $45 to $55 whereas the canvas roof models go for between $80 and $130. you'll wake up in it. but it is heavy and not suited for lightweight backpacking tents. The screen cabin tent is usually used as a dining tent and can add an element of luxury to your camping trip. and provision for a rubberized bathtub. Cottage Tent These are among the largest and most luxurious tents available. and if the moisture cannot escape. more easily manageable. Breathability refers to the fabric's ability to let air circulate through it: you do not want to keep the exhaled moisture of the tent's occupants in because stuffiness and condensation on the tent's walls results. Cottage tent FABRIC A tent must be comfortable and dry. a kitchen. the same drawbacks with net sides exist. Some guides and outfitters erect them at their base of operations and leave them up all season. cotton fibers can swell and shorten when wet so tent stakes must be loose enough to avoid the wet tent's pulling the stakes from the ground or tearing seams . sun porch. Cottage tents are heavy and expensive. The cheaper model is quite a popular item these days. but less luxurious. The average cottage tent costs about $250. The roof also has holes lined with asbestos for cooking and heating stove pipes. cotton weaves tend to weigh more after treatment with fire retardants than nylons do. The other side of the tent is exposed to rain . One weighs about six pounds and can cost up to $100. it will begin to leak as a result of capillary action. The human body can exhale a pint of moisture during a night.so your tent fabric must be able to protect you from without as well. Also. and totally adequate cabin tents are available for the person who really wants a home away from home. But again. But the advantages of cotton still make it king in the tent busi ness. Once you get one to the site and get it erected. clothes closet.

and they suspend a waterproof fly a few inches above the roof to shed water. since the heat stays in the bags and does not heat the air. when the occupants are bundled up in their sleeping bags . but it falls flat in breathability and water-repellency.the two outer layers are made of strong. windy areas. This fabric acts on the principle of a maze in repelling water and breathing. Teflon-like plastic film . 1. These layers are melded into a sandwich that has excellent flexibility. or a variety of tents made from either nylon or polyester with cotton to incorporate the breathability advantages of cotton with the lightweight features of the synthetic fabric. But it remains a formidable achievement. manufacturers make the roofs of their nylon tents out of porous nylon so body-produced heat and moisture can pass out.W eft (fi ll ing) DUCK DRILL W eave o f fa bri c .176 Tents for Campers Featherweight nylon is ideal in the weight department. If vents are open. Bill Moss [ see pages 190. At present there are two synthetic fabrics designed especially to incorporate breathability and water repellency. In addition to combining water repellency and breathability. Gore-Tex works best when body heat warms the air and creates a slightly higher vapor pressure inside the tent. The fabric is made of polyprophlene and is composed of three layers . making it quite uncomfortable inside. Some tents have cotton tops and synthetic walls. however. a Gore-Tex canopy can frost up. no pressure can build up inside and the moisture stays in and condenses on the cooler surfaces of the fabric. since relatively impermeable wall s can prove =o:rc::lUTt:rtU:I-=- +-. has pores that are 20. It is so thin that it must be bonded to another fabric or sandwiched between two fabrics. campers have had a choice of the heavier cotton tent. in wet weather. The two materials can be woven together in a blend or specific fabrics are used on specific sections of the tent. 2.192]. These qualities have contributed to the creation of even more exciting and functional tent designs as fabric behavior has always been a limitation. and under the right conditons. So. it does work. a super-lightweight . usually ripstop nylon and rayon. A water particle cannot find its way through the labyrinth of very fine fibers but air can pass through freely . and will never stretch or shrink. whereas Gore-Tex can be compared to a selective sieve. As a solution for the backpacker who needs the lightest tent possible.000 times smaller than a water droplet (so it sheds water) and more than 700 times larger than water vapor molecules (so moisture can pass through the fabric). (In fact . the nylon fly tent . besides the two newer fabrics mentioned above . It is this pressure which pushes water vapor through the Gore-Tex and out the tent . it is one-third lighter than canvas and will not rot or mildew. ha s used this fabric in new designs for himself and for the manufacture r. ) Th e mate rial is also flame retardant (additives increase its inherent flame retardant qualities along with making it more durable) . A fabric that is expected to be a breakthrough in the family-tent field has been developed by a major fabric-producing company. Gore-Tex. And in cold weather . This system works okay. (This is not a bad idea if the tent is to be used in cold. just as it does on uncoated nylon. and it breathes and repels water better than canvas. the double roof's ability to eliminate water from within can become overloaded. durable material and the center layer is a feltlike mat consisting of very fine filaments. even at low temperatures .

Duck is manufactured in weights from seven to fifteen ounces per square yard. The density of this fabric is an advantage in that it provides privacy for those inside the tent. . producing a staggered weave that creates a noticeable diagonal pattern in the weave of the cloth. A lightweight fabric must be used in order to make a tent easy to carry for the hiker and compactable for him or her to stuff into a small bag.to increase fabric strength. The floors are usually made of heavy-duty vinyl-covered nylon. and so on. This construction is similar to that of loop potholders made by children. The following (with the exception of the two new fabrics mentioned above) are the fabrics that have been most commonly used by tent makers: Duck This is the strongest and heaviest of cotton tent fabrics. Duck is tightly woven so that each warp yarn passes over or under the weft or filling yarn. it is your demands that determine the type of fabric you will want. while seven. it would be perfect for all tents .to eightounce weight poplin is used on some of the better family tents.usually quarter-inch . Five-and-a-half. It has a gridwork of heavy threads woven in at intervals . It's all a matter of weight and compactness. Ripstop Nylon Nylon is the staple of backpackers and other tent-weight-conscious campers. If only duck were lighter.) Other tents have breathable walls and waterproof roofs. boat. or on horseback. Denim blue jean fabric is a twill and has a very high thread count per square inch. and ripstop is the form of nylon most commonly used. Plastic has also been used as a floor material. Twill and Drill Twill is woven in such a way that each warp yarn passes over two or more weft yarns.177 A Consumers' Guide a better buffer against cold winds than porous cotton. and drill is the lowest quality of tent fabric.to eight-ounce weights are suitable for camping tents. Army bivouac and truck tarps are made from twelve. Again. Cotton Poplin This is a ribbed. tightly woven sturdy fabric made by using weft yarns that are heavier and coarser than warp yarns. but it can become dry and brittle and crack after prolonged use. This stands up to the abuse a floor gets. Khaki is drill cloth. so avoid it. although weight and compactness are not necessarily prime considerations for the camper who will take the tent to the campsite by car. Poplin comes in weights from four to eleven ounces per square yard. though some of the larger wall and cottage tents are made from ten-ounce duck. The name is derived from a trademark of a duck stenciled on heavy sailcloth imported from Europe about 1840.to fifteen-ounce duck. under the next two. Drill is a twill cloth that is more loosely woven into a three-leaf twill.

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Nylon Taffeta

This lustrous-finish lightweight nylon is the same on both sides and has good abrasion resistance. Taffeta may weigh less than two ounces per square yard and is sometimes coated with polyurethane to make it waterproof.

Vinyl-Coated Nylon

Used for tent floors, this heavyweight plastic-coated nylon is stronger and more resistant to abrasion than coated taffeta. However, its vinyl coating has been known to soften or peel if exposed to harsh solvents, such as insecticides or kerosene.

Polyethylene-Coated Polyethylene

Just that. It's water and mildew proof and is commonly used for tarpaulins and tent floors. It is a tough woven fabric with a polyethylene coating on both sides.

FIRE-RETARDANT AND WATERPROOF TREATMENTS
In 1972, the Camping Division of the Canvas Products Association International developed the CPAI-84 flammability standard . This states that a fabric be fire-retardant but not fireproof. On fabric that has been treated with flame retardant, when subject for twelve seconds to a flame, the fabric smolders but will not ignite, and when the flame is removed, the fire will die. This legislation came about largely because of the public's strong reaction to children being burned in play tents made of highly flammable wax-finished cotton. (Cotton is wet-waxed in order to waterproof it.) In fact, most of the early tent fires, including the tragic Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Big Top fire of 1944 in which 168 persons were killed, resulted from the highly flammable properties of wet-wax canvas. Cotton tents waterproofed with a light dry finish won't flash-flame, though they will burn slowly. And with a flame-retardant treatment, they will smolder when exposed to flame. However, when treated they are more expensive, stiffer, darker in color, and some 20 percent heavier than similarly untreated fabric. So, still, there are definite disadvantages to flame-retardant treatment of cotton tents. Moreover, the National Park Service and the United States Forest Service have not found a single case of anyone being burned in a backpacking-type tent (which is made from nylon and never wet-waxed) . Many backpackers, along with Backpacking magazine, object to flame-retardants being used because they are possibly carcinogenic. Some tent fabrics are treated with Tris, the same carcinogenic chemical used on children's sleepwear, which caused a recent stir, and the possible hazards of the modified thiourea compounds also in use are as yet undetermined. Backpackers also object to flame retardant fabrics because

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they think flame-retardant treatment is perhaps unnecessary: the nylon and Gore-Tex materials used on backpacking tents do not flash-flame like cotton does, they burn with a small localized flame, smolder, and melt. But, at the present time, California, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Michigan require that camping tents sold in their states meet CPAI-84 standards. These regulations have given Gore-Tex a rough time - in the CPAI tests; it doesn't extinguish quickly enough after the flame source is removed and therefore cannot be sold in the five states mentioned above. Many manufacturers don't want to deal with a fabric they can't market nationwide. No matter how tightly nylon fabric is woven, it is never waterproof because the threads will not expand when wet to fill the holes between the threads. Also, the threads do not absorb the waterproofing chemicals used on cotton, so nylon has to be coated with a polymer, polyurethane, or vinyl finish which can peel off the tent with time and use. When this vinyl coating is applied to both sides of a tent it will stick because it bonds right through the nylon, but it substantially increases the weight of the tent. But waterproofing is a necessity with nylon and if it is treated only on one side and peels off with wear and tear, it can be recoated. Cotton, on the other hand, being a natural fiber, swells when wet and therefore is theoretically waterproof. But if touched during a rainstorm from the inside, it will leak by capillary action, and loosely woven drills and twills are by no means waterproof fabrics. Tightly woven poplin and duck can be waterproofed with a light dry finish, but the more looselywoven fabrics require the heavy "wet-wax" finish, and this finish is quite susceptible to mildew as well as being the fire hazard mentioned above.

CONSTRUCTION
The best way to evaluate the workmanship, construction, and basic design of any tent is to set it up right there in the retail outlet. Though they may not like it, salespersons should be willing to allow this, especially if it may mean a sale. And it's the only way you as a consumer will really know whqt you're getting - as opposed to taking an unfamiliar tent home with you and then not being satisfied with it. Perhaps if there is a display model available, you can take it down and then set it up again. If it's not possible or practical to set up the tent in the store, make sure it is returnable. Below are listed the component parts and systems of the tent with tips on what to look for and avoid in each area.

Framing
Tents are either internally or externally framed. Before you buy a tent, inspect the poles. They should be free of burrs so they won't bind when being joined or snag the tent fabric. More manufacturers are coming out with shock-corded poles. Shock cord is an elastic rope made of bands of rubber sheathed in nylon. By running a length of shock cord through

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Tents for Campers

the hollow tubes that are to be joined in order to set up the tent, the sections snap easily into position and there's no fumbling for the right poles since they're already attached. Also, the possibility of losing a pole section is eliminated. Shock-corded poles are a definite advantage and are usually found on the better backpacking tents. However, so far only one or two tent manufacturers have shock-corded the poles of their larger family tents. Shock cords are also used quite efficiently as guy ropes. (See next section, Anchoring.) A few tents come with aluminum pole segments that telescope inside each other. This makes them quite compact, but they are subject to bending and jamming if proper care and handling are not exercised. Poles are usually made of aluminum alloy. The most common are 6061, 6063, and 7001. Some of these alloys are tempered and you can identify them by the letter T in the code number, such as 6063-T6. Joints made of brass-an-aluminum or plastic-an-aluminum are far better than pure aluminum because they are less likely to freeze, and they wear better. Nevertheless, joints can jam. To prevent this it is always best to keep pole joints lubricated with oil or silicone spray. If poles do get stuck, heat them where they are jammed. Just keep in mind that your stove or fire can melt the aluminum, so rotate the pole to distribute heat evenly. Then a tap should dislodge it. Poles used on the new dome and tunnel tents must be very flexible and very strong. The most popular material for flexible tent poles is a fiber glass rod some 5/16 inch in diameter, which is attached to a metal sleeve or ferrule, forming a joint into which another rod is inserted. This pole-support system has the disadvantage of being heavier than rigid aluminum and can splinter or jam under heavy stress. When purchasing a tent with fiber glass poles, check to make sure there are no cracks in the poles or splinters at the ends. If there are, it indicates a weak pole. Two other alternatives exist for the support of dome and tunnel tents. One is flexible aluminum alloy, the other is hollow fiber glass. Aluminum alloy has less spring than fiber glass and makes for a more rigid tent. The hollow poles also can be shock-corded. Hollow fiber glass is the lightest of all, and the machine-alloy connectors nearly eliminate joint failures. On tents with outside frames, the bottom tips of most aluminum tent poles are supported by a grommet or similar device to secure the poles to the corners of the tent floor. This keeps the poles from sinking into the ground t thereby maintaining the form of the tent. Another way is to have an aluminum ring with a sliding pin that slips into the base of the pole sewn into each corner of the tent. Eureka! Tent, Inc., in Binghamton, New York, came up with this and it is successful in that the normal stress and strain of a pole in a side pocket is absorbed by the ring and pin. One other method of anchoring poles to tent sides is to have them slip into fabric pockets at the pole base. But pockets can sometimes be too snug or too short, and they are subject to abrasion where the pole bottoms touch the ground. Tents without a means of securing the poles at the base are likely to be floppy in windy weather.

FRAME CONNECTIONS
bent tubing with slip-fit plastic fittings

FRAME LENGTH ADJUSTMENT LOCKS

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spring-loaded button

spring-loaded

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metal

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metal wire with cord

UPRIGHT ENDS
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Tent construction details

181

A Consumers' Guide

Anchoring

The number of stakes and guy lines used in pitching a tent depends entirely on the tent design and the camping conditions. When staking cond~tions are poor, tent performance suffers because stakes cannot hold firmly in sand, snow, and soft or muddy soil. When the stakes pull out, conventional tents collapse. In conditions such as these, self-supporting tents perform best, but they also have to be securely anchored or, if there's nobody inside to hold them down, they will literally blow away. Different ground surfaces dictate the use of different stakes. Tent stakes come in a variety of styles, and all have their limitations. Light aluminum or steel skewers, which work well only in firm soil or packed snow, are furnished with most tents. A spiral-threaded long nail put out by Camp Trails Company in Arizona is one of the best stakes of this type. The wider stakes made of aluminum and plastic are designed for softer ground. Most manufacturers supply only one type of stake with their tents; an exception is Stephenson's of Woodland Hills, California, who supplies none and leaves that decision up to the buyer, who knows best where he or she is going to be camping . Veteran campers have always carried a variety of extra stakes to fit the various terrains they'll be camping on. When purchasing a tent , if metal stakes are supplied, check to make sure they are well finished . Poles and pegs should have no burrs to snag the tent material when it is packed. Hammering also can burr a metal stake, so check your stakes before packing them up. The stake loops are another important factor in tent strength . These are the attachments that are most subject to stress, both from hammering the stakes in and holding the tent in place . Check the size of the tent' s stake loops . Some manufacturers produce tents with loops through which only very thin stakes will fit. Fabric loops should be large enough to accept intermediate metal rings or a variety of stakes. Check to make sure the loops are securely sewn to the tent fabric. Metal rings between the loops and the stakes are a good idea - they are quite strong and help prevent rough stake edges from abrading and weakening the loop fabric. Rings are also preferred whenever stakes are driven deeply into the ground, burying the loops. Grit can become embedded in the fabric loop and the loop will eventually weaken. There are also various ways to anchor a tent when staking will not work. Several manufacturers sell wide blades or deadman anchors (also

Tent stakes: (left to right) aluminum skewer with " 0 " closure at end ; plasti c stake ; aluminum " U" peg ; aluminum channeled stake (semicircular shaft of aluminum sheet with rolled lip at top for line); long nail ; angle snow peg

Anchoring alternati ves in snew

182

Tents for Campers

called snow flukes), which are designed to be buried under snow or sand. Buried tent stakes, stuffed sacks, or tree branches will also suffice. Snow flaps (see page 169) are also an advantage in pitching a tent because rocks, logs, sand, or snow can be piled on the flaps to anchor the tent in sites where staking would not provide adequate holding power. Guy lines are made from Manila rope, nylon rope, or elasticized shock cords. The shock cords are more expe'nsive but are well worth the cost because they cushion the stresses caused by wind and allow for the natural stretching and shrinking of cotton fabric.

Tent Seams
The best and strongest tent seams are both double-stitched and flatfelled. A flat-felled seam is one in which the fabric edges are wrapped around each other into interlocking)'s and sewn into double seams so that there are no open raw edges and the stitching binds together four layers of material. These seams, when properly sealed, will not leak and will withstand high winds. The next strongest seam is the lapped seam, and the weakest of all is the plain seam. All three types are strongest when they are double-stitched, which is considered a minimum essential construction requirement for all types of tent seams. Seams with fewer than four and one half or five stitches to the inch will be weak (this flaw is common in less expensive tents). Better models have from seven to twelve stitches per inch, but more than twelve will weaken the fabric. It is recommended that high altitude tents, which must be especially wind-resistant, have at least eight stitches per inch and be double-stitched in flat-fell seams. The number of stitches per inch is related to the material used for the tent. Heavy cotton swells and can only take about six stitches per inch but nylon and other light materials may require seven or more. Note the quality of sewing as well as the number of stitches per inch. Variations in the tightness of the thread, badly puckered and crooked seams, large needle holes, and dangling loose ends, where the stitching stops before the end of the seam, weaken the tent construction and contribute to leakage. All seams should end with either backstitching, which is a type of sewing in which the stitch is run back on itself, or be tied off to lock the seam and prevent it from opening or unraveling. Thread materials have varying strengths and weaknesses. Cotton thread by itself lacks sufficient strength to withstand heavy winds and is used in very inexpensive tents. However, wet cotton swells to plug the needle holes and stops leakage through them. Nylon is strongest but also stretches and is deteriorated by the ultraviolet radiation of sunlight and may melt during high-speed sewing. Dacron almost equals the holding power of nylon, resists the elements, and can be used with smaller needles (thereby creating smaller seam holes), but is less elastic. The most popular tent thread is a combination blend of a polyester core covered with a cotton exterior. This core is strong and rot resistant and

PLAIN SEAM -

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Tent seams

Others recommend an inside sheet to protect the floor from abrasion of shoes and cot rails. Take along a tiny container of sealant on camping trips to plug small leaks. On a windy site you can increase your tent stability by opening any windward apertures and closing the leeward ones to make your fabric inflate or balloon to lessen any deformation and movement. Many manufacturers recommend that ground sheets of nylon or plastic be placed underneath the tent floor to keep out moisture as well as to protect the floor from sharp objects on the ground. most vulnerable half is protected from the wind. Center pole types. External frame tents require extra fabric reinforcement on their pole sleeve ends where their canopy joins the frame and also sometimes on side wall guy points. Most tents feature tub floors with edges that extend part way up the sides. Winter and high altitude campers can also build snow barriers or dig their tent platform down into the snow. and stakes and secondary pressures on the side wall guys and stakes. Floors In almost every environment visited by the camper. or polyethylene-coated woven polyethylene. O-ring and grommet attachments. guys. A-frame models put primary wind loading stress on peaks. equipment within that is touching the coated . Tunnels and domes supported by flexible fiber glass rods pull primarily on the pole joints and less on the sides. You can minimize stress on these areas by using additional guy lines and by siting your tent so that the lower. insects. Seam sealants may be purchased. polyurethane-coated nylon taffeta. It keeps dampness.183 A Consumers' Guide is protected by the outside cotton which expands to fill the needle holes and also bonds well to seam sealants. Even the best made tents may leak through the stitching holes. and zipper seams to make sure that these seam ends are reinforced with extra stitching. and sometimes they are supplied free with the tent by some manufacturers. When it is correctly applied to both sides of the seam the sealant not only weatherproofs but also protects the thread from deterioration by the elements and bonds and strengthens the stitch holes. dirt. In better tents these points will be reinforced with additional fabric sewn into and along the tent seams. Stress Points Examine closely all stress areas such as stake and guy line loops. poles. Floors are best made from heavy-duty vinyl-coated nylon. from the alpine ridge to the desert. the tent floor is a positive element of safety and comfort. Placing the sheet inside will also trap water that leaks into the tent through its floor and corner seams. Different tent styles have varying stress areas. and debris out. which put lower angle strain on the sides and corner guys and the peak and pole have fewer stake problems. When it's raining out.

184 Tents for Campers sides of the tub floor will not start a leak and. a tunnel entrance is also built into the backbacking tent. therefore . or use for venting. Vestibules vary in size and can be optional or built-in. It's far better for both of these to be zippered so they can be opened from both outside and inside. Entries Family tents usually have one door. It adds weight and Family tents Backpacking tents . The disadvantage to tunnels is that they can be difficult to tie. gather tightly. Some tents have tie tapes to secure storm flaps. if not a necessity. have two entries . they cannot stop fine blown snow from penetrating the tent. Because the zippered entry can become incapacitated. You should also check to see where the floor seams are placed. the tunnel can be joined to the tunnel of another tent to provide passage from one tent to another. An awning can provide an extra room to the family tent when it is equipped with walls and mosquito netting is draped from it. Their drawback is the fact that zippers can jam. Oregon. They also produce a taut wind-resistant surface when closed. Excessively high coated sidewalls are not necessary and only increase condensation. For summer hiking.one zippered and one tunnel. Protection over the door is a definite advantage. the vestibule is not a necessity. considering the type of use a family tent gets. but the fewer the better. Stag brand tents by Hirsh Weis of Portland. Some tents have awnings that provide substantial extra shelter in front of the door. the tunnel is located at the opposite end of the tent from the door. Most backpacking tents . Also. This is an option to consider if you need the extra space. The vestibule is another form of entrance. Most doors on family tents split down the middle and consist of a screen and a storm flap cover. Zippered entrances open wide and are quick and easy to use for entering and venting the tent. and entry or exit usually has to be made on all fours. one door is sufficient. and. The tunnel is simply a sleeve closed by a drawstring. Not only can they ice up when exposed to water and wet snow. They can leak. stay dry. There inevitably will be seams near the ground. also have a split seam in back with a zipper opening marked as an emergency door. And zippers should slide easily and close without leaving a gap for insects to enter. but this is not such a good arrangement. They can be a useful place for cooking or storing packs and other gear. Ideally the door should be protected by an overhang that lets you enter through the screen during a rainstorm without letting rain enter the tent. especially those used at high altitudes . It is an extension of the fly or canopy beyond the tent door. and they provide a means to keep the rain away from an open tent door. and because of its function as an escape exit. Occasionally there will be full doors front and back.

supposedly creates a chimney effect draw: cooler air enters through the chimney vent and forces moist. from the inside. For rainy or cold weather it's best to have storm flaps that can be closed or partly closed. This type of door forms quite an efficient ridgeline vent right under the fly. the vent can be left open in foul weather. Backpacking tents Backpacking tents have vents. but the disadvantage of having to secure them from the outside in a rainstorm is obvious. Instead of having two ridge vents. preferably by zippers. So be careful with a stove in a tent. therefore.especially those on non breathable nylon tents . Some family tents have triangular windows that open from the top point. so bear in mind another source of fresh air must be available to enable air to flow. When cooking inside your tent. This works well. The purpose of these vents is to draw air out. people have suffocated in sealed tents and carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the primary causes of death in winter camping. not windows. These vents are placed as near the ridgeline as possible. Windows and Vents Family tents Ventilation in most family tents is provided by two or more screened windows and the door. Gasoline vapor is highly combustible and can explode. Spilled gasoline can also disintegrate the urethane finish on the tent floor. enabling the camper to make a small or large opening with ease. Usually located at the highest point in the tent. Sometimes this other vent is a chimney vent which is located at the bottom of the tent and. with the two zippers meeting at the apex. The accepted procedure for providing good ventilation in backpacking tents is to have ridge vents at front and back which provide cross ventilation. An exhaust vent is important for any tent in which cooking will be taking place. when open. make absolutely certain the tent is properly ventilated as carbon monoxide can kill with no warning: you simply fall asleep and never awaken. They are only slightly less rainproof than zippered closures. some exhaust vents look like small tunnel entrances. warm .185 A Consumers' Guide expense to the tent. And proper venting in the backpacking tent is absolutely imperative. If a door zips down the center and across the bottom (like an inverted T). it won't work as well as if the doors zip up the sides. Vents . In that position they exhaust warm air and are close enough under the tent fly to be protected. In summer a simple solution is to carry a lightweight tarp to cover gear or to set up as a windbreak for outdoor camping. Sometimes window storm flaps are secured only by tie tapes on the outside. A gasoline stove should also n('ver be filled inside a tent.should have protective awnings or covers so they can be left at least partially open in rainy weather and body moisture can escape from the tent. many tents have one at the rear and let the door itself act as the front vent.

and in order to leave the mosquito netting open it has to be gathered or tied aside. Brass zippers are excellent except around corners. The original cook hole was called a "relief hole" and was designated as an indoor latrine.pick the toothed if you camp along sandy beaches or mud flats because the coil zippers are clogged easily by sand and dirt. the door zipper is right there . Then. Clean them occasionally with a toothbrush and lubricate the teeth by rubbing a candle over them. Its greatest disadvantage is that the door peak cannot be opened for ventilatior. This type of vent is handy and works well on a still day or night when the draft created will force stagnant warm air out. then for placing wet boots and soiled apparel. but in foul weather rain and snow enter the vent and it cannot be used. This is a sure sign of an inexpensive tent. Zippers Family tents One way of judging the quality of a tent-is by checking the zippers. and especially the backpacking tent. The same rules apply to family tents as backpacking tents and are covered in the following section. It is also handy for sweeping debris out of the tent. Mosquito netting zippers should follow the same pattern and direction as the door zippers. so let your needs determine which you select . The worst zipper pattern is the inverted T. it should have a cook hole: if not for cooking.any tent. Avoid aluminum zippers . Good tents have larger ones (numbers five or six). They also may leak water. Coil zippers are self-correcting (to a point) and are smoother than the toothed ones. and this makes for a sturdy enough arrangement. Another point to check is the placement of zippers . and they are stronger and more durable than the nylon ones. carry sheets of Masonite or asbestos on which they place their stove. But when the vestibule is attached to the tent and shares the tent floor.186 Tents for Campers air out through a top vent or door.they jam and break easily. A little care will prolong the life of metal zippers. Some people. though the toothed ones are still the strongest and are less apt to fail. Zippers must be conveniently placed for efficient operation of . a zippered cook hole lets them cook inside. Backpacking tents . Cook Holes In backpacking winter and expedition tents. when you unzip. where the occupants literally can get snowed in. The main disadvantage to cook holes is their being vulnerable to damage from being trod upon with heavy boots. In many cases cooking is done on the ground of a floorless vestibule . inferior tents have small zippers that will break after the first season's use and maybe even trap you in your tent in the process. instead of using a cook hole. Both are used.

Tents with no-see-um-proof netting are preferred by most hunters and fishermen. Clothing loops O-rings or brass hooks at the ridge of better tents create storage facilities for clothing and tools. It is also more expensive and is found only on the best tents. A similar type of arrangement is the Dutch door. these also must be kept away from the walls. Since this does not extend all the way to the tent roof. In addition. both liquid and bottled gas lamps deplete the oxygen and fill the tent interior with poisonous carbon monoxide. These mantle lanterns generate enough heat to burn through the material of even flame-retardant tents. and logically so. They are fierce biters and tiny enough to pass through standard mosquito netting. but the latter are a bit easier to use. it permits ventilation on hot days while providing privacy in a crowded campground. COLOR Choose the color of your tent fabric not only with your climatic and environmental conditions in mind but also with caution. but only to a negligible degree. Although battery-powered lanterns can be safely supported by these loops. are tiny flying insects that are common to the lake states and Canada. gasoline and kerosene ones cannot.187 A Consumers' Guide Most backpacking tents have a semicircular quonset style or arch door opening that can be easily opened with a single sweep of the hand. some poorly made models are the brightest and some of the best tents come only in . Modesty Curtains or Dutch Doors The modesty curtain is a short piece of fabric between three and four feet long which is attached to the inside of a family tent door to screen the interior from outside view. Do not hang any heaters from these loops and only use catalytic models inside your tent. Another type of door is the triangular one with zippers along each side. No-See-Um-Proof Netting No-see-ums. forming a small triangular ridge vent. While butane and propane lanterns are safer than the gasoline models because they do not flare. which is the modesty curtain sewn onto the mosquito netting so it becomes a permanent part of the flap. While bright hues are attractive and cheery in overcast cool weather. This style provides easy ventilation because the top can be left unzipped. Its disadvantages are that it tears easily and its fine mesh is rather difficult to se~ through. Triangular doors are larger than arched doors. The fabric panel often is not removable and can block the passage of air. or punkies.

In addition. light blue cannot only be de. if your camping areas are cool. Don't use harsh detergents or solvents as they may damage the tent's waterproof and/or flame-retardant coatings. strong reds and oranges can aggravate tension in some people and make a tent interior feel even warmer on a hot day. will not mildew . of course. pressing in cold weather but can also be difficult to locate in a snowy landscape during the late afternoon. but for longer-term storage use a porous sack capable of holding the loosely rolled tent without cramming. but manufacturers agree that air drying is better. sweep off any dirt sticking to the outside. cloudy. unpack and dry the tent (preferably in the sun) the first chance you get. Canvas and nylon are more apt to puncture than tear. Avoid folding the tent (especially along the same lines each time) or stuffing it into too snug a container (which will cause creases to form). However. Before packing. are a happy solution for some campers. Some tents can be machine dried. Metal zippers and grommets may also corrode if a tent is not thoroughly dry when packed. If this is not possible. dark fabrics will make you feel colder and may fail to admit enough light for you to find your belongings. pine needles. twigs. Do not pack a wet tent unless unavoidable. The same dark color may be relaxing in areas with constant hot and dazzling sunlight. clean out the tent with a whiskbroom and soft sponge to remove any crumbs or assorted debris (pebbles. and so on). Tents made of two or more colors. such as ones with a light roof and dark walls or even stripes. scrub them off with a mild soap and water solution and a soft brush. A wet cotton tent may be stored temporarily for a day or two. Vacuum the inside of the tent if you can. For example. so sweep the tent thoroughly.188 Tents for Campers duller colors. or heavily shaded by trees. Tents may be kept in waterproof sacks while camping or traveling. pearl gray and light blue are ideal for heat reflection in hot weather and transmit light to the interior very well. Also consider whether you want your tent to blend in with the natural colors of your surroundings or whether you prefer a high-visibility structure that is easy to locate from a distance. Try to wipe up bird droppings and sap spots before they dry and harden. On the other hand.but dampness breeds rot in natural fibers and even synthetic fiber tents often have cotton zipper tapes and stitching. TENT CARE Camping tents that are adequately cared for may last fiteen years or more. After loosely rolling up the tent. Others are irritated by the resulting multicolored light and color effects. or turn the tent inside out and shake it. Maintenance and proper packing and storage are essential to insure the tent's long life and usability. and the nylon tent. as this may weaken the fabric along those folds. Avoid leaving the tent in a waterproof covering for long . However. Organic matter that is not removed will ferment. The average tent spends most of its time in storage as the average camper uses it only twenty-one days a year. if you must.

needle and thread. " Did you ever see a cubical bubble ?" In terview with Buckminster Fuller. Clear your tent site of small obstructions before setting up . attach loops of shock cord to all guys and awning lines. Inc. The North Face dedicated their 1978 spring-summer catalog to him. Mildew occurs as spotty discolorations with a distinctly musty odor. joints. Nylon will melt. and pieces of tent fabric for emergency repairs. and. Cotton tents should be pitched and hosed down completely. Test first for leaks. and even a small spark or cigarette burn can cause a hole to smolder through cotton canvas . It will destroy any natural fabric or thread on which it forms if it is not removed. all are easily damaged by fire. Shock cord can be purchased at camping supply stores as can extra grommets and tools with which to apply them. Rub beeswax or paraffin into the stitching on canvas seams and work it in with your fingers. well-ventilated area . Metal parts exposed to salt sea air corrode rapidly. Concrete floors are to be avoided as they can produce enough moisture to cause mildew. and small leaks may be stopped by the application of wax inside and out. This will cause the material to shrink somewhat. Never cook inside a tent unless it was specifically designed for that purpose . Illinois. and probable dampness are ideal conditions for breeding bacteria and mildew. or poles may corrode and stain the tent fabric or cause creases if they are not packed separately. they declared it "Bucky Day" and presented him with the six-meter. Some manufacturers furnish these sealants with their tents.especially stored in the trunk of a car where the heat. If you must pack everything together. Gasoline will ruin rubber and cause urethane coating to peel off so keep it away from your tent floor . Air your tent as often as you can. dark . In recognition of Fuller' s invention of the geodesic dome (and now over 100.floors can be damaged by such simple nuisances as sharp stones and sticks . if possible) and then apply a mildew-retarding solution. even Chap Stick will work. which can be purchased from a hardware or camping supply store . try to carry such items as tape. making the weave tighter and more waterproof. cover the sharp-pointed ends with fabric or cardboard to prevent punctures .000 exist in over fifty countries).. but be sure the tent is dry before applying waterproofing and allow plenty of drying time for the sealant to set. To prevent stress damage to grommets and guy lines from high winds . The North Face . in Carlinville. six-frequency geodesic dome you see him stepping out of. wash out with a mild soap and dry (in the sun. check and clean before packing. Don't use aerosol products such as insect repellents or hair spray in or even nearby a tent. The citric acid in orange juice or lemonade can damage nylon. Although most tents are flame resistant.in which case follow the manufacturer' s directions carefully. Small holes may be repaired with waterproof adhesive tape applied from the outside. These products may contain chemicals that destroy the tent' s waterproofing and flame resistant coatings. While camping. preferably after the tent is dry. Metal pegs . and weather the canvas so it is less likely to mildew. In a pinch. when he paid a visit. The North Face is not afraid to try new designs and they have com e up with som e remarkable ones. Nylon tents may be waterproofed with silicone sprays and plastic sealants. If mildewing occurs. New tents should be checked for waterproofing before being used .189 A Consumers ' Guide periods of time . makes this car-top tent. Buckminster Fuller' s patented geodesi c principles into the backpackable ten t market . (Courtesy of The North Face) Penthouse Manufacturing. safety pins. Better yet. With the introduction o f the Oval Intention in the fall o f 1975 they were the first tent manufacturer to employ R. Store the tent in a dry. buy and apply a commercial canvas-waterproofing treatment. . so be wary of spills. This helps to disperse moisture from condensation and to prevent mildew.

to enhance your k[1owledge of their line. Moss-designed tents in Abu Dhabi on the Persian Gulf. and sometimes even in the washing machine. At a glance you can see which companies specialize in the type of tent that interests you. or the backyard. on the other hand. But check the instructions (and be sure to remove the guy lines before you do it).se take weeks to accumulate and to enable you to talk "tents" at any sporting goods store. The manufacturers. Listed in the charts at the end of this chapter you will find data supplied directly by various manufacturers. tunnel.Bill Moss Bill Moss is an artist-craftsman who has restored the ancient art of tentmaking to its royal standards of excellence in designing for the future. with information it might otherwi. These tents are capable of withstanding 100 mph winds and maintaining temperature below 85° inside on 120° days. And if you've got a larger family tent that won't fit into the machine or you're hesitant about machine washing your backpacking tent.190 Tents for Campers Tents can be washed. Bill Moss - Master Artist-Tentmaker "I am an artist. though this and some detergents can clog the pores of GoreTex. TENTMAKERS. And a little care goes a long way.manufacturers are phasing out old models. To clean Gore-Tex use cold water and a very mild. or hybrid types. or even a complete listing of manufacturers. A tent to me is a piece of sculpture you can get into. it is not indestructible. It's constantly changing . MANUFACTURERS. Just give your tent a little consideration. pure. developing new materials and hardware . so you definitely owe it to yourself to investigate the market. It only costs the price of a postcard. You can now purchase either the old reliable tent styles with most of the flaws ironed out or try some of the newer dome. With this material to get you started you will be more likely to end up with the right tent for your needs. the tent buyer. The charts give pertinent information on all the tents available from each one." . Dry-cleaning fluid will help remove pitch and resin. the general consensus is that the sun does the best job. The following section is geared to provide you. after all. His works have been shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New . introducing new ones. then you must resort to using a sponge and water in the shower. To dry the tent. Most of the tentmakers and manufacturers included here will supply you with catalogs and current price lists free of charge. Hot water and strong detergents can also cause the Gore-Tex laminate to peel off.you name it. are innovators in their own right. low-sudsing soap (such as Ivory Flakes). and then there is specific information. AND THEIR TENTS Two innovative tentmakers are Bill Moss in Maine and "Tent Tom" Glenn in Nepal. plus selected photographs. the bathtub. but this is by no means the last word. Moss's tents are futuristic while Glenn's are keeping an ageold craft alive and well. they're working on it.

In contrast..C.to assure the total artistic freedom and precise quality of workmanship necessary for the proper production" of his creations. Moss solved the two main drawbacks of the pup tent: its lack of space near the top of its inverted V shape and its concentration of stresses where the fabric meets the tent poles. and is a meticulously crafted space-age sculpture shaped like a three-leaf clover with swooping fluid curves. became the first company president. At last. a retired General Motors research director. Unlike many works of art these tents are made to withstand heavy utilitarian use and punishment by the elements. L. Jacques Cousteau's oceanography expedition used Moss's tents on Easter Island." Meanwhile. The Arabs. emergency tent shelters which when dropped by helicopters open and inflate like parachutes before they hit the earth. The Siesta Sunshade with detachable floor (for laundering or separate use). smelly.Moss Tent Works. insisting on design control through membership on their boards of directors. Inc. and hospitals. Bottom: Star Gazer. and his fatherin-law. Not only did this multiply the interior space but it also distributed the tent pressures over the entire surface. D. became the general manager. The cut of the stretched fabric produces tension to Top: The O'Dome. in Camden. Washington. Moss's revolutionary tension-structure designs tackled a problem that most architects had avoided because of conservative clients and the difficulty of design. His wife Marilyn.a leakproof summer house that packs into a two-foot square box and weighs a total of fifty-five pounds. an experimental vacation home fabricated of plastic-coated paper. his 1957 design of a pop tent for the Ford Company fused his art and visions together. He later worked in the U. and over thirty patented tent and tentlike structures. have bought large hunting tents as well as thousands of smaller shelters used for temporary housing of Arab emirate families. One of his achievements that is taking hold is the Optimum 200 . Mr. schools. By 1975 he established his own tent company .191 A Consumers' Guide York and he is the inventor of the paper dome cottages coated with plastic. he had begun making his own sculptured fabric paintings. Navy as an underwater demolition diver and even taught painting to the officers. Other typical solutions aggravated the existing situation by merely enlarging the whole size of the tent and reinforcing the same stress point. Moss created the interior of the Ford Pavilion at Expo '74 in Spokane. Moss began as a painter and studied art. The Smithsonian Institution commissioned Moss to design its canvas pavilion for the 1976 Bicentennial Folk Festival in Washington. Bean outdoor equipment company hired him to create a two-man camping tent. a freestanding urethane-coated tent. leaky tents. supreme tent-masters of the ages. For the next ten years he illustrated outdoor scenes for Ford Times. and the respected L. construction sites. Moss eliminated these issues entirely by using a flexible fiber glass rod through a sleeve to make a covered arch instead of an A-frame. He decided to commit himself to the perfection of his tents.S. and his assignments sometimes found him camping out in "heavy. has no-cost air conditioning to keep the interior twenty-five degrees cooler than the outdoors. . For several years Moss licensed his designs to other manufacturers. a weaving expert experienced in managing a leather goods shop. Maine . which finally departed from the wall to become walk-into environments.

and PVCcoated fabric). Washington 98108. parabolas. since 1971. and tents can be custom-made as well.as indeed they are . an ancient craft form flexible enough to show off both traditional and original designs. Tom has combined traditional Eastern craftsmanship with elements of contemporary design and function." he began. by the Optimum 200). which refers to the intersection of circles. for instance. Mrs. fabrics and rugs. The tents are vividly decorated with bias tape applique. one which is also used by other contemporary architects.) Because of all these design factors both the fabric and all construction craftwork must be of excellent quality . "Tent Tom" also supplies accessory pillows that are appliqued in the same design as the tent. The whole enterprise is a blend of East and West. in 1972. This makes it possible for some tents to be freestanding and require only enough anchorage to the earth to prevent their shifting in the wind. Known locally in Nepal as "Tent Tom. These tents are not curiosity pieces but splendid works of art that are extremely functional. fire-proofed canvas. and eye shapes. Glenn's tents are inspired by traditional Nepalese and Tibetan designs sometimes enhanced by innovations of his own. These poles In turn transfer those stresses back out again onto the cloth to make the covering material a structural support itself instead of an independent skin. The appliqued designs are symbolic and could identify the tent owner at a glance. Nepal. For more information . Inc. Church doors are often designed this way. and are usually made from cotton drill weave and tapestry fabrics (other available materials include nylon. . These tents were customarily used by royalty and the upper classes for outings in the Himalayan mountain regions.192 Tents for Campers hold the fiber glass poles in their pockets. And if you want a Tibetan-type hand-knotted wool carpet to cover the floor . This form not only is the single solution for creating constant tension across the entire surface of a material but it also spills the wind by bending away from the direction of the pressure. to organize a factory to produce beautiful handwoven tents and canopies. This concept is now widespread and has been integrated into the design lines of many manufacturers. All tents include ropes made by hand from goat's hair and bamboo stakes . Tent Tom Upholding Ancient Tradition in Nepal California-born Tom Glenn has been living in Katmandu. To design a tent with strains evenly distributed over the widest areas. Moss sketches his works in paper to find the weak points and also makes cloth models combining arcs. Seattle. handles United States distribution of her son ' s tents and rugs. He has spent several years researching weaving and dyeing techniques and exploring Himalayan design. 5701 Sixth Avenue South. Pat Heald . that too can be ordered with the tent: rugs are Glenn's other specialty. Another striking feature of Moss's tents is the winglike hyperbolic paraboloid shape (illustrated. at Moss Tent Works . Suite 219. Tom's mother. (Called by architects vesica pis cis. Various models and designs are available on import order. write her at Design Center Northwest.

193 A Consumers' Guide " Tent Tom " Glenn fastening a guy rope on one of his appliqued Himalayan tents. Nepal. Av other of Glenn 's tents. based on ancient Himalayan designs and handmade at his factory in Katmandu . .

rip. white. Canoe (CA7686) backpack rip . & dac. Box 3477 1100 Burch Dr. oz.-cotton 35 poly. nyl.-cotton 55 95 72 /36 90 /42 108 x 84 168 x 192 3 8 2 2 assorted wall poly. or gray 2 wnds . 9 8 72 90 x 102 3 Universal wall duck nyl.-cotton 70 130 72 /36 90/42 84 /66 8 8 8 42 72 52 108 x 84 168 x 192 102 x 120 60 x 84 90 x 102 60 x 94 3 11 4 2 3 3 2 2 assorted exoframe pup pup backpack poly . white.O.cotton. Evansville. or gray white Tee-Pee (3 models) smallest TP12FR largest TP18FR Permanent camp (7 models) smallest (PC-98) largest (PC-1620) Assembly tents tipi army duck wall cotton 80 180 84 /36 120/60 108 x 96 192 x 240 3 15 2 2 assorted permanent platform complete assembly * assorted * Available in custom orders Anchor Industries Permanent Camp Anchor Industries Huntsman . nyl. nyl. Indiana 47733 Mod el Type Materials Weight Ibs. most popular are 168 x 168 192 x 192 65 90 150 177 144 diameter 216 diameter custom sizes and wnds . poly. avail. avail. duck duck.cotton. custom sizes and wnds . 16 24 7 blue or 2tone green light blue or light green 2 side vents yellow roof with orange or blue yellow roof with orange or blue khaki. nyl. nyl . International Pyramidal tent pyramid khaki.194 Tents for Campers Manufactu rer ANCHOR INDUSTRIES P. Dim ensions Height Length (inches) x W idth MaxIMin (inches) Capacity Rating (# persons) Number of Entries Colors Special Features Woodsman Wall Tent (5 models) smallest (W-97) largest (W-1416) Woodsman Supreme (5 models) smallest (WS-97) largest (WS-1416) Grizzly (GR-8610) Huntsman (HT57) Mountain tent (MT7686) Backpacker (BP58) wall poly.

dble.. mosquito netti ng opt. nyl. rip. Dimensions Height Length x (inches) Width (inches) Max/Min San Diego. Capacity Rating (# persons) Number of Entries Colors Special Features Wall Tent (15 models) smallest (T10983) largest (T11320) wall canvas 15 37 72/36 90/48 72 x 96 114 x 144 4+ 6+ 2 2 off-white overlapping door flaps. top vent . wall Manufacturer ALASKA TENT & TARP.195 A Consumers' Guide Man ufactu re r A16 WILDERNESS CAMPING OUTFITTERS 4620 Alvarado Canyon Rd. oz. wall construction. . rope reinforced eaves & corners. 529 Front St. INC.. Fairbanks. Alaska 99701 Dimensions Height Length (inches) x Width (i nches) Max/Min Model Type Materials Weight Ibs . nyl. 6 5 4 101/2 48 50 NA 83 x 94 52 x 94 1201/2 x 120112 4 2 blue or green golden brown 1 wnd . Capacity Rating (# persons) Number of Entries Colors Special Features Half Dome (4-person) (2-person) Trail Tarp dome tarp rip. oz. arctic tent dbl. California 92120 Model Type Materials Weight Ibs . tent folds to l' x 8' bundle to fit in dog sled Dog Sled Tent (T10801) A-frame canvas 21 66 90 x 90 2+ Alaska wall tent A16 Half Dome Rain fly on A16 Half Dome . FR models avail.

sad cloth. vny.196 Tents for Campers Manufacturer ATHALON PRODUCTS. ridge-pole openings sad cloth wall cotton duck nyl . 52nd Ave. 80/48 112/60 80/48 110/60 96 x 120 120 x 144 96 x 120 168 x 192 96 x 120 192 x 240 2 4 white 3 wnds. vny. Colorado 80216 Model Type Materials Capacity Rating (# persons) Number of Entries Colors Special Features High Lonesome (2 models) smallest largest cabin cotton duck nyl. full screen door asbestos shield.. Max/Min (inches) Denver. in 2 fabrics Athalon High Lonesome The Guide . oz. pyramid w /wall pyramid no center pole lean-to nyl. vny. or cotton 83 avail. cotton duck nyl . Dimen sion s Height Length x (in ches) Weight Width Ibs . 80/48 84/48 cotton duck nyl. wnd . HIGH LONESOME 3333 E. vny. vny. cotton duck nyl. vny. Woodsman (4 models) wall smallest largest Guide (8 models) smallest largest Outfitter (4 models) smallest largest Herder (5 models) smallest largest Colorado range (3 models) smallest largest Whelen Lean-to wall white 2 8 2 12 white 80/48 99 /60 75 /30 105/48 96 x 120 144 x 168 84 x 84 120 x 120 2 6 white 2 4 white 87 90 72 x 96 114 x 114 84 x 72 2 4 2 orange or white 2 2 white 1 wnd . cotton duck nyl.

nyl. L./poplin 6 10 42 72 84 x 60 108 x 84 2 4 green or gold pearl gray dbl. FR avail. oz. 2 pocks. . nyl. opt. Max/Min Capacity Rating (# persons) Number of Entries Colors Special Features Ultimate (2-person ) (4-person) (6-person) Pachlite II external rip. 6' x 20' screened porch 3 wnds. shock cords 4 pocks.197 A Consumers' Guide Manufacturer l. 5 6 40/36 84 x 48 2 L./nyl. 6 pocks. frame box 10 16 30 6 13 40/36 60/54 77/68 46/45 84 x 60 108 x 84 144 x 96 84 x 60 2+ 4+ 6+ 2+ 2 2 2 2 burnt orange/ white burnt orange/pale blue/white burnt orange/ white 2 pocks... BEAN. walls. l.. 1 wnd../nyl. Bethesda. cabin 35 51 baker nyl. nyl. Nylon Umbrella tent (3 models) smallest (5612R#8) largest (5611 R#12) umbrella nyl./poplin 18 27 3 12 78 92 84 x 96 139 x 139 green/gold 3 6 Manufacturer BISHOP'S ULTIMATE OUTDOOR EQUIPMENT 310 Millwood Rd.. 13) smallest (#10) largest (#13) Nylon Baker tent (5546R) A-frame rip. taf. 1 wnd . Capacity Rating (# persons) Number of Entries Colors Special Features Allagash tent small (55480) large (55490 Pine Tree Lodge (3 models. WP door and fly A-frame rip . nyl. ridgepole 2 pocks . (w/ ridgepole) 9 Net tent I-pole wedge rip. oz. net door. Bean Baker tent Bishop' s Expedition Tent . Maryland 20034 Model Type Materials Dimensions Height Length x (inches) Width Weight (in ches) Ib s. 3 wnds . 12../poplin 11 12 90/60 96/60 72/20 96 x 120 120 x 156 90 x 90 green floor. INC. Freeport. #10. Maine 04033 Dimensions Height Length x (inches) Width (i nches) Max/Min Model Type Materials Weight Ibs.

rip. 1 wnd. 7 6 Cannondale Susquehanna and the Bugger bicycle trailer Cannondale Wabash . oz. nyl. nyl. Connecticut 06902 Dimensions Height Length x (inches) Width Max/Min (inches) Model Type Materials Weight Ibs . 1 vest. 8 12 9 11 8 6 57/36 46/46 72/72 46/46 87 x 48 87 x 72 87 x 58 87 x 72 87 x 58 2 2 3-4 2 2 2 gold/rust/ blue gold/rust/ blue gold/rust/ blue gold/rust/ blue 1 wnd. nyl.. 2 vests. Capacity Rating (# persons) Number of Entries Colors Special Features Wabash (C-891) Lackawanna (C-892) Aroostook (C-893) Susquehanna (C-895) backpack backpack backpack backpack rip . 2 vests. rip.198 Tents for Campers Manufacturer CANNONDALE CORPORATION 35 Pulaski St. 1 vest.. rip. nyl. Stamford.

ny!.. dutch 1 dbl. vny. INC. 48 vny. 1 zip side 1 db!. poly. 7 36 35 19 6 52 10 59/54 84/72 78/69 60/56 97 x 84 132 x 120 120 x 96 96 x 81 93 x 60 156 x 108 144 x 96 156 x 120 134 x 98 116 x 86 144 x 108 134 x 98 84 x 60 4 5 4 3 2 6 5 6 5 4 5 5 2 1 db!. 3 wnds. vny.. weather fly. Kansas 67201 Model Type Materials Dimensions Length Height x (inches) Width Weight (inches) Ibs. Max/Min Capacity Rating (# persons) Number of Entries Colors Special Features Peak 1@l (#838) backpack ny!. vent w /weather fly 3 wnds.. under wnd.. vny. vny. opt. 3 wnds . Francis St. poly. ny!. vny. 6 42/37 90/60 90/60 84/54 78/54 78/54 96 78 42 poly-cotton. stuff sack.. vny. poly. dutch 2 flaps 1 dbl. Wichita. poly. 1 dbl . shock cord kit (#856) Coleman ® Models: Family Classic (#8481 B840) Mid-sized Classic (#8481 B830) Compact Classic (#8481-810) Backpack Classic (#8551A814) Delux Oasis (#8471A22) Family Oasis (#8471A832) Delux American Heritage (#8491-865) Family American Heritage (#8491 B825) Compact American Heritage (#8491 B815 Villa del Mar (#8426874) Vacationer (#8491 A845) Mountain (#8428-800) cabinexoframe cabin exoframe cabin exoframe Backpack cabin exoframe cabin exoframe Cabin exoframe Cabin exoframe Cabin exoframe Cabin exoframe Cabin exoframe popexoframe poly.. poly . 1 db!. dutch 1 db!. . 2 wnds . vny. 2 wnds . 3 wnds.. dutch 1 db!. oz . 2 wnds. 1 wnd. dutch white/tan white/tan white/tan white/tan white/green white/green white/green white/green white/green tan/gold white/red green 2 wnds.. 1 dbl. 250 N.. poly-cotton. vny. poly. 37 34 30 48 29 15 Coleman Villa del Mar® Villa del Mar® with Van Conversion Kit Coleman Vacationer . poly. 3 wnds. vny. 5 10 44/40 97 x 60 2 yellow/ brown 1 wnd..199 A Consumers' Guide Manufacturer THE COLEMAN CO... cargo pock. 1 db!. 3 wnds. vny. St.

and four-man Denver Tent Company Denver Backpack . Denver (675BP) backpack rip.-cotton 31 55 85/40 85/40 90/60 108 x 84 108 x 180 120 x 108 3 1 wnd. FR Royal (4 models) smallest (97R) largest (915R) Crown (109C) cabin poly. oz. 6 8 48/12 72 x 90 2 1 wnd .-cotton 55 90/60 156 x 108 8 1 double door 1 double door 1 double door 1 flap 3 wnds. Denver..-cotton 47 1 wnd. Colorado 80216 Dimensions Height Length x (inches) Width Max/Min (inches) Model Type Materials Weight Ibs ./taf..200 Tents for Campers Manufactu rer DENVER TENT COMPANY 4004 Grape St. 8+ 5 cabin poly./nyl. NP w/fly Coleman Peak 1@> two. Capacity Rating (# persons) Number of Entries Colors Special Features King (139KS) cabin poly.

4 shockcorded FG poles * Gore-Tex® laminate: nylon taffeta-Gore-Tex® membrane-polyester nexus. back vent.2 oz .5 oz nylon. 110 Prefontaine PI. S.3 38/29 93 x 54 54 2 2 blue 139 x dbl. 2 pocks. wall. 2 big wnds. 3 shock-corded fg . 4 shock-corded alum.. Washington 98104 Dimensions Length Height x (inches) Width (inches) Max/Min Model Type Materials Weight Ibs. 4 pocks . freestanding mosquito netting Light Dimension ® (#0102) tunnel Gore-Tex® laminate* 3. 4 pocks.8 39/19 97 x 56 2 gold or green Winterlight® (#0103) tunnel Gore-Tex® laminate* Gore-Tex® laminate* 4.5 39/25 102 x 56 2 2 gold or green gold or green Earth Station@> (#0104) dome 9. Gore-Tex® doors . 6 shock-corded alum. LTD. poles. integrated dbl. Seattle. 2 netting pocks. polymer coated nylon.. Early Win ters Sleep Inn . poles.201 A Consumers' Guide Manufacturer EARL Y WI NTERS.6 48 108 x 72 2-3 gold or green 1 wnd. 2 shock-corded fg . zips to front door. opt . ** Outer Wall: 2. Early Winters Earth Station Early Winters Omnipotent About as small as a tent can get. poles (equal lengths). vest. oz. wall* * 6.7 54 92 side-side 102 cornercorner 4 Sleep Inn ® sleeping bag cover & bivvy sack tunnel Gore-Tex® laminate* 1: 1 NA 90 x 32 NA gold or green Omnipotent® (#0101) w/vest.. poles. Inner Wall: 1. Capacity Rating (# persons) Number of Colors Entries Special Features Starship® (#0105) dome Gore-Tex® laminate* 6.

17 10 75 102 x 123 ext./nyl. frame.. rip. 6 10 taf. taf..o./. 9 10 15 12 6 5 44 65 60 x 93 84 x 106 60 x 120 2 3 2 copper/blue green/yellow green/yellow attached vest ./nyl../nyl. Jamaica Eureka! Timberline without rain fly . frame poplin umbrella umbrella Eureka! Tent Riverside Lodge.202 Tents for Campers Manufacturer EUREKA! TENT.nyl. ext . taf. exo-frame backpack rip. a camping and cottage resort on Robin's Bay. backpack mod. 4 4 42 60 x 96 2 Nu Lite Space Tent : small large taf. no-see-um netting 1 ADoor 2 ADoors 1 ADoor willow 1 roof vent green/yellow willow 1 roof vent green/yellow copper/ sandstone green/ye Ilow green 3 wnds. 42 Yukon Aleutian/ (hexagon) Back Country dome dome pyramid. Box 966 Binghamton. 1 wnd . Marcy taf. New York 13902 Model Type Materials Dimensions Height Length (inches) x Weight Width Ibs ./nyl. vest. rip. green/yellow opt. wall. Max/Min (inches) Capacity Rating (# persons) Number of Entries Colors ~pecial Features Catskill (3 models) smallest largest Mojave Timberline : small large backpack A-frame A-frame ext. 3 54 65 12 42 96/72 96/72 60 x 88 120 x 120 141 x 141 2 assorted tan 3 wnds .. oz . rip.. 625 Conklin Rd. vest. P. dark green willow green Timberline Base Camp ext . shock-corded frame opt. backpack backpack 7 9 5 9 12 12 48 52 64 60 x 90 86 x % 96 x 42 2 2 Mt. INC. rip . poly. frame rip. 5 4 6 15 42 72 42 42 58 60 x 84 84 x 102 60 x 84 63 x 86 86 x 104 2 4 2 4 green/yellow no-see-um netting green no-see-um netting no-see-um copper/ sandstone netting. backpack Alpine : small large Saranac rip. backpack rip. in use at Strawberry Fields by the Sea. frame..

awning 2 wnds. Dimensions Length Height x (inches) Width (inches) Max/Min Capacity Rating (# persons) Number of Entries Colors Special Features Riverside Lodge (4 models) smallest largest Lakeside Terrace Tent Chateau (3 models) smallest 7 largest 12 Travel-aire Drawtite® (3 models) smallest. umbrella vny. vny. poplin. backpack A-frame A-frame hybrid umbrella rip. frame poplin. oz. vest../nyl./nyl. rip.203 A Consumers' Guide Model Type Materials Weight Ibs. frame rip. Storm King Vagabond 9 Screen House small 1210 large 1410 Trail-Lite Portage Special Portage Special II Mountain Tent Mountain Major Mountain Cruiser Caddis Expedition Timberline: small large Summit Expedition Summit Great Western (3 models) smallest largest Teton: small large Chenango Flu Ice-Fishing Indian Teepee cabin poplin 46 60 90/60 96/60 108/60./poly. poplin. taf. rip. 80 56 pearl gray pearl gray tan 7 wnds./nyl. 27 38 ext.!nyl./cotton 25 28 11 3 5 umbrella . poly ./nyl.) 78/50 80/60 92/68 92/68 72 72/24 72/24 42 60 72 (end) 43/35 42 58 57 57 120 x 144 120 x 168 84 x 104 84 x 87 84 x 108 60 x 96 72 x 108 90 x 96 43 x 96 4 3 4 2 3 4 2 green green green tan tan tan caramel/ sandstone opt. 1 vent. 3 wnds. poplin. vny. green/yellow 18 3 27 4 78/66 92/76 84/60 84/60 90/72 73/63 168 84 x 84 139 x 139 120 x 96 144 x 108 144 x 144 85 x 85 Dia. (Fr. cabin rip.. poly. 72 96/60. 28 poplin 32 35 backpack wall backpack backpack backpack backpack modified tube taf. vny. rip. vny. 2 rooms 3 wnds. vny. vny. exo poplin 14 44 umbrella screen poplin. poplin.. 1 wnd./poly./nyl. taf. nyl. 72 120 x 96 192 x 120 192 x 120 120 x 120 pearl gray 3 wnds . 8 14 12 6 7 11 8 11 63 x 86 86 x 104 60 x 102 60 x 102 2 4 2 2 caramel/ sandstone snow tunnel entrance willow 3 wnds. Alpine largest. zip tan 2 wnds. 1 vent 3 wnds. 3 wnds. 18 4 7 ext./nyl. 48/30 (Fr./nyl. poplin/ vny. 7 4 7 2 7 14 9 13 12 23 72/42 84/52 80/60 86 x 90 135 x 96 104 x 104 tan tan 1 wnd./nyl./nyl.180 sandstone/ tan assorted 1 wnd .) (Rear) (Rear) 60 X 93 108 X 147 104 x 104 2 5 tan 2./nyl./nyl. cabin cabin cabin poplin..

7 9 48 84 x 96 2.204 Tents for Campers GERRY CO. spring-loaded frame.. roped in floor w/wire stake loops Gerry Fortnight II Gerry Windjammer . Capacity Rating (# persons) Number of Entries Colors Special Featu res Mountain Ark (T140) A-frame nyl.-cotton 45 52 93/60 96/60 140 x 107 168 x 118 5 7 1 dutch door silver/blue 5 wnds. Oregon 97222 Model Type Materials Weight Ibs . oz.E. Colorado 80216 Dimensions Height Length x (inches) Width (i nches) Max/Min Model Type Materials Weight Ibs. Johnson Creek Blvd. oz.3 Year Round II (T106) nyl. 10 14 72/48 84 x 96 4 Meadow (T303) Mosquito (T301 ) nyl. Manufactu rer 5450 North Valley Highway Denver. 6 14 43 /36 92 x 55 2 1 wnd. Camponaire II (T113) modified pyramid modified pyramid backpack backpack nyl. nyl. adj. Dimensions Height Length (inches) x Width (inches) Max/Min Capacity Rating (# persons) Number of Entries Colors Special Features Skyliner (2 models) large (#20053) extra large (#20054) cabin poly. Portland. 9 8 65 /42 84 x 78 3 Fortnight II ( T114) nyl. 5 5 6 5 48/44 48 /32 44/32 84 x 54 84 x 48 84 x 54 2 2 Man ufactu re r HIRSCH-WEISS White Stag 5203 S. 6 12 46 88 x 57 2 brown/ orange with khaki fly brown/gold with khaki fly blue/gold or brown/gold / khaki blue/gold or brown/gold/ khaki blue/gold or brown/gold/ khaki green/khaki green skylight Windjammer (T142) tripodal exo backpack nyl.

adj.cotton. & nyl.cotton. oz. opening for vehicle 3 wnds.. vest.... poly.. zip. frame 3 wnds. adj .-cotton poly. cabin poly. polyester poly. cabin 19 24 75/51 78/54 114 x 90 137 x 100 4 5 brown 3 wnds. frame 1 rear vent.. free standing shockcorded frame front-rear vents.-cotton 87/76 93 x 83 2-3 2 dutch doors 1 dutch door 1 dutch door silver/ pumpkin silver/ pumpkin silver/green 3 wnds.cotton. roped in floor w/wi re stake loops 4 wnds Van/Pickup tent #21048 Oakwood (3 models) small (#20056) van 21 87/76 103 x 84 3 cabin 33 81/56 114 x 91 4 extra large (#20058) Parkdale (2 models) small (#20059) large (#20060) Ranger (2 models) small (#21049) large (#21050) Cape Cod (2 models) small (#21051) large (#21052) Breezy Hatchback (2 models) small (#21053) large (#21054) Sky Country (2 models) small (#24058) large (#24059) High Country (2 models) small (#24060) large (#24061) backpack w/fly rip. springloaded frame. shock-corded frame 6 9 backpack w/fly rip. frame 20 25 16 21 cabin 1 dutch door 1. adj.205 A Consumers' Guide Model Type Materials Weight Ibs . adj . zip. frame 4 wnds. & nyl. 9 12 45 60 66 x 90 90 x 108 2 4 blue 7 11 10 15 45 62 66 x 90 90 x 108 2 4 Hirsch-Weis White Stag Alpine II Hirsch-Weis White Stag Camping Skyliner Hirsch-Weis White Stag Sky Country ../nyl.-nyl..-cotton 45 26 34 cabin poly. polyester 94/60 78/54 84/54 78/54 84/54 75/57 84/60 173 x 104 115 x 91 138 x 104 116 x 89 138 x 104 116 x 91 137 x 104 6 4 5 4 5 4 4 1 dutch door dutch door blue or green or pumpkin pumpkin/ green pumpkin/ brown pumpkin/ green 3 wnds.cotton.. magnetic tape 1 wnd. frame 3 wnds. Dimensions Height Length x (inches) Width (inches) Max/Min Capacity Rating (# persons) Number of Entries Colors Special Features Van Tent (#20055) van 27 polyester poly. adj . polyester poly.

vents. alum. 5 6 12 4 42 72 42 60 36 60 x 84 84 x 96 60 x 84 2 4 green 1 wnd./nyl./taf./nyl.-nyl./taf. P. % x 96 114 x 60 ·132 x 108 rip. 84 x 84 54 x 84 backpack Manufacturer HOLUBAR MOUNTAINEERING. poles 6 10 5 42 72 60 x 90 84 x 102 2 4 brown 4 10 8 13 backpack rip. fg. frame rear vent.O.-nyl.-poly. as kit 2 wnds. Box 7 Boulder.) Dimensions Height Length x (i nches) Width (inches) Max/Min Model Type Materials Weight Ibs .206 Tents for Campers HIRSCH-WEISS (cont. nyl. oz./nyl. rip. Dimensions Height Length x (i nches) Width (i nches) Max/Min Capacity Rating (# persons) Number of Entries Colors Special Features Chateau 4-Person Expedition Tarp tent Royalight II backpack backpack expedition tarp backpack rip./taf. 6 11 50 62 x 94 2 green green rear vent.-poly. shock-corded dbl. rip. nyl. rip./nyl. nyl. LTD. . 2 4 2 blue 1 wnd. nyl. nyl. A-frame 1 wnd. oz. Colorado 80302 Model Type Materials Weight Ibs./ rip. rip. 6 14 54/30 90 x 60 rear vent window Holubar Chateau . avail. 10 4 10 11 10 66/28 72/36 (at doors ) 47/47 125 x 86 3 4 2 (w/gear) 5 2 2 2 blue gold gold/brown brown blue 2 wnds. Capacity Rating (# persons) Number of Entries Colors Special Features Igloo (#24065) Alpine (3 models) smallest (#24062) largest (#24064) Trail Companion (3 models) smallest (#24066) largest (#24068) High Lake (2 models) small (#24045) large (#24046) Packer (#24069) backpack w/fly backpack w/fly backpack w/fly rip. nyl. rip./ rip.

/nyl. Capacity Rating (# persons) Number of Entries Colors blue/gray or green tumbleweed blue/gray or green tumbleweed Special Features 7 6 50 87 x 100 2/3 1 vent . dac.4 2. Washington 98204 Dimensions Height Length x (i nches) Weight Width (inches) Ibs . Max/Min Model Trail Dome (2-3) Type dome Materials dac./ rip . top vent in fly . 15 14 54 125% x 103 4 to 6 3 wnds. top vent 2 3 10 8 1 6 48 48 96 x 80 90 x 67 3. 1 top vent Large Trail Dome (4-6) dome poly. nyl./taf. nyl. top door vent door vent Jansport Isodome . 5 8 6 8 52 50 53 x 90 87 x 100 2 2/3 2 1 wnd. blue/orange/ 2 vents. 1 top vent Original Trail Wedge wedge dome rip./nyl. 13 69 115 x 132 4/6 1 wnd. 1 tunnel gray or green / yellow/ tumbleweed blue/orange/ gray or green / yellow/ tumbleweed yellow/gray/ russet yellow/gray/ russet (4460) Mountain Dome (4468) Isodome 1 dome dac./rip.3 vent in fly.207 A Consumers' Guide Manufacturer JANSPORT Paine Field Industrial Park Everett. .. oz .

. no guying needed on fly Kirkham ' s Outdoor Products Springbar Modular Kirkham's Outdoor Products Springbar Model 955 . nyl. wall) taf. 1 window Springbar Vacationer (#8140) Springbar Traveler (2 models) small (#8180) large (#9110) 2-Man Campsite (#939-E) Cabana (#8315) hybrid cabin cabin 40 88 168 x 120 7 to 8 44 12 48 2-man cabin cabin cotton & nylon cotton 12 14 12 12 12 85/75 85/75 41 /38 78/60 120 x 96 132 x 120 93 x 60 84 x 48 4 5 2 pearl gray tan Springba r® Springba r® used for dressing or portable john Springba r® Springbar® for low humidity regions no Springba r® 3-Man Campsite (#952) Supr-Lyt (3 models) smallest (#850) Wall (10 standard sizes available) smallest largest Backpacking model #40 model #50 model #60 cabin backpack cotton & nylon rip. Max/M in (inches) 3125 S. green 5 36 84 x 84 2 white or dark olive green wall 36 93 84/48 120/60 120 x 96 240 x 192 6 15 backpack rip. & taf.208 Tents for Campers Manufacturer KIRKHAM'S OUTDOOR PRODUCTS AM Tent and Awning Co. (db I. Utah 84119 Model Type Materials Capacity Rating (# persons) Number of Entries Colors Special Features Expandable (#7199) modular duck & nylon nylon duck & nylon 42 8 85 /65 108 x 108 4 2 pearl gray/offwhite pearl gray pearl gray/white modular system Springba r® freestand ing Springbar® Springba r®. oz . cotton duck or waxtreated fi reretardant fabric 24 12 74/64 96 x 78 3 pearl gray blue. Dimension s Height Length x (inches) Weight Width Ibs . State St. nyl. nyl. nyl. Salt Lake City. 7 4 8 10 8 41 41 53 96 x 48 93 x 60 90 x 90 2 2-3 3-4 1 2 2 tan/rust tan/orange tan/blue twin skylights .

Wisconsin 53202 Dimensions Height length x (inches) Width (inches) Max/Min Model Type Materials Weight Ibs . has vny.. FR 3 wnds. poplin 21 15 8 8 8 80 72 84/60 90/60 84/72 87 x 87 96 x 84 108 x 90 120 x 96 84 x 72 2 pearl gray screen tan screen pearl gray screen tan screen pearl gray 3 3 3 2 can.. 9 7 3 5 64/36-49 48 72 x 96 60 x 86 3 2 gold orange/blue 1 wnd. wind curtain 4 wnds. poplin 54 90/68 132 x 132 6 2 screen pearl gray opt.. front & rear vny. can. 1432 N. net. acces. vny... pocks. Capacity Rating (# persons) Number of Entries Colors Special Features Wanderlust (#302) Expedition (#401) backpack backpack rip. interchangeable poles 3 wnds. access. pocks. poplin can .209 A Consumers' Guide Man ufactu re r lAACKE & JOYS CO. nyl. 1 screened vent 3 wnds. Water St. 4 wnds. mildew resistant 1 wnd .. panes 90/63 144 x 120 6 yellow screen & storm Laacke & Joys Wildwood® Forest View Laacke & Joys Wildwood® Kitchen Camper . nyl. pane. 1 wnd. 1 wnd.. poplin. 30 nyl. Milwaukee. poplin. nyl.. rip.. 32 vny. oz. can. rear ext. rear wnd . vny. poplin 44 12 Kitchen Camper (#921) Wrangler (#1011) screen cabin cabin can. 6 1 50/30 60 x 84 2 gold 1 wnd. pane 3 wnds. A-frame polesinterchangeable Pack Lite II (#201) backpack rip.. extend & stake out door for storage Camper (#901) umbrella army duck 53 8 90/74 118 x 118 5 1 dutch 1 dutch 1 dutch pearl gray Camper FR (#922) Campmaster (#951) umbrella umbrella army duck army duck 56 64 90/74 90/74 118 x 118 118 x 150 5 6 pearl gray pearl gray Junior Umbrella (#761) Explorer (#851) Nomad (#105) Vagabond (#103) Cruisemaster (#862) umbrella explorer cabin cabin explorer army duck can.

/rip. vacation home 13 7 freestanding.. nyl. 1 wnd. tunnel tunnel backpack 3/4 dome freestanding nyl. poplin 61 90/63 144 x 120 6 screen & storm yellow 4 winds. fly is part of tent hyperbolic paraboloid shape Parawing: small large Eave II Eave III Salus Siesta Sunshade Star Gazer tarp nyl. oz. nyl. cotton urethane coated taf. 72 96/77 72 168 x 120 102 x 84 6 3 1 dutch pearl gray pearl gray 6 wnds. Moss Tent Works Optimum 200 (interior) Moss Optimum 200 (exterior) Moss Trillium .210 Tents for Campers LAACKE & JOYS CO. rip. 6 7 4 2 (fr. )( rear) 46/37 45 54 90 x 70 90 x 79 96 x 42 96 x 66 67 x 67 86 x 70 2 3 beige/yellow fly vest. taf... 1 wnd. Camden.)( rear) 40/29 (fr. 2 rear vny . tan/ dk. tan screened top wnd .. vny. Capacity Rating (II persons) Number of Entries Colors Special Features Optimum 200 Trillium Sundance hybrid dome hybrid cotton / nyl./rip. panes 1 screen vent.)(rear) 53/34 95 x 43 95 x 66 144 x 144 228 x 228 9 6 2 3 white tan/off-white fly yellow 2 wnds. self-erecting./taf. FR 16 Man ufactu re r MOSS TENT WORKS. FR Forest View (#881) Wayfarer (#601) umbrella modified wall army duck can. INC. oz. Maine 04843 Dimensions Height Length x (inches) Width (i nches) Max/ Min Model Type Materials Weight Ibs .) Dimensions Height Length x (inches) Width (in ches) Max/Min Model Type Materials Weight Ibs . (cant. 6 52 2 It. 64 84 (door) 65/42 2 (fr../rip. poplin. taf. beige/yellow fly vest. Capacity Rating (II persons) Number of Colors Entries Special Features Wrangler FR (#1022) cabin can.

zip cook hole. oz. zip cook hole. zip cook hole shock-corded poles. shock-corded poles. Capacity Rating (# persons) Number of Entries Colors Special Featu res * Morning Glory pyramid nylon 13 8 72/42 168 x 96 4 navy/gold or taupe sand/green shock-corded poles. 2 net wnds. California 94710 Dimensions Height Length x (inches) Width (inches) Max/Min Model Type Materials Weight Ibs.2 net wnds. zip cook hole.2 net wnds . shock-corded poles. 2 net wnds. zip cook hole. Berkeley. shock-corded poles. VE 23 dome nylon 7 12 46 98 x 84 2 VE 24 dome nylon 8 13 49 98 x 81 2 gold/sand Tuolumne backpack nylon 5 8 50/36 84 x 50 2 navy/gold or taupe/blue Sierra backpack nylon 6 15 48 89 x 56 2 navy/gold taupe/gold Moss Salus The North Face Morning Glory Moss Eave .211 A Consumers' Guide Manufacturer THE NORTH FACE 1234 Fifth St.

VE 24 and North Star have full-coverage fly sheets .) Dimensions Height Length x (inches) Weight Width (inches) Ibs. zip cook hole.2 net wnds. zip cook hole. shock-corded poles. cook hole Oval Intention dome nylon 9 14 51 /42 114 x 79 3-4 gold/navy.2 net wnds . North Face North Star North Face Oval Intention North Face VE 23 . goldltaupe North Star geodesic dome nylon 15 55 109 x 102 4 3 sand/gold * All tents come with fly sheet.212 Tents for Campers THE NORTH FACE (cant. Max/Min Model Type Materials Capacity Rating (# persons) Number of Entries Colors Special Features· Mountain expedition nylon 7 5 48 94 x 56 2 2 navy/gold taupe/green shock-corded poles. oz.

Max/Min Capacity Rating (# persons) Number of Entries Colors Special Features 5 30 8 38 56 64 72 84 ice poly. cabin umbrella canopy cabin poly.213 A Consumers' Guide Manufacturer OUTDOOR VENTURE CORPORATION Box 337 Stearns. Kentucky 42647 Model Backpackers (5 models) smallest (#90-121) largest (#90-145) Ice tent (#90-400) Type pup Materials polyethylene nyl. taf. interior hose sod cloth Van tent (#90-600) van po Iy. oz. & fiber glass polyethylene 2 to 3 7 8 18 37 73/57 73/48 88/71 49 49 blue/white 1 wnd . -cotto n 38 90/70 108 x 108 1 dutch door tan /white 2 side wnds. x 60 x 84 60 x 60 2 3 2 blue orange tan freestanding frame. Dimensions Length Height x (inches) Width Weight (inches) Ibs. Hikers tents (2 models) nyl. 90-419 90-510 House Canopy Screen tents (3 models ) smallest (#90-277) largest (#90-274) x 49 x 49 144 x 144 yellow & blue blue/yellow 17 35 96/72 88/72 138 144 x 138 x 144 Outdoor Venture Van Tent Outdoor Venture Corporation The Enterprise Outdoor Venture Ice Fishing .

tunnel. & screen door Baja Rain Fly backpack backpack nyl. 12 48-43 /14 102 x 60 2+ 2 tan/green cook hole.214 Tents for Campers Manufactu rer PAUL PETZOLDT WILDERNESS EQUIPMENT P. Box 489 Lander. oz. Dimensions Height length x (inches) Width (inches ) Max/Min Capacity Rating (# persons) Number of Entries Colors Special Features Super Wand backpack nyl. 9 2 48-45/14 102 x 60 132 x 108 2+ 2 green green 2 Wilderness Baja Tent Paul Petzoldt Wilderness Equipment Rain Fly . nyl. 82520 Model Type Materials Weight lbs .O. nyl. Wyoming.

yellow/sand vest . included 2 yellow/sand (tunnel & arch) nyl. & cotton 11 11 88/32 96 x 78 4 2 yellow/sand (tunnel & zippered McKinley II U) Crestline Expedit'n expedition nyl. Inc. & cotton 7 11 12 5 43/10 78/23 2 zip . & cotton nyl. 88 x 60 2-3 2 (tunnel red/sand vest. Inc.) 107 x 64 96 x 80 3 4+ Solarium Great Pyramid tunnel expedition ext.O. P. & cotton nyl. & cotton 6 2 11 41/12 46/11 52/10 54/12 41f2 x 8 96 x 37-54 84 side-sd 96 cor-cor 2 2 2-3 1 arch 1 zip . arch 1 zip.. Washington 98188 Model Type Materials Weight Ibs. oz. frame expedition nyl. & cotton nyl. wall. arch brown/sand/ blue brown /gree n green/yellow /sand yellow/ brown dbl. Great Pyramid 't REI with snowflaps . no ext.215 A Consumers' Guide Manufactu rer REI CO-OP Recreational Equipment. & cotton nyl. included & arch) Recreational Equipment. & cotton 8 4 46/11 28/1 vest. arch 1 zip . fly 6 5 15 12 96 (long) 2 64 (across mid) 42 (each end) 30 (vest. Dimensions Height Length x (inches) Width (inches) Max/Min Capacity Rating (# persons) Number of Entries Colors Special Featu res Ascent Ridge Dome Cirque A-frame A-frame dome backpack nyl. Box C-8812S Seattle.

Box 199 Victor. Idaho 83455 Model Type Materials Dimensions Height Length x (inches) Width Weight (inches) Ibs. cook hole. ridgepole 2 vents. & snow flaps Gore-Tex® Bombshelter GoreTex®/nyl.O. 2 pocks. 5 12 35 97 X 46 2 tunnel/ flap gold/rust/tan 2 vents. S 35 97 x 46 2 1 gold/rust tunnel/ flap Rivendell Mountain Works Bombshelter . opt.216 Tents for Campers Manufacturer RIVENDELL MOUNTAIN WORKS P. Max/Min Capacity Rating (# persons) Number of Entries Colors Special Features Bombshelter expedition expedition nyl. oz .. frost liner.

gray also in 2 other fabric weights green green green green light green/yellow light green/yellow white/khaki/ pearl gray white 12 30 38 44 50 7 6 1 wnd.217 A Consumers' Guide Manufacturer SEATTLE TENT AND FABRIC 900 N. 2 wnds . 3 wnds. Box 33576 Seattle. army duck 20 70 120 (dia.dac. poly. Dimensions Length Height x (inches) Width (inches) MaxIMin Capacity Rating (# persons) Number of Colors Entries Special Features 5 models: smallest largest Scout Jamboree Umbrella Tent Cabin Camper Cabin Camper Delux Himalaya tent Zen tent Tee Pee (12 models) smallest largest smallest largest wall duck 18 49 wall umbrella wall wall backpackexplorer duck duck & nyl.) 4 15 4 15 10 oz.) 120 (dia. tipi 10. duck & nyl. poly.-nyl. 137 St.38 oz. white 19 duck 64 Seattle Tent & Fabric Himalaya .-cotton & nyl.) 240 (dia. 1 wnd. Washington 98133 Model Type Materials Weight Ibs.O.) 240 (dia . & explorer nyl. oz. backpack. P. -cotton & nyl. 72/36 114/48 68/24 85/68 85/68 84/48 84/48 9 73 53/17 84 x 108 168 x 192 108 x 84 108 x 108 108 x 144 108 x 144 108 x 144 89 x 101 72 x 43 2 2-3 6 6 3 2 neutral.

dbl.218 Tents for Campers Man ufactu re r SIERRA DESIGNS 247 Fourth Street Oakland. nyl. 6 8 -3 48 68 2 blue/yellow 78 (side-side) 4 84 (cornercorner) 89 (side-side) 3 97 (cornercorner) Octadome (6ft...) dome nyl. 4 wnds. cook hole 2 wnds. 10 1 78 Sierra 3-Man Sierra Designs Octadome. dbl.5 x 55 118 x 53 93 (corner to corner) 96 (corner to corner) 86 x 53 2 3 3 3 2 blue/yel/ow blue. nyl. wall 4 wnds. nyl. nyl. nyl. 2 wnds.. green or orange green or blue orange or blue green/blue cook hole cook hole 1 wnd. California 94607 Dimensions Height Length x (inches) Width (inches) Max/ Min Model Type Materials Weight Ibs. x 8ft. oz. wall 72/13 79/13 Aireflex Octadome (5ft. Capacity Rating (# persons) Number of Entries Colors Special Features Starflight Wilderness Glacier 3-Man Pleasure Dome -explorer expedition expedition pyramid expedition pyramid backpack dome nyl. 4 6 7 8 11 11 10 11 54/12 45/36 45/45 % x 64 88 . with Yosimite Half Dome Sierra Starflight .) nyl. x 7ft.

/taf. shock-corded poles. California 94710 Dimensions Height length x (inches) Weight Width (inches) Ibs.219 A Consumers' Guide Man ufactu re r TRAILWISE 2407 Fourth Street Berkeley.. oz. polyurethane 8 5 51/49 102 x 60 2 2 blue or green. fly. Max/Min Model Type Materials Capacity Rating (II persons) Number of Entries Colors Special Features Fitzroy III A-frame rip. polyurethane taf. snow tun.../nyl.. WR Great Arc Tent geodesic dome 6 8 44/24 102 x 64 2 Trailwise Fitzroy III . WR no-see-umproof net. rip. gold or navy no-see-umproof net.

gold/bronze 28 42 82/58 84/58 78/58 81 /70 91 /66 & 60 75/58 120 x 96 168 x 120 180 x 106 144 x 108 108 x 180 96 x 96 4 6 6 5 6 3 2 wnds . oz . Missouri 63132 Model Type Materials Dimensions Height Length x (inches) Weight Width Ibs . Max/ Min (inches) Capacity Rating (# persons) Number of Entries Colors Special Features Eagle (3 models) smallest (22107) largest (22109) Flamezel (3 models) smallest (24002) largest (24004) Vantage (3 models) smallest (22120) largest (22122) Thunderbird (3 models) smallest (22111) largest (22113) Vantage Continental (21113) Thunderbird Cottage (21116) Flamezel Screen (21175) Flamezel Umbrella (#211105) cabin poly./cotton 48 poly./cotton 38 poly. 3 wnds . 3 wnds./cotton 18 23 74/48 74/56 78/56 82/56 80/57 84/58 84 x 84 144 x 108 120 x 96 168 x 120 120 x 96 168 x 120 2 5 4 6 green/white 1 wnd./cotton 46 poly./cotton cabin cottage cabin/ screen umbrella poly../cotton 26 42 4 6 white/gold 2 wnds. green/yellow 6 wnds. cabin poly. 1 wnd. 26 40 cabin poly. Louis./cotton cabin poly. 3 wnds.220 Tents for Campers Man ufactu re r THE WENZEL COMPANY 1280 Research Boulevard St. brown/beige 2 wnds. 2 awnings gold/bronze white/blue blue/white 3 wnds . 2 wnds./cotton 20 The Wenzel Company Tall Trail Wenzel Vantage® Continental .

/cotton Dimensions Length Height x (inches) Weight Width (inches) Ibso OZo MaxIMin 7 38 38 38 60/18 42 88 60 x 84 58 x 81 60 x 84 84 x 84 60 x 84 84 x 84 Capacity Rating (# persons) 2 2 2 3 2 3 Number of Entries Colors 1 (zip front) blue blue blue 1 (zip front) 1 (zip front) brown/ mustard orange Special Features storm door front open. nyl.221 A Consumers' Guide Model Flamezel Mountain (#21101) Type scout Materials poly./cotton 38 90/70 90/70 96/72 96/72 144 x 144 144 x 144 138 x 138 138 x 138 7 7 6 6 poly 0/ cotton 35 polyethylene nyl. nyl. 20 12 1 (zip blue screen) blue canopy polyethylene Wenzel Vantage® Cabin Tent Wenzel Flamezel ® Screen Tent . nyl. no door 1 wnd o 1 wndo 1 wndo 2 wndso Flamezel Pup (#21100) play Skyliner (#21125) Wilderness (#24001) Shenandoah (#21127) Tall Trail (Teepee) (#21126) Vantage Screen House (#21114) Flamezel Screen