Trying Out a Borrowed Shelter-Half Tent

Joined
May 12, 2018
Here's a hearty thinks to @drezac , our battery's QM, for getting this tent out of storage at our warehouse, which is no small task for him. I took possession of the tent after drill on Saturday and had to set it up right away when I got home! The tent took about five minutes to put up, and I took some pictures of it in the standard configuration and some minors variations, mostly using ground cloth poncho.

IMG_9268.JPG

"Dog Tent? More like Cat Tent!"-Eli the Cat

IMG_9276.JPG

IMG_9279.JPG

IMG_9275.JPG
IMG_9271.JPG


I hope to try my hand at making some the variations as well, but that is for another day.
 

Mrs. V

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
May 5, 2017
And isn't that just like a cat? As soon as something new appears it has to investigate.....
Eli the Bitey cat is crowding 20 yrs old. He used to be quite the hunter, but no so much anymore. He’d have been a real asset to any camp. Good mouser. He did approve of the tent, and if there had been a bedroll there, he would have taken up residence!
 
Joined
May 12, 2018
Here's a Juneteenth update to my experimentation with the shelter tent! I'd seen online, and in Hardtack and Coffee, and alternate set up for the Shelter Half, which not only increases the size of the resulting tent but lets in more cool air on a hot summers day.

Screen Shot 2021-06-18 at 10.26.26 PM.png


All it seemed to entail was the addition of four stakes at each corner of the tent, about a foot and a half high, which help open up the sides and of the tent and spread the canvas out at a shallower angle, giving you more space.

Easier said then done! Firstly, I didn't have much access to wood to make the new stakes... and when I finally did, it turned out to be very green. I tried to make the ends of the stakes pointy, as you do... which went fairly well, but I discovered that the branches I had to hand were small in diameter and that and the green wood made them really hard to drive into the ground with a mallet.In retrospect, all that was totally unnecessary: I think the tension of the canvas and the ropes would actually be more than enough to wedge the stakes against the ground if they have a flat bottom, like the way that the main stakes that support the ridgepole. Heck, by adding longer side ropes I think you could probably do this arrangement without having the side stakes at all.

Speaking of canvas tension, I discovered at this point in construction that I had the shelter tent together wrong. So, in order to get the two canvas shelter halves together properly, one side is meant to go button side up, and the other button side down. When you button them together correctly, you get a lapped seam along the ridge that is buttoned on two sides. The result is a really tight connection between the two halves of the shelter tent, and the whole assemblage starts to make a whole lot more sense! The tension of the canvas stretched over whatever is holding your ridge pole is what holds your tent together, as it turns out.


IMG_9448.JPG




Anyhow, having properly assembled the tent, and adding the new side stakes and some more ropes to help support them, I finally had the whole shebang together! At this stage, I took some new pictures, with my gum blanket poncho for size reference. I spent about a week afterwards enjoying my new backyard shelter. This set up is really nice, it's like having a mini wall tent, and it lets in the cool summer breeze but not the sun. It's surprisingly good in the rain, too. But I wouldn't want to be in one in cold weather or high winds!
TheHotMess.jpeg

Speaking of, with bad weather in the offing, I decided to do one last big photoshoot with the tent yesterday, whilst the weather held. Thus, I present: "The Hot Mess", a slice of life of a artilleryman and his tent.


IMG_1828.jpeg

IMG_1830.jpeg
IMG_1829.jpeg

IMG_1834.jpeg
 

Trooper "D"

Corporal
Joined
May 20, 2018
Here's a Juneteenth update to my experimentation with the shelter tent! I'd seen online, and in Hardtack and Coffee, and alternate set up for the Shelter Half, which not only increases the size of the resulting tent but lets in more cool air on a hot summers day.

View attachment 405236

All it seemed to entail was the addition of four stakes at each corner of the tent, about a foot and a half high, which help open up the sides and of the tent and spread the canvas out at a shallower angle, giving you more space.

Easier said then done! Firstly, I didn't have much access to wood to make the new stakes... and when I finally did, it turned out to be very green. I tried to make the ends of the stakes pointy, as you do... which went fairly well, but I discovered that the branches I had to hand were small in diameter and that and the green wood made them really hard to drive into the ground with a mallet.In retrospect, all that was totally unnecessary: I think the tension of the canvas and the ropes would actually be more than enough to wedge the stakes against the ground if they have a flat bottom, like the way that the main stakes that support the ridgepole. Heck, by adding longer side ropes I think you could probably do this arrangement without having the side stakes at all.

Speaking of canvas tension, I discovered at this point in construction that I had the shelter tent together wrong. So, in order to get the two canvas shelter halves together properly, one side is meant to go button side up, and the other button side down. When you button them together correctly, you get a lapped seam along the ridge that is buttoned on two sides. The result is a really tight connection between the two halves of the shelter tent, and the whole assemblage starts to make a whole lot more sense! The tension of the canvas stretched over whatever is holding your ridge pole is what holds your tent together, as it turns out.


View attachment 405237



Anyhow, having properly assembled the tent, and adding the new side stakes and some more ropes to help support them, I finally had the whole shebang together! At this stage, I took some new pictures, with my gum blanket poncho for size reference. I spent about a week afterwards enjoying my new backyard shelter. This set up is really nice, it's like having a mini wall tent, and it lets in the cool summer breeze but not the sun. It's surprisingly good in the rain, too. But I wouldn't want to be in one in cold weather or high winds!
View attachment 405238
Speaking of, with bad weather in the offing, I decided to do one last big photoshoot with the tent yesterday, whilst the weather held. Thus, I present: "The Hot Mess", a slice of life of a artilleryman and his tent.


View attachment 405239
View attachment 405240View attachment 405241
View attachment 405242
I like the 'Summer Configuration'. I would like to see more of that at reenactments.
 

Mrs. V

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
May 5, 2017
I like the 'Summer Configuration'. I would like to see more of that at reenactments.
When we were at Zoar, there were quite a few soldiers who remarked on his dog tent configuration and said they thought they might try it/looked like it was nice and cool..sure caught more cross breeze than the a-frame! But then I get hot in flashes, so there is that…
 

grognard

Private
Joined
Oct 12, 2018
A number of years ago, my unit attended the Bentonville reenactment in North Carolina. The first night got cold, with temperatures below freezing, and a light breeze. Most of the guys brought shelter halves as befits a late War event. They buttoned them together in an elaborate "shebang", open in the front and with a wall of canvas to the wind direction. They all crowded in with their blankets on top of the their ground sheets. They froze their butts off!

As company commander, I had two shelter halves, a blanket, a ground sheet, and a poncho. I turned down their offers to join them in the shebang, and made myself a little "cocoon". First I laid the ground sheet down, rubber side down. I wrapped up in by blanket on top of that, then pulled both shelter halves over me, followed by the poncho. With my knapsack as a pillow, I slept quite warm.

A shelter tent has many uses, and they saved many lives during the War, simply because they were there at the end of the day's march while tents that required wagon transport often weren't. Don't be afraid to try unconventional things with it, especially when the weather turns cold. Insulation may be more important than cover.
 
Top