How to Camp With Military Tents

How to Camp With Military TentsYour local Army-Navy store (or its online equivalent) is a great source for cheap camping equipment, including tents. However, it is important to realize that these tents are surplus military tents, so they are often of older designs and are built to be durable rather than lightweight. Using military tents for camping means keeping in mind the pros and cons of these tents against their civilian counterparts, which might change your camping style a little.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Step 1
Choose your campsite carefully. This standard of camping becomes more important if you are using a surplus Army pup tent, which don't have as much rigidity as many modern pup tent designs and are therefore liable to partly collapse if hit by a falling tree limb. Look for a level, dry place that is free of rocks and gopher holes, and try to put some distance between your tent and the area's trees.
Step 2
Mind your canvas carefully in the rain. A canvas tent is waterproof in the rain as long as you do not touch the fabric. Whenever the canvas gets poked in the rain, that area becomes a leaky spot. This is easy in a big wall tent but requires strict attention in a small pup tent.
Step 3
Erect half-shelters for your camp kitchen and latrine if you want to build either. One of the virtues of those Army surplus half-shelters is that they are meant to be set up as shelter walls with a slight roof or as awnings. Bringing along one or two extra kits for this purpose is a big plus at a group campground.
Step 4
Operate any portable stoves outside. Unless you have a military wall tent that has a fitting for a stove pipe, you should not be cooking inside tents because of the fire hazard it poses. If you do have a tent with a stove pipe fitting, then you should be using a wood-burning stove and not a portable camp stove.
Step 5
Use drive-in campsites as much as possible. Surplus military tenting is often somewhat outdated and therefore a lot heavier than its lightweight, modern civilian counterparts. Carrying such tents many miles into the back country should be avoided unless absolutely necessary, but for tailgate campers that greater weight is not an issue.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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