In a recent post, we looked at the “Big Three” as they relate to backpacking and camping. One of the items on this list is shelter, the most familiar form of which is likely the tent.

The most comprehensive and accurate definition, in our opinion, comes from Dictionary.com:

a portable shelter of skins, canvas, plastic, or the like, supported by one or more poles or a frame and often secured by ropes fastened to pegs in the ground.

As can be seen from the definition, tents can take on a variety of forms. Dictionary.com puts the the word tent as coming into use between 1250 and 1300, stemming from “Middle English tente < Old French < Latin tenta, feminine of tentus past participle of tendere to extend, stretch; compare tentōrium tent.”

Looking at the specs for modern tents, we find that materials tend to be polyester and nylon for most models. Some high-end models are made of lightweight cuben fiber and other exotic materials. Most have panels made of mesh to provide ventilation, while keeping out bugs. Mr. FamilyTrivium’s primary tent has a nylon floor, with polyester and bug mesh walls, and a polyester rain fly. Check back for future posts going further into tent materials, designs, and other attributes.

Do you have a favorite tent? Feel free to share in the comments.


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