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Classic vintage CANVAS TENTS

Discussion in 'The Great Outdoors' started by PADDY, Sep 3, 2010.

  1. I think button or wooden toggle fastening would be better, velcro can collect the debris and mud - making it less effective, thinking of my fishing jacket at times ;-)
  2. Miss Tuppence

    Miss Tuppence A-List Customer


    Paddy, I was looking through my Littlewoods catalogue from 1940’s and saw this^, and immediately thought of you! I will try to scan it properly and send you a copy, if you like : )
    T x
  3. DavidJones

    DavidJones One of the Regulars

    I've reenacted for many years and our tents were made from a material known as sunforger canvas http://periodfabric.com/sunforger-tent-canvas/
    I've sewn up sunforger canvas tents that lasted 10 years and never leaked with this material. Just a thought for those wanting to make their own vintage tent without the problems of conventional canvas.
  4. PADDY

    PADDY I'll Lock Up Bartender

    Mike - that's basically the same as mine!! Sssschhh!!!! only £1..!!!! that is crazy!! I can tell you I paid 'a bit' more than that! Fantastic DEAL..!
  5. PADDY

    PADDY I'll Lock Up Bartender

    David - that duck canvas looks really good and at decent prices too! Shame that the cost on postage to the UK wouldn't make sense for me to purchase it. I'm after some to make a ground sheet from!
  6. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Familiar Face

    Greetings, Friends,

    My wife and I have done quite a bit of period camping, as we're deeply involved in Living History, 18th century, and I also collect backpacking stoves, and can do a period camp for several time periods that way, too. Here is our fairly large Tentsmiths (the absolute BEST tent maker out there today!!!) Round End Slant Wall Marquite tent, at a camp we do up in Utah at Fort BuenaVentura.


    The smaller wedge tent and fly, to the right of our lovely Marquis, is also from Tentsmiths (as are all of our period tents), and it serves as a cooking area and food supply tent.

    Here's another shot of this very comfortable and lovely camp.


    Here's a shot of the inside, taken by Carl Geers (a fine professional photographer) with his great panorama camera. Our tent has a painted canvas floor, furniture of our period, including an antique rope bed, and for this camp, a wood stove, as the temps got down to 16° at night! We were enjoying a nice breakfast when Carl asked if he could take this shot, and we're really glad he did so.


    Finally, one of Ol' Doc M on the range during one of our many shooting contests. My flintlock was made by Danny Caywood, and it's got two barrels, one a .54 caliber rifled barrel, and one .62 caliber smoothbore barrel. This is a great firearm, and I've used it to feed a group of us, once, on a 100+ horse scout in the mountains of Idaho. As long as I do my part, it hits what I ask it to.


    By the way, my cocked hat is made of beaver and rabbit felt, and has done yeoman service for around 25 years! It's battered, beaten, and dirty, but it's still my woods and scouting hat. Thanks for checking out our camp, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,

    P.S. I'll try to find some more period photos, which include our stove Gatherings, and post them here, too.
  7. g and t

    g and t New in Town

    here is my tent

  8. g and t

    g and t New in Town

    same tent different spot[​IMG]
  9. I remember many camping trips with my family, and my Dad always used that old canvas tent. I think the canvas alone weighed 100 pounds, and then you had all of those 2 inch Diameter solid wood poles. That tent was a beast, and it always smelled like an old Pack Mule. Hahaha!
    Tiki Tom and Bigger Don like this.
  10. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom Practically Family

    Exactly! It sounds like you and I had similar growing-up experiences. We'd throw the monster tent in the back of the old "Rambler" station wagon. When we got to the campground, it took me, my brother, and my dad to move all that heavy canvas into position. Between the ages of 8 and 12, I think I visited all the old Spanish Missions in California in that manner. It was on my dad's to-do list to visit all of them.
    Dasmoeturhead likes this.
  11. hermanlab

    hermanlab New in Town

    They were awful tents. They always leaked - right on top of your stretcher. The did not stop the wind or the cold or the dust. They were baking hot during the day and freezing cold at night. Snakes could slither in one side and out the other. So could scorpions and the red roman spiders the size of a child's hand, which was why stretchers were a fairly good idea. They also provided no resistance to mosquitoes, which seemed as if they could fly right through the canvas unhindered. On top of it all, they filled half your packing space and added half the weight.

    And yet... they are the object of such nostalgic memories and I wish I knew what had become of our old safari tents. The old Zulus used to cut palm fronds and lay them down as a carpet for us. Or later we used to bring a coir carper to help keep feet a little cleaner. I still have two small ones, but have been trying to find a bigger one myself.
    Hurricane Jack likes this.
  12. Bugguy

    Bugguy One of the Regulars

    This thread brings back memories of my Boys Club camp days in Northern Wisconsin. Late 50's, post-Korean War we had surplus 6-man wall tents... think Hawkeye and Trapper in MASH. Same tents, same war surplus. Dirt floor that we trenched around the permitter to keep water from running in. Skunks and raccoons had no trouble visiting us at night to sample our snacks. They were big and heavy and usually didn't leak if you didn't touch them on the inside. Two large poles and outside ropes that were killers in the dark. Our ritual was laying them out to dry before and after the trip.
  13. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain Call Me a Cab

    You talk about canvas tents having an odor? My two nylon tents have an awful odor after being stored anywhere. But it clears up after you air it out. But they are a little more delicate than canvas, although they won't rot. You just have to be careful with sparks and flame. Not the thing to have around a campfire.

    The large round tents we had in the army were, folded, about the size of a large trunk and must have weighted two or three hundred pounds dry. But they were great in the winter with a gasoline heater.
    Ticklishchap likes this.
  14. Ticklishchap

    Ticklishchap Practically Family

    When I was in the Corps at boarding school in my teenaged years, we often went camping in old and incredibly smelly canvas tents that frequently leaked. I would share with up to six other boys and sometimes a master in charge and would torment them by releasing the most atrocious farts!!! There is therefore another type of odour (or odor in US English) that is, for me, very much associated with the smell of old canvas tents.

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