Army Tents: What Makes Them Unique?

Army Tent

Army tents are nothing new and have been around for a very long time, and it has been documented that their use by the military goes back to Biblical times and even older. The oldest tents employed the standard ridge tent design and many still do. However technological innovations have changed the materials and designs used for these tents, but their basic purpose has not been altered.

The Difference between Regular and Military Tents

At first glance it might seem like military tents are no different from the regular types that are sold to civilians, but there are significant differences. During Roman times these tents used leather for the materials, but many now use linen, hemp canvas, vinyl or other durable materials.

For all the changes that have taken place however, what really sets these tents apart from the regular camping tent is the manner in which they were designed. Just like a regular tent, an army tent is designed to provide shelter from the elements. Compared to large family tents, tents for military use are small and portable so soldiers can carry it to another location if necessary.

Tent Designs and Features

Various kinds of materials are used for military tents including rubberized sheet, and given the tasks that a solider has to deal with on a daily basis, these tents are built for heavy duty use and can withstand adverse weather much more than other tents. In addition to the tent, most military surplus tents sold for civilian use come with a canvas bag, a metal hammer, pegs, and heavy duty poles. Most military tents are freestanding but others are designed to be secured onto a vehicle.

The size of military tents vary, with some meant for a single person and others large enough for several individuals to sleep in. Most tents for military use were designed for just one person until World War I when officials realized the importance of supplying them with bigger tents to house more supplies and equipment. This practice continued to World War II and up to today.

The Benefits of Military Tents

Army tents for sale are popular among civilians for the same reasons the military finds them useful. Unlike other tents, those designed for military deployment are quick to set up and pull down, something that cannot be said for other commercial tents.

Another benefit that comes from the use of military tents is they are manufactured according to the guidelines and specifications set by the US Department of Defense. If you have been using camping tents before, you will realize there are no standards when it comes to sizes and specs, but with military tents you can be assured they are built according to the highest standards.

Tents deigned for military use can be compressed to a very small size, with the best compressible down to 2% of their original size. Some of these tents can be squeezed to such a small size you can fit it in a small bag. The smaller tents can be set up by a single individual though the larger ones may require up to four people.

Uses and Applications

Military tents for sale can be used just like any regular tent, be it for camping, hiking, a family outing, outdoor adventure and so on. What sets it apart from the typical tent of course is its durability, and it won’t take long before you notice the difference in terms of quality and endurance.

As far as military applications are concerned, these tents are often used as temporary barracks and sleeping quarters for military personnel. They are also used at military checkpoints, Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) stations, temporary field HQ and other functions.

The US military employs different types of tents, and one of the most popular is the TEMPER tent, or Tent Expandable Modular Personnel. Another type of tent the military uses is the DRASH, or deployable rapid assembly shelter. This is a special collapsible tent with special features for heating and air conditioning.

US military tents have been designed for military use, but a lot of them can be used in different ways such as for emergency situations or during natural calamities. It is not uncommon for instance, for some states to use military tents like DRASH as a type of mobile hospital. There have also been situations when military tents and shelters are utilized as State Police quarters.


The Deployable Rapid Assembly Shelter is one of the newer tents the military uses, and it is geodesic portable tent that anyone can set up in just a few minutes without the need for any special utilities. The present generation of DRASH uses composite struts and the footprints range from 109 square ft (10.1 m2) up to 1,250 square ft (116 m2).

Manufactured and maintained by DHS Systems LLC, the DRASH tents have been designed specifically for use by the army for special operations. Each one of these shelters has ground covers and flooring made from nylon and polyester that have been manufactured according to the US military specifications.

The spacious nature of these tents means army and other military personnel can use them for storing different types of accessories and utilities. Unlike regular tents, DRASH shelters are compatible for use with military trailers and generators as well as special accessories that can be used to join several of these shelters together.

Availability of Army Tents

Military Camping TentMilitary tents are now available online just like regular tents, although the same cannot be said for the more advanced ones. If you’re interested in buying regular military tents, it’s easy enough to do so as you just need to go online, and there are several websites dedicated to military supplies and accessories including tents.

Military camping tents are continuously evolving, and while some of these may not yet be available for commercial or civilian use, it’s only a matter of time before that happens. While military tents may not be as flashy as your typical commercial tent, they more than make up for it in terms of function and reliability.

  • Mary Ann Burlingame says:

    I want to devise or create a tent for homeless people that is waterproof and wind proof and can maintain warmth in cold climates is sturdy, light weight and easy to set up. Maybe even camouflage so they can stay somewhere in private without being threatened by evil people. I have an idea how I’d like to make one but I need to know the best material to use

    • campingXYZ says:

      My personal preference and in my opinion the best material for any tent is “ripstop’ material. This fabric is often made of nylon, using a special reinforcing technique that makes them resistant to tearing and ripping. During weaving, (thick) reinforcement threads are interwoven at regular intervals in a crosshatch pattern. Extremely durable and strong.

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