Since the dawn of humanity, tents have been the basic means of shelter out in the wild. The first archaeological evidence of tents shows that they have been around as early as the Iron Age. They’re even mentioned in the Bible, in a passage about an individual called Jabal, describing him as “the first to live in tents and raise sheep and goats”. The Roman Army was stationed in leather tents, versions of which modern reenactors use today. And while all these historical tent dwellers would gladly ditch these rudimentary dwellings in exchange for the average house of today, many of us are looking of the next opportunity to go back to simpler times and camp under the stars.
Of course, it’s easy to romanticize about these simpler times, but would you really spend a night in a tent made of mammoth hide? The first evidence of tent construction, carbon dated to around 40 000 BC, suggests the supporting structure was rudimentary but the protective elements were made out of the thickest material available to our prehistoric ancestors – mammoth hide. As humans’ ingenuity progressed, they started to become aware that the mammoth-tent had some deficiencies, and around 450 B.C. the yurt were born. Due to their ease of mobility, these tents were used among nomadic tribes.
As society moved from nomadic, to agrarian, and finally to industrialized, humans began to settle down in one place. And today, venturing into nature has assumed the role of a recreational pastime, with the tent being a symbol of that pastime. Although they are used for only a small duration of time, tents are still considered a form of shelter. If you’ve ever been camping, you’ll know that the right choice of tent is important in order to protect yourself fron the elements and enjoy a good night’s sleep.
Today, camping tents are divided into a seasonal classification – those intended for use during summer, spring and fall, and those designed for cold and snowy winter conditions. Summer camp tents typically include a layer of mesh which allows for ventilation while still providing protection against insects and animals. On the other hand, winter tents are made of highly resistant materials that provide ample insulation against the cold. Knowing the difference between winter and summer camp tents can in certain situations mean life or death. And just like our permanent living spaces, camping tents can range from expansive multiroom shelters that can suit a large family, to compact dome-shaped backpacking solutions for a person or two.