13th century poor man's tent.
I could really use some help ^^

And I am going to make my personal tent!
I have yet to find the right model to make.
I have no armour to store in my tent since I am a poor monk, so my plan is to make a tent that is just high enough to comfortably sleep in, and maybe store the very few personal possessions I have. Also, my real life budget is very small (poor monk in 13th century, poor student in the 21st), so low-budget is a must.

Pavillon and Geteld are not suitable models
The pavillon would require a lot of cloth, and both have the problem of normally being very large.
A Geteld of about 1.10 meter high would look really silly.

So in conclusion: I am looking for a poor man's, cheap tent of the 13 century (Knights hospitaller to be exact: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...ospitaller)
(Yes, I know, they were rich knights... Let's just pretend I'm the one monk who still takes the vow of poverty seriously)

Your help would be greatly appreciated :D
even in the 15th century most man at arms(guys who could afford a complete armour ) shared tents with others.
if you want the cheap 1 person tent i'd say make a 360 mantle which you can lay over your staff weapon inserted into the ground. then you've got an instant shelter!
When I think of a poor man's tent I think of a lean to. It is about as simple, cheap, and easy as they come.

Worst case, roll up in an oil cloth and prop up the part near your head with your boots to provide some air and breathing space. My son's Boy Scout troop master still does that at an age near 80 years old as it lets him pack light. (Gets by in rain, snow, etc.)
poor man's tent = bush?

I think the concept of what was poor in those days was significantly different than what we think of today. probably shockingly different.

I do like the oil cloth suggestion, sounds very rugged and ranger-y-cool, but not very comfortable.
a stick hut
Thanks for the help!

I like the lean-to idea.
It would be 2 poles, connected by a rope, and with a cloth tossed over them?

It would make a triangular shaped tent, maybe with a small piece of cloth to close up the open ends on the side?
(that would still leave one big side of the tent open, preferably the side aimed at the campfire :) )
If you are going with the lean-to and making side flaps I would recommend also adding a flap to cover the front open part of the lean-to. It isn't much more work or material but it is really nice when the wind changes direction or when it rains. Also pack two more pegs to stake down this flap for the windy nights.

Are there any extant depictions of such tents?
Coenraedt Egidius,

Just stick the pole in the ground at one end so the other end is about three feet above the ground. If you are afraid that it will fall on your head cut a forked branch to rest that end on or simply lean it against a tree or on a low branch. If you need a flap to protect you from the weather your not a poor monk anymore.

Tom Kinder wrote:

I do like the oil cloth suggestion, sounds very rugged and ranger-y-cool, but not very comfortable.

Even with modern backpacking high tech/$ tents... the comfort part is still largely dependent on choosing and preparing optimal ground, (bed of leaves cleared of hard debris, on drained area if possible), and having a soft ground cloth/pad or similar device underneath. I've lost track of how many tents I have owned for primitive camping. Price point and features often don't translate into comfortable humidity and temperature in an actual trial. Just having too big a tent for a small number of occupants can make it chilly in cold weather, or vice versa (small tent turning humid and warm in hot weather.) Picking a good weight cloth and interior volume for the weather, and the ground its set upon have a lot to do with it. Some of the most expensive "cocoon type" lightweight tents are specific to certain weather conditions, and are easily replaced by an appropriate tarp or cloth using the "roll up inside" method I mentioned.

The gear and pack can just be hung from a tree using some string, and a separate bag that protects the pack from dew or rain.
Thanks for the tips to get it comfortable.

Just some questions about the size/temperature/humidity relation

How does hight relate to temperature in the tent? I know that warm air rises, but does that really have a significant effect in a tent that is 2 meters high compared to a 1.5 meter tent?
How do I keep the humidity out? of course finding a good place to set it up in case it rains is important, and maybe dig a ditch around the tent if rain is expected, but what about the dew? Is a proper peg to keep the tent cloth in the ground enough to stay comfortable?

On the historical aspect:
The Lean-to would have the most advantages for me, since I can use it as a cover when not sleeping, maybe even set up my own workspace or altar... problem is the historical justification.
Is there anything historical to say about this model other than it's plausible because of the simplicity of the design? (If necessary, I'd go with that though ;), I prefer to have some evidence to back me up though)
I found this image: http://home.adelphi.edu/sbloch/sca/tents/pict..._tents.jpg

It looks like simple wegdes from a sheet of cloth and two small poles. No flaps. It's from the cover of an accounting book from the city of Sienna, Italy, for the year 1479 (found here).
You could check out some of the tents that Tent Smiths makes. www.Tentsmiths.com This should give you some ideas. If it were me i would go with something historically "plausible". i would also find a way do "disguise" a modern insulated ground pad. Maybe sew some oilskin (which you could easily make" around a shorty ridgrest pad. If it is going to be a cool night this will greatly increase your comfort. Of course you could gather natural materials but that might not be possible all the time. My criteria would be something that covers me enough to keep out the weather, tall enough to at least sit-up in and have an opening/door of some sort to allow the heat of a fire in. Sounds like a good nights rest to me!
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some ideas
Are those straw tents? Or are they some kind of more permanent huts/dwellings?

Last edited by Sander Marechal on Mon 29 Nov, 2010 9:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
German/Austrian, ca. 1440. There could be perspective problems here, but it's interesting. My guess is that pilgrims and other travelers would have either slept rough or taken shelter in barns, sheds, inns, etc. A monk would probably find shelter pretty easily in inhabited areas.

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the bottom picture i believe show military encampments
Generally, a tent would be to cumbersome to carry for a single traveler, unless it is a very simple, light type. Even then, later armies would have a minimum of two men for each tent, or split the tent in halves.

it seems tents where mainly used when you need to camp somewhere for some time, for instance during military expeditions or tourneys. In such instances, one would have sufficient transportation to bring them. (though the reenactor's trend of bringing about two tons furniture and conveniences would in most instances be a bit anacronistic at best.)

For comparison, the external frame "oseberg" tents commonly seen among viking reenactors where originally deck tents for ships. These are mentioned in the sagas, as well as seperate "shore tents", for use when spending the night on land.

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