Wall tents

In the age of high-tech fabrics and two-man tents that require you to spoon your hunting dog and leave your boots out in the rain, I had a revelation.
Wall tents are awesome.
The Romans knew it. And the Souix, the Vikings, the gold rush miners, the military, the Bedouin…
You can stand up. Room for the dog? Hell, there’s room for the dog and her kennel. Not to mention chairs, gear and that holiest of holy, a stove.

Yes, it weighs 60 lbs and no, it will not replace my dog spooning, ultralight, no-room-for-boots backcountry excursion tent.
It will however, keep me out of bed-bug infested hotel rooms where you can play “what’s that shape” with the stains on the sheets.
I don’t like hotels. I often don’t sleep very well in them and if it’s warm, I prefer a bedroll near the truck off some Forest Service Rd.
Of course, late season bird hunting and frigid, wet weather can sometimes mean cheap hotels. Not that I mind that they’re cheap. I like that part.
It’s the smell of stale smoke and mildew and lingering doubts that anything has recently been washed that makes it tough.
I stayed in a hotel a month back and as my dog surveyed a donkey-shaped area of discolored carpet, I wondered, “was DDT really that bad?”
Enter the wall tent.
It’s warm, roomy and comfortable and it is really no different from the tents used for hundreds of years by outdoorsmen of all sorts.
In the age of polypro, Gore-tex, nylon, pop-up campers and ultralight dome tents, it’s good to know that you can’t really improve on 10oz treated canvas.
That’s to centuries-old technology, I have a base camp. It’s dry and warm, free of bedbugs and since it’s mine, I can be sure there was never a burro massacred inside.


14 thoughts on “Wall tents”

  1. My father-in-law tells stories of their tent they had made using canvas. They put a small woodburning stove in the middle with the chimney out the top of the tent. They wrapped the hole in asbestos (pre-1972) as to not burn the tent down. After deer hunting all day, that tent was better then the Four Seasons.

    1. I have been thinking about this for a long time. The problem is I need electricity. If I can figure out how to power a few items each night and get a portable hot shower I am thinking I am in on this idea. I wonder if many others are doing this? It sure would cut the cost of a trip. This might be silly but since I am a city guy living in Georgia if you are out west do you ever worry about Bears or Cougars coming into camp? I mean a hot stove cooking up grub sure sounds like bear bait.

  2. It’s a Teton tent from Reliable Tent and Awning. https://www.reliabletent.com/index.cfm?page=detail&Product_ID=150&CATID=9
    The one I bought has 4ft sidewalls, which I recommend. The guys at Reliable are awesome, they will build you whatever you want quickly and for a really fair price. I could not be happier, they are great to work with and the tent is fantastic.
    One of the cool things about buying a wall tent is that all the good companies are making tents locally and they are well crafted and built for the long haul.

  3. Glen,

    The 4ft walls give you a little bit more usability over the 3ft standard wall in that particular tent. The higher the walls, the more walking around room you have in the tent.

  4. There are few things better than hanging out in a wall tent after a long day in chukar country, with a flask and a raging wood stove maintaining shirt sleeve weather inside, while it’s 10º outside. Good times.

  5. I have never had that experience either chukar hunting or hanging out in one. I was talking to a friend in Montana that takes pack horses and uses these tents when he elk hunts. He had the same sentiment. I was researching the ability to get a hot shower. I think I found the answer. Looks like a great base camp for a 2 week hunt. Water and snow aren’t an issue?

  6. I’ve used them in rain and snow and never had any problems. Being mindful of trying to set it up on good draining soil certainly helps. And I know a number of folks that throw a rain fly over the roof.

    Showers? Not usually something I think about till I get back to civilization.

  7. Hi I am knowledgable about that teton tent is that a custom 4′ wall for i read the 12×12 comes with a 30″ wall height..so was it much more expensive? thanks

  8. Matt,
    It was a custom wall height, I don’t remember what the charge was, but I know it was worth it. Call those guys at Reliable up and talk to them, they’ll be happy to price anything for you.
    If I had it to do again, I’d buy it without the floor though.

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