The History of the Camping Tent

Travel & LeisureOutdoors

  • Author Sherri Burris
  • Published April 7, 2018
  • Word count 497

In any given summer more than 42 million Americans turn to the great outdoors seeking escape from the everyday rat race of life. To complete this task they go camping.

The idea of voluntarily leaving behind a comfortable home to sleep in for the hard ground under the stars is hard for some people to fathom. Cooking food over a smoky fire and fighting off insects are also hard to believe you would do. But the idea of camping is very appealing to many and that is way we Americans go camping.

Here is a short history of tent camping.

A long time before becoming our favorite pastime, camping was actually, the way of life. The most important piece of equipment was the tent.

Today's familiar shelter was designed by a U.S. Army in 1855. It modeled it’s "bell tent" after Native American tee pees, using canvas instead of buffalo hides. By 1911 the first Boy Scout Handbook was published and it showed 10 different types of tents.

After WWII was over in 1945, the post-war economic boom sent Americans to camping retailers and Army surplus stores where they purchase thousands of tents of all styles before heading off to the great outdoors.

The first fast-to-set-up freestanding tent was designed in 1959. It featured wooden poles. Metal poles that were lightweight begin to replace wooden frames in 1960. In the 70’s a backpack-storable tent was designed and it sold 1 million units in just 10 years.

The first "truck-tent" was developed in 1990 and it was designed to be pitched in the bed of a pickup truck. Today these tents have come a long way with improvements that make camping very comfortable. Technological innovations offer a more pleasing experience and 3.2 million Americans still make tent camping a past time to enjoy and remember.

I can relate to the events listed above because I was camping in my backyard at an early age in the 1960’s. My first tent had wooden poles and it gave me a sense of adventure to be by myself camping in the backyard under the stars. It is a memory that I will never forget and I encouraged my boys to do the same as they grew up. As I got older my tents improve with metal poles and material that's waterproof. My places to camp improve also. I would camp at the river and in the woods near the river. This made for great adventures to have as keepsakes. Later on I started camping at a campground near a lake that gave me peace and a sense of satisfaction.

Now I still love to camp and I have a truck bed tent that fits my F-150 truck bed. This allow me to sleep up off the ground and to stay dry way better that in the past. With this kind of tent I can camp just about anywhere my truck will take me. What a great way to enjoy nature and to make more memories for me and my family.

Sherri Burris is a person who loves to camp and has been camping her whole life. She enjoys spending time in the outdoors and being in nature. Her favorite place to camp with her truck bed tent is at a local lake. Check out the many ways of camping at her website

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