History of camping tents

Posted by on Mar 13, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on History of camping tents

It’s safe to say camping is one of our favorite pastimes here at Sandhills. But what is interesting is how camping came to be a favorite American pastime, rather than just a way of life. Camping tents are a popular form of camping, so here is a little bit of information on the history of camping and how camping tents came to be a popular form of camping.

Camping tents were first carbon dated to around 40,000 B.C. with very rudimentary structure designs. The first camping tent was found in Moldova and was originally constructed out of a mammoth hide and bones, which is a considerable process if you consider the process of slaying, cleaning, and sewing the hide of a 13-foot tall creature. The convenient thing about these camping tents is that they were easily portable. From these tents came the yurt and the teepee, which gave a bit more of a structure, but were still portable and easily movable from one place to another.

The history of camping continues as we head into the 20th Century. As the Industrial Revolution made materials like heavy canvas and waxed fabrics easy to come across, camping tents started to shift from animal hides to manufactured materials. Wall tents became popular among military units that followed the style of yurts but maximized indoor space. By 1911, the first Boy Scout Handbook had been published and it depicted 10 different types of tents.

Nylon, invented by the DuPont Company in 1935, was the go –to tent material until the 1970s. Soon after that reign, camping tents material started to become more lightweight and weather resistant, making a mark on the history of camping. Aluminum tent poles were created to help lighten the camping tents load when traveling. The first self-standing tent was created in 1959 by Eureka that featured nylon walls and metal poles, replacing the difficult to use wooden ones. By 1970, Eureka had introduced the backpack-storable tent that sold one million units in just 10 years.

By 1990, Napier Enterprises had taken the history of camping to a whole new level by introducing the truck tent. This created a tent that would set up and attach to the bed of a truck, adding additional protection and making sleeping access easier. These days, camping tents can be erected anywhere, from the bed of a truck, to alongside the sides of cliff walls. The history of camping continues to make its mark by way of camping tents. By 2011, over 3.2 million Americans were still making tent camping trips, which is a million more than RV excursions.