How To Make A Whelen Tent

The Hunters Lean-To

The Hunters Lean-ToHowToMake a “Whelen” Tentby Steve Smith, 3/5/04 Early in the twentieth century, Colonel Townsend Whelen, noted hunter and outdoor writer,designeda tent he called the “hunter’s lean-to”. �Colonel Whelen was a minimalist. �He desired to be as close to his natural surroundings as was possible. �He generally considered anything short of -20 degrees or severe bugs hardly worth using a shelter at all. �Soon after its design in 1925, AbercrombieFitch manufactured the style and marketed it as the “Whelen Lean-to”; essentially a lean-to with side walls. Originally, this tent was made of a relatively specialized tarp. �Today it can only be found in outdoor specialty shops for $150 – $300. ��Attached are plans that will help you to make your own Whelen lean-to. �Madeof.6 milVisqueneplastic sheeting,it is light and easy to pack. �It also has the advantage of being heated by an open fire. �In addition to being inexpensive to make, it is durable, spark resistant and can be patched using duct tape.Materials� 12′ x 20 foot sheet of.6 mil clear poly film.� 26 3/8 inch grommets� Duct tapeTools� Scissors� Tape measure� Hammer� Grommet tool� Felt markerInstructions ������Lay �theplastic out flat on a smooth surface such as a patio or driveway. �On the long side (20′) measure seven foot (7′) from the left corner to find the left starting corner.�From the starting point, mark two squares; the first one six foot by two and a half foot (6′ x 2 1/2′), and anadjoingsquare, six �foot by eight foot (6′ x 8′)� See figure 1.From the left starting corner, measure to the left, six foot four inches (6′ 4″) then down five foot six inches (5′ 6″) and place a mark for the large left wing. �From the right starting repeat the process to place a mark for the large right wing. �This point should be approximately five foot (5′) from a line drawn perpendicular to the bottom of the large square on either side. �From the corners of the large square, measure to the wing marks. �The bottom edge of the wings should be approximately eight foot (8′) while the top edge of the wings should be approximatelyseven �foot(7′). ��When you have located the proper location, mark the large wings. See figure 2.� From the left starting corner, measure to the left, three foot four inches (3′ 4″) then down one foot three inches (1′ 3″) and place a mark for the small left wing. From the right starting repeat the process to place a mark for the small right wing. This point should be approximately one foot three inches (1′ 3″) from a line drawn perpendicular to the bottom of the small square on either side. From the corners of the large square, measure to the wing marks. �Both edges of the small wings should be approximately three foot six inches long (3′ 6″). When you have located the proper location, mark the small wings. See figure 3.Reinforce the edges all around with duct tape. �Locate the grommet locations as indicated in figure 4. �Add an additional layer of duct tape to reinforce the grommet location. �Using a grommettool �install3/8″ grommets where indicated. �Be sure and line up the grommets asindicated �atlocation 1-2, 3-4 and A-B, C-D so that these flaps may be tied together if so desired. �Two additional grommets may be place at E and F to provide a location for additional loops. �This however will compromise the ability of the Whelen to turn water. See figure 4.The Whelen may be pitched with a ridge pole or strung between twotrees �attachedto loops attached to the ridge line of the tent. �See top picture.

Baker / Whelen tent plans .

Joe, I constructed one using that template, however I used a brown and green tarp from Tractor Supply Company instead of canvas (vs plastic sheeting). Some of the original grommets were re-usable, which was a bonus. I used to have it set up on my deer lease as a semi-permanent day camp for when I was hunting deer (i hammock hang if overnight). To support a central pole, I built up two tripods on either side of the ground, with four permanent stakes and other poles laid along the ground on the back and sides to bungi off to.

As soon as I was finished with it, I wrapped it up and stowed it beneath another smaller tarp with my firewood (you can sort of see it on the far right of the photo).

  • Because I had put the tripod too high on that particular day, the sides are a touch high.
  • A little dutch oven, a cheap hatchet, saucepan, and bowsaw, as well as some toilet paper in a coffee can, were all found in the bucket.
  • It has been several years since the land has been logged over, and I’m trying to decide if I should stay (since it is no longer overgrown and overgrown) or relocate elsewhere (because it is more accessible and less hidden now).
  • Because the rain seldom falls from the northeast in my part of Los Angeles, I chose that direction to confront it.

Whelen Tent

Colonel Townsend Whelen created a tent that he dubbed the “Hunters lean-to Tent” to accommodate hunters. A version of the design was constructed and marketed as the “Whelen lean-to” in 1925 by David Abercrombie (of the Abercrombie & Fitch fame). Since then, it has been referred to as the Whelen. Colonel Whelen was a devoted minimalist who did not believe in the use of tents as a form of shelter. To the extent that it was practicable and practical, he desired to live in the most natural setting conceivable.

  1. An 8-foot-long sloping rear roof, slanted and splayed sides, and a small fore roof panel (extending out about 30 inches) characterize this structure.
  2. Loops along the ridge can be utilized to secure the tarp to an external pole set up.
  3. The width of this tent was 8’6″ in length.
  4. Stringing a ridge from one tree, through the tent’s ridge loops, and on to the second tree allows you to adjust the tent’s height to whatever is appropriate for the weather conditions on that particular day.

It is up to you and your surroundings to determine how large or small the tent will be when it is fully assembled.

Whelen Lean-To

The Whelen Lean-To Tent is a portable structure that may be set up in a variety of locations. On this page, you can find information on the Whelen Lean-To Tent. For any other size or form of canvas tarp, visit this site. The Whelen Lean-To Tent is a classic shelter for canoeists and campers who enjoy all-year camping with lightweight gear. It is one of the most popular shelters on the market. Looking for a shelter that allows you to stay near a fire without being blocked off from your surroundings?

  • For anyone – who genuinely like remaining outside without shelter at all if the weather permits it.this is the most pleasant method to go about things when the weather demands some form of shelter in order to stay warm and dry during inclement weather.
  • The Whelen Lean-To Tent is a classic example of American design.
  • 1-2 people may use it to find refuge, sleep, and keep their belongings in a small space.
  • If you want to manufacture your own poles, we can give you with the necessary measurements.
  • It is available in a number of different colors (matt sand, khaki green and off white as standard, others on request).
  • (This item is only available in khaki green.) All of our textiles have been treated to be water, rot, and flame resistant.
  • It comes with a canvas storage bag, which is a nice touch.

At the ridge, the breadth is 2m/6,5′ at its smallest.

Canvas weight: around 7kg when using the normal 12oz poly/cotton blend (using the lighter 11oz ripstop- only 6kg) Poles weigh around ten kilograms.

Price The price of a Whelen Lean-To Tent with hardwood poles is 350€ plus VAT and shipping (416,50€ including 19 percent VAT).

19 percent VAT).

If you wish to pay in a currency other than Euro, we also offer bank transfers in the following currencies: GBP, USD, NOK, JPY, CHF, SEK, CZK, CAD, AUD, NZD, and NOK via Paypal.

Delivery fees, as well as 19 percent VAT if applicable, are charged at the time of purchase.

If you are purchasing on behalf of a firm located in the EU but not in Germany, please contact us with your purchase request, as unique VAT laws apply in this situation.

We manufacture each tent to order, and lead times vary depending on demand. If you need your tent by a specific date, please contact us in advance to ensure that we can meet your needs.

Whelen Lean To – 24hourcampfire

HomeHunters! Are there any of you that camp in Elk country during your hunt (we all do, don’t we?) who have used a Whelen Lean To to shelter from the elements? I’m hunting in mid-October at 7000 feet elevation, so the weather shouldn’t be too awful until it rains, but according to Col Whelen, a fire made out front, reflecting heat off the canvas onto the occupant, makes this “tent” pleasant down to -20 degrees. The one I have in the back yard is set up as follows: / products/ whelen-lean-to canvas/ is where I purchased this.

Poole I believe that the term “comfortable” might signify different things to different people.

The post was written by:Steelhead

Re: Whelen Lean To -10/11/17

That is truly rather impressive. I have a nylon version that I created around 40 years ago out of recycled materials. It’s something I’ve never used much of, but it does the job. It may be rolled up to a diameter of around 3″ and a length of approximately 8″. I didn’t use it in cold weather, so I didn’t have to worry about having to light a fire in front of it. Because nylon is flammable, I was constantly concerned about it melting. I believe it was in American Hunter that I first came upon the plans.

Re: Whelen Lean To -10/11/17

According to me, the only way to sleep comfortably around -20 degrees would be with the room completely covered and a wood burner installed inside. Bobmn has posted a message.

Re: Whelen Lean To -10/11/17

Adapted blueprints from Whelen’s book to construct a nylon Whelen. It was rather weighty for its size. a Campfire tent, created by Bill Mason and made by the Duluth Pack, has been added to the inventory It was a significant amount of weight. We finally settled on a Kifaru tipi and a folding stove. This item is really light weight and completely comfy. Far and away the best. I’m with Tom338 and Huntsman22 – light up a stovepipe and get some fresh air. When Whelen created it, there were no tipis, yurts, or other similar structures on the market.

  1. The lean-to has a startling quantity of fabric in it, far more than you’d expect and comparable to the amount of cloth found in many tents.
  2. The Whelen need your assistance in cutting supports and tying everything together.
  3. That’s a big part of why I haven’t used my homemade one too much throughout the years.
  4. T O M posted a message.

Re: Whelen Lean To -10/11/17

Looking at the photo, it appears like we would have major difficulties with wind and wind-blown rain in this area. At 7000 feet in elevation during elk season, rain, snow, and winds of up to 70 mph are not out of the question. For elk hunting, I have a Cabela’s XPG Expedition 4-season, 4-person tent that I purchased from them.

Under dry, quiet weather, I believe the Whelen lean-to will perform admirably. In those settings, it’s possible to be pleasantly comfortable, even in the face of severe cold, if you have a fire. I’d give it a go! Tom Posted by:beretzs on the internet

Re: Whelen Lean To -10/11/17

That is truly rather impressive. Agreed. pretty dam cool, to be honest. Although I would prefer nylon, this is a nice look for the beginning of fall. Posted on behalf of:Ralphie

See also:  How To Make A Makeshift Tent

Re: Whelen Lean To -10/11/17

It appears to be rather pleasant in terms of calm breezes and warm, dry weather. Perhaps you can forecast the weather conditions in Arizona. In Wyoming, I’d be concerned in almost any month of the year. Bugger has posted a message.

Re: Whelen Lean To -10/11/17

If you’re talking about Flagstaff, I believe you’re referring to that area. There isn’t much wind in the woods, so -20 seems improbable, with 20 being more plausible. There is a slight probability of rain or snow. In any case, I believe you will be in a warmer environment than I will be. Best of luck. Posted by:roundoak on the internet

Re: Whelen Lean To -10/11/17

Regarding the Whelen tent, I’m impressed with your passion. Following the publication of an essay by John Jobson of Sports Afield, I became fascinated in one as well. I had to abandon it because of insects, wind, and smoke. At the time, a Baker tent would have been a better option for me to consider. Please share your thoughts and experiences. Wayne I’ve erected nylon tarps in the Whelan style to protect my property. If the wind isn’t too strong, it’s a comfortable setting. I use an Integral Designs Sil shelter or my Ti Goat shelter when I’m traveling alone.

  • It’s canvas beside an open fire that I enjoy, and the Whelan is the place to do it.
  • I’ve used them on two separate equipped hunts in British Columbia.
  • The openness appealed to me.
  • If another log is required, simply reach over and throw it on.
  • In really cold temperatures, you may put it up with a boulder reflector in front of it or construct a log reflector.
  • If you’re on the go every day, it’s preferable to a tent.

Re: Whelen Lean To -10/12/17

Important considerations in terms of style Bill! Starting tomorrow night, I’ll be crammed inside a Hilleberg Akto at 9700 feet in altitude. Is the number one the 9.3? The.300 H H is shown in the photograph, but the 9.3x74R is also zeroed and ready to go. Higher elevations are recommended for the remainder of the readers. In October, the weather in Arizona is rather pleasant. In December, I awoke to discover my 6 gallon water bottle entirely frozen solid, and I immediately called for help. As soon as the lamp is turned off, I never have an issue with bugs again.

However, it rained every day during my 2015 search, necessitating the use of a tent, which I had to cover with a tarp since it leaked.

Even though the cheap zipper was broken, the rain never got in through the door.

I could have had a nylon Whelen for less than half the cost of this one. Moreover, there is a danger regarding fire when nylon is present. For those of you who are wondering about the hunt in Arizona, it will be a 6A rifle cow. Poole Posted by:mtnsnake on the internet

Re: Whelen Lean To -10/12/17

I don’t like how open it is. It’s nice to be cozy and toasty while sitting by the stove. Posted by:shaman on the internet

Re: Whelen Lean To -10/12/17

If my recollection serves me correctly, the original Whelen tent, manufactured by Abercrombie & Fitch, was constructed of a lightweight Egyptian cotton fabric. The material would shrink when wet, so making itself water-resistant. When I attempted to make a Whelen for myself in the early 1990s, I embarked on a search for the material and discovered that it was too expensive. I gave up. My swatch was shipped to me, and it turned out to be a close match to the material used in my bespoke shirts.

  1. It’s just wonderful.
  2. Consider what it would be like to wear a $80 dress shirt camping, and then double that figure by the needed yardage.
  3. I used to run into them at festivals and events like the Friendship INshoots, and it was always a good time.
  4. Although it would have been good for the Boundary Waters during the summer months with a bug net, I found the Eureka Timberline 4 man to be far more comfortable.
  5. After spending that much money on the cotton fabric, I had no intention of putting it through the fire.
  6. You no longer have to be out in the middle of nowhere or on your own land to be cutting poles and other such things every time you set up camp.
  7. Otherwise, you’ll have to hunt around for exactly the perfect location with just the right limbs at just the right height, at just the right angle, at just the right.
  8. Docbill has posted a message.

Re: Whelen Lean To -10/12/17

Sheets are one source of high-count cotton, which is available in plenty. 600 count are available for purchase on the internet at cheap costs. The redevous reenactors utilize them to make cotton tarps, which they sell to the public. Linseed oil is used for waterproofing purposes in diluted form. Posted by:kaywoodie on the internet

Re: Whelen Lean To -10/12/17

Tentsmiths is still selling a limited number of Egyptian cotton tents. At the very least, they were when I last viewed their website. I’ve kept dry several nights in an improvised 9 × 9 canvas tent canopy that I’ve converted into a lean-to through some fairly heavy rain.

I have very vivid memories of deluges in Alabama and Georgia. Currently, I’m using a 12 by 12 diamond fly that’s been really effective. In addition, there is a 9′ canvas wedge tent. Bill, Whelen is looking great! You did a fantastic job! The post was made by:rost495

Re: Whelen Lean To -10/12/17

That would be really awesome and entertaining! Normally, I’d make sure I had a backup plan in case of high wind and rain, but you’ve said that this isn’t feasible, so it’s not a major deal. However, if you are parked close to the Whelen, you will be alright even if the weather turns sour. I’ve always wanted to tinker with one just for the sake of messing about. It needs a rather high slope on the front fly in order to shed rain effectively. A pool of water will form behind the extended front edge.

  • There are some valid arguments made.
  • With a fire/heat deflector and a PooleLong fire, you’ll be toasty warm – you may need to feed it twice or three times over the night.
  • Keep an eye on the wind; for me, it either brings in smoke or blows heat out.
  • When we went moose hunting in the early 1960s, we utilized a reflector design to see where we were going.
  • The problem is that at the end of a week, you will be reeking of cigarette smoke.
  • Jim Posted by:KC on the Internet

Re: Whelen Lean To -10/15/17

It appears to be too hefty to be used for hiking. It may work in Arizona, especially if you’re looking for some cover from the blazing heat. However, it is completely unfeasible for a Rocky Mountain elk hunt in Colorado. The prospect of driving in a snowstorm with some wind may be terrifying. In such case, having a tent may be the same as not having one at all. However, the design is rather good. MikeS awarded you significant style points, and I agree with him completely. Despite this, certain items that appear attractive may not necessarily be practical in particular contexts.

  • The canvas version of course, and certainly not the enormous sleeping bag and accompanying cot.
  • The four items I described above probably weigh a total of 100 pounds.
  • Exactly.
  • Bill Poole: I’d want to thank you for your time.
  • Congratulations on your accomplishment.
  • Getting out of bed in the mornings is also a difficult proposition.
  • In the high country, it is really rather chilly at night.

I’m going to save your link and show it to my hunting partner to see if we should consider caching a couple of those Whelen Lean To’s next summer near our favorite haunt, if we haven’t already.

VarmintGuy Well, I spent six days and nights up in the Elk region in Northern Arizona!

The bad is 50 degrees hotter than the good.

No, I did not construct a fire in front of it.

I did not get wet, thus I was unable to test the water resistance or shedding capabilities.

This year, there hasn’t been a decline. The Whelen seems much more attractive when surrounded by trees! But then there was Friday, when we had winds ranging from 20 to 35 mph with gusts up to 50 mph. It was a well-planned setup! My kid was the only one that caught an elk in our party of four. Poole

Whelen Lean-to Tent

A lean-to shelter constructed by Colonel Townsend Whelen in the 1920s to meet his requirement for light-weight camping during cold and rainy weather was born. Even when the weather goes below zero, the Whelen, when set up in front of a bonfire, will keep you warm and secure. Produced with 100 percent cotton Sunforger 10.10 oz army duck canvas, which is both fire and water resistant. In addition to being an enhancement over the square tarp, it may also be used as an excellent outdoor kitchen in inclement weather.

Expandable poles with stakes may be purchased separately here if you want even more adaptability.

9 lbs.

FOOTPRINT (Max.) 5.5’h x 7’w x 6’d.
WEIGHT 12 lbs. (Approx.)
MATERIALS 10 oz. Fire and water treated canvas.

Whelen Tents

QualityMaterials The secret to achieving exceptional quality is to begin with the finest. For all of our tarps, coverings, and nets, we only utilize the highest quality materials available. Customer ServiceWe provide high-quality items as evidence that we are concerned about our consumers. You can rely on us to respond quickly and efficiently. CustomOrders No matter if you’re looking for a personalized boat cover or an unusual awning for your garden, we have what you’re looking for. Customization is what we specialize in.

  • All of our orders are guaranteed to be completed within a short period of time.
  • Designed to last a lifetime We design and manufacture all of our items to last a long period.
  • WorkmanshipGuarantee We have faith in our capacity to create a high-quality product.
  • Exceptional Quality The European languages are all members of the same family.
  • Whether in science, music, athletics, or any other field, the entire European Union participates.
  • The idea of a separate existence is a fiction.
  • CustomerOrders The European languages are all members of the same family.

Whether in science, music, athletics, or any other field, the entire European Union participates.

The European languages are all members of the same family.

See also:  How Much Does A Tent Cost To Rent

Whether in science, music, athletics, or any other field, the entire European Union participates.

The European languages are all members of the same family.

Whether it’s science, music, athletics, or anything else, Europe is represented.

The idea of a separate existence is a fiction.

usa The crew at Airdrie Canvas has always done, and continues to do, an excellent job for our organization!

Excellent individuals at reasonable costs.

Dwayne “Derek” Fuller “Derek” “Derek” “Derek” “Derek” “Derek” “Derek” “Derek” “Derek” “Derek” “Derek” “Derek” “Derek” “Derek” “Derek” “Derek” “Derek” “Derek” “Derek” “Derek” “Derek” Customer service is the best I’ve had in a long time!

I said that I was able to carry the tent down, but that I lived 3.5 hours away from them.

Additionally, Michelle completed a last-minute sewing job for me, which I was quite grateful for at the time.

Michael Landry is a professional basketball player.

It’s worth noting that there’s also a key cutting and shoe repair shop on the premises, so you can kill two birds with one stone if you’re feeling really ambitious.

DnA Enterprises is a privately held corporation.

It never ceases to surprise me at the wide range of products and services that Tony Gize has been able to deliver for me and my company.

Davis & Company, Inc.

Tony assisted me in the creation of some bespoke covers for the tanks in my pickup vehicles.

We will be placing further orders this winter.

It is with great gratitude that I express my gratitude to Airdrie Canvas, who assisted myself and several of my teammates in the creation of some fantastic travel bags for our ice sleds!

Thank you once again for your assistance and for providing such an excellent product!

Can’t seem to find what you’re looking for?

To discuss putting a bespoke order, please contact us immediately!

Do you have a tear or rip in your canvas tent or tarp? If so, let us know. We carry out repairs! No matter if the item is a product we’ve created or not, we’ll get it looking good as new in no time! Make a phone call to get started on your repairs right away!

Shelters — Sandeman Canoe Company

Going on a paddle camping trip is one of my favorite things to do, and because there are so many different possibilities for a shelter and sleep system, I thought I’d write a little about each of the systems I use, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each. In the minds of many, camping is synonymous with a classic two-person tent in the middle of a field, where they expect the experience to be unpleasant, wet, and not at all cosy, and the concept of camping during the winter months is a complete no-no.

  1. This piece was motivated by the fact that after going on adventures with my partner and vacations that often entail wild camping, it is assumed that we are roughing it and that I should treat my other half to a luxury vacation in a resort as a way of making up for lost time.
  2. So, what are the available options?
  3. In the absence of these, staying warm and comfortable would be difficult.
  4. Having said that, the more money you spend, the lighter and warmer the equipment becomes.
  5. I have a number of different bags and mats, all of which are synthetic in nature.
  6. Down, on the other hand, is far lighter and packs down smaller, but if it gets wet, the feathers clump together, which is not ideal for a survival kit.
  7. In the winter, I prefer a Snugpak Chrysalis 4 sleeping bag, and in the summer, I prefer a Vango Planet 100 sleeping bag.
  8. Once you’ve found a suitable bag and mat, we can start thinking about what we’ll be sleeping in or beneath.


The tent will be our first stop. Although there are many various varieties of tents, I must admit that tents are not my favorite form of camping equipment. Nonetheless, they do have a place in my collection of camping gear. The investment in a good tent is worthwhile, and there are several fantastic alternatives available, ranging from a large tipi-style tent with a woodburner inside, such as the Tentipi line, to a top-of-the-range ultralight option such as Hillenberg or Mountain Safety. When it comes to tents, I’m not a big fan since they separate you from the outside environment once you’re inside.

  • Having said that, this isn’t always practicable, especially when working with young groups, when you need a little more privacy, which is why I purchased a tent.
  • This is not a cheap tent, but there were a variety of factors that drew me to it.
  • This tent is exceptionally light, weighing just 1.29kg, which is an added bonus!
  • With a single pole system, this tent is incredibly simple to put together.
  • I’ve only used the MSR hubba once so far, but I’m extremely impressed with how it works.

The only drawback to this tent is that you must first set up the inner tent before putting up the rain cover on top of it. As a result, coming in the rain would be a negative experience. I can, however, get around this by putting up an extra tarp.


A bivi bag and tarp are two more lightweight solutions that I rely on for camping. However, it is not recommended for individuals who are claustrophobic due to its incredible versatility and my personal preference for it. Snugpak Stratosphere bivi, Nordisk and DD tarps are the brands of tarps that I prefer to use, with the Nordisk being my first option. The simplicity and lightness of this arrangement are its primary advantages; nevertheless, the need for additional room to keep items dry and the assurance that you will remain dry in a heavy downpour need the use of a tarp over the top.


Another alternative that I prefer is similar to the one described above, but it involves the use of a canvas bivi and tarp. Bill Mason and explorers such as Horace Kephart have motivated me to camp under canvas, and I’ve always been fascinated to the idea of doing so. The reason it took me so long to make the decision to invest in canvas was because of the weight. Only when I know I won’t be carrying it for an extended period of time, such as while driving to the location or transporting it by canoe, does this become a possibility for me.

I put my equipment through a lot of punishment, and it always makes me nervous when I’m utilizing lightweight equipment in a difficult setting.

With canvas, you have the sensation of being completely immersed in nature, as well as the advantage of being able to position the shelter near to the fire, so getting additional heat.


The hammock is one of my favorite systems, and I’ll explain why. Sleeping on a hammock is typically thought of as a leisurely afternoon nap in the backyard rather than a serious camping alternative. Hammocks, on the other hand, are considered to be the most comfortable option by some. For the past six months, I’ve been working in the Ardèche and sleeping in a hammock three times a week, which has convinced me that it’s preferable to being on the ground than in a tent. Once the hammock is properly put up, you won’t have as much banana as you would otherwise, and sleeping diagonally also helps.

  • As you might expect, there are a number of considerations to consider when deciding between a hammock and a tent.
  • I’ve made this mistake in the past and ended up hammocking with a canoe trailer, trucks, and even a single tree.
  • It can also be a problem if you need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, but these drawbacks are often overcome by the comfort that a good hammock gives.
  • Hammocks are manufactured by a variety of companies of varied quality, but the two most well-known are DD and Hennessy.
  • Since then, I’ve purchased a DD hammock called the Frontine Hammock XL, which is fantastic since it includes a built-in mosquito net.
  • Either a sleeping mat or an under quilt can be used as a base layer.

The problem with a sleeping mat is that it tends to slip out of position, whereas an under blanket is placed below the hammock and completely covers the bottom of the hammock’s frame. It is possible to get a quality under quilt composed of either synthetic fibers or down.


Finally, we arrive at the Whelen shelter, which was recommended to me by Steve from AxePaddle Bushcraft and which has become my favourite form of camping. It was Colonel Whelen who created it since he was not a fan of tents and wanted to create a shelter that would allow him to be as near as possible to his natural surroundings while also being useful. The Whelen is just a canvas tarp that has been put together in such a way that it may be used as a canvas lean to. When utilizing the Whelen, you must utilize a canvas bivi bag, such as the one we stated above, to protect your belongings.

  • It is possible to capture heat from the fire by constructing an awning over it, which then circulates that heat back into the shelter.
  • On the surface, it appears as though you’re stepping out of your living room and into the great outdoors.
  • When the situation calls for it, the Whelen has to be my first choice for a camping trip.
  • My Whelen was created by a firm called The Red Tent Company, which you can learn more about by visiting their website.
  • Trekitthere is a great place to get tents, sleeping bags, and sleeping mats.

How to Make and Pitch Tarp Shelters and Camping Tents

1 / 9 Create four tarp shelters from a single, multipurpose tarp. Figure 2 / 9 (Bradford Angier/Mother Earth News Staff): A versatile tarp shelter, option two. Photograph by BRADFORD ANGIER. MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF 3 of 9 Versatile tarp shelter, option four. Photo by Bradford Angier/Mother Earth News Staff. Four-by-nine-foot portable tarp shelter, option three, by Bradford Angler and the Mother Earth News staff. A lean-to tent built by Bradford Angier and the Mother Earth News staff on September 5, 2009.

  • The Forester tent, courtesy of Bradford Angier/MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF.
  • Staff of the Mother Earth News Network, Bradford Angier Readers of outdoor literature who have been around for a while are almost certain to have come across one or more of Bradford Angier’s numerous publications.
  • When I’m camping with a pack train, I bring a small tarpaulin that measures 7 1/2 feet by 12 feet and is rolled behind my saddle.
  • Using three 12′ pieces of water-repellent green cloth 32′′ wide, I created a tarp that I’ve been using for years by overlapping and stitching them together, then finishing it with a 1′′ hem all the way around.
  • In place of the tie tapes seen in the Image Gallery, half-inch-diameter grommets were used at each corner, with two on each of the shorter sides and three on each of the longer sides to finish the job.

Normally, I pitch this tarp shelter at a single 45-degree slant, with the two sides bushed in and a bright fire burning in front of me to provide companionship. The structure can also be constructed in a variety of various ways, as seen in the Image Gallery, depending on the circumstances.

Material and Equipment for Camping Tents

A compromise will be required in your selection of tarpaulin material, since heavier fabrics have more abrasion resistance and tear strength than lighter fabrics. Nonetheless, you’ll most likely want the completed product to be as light as is reasonably possible. Nylon is an option, but because of its slipperiness, it is a sleazy fabric that is prone to fraying unless completed seams are employed or the edges are melted to fuse the strands together to prevent fraying. In addition, the very suppleness of nylon thread, which makes it good for stress adjustment, makes it difficult to use in household sewing machines due to its difficulty in threading the needle.

  • At the time of writing, the ideal fabric for camping tents is a cotton blend that has been reinforced with nylon or Dacron.
  • By the way, dirt is the number one enemy of water repellents, so make sure your equipment is free of grime.
  • Therefore, a two-ounce cotton layer for the covering proper and a top layer of one-ounce, plastic-coated nylon for the rain fly make for a lightweight, waterproof tentage combination.
  • Because of the large quantity of stitching required, a sewing machine (which can typically be hired if one is not already in your home) is virtually mandatory in the construction of tents, sleeping bags, and apparel, among other things.
  • In comparison to the long-shuttle variants, Rotary bobbins will stitch more quickly.
  • In the Image Gallery, you can see an example of a strong stitch for hand stitching.
See also:  Into A Tent Where A Gypsy Boy Lay

Tarp Construction

Using a hot iron, fuse the two cut edges of your material together to form a tarp of the required proportions. Hem the two cut edges of your cloth to construct a tarp of the desired dimensions. Reinforce the areas where the grommets–or, if you prefer, tie tapes–will be attached by sewing on reinforcements cut from the cloth itself. Four 4′′ square corner reinforcements will adequate, while two 2′′ X 4′′ oblong reinforcements will be sufficient around the sides of the structure. Finish the job by attaching 1/2-inch-diameter grommets (or tie tapes, which are each a 2′ piece of twill tape that has been folded in the center where it is fastened to the tarp.

The moment has come if you want to dye or embellish the tarpaulin.

Start by pitching the tarp in a taut and crease-free manner on a bright sunny morning.

It is possible to speed up the procedure by putting the can of turpentine and wax in a container filled with hot water.

Maintain a safe distance between it and open flames, since it is highly flammable. After that, generously spray the cloth with the solution, preferably while both the tarp material and the solution are still warm, and set the tarpaulin aside to dry until it is completely dry (about 30 minutes).

Whelen Lean-to Tent

Several hundred years ago, an ancient woodsman by the name of Henry David Thoreau remarked, “Most men remain needlessly impoverished all of their lives because they believe they must have such a house as their neighbors have.” “Consider how inconsequential a shelter is when it is really essential.” My favorite tent is the Whelen lean-to tent, which was created by an old buddy who collaborated with me on the book On Your Own in the Wilderness.

Colonel Townsend Whelen’s plan, which can be seen in the Image Gallery, will fit one or two campers who will sleep with their sides to the front of the tent.

Allow one inch all around the margins for hemming and framing purposes.

Constructing the Whelen Camping Tent

Sew the rear edge of the awning to the front edge of the tent after it has been cut to the measurements indicated in the Image Gallery and the edges have been hemmed. Insert grommets or tie tapes at the four “A” points of the tent to secure it to the ridgepole. After that, assemble the tent as described above. Sew tape loops to the exterior of the tent at the two “B” positions on the poles. For periods of heavy snow, you can attach cords extending from these loops to a tree or a support pole to prevent the roof from drooping in the center.

Then, to connect the awning’s side flaps to the tent, sew tie tapes to the corners of the awning at the two “D” points (which should coincide with the two grommets put in the tent’s sides at the “E” points) to secure the awning to the tent.

Similarly to the numerous tarpaulin shelters, you should position the Whelen lean-to tent so that it faces away from the prevailing wind.

In poor insect locations, a mosquito net may be draped over the open front of the tent without compromising the open-air experience.

Forester Tent

The Forester tent is a wonderful choice if you need to save weight or money on your trip. One of the greatest tents ever designed for a chronic woods loafer, especially for someone who longs to live close-to-nature but does not want to spend any of his or her outside hours locked in a closed canvas or nylon jail, this is the tent for you. The Forester tent is the most affordable of all wilderness tents, whether you build it yourself or purchase it. It’s also the quickest and most straightforward to make and pitch.

  • In addition, with the exception of the Whelen lean-to tent, it is the most convenient tent to heat with a campfire in the front yard.
  • It is, however, a simple affair to purchase and drape a mosquito bar over the front entrance.
  • or to hang or stake a net closure over your bed when the bugs are out in force.
  • Approximately 7′ wide at the open front, 3′ wide at the back, and 7′ deep from front to rear, are the least practicable measurements for a single person, or for two people who don’t mind a little amount of crowding.
  • Because the entire tent is open to the fire in front of it, the angles of the tent are such that heat and light will be reflected throughout the enclosed space.
  • This tent is typically set up using three poles and eight pegs that have been cut at the campground.
  • Two shorter poles are set in front of the ridgepole as a bipod brace, and they run from the peak to the front corners, keeping the ridgepole in place at their crossing.
  • In order to get the shape and proportions displayed in the Image Gallery, I cut and stitched the model from closely woven, waterproofed cotton that weights five ounces per square yard.
  • Take note of how the bottoms of the sides have been slanted back 1′ to allow the tent to sit directly on the ground.
  • A square is cut off the top of the piece that will be used for the rear wall, so that when it is stitched to the main body of the tent at the back, a hole will be left at the top of the back wall through which the ridgepole may be extended to the front.

The total weight of this Forester tent is around four pounds for this size.

To the Road Less Taken

I hope that you will find each of these tried-and-true projects–the versatile tarp shelter, the Whelen lean-to tent, and the Forester tent–to be as cost-effective, enjoyable to construct, and satisfying to use as I have over the years. Adapted from Bradford Angier’s Wilderness Gear You Can Make Yourself, which was published by Stackpole Books in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Bradford Angier obtained the copyright in 1973. With the author’s permission, this adaptation has been made.

Published on Mar 1, 1984

Make lovely hand-dipped beeswax candles to give as a wonderful present that people will remember you for. These pointers can assist you in getting started. Rupam Henry talks about her holistic health and dentistry practice, as well as how the herbal company got started and how they go about creating herbal remedies. If you’re a home baker or enjoy making jams and jellies under the present restrictions, this research will provide you with valuable insight into the growing cottage food movement.

Ogden Publications, Inc.

Ogden Publications, Inc.

Bringing the Whelen into the 21st Century

Anyone who knows me or has spent any amount of time reading my ramblings knows how much I admire Col. Townsend Whelen’s writings and how much I admire him. He was a skilled woodsman, and his writing was of the highest caliber. He also had a great deal of expertise in the “back of beyond.” His camps were simple but effective, with a bedroll tucked beneath a lean-to tarp of his own design as opposed to any other type of accommodation. His view was that the tarp was enough for temperatures as low as twenty below zero, and he preferred an open-air camp.

My, how times have changed!

It is still possible to purchase a Whelen Lean-to, mainly through custom tent builders or specialized stores.

It had been on my mind for a long time, and I finally decided it was time to get started.

If Whelen were still living today, I have a strong suspicion that he would approve of this rendition.

So much so that it is ineffective for hiking and is instead restricted to canoe outings and other similar activities.

I found the shelter on Amazon.

The first several attempts just did not work for me.

Aside from that, it’s also fire retardant; while an ember may burn a pin hole in it, it will not ignite; and while holding a flame to it may cause it to burn, as soon as the open flame is removed, it will extinguish.

My exposure to this substance was provided via the BUSHCRAFT OUTFITTERSMulticam 10×10 tarp that I was using.

So I went out and found the manufacturer and placed an order for the material.

Multicam was something I desired.

All seams are double stitched, with certain seams being triple sewn in high-stress areas for further durability.

Both the multicam material and the thread are manufactured in the United States.

I finished my prototype last night and wanted to get it up and running as soon as possible.

While I did use some of the designs featured in Whelen and Angier’s books, I also made some changes to the overall design.

Putting it in a position and marking it was the most effective method of determining optimal use.

When the shelter and bag were weighed, the total weight was less than two pounds!

My workload continues to grow, but I’m getting closer to finishing it.

It would also be possible to drop a transparent plastic sheet from the same spot as the mosquito bar to create a winter bar, which would combine Kochanski’s supershelter concept.

My last shelter reached 81 degrees using the identical approach, despite the outside temperature being just nine degrees.

I’ve been wanting one of these for a long time, one that was small and light enough to go on a backpacking trip while also including several features that the original model did not have.

I’ve gained a great deal from this project and thoroughly enjoyed myself while working on it. After that, all that remains is for me to get some field time in to conduct some serious testing, and I’ll be a happy camper indeed!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *