Where To Buy An Sca Tent

Panther Primitives – Medieval Pavilions and Tentage

Check out ourTents of the Fur Tradesection for our wall tents and a wide variety of flys, options and set up packages.

Marquee – Oval This tent has less usable space with it’s curved ends, but you’ll have to agree they really add to the looks of the tent.
Marquee – Square or Rectangular This is a very roomy tent. It’s 6′ or optional 7′ walls give you plenty of room for your 4 poster bed, your armour, your gowns for court, and anything else you may require. We carry 33 square and rectangular sizes and, of course, can always make custom sizes.
Round Pavilion This tent is a round version of the marquee tent.
Norman Saxon Wedge Tent This tent is made to set up with 3 poles instead of a free-standing framework. These are available in the same 4 sizes as the Viking tent. Also available. 17 different wedges in our wedge tent section.
French Double Belled Wedge This tent can be set up with only 2 or three poles. The bells on both ends make this a very attractive tent.
Viking Wedge Tent The medieval Viking tent is supported entirely by a free-standing framework of poles. These are huge tents with the largest one measuring 14’7″ wide X 17’3″ long and 11’5″ tall.
Regent Pavilion A square roof portion with a base that forms an octagon. Lots of room with only 5 poles needed for set up.This is a one piece tent.

Tent Reviews for the SCA

A regent tent that belonged to a camp buddy was destroyed. I find myself addressing queries regarding tents in forums on Facebook on a fairly regular basis. The reason I take the time to do this is that I have worn (or stayed in) most of the period styles accessible at some point in my life and can provide insight into what I would do differently (or never do again), what I would change, and what has worked best for me for the longest amount of time. Panther Primitives Tents are among my favorite brands, and I want to declare up front that I am a huge fan.

So, yeah, I am a huge fan of Panther, and if I ever decide to purchase another tent, it will almost certainly come from them as well.

  • ( Actually, my first tent was a Wall Tent, which I do not have a picture of at the time for you to see.
  • Actually, there aren’t any issues with this tent or with this type.
  • Interior space is often abundant in these, and the presence of front and rear doors allows for excellent air circulation.
  • The 16X16 and 12X12 sizes were particularly popular at our camp, and we used to have quite a few of them.
  • Because of the sloped walls and clipped corners, you will sacrifice floor space, but the 12X12 is particularly great for single persons who may not need to fit a huge bed inside.
  • Because the walls are joined, the person who is in charge of holding the poles inside may get a little hot while everything is being put up.
  • They are also advantageous in that you may have a fly on the front to protect you from the sun as well.

This is the one sort of tent that I would never, ever buy again if given the opportunity.

They are visually appealing, and the carousel top reduces the number of vertical poles you must deal with to just one.

Additionally, ours had linked walls that were quite difficult to get up from when we first got there.

You can really use the spoke system to hang light goods such as a few shirts or your lanterns, which is one of the many advantages of this method.

They appear to be of high quality.

But the biggest disadvantage is that, even with meticulous maintenance, the large-scale models invariably appear to have their tops blow out after roughly 5 years of operation.

In a single year at Pennsic, I was aware of four of these who ripped through the competition.

They heard a popping sound, and then the entire tent slowly deflated and fell to the ground below them.

This item was really magnificent.

Because there was ample room, we were able to include a foyer as well as a king air bed, a queen air bent, and a large “closet” wing.

This year, there were four of us in the tent, and there was still plenty of room for everyone.

The 18X18 Seam Engineered Rectangular Marquee was the second tent in line to be set up.

Rectangular marquees are another type of structure that we have in plenty at our camp, so I am familiar with the various configurations that may be used with them. There are other items, on the other hand, that I would never, ever order in this style of tent again.

  • Never, ever again will I use seam engineering. It appeals to me since I understand the advantages (which are discussed in depth on page 16 of Panther’s catalog), yet I despise it. Additionally, the tent’s size is reduced from 18X18 to 16.5X16.5, and the poles are closer together as a result of this modification. When I walk through the aperture with a cooler, they are just snug enough that I cannot walk through them comfortably (and I am not a big person). It also implies that you’ll have to lug about even more poles than usual. Campers who use tents with 6ft walls may have their stakes placed in somewhat closer than those who use tents with 7ft walls, which means the tent is more solid while taking up slightly less room. My stakes were usually a little too close together during the years when we were jammed in closely, and I had to go out and fiddle with them on a regular basis. Similarly, the Oval Marquee had a problem with the lighting. If I ever build another marquee, the walls would be 6 feet high, so anyone who is taller than that may just duck
  • Single pole – When built in big quantities, this might experience the same problems as the Carousel Pavilion, with the pole tearing through the ceiling if the webbing at the top fails. People I know like this choice since it allows them to have more space inside for huge beds and other furnishings. If I were to buy another tent like this, I would use a ridge pole with two supports to keep the wind out. During a rain, the tents with single poles at our camp (which is situated on a little slope, which means that tents are never completely level) tend to have more water collect in the corners than the tents with ridge poles

Our Rectangular Marquee is the one in the back of the lot with a fly system. I’d like to make a quick mention about Shade Flies for tents here. There are two sorts of these: the Side Mount Ridge Fly and the Flat Fly. The Side Mount Ridge Fly is the more common of the two. As an example, the former is excellent since it can be left up during a torrential downpour due to the fact that it is tilted in such a manner that it does not gather water easily. The flat design of fly will gather water and will ultimately cause a tent to come crashing down.

  1. The interior of my camping tent.
  2. With any closet configuration, there is plenty of room to walk about and store belongings.
  3. I’ll admit that I was adamantly opposed to this concept for many years.
  4. I was right to be concerned.
  5. We use one wedge for small gatherings, or even for everyday camping, and there is enough of room for a queen-sized bed and all of our stuff, as well as a chair in the front for him to sit on.
  6. This type of tent may be set up in a short amount of time.
  7. The entire structure may be constructed in less than 20 minutes.

I have a cot that is somewhat larger than a twin bed and almost as tall as a twin bed, as well as a small dresser and a cooler.

Honestly, even with my overabundance of belongings, there is more than enough space for me.

We used an XL cot at the back of the tent since it was tall and there was enough area for it to run across the breadth of the tent rather than the length of it.

When using a marquee or a regent, you will most likely need to alter the ropes multiple times over the duration of the event (sometimes even daily).

We’ve also used his wedge tent on a routine camping trip in winds up to 60 miles per hour, and it has never leaked or moved.

Just a little word regarding ground cloths.

People adore them, despise them, oppose them, prefer alternatives, and so on.

Personally, I think they’re fantastic.

In order to correctly set up tents such as the wedges, which may be fastened to the ground before raising the roof, it is critical to have the suitable floor size.

When we load out of Pennsic, we make sure that none of the canvas floor contacts the filthy moist tarp area of the tarp.

Then I sweep it clean and turn it over to bake for another few hours (and ensure it is totally dry).

If at all possible, avoid using a nylon tent for an event like Pennsic if you can avoid doing so.

Springbar and Kodiak are two firms that manufacture canvas tents that are remarkably similar to one another.

I have to admit that I am a big fan of these tents.

This means that I can carry these objects on my own because they are not particularly heavy when taken as a whole.

When compared to a pavilion, they can be set up in minutes and take up very little space in the car.

There is even a cute little built-in sun screen on the front of the Kodiak tent that we have, and there are attachments for the interior that allow you to keep certain things up towards the ceiling.

The bow sides reduce the tilt and the amount of wasted floor space in all of these alternatives, and there is plenty of headroom in each one.

The reason for this is because you cannot successfully bake the bottom of the tent with a Panther Super Ground Cloth, which is why we use a little tarp under the tent instead.

There is another couple in our camp that has one as well, and it is more than enough for them to get them through Pennsic with (and more comfortable than their previous nylon tent).

When it comes to rapid set up, there is also a cabin tent type that I do not suggest.

10X10 Options are available. A Wandering Elf is a participant in the Amazon Associates program, and a small reward is received on eligible purchases made through the Amazon affiliate link.

The Pavilion Book: A Guide to Buying, Maintaining, and Living in a Medieval-Style Tent: LaTorre, John: 9780979063503: Amazon.com: Books

On May 30, 2020, a review was published in the United States of America. The medieval-encampmets mailing group was where I was when John was writing this and every time he finished a chapter, he’d upload it on his website so that we could all read it together. On that and other comparable mailing lists, we had individuals from all over the world, and John’s advice and ideas were highly valued. The Great Dark Horde has a brother named Bob Howe alias Master Magnus Malleus, who is a member of the Order of the Laurel (SCA.org); the Society of Archer-Antiquaries; and Regia Anglorum (previously known as The Manx).

  1. I’ve been a reenactor for 39 years.
  2. If you’re looking to investigate and compare/contrast the pros and cons of purchasing a pavilion vs building one, this is the ideal resource.
  3. The cost of the book is small when compared to the expense of making mistakes throughout the process and implementation of developing or acquiring a period house.
  4. On July 5, 2013, a review was published in the United States, and the purchase was verified.
  5. To ensure that your pavilion has a long and happy life, we’ve included an expanded “caring for and feeding” guidance.
  6. It also offers a formula for producing a dayshade in the manner of Dragonwing, which is included.
  7. The product was reviewed in the United States on August 12, 2018 and was verified as a purchase.

The only item that the book was a little hazy on was gromits and how to connect them, but other than that, it was excellent.

Purchase that has been verified This is an excellent book for historical re-enactors that use canvas pavillions.

On March 25, 2017, a customer in the United States reviewed the product and verified the purchase.

I only wish you were still manufacturing and selling them.

Viva el sueo de nuestra vida.

This book has a wealth of information.

The fact that there isn’t a set of blueprints from which you can build your own pavilion is a positive thing since it forces you to create a pavilion that is tailored to your specific needs rather than a generic pavilion.

On June 11, 2012, it was reviewed in the United States and verified as a purchase.

This book has a wealth of information; unfortunately, all of the photos that are referred to in the book are completely absent. I found most of the same material in the Panther Primitives online catalog or in the Dragonwing website columns, which are both excellent resources (for the “BC” Sunshade.)

Top reviews from other countries

5.0 stars out of 5 for this product Five out of five stars On August 5, 2015, a reviewer in the United Kingdom expressed satisfaction with their purchase. Anyone who intends to manufacture or repair tents will find this book to be well worth their money. nearly finished with a rating of 5.0 stars On May 31, 2017, a review was conducted in Germany and verified. Purchase an excellent account in every feasible aspect – of course, from the perspective of the United States. It would have been better if the plans in the do-it-yourself part had been more specific.

SCA Resources – Camping Edition

There are other websites that are simply crammed with links for members of the Society for Creative Anachronism; this is just one of them. I’d had enough of attempting (and failing) to keep all of these arranged in my browser’s favorites bar. This also allows me to include notes (that *cough* double as SEO text *cough*) in the document. I’m putting up a second page for study on clothing, wardrobe, and lifestyle. I was planning to put everything on this page, but then I got carried away with the descriptions and the page became too long.

When you come across an amazing SCA links website with a title of a link that is absolutely perfect for your needs, it can be disheartening to discover that the website hasn’t been updated since 1998 and that the pages no longer exist because people have let their domains expire once they stopped playing because the SCA has been around for much longer than the internet and.whew.

Please keep in mind that I will surely be adding to this website as I remove more and more bookmarks from my computer’s hard drive over time.

Building Your Own Canvas Tent

I made the decision to build my own shade structures and found the following websites to be helpful:

  • It discusses the best techniques to fix a damaged canvas tent as well as how to build seams and hems for tents made of canvas. It also includes instructions for making your own canvas tent. ” Tools of the Trade “, which can be found on the same website, provides information on which sewing machines, needles, thread, and other supplies to use

Places to Buy Tents and Tent Accessories

  • One of the most well-known tent manufacturers is ” Panther Primitives.” There’s a valid explanation behind this. Their work is of a high standard. Other tent-makers aren’t necessarily inferior, but I can tell you from experience that during the most recent Pennsic, there were just a few minor elements (such as how the walls attach, etc.) that I noticed in my friends’ Panthers that I didn’t see in some of the other brands. Please keep in mind that this type of detailing is not free, and Panthers are often more expensive than the average vehicle. Post online and see if you can locate someone who has joined up with them as a “approved dealer,” and you’ll be eligible for their normal 10% discount. You may even purchase them online from Medieval Fantasies if you don’t have a friend or barony member to hand over the commission to
  • ” Tentsmiths” is one such option. The tents are excellent, according to a friend of mine, but because the ownership changes frequently, the quality may have changed (for the better or for the worse) over time, and you may be out of luck in terms of warranties if they sell again. Not to add that they can take up to a month to respond to emails
  • ” Blockade Runner ” is the only site I’ll go to for 2′′x4′′ ridgepole sleeves from now on. Other sites charge twice as much as they do, but they provide the bolts for free and ship in half the time. I had three of these set up for the whole of Pennsic with no problems at any point. Because their website is difficult to browse, I’ve included a link to their Index/Catalog. Page 31shows their wall tents, wedge tents, and A-Frames, among other things (think: Viking tent). Accessories such as rope loops, octagon tent poles, dining flys, and ground cloths may be found on page 32 of the book. There are a variety of camping equipment on page 33, including tent set-up kits, mallets, ropes, tent stakes, the ridge sleeves I described before, and a few other interesting items. “Canvas Camp” is a term used to describe a group of people who get together to create something beautiful. I’m not a fan of Sibley Tents, but if you are, here’s a good site where you can get them. These are the accessories, such as the tea light chandelier and tent cleaning supplies, that I have kept for later use on this page:

Waterproofing Canvas Tents

I haven’t tried any of them yet; this is simply a list of choices that I’ve come across. I have not evaluated any of them to determine if they are excellent or poor.

  • Canvas Ultramar Protector (available from Canvas Camphere)
  • Ultramar Protector Canvas (available from Canvas Camphere)

SCA-Specific Camping and Glamping Resources

  • SCA Camping 101 offers not just a packing list, but also guidance on how to select the appropriate items to suit each of these requirements. Even though I found much of it to be information I already knew, I still use it as a fast reference list before long events.

Towing, Truck, and RV-Stuff, Just Because

Every 20-something-year-old-pseudo-hippie fantasizes of living in a vanrecreational vehicle down by the river, and I’m thinking about doing it myself soon. As a result, I’ve saved a bunch of strange RV and towing websites for future reference. These may, in principle, be of use to SCA members as well, so until I create a page just for RV links, they will remain on this page as a backup.

  • ” TowingTrailers ” – How to precisely calculate how much truck you will need to pull at any given time
  • Build a canopy or anything you want using ” Make Your Own Awning Track Hangers “
  • ” Alexis Beaudet-Dirtbag Roy’s Dwellings: Alexis Beaudet-Roy of Quebec ” will help you save money on building a canopy or whatever you want. This guy converted a mail truck, and I think it’s fantastic
  • It’s just a lot of Amazon-affiliate links to goods you might or might not need, but it’s still a great list to look over
  • From the same affiliate-loaded website
  • ” The Ultimate RV Remodel: 25 Changes That Will Rock Your Ride ” from the same affiliate-loaded website
  • ” Best Van Conversion Equipment ” from the same affiliate-loaded website
  • What it is, in reality, is a collection of links to other pages that has been disguised as an article
  • ” A Collection of Our 30 Best RV Remodel Tips” was created for a variety of reasons. The words “blah blah blah” were used to describe a little house whose design I admired in a news piece.

A Thousand More Links

These are just webpages with an increasing number of links, some of which are about camping and building up medieval campsites, and others which have flare, as as this page, for whatever the author was interested in at the time. For each, assume that my short selection above represents a mere fraction of the information available on the website.

  • ” Kingdom of Atlantia ” is a fantasy novel set in Atlantis. Overload of sacred links – 7062 links are organized into 32 categories. I’m not going to go into detail about each one. Simply click on it. Their old website can be found here– I haven’t verified that all of the links have been updated to the new site, but we can assume that
  • ” Sven Skildbiter’s Index Page ” – archery, arms, blacksmithing and craft, tents and trebuchets, other historical groups and fortifications, the Varangian Guard, and other things. It’s worth noting that this page hasn’t been updated since 2006, therefore I may take all of his links and post them here in the event that his page goes black. ” Stefan’s Florilegium ” means “Stefan’s Floral Collection.” something from everywhere
  • A little bit of everything

Camping-Specific Links for Medieval Campsites

  • The term “Medieval Pavillion Resources” refers to pavilions, yurts, and other structures, as well as galleries, furnishings, cooking, and remaining warm. ” House Greydragon ” – furniture, round tents, equestrian, brewing, class notes, sewing hosen
  • ” Dragonwing ” tent-making, tent buying, tent upkeep, furniture, history
  • ” House Greydragon ” – furniture, round tents, equestrian, brewing, class notes, sewing hosen

Post navigation

This page is a subpage of SCA Without Breaking the Bank (SCA Without Breaking the Bank).

Information regarding tents and pavilions may be found on this page.


Tents, more than anything else, are the most likely place where you will lose the most money. Who wouldn’t love a grand pavilion with hand stitched dagging and embellishments on the walls and ceiling? Grand pavilions, of course, come with a hefty price tag to match. Is it possible for you, the poor SCAdian, to still have a place to sleep without blowing your bank account? Yes, without a doubt! It only takes a little imagination to figure it out. There’s one thing that has to be said first, though.

Modern tents are praised for their simplicity of setup and takedown, as well as their mobility and compactness, and, most all, for their low cost of purchase (ie: cheap).

I’ll be reviewing both options with you and allowing you to make your own decision about which you prefer.

General tips about tent buying and making

  • Check to be sure it’s exactly what you’re looking for: While it’s possible that you desire a four-room pavilion, if it’s only going to be you sleeping in it, you probably don’t want to invest the money in it. It may be difficult to put up a large pavilion on your own, and you don’t want to do it in the dark when you’ve arrived late to the event and it’s pouring outside. Furthermore, how are you planning on transporting such a massive pavilion? Don’t forget to get enough (a decent rule of thumb for contemporary tents is to take the number of people who can sleep in the tent and split that number by 2 or 3, depending on how much items you bring), but don’t acquire too much
  • Check to see if it’s what you’re looking for: The following is an example of an area where you may want to spend a bit more (not three times as much, but a little more) in order to buy something that you appreciate. Without doing so, you will end up with a tent that you despise and want to replace as quickly as possible. You will have squandered your money for no apparent reason.
  • Make certain that it is authentic enough for you: If you desire an authentic pavilion (even a little one), make certain that it is authentic enough for you. Consider the elements of structure and design, as well as materials and embellishment. Consider the question “would this be good enough for me in two years, when I’ve made significant success in the SCA?” If you answered no, you should reconsider your decision and conduct further research. Researching now will save you time when it comes time to put it all together, and you won’t have to beat yourself up later for making a simple mistake.

Five-step method

  1. You may get it for free by going to: It goes without saying that no one is going to offer you a tent for free. If they do, exercise extreme caution when it comes to what you’re acquiring. There are, however, several options for getting a free night’s sleep during camping events. Of course, the most convenient option is to take a day vacation (ie: go during the day and go home at night). In this approach, the entire problem is avoided altogether. The question then becomes, what to do if the event is too far away to visit in one day or if you want to stay for the midnight celebration. The most straightforward method of obtaining a free place to stay is to inquire around and see if someone has spare tent space that you can utilize. People are often accommodating in this regard, and many would allow you to remain with them for a whole weekend if you assist them in setting up and taking down their tent (please note that this does not qualify as barter, but rather as obeying the laws of hospitality and common sense). Make careful to give folks plenty of notice that you’re seeking for someone to camp with, or otherwise all of the available campsites may be claimed by other individuals. Alternatively, you may inquire as to if anyone has an extra tent that you could borrow for the weekend. Trade it for something else: Now we’re getting into the real act of owning one’s own tent. If you know someone who is selling a tent or pavilion that you desire, you might be able to barter for it. Ideally, you have a SCAdian or other marketable talent they can utilize, or else you should be willing to put in some considerable effort to pay it off. Alternatively, you may ask around to see if anyone can create one for you. Be advised, though, that this will be expensive on your barter budget (you don’t really want to be washing dishes for a year, do you?) Be sure to include this in.
  2. Paying someone in the SCA for it is an option: You can generally find secondhand pavilions for sale or hire someone to build you a pavilion for less money than you would pay at a camping supply store. Make certain, however, that you thoroughly check the tent before purchasing it. Check to see that there are no holes or mildew, that all of the pieces are still present, and that you are able to put it together yourself. You don’t want to be caught in a downpour when you discover that the roof is leaking or that a window won’t zip up properly. In addition, you may find out if someone has a broken tent that they are giving away: if you know how to restore it, you can make it seem like new. tent on demand
  3. Get it at a discount by visiting: Check for wholesale tent makers, army surplus stores, and end-of-season deals at camping stores if you’re looking for contemporary tents. This is most likely where you will find the finest bargains. To make period tents, start by visiting lumber yards for wood and following the same concepts as you would when purchasing fabric for your costume while purchasing canvas for your tent. If you truly appreciate something, you might want to spend a bit more money on it. For example, having a tent that you despise will make you want to go out and get a new one, which will result in you having squandered your money. Tents may be rented for use at various events (most notably Pennsic) for a fraction of the cost of purchasing a tent. Purchase it at a low price: Check for contemporary tents that are now on sale once more. Check out SCAdian dealers if you’re looking for period tents. Once again, double-check what you’re receiving to ensure that it’s exactly what you wanted

Submitted tips

When I initially decided to branch out from merchanting for someone else, I needed to set up camp in a tent. We were admitted into a huge event, and the organizers inquired as to the size of my tent. I glanced hopelessly at my wife, who responded, “Nine o’clock by twelve.” I was speechless. As a result, I told them 9 X 12. A few plain cotton drop cloths from a hardware store and some colored heavy cotton tablecloths from a hotel that was no longer in use, she stitched together panels that we overlapped and blanket pinned together so that we could fold the sides up for selling space, using grommets and a couple of sewing machines (one of which was left to cool while the other was in use).

  • Assuming that the tent has been waterproofed, the main long-term disadvantage is that driving rain will continue to pound through, generating a very light mist within the tent that is really rather pleasant and even refreshing in hot weather.
  • Just make certain that nothing you want to keep dry contacts the sides of the container (Which is important in any tent).
  • Iron stakes are not commonly used since they are heavy and more difficult to replace.
  • In the event that it breaks or becomes trapped, cut another one.
  • Using propane and a decent vise, 3/8″ iron can be forged down to a point, and the tops can be bent in the same manner using one pipe for leverage and another as a form while someone else keeps the torch against the metal.
  • Create sliders from additional 1 X 2 by knotting tautline knots or drilling them.
  • One tent, however, may last for years; we used it for Pennsic, Gulf, Lilies and other important regional events for a total of six years.
  • In addition, I believe we paid around $25 on supplies.

And when you’re camping, it adds a lot to the mood since you’re literally sleeping in a tent that looks like it belongs to a medieval peasant.

Submitted by John Greyshade of Adria

No-sew Canvas Mini Pavilion for $8: The military manufactures a wide range of low-tech, long-lasting items that may be converted by reenactors, but shelter halves are particularly noteworthy. These are two-person wedge tents that are connected at the ridgeline by a button system. With a half shelter, one pole, and four stakes in his back pocket, a soldier may quickly put together a shelter for himself and any other soldiers who have the same equipment. They are highly common surplus things that are available.

  1. The ones I received were usable right out of the box, but some of them may require a little mending.
  2. I used black dye and came up with a shade of brownish grey black that Elizabethans referred to as “rat color,” which is highly period-appropriate in appearance.
  3. Once the color has been changed, the only item that appears out of place is the double row of metal buttons along the ridge, although even this is more unusual than unperiodical in appearance.
  4. You may use wood poles in place of the aluminum poles, and you can add a top pole for a banner, pendant, or whatever else you can think of.
  5. If you purchase from Cheaper Than Dirt, take advantage of the flat rate shipping of $5.99 to pick up some blankets and other inexpensive camping supplies.
  6. Period weaponry have also been spotted here and there from time to time.

Submitted by Lady Eulalia de Ravenfeld

Find a friend or relative who is in the process of updating their equipment. My lady’s cousin just handed us her viking A-frame, which she had previously used when she moved to a larger pavilion. She stated that it was a wonderful tent, and that it was suitable for two people, but that she was hesitant to sell it because she had to patch it up. You must ensure that you can place your faith in the person who is providing you anything for free (or for really, really cheap). Although I understand that this isn’t a possibility for someone who needs a shelter quickly or who has extremely precise requirements for their pavilion, it is something to consider.

By becoming well-liked by a large number of individuals in your local organization, you may discover that someone you know may think of you when they are faced with the dilemma of what to do with their old equipment (actually I guess that goes for more than just tents).

Submitted by Joe Papasso

I’m an active duty Navy officer with a wife and a six-month-old boy who live with me. I’m now residing in the state of Colorado. There are several outdoor activities to participate in here (not all of them are affiliated to the SCA), but we were eager to get started camping as soon as we arrived. Knowing my wife was expecting a child, we were well aware that our financial resources would be limited (as babies cost a lot of money even before they are born). So I went to our Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) office and discovered that they had a large selection of camping gear at extremely low prices.

This includes a tent, coolers, lanterns, seats, a stove, and other such items. These pricing are not exclusive to this base’s MWR; most MWR offices may provide this equipment for a similar price to this one.

Submitted by Lady Anne Brynley and Lord Oliver Tarney

My Lord and I thought that the expense of fully constructed pavilions was out of our financial reach, and we also like sleeping in a bug-free tent (with a zipped tent fly) and didn’t want to give up our comfortable tent for something more exciting. We created a “coverup” in the shape of a French Bell Wedge Pavilion to fit over our drab tent.

Submitted by Mistress Baroness Merlinia

This was my first tent, and the poles are still in my possession 30 years later. I’ve had three different covers. In the spring, visit a reputable lumberyard and look for their extremely long tomato stakes—the 1″x1″x7′ varieties—and carefully sort through them to find the hardwood ones. They are often a deeper brown in color than softwoods, and they are significantly heavier. In fact, I know that Jager Lumber in Union, New Jersey, had all I needed (6) for a 40-minute quest and $2.49 apiece, so I’m creating another one right now.

  • This was the stuff of ‘polyester leisure suits’ in the 1970s (yep, it was the 70s).
  • The second was constructed using sheets that I purchased at a church sale.
  • My newest cover will be made entirely of pure linen; while the sheets are acceptable for the SCA, my Reenacting Legion is far more stringent.
  • I bought a 90″x 10′ piece of art for $3.00 last year, and I’m still wearing it.
  • If it’s going to rain, purchase some heavy-duty plastic sheeting – the kind that comes in rolls – in advance.
  • You will also want some thin rope, cord, or leather thongs to complete your project (4 should do it).
  • Stakes can be made out of strong twigs, huge 8″ nails, or bamboo garden stakes, among other materials.

Pinch the ground with four poles, placing them where the corners of a twin bed would be.

Repeat the process at the ‘bottom’.

Tie things together in at least three different locations.

Place it on the Xs and Os.

Rock it about a little; it should be rather stable.

If you have three twin sheets, stitch two of them together along the long sides, measuring on the framework to ensure that the fabric is centered.

Do you recall the plastic?

Give a bit more than you normally would.

Put the cap on your head.

Tie the rolls together using the ropes that are hanging there.

To make sure the tent is storm-proof, stake two ropes: one from the ground 3-4′ away from the head end and wrapped around the poles, and another staked from the ground 3-4′ away from the head end and looped around the poles, and finally a third rope from the ground to the head end.

Also, for the floor, use a piece of plastic that is still mostly folded.

(Instead of placing a marble beneath the point on the cloth where you wish to connect a tiedown, tie a rope around the neck of the fabric under the marble, and draw it taut).

Tie down all four corners, as well as three along each long side. This little ‘viking’ tent can be purchased for less than $20, beds two people, can contain a significant amount of gear in the end, is lightweight, and is quite portable.

Submitted by Anitra

In addition, I am a member of a variety of ‘Points for Email’ programs. I accumulated enough points to qualify for a $25 gift voucher to a major camping supply chain. I also accumulated enough points on another site to qualify for a $10.00 payout. For $19.99, I purchased the tent of my choice, along with an undertarp for $2.50 that was also on sale. The sleeping bag, which retailed for $14.99, was also on sale. Including tax, I spent $2.48 on a tent, undertarp, and sleeping bag.

Submitted by Inge

The SCA has never prohibited the use of ordinary tents for events. Getting a ‘dog house’ is rather inexpensive; you might borrow one from a friend who doesn’t normally go camping but will be attending the event. Make due with what you have and wait for better circumstances. (Even if you are a skilled sewer, putting up a tent is a major undertaking that requires a significant investment in fabric. Additionally, if you do not have access to a vehicle, how will you transport the pavillion to the event site?)

Response by Lady Ennoguent filia Bronmael

Oh, I’m sorry, but I have to disagree. I spent less than $100 on materials to create an 8×10 Viking a-frame. The canvas cost around $55 and the remaining supplies cost approximately $30. I stitched it on my brand-new Kenmore sewing machine in the traditional family way. It just took one Saturday to complete the task. I do urge that you study everything about tentmaking on the florilegium before you attempt it, and that you have an assistant to help you move the large, heavy heaps of fabric about.

Each of the poles measures 10 feet in length and can be fastened to the top of my Bronco II or Buick Regal.

I understand that this is still not very realistic for a college student, but it is within the financial grasp of the ordinary impoverished SCAdian family.

Submitted by Kat

Consider checking with your institution to see if you can rent or borrow camping equipment if you’re still in school. This is something that many of them do. Look for sports stores that are about to close their doors, as well as stores that offer old sports equipment. Things should be purchased toward the conclusion of the season. Prices for camping chairs, tents, and other outdoor gear are falling right now (in the autumn).

Submitted by AElfwenna

If your club organizes activities in the area (and most have at least one or two a year), consider taking a day trip instead of a weekend getaway; it’s far less expensive and you’ll be there for 90 percent of the excellent stuff. When traveling to events, attempt to split expenditures and travel with people; if feasible, staying in a crash space rather than on-site can help save money on accommodations.

Just remember to be a kind and helpful visitor, and to remember to return the favor later on when you are more fortunate than you were when you first arrived.

Building a Plausibly Medieval Pavilion

This page was originally created as a method to display photographs shot by Deborah Peters and Stephen Bloch of different restored medieval pavilions in which we have lived and/or built throughout the years. However, I believe that it will serve as a catalyst for debate about various designs for medieval tents, as well as how to construct them and live in them, among other things. To that end, I’ve included aTaxonomy of Tent Designsthat discusses various tent designs and building methods, acollection of medieval illustrations of tents that may be used as iconographic evidence, acustom tent measuring calculator, and links to as many other related Web sites as I could locate.

Please keep in mind that we are not in the business of constructing and selling pavilions.

If you are motivated to build your own tent, I will be pleased to offer recommendations and moral support based on my own experience and the experience of other tentmakers I know.

On these pages, many of the images are displayed in “thumbnail” format, with links to bigger versions of the same image on other sites.

The SCA, Living History, and Historical Accuracy

We first became interested in this topic as a result of our membership in the Society for Creative Anachronism, a medieval hobbyist group with tens of thousands of members who represent a diverse range of historical accuracy and interests. Researchers and reconstructionists working at the “high-accuracy” end of this range are performing research and reconstruction that is academically legitimate and of museum quality. Other members are more interested in sword-fighting (as a recreational activity rather than as a study topic), flirting, and drinking homebrew (all of which are admirable goals in and of themselves – I’ve dabbled in all three).

Anyhow, this Web site strives for “high authenticity,” since I am interested in how tents were truly made and utilized in the Middle Ages, as well as how to recreate them today.

The Pennsic War

This site has many images taken during the Pennsic War, as well as a great deal of information about the tents that were tested during this period. In early to mid-August, the SCA’s greatest event of the year takes place in western Pennsylvania, drawing roughly 10,000 people (both from the SCA and other medievalist groups), some of whom remain for as long as two weeks.

The majority of participants at this event, as well as at several smaller and shorter events, sleep in tents or pavilions of some kind, which can range from blue plastic tarps to high-tech hiking tents to meticulous reproductions of authentic medieval tents in various sizes and styles.

Tent Class at Pennsic

At Pennsic 1997, we hosted a panel discussion on tentmaking techniques, followed by a one-hour field excursion to look at the attendees’ own attempts. We had a lot of interest, and the level of expertise of the participants varied from Myfanwy, who’d constructed one pavilion, to us, who’d constructed two, to Mistress Barbary, who had constructed several hundred, to the people from Medieval Miscellanea and Tentmasters, who had constructed and sold thousands. As a field trip leader, I was a little shocked that so few individuals came to the event to demonstrate their own accomplishments.

Each year, the number of participants and the number of pavilions to visit has increased, and the field trip has been longer, lasting three hours this year (for the die-hards who last that long).

We are looking for anyone who would like to submit images to our Web site.

Enchanted Ground

In addition, Deborah and I have been a part of the Enchanted Groundcamp at Pennsic for a number of years. Founded by Duke Cariadoc of the Bow, Enchanted Land is predicated on the premise that, owing to some form of magic, this piece of ground is no longer a part of the twentieth century, but is instead a part of the medieval period. There is no mention of items that didn’t exist in the Middle Ages, and we stay away from apparent current camp equipment such as cooking equipment, bedding, clothes, and (most importantly for this page) shelter such as tents.


This was a loan from the (now-defunct) Gwyntarian Musicians’ Guild; we didn’t construct it, we just borrowed it. In spite of the fact that its shape resembles various medieval tents, its internal structure bears no resemblance to any that I am aware of: it had a single center pole, with about a dozen ropes running up the pole, through pulleys or loops at the top, and down at an angle to the circular welded steel hooped structure that held the shape of the shoulder in place: In addition to a number of cross-braces (also made of welded steel and secured with numerous wing-nuts), this hoop required hours of frustrating work, resulting in injuries ranging from mild burns (from steel that had been exposed to direct August sun for hours) to bruises to severely pinched fingers.

Because there are no guylines that extend beyond the footprint of the tent, this construction has a number of advantages.

Our first King Rene tent

Deborah eventually decided to construct her own pavilion in the style of the various pavilions depicted inKing Rene d’Anjou’s Book of Love, also known asLe Cueur d’Amours Esprit, which she found in a book calledKing Rene d’Anjou’s Book of Love. We worked together to create this pavilion in 1994, with the help of a special edition of the Calon Scrolls dedicated to pavilions.

(The Calon Scrollsis the arts-and-sciences newsletter of the Kingdom of Calontir, which has a reputation for pavilioning and has an arts-and-sciences newsletter of its own.) Another page has additional photographs (both of our pavilion and of others in King Rene’s book), as well as building data.

Our second King Rene tent

Deborah was a single woman when she started working on the very first tent. By the time it was done, she and I had met and were discussing the possibility of getting married. We immediately discovered that the tent was too tiny for the two of us, as well as for a week’s worth of food, clothing, music, and musical instruments. As a result, in 1996, we constructed a bigger tent in the style of the circular pavilions shown in King Rene’s book. More photos, as well as a description of the building specifics, may be found on another website.

Taxonomy of Pavilion Designs

In recent months, as I’ve become more interested in pavilion design, I’ve attempted to arrange the many various concepts in my head in order to keep them all straight. In the end, I came up with myTaxonomy of Pavilion Designs, and any additions or adjustments are welcome! Look in this section for information on construction techniques.

Surviving Medieval Pictures of Tents

Listed by source. Please get in touch with me if you have any additional images like this.

Other Pages on Reconstructed Medieval Architecture

Not only do these links feature tents and pavilions, but they also include yurts, sheds, bars, and other structures. Disclaimer: I have not evaluated the quality of the research that has gone into each and every one of these pages; I expect the reader to do so for himself or herself.

  • Tanya Guptill (ska Mira Silverlock), another SCA member who constructs pavilions, has created a page on Medieval Pavilion Resources, which includes a plethora of on-line resources relevant to pavilion construction, including a significant amount of information on Mongolian yurts/gers. Tanya Guptill (ska Mira Silverlock) is a member of the SCA who constructs pavilions. Aside from that, she hosts the Sacred Spaces Archive (Sacred Spaces is an online newsletter published by the Known World Architectural Guild, and this site contains a number of articles on tents and houses, as well as furniture)
  • Karen Larsdatter’s period illustrations of people setting up and taking down tents, as well as period illustrations of market merchant booths. See also her blog postings about tents from the sixteenth century and tents from the fifteenth century. There are numerous useful links, including Mark S. Harris’s collection of Rialto articles on dwellings, which includes subcategories for tents, yurts, castles, cities, thatched huts, carpentry, and other topics
  • Stephen Wyley’sTents of History, which includes a Database of Tent References
  • And others. This huge collection, presented in tabular form, explains the features and decorations of hundreds (at the very least!) of tents that have appeared in photographs and written references from the first to the seventeenth centuries C.E. Material about the Pavilion from House Greydragon (a lot of this information is also available on an Australian website.) This appears to be a SCA household that has constructed a number of pavilions based on Daffyd’s hub-and-spoke design (with some modifications which they say help the spokes stay in place). They also include a number of images of a surviving 16th-century (?) pavilion at a museum in Basel, Switzerland
  • Max and Mickel’s Easy No-Bake Pavilion, which takes a different method to making a circular tent
  • And a number of photos of a 16th-century (?) pavilion in a museum in Basel, Switzerland. They note out that the design may be used with external guy lines, vertical side poles, or the hub-and-spoke architecture, all of which are as effective. The page contains a great deal of information about the practicalities of building and set-up, such as what kinds of seams to use, a shopping list with pricing, and so on. Another commercial manufacturer of medievalish pavilions is Panther Pavilions
  • Another commercial manufacturer is Tentsmiths
  • And another commercial manufacturer is Past Tents (in the U.K.). The company is well known for their hub-and-spoke tents. Tentmasters, another commercial manufacturer
  • Dragonwing Pavilions, another commercial manufacturer
  • This site contains a lot of fascinating articles on tent building (as well as one about London Bridge! )
  • Tentmasters, another commercial manufacturer Cariadoc’s Miscellany published an old piece from 1988 titled “Building a Conjecturally Period Pavilion.” T he Anglo-Saxon Geteld, reconstructed by the Norse Film Pageant Society
  • Charles McCathie Nevile’s version of the aforementioned Anglo-Saxon Geteld
  • Alexander the Lost’sGriffin’s Dentavern, set up on site at Pennsic
  • Devin O Raudh’swooden shed
  • Donna Hrynkiw’s collection of illustrations of medieval tents (as well as flags and banners)
  • T he A- The SCA used to refer to Ted as Svein Sveinssen
  • Today he goes by the moniker Thomas somethingorother. In Will McLean’s blog entries about medieval tent building, he includes many medieval images, quotations and translations from tailors’ manuals and account books regarding tents, as well as photographs of his own restored round tent (about 1400 AD). Essay by Mistress Ellisif Flakkari on yurts and gers
  • SCA ArtsSciences Page
  • Mistress Ellisif Flakkari’s article on yurts and gers


In addition to Tanya Guptill (ska Mira Silverlock), another SCA member who constructs pavilions, has created a page on Medieval Pavilion Resources, which includes a plethora of online resources relevant to pavilion construction, including a significant amount of information on Mongolian yurts/gers. Tanya Guptill (ska Mira Silverlock) is also a member of the SCA’s Pavilion Building Committee. Aside from that, she hosts the Sacred Spaces Archive (Sacred Spaces is an online newsletter published by the Known World Architectural Guild, and this website contains a number of articles on tents and houses, as well as furniture); Karen Larsdatter’s period illustrations of people setting up and taking down tents; and period illustrations of market merchant booths.

The collection of Rialto articles on homes, with sections for tents, yurts, castles, towns, thatched-huts, carpentry, and other topics; Stephen Wyley’sTents of History, which contains a Database of Tent References; and a number of other useful resources are available.

Information on the Pavilion from House Greydragon (most of which may also be found on an Australian website).

There are also some photographs of a surviving 16th-century (?) pavilion in a museum in Basel, Switzerland; Max and Mickel’s Easy No-Bake Pavilion, which takes a different approach to building a circular tent; and a number of photographs of a surviving 16th-century (?) pavilion in a museum in Basel, Switzerland; and They note out that the design may be used with external guy lines, vertical side poles, or the hub-and-spoke architecture, and that it is as effective with each.

In addition to providing extensive information on the practicalities of construction and set-up, such as the types of seams to use, a shopping list with costs and other pertinent information, the website also offers a lot of detail on the aesthetics of the finished product.

Their hub-and-spoke tents are their most well-known product.

Dragonwing Pavilions’ website contains a variety of fascinating articles regarding tent building (including one about London Bridge!).

T he Anglo-Saxon Geteld, reconstructed by the Norse Film Pageant Society; Charles McCathie Nevile’s version of the aforementioned Anglo-Saxon Geteld; Alexander the Lost’sGriffin’s Dentavern, set up on site at Pennsic; Devin O Raudh’swooden shed; Donna Hrynkiw’s collection of illustrations of medieval tents (as well as flags and banners); Nils Hammer’s The SCA used to refer to Ted as Svein Sveinssen; today he goes by the moniker of Thomas somethingorother.

In Will McLean’s blog entries about medieval tent building, he includes many medieval drawings, quotations and translations from tailors’ guides and account books regarding tents, as well as photographs of his own restored round tent (about 1400 AD); Yurts and gers as discussed by Mistress Ellisif Flakkari; SCA ArtsSciences Page; Mistress Ellisif Flakkari’s essay on the subject.

  • Torvald Faegre’s book Tents: The Architecture of the Nomads is available online. Various nomadic tents from around the world are discussed in this book: Bedouin and Berber tents in one chapter, Turkish black tents in another, Mongolian yurts in another, North American tipis in another, sub-Saharan felt huts in another, and so on. The tents discussed include Bedouin and Berber tents and Turkish black tents, among others. Photographs, measurements, sketches of specific construction elements, a study of materials and the reasons why this particular tent design arose in this particular culture are all included in each chapter, if my memory serves me right. TheCalon Scrolls published a special edition on pavilions, titled “Pavilions: History and Construction,” written by Baroness Elizabeth of Calon. Number 6 in the Barbary Elspeth Ham and Countess Susannah Griffon series (Volume IV). TheCalon Scrollsis a regional newsletter of theKingdom of Calontir, the SCA regional chapter covering Missouri, Kansas, and other states
  • “A Survey of Pavilions of the Known World,” Alexandre le BonHomme, ed.Complete Anachronistnumber 26, July 1986
  • “A Survey of Pavilions of the Known The Nomad Tent Types in the Middle East, by Peter Alford Andrews, is a collection of individual pieces by Susannah Griffon, Rognvaldr Buask, Briony Blaaslagen, Seosaidh mac Seosaidh, Ceridwen Dafydd, Kathryn of Iveragh, Hans von Steinhaus, and Luciana della Ridolfi. An article by David Kuijt (ska Master Dafydd ap Gwystl) on his spoked pavilion design
  • An email exchange with him
  • An article by David Kuijt (ska Master Dafydd ap Gwystl) on his spoked pavilion design
  • An article by David Kuijt

Pages Linked to This One

These are the pages that I am aware of that have links to this one; if you are interested in this page, you may well be interested in other material on these pages as a result of your interest in this one. If you see any that I’ve missed, please let me know.

  • Greg Lindahl’s Arts and Sciences Page on the SCA website
  • Within the SCA, there is an interest group known as The Gilded Pearl that specializes in the 15th and 16th centuries. Anna Troy’sLARP Crafts Links Page
  • Tanya Guptill’stent page
  • Tanya Guptill’sLARP Crafts Links Page The Arts and Sciences Page of the College of Svaty Sebasta
  • Donna Hrynkiw’s Massive Links Page
  • Landi Haraldsson’s SCA Stuff Page
  • And many more. Kostymelinker is a collection of links devoted to historical clothing created by someone else. I’m afraid I can’t tell you much more than that since I don’t know how to read Norwegian. A list of links to SCA arts resources, including the Barony of Dragonship Haven in Connecticut and Redek’s List of SCA Arts Resources (Vell, Redek is simply zis person, you see, who resides in Minnesota.) (It’s not Redek, per se
  • He’s simply a zislady who happens to reside in Minnesota.) The Kingdom of Drachenwald is a fictional realm created by the author of the novel Drachenwald. TheDwellings Pageof theAnachronists’ Encyclopaedia, which is maintained by the Shire of Uma (which is located someplace in Sweden). It is possible to find information on King René d’Anjou in The Renendex, a collection of facts about him. H. Landon Falls, a SCA member at the University of Virginia, and the Rowany Festival’s Period Camp Page are two examples of such individuals. A large yearly SCA event hosted by the Barony of Rowany in Lochac (Australia), the Rowany Festival has its own version of Enchanted Ground
  • Search Engineon which this page is indexed
  • And an Enchanted Ground version of Enchanted Ground on which this page is indexed.

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