Jump to content
willysjeep

historic tent question, shelter halfs?

Recommended Posts

I've got some more historic gear questions for those of you who might know.

 

I just saw an OD green army pup tent half on eBay, but instead of having army numerals it had THE CUB SCOUT stenciled on the end flap. I'm thinking that some contractor decided to market an overrun of government tents directly to civillians.

 

I've read on the web where people remember using army style shelter halfs in scouting. I was wondering if there really was an official scout shelter half, or if a lot of troops didn't just use army surplus ones because they were inexpensive. I've seen old posters from the 60's showing all of the scout tents, and I don't remember seeing the shelter half.

 

As a discussion starter, what types of official tents do any of you remember camping in?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my early days of scouting we camped a few times in shelter halves. They were army issue, not officially from scouting. I don't ever remember seeing official BSA shelter halves. We never had BSA tents. As I got older, we camped either in big 8 man canvas tents or 2 man backpacking tents, depending upon the situation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join Boy Scouts in '72. I remember spending the night in a canvas pup tent with no floor a few times. Used military surplus ponchos snapped together a couple of times. Troop did not have tents. Boys bought their own and nylon was coming on the market around then. For Philmont we had a tent that had purple floor pan, orange sides and yellow rain fly. My dad said he got it on say because no one wanted the colors. The rain fly could be set seperate from the tent and we just used the rain fly for most of Philmont due to great weather.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I beat Resqman by a year and joined scouts in '71. We also used tent halfs. Some had buttons, some had snaps. Every scout wanted the snaps, they were much quicker to pitch and tended to be in better shape. The ones with snaps had better poles too. We always made sure our tent partner had a matching half (buttons or snaps). I always figured they were army surplus. It seems some had US stenciled on them but I may be wrong.

 

Most of the time we didn't use the halfs, they were heavy for backpacking. Instead each scout would bring a 10'x10' sheet of 4mil plastic. This gave us shelter and probably kept us just as dry as the tent halfs would in the damp Pacific NW.

 

SWScouter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1966 here. Had shelter halves purchased at the Army-Navy store for around $20 for a complete tent. OD Green canvas with buttons and two piece wooden poles. When it rained, we had to trench around the tent to keep the water from running in under the tent...no floor. They were heavy to carry and hot in the summer...11 year olds have to have them buttoned up tight to keep the bears and other woods monsters out! My buddy and I almost died (literally) when we emptied a can of RAID in the tent to kill the skeeters. We were up all night with vomiting and diarrhea, which almost turned me off to camping forever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gets pretty intense on the forum, uh?

 

My boy time Troop did three things: Tents were a personal thing. No Troop owned loaners. 1) We did have a few shelter halves represented, I seem to remember a few Vet parents who were of the opinion that if they were good enough for THEM, they were good enough for US. Because of weight, convenience and ratty factor issues, The boys were led to one of two possibilities. Buy OI Scout tents (canvas, the Explorer model and the tarp was a favorite) or, for a time we 3) made our own tarps: 10x10 6mil black plastic lined with some really tough duct tape and set grommets in corners and along the edge and in the middle, depending on the personal design.

Floors were not an issue back then, I guess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

 

I joined the Boy Scouts in 1953 and my troop had no communal gear other than flags, flag poles, and cooking equipment. Each Scout was expected to have his own gear: back in those days equipment from World War II was in abundance. We all just visited a local, well-stocked war surplus store and got our gear. Each Scout got a shelter-half, one half of an Army or Marine puptent. I think our SM brought along a spare in case we had an odd number of Scouts, but you could make a lean-to type shelter if you did not want to have a whole puptent.

 

Other equipment we had were US-issued packs, canteens and canteen carriers, web belts, and sleeping bags. Back in those days the sleeping bags were filled with kapoc, a plant-derived material that had the unfortunate property of soaking up water. It was not a good idea to let any rain fall on it!

 

Times have changed so much with materials such as ripstop nylon, readily-available down, synthetic fill, etc.

 

One more item that might amaze today's Scouts is how we were transported to campsites and trailheads: in the back of a stakebed truck. In fact, my post traveled from California to Philmont in the such a truck. No seats, seatbelts, etc. But it was a lot of fun...except when it was raining!

 

Wisumahi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I joined Boy Scouts in 1960 after completing my Webelos badge. My first camp was in Dallas, Texas in chilly 10 degree weather. I was warm snuggled in my sleeping bag made of a quilt and an army blanket lined with newspapers. We had a two man wall tent that three of us slept in that night. It was the Golden Anniversary of Scouting Camporee so we received a special patch. The next day it warmed which made the activities bearable. A policeman that was a local TV personality taught us how to say "Boy oh Boy" in Donald Duck speak. That is all of the DD I can speak to this day. In our supply, we had several Army issue tent halves that buttoned down the middle. We tried several times to use them but there was always some problem, probably a lack of experience. We trenched when it rained which meant that we would only get soaked because the tents leaked if you touched them or you didn't, one could never remember because of being so cold and wet. We also had two fire buckets that were one gallon bean cans with coat hanger wire handles, generally filled only half way. If a tent caught fire, we would have one gallon of water to put out an inferno that would burn for no more than two minutes tops. Nothing kept us from camping on a monthly basis. GBB always had a BL solution that we would try when we didn't have the money for the right equipment. That never worked either. We had a great time. FB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like Wisumahi, I started in scouts in 1953. Almost all the gear that we used was army surplus, of which there was a great abundance then. I think the military has tightened up its controls because one hardly ever sees government surplus anymore. Anyway, we used army put tents too. I never saw a shelter half imprinted with a BSA logo. BSA did have tents in its catalogue, but I don't recall that BSA offered a shelter half as we think of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×