A pup tent, also known as a shelter-half is an extremely simple and lightweight type of shelter that can be set up quickly.

The tent is a staple in the world of camping and has continued to be popular despite its simple design.

What Is a Pup Tent?

A pup tent is a small, portable shelter that you can set up in just minutes. It’s not more than 5 feet wide and 7 long – perfect for two people.

Pup tents were not originally water resistant, and as such you would be vulnerable during rainy season. However modern pup tent designs keep out moisture so that your night can go smoothly no matter what Mother Nature throws at it.

Setting up a pup tent is easy to do with just one or two people. Unlike larger tents, they don’t need as much space inside and their materials are light enough that you can easily carry them yourself without any problem. 

When all set up   poles attached at each end covered by nylon fabric stretched over aluminum stake heads (and then secured tightly) it only weighs about ten pounds altogether; making this type of shelter perfect for solo campers who like going off the grid sometimes because there’s no need reloading your backpacks every day during longer trips where weight becomes an issue.

An excellent choice for anyone who participates in outdoor activities on foot, these durable and lightweight backpacks can hold a lot of gear without weighing you down.

Why Do They Call it a Pup Tent?

Pup tents are named after the American Civil War, when military troops use “dog” to refer their essential accessories. Tents fell into this group as well with pup being short for “military dog” or “soldier dog.”

The pup tent was developed to suit the soldiers’ needs. They needed a lightweight, easy to carry shelter for when they walked long distances and so these smaller versions were created by people who wanted them in their kit.

The dog has been associated with tents for centuries. The troops of Chattanooga, in particular, would nickname their shelters “dog houses” and later changed this name to pup tents when referring specifically about military equipment.

The name for these tents came from the soldiers’ description of them being more suited to a dog than a human since early versions had no floor and were prone flooding.

The History of the Pup Tent

As the primary innovators of these tents, military troops were at an advantage in their battle. They needed a shifting shelter that could be formed into any shape necessary and quickly camouflaged if need be most infantry without horses would spend hours walking long distances every day before they got assigned to another location where fighting took place it was hard work but worth it.

When the troops needed to quickly make shelter and store their firearms, they came up with pup tents. These early versions were simple affairs of a cloth or nylon fabric stretched over some poles that would keep whatever was inside dry in rainy conditions but not always capable of resisting high winds well enough an issue many military scouts learned first hand when winter storms howled through camp after nightfall without warning them until it was too late.

American Civil War and Pup Tents

The first versions of the pup tent were standard in the American Civil War and the Revolutionary War.

Tents were used as basic shelters and did not have doors. Instead, they both open sides with the material of it prone to rotting away easily over time which made these structures inefficient for use in harsh weather conditions such as rainstorms or snow storms due where you would need protection from water getting inside your shelter.

In the worst of weather, soldiers had to put their tents up quickly because they could not withstand rain or strong winds for long. To prop a tent upright in high winds use a sturdy tree branch and place it against one pole so that both legs point out at equal angles from each side before trying again with stakes driven deep into ground.

World War II Pup Tents

The Second World War brought about significant improvements in pup tents.

In the Korean War, this tent’s design changes from khaki to dark green. It was no longer just a simple platform for sleeping on but could now house weapons and supplies in addition to people.

During this time, manufacturers began painting the tent poles to match military camouflage regalia. The new material made it possible for users during even windy and rainy seasons with everything being more water resistant than ever before.

Pup Tents During The Vietnam War

The Vietnam War posed a challenge to soldiers and the way they could use their pup tents.

Americans fighting in the tropics had to come up with new ideas for using their tents, and one solution that was created by American troops involved an A-shaped frame made out of two poles. The design made it possible to use more space within each shelter while also making them much easier on soldiers’ backs when sleeping quarters were not available outside due harsh weather conditions like those present during World War II.

The Vietnam War design is behind the modern pup tent’s sturdier A-frame and mosquito nets.

Modern Day Pup Tents

The pup tent is an extremely durable and lightweight shelter that can be used by all sorts of outdoor enthusiasts. It’s most commonly associated with the military, but its uses have expanded far beyond this traditional market – nowadays it really seems like you’ll find someone who doesn’t own one.

The modern versions of this camping essential are waterproof, portable and durable. They come with flooring as well as mosquito netting to keep you safe outside your tent during rains or other inclement weather conditions.

By Anthony Paton

Anthony Paton, the outdoorsman who loves to report all sorts of interesting stories about camping in Great Britain. He's based out London and doesn't get much time for himself these days because work commitments keep him away on occasion but does what he can with what little free time there is.