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Tents: The Ever-Useful Temporary Structure

Jul 5, 2008
When you hear someone mention tents, you probably immediately think of the camping variety. However, tents are used around the world every day for numerous other purposes. Some are temporary or permanent living facilities, some provide a dedicated space for a special event, and some tents can simply extend the living space and comforts of a home into the outdoors.

Tents have been used in nearly every part of the world for nearly as long as recorded history. Asian nomadic tribes lived in circular tents because this design helped the structures stand up to extreme conditions and harsh winds. The light weight and easy deconstruction of the tents made it simple for the tribes to move on to new lands whenever necessary.

Even today, some people make permanent homes of tents. Many tent-dwellers enjoy the small ecological footprint left by tents. Yurts, tepees and other types of tents are easy to build and rely on renewable resources for their materials. They can easily use alternative energy sources, such as solar power, which is more difficult with traditional framed homes.

Armies all around the world have made use of tents to house soldiers. They set up easily, come down quickly, and don't require vast amounts of manpower to move to new locations. Semi-permanent military tents are used to house soldiers in combat areas. They are more sophisticated than camping tents. Some military tents have climate control systems and enough room for several people to move around comfortably.

Tents are also used often in emergency situations to shelter displaced people. As an inexpensive and lightweight housing solution, tents are sent to house refugees and victims of natural disasters.

The use of tents isn't limited to structures that you can sleep inside. Some tents are used as a convenient temporary shelter for outdoor events. Circus tents are a great example of temporary structures that are used specifically for an event and taken down afterward.

Festivals and outdoor concerts often make good use of event tents as well, using them to shield participants from the sun or from inclement weather. Even private parties can use gazebo tents or other temporary structures. They are often used to cover the event's food or to provide a separate seating or dancing area.

Even camping tents aren't the plain, boring structures they once were. There are plenty of new and interesting types of tents in use today. The lightweight hiking tents used by serious hikers are amazing pieces of technology. The materials used in hiking tents are among the most lightweight and waterproof materials used in any consumer item, and many years of research have gone into developing them.

Car tents are a fun innovation in the camping world. These tents rest on the luggage rack on top of your car and fold out to create a unique and space-saving sleeping area on your car's roof. This is a great way to conserve interior car space for luggage and save money on lodging when taking a long road trip.

Tents have enjoyed a long and varied history and will continue to be valuable accessories for camping and for life. As long as people have a need for easy outdoor shelters, tents will be there to provide shade and protection from the weather.
About the Author
Warren L. Smith offers a fountain of information on Camping, such as Camping Tips, Family Fun, Hunting, Fishing, Tents, Equipment, and Wilderness Tips. For the best, up to date information, go to: http://www.CampingBreak.com
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