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Army Tent as a short term solution to living space.

 
Posts: 4
Location: Yellowstone national park, west side.
woodworking
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I would love some feedback and your thoughts and feelings on using an army tent as a place to live while building are house on the homestead.  

Check out the videos below for a closer look

https://youtu.be/Q3V_U4YZKb4

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Gp Army Tent
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$1600.00 is a great price
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Posts: 307
Location: Stone Garden Farm Richfield Twp., Ohio
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Other than providing scant cover from falling lava when Yellowstone blows up, it seems like a not bad idea (aside from maybe being a bit pricey). We put them up on permanent wood floors/platforms every summer when I managed a Girl Scout camp. They worked fine.
 
Josh Pilch
Posts: 4
Location: Yellowstone national park, west side.
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So far the tent a has been holding up great to the wind and rain.
We did build a platform out of pressure treated wood and things inside the tent are warm and dry.

Check out the video

https://youtu.be/Q3V_U4YZKb4
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pollinator
Posts: 215
Location: Sask, Canada - Zone 3b
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Jim Fry wrote:it seems like a not bad idea (aside from maybe being a bit pricey). We put them up on permanent wood floors/platforms every summer when I managed a Girl Scout camp. They worked fine.



That was also my first impression, considering the $1,000 for the lumber aswell, but then I considered temporary as potentially meaning 1 season (say 4-6 months), and for that I'd say it's worthwhile compared to having to build a temporary structure from scratch. When someone arrives on their land, they want to spend all their possible time on making their permanent home+developing infrastructure for resource management, not worrying about if the temporary shelter is sturdy enough that it'll be standing when a storm hits.

After watching the OP's vid, I certainly wouldn't mind living in one.

I looked at campers this year as the farm I work at is looking at getting extra help for next year. Around here, there were many decent ones from 10'-18ft long that were $1000-$3000 and even some acceptable ones that were $500. If I had to choose between a camper and an army tent, I'd probably go with a camper for convenience. I'm sure both hold their resale value well, so it's just a matter of preference and availability.

 
pollinator
Posts: 123
Location: KY
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hugelkultur forest garden foraging food preservation ungarbage homestead
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I too am considering a military tent. Funny you compare them to a camper - it does seem that pricewise a camper could possibly get the nod. For my case though, here in north eastern KY, the land is very hilly and access to a few great spots I have in mind would be impossible with a camper unless several thousand dollars worth of road were put in. SO, I'm leaning heavily towards a tent on wood platform foundation.

I'm just now starting my research and the "anti-mold, anti-fire" descriptions have me a little worried as to what kind of (if any) chemical treatments are used on these military tents??

My goal would be long term - as in use it til it's un-usable due to being damaged or unhealthy beyond repair/cleaning!

I'm intrigued by the idea of a base camp with a dry tent that can be heated with a stove in the winter and have have ventilation in the summer, with a cooking and storage area outside built of scrap wood. I really don't want the confines of a cozy cabin just yet - the more outside time the better so basically just a place to sleep and escape the cold/rain. Maybe I'll change my mind as time goes on but it seems like for under $2000 a pretty decent setup can be had?
 
pollinator
Posts: 1233
Location: Chicago/San Francisco
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> chemicals
Consider the source and "customer base". Grunts don't have the slightest peep to make about what they get from the brass. Army brass wants NO _immediate_  problems. So basically, anything goes to make problems disappear in the short term. Kinda like any the usual business perspective, but there is nobody "regulating" the services and no unions.

While there are some famous examples of  trash costing the government billion$, most of the stuff deployed is overbuilt and rock solid - they have free labor and unlimited fuel to schlep it, after all.  (Although that doesn't mean it's comfortable or convenient.)  But that free labor is 90% unskilled and couldn't care less. So their stuff has to be strong enough to survive its users for a little while at least.

Rufus
 
master pollinator
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Location: southern Illinois.
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I lived in a tent for around 4 months when I first moved to MN while i put in my cabin.  It was doable.   Today, I would take a real close look at one of those cheap car ports with sides and a door added. It has more use in the long term.
 
gardener
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Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
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Hi Tyler;    I think this tent will be just what your looking for.  Really much better than one of those 18' tow campers.
There must be some kind of trail in if you are thinking of building a wood floor.
I do have a suggestion for you.  Learn about  rocket mass heaters!  
Very simple and cheap to build, thousand times better and safer than the tin box stove that usually gets installed in an army tent.

I suggest a copy of the rocket mass heater builders guide. Readily available from Amazon or the Wisners website.
Pop on over to the rmh forum and read all about them!

 
gardener
Posts: 3060
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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What about a pop-up camper?
Plenty of crappy ones for sale, cheap, often with a tiny kitchen included.
The canopies seem to die from being put away wet.
Pop one open and spray it down with a borox solution to kill mold and mildew and protect from flames.
I would probably put a rain fly over top if it as well.

When your ready to move out,  tear down and reuse  the canopy and convert the trailer to a mobile kitchen, materials trailer,  or whatever..
 
gardener
Posts: 1201
Location: Westbridge, BC, Canada
312
building solar woodworking rocket stoves wood heat greening the desert
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Our group purchased 4 of those tents about 5 years ago and used them in Arizona as a kitchen tent and carports.
The framework is so robust that the 60+ mph winds lifted it right off the ground, flipped it over and sent it flying 30 feet away before crashing down. No damage whatsoever.
The covering however is made from vinyl which (especially when new) off-gassed a lot in the hot sun and stunk for the first few months in particular. Never 100% goes away but certainly tolerable later on.
It does deteriorate in the sun but after 5 years what do you expect. You can however buy new covers and just keep the frame so that would save a bundle.
The doors are zippered which if you go in and out a lot is a PIA. After a while, our zippers broke and so we put heavy duty velcro around the edges but that was only slightly better.  
One thing I like about them is that they are expandable in size. You can have just one or twenty in row if you want creating a much larger space. Dividers can be put in between joined tents for privacy too.
They also have liners available which helps a bit for keeping the warmth in.
The windows are angled so if it rains and you forget to close the flaps, a lot of rain can get in.
 
Rufus Laggren
pollinator
Posts: 1233
Location: Chicago/San Francisco
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> windows are angled...

Now _that_ matters!

I would guess they are screened, but maybe s/b checked.

Gerry, do you recall if the windows can be secured (closed, covered, whatever) from the inside? And how was it done? Zippers again?


Rufus
 
Gerry Parent
gardener
Posts: 1201
Location: Westbridge, BC, Canada
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The windows are screened which is a permanent fixture to the tent, but then there are two other layers: One is a clear vinyl panel that is held in place with velcro and then there is the green vinyl covering which is permanently attached to the top but has velcro on the sides and bottom to hold it secure when you want to really batten down the hatches. Both are only accessible only from the outside. They can be both rolled up together and held with vinyl ties or the clear window can be removed entirely and only the outer layer rolled up.
So many options, but does take a minute or so per window to set up for different weather conditions.  Hope this helps Rufus.
 
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