Scouting, Volume 38, Number 1, January 1950 Page: 18
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Is one of your excuses for not doing more
camping the fact that your Troop hasn't
enough tents? How about making your own? It's
not difficult if you make up your mind to do it.
With the National Jamboree, Council Camporee,
or Troop summer camp to plan for, you'll find
plenty of interest as you round up local help.
The most difficult part of tent making is de-
ciding which type to make. From the very adapt-
able Trail or Tarp tent, to more elaborate Bakers
or Walls, you have a wide choice. But your final
choice should be based on where and when you use
tents, and whether or not they are to be used the
year round. Back; packing means a smaller tent
than does car or trailer packing. Open country
means a different type from sheltered campsites.
Spring and summer use means a closed tent, per-
haps, where cold weather means an open tent.
For most Troop use, a two-boy tent is preferred.
It's easy to pack, easier to make, and inexpensive.
Let's take the Explorer tent as an example. It's
been tested over the years and found to be prac-
tical — but it's a make-it-yourself job.
It can be closed for summer use, keeping out
bugs. It can be opened for winter use so that a fire
in front will heat it inside. It can be pitched al-
To make these tents for Troop use, look around
for the best buy in material. You'll need 22 yards
of material, 36 inches wide. Unbleached muslin
with at least 128 threads to the inch is probably
the least expensive and most readily available.
Mail Order houses carry it, as well as most local
dry goods shops. If you prefer and can get it, bal-
loon cloth is excellent, as are many of the other
tightly woven, lightweight materials. Figure first
on the amount of material needed for the whole
job. Then buy in quantity. It saves money.
Next, make a pilot model. Get your wife to help,
or a couple of committeemen. You can make a
pilot model in an evening, with an ordinary house-
hold sewing machine.
Then pitch your pilot model and try it out. Write
down any changes so you won't forget.
The next step is to "prefabricate" the parts for
the rest of the tents. Perhaps a tailor, or canvas
worker can help.
Next, line up the help to sew them up. Scout
mothers, school home economics departments, tai-
lors, or local shops may be able to help in off time.
Older boys may help in cutting and in sewing
in grommets and reinforcement patches. But the
bulk of the sewing is best done by a more experi-
enced and careful hand.
Finally dye the tents some distinctive color,
stencil on an appropriate totem, and waterproof
For other types of tents, see Handbook for Boys,
and January Boys' Life.
. }>FJlQnr *0OD
/// yoo C.LOTU
J OP CLOTH
O ^ SOD CLOTH
on. two Scoot
Dimensions of pitcheo tent
PUJPECTIVE By William Hilled
.2 2a 3
Materials Needed—21% yards 36" material; 3 spools 30/4
thread; 15 feet 3/32" braided guy line; 2% malleable al-
vanized iron rings for grommets for ridge poles; 1 yard
heavy cotton binding tape; 1 spool No. 12 waxed thread for
sewing grommets; waterproofing. (For complete instructions,
write to Boys' Life for "One Tent for Two," or see January,
1950, Boys' Life.)
Lay out and cut material according to pattern above. Sewing
may be done with hand or electric machine; keep seams
straight and even.
Use flat fell for sewing two selvage edges together. Line up
edges, sew V2" in. Spread out, sew again, close to edges.
(Seam 1-a in illustration, at points marked 1 in tent drawing.)
French seam (seam 2-a at points marked 2) for tent corners
and sod cloth. All free edges should be hemmed (seam 3 at
points marked 3).
Reinforce tent ridge and places where peg straps will be
sewn, with pieces of material. Peg straps are placed at four
corners, center, back, and each side. Use binding tape for clos-
ing flaps on door.
Two types of poles are possible, as shown in illustrations.
For ridge pole use a piece of 2x2, 35" long. Sew grommets
at point in ridge where inner poles will touch, or where ridge
pole will be tied.
The most satisfactory waterproofing will be a commercial
mixture obtainable at most hardware or canvas goods stores.
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Boy Scouts of America. Scouting, Volume 38, Number 1, January 1950, periodical, January 1950; New York, New York. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth313160/m1/20/: accessed May 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Boy Scouts of America National Scouting Museum.