Tent history

To read the original Dutch text on the tent history -> Geschiedenis van de tent

During the ages the tent history evolved from nomadic tents to military tents. The first “trekking” tents were used by the early expedition – such a the ones by Scott and Amundsen – to reach the south pole.  During the seventies – not so long ago – the foundation was laid for what we see as a compact lightweight tent. This was because of the first use of synthetic lightweight fabrics.

400.000 year ago – the time of the Neanderthals

Tent history - Neanderthals

Tent history – Neanderthals

The earliest tent history could be found in the current France – Nice. In fact – we can hardly talk about tents. It were structures covered with mammoth skin. Very spacious – about 11 meters by 3.5 meters and building in an existing cave.
Those structures were unmovable residential services. The link to a tent was still vague.
In today’s Siberia and Mongolia researchers found remnants of the skins covered structures.

15000BC – Magdalenian People

15000BC -tents from Magdalenian people

15000BC -tents from Magdalenian people

The first tipi tents were found in France. Tents from the Magdalenian people .. A wooden pyramid shape covered with pieces of animal skin. These tents were a lot lighter and could be moved.
Many remnants were found in Ukraine from the same period. Tent structures made of mammoth bones and covered with skins.

450BC – the nomadic tents

Nomadische tent

Nomadic tent

From 450 BC nomadic tents found. Such as the yurt as we now know those now in Mongolia. The word “yurt” actually comes from Turkish and was a place that could accommodate four to five people. These yurts had a surface of 18 to 20 square meters.

300BC – The Roman period

ten tijde van Asterix

Asterix – the Roman period

From 300 BC the Roman soldiers made tents for military operations. Each tent could house up to eight soldiers. They were usually covered with calfskin or goatskin. The officers were lodged in luxurious versions of these tents.

End of the 18th century – Napoleon

Through the centuries and under the influence of different cultures the tent history evolves. Though it remains an essentially military use as accommodation during the many campaigns of the ancient armies.

Geschiedenis van de tent - tent zoals in het leger van Napoleon

History of tents – this kind of tens was used by the armies of Napoleon

1861 – The Pup tent

Photo of Pup Tents early in the 20th century.

During the American civil war “pup tents” were used. Soldiers complained that these tents that were so bad that they were hardly suitable for a dog.

1911 The big expeditions

Tent amundsen


During the time of the great polar expeditions – members of the expedition used these typical tepee-like tents. They were used for the race to the South Pole between the British, led by Robert Falcon Scott and the Norwegians, led by Roald Amundsen. (Amundsen photo).

The early tents for the great polar expeditions were based on a British army tent. A pyramid shape with a stick in the middle and a waterproof breathable canvas. Later the single stick was replaced by four bamboo poles into the corners. Finally – during the Terra Nova expedition – these tents got a double wall for more comfort.

1970 Synthetic light tents

Pop Tent van Bill Moss in 1955

Pop Tent Bill Moss in 1955

The first synthetic tents with arch structure were developed by Bill Moss in 1955. Even though Gerry Mountain Equipment also experimenting in this direction in 1947.

Only in the seventies from the last century lightweight tents were fully introduced through the development of lightweight synthetic materials and waterproof coatings.


2016 Fling Tent -:)

We will see what our impact will be on the tent history. In a few decades. Come back soon the see our latest developments. It’s going really fast these days.

Read an article on how our tent was developed.