-- Last Updated: Feb-03-14 3:40 PM EST --
I just learned something interesting. Last night I was paging through one of the ancient books about outdoor activities that I used to read when I was a kid. In a section about tents, the author stated that his favorite tent for canoeing was the baker style, with his favorite size being big enough to accommodate three people yet weighing just 6.5 pounds. He was talking about a canvas tent (!), but did imply that it was a special lightweight model. I think I read somewhere else in the book that the groundcloth he used in that tent weighed 2.5 pounds, but I couldn't find that again during a quick re-check just now, so I'm not sure. A modern canvas tent of this kind, with no floor and rated for two people, is likely to weigh about 35 pounds, and I'm sure the same was true for a standard-weight tent of this variety "back in the day".
I wonder what sort of canvas was used to make lightweight tents in the old days.
Anyway, I found it interesting that even back in the 1930s, savvy paddlers DID have the option of bringing tents that were every bit as light as the ones we use today (of course, they cut their own poles and stakes each time they set up camp, rather than having permanent poles and stakes as part of the kit).
Oh, the author also mentioned how nice it is to have the fire right in front of the tent, so apparently even this super-light, waterproofed canvas was immune to sparks (that part didn't surprise me, but I thought I'd mention it anyway).
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