Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I know! Let's make a tent!

As you know, I never have enough to do in my copious spare time as a new mother. Thus, I'll be making myself a new bedouin style tent for local camping. The reasons (And following that, design specs...) I am setting aside my pavilion are as follows:
  1. It doesn't fit in my car very well with it's 18, 6 foot long poles, weirdly shaped ridge pole, and square center pole.
  2. I can't put it up by myself.
So, I needed a tent that would do well in prairie camping conditions that wouldn't necessarily require the head space that Zig needs when he camps (because if he's coming, I'll have a bigger vehicle for the tent, AND someone to help me set up.) or the minimal footprint required from a tent used at Pennsic. Pennsic is the ONLY camping event I attend that has that kind of square footage restriction. I wanted something period, and something that would be relatively easy to make without a lot of tent making experience.

That's how I settled on the ouled nail (ooled nayal) bedouin tent design that Elizabeth and Krystal used for their tents. The tent will essentially be a giant rectangular tarp with one 4' long ridge pole supported by two 7' long two by two's and 16, 4' long wall poles. There will also be about 6 front and back door poles of various lengths from about 7' to 4', but I'll figure out those lengths when I "get there."

Above is an example of an ouled nail style tent. I intend to have similar striping in my canvas, only my stripes will be alternating white and pumpkin colored, and the pumpkin color will also be used for the tension bands (triga) that you see on the example tent in red.

Last night I cut my pumpkin colored sunforger. (I think they refer to this color as "khaki," but srsly... it's pumpkin.) I have the following pieces:
  • 3, 28"x330" tent panels.
  • 1, 12"x268" central triga band
  • 2, 8"x268" wall triga bands
  • 4, 12"x36" false triga bands
  • 12, 8"x15" stake bands (every wall seam)
  • 4, 4"x15" stake bands (outer edge)
I've held off on cutting the stake bands to length until the artwork that I've commissioned for this tent is delivered. Once I have it, I'll be able to figure out how long I really want my stake bands to be to fasten it to the tent securely, center the art, and have enough band left to attach the dowel at the bottom of the stake band. 


  1. I was pleased on my trips to Jordan to see whole villages of real, honest-to-god Bedouins living in Bedouin tents. While they are shaped the same as the ones used in the SCA, they are significantly taller. And usually have a satellite dish outside.

  2. Hope it goes well....then you can help me with mine...:)