Author Topic: GAF Tents  (Read 2068 times)


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GAF Tents
« on: July 28, 2013, 03:05:35 pm »

I've searched a lot of the site with respect to tents but I still have a few questions.

I plan on purchasing a canvas tent to better match GAF and NCOWS shooting.  I'm currently a scout leader and have a couple of backpacking tents.  I'm probably going to end up with a Civil War era Wedge tent as opposed to the two shelter halves setup.  I currently live in OKC, so shipping would be a bit of a concern from say New Hampshire etc.  Panter Primitives, Tentsmiths, and RK Lodges all make Wedge tents.  Whose is the best and why?  I'll be camping (possibly) year round including in snow.  What fabric is the best?

I noted that Tentsmith's makes a Civil War Sutler's tent where basically one side of the Wedge tent is propped up to make a "porch".  Living in the Windy Midwest, is this something that is a good idea?

I currently own a Subaru Outback so having tent poles that come apart would be a good thing.  Whose tent poles are the most sturdy?


Offline River City John

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Re: GAF Tents
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2013, 04:02:09 pm »
Sunforger treated canvas would be best. Panther Primitives are great folks to work with, and they do additional business selling trade-ins., so maybe you can find a good deal by asking.
If you can afford it, I'd pay a bit extra and go with the small Sergeants tent with short walls. That's just about the same floor area as a wedge, but a bit more usable space and HEAD ROOM. After several years of using my wedge, that is what I missed most, the lack of head room except down the middle.
Also, if getting a wedge, get one with tent flaps on both ends so you can get some cross breeze. Mine has only the one end open so can get a bit close. Do get sod cloth flaps sewn around the bottom edge, and a treated ground cloth (and a plastic drop cloth to put under your floor to minimize dampness). My wedge is very easy to set up by myself, but truthfully, I've seen just about every combination and size of tent put up single-handed. For that matter, a pyramid is a very good choice, too, and only one pole to fool with.
As far as winter season camping, adjust your camp bed for warmth. Add blankets, quilts, a buffalo robe, etc. Not much to do to make the tent more winterized, unless you add a stove. And while some swear by them, most stove and stovepipe arrangements left much to be desired. Besides, events are not planned in the Winter, usually.

Stay away from fantasy tents like that so-called Sutler's tent, especially for NCOWS. There is still controversy over such tents, sometimes called a Baker Tent, as to finding actual documentation of their existence in the 19th century. Besides, an open porch is an open invitation to 'skeeters. You can always add a fly to any tent for a shaded porch.

Also a tip: take a wax candle and rub along all sewn seams on the inside of the tent. It helps to seal the needle holes against rain drips.

I own a KIA Sportage and can transport my whole camp and gear. My wedge poles were made by me so I could hand pick the lumber at the lumberyard, and are two 2X2 uprights and a ridge pole made by glueing and screw two 1X2 to form an inverted "T" of one piece length.
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Offline Drydock

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Re: GAF Tents
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2013, 05:16:53 pm »

This is the wedge tent I use, the "Tall" one: 9'x9'x7'.  Works great for my son and I, packs into the trunk of my Dodge Challenger, with room left for 2 cots, 2 folding chairs, a small folding table, 2 rifles, all our clothes and accoutrements (Admittedly, the Challenger has a big trunk!)  My tent poles are 3 and 4 foot lengths of Stair rail with PVC pipe joiners I got at the local hardware store.  Not PC, but very portable. No ropes needed.  When by myself, I put the cot across the back, giving a nice "living" area.  Fall Creek has excellent quality and service in my experience.

For most any of these tents, the poles are supplied by you.

I agree the "Sgts" tent is a GREAT setup, but if you're set on a wedge tent, this is the one to get IMHO.  As RCJ says, get doors at both ends, and sod cloths are a must.  Sunforger canvas also seems to be the best for weight and durability.
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Offline Pay Dirt Norvelle

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Re: GAF Tents
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2013, 05:49:51 pm »
I do Civil War renacting and use what we call an "A" tent which is more than likely what you call the Wedge.  It is 9 x 9 x 7'  and it can hold a lot of stuff.  I don't have to much trouble standing up in it as I am 5'8" tall.   For a ground cloth I use a canvas painters tapr which works great.
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