Adding edge poles to a bell tent
I seem to be doing more blogging now I have said I will stop! Anyway it has been a long time since I last wrote about our British Army Bell Tent, whilst we have gone camping a few times I have not really made any changes to it. That changed this weekend when I added edge poles to it.
A while back I saw a commercial Bell Tent that had poles all the way around the external wall, I wondered what these were for and then forgot about them. This weekend I was setting the tent up in the garden of some friends so that our Children could camp out on Saturday night and I was trying to solve the problem of making the footprint of the tent, or rather the guy lines, smaller. The problem is that when you shorten the guy lines (it’s easy, just tie a knot in them) you end up changing the shape of the tent, it becomes very small and strangely shaped inside and the edge walls become a pile of fabric on the ground.
The solution is to use poles around the edges just to keep the walls up, you can then shorten the guys as much as you like.
The poles are some old steel tent poles, from the same pack I used to make the front door pole for the tent. The method for connecting them to the walls was just like the door pole; a tent peg rammed into the top which can then be pushed sideways through the guy-line loops at the top of the walls.
I have so far only made 4, I need another set of old tent poles before I can make enough for the whole edge. I also lowered the central pole (ours is adjustable) as it brought the top-guys in a bit as well.
Sadly with the edge poles this led to big scoops in the tent roof which you can see a bit in one of the photos below, and would have probably filled with water had it rained: so if you do go for full edge poles remember to extend the central pole to its full height!