Constructing a miner’s tent or a herder’s tent is a great way to obtain a useful shelter when camping. By utilizing a canvas tarp, some tent stakes, and a long pole, a camper can quickly build a miner’s tent. Although the miner’s tent was originally designed as a tent for the British Army, today’s camper who builds one will have a comfortable and dry shelter to sleep in during their camping excursion.
The things needed to successfully build a miner’s tent are an 8 foot by 16 foot canvas tarp with grommets, an 8 foot long 4 inch diameter pole, 8 tent pegs, and a hammer. In addition to this the camper will need some rope, someone to help, and an 8 foot square ground cloth. Once all of these materials are put together the construction of the miner’s tent can begin.
The first step to build a miner’s tent is to lay the 8 foot square ground cloth flat on the camping area where the tent will stand. Once this is done, the next thing to do is to lay the tarp flat over the ground cloth. This is done in order to put the tent in place for erecting it.
Now with the canvas tarp in place the next step to building the miner’s tent is to place the 8 foot long 4 inch diameter pole under the center grommet on what will be the front side of the tent. Next run a foot long stretch of rope through the center grommet and tie this around the top of the 8 foot long 4 inch diameter pole. With this done, erect the 8 foot pole until it is standing vertical. Now have the person helping hold the pole erect while the main tent builder proceeds to run a 1 foot stretch of rope through each grommet on the canvas tarp. At this point the tent can begin to be fully erected.
The next step is to use the hammer to place a tent stake at each of the four corners of the square ground cloth. Now tie a stretch of rope attaching the canvas tarp to each of the tent stakes that were placed. Do this in a fashion that opens the canvas tarp up into a square based pyramid. This will secure the corners of the miner’s tent.
After securing the corners of the tent, the next procedure is to secure each of the tent’s sides to the ground. In order to do this, use the hammer to drive a tent peg in between each of the previously placed pegs. With this done, tie a foot long stretch of rope through the grommets that are between the tent’s corners and then attach the rope to the tent pegs that were placed into the ground between the corners. This secures the tent’s sides to the ground.
With the tent erected, the remaining step is to tie ropes through the grommets that are along what will become the tent’s door. This is needed to allow the door to be tied back when open and to be tied shut when the tent needs to be secured for sleeping or inclement weather. Once this has been done, the miner’s tent construction is completed.
A tip for an easy way to make the tent a bit more transportable is to make the 8 foot center pole from two 4 foot long sections of 4-by-4 that can be fastened together with either a center dowel or outside bracket holding them together. By doing this, the construction of the miner’s tent is a little easier and the tent is more transportable. This will make the tent easier to move if the camper is going to be doing back country camping that may require a long distance hike into the campsite. All in all, one of the easiest tents for camping to build is a miner’s tent.
H. J. Holden, “Tent Making Made Easy,” Elbtipi
“Miner’s Tent/Herder’s Tent,” Tentsmiths