How to Set Up a Military Shelter Half

by Suzanne Hubele

Military shelter halves are the ultimate in quick and easy camping tents. They repel water, and often are warmer in chilly weather because of the small size and ability to retain heat. This guide will tell you how to quickly set up your shelter.

Pick out a nice, level piece of ground. Remove any loose debris such as sticks, twigs, or rocks. If there is a forecast for rain, dig a shallow trench that will direct water around and away from your tent.

Button two shelter halves along the top ridge to make a tent. Spread the tent on the ground with the front of the tent perpendicular to the wind direction. The front tent flaps and rear tent flaps should not be buttoned together yet.

Assemble three tent poles together for the front end of the tent. Place the tip of the assembled pole through the grommet and the other end on the ground. Attach one end of the guy rope to the pole and the other end to a stake. Using the mallet or e-tool, pound the guy rope stake into the ground. Make sure the point of all the stakes is directed inward and down and that only 1/2 to 1 inch of the stake remains above the ground. Then put a stake through each front tent stay, and pound the stakes into the ground.

Assemble the other three tent poles together for the rear end of the tent. Place the tip of the assembled pole through the grommet and the other end on the ground. Attach the guy rope to the pole and stake, and pound the stake inward and down into the ground. Then put a stake through each rear tent stay and pound the stakes into the ground.

Stake the side centers of the tent, making sure the point of the stake is directed inward and down.

Button the front entry flaps together and stake it down through only one of the front entry flap stays. You should only put the stake through one side of the front entry so that you can open the other flap for ventilation and entry. Repeat for the rear flaps.

Items you will need

  • 2 Military shelter halves
  • 6 Poles
  • 8 Stakes
  • 2 Guy ropes
  • Small mallet or e-tool

Tip

  • If it begins to rain while you are using your tent, make sure not to touch any interior surface. The tent has been constructed and coated to repel water, but once you touch it, it will leak.

Warning

  • If you do not direct stakes towards the center of the tent and down, you may lose your tent in a high wind situation.

About the Author

Suzanne Hubele received her Master's degree in exercise science from Wichita State University. She is currently an ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructor.