Saturday, May 30, 2015

Tent: GP Medium

After borrowing a military tent to host our tea and skeet shoot, Sir Knight and I knew that we wanted a tent of our own.  We host numerous events every year and the military tent seemed to be the perfect venue.  The tent we used for the shoot was a GP (General Purpose) Large.  It was 18 feet wide and 52 feet long.  Although perfect for that event, it was really too big for the majority of our needs.  It was old (read HEAVY) and so cumbersome that it took at least 4 of us to effectively put it up and take it down. 

After returning the tent, Sir Knight and I began to search for a more manageable structure.  What we found was a GP Medium.  It is a much more realistic (for us) size (16" x 32") and constructed with rubber coated nylon versus cotton canvas. 

At first, I was concerned that the nylon would be a very light duty, not at all suited to our windy prairie.  My concerns were unwarranted.  The fabric is plenty heavy (although nothing like the heavyweight canvas) and imbued with waterproof rubber.  The fabric, combined with the size, make the GP Medium easily managed by two of us.  Not to mention, it takes up much less space to store when dismantled.

Our tent did have a few holes, two the size of quarters that were chewed by rodents, but most were the size of pin pricks.  Before we even stood the tent up, Sir Knight made patches (using the tent fabric and rubber cement) to patch the tent on the outside.  After we erected the tent, we made identical patches and patched the inside in the tent.  We still have to replace some of the ropes and get a few more stakes, but the tent is now officially in service!

Ready for patches

A rodent hole

Marked and glued

A patch ready to adhere

On the outside....

And the inside
Although we are planning a fall tea and shoot, we put the tent into immediate service to host an upcoming wedding shower.  Miss Serenity is the Maid-of-Honor for her best friend and her soon-to-be husband, and as such, had the joy of hosting her bridal shower.  Our shouse is much too small to host an event of that size so we decided to put the tent into service.  It was perfect!  The tent was just the right size (easily hosting 45 ladies) and the atmosphere lovely.

With one side rolled up

Filled with chairs

Ready for a shower!

On the outside looking in!

I forsee many wonderful events in our tent's future, as well as camping excursions and training exercises.  When all is said and done, I believe our investment in a GP Medium will prove to be money well spent!


  1. Enola, I wonder if you could put a couple of "skylights" in by cutting out rectangles of the tent fabric and then replacing them with heavy duty clear plastic that's flexible?

    1. Actually, there are already skylights in the tent (one at each end). There is a flap (with a rope attached) that can be pulled back to reveal a screened area. When the flaps are opened, the tent is filled with light from overhead. They thought of everything!

    2. Enola, thank you so much for responding. The tent sounds wonderful, and I have really enjoyed hearing about your tent socials. The roses at the front of your home are just perfect. When we moved into this house ten years ago there was a climbing rose between the house and the garage. It has small pale pink roses with a wonderful scent. It grows several feet each spring. I can't remember the name offhand, but it's an old one. I just love roses.

  2. The GP large is a beast! Unless you are planning on having 4 more kids to help set it up, the medium is the way to go

  3. Love your new page header! I surmise that's the front door of the shouse?

    1. Yes! In all its spring glory! It smells heavenly!

  4. As a Scoutmaster, I used a GP Medium at Summer Camp for many years. We had one of the old Canvas types (400+lbs!) and wooden polls. It took at least 6 to set it up properly. Ne new Nylon tents weigh much less and there are even aluminum polls available if you can find them. It is a sturdy structure that can withstand high winds and copious amounts of rain. We used it as a "supply tent", we set up aluminum cots and the boys would put their foot lockers on them and have room for a wet towel and shoes. I kept it all off the ground. They are not cheap, but well worth the investment.


  5. As a Girl Scout in Germany at Camp Lockinwald(probably misspelled since it has been 42 years) we used the GP medium in canvas tents. There were elevated wood floors, cots and foot lockers and I was sure I could live in those luxurious accommodations forever.
    Your last three posts have helped me walk down a beautiful memory lane of my time spent as an Army brat. I love Army gear to this day and have just a bit myself. I don't have a tent but I will just enjoy your pictures of you enjoying yours instead.

  6. I always look forward to your posts...How did you locate the tent and what should one pay for one?

    1. Thank you so much! I found our tent on Craigslist. It was interesting - most wall tents (10x12) are well over $1000 - much to rich for our blood! We were looking specifically for a GP medium and our local Craigslist was advertising two. We also found a garage sale that was listing a GP medium for sale and made the trip to take a look....They wanted $1800 for the tent! Ugh! We wrote the folks on Craigslist and asked a few questions to determine if it was the tent for us. After a few messages back and forth, the gentleman with the tent delivered it to our Shouse and looked it over with us (he hadn't used it in a few years). We liked what we saw and happily paid him $400 for the tent. It was complete (with a few minor holes) and had heavy duty stakes (which we definitely needed). The ropes do need to be replaced, but they are inexpensive. I think we paid a fair price and I know we will get our monies worth!


  7. I spent many nights lying tight against the wall of one of these tents. The reason was that's where the sand bags were as mortar rounds landed around us. Then when stationed in Alaska we put a cotton liner inside and two drip fuel heaters and "camped" in 50 below zero weather. While not completely comfortable it was livable.

  8. Its good to see this kind of tent arrangement and the pics are completely depicting the value of it.
    Majority of modern tents are made from fire-retardant materials that can be of cotton, nylon or polyester. They can be designed to accommodate a single person or thousands of people. Tents can also be free-standing or attached to the ground with guy ropes and pegs. In terms of basic types, canopies and tents can be categorized as single skin, single skin with flysheet or double skin.
    Thanks for the share.