Section II. OPERATIONS UNDER UNUSUAL CONDITIONS
2-14. Using the Tent in Cold Climates
Before selecting a campsite on snow-covered
ground, prod surface with an ice axe or ski pole to see
whether snow conceals any crevices. It may be
impossible to find an area entirely without crevices, but it
is possible to avoid accidents by knowing where they
When an adequate site on snow has been found
pack snow hard by stamping on it with skis or
snowshoes, or better still, shovel top snow off until firm
snow is found below.
Pitch tent so that entrance is not directly
downwind. If the tent is pitched on snow with the
entrance directly downwind, the entrance may become
blocked, since snow tends to pile up in the lee of any
If site is not temporary, dig tent into snow. This
will provide better protection from the wind. In open
terrain with a strong wind, it may be necessary to build a
snow wall on the windward side of the tent to protect it
from the wind; thus the tent is easier to heat, is less
likely to blow down. Leave some space between sides
of tent and snow wall to have room to shovel out snow
that may drift into tent.
When a tent is pitched on a slope, a horizontal
platform should be formed. The snow which is removed
may be packed around the outer edge of the platform to
widen the space for the tent.
High winds, common in cold weather regions,
require that tents be anchored securely. The tent pins
may not provide sufficient anchorage. Arctic tents have
snow cloths sewed along the bottom edge of tent walls.
When an arctic tent is set up, snow cloths should be flat
on the ground outside the tent. Place snow, snow or ice
blocks, stones, logs, or other heavy objects on the cloths
to help anchor the tent.
Do not attempt to drive tent pins into hard,
frozen ground if the force required is excessive. Instead,
chop small holes into the ground, insert tent pins into
holes, and fill holes with a slush or water; in a short time
the tent pins will be firmly anchored. When removing
pins from frozen ground, always chop them out; never
hammer them sideways to break them loose.
In areas where winter conditions
prevail the use of the 12 inch steel
tent pins (NSN 8340-00-823-7451) is
required rather than the 9 inch
erection kits. Attempts to install the
conditions will only result in bending
and breaking the pins.
Snow carried into a tent will melt and wet
sleeping bags and clothing. The following precautions
should be taken to keep snow out of tents:
Each man must take care to brush all
snow from his clothing and boots before entering a tent.
One man should enter the tent first and
take the sleeping bags, packs, and other articles from
the other man after the items have been brushed off
2-15. Using the Tent in Wet Climates
The following instructions supplement the instructions
given in paragraph 1-1 b.
When possible, erect the tent on a mound which
slopes in all directions.
If the tent is erected in flat terrain of heavy soil or
clay, dig a trench around the tent. To carry water from
the trench, dig an outlet ditch from the trench to the
lowest point in the area.
When the tent is set up on a very
sandy soil, which absorbs water as
fast as it falls, or when it is located
on a mound which slopes off in all
directions, a trench may not be
When digging trench, throw dirt away from the
tent; never throw it against the tent, for it will quickly rot
the canvas. In most cases, do not dig trench more than
4 or 5 inches deep and in the shallowest place not over
There should be enough slope in the
trench so that the water will flow
freely toward the outlet and not back
When there is possibility that water may flow to
the trench from higher ground, dig a ditch that will divert
the water before it can reach the tent.
Before the tent lines become watersoaked,
loosen them sufficiently so that when they shrink they
will not pull the tent pins from the ground or tear the tent
body. However, they must remain slightly taut.