The military use two broad categories when going into a camp ,offensive and defensive:
- Defensive- usually in trenches and dugouts, and offensive is characterized by mobility and concealment. The military will use large tents and bunks when they are camped for a long stay – and defend these with sand bags.
- Offensive – when on the move, they use small tarps and ground sheets, because these are lighter and can be setup when and where they are needed.
Bell tents are, in my opinion, one of the best long term tents for emergency accommodation, and long term stays for defensive situations.
So, what this means is when I go camping, I class my equipment into two broad categories,
- Ultra-light, hiking, bug-out, and “escape and evasion” style gear with low comfort and high mobility and concealment with a small foot print
- Heavy weight, base camp, Car camping, homesteading type gear with higher comfort and lower mobility, mostly when camping with the family.
A bell tent very much forms part of the second category, due to weight and how long it takes to put up and take down (which doesn’t take very long, but still is not super quick)
Bell tents withstand Wind which is very important in New Zealand , as wind is very strong here for a large amount of the year. also because we have many earthquakes, if my primary residence is damaged to the point it is no longer safe to live in, a large long term camping tent is a good idea.
Bell tents are quite heavy as they are usually made in canvas or a blend of canvas and polypropylene, and canvas is a great material for long term camping, as its way stronger then other materials and breathes well while staying waterproof.
Canvas is much nicer to stay in, long-term, as its also more soundproof and sun-proof than many other fabrics.
So why not add a long term shelter to you plans? I picked one up for $350 on a fluke 50% off special at the local camping store, they usually go for $700.