Why Is It Called A Pup Tent?

A pup tent is a basic form of the tent, which is also called a shelter-half. The ten’s structure and design are super simple and very popular among hikers. Typically, this type of tent is used for temporary shelter.  Pup tents are small in size and easy to transport in a backpack. Moreover, it is the traditional tent of the military. But how did this tent originate? And why is it called a pup tent?

To satisfy your curiosity, we have described a brief history of this pup tent and also added a relevant question-answer at the end.


What does pup tent mean?

Pop test staples of various sizes can be seen – usually, it is big enough for one or two adults. The best pup tent dimension is approximately 6 ft long, 4 ft wide, and 3.5 ft high, but at present, you may find various types of pup tents.

Assembling the pup tent is very straightforward. The structure is made with some durable material. You need a canvas and two poles to set the pup tent. One pole’s size is larger than the other pole. The larger pole is placed on the front and the smaller one on the back. By placing the poles, it gives the tent an A-shape appearance.

The traditional pup tents did not have waterproof material which became a bad dream in the rainy season. However, the modern pup tent includes a waterproof surface to keep you dry during rain.

Basically, the pup tent is named because the size is small and less capacity. Kids often make the pup tent for dogs. If you are alone out for an adventurous trip, then you can use a pup tent for camping. You can individually set the shelter with ease and being lightweight, you can carry with efficiency. It is not an ideal choice for family camping. Pup tents are often carried by soldiers, trainees, mountaineers, campers, or in any outdoor activity.


History of pup tents

The pup tent was first structured by military troops and oriented throughout the American Civil War. During battleground, soldiers mostly walked to go from one place to another and they carried their own stuff. So they took the pup tents for their temporary shelter and easily carried the tent’s lightweight equipment.

The military pup tent is a bit wider than the regular one as it is assigned to be a two-soldier tent. The tent weighed about 10 pounds including the pegs and poles. Two soldiers shared the weight equally so that they could carry other gears too.

At the first stage of the pup tent, there wasn’t a front flap and didn’t equip water-resistant elements. So the soldiers were open to the weather. Later, during World War 2, the pup design had been improved and combined the flaps and better water-resistant pegs. This design is followed in most armies’ camps across the world.


Why is it called a Pup Pent?

There are many narratives behind the name of the pup tent. One of them was that in the American Civil War, soldiers commonly stated the dog word as slang, and referred to dog words as their personal accessories. When soldiers entered or out of the small tent by crawling, it gave a dog-like feel. From then, the tent was called a pup tent.


What is the difference between a pup tent and a dome tent?

What is the difference between a pup tent and a dome tent


A pup tent is an A-shaped tent and a dome tent appears in a dome shape. Including shape, there are many differences in capacity, applications, stability, and installation method. Below we will compare the common difference between pup tents and dome tents.


  • Shape: 

The common difference between these two domes is the shape that you can see at one glance. The pup tent has a triangle shape and the dome shape has a semicircle shape. Typically, the most traditional pup tent does not have a footprint but the modern pup tent includes the footprint. If you don’t have the footprint, you need to add a third-party footprint to separate yourself from the floor.

There is a difference in central height where you can see the pup tent has a higher volume on the front, and the dome has a bigger volume inside. As the dome has a higher volume inside it gives more storage quantity.


  • Capacity:

Typically, the pup tent has a smaller area and is suitable for one or two persons. For individual camping, you can pick this kind of tent. In case if you go with your pet, you may choose a smaller pup tent.

The dome tent gives a wider area than the pup tent. So it is undoubtedly ample for 1 or 2 persons as well as suitable for 4 to 5 persons. You will find some tents of every size. Bushnell shield series tent where you can make a reasonable selection. If you are going with your family, then a dome tent is the only option for family camping.


  • Installation Process: 

Always choose a tent for camping that is easy to set up. Many tents require a couple of people for only setting up the tent which also may be time-consuming. So it is adequate to choose a tent with simple installation.

Among these two tents, a pup tent is easier to set up. Usually, you will get all the gear with the package that needs to install and stabilize the tent. You can install it with a few instructions. As the pup tent requires a little hardware, the setup is relatively easy, and also lightweight to carry around.

The setup of the dome tent is quite complex from the other tent. Remember, in the larger dome tent; you go through more complexity. However, there are a few tents that come with simple instructions.


  • Portability:

Portability is the major feature of a tent. When you look for a tent you must check its portability. This feature allows you to take the tent anywhere. A pup tent is a winner rather than a dome tent when you compare the portability. A pup tent is lightweight, easy to set up, and requires small equipment. So considering portability, you can take a pup tent for desert camping.

On the other hand, the dome tent has a bulky structure and heavier weight than a pup tent. Though the tent comes in its own backpack, it is less portable than the pup tent.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What shape is a pup tent?

A: A pup tent comes in a triangle shape. Two poles are used to make the mainframe then cover with durable pegs. You need guy lines, and stakes to secure the construction. The modern pup tent includes front flaps.


Q: Why use a Pup Tent?

A: In this modern era, the traditional pup tent design is outdated and those tents are not used anymore. A modern pup tent is much more durable and stable than earlier. When people go camping or hiking, these pup tents are used.



At present, traditional pup tents that were used in the military are hardly seen. The modern pup tent is much more durable, stable, nicely designed, and portable as well. That’s why the popularity is still the same as earlier.


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