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A bender tent is a primitive tent made from branches and wood only. The tent can be made fairly quickly under most conditions. It is popularly used by nomads and can even withstand strong winds. The tent can be large enough for several people or small for one person. Bender tents are not meant to be permanent structures, but some people will disassemble the tent when it's no longer needed, store the wood and use that wood later when they need to build the tent again.
Cut branches or saplings of flexible wood. Hazel or willow works best. The cuttings should be at least 1.2 m (4 feet) in height. The longer the cuttings, the taller the structure.
Insert the widest end of the cuttings into the ground about 15 cm to 30 cm (1/2 foot to 1 foot) down. Arrange the branches in a circle all facing inward. The tops of the branches should almost touch. Each branch should be no more than 15 cm (1/2 foot) from the last one. Leave a 60 cm (2 foot) gap for a door.
Take more cuttings. These cuttings can be smaller.
Weave the cuttings through the base poles horizontally. Many cuttings can be used. The more cuttings are used, the better insulated the tent will be. The crosshatch design will also provide structure for the tent.
Place the tarpaulin over the wood structure.
Place rocks on the edges of the tarp surrounding the structure. The rocks will be used to weigh down the tarpaulin and keep it from flying away.
- "Circle Houses: Yurts, Tipis and Benders"; David Pearson; 2001
- "Bender Tents"; Edward Ayres; 1979
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