Village Science - Teacher Edition


Wall Tents

Teacher Edition Contents

Skill, Tools, & Craftsmanship

Cutting & Drying Fish
Nails, Pegs, & Lashings
Falling Trees &
     Small-Scale Logging
Chainsaw Clutch & Chain
Ice Pick


Wood Stoves
Wall Tents
Insulation & Vapor Barriers
Gas Lamps & Gas Stoves


Piloting A Boat
Boat Design
Magnetos & Spark Plugs
Outboard Motor Lower Unit

Outboard Motor Cooling System
Snowmachine Tracks
Snowmachine Clutch
Winter Trails


  1. Ask the oldtimers in your village what they use for tent floor. If they use spruce bark, get someone to show you how to peel one, although this only works from late May to mid July.

  2. Pitch a wall tent. Make the roof nice and tight. How big is it? 10’ x 12’, 8’ x 10’? How high are the walls? When you put the tent away, ask an experienced person to teach you the right way to fold it.

  3. Touch the inside of the tent when it is raining. Does it leak down your finger?

    It probably will. Rain water runs through a tent not over it.

  4. Make a bed for the tent. Is it warmer on the bed than on the floor?

    It should be much warmer on the bed.

  5. Make a stove for a tent. Make a half-a-drum stove or a five-gallon can stove. We used to use Blazo cans, but square cans are now available from hotels and restaurants where they buy coffee in square five gallon cans. Take your time and make a stove to be proud of.

  6. Ask the experienced people in your village about tent stoves and sparks. How do they keep from burning their tent down?

  7. What kinds of tents are used in your village now? Many people still use wall tents for hunting camps. How many of the tents are wall tents? How many of them are white? How many of another color? Of the canvas wall tents, do any have evidence of mildew? Why or why not?

  8. Ask in the village why some people use nylon dome tents?

    They are light and easy to set up.

Student Response

  1. What are four kinds of flooring for a tent? Which is best in the winter on the snow?

    Spruce bark, boards, gravel, spruce boughs. Spruce boughs are best in winter.

  2. What wood burns with the most sparks? With the least?

    Tamarack. Cottonwood or willows

  3. What are two techniques to reduce sparks on a tent?

    Make holes in the top pipe to cool the sparks or put a screen over the top of the pipe

  4. Why is a white tent warmer than a dark one?

    It reflects the radiant heat of the stove much better

  5. Does water run off or through canvas tent fabric?


  6. What are two advantages of having a bed?

    Warm air rises, so it is warmer on the bed than on the ground. It also allows room under the bed for storage


  1. What is the difference in floor space between a 10’ x 12’ tent and an 8’ x 10’?

    40 sq. ft.

  2. Frank’s tent weighs 72 lbs. His stove and pipes weigh another 27 lbs. He can haul 200 lbs in his sled to his trapline. How many pounds of groceries and gas can he haul on the same trip?

    101 lbs

  3. Ed spent $225 for a 10’ x 12’ wall tent with 4’ walls. He used it for two seasons, but put it away wet and it rotted. The tent could have lasted eight years if well cared for. How much did the tent cost him per year? How much should it have cost him per year? Can you put a price tag on his laziness?

    $112.50 per year. If it lasted eight years it would have cost $28.13 per year. His laziness cost $168.75

Questions or comments?
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