October 31st, 2020

Thinking about Living in a Wall Tent? This Is What You Need to Keep in Mind

Things to Consider When Living in a Wall Tent

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Living in a tent for an extended period of time, or even permanently, seems unrealistic and not very pragmatic for many people. If you’re in that group, you may be surprised to learn that there are groups of people that live in tents fairly comfortably, all year round. Especially with how durably canvas tents can be built, tent living doesn’t have to be as minimalistic or survivalist as it was before.

 

Canvas tents, like wall tents, are the perfect tenting option for living in the wilderness or outdoors full time. They provide more stability and protection from the elements than a traditional synthetic tent, and give you more living space.

 

Today, wall tents serve a few different purposes. These can range from being used as hunting tents in the wild, to glamping tents for comfortable, luxurious weekend getaways. The reason for this is that wall tents are designed to last and are extremely spacious, which affords them versatility that you’re unlikely to find in other kinds of canvas tents.

 

When thinking about living in a wall tent semi-permanently or permanently, there’s a few different aspects of the tent to think about.

 

If you’re going to live in a wall tent, you should consider:

  1. The fabric of the wall tent
  2. The size of the wall tent
  3. The ability to use a stove
  4. The addition of a fly sheet
  5. Wall tent accessories

The Fabric of the Wall Tent

If you’re living in a wall tent year-round, it’s vital that you choose the correct material for your tent. A thin, flimsy, nylon tent used for short camping trips won’t do the trick for extended living.


The best wall tent material to look for is cotton canvas. It’s thick and durable against abrasions and punctures. It’s also easy to clean and has a long lifespan. The cotton canvas also has a natural breathability, which makes the tent suitable to live inside and cool and warmer temperatures.


You should also ensure the canvas tent has been treated with a water repellent, mold and UV resistant finish. If you plan to keep a stove inside the tent, it’s worth exploring the option of a fire retardant fabric. All wall tents from White Duck offer these options.

wall tent usa set up family camping glamping tent wall


The Size of the Wall Tent

The size of the wall tent that you choose depends on the amount of people that will be living in the tent. If you’re living alone, then you don’t need to worry too much about having a lot of space. One person, at minimum, needs a small bed or cot, space for personal items like clothing and shoes, and a small area for cooking or eating.

 

When there are more people involved in living in a tent, there obviously needs to be more available space. Doubling the necessities for each person takes up space, however, people who live in tents full time tend to have creative ways of maximizing the space that they have.  

 

The benefit of wall tents over other kinds of tents is their wall height. Wall tents from White Duck Outdoors, for example, have a standard 5-foot wall height. This provides ample room to keep furniture inside, and also stand up and walk around, so you never have to feel like your living space is restricted.

The Ability to Use a Stove

Any canvas tent can be fitted with a stove jack so that your tent can accommodate a wood burning stove. Adding a stove to your tent is almost a necessity for year round tent living. Stoves not only allow you to cook your food safely, but they also heat the inside of your tent during the cold winter months. All you’ll need is a steady supply of wood.

 

With the addition of a stove to your tent, it’s vital that you install and use the stove correctly and safely. First, the stove must not sit on any fabric flooring of your tent. It should be placed on the bare ground. You can buy a floor for your tent that has an exposed area specifically for a stove. You can also buy tent flooring that is only half or three-quarters of a floor for the same reason.

 

Second, there must be some type of opening in the top of your tent to allow for the release of smoke. This keeps you warm and allows you to cook without smoking you out. This is exactly what a stove jack is for. Every wall tent from White Duck Outdoors comes with a built-in 5-inch and 6-inch stove jack cut-out, so you can easily carve the stove jack to install your stove. Also, a spark arrestor at the top of the flue is a necessary safety precaution. This prevents hot sparks from landing on the canvas of your tent.

 

Lastly, make sure to keep any combustible items away from the stove. Tent living does not come with a luxurious amount of space, so make sure that none of your clothing items or other easily combustible things end up in the vicinity of the stove. This is just basic fire safety. Also, in case of an emergency, you will want to have some way of putting out a fire at hand.

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The Addition of a Fly Sheet

A fly sheet is an added fabric layer that is installed over the roof of your tent. This is designed to give extra protection from water, snowfall and intense UV radiation. If your tent is being set up outdoors for an extended period of time, the fly sheet will go a long way in keeping the canvas fabric protected from different weather conditions.

Wall Tent Accessories

There are a few different accessories to add to your wall tent to make it more comfortable and livable for a long-term stay. Organizational tools can be hung on the walls of the tent to give you ways to store and organize your personal items.


Adding a floor to your tent keeps out insects and small critters and keeps you warm and dry. If electricity is something that you can’t go without, solar panels can be added to the roof of your tent to power lights or a cell phone charger.  


A canvas porch is a great way to extend your outdoor living space, without investing in another tent. The canvas porch also comes with a stove jack, so you can set your stove up in there, rather than inside your tent. A porch is also an ideal place to set up furniture to hang out, or to dry damp or wet clothes, so that your tent isn’t affected by condensation.

canvas wall tent night lantern tent wall


Tips for Living in a Wall Tent

  1. Clean the tent often

Cleaning the tent includes taking care of the canvas fabric, and even ensuring other aspects of the tent like the zippers are regularly maintained. It’s important to clean the canvas fabric from any snow, dirt or debris to prevent it from deteriorating. Even if the tent is set up for a long period, a simple brushing of the fabric once a day and cleaning the outside of the tent could go a long way in maintaining its lifespan.

 

  1. Never store your tent away damp

If you plan to use your wall tent as a living space, it’s essential to maintain its structural integrity for as long as possible. If you ensure the tent is completely dry before storing it away for any reason, this helps prevent the formation of mold and mildew, which can impact the strength of your canvas fabric.

 

  1. Dry your damp or wet clothes and gear outside the tent

If, during your stay in the wall tent, you partake in activities that leave your clothes or gear damp or wet, it’s best to dry them outside the tent. Leaving your equipment to dry inside the tent can lead to condensation forming on the canvas fabric, which can also dampen and harm the integrity of the tent.

 

Written by Emma Cuisance

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