Whether you’re an avid member of the camping community, or simply enjoy the occasional camping trip away, it’s likely that you’ve heard the name “pup tent” thrown around. A pup tent is a staple of the camping scene, varying in size and use from camper to camper. The differences in sizes and uses are likely to have you asking “what is a pup tent?”

What is a pup tent, and what is the meaning of its name? 
A pup tent is usually pitched alongside your main tent or campervan. Pup tents are often used for overflow storage, pets, and in some cases, children who want to have a mini adventure away from their parents in the caravan! 

Pup tents are generally quite small in size, usually fitting two people at the very most. Their height is such that an adult would likely have to crawl into the tent rather than walk in.  Their original construction was simple, often just a few poles and a sheet of canvas. Pup tents these days, however, are much closer to the quality and construction that you might expect from a family tent. 

Where does the name “pup tent” come from? 
You could be forgiven for thinking that the name pup tent comes from these types of shelters being used primarily for dogs, much like our Khyam K9 Dog Tent.

While pup tents are indeed sometimes used to house our furry friends, in reality their name actually comes from their military history. 

Pup tents first rose in popularity during the Civil War, in which soldiers moving on foot needed a lightweight and portable kind of shelter. In these times, a pup tent would be open on both sides, offering only basic overhead shelter and leaving soldiers open to the elements. 

It is thought that pup tents got their name from the military association with “dogs”, like the naming of “dog tags”, however there is also evidence to suggest that the name comes from the soldiers describing the tents as “more suitable for a dog than a human”. We like to think they’ve come a long way since those days!

If you’re interested in a small tent, make sure to check out our festival tents section here, or get in touch with our camping experts on 0800 644 4401 for more information on our 1 and 2 berth tents. 

Pup Tent, Small Tent, Army Tent