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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 16:23 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2004 20:02 pm
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Location: Amesbury, Wiltshire
Real Name: Marc
Group: 4th Wilts LHG
I have an original British two man tent that was gifted to me a few years ago (cheers Rob Gurman!) and I'm slowly getting the parts together to get it usable again. I've now got poles, guy rope toggles and will be ordering pegs and a mallet soon.

My question is regards the correct or at least most suitable substitute rope to use to replace some horrible nylon crap that's been fitted at some time in the past. Looking at the original lines still fitted my gut feeling is Hemp rope but what's the consensus among those with a little more knowledge than me?

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 15:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 22:03 pm
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Location: Hemel Hempstead & Derby
Real Name: Rob Fenn
Group: Poor Bloody Infantry
Yeah, definitely hemp or natural cotton rope was used, not the awful sisal rope as you see on the repro' manufactured tents (albeit, not pup tents, but officers tents, etc...). It's hard to find real hemp rope these days or thick cotton rope of the same style, but the synthetic hempex stuff is hard to tell apart from real hemp and it doesn't rot. My original 2-man tents guys are approx' 6mm dia' rope, either hemp or natural cotton.

I can send pictures of the way the guys are sewn to the tent ridge, if you like?

P.S: You say you've bought guy rope toggles - what do you mean by toggles? The 2-man tents just had plain ropes, with no guy runners or similar attached to them. The ends were whipped (bound) with whipping twine to stop them from fraying.

P.P.S: If the eyelets of the dutch-lacing of your tent are sewn-over steel rings, and not brass eyelets, then I can provide steel rings of the correct size if you're missing any.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 15:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2004 20:02 pm
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Location: Amesbury, Wiltshire
Real Name: Marc
Group: 4th Wilts LHG
Cheers for that confirmation. I've been weighing up the real hemp vs. synthetic option. It does have some of the original ropes still attached but any pictures would be appreciated.

I was given the guy runners so fortunately not parted with any cash, a field mod perhaps? ;-) I didn't realise the two man tent didn't have them.

I think all the metal eyelets are in place just some could do with re-stitching to ensure they stay there.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 15:29 pm 
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Location: Hemel Hempstead & Derby
Real Name: Rob Fenn
Group: Poor Bloody Infantry
The pictures seen on the SoF link below show the type of guy rope quite well (and the one in their photo has the over-stiched steel rings for eyelets, as seen be the "white eyelash" around each dutch-lacing and pole-top hole). The sides are held out by canvas loops rather than ropes, and so only the two main guys and the dutch-lacing is proper rope:

http://www.sofmilitary.co.uk/british-2-man-bivi-canvas-tent-new-product,8166

I'd recommend trying to match the rope of your dutch-lacing; so if it's cotton, try to find cotton rope, if it's hemp try to find original old-stock hemp rope or use hempex. Don't use the 'sash window cord' you can buy in B&Q, etc... it's the right diameter, nice and soft/supple and a nice colour too, but the weave of it is cross-braided, rather than 'laid' (twisted) rope, and so doesn't look right.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 17:45 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 16:14 pm
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Location: Wiltshire
These tents are very common so I would not expend a huge amount of money restoring this one.
Having said this some people ask silly money for them.

My Cadet Force County burnt large quantities of the wooden poles last year and probably did the same to the tents about 5 years.
When I went on camp about 4 years ago there was a 180lbs tent Canvas covering a skip and I found the poles dumped elsewhere. unfortunately not able to save.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 20:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2004 20:02 pm
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Location: Amesbury, Wiltshire
Real Name: Marc
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The rope on the SOF repro look as rough as a badger's arse compared to the remaining original ropes on the tent I have, they seem to be of a much higher quality. They certainly look more akin to photos of hemp rope I've found online.

As for expenditure, so far I've spent exactly £0. The tent was gifted to me as were the poles (1986 dated from what I can make out) and the (not required) guy runners.

I'll be needing pegs, replacement of the nylon ropes and I will also retreat the canvas which will bring back the darker colour and perhaps buy a wooden mallet and a bag for it all. I'm aiming for the total cost to be between £40 to £50.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 22:04 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 22:03 pm
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Location: Hemel Hempstead & Derby
Real Name: Rob Fenn
Group: Poor Bloody Infantry
Just to clarify, the tent in the SoF link I posted is an original with hemp guys. But yeah, the SoF repro' tents (officers tent, etc...) have nasty rough sisal guys.

FYI, but you probably know already, wartime poles are different to post-war poles, but with the tent closed up no-one will notice.

The tents don't really need reproofing, as they weren't to begin with. All 6 of mine are usable and rely on the natural water-restance of the canvas as it becomes damp in bad weather. Don't try to match the rich deep chocolate brown colour of the repros, they're too dark in my personal opinion.

Decent wooden military pegs are six for £5 at Anchor Surplus (Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire), and they also do wartime dated mallets for £9.99.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 8:49 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:24 pm
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Real Name: Owen Thompson
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I know you said you didn't need poles, but we recently acquired 5 2-man bivouac tents without poles from a cadet unit (I think that now makes 9 in total) so I bought them here: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Tent-Poles-Br ... 2049691610?


Last edited by obt48 on Wed Jun 08, 2016 8:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 8:56 am 
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Real Name: Owen Thompson
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And here's a photo:


You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 14:28 pm 
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Location: Hemel Hempstead & Derby
Real Name: Rob Fenn
Group: Poor Bloody Infantry
Nice one. Good to see a row of 2-mans!
I'm usually a big fan of WS Supplies in Oxford (the seller in the link), but £8 per pole seems mighty steep to me.
Anchor Surplus in Nottingham used to sell them for £0.50p each a few years back, but now they've gone up to £2.00 each (after a brief fit of madness with them asking £7.50 each for them!), and they're nearly all bare wood without being covered in post-war green paint.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 20:16 pm 
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Real Name: Owen Thompson
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In fact it was £8 for a pair. Not cheap, but when you need them... And I specified bare wood, not green.

I am too old to be commando, but was involved in setting it up with Craig and the others and insisted on a straight row!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:57 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2004 20:02 pm
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Location: Amesbury, Wiltshire
Real Name: Marc
Group: 4th Wilts LHG
I ended up using my aforementioned tent at Chalke Valley History Festival the other week. We had some near apocalyptic weather on two occasions in the Saturday including hailstones in the first instance. I took shelter in my tent and I'm please to say I did stay relatively dry. At times the rain was hitting the tent so hard it was atomizing through the canvas and spraying me with a fine mist. When the rain stopped the sun came out almost immediately and the interior of the tent rapidly fogged up with steam, I had my own mini sauna! A couple of discoloured areas on one side of the tent did leak noticeably but we were away from my sleeping area on the centreline. I only had my one man groundsheet from my small pack which did the job but a groundsheet to cover the full area is on the cards given the half inch plus of water that was sitting on the surface next to my sleeping bag! :)

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 19:54 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 22:03 pm
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Location: Hemel Hempstead & Derby
Real Name: Rob Fenn
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Huzzah! Good job! At least now you've rechristened it, you've seen where the main points of improvement need to be focused. Probably the first person to spend a night in it for at least 40 years!


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