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Posted: 2/15/2013 8:16:20 AM EDT
Not sure if this is the best place to ask - but here goes.

Has anyone here set up some Russian shelter halves/ponchos as a traditional tent? I see conflicting info on the net as to how many go together - some places indicate two (like US GI) and others say three. The only pictures I have been able to find shows one setup as a lean-to.

Any help would be appreciated. Pic below for reference.

Link Posted: 2/15/2013 12:12:46 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/15/2013 12:57:42 PM EDT by Rodent]
I have Polish, Hungarian, East German, West German, French and Swiss versions of this. They make excellent rain capes, and button together to make pyramid tents. The German, French and Swiss versions take four to make a tent. The Polish, Hungarian and Russian versions are considerably larger and take two.

I use them all the time, and the Polish version is my favorite. The Hungarian ones are pretty good, too. The Russian ones only have one arm hole and are kinda shoddy. Here's some info about them, although I haven't updated it to include the Polish ones:


http://oblio13.blogspot.com/2012/08/gear-that-works-rain-capes.html

And here's some info about the German/Swiss version (these ones actually were French Foreign Legion):

http://oblio13.blogspot.com/2008/09/interesting-gear-zeltbahn-shelter.html


Here's a pic of two Polish ones buttoned together as a tent, I used it this year for deer season and camping with the Cubscouts:



I bought five of them from this guy on Ebay:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Poncho-Zeltbahn-Tent-Polish-Army-NEW-/320944140937


http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-person-Tent-Poncho-Zeltbahn-from-Polish-Army-NEW-/320944150060?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&var=&hash=item4ab9c3162c

In his pics he's got the tent pitched inside-out (the extra material that goes over your shoulders when it's worn as a cape should be on the inside when it's pitched as a shelter) but you get the idea. He combined shipping so the price was pretty reasonable.
Link Posted: 2/15/2013 1:18:56 PM EDT
Thank you!!!!! Rodent once again proves that ARFcom knows everything!!!!!

John
Link Posted: 2/28/2013 2:52:59 PM EDT
Here are a few more pics for you. My boy and I pitched a Polish shelter when we heard there was a storm coming:




Then we decided to pitch a Hungarian one, too, for a side-by-side comparison. Both tents are inconspicuous in the woods, I went off for a hike and then had some difficulty finding them again. Good for "stealth" camping and preventing vandalism and theft, but be sure to note landmarks before you go wandering.





Here they are after two nights of snow and rain:

Link Posted: 3/1/2013 5:36:28 AM EDT
Great pictures!

I ended up with the Russian one to keep with my Russian bike. Now all I need to do is get them outside and see how to get them setup.
Link Posted: 3/1/2013 10:54:47 AM EDT
Does anyone know how small they pack up.
I'd be interested to see a set packed for hiking etc.
Link Posted: 3/1/2013 6:46:15 PM EDT
Originally Posted By thumper_abn:
Does anyone know how small they pack up.
I'd be interested to see a set packed for hiking etc.


They are not tiny. Here is a pic of a single. It could be rolled tighter but you get the idea.

Link Posted: 3/2/2013 1:52:09 PM EDT
It's not too big. Take that size x2. May be good enough for a GHB. I work about 40 miles from home. Not likely gonna do that in a day.
I'm working with my old GI poncho as a "shelter". Worked well enough when I was 20 and in the Army.
Been a while, I might not be in the same shape I was in then.
Link Posted: 3/9/2013 8:50:57 PM EDT
I keep a Marlin Model 60 wrapped in a Plash Palatka behind my truck seat with my GHB. Good piece of gear for my use, a cold night or two across the desert or mountains.
Link Posted: 3/14/2013 11:40:51 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/14/2013 11:42:24 AM EDT by MPi-KMS-72]
There are different ways of setting them up. They originate back with the French 1850's shelter halves that we in turn copied in the Civil War. As time went on various countries evolved the design or came up with new ones like the Losenge style Norwegion ones or the Triangular German Zelts.

There is an East German manual that shows ways of erecting the square ones:

1&2:

3&4:

4 and Brush Huts

8 Man:

Folding and packing:


(Prior to WWII the Germans used a square one, then they switched to the triangular, after WWII the East Germans adopted a Russian style square one again)



http://www.altearmee.de/hilfe/zeltbahn.htm





Link Posted: 3/16/2013 10:12:04 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Rodent:
Here are a few more pics for you. My boy and I pitched a Polish shelter when we heard there was a storm coming:

http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c116/Oblio13/IMG_1245_zpsb506ad96.jpg


Then we decided to pitch a Hungarian one, too, for a side-by-side comparison. Both tents are inconspicuous in the woods, I went off for a hike and then had some difficulty finding them again. Good for "stealth" camping and preventing vandalism and theft, but be sure to note landmarks before you go wandering.


http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c116/Oblio13/IMG_1293_zpsf0400fa3.jpg


Here they are after two nights of snow and rain:

http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c116/Oblio13/IMG_1305_zpsd09a82fb.jpg



So when they were set up, were they wind and water proof? I was thinking of getting a golite shangri-la 3, but if all you need is two of these, I think I will just go with this...
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 12:30:31 PM EDT
"So when they were set up, were they wind and water proof?"

I'd like to know this also. If they are not any suggestions on what product(s) to waterproof them with? I know there are several products available for canvas.
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 1:37:57 PM EDT
With the ones I have used the answer is "it depends" some seem to rely on the cotton swelling up and getting waterproof like any old cotton tent would. Others are treated with some water repellant- maybe one of the old alum based formulas. They aren't particularly lightweight and they are bulky by today's standards. I still like them but I also enjoy collecting this old stuff and trying it out. I'm not sure I would recommend these to someone who didn't have the same interests and who was used to Silnylon or other modern stuff.
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 1:38:24 PM EDT
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