U.S. Army Shelter half

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This is required equipment for NATO U.S. Army participants.


A single section of shelter half along with 3 pole sections and 5 stakes is required for U.S. Army troops at East Wind.

  • Obviously they can be used as a tent when teamed up with another soldier and his shelter half. What may not be so obvious is how generally useful a largish piece of fairly waterproof canvas can be in the field. Shelter halves have been used as fox hole covers, tent floors, tent roofs (when leaks occur) privacy screens, and any number of minor tasks.

Selecting your shelter half and preparing it for use

  • When shopping for shelter halves look for halves that still have a deep green color and have a slightly waxy or oily feel to them. These ones are much more likely to keep you dry than a faded and very dry one.
  • Make sure that your shelter half is still repelling water a shelter half by dropping some water on it and seeing if it beads up and rolls off. A shelter half that does not repel water is not of much use.
  • We have had very good results treating shelter halves with paraffin (candle) wax. Simply rub the entire shelter half down with wax until you get an even layer on everything, then iron it with a warm iron to get the wax melted into the fabric. Sometimes multiple coats are required to get the desired result but by and large technique has proven superior to Scotch Guard or other spray on coatings.