Tent Floor Plans: Tentsmiths Conical Tents

Today we depart from the high brow philosophizing on reenactment for some pragmatic, hard resources which everyone can use without regard for the subjectivity of best practices or proper procedure. In my previous rendition of this series, I drew the drawings on graph paper with a pencil and pen. Revisiting the project I have upgraded to a basic digital drawing platform called LibreCAD. I am not an engineer, architect, or qualified technical designer and I don’t even play one on TV. They say you don’t know what you don’t know, so I can’t even begin to fathom what these drawings are missing if they were professionally designed. But no one is building buildings based on my design, that’s not their intent. They are technical drawings in feel and style to provide context and perspective on a subject some have difficulty visualizing, especially those new to reenacting and who don’t have much experience with what tents and the space in them look like. 

These drawings are of the Tentsmiths line of conical tents and the sizes and configurations they offer as of the date of publishing in 2020. This post is not sponsored by Tentsmiths, I just felt it was useful to spread the drawings around from the available major and reputable companies with tents I am confident people can trust. This is not a sales post, so prices are not included in the drawings or this introductory article. 

Conical tents, as a design, are not conducive to large amounts of walkabout space. It is not their intended purpose. They do have other outstanding qualities however, as they are fast to put up having no ropes, or weather lines, or complicated internal architecture. A single-pole, especially when split and sleeved, is easy to store and transport and the only thing to stake down is the outside of the circle where it contacts the ground. As medieval tents go, they can be set up in the closest to a “jiffy” as you can get. I’ve seen them go up faster than modern popup tents if the person swinging the hammer goes at it with gusto. Where these tents also excel is sleeping space. As long as there isn’t too much gear taking up floor space, when arranged like spokes on a wheel and sleeping on the ground or short mattresses and not large beds, all these tents, even the smallest, can comfortably sleep eight people, maybe as many as ten if they’re really (really) friendly. The poles offered by Tentsmiths are 3″ in diameter. 

All the full resolution images (which you can open in a new window by clicking the link) contain the square footage, percentages of total spaces, a scale key, and a 5’10” knight silhouette for perspective. I found “sleeping space” by measuring all available areas about 18″ tall, going with about the bare minimum even the US Navy provides as vertical height for bunks aboard ships and submarines. “Standing space” is a bit more subjective, and while I exceed six feet, I thought putting it any higher would be unfair of reasonable expectations for tent environments. Since most people are less than six feet tall, most will see some, but not much, more head-space while taller gents such as myself will rub their head on canvas more than these drawings indicate.


Total Footprint: 13′ (no external lines)
Total area: 132.75 sq. ft.

Though it has a 3.5′ diameter footprint of 6′ tall space which people can walk around upright in, with the pole in the center there’s just over a foot and a half of actual, available, standing space around it. Anticipate crouching in most of this tent, though its purpose isn’t to be a luxurious apartment.


Total Footprint: 13′ (no external lines)
Total area: 132.75 sq. ft.

Not quite the width of a door from the center pole to where the wall of the tent breaks the 6′ plane, the petite to average person will find the ten foot high tents, even at the 13′ diameter, may provide just enough shoulder width to feel like they can stand still, if not move around too much, without touching the edge of the tent.


Total Footprint: 16′ (no external lines)
Total Area 201 sq. ft.

The way triangles and cones work, the wider base provides more total square footage and much more room for sleeping, possibly even with a small bed, and storage space but does not provide significant gains in standing area over the taller, but thinner, 10’x13′ tent.


Total Footprint 16′ (no external lines)
Total Area 201 sq. ft.

The largest and most expensive of the tents, this is the only one my intuition would say someone as tall as me could stand up comfortably and even move a bit around inside without hunching, at least based off the sketches. Though it may even have enough room for a bed, and gear, and maybe even some other furniture these conical tents are not intended to be living spaces as much as sleeping and storage spaces.