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Published on December 12th, 2013 | by Pat

Tentsile Tree Tents Mimic “Spider Web Technology”

If you’ve ever been camping on a mountainside or in a river valley, you’re probably all too familiar with the struggle to find a suitable pitching spot. In fact, finding flat and/or dry ground can pose a challenge on any camping trip.

These and other challenges presented by grounded camping structures are addressed by treehouse architect Alex Shirley-Smith’s line of Tentsile tent-hammock hybrids.

Originally developed to create a “one-size-fits-all treehouse,” the applications to tent-camping are obvious and numerous. Not only does the hammock-like approach provide a flat “surface” on which to “pitch” the tent using pure tension, it will also keep you safely suspended above animals, bugs, and unexpected ground moisture, all while “leaving no trace” on the environment.

Shirley-Smith points to spider webs as the inspiration for the design, using three or more anchor points (trees) and simple tension to create a stable, flat surface.

The creators envision the product line eventually leading to a new type of “eco-village, a community of (much larger) tensile structures where portable villages could be mounted and disassembled in a day, leaving little impact on the forest floor” (source:

For more information, watch this video, in which the creators explain their innovative design in more detail.


Planning your next camping trip? Find the 50 best campgrounds in your state with your local Best Tent Camping guide, from Menasha Ridge Press!

(Cover image via

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About the Author

is happiest when he's on the move, whether by foot, pedal, or some other form of alternative transportation. Hiking, biking, camping, and rock climbing demand his outdoor attention at all times. Now, as editor and contributor to, they demand his indoor attention, as well.

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