A tent is a shelter consisting of sheets of fabric or other material draped over or attached to a frame of poles or attached to a supporting rope. While smaller tents may be free-standing or attached to the ground, large tents are usually anchored using guy ropes tied to stakes or tent pegs. First used as portable homes by nomadic peoples, tents are now more often used for recreational camping and temporary shelters.
Tents range in size from “bivouac” structures just big enough for one person to sleep in up to huge (circus) tents capable of seating thousands of people. The bulk of this article is concerned with tents used for recreational camping which have sleeping space for one to ten people. Larger tents are discussed in a separate section below.