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I been watchin some shows on TV and remember seeing in some movies where people ( especially way up north, Canada, Alaska ) will build a cabin. I mean complete with wood floor and walls and then they put a canvas roof on it. Why the canvas roof ?? Is there a benefit to canvas roofs that I am not thinking of. I mean besides the fact that it may be cheaper or maybe easier to transport is there other benefits??
 

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Is this holywood tv or like travel documentary. If 4 real it would be temporary cause snow and wind would rip it. I have seen a cloth on inside of old dugout an soddy's to keep dirt from falling down. but a northerner will read this and we might both learn.
 

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Seen it done by pathfinder on facebook,we used to write back and forth. Dave Canterbury was in the Army same time. he was SF though. It was all about weight and transport with him.Seen him build a neat little shelter with saw mill left over with the bark still on em. He used a swiming pool liner in between. Hes got the survival show on TV now were him and the guy that goes bare foot.But they were only temporay shelters..Still has his facebook sight up.Hes got some neat things on there,Like taking a wrist rocket slingshot and shooting arrows with it.Ive done it and you could kill a deer with the setup.Gunrunner,,
 

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Not knowing for sure but would think you could easily kick the snow off the roof from the inside with a pole with flat board attached.

Other than that, I would think if your not there all the time you could transport your roof to the sight when you need it or store it on sight.

Just some thoughts.
 

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I hunt and fish out of a tent camp in the UP. an 16 X 21 outfitter type. I built a floor and wood frame for the tent and it works great. An insulated flat floor makes it comfy to live out of for weeks at a time. I leave it up all year long the time to set it up and take it down got old fast.

I have a wood burner in the tent and going from cold to hot you get a lot of condensation on the inside of a solid roof with out insulation and a vapor seal. The canvas roof lets the tent vent the water vapor out the top and it dries out as the temp goes up inside. A side note 18 or 20 inches of snow is a real good insulator on the roof when it is minus some thing out side. I need to figure out how to post pictures it is real comfortable.

Kevin
 

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What does 18 inches of snow weigh if the canvas lets go? I'd spring for a steel roof sometime soon.
 

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Swany,

It is not light I am sure. The canvas has no problems with the weight I have been up there with 2 feet of snow in top and the ridge board did not sag a 1/4 inch. I have a complete framed in structure. Rafters are on 16 inch centers not that much room to sag or tear the canvas is stronger than you would think. People lived in "tent cabins" like this for long periods of time not just in the movies.

A few years ago we got 24 inches plus during the night had 3 good size trees (8 to 10 inches) fall on the tent it did not tear it at all the original conduit frame was modified some ;D ;D ;D but I just cut the trees off and we stayed there for 5 more days no problem. That incident did make me spring for a full frame 2x4 stud walls and 2x6 rafters with collar ties. I have to post pictures I will work on that.

Kevin
 

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I believe there were a number of reasons and a lot of the cabins in the mountains around here never had a roof but a few did and I believe these were the main cabins with stoves and the others were temporary built shelters for logging and mining camps that were constantly moved to near locations.
It was certainly easy and quick to put up four walls the exact size needed to put a canvas roof over or even a short tent and like swany stated that the snow could be clean off easy, but the only problem with that is that you don't want to touch the inside of a tent ceiling with your hands when snow is on top because it will cause the water to leak, condensate through the canvas. The only reason to clean the snow off is if it get's too deep and then the best way is to shake it off, I put up plastic tarps over my tent but that was not available back in the day. The canvas is also treated and sprayed with canvac to help water proof and protect from ultra violet rays.
Another reason that I believe the canvas was used in addition to being faster is that it did not leak and actually is warm but not as warm as a good heavy wooden roof takes takes more time to construct.
 

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They paint the canvas, or the wood?
 

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I would not do that to my canvas wall tents, I would rather spend the money on canvac spray and be done. That way the tent can still be folded and transported to another location.
 

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Lots of outfitters up north in Canada and Alaska use 2x4 walls covered with plywood and a canvas tent for the top. It is cheap and easy to deal with. They are seasonal for hunting and fishing camps. Especially where trees are nonexistant.

John
 
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