If you are an army veteran of a certain age, you experienced the many joys of sleeping in the venerable Pup-Tent, your very own Hilton Hotel in the field compared to the alternative of sleeping in a trench, jungle, ditch or foxhole.

Thankfully, the improvement of technology also improved the sleeping experience of our soldiers, from the personal sleeping system to the military tents known as “pup tents.” Here’s how the temporary soldier shelter improved from the rickety A-framed canvas to the modern ones throughout different war periods.

Revolutionary War

When American soldiers were battling against the British forces for independence, they were usually sheltered in the houses of the civilians who opened their homes to help in the war effort. When they had to stay outdoors, they would protect themselves from the outside elements with simple A-frame tents made from a single sheet of cotton duck cloth used for sandbags. The tents did not have a floor, so the fabric had to be held up by either using tree branches or rifles. They were also oiled as a way or repelling rain. As you can imagine, these A-frame tents were open on both sides, so the rain and direct sunlight would soon cause the frames to rot or disintegrate. It did not provide much protection, but it was better than nothing.

Civil War

It was most likely in the Civil War era that the term “pup tent” was coined. They often apply their evident love for dogs in their military slang, like “dog tags.” For example, a Chattanooga Infantry reportedly called their tents “dog houses.” From there, they evolved into “pup tents.”