Lawrence of Arabia
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Desert survival

In the harsh desert environment adequate and adaptable shelter is essential, as weather conditions can change quickly and dramatically.

Bedouins developed large tents they could easily erect, dismantle and transport.

They joined together long strips of densely-woven camel hair and vegetable fibres to construct the fabric for their long tents held up with poles, fastened with guy ropes. The sides can be fastened up or down allowing any breeze to blow through.

Warm when cold, cool and airy when hot, these tents provide both shelter from the fiercest sun and protection from the heaviest rain. The fibres expand when wet making the tent watertight.

Traditionally women erect the tents once the camping site is chosen. Rocks are often chosen as suitable sites as they act as windbreaks, retain the heat of the sun for many hours and will reflect the heat from an open fire. They have no furniture except just carpets and cushions. Inside they are dark and cool.

The Bedouin tent is divided into two sections by a woven panel or curtain known as a ma'nad. One section, reserved for the men and the receiving of guests, is the mag'ad, or "sitting place". The other is for the women, cooking and receiving female guests and is the mahamara or "place of the women".

Water | Food | Shelter | Clothing | Transportation | Navigation | Hospitality

Shelter is crucial for Arabs
  Shelter is crucial as the weather varies dramatically  

Lawrence of Arabia