Review – USMC One Man Combat Tent

Tent – Combat, One Person

Anyone who has read any of my writings knows that I advocate training in low-profile camping. By low profile, I mean stealth/hidden from view. In a WROL society, other people mean risk. Our best defense is being as unseen as we can be.

In the Baseline Training Manual, I advocate buying a small 2-person backpacking tent in earth tones. That’s so that you can be hidden. Another option for this is buying actual military tents.

When I served, the US Marines still used the “shelter-half”, which was a piece of canvas in OD Green that formed half of a pup tent. Each Marine carried one shelter half and one pole, so that two Marines together could form one “pup tent” between them. Now, this tent was canvas and had no floor and no real room for your gear. The shelter half system was designed during the US Civil War and remained largely unchanged since then.

During the Vietnam era, the US poncho was modified to allow it to be interconnected with another poncho to form a larger tent, which was far lighter than carrying a canvas tarp. Again, though, this tent had no floor. Neither of these options were very good in rough weather.

Along came the USMC “Tent-Combat One Person” or TCOP. These tents are manufactured by both Eureka and Diamond Brand. It’s a small-footprint nylon tent with a heavier rain fly and larger vestibule to store gear out of the weather.

When I was given the chance to try one out, I jumped at it. You can find these online as military surplus from many suppliers but be careful in looking. I was fortunate that Coleman Military Surplus had bought an entire warehouse of BRAND-NEW tents that were still sealed in the factory packaging, so I knew all the parts would be there and it would be in good shape.

Easy Set Up

I took the tent out in northern Michigan, known for its bipolar weather swings, and found a good out of the way spot to set up the tent, using the BLISS acronym (if you don’t know it, I explain it in TW-02 Fieldcraft). The set-up is very simple. Open the tent, click the METAL, not fiberglass, poles together and then just clip the tent to the aluminum poles as shown. It goes up in just a few minutes, which fits our stealth model.

The tent fabric is sturdy enough that you don’t need to put on the rain fly, unless you are expecting bad weather, but the rainfly is reversible CAMOUFLAGE, so why not? The rainfly attaches with clips to the four corners and a single pole to create a ridgeline. Stake the fly down and you’re ready.

I walked out from the tent to look at it and the tent is very low profile. You can’t see it if you’ve properly selected your site from 50 meters away.

The fly is woodland camouflage on one side, which should work in most areas. The other side of the fly is desert tan, which works in fields or desert/beach areas. Also, I find that the tan side works well in winter, because seldom is snow purely white and there are other background colors of dead vegetation in winter that help the tent blend.

While the manufacturers technically only rate this as a three-season tent, it is a four-season tent in all but the most extreme environments. The only change you’d need to make is to doubly tie out the heavy-duty rainfly for wind protection.

Another great feature is that it comes with straps that allow you to use the rainfly as a standalone overhead cover. Think about your observation posts and fighting positions from TW-03 Defensive Operations and TW-04 Scouting And Patrolling and imagine how nice it would be to have a heavy-duty rainfly that is camouflage over it.

The tent is only 6 pounds and stores in a camouflage or OD stuff stack, which you could attach to the outside of your ruck. The inside is just big enough for one person and their sleep system, whatever one you use. There is a vestibule area on both the front and back that is big enough to hold all your gear without any issues. You can sit up in it, and it’s easy to get in and out of.

There is a second USMC tent called the “Combat II Tent”, which is a two-man tent. It has the same features, but it is MUCH larger and therefore not as stealthy as the TCOP. The Combat II would be more of a fixed base tent, which the TCOP is more of a patrolling shelter. Both have a place and serve a purpose.

I highly recommend finding one but be careful and pick one in good shape or preferably brand new. Side note…. another company contacted me about a brand new Combat II tent, so watch for my review of it.

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Published by JD

I am the author of the Tactical Wisdom Series. I am a personal protection specialist and a veteran of the US Marine Corps. I conduct preparedness and self-defense training.

2 thoughts on “Review – USMC One Man Combat Tent

  1. I was trying to donate but do not like paypal and was being compelled to create an account. See the Stocking Mill Coffee Website and how they have donations as an item to purchase with just the Credit Card

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t have another credit card processor. You can use Joseph-Dolio at Venmo if you’d like. You can also use PayPal as just a credit card without logging in. Sorry, I don’t have their resources, brother.


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