Without poles, a tent is basically nothing more than a huge stretch of fabric which, though perhaps treated for waterproofing and element resistance, will provide you with the same level of shelter as an enormous plastic sheet. Consequently, tent poles, responsible for providing the tent’s structure or skeletal framework, and largely the determining factor for the resilience of one’s tent, are perhaps the most important tent components. While the material of the poles themselves is significant, what is just as or more important is the configuration of the poles, which are divided into categories depending on the number of points in the structure where the tent poles cross. These intersecting points are known as nodes.
the four fundamental pole configurations for tents, in the order of increasing number of nodes, are the following: