The Zeltbahn was a very flexible use device. Each soldier was issued one Zelt pannel, 1 zelt rope, two zelt stakes, and one section of the pole. The Zelt could be worn as a poncho, made into a stretcher, used as a flotation device, and many other things. One soldier's Zelt could be combined with one or more other soldiers to create tents and other shelters.
Common configurations were 4, 8, 12, and 16 panels. However, sometimes massive numbers of zelts were combined into huge zelt palaces. It is questionable how practical these would have been in the field and they may have been built more for the spectacle of making a circus tent out of small triangles. No matter what the purpose these were impressive feats of engineering. When pieced together horizontally 32 or more zelts could have been pieced together into a very practical and still impressive tent for the field. Additionally, structures were sometimes constructed that consisted of a wooden framework over which zelts were draped or to which zelts. These structures defy the normal pattern of zelt setup and it is often difficult to tell how many zelts were involved but due to the framework, they were often larger than typical and free from internal poles which provided more useable space inside.
were fastened. These