Thanks to the movie "Platoon", every man and his dog seems to know the term "hootch" or "hootchie" - although in the movie, it referred to the original meaning of house or village, as in "Burn down all the hootches".
Armies love adopting words from foreign campaigns. Dixie, which I think comes from India, and presumably means "pot". Gook, from Korea, which is a bastardisation of the word for person. There is a whole vocabulary that the military uses which would be completely foreign to anyone that has not been inducted into it. Anyway, hootchie is one of those terms.
Unlike a grass hut, the military hootchie is not much good at keeping the rain out. A hootchie is made up of two "shelter-halves" that are put together with press studs along one edge. Every soldier is issued with a single shelter-half, and they then buddy up with someone else and together they build a hootchie.
You start by finding a spot between two trees, assuming you are not digging in at a spot without trees. With luck, one of you will have managed to snavel some comms cord from somewhere - that is essentially army issue green string that is very strong. It had 1000 uses, but is always in short supply. You use a few lengths of that to attach the hootchie to the trees.
You then either bang in the plastic tent pegs (that you bought yourself in a camping store), or you hunt for some sticks that can be used as tent pegs - the army would never do something as sensible as issue tent pegs to go with a "tent".
A hootchie however is not a tent. A tent is a wonderful piece of kit that has an integrated floor and walls, a door that zips up to keep out the weather and the bugs and a window and vents to let the farts out. It's usually quite warm and dry, and if put up properly, rarely blows over.
A hootchie on the other hand is just two bits of plastic stuck together and erected any old how without benefit of poles. Rain leaks through the seam at the top. There is no floor. There are no walls. There is no door. Wind blows in from four directions, bringing rain if that happens to be falling. If you are on a slight slope, you might find that a stream of water is soon running underneath your sleeping place. Bugs use it as a place of shelter and food.
You often don't get to spend much time sleeping under it anyway (night patrols, radio duty and guard duty take care of that), so it can be much easier to forget about erecting a hootch and to simply wrap yourself up in the shelter-half like a coccoon. Living under one is a miserable experience. Once it starts raining, the only way to avoid utter misery is to huddle in the middle of the hootchie with the mate that you are sharing it with.
If you are cold and wet and shivering and wearing every stitch of clothing that you own (that is, one pair of trousers over the top of the other, one shirt over another), then you huddle together to keep warm. Call it cuddling if you like - I call it surviving. The best hootchie mate I had later came out of the closet - at least he wasn't worried about being close to another bloke in order to share warmth. It's why I am totally unfussed about gays in the military. So long as he didn't want anything more than a cuddle, I was happy.
The big advantage of the shelter half of course is that it weighs close to nothing and folds up into a mess of plastic the size of your fist. You can carry it in your pocket if need be, which guarantees that soldiers will carry it. If someone issued me with a tent, it would be the first thing to be dumped, which would mean no shelter at all. The hootchie, whilst providing crap shelter, provides some shelter rather than none at all.