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Author Topic: What about a tipi?  (Read 10984 times)

Offline Rob

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What about a tipi?
« on: February 05, 2009, 10:12:04 pm »
I was reading about using a tipi as an emergency shelter and started thing why wouldn't this work all the time. A little googling produced this great pictorial how to....
http://www.huntchat.com/showthread.php?threadid=47268

Looks super simple to make. No fancy seems, just edge sewing for the most part. No poles to carry. The benefit is you could even have a open fire inside or still use your stove and have the pipe go straight up. The secret to venting the smoke is to have a channel at the bottom of the tent going to the fire.

There are lots of up sides, just can't see too many bad sides to it. Anybody tried it?
« Last Edit: February 05, 2009, 10:34:48 pm by Rob »
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Offline White Wolf

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Re: What about a tipi?
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2009, 09:33:46 am »
Rob

Ok tepees work great in the winter. Use to use one out west all the time. 26' poles and a lot of extras.  Mine was what they called a 18footer. Now a 18footer is not 18 feet. longest strip of material was 36 feet long this is the straight edge of the half circle(a tipi is actually less then a half circle.). Radius was 18 feet. so yes it was a big tipi when set up.
Winter camping in the "lodge" required  the use of dead man anchors to secure the outer covering.  And also the use of the dew cloth.  Dew cloth enables a breeze to pass between the outer wall and the dew cloth to give a draft to clear the smoke. Ajustment to the smoke flaps also helps in this.

Ok if I was to make a tepee for a shelter I think I would follow the idea that ATUK (www.atuktents.com) did  and make it similar to the  "Kanguk" that he shows.  With a little modification you could make it with the center pole not been used. Tie the center up to the tree branches, problem is this puts the shelter awful close to the tree and may take away a lot of room. 

the other option is to make the "tepee" in a half circle (10foot radius) this would then be like using a parachute for the emergency shelter ( parachutes work great but not fire retardant)  Depending on the material you could end up with a very light shelter.

I have seen a small "modern" tepee done with a simple two pole outside frame the center of the tepee was tied to the crossing point. This frame was then tied off at the rear and the front.  Stove was in the center and it worked great.
I think I made a pattern for the tepee tent somewhere and if I find it I'll add it to this posting.

Jeff
Kenora Ontario

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Re: What about a tipi?
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2009, 01:31:56 pm »
Hi

I use a lavvu which is the Samisk (Lapp) version of the tipi. Mine is a Venor single pole model (enstangslavvu). Their website is here but it is all in Norwegian.

http://www.mamut.net/venor/default.htm

In any case lavvus are popular in Scandinavia and there are many makers.

It works with an open fire but you have to be careful about wind direction and ventilation to keep it from smoking up. In the winter I use a small woodstove and that is much warmer because you can keep the top closed.

The tipis I have seen seem to have a more complex chimney arrangement with flaps to draw out the smoke. A lavvu has a simple smokehat which can be opened and faced in any direction. Some models have smokehats which can be adjusted from inside the tent, but not mine.

I have had this tent for several years and like it a lot. Very roomy and easy to set up.

Best,

Daniel.

Offline Haggis

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Re: What about a tipi?
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2009, 02:00:10 pm »
"We built a wigwam of bark, but it's no good, but now we have a big canvas cover an' want to know how to make a teepee."

"A teepee. H-m--" said the old man reflectively.

"They say you've lived in them," ventured Yan.

"Hm--'bout forty year; but it's one thing to wear a suit of clothes and another thing to make one. Seems to me it was about like this," and he took up a burnt stick and a piece of grocer's paper. "No—now hold on. Yes, I remember now; I seen a bunch of squaws make one oncet.

"First they sewed the skins together. No, first thar was a lot o' prayin'; ye kin suit yerselves 'bout that--then they sewed the skins together an" pegged it down flat on the prairie. Then put in a peg at the middle of one side (A). Then with a burnt stick an' a coord--yes, there must 'a' been a coord--they drawed a half circle--so. Then they cut that off, an' out o' the pieces they make two flaps like that, an' sews 'em on. Them's smoke-flaps to make the smoke draw. Thar's a upside down pocket in the top side corner o' each smoke-flap--so—for the top of each pole, and there is rows o' holes down—so on each side fur the lacin' pins. Then at the top of
that pint ye fasten a short lash-rope.

"Le's see, now. I reckon thar's about ten poles for a ten-foot lodge, with two more for the smoke-flaps. Now, when ye set her up ye tie three poles together--so--an' set 'em up first, then lean the other poles around, except one, an' lash them by carrying the rope around a few times. Now tie the top o' the cover to the top o' the last pole by the short lash-rope, hist the pole into place--that hists the cover, too, ye see--an' ye swing it round with the smoke-poles an' fasten the two edges together with the wooden pins. The two long poles put in the smoke-flap pockets works the vent to suit the wind."

"What keeps it from blowin' down?" he asked.

"Wall," said Caleb, still addressing Yan, "the long rope that binds the poles is carried down under, and fastened tight to a stake that serves for anchor, 'sides the edge of the cover is pegged to the ground all around."

"How do you make the smoke draw?" was his next.

"Ye swing the flaps by changing the poles till they is quartering down the wind. That draws best."

"How do you close the door?"

"Wall, some jest lets the edges sag together, but the best teepees has a door made of the same stuff as the cover put tight on a saplin' frame an' swung from a lacin' pin."


Ernest Thompson Seton - Two Little Savages
“It is tedious to live; it is tedious to die; it is tedious to c**p in deep snow”
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Offline Forestwalker

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Re: What about a tipi?
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2010, 03:35:47 pm »

I use a lavvu which is the Samisk (Lapp) version of the tipi. Mine is a Venor single pole model (enstangslavvu). Their website is here but it is all in Norwegian.

http://www.mamut.net/venor/default.htm

How are these for setting up in snow? How are the Venor one as to build quality?

Offline low-1

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Re: What about a tipi?
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2010, 08:09:05 pm »
Check out kifaruforums.net lots of good discussion and photos of tipi-style shelters in the winter.  Ultra light, they have packable tipi and stove setups that weigh about 12 pounds in total, for an 8 man or 10 man set up, and pack up super-small.

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Re: What about a tipi?
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2010, 08:10:59 pm »

Online chimpac

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Re: What about a tipi?
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2010, 08:34:50 pm »
I have tried the tipi shape and abandoned it in favor of a tunnel shape because it uses heat better and has more room for my head and shoulders.

A tarp fits a tunnel square shape better with than round tipi shape.

Its easy to sew a rectangle tarp. You have waste material and tricky fitting to sew a tipi.

It is easier to convert a tarp to a summer shade and use my centerpole chimney/stove

Hot air rises so I say the roof of a tent should be as low as possible to keep it as near as possible to me. 40" of chimney is all I use (plus 5" outside).




« Last Edit: January 07, 2010, 08:43:29 pm by chimpac »

Offline HOOP

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Re: What about a tipi?
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2010, 07:18:07 am »
I will agree with Chimpac that a small conical tipi is tough to live in because there is so little comfortable and useable space.    Tipis have to be very tall before the slope of the walls open up for head and shoulder room.   Heavy snow loads on small conical tents also push the sides in no matter how well you guy them out, meaning that when sleeping by the wall, it may press in on your face, and with every move there is frost falling on your face (been there, done that).

I don't want to dis any gear here, but I did try a Kifaru tent, and it just did not serve my needs well at all.   (I know we have some Kifaru fans on this site, so I welcome the rebuttal on my opinions  :) ).  I used the 8 man (enough room for 2 people with wood stove and heavy snow loads), and it had something like 18 peg points.   This is almost impossible to deal with in deep snow.   Set up time is very long for airy forest snow, since the snow has to set up (sinter) to hold the peg tension.  

There are no guy lines, so its hopelessly sagging in deep forest snow sets.   There are tensioning lines above every peg (another 18 lines!), that cinch on the pegs.  The pegs pop out of the snow with the tension!   I had to knot the cords, add more line and guy out sideways to trees - way too much work.  

Since the chimney comes up the top, I burned spark holes in the tent the first use (I used a standard hot tenting wood stove without spark arrestors, not the little Kifaru stove with its insert screens).  In the wood I burn here, I just can't see maintaining a draw through a 3 inch screen with about 1/8 - 1/4 inch mesh.      

I think the tent has a good use, but it is designed to be hard pegged into the ground with steel pegs.   It is the hard pegging that gives the tent its taught shape in the photos, especially since the side high tension cinching relies on the pegs.   The Kifaru comes with short, brittle plastic pegs that were absolutely useless for deep snow and frozen ground.    I had to buy a set of long aluminum snow pegs, and had to cut many stakes as well.   Can't hard peg in deep snow, unless you want to cut 18 3-foot stakes and hammer them in with your axe on every set up.    I am not carrying 18 3-foot stakes on my sled either.  

I found the small, fragile, multi-piece take-apart Kifaru stove inappropriate for the firewood supply and camping style I use.  I am not picking sticks and pine cones.  I am cutting larger diameter standing wood, splitting billets, and shoving them in to provide big time heat, and burning wood to stay warm in deep cold.   I just can't imagine assembling and disassembling all those tiny parts and nuts and bolts, and keeping all the parts in the bag, in deep snow at -30 in a wind with bare hands.   The stainless roll-up chimney pipe has a lot of interesting properties, but it will slice your hands and fingers open with its sharp edges (they reccomend using gloves, but that's hard to do with big knobby gloves in deep cold).   Then there are all the little wire loops one has to slide over the roll, etc, etc.   That seems like a lot of fiddly bare handed work.

Overall, I did not find the Kifaru suitable for my winter hot tent needs in the boreal forest.

Personally, I like a higher tent than Chimpac's preference.   I really like the 6 1/2 foot height (taller  if you dig out a floor well) of a Snowtrekker or wall tent.   A propper sized wood stove can more than heat that space very easy, so much so that top vents are needed to get rid of excess heat and moisture.   Drying stuff up high works very fast in a taller hot tent.  (Again wood supply type will affect your choice of stove and tent).   Yes, ultralight means smaller tents and smaller stoves, and that is great.  I want to evolve that way for solo hot tenting.   But for regular use, I want a taller tent to stand up in, with lots of room and steep sides for shedding snow, and guy outs for keeping the sides tight and pulled out.   I just bought a 2-man Snowtrekker expedition for solo hot tenting, and can't wait to try it out!    :)
« Last Edit: January 08, 2010, 07:22:37 am by HOOP »
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Re: What about a tipi?
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2010, 08:52:03 am »
Well, I have used canvas wall tents, and I have used my conical lavvu. The lavvu is better in most but not all ways.

It is easy to set up because it is so simple. I have not had the pegging difficulties Hoop mentions but I have big aluminum snow pegs. I just pack down the snow, wait a while for it to scinter, then set up. Also my lavvu has an ample snow flap so that can be used to guy it out. Also it has many guyline points to make it more stable if necessary.

I find the cone shape to be efficient for heating. While it is high, the volume up high is quite low. So I find that it heats up well for a person sitting, standing or lying down. I also find that the shape sheds snow so well that I have no need for a tarp, which seems to be the norm for canvas wall tents in snow country.

I use a 3 inch chimney out the top with no spark arrester, and I have never had a spark hole. The smoke does not have to travel far to be well away from the tent. I have had one when using an open fire in the tent, not surprisingly.

I agree that it is not as space efficient as a rectangular tent, because people lying down are basically rectangular. However the lavvu is quite a bit lighter so one can bring a larger tent. I also find the conical shape to be much better looking and somehow more "natural" than the wall tent, certainly a matter of taste I realize.

Snowwalker, the Vennor is a very good product and very well made. However there is one very good Swedish brand, I think called Moskoselkatan, but now Tentipi. They had the internal adjustable smokehat which I found fascinating but a bit too complicated for my taste. But they are very expensive...

Daniel.


Offline Forestwalker

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Re: What about a tipi?
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2010, 10:11:34 am »
Snowwalker, the Vennor is a very good product and very well made. However there is one very good Swedish brand, I think called Moskoselkatan, but now Tentipi. They had the internal adjustable smokehat which I found fascinating but a bit too complicated for my taste. But they are very expensive...

I have an older Moskosel (the TÃ¥pp Jakt 5 in green polyester), and I do like the adjustable smoke-hat (and the 3-sided ventilation on the newer ones). But there is a significant price difference between the Venor and the Tentipi offerings, and if the Venor is a high quality product (even if not as fancy) then it might be a good option for winter camping.

Offline FlatbowMB

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Re: What about a tipi?
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2010, 11:19:48 am »
I have an 8 man Kifaru Tipi which is fine for 2 people when winter camping.  The tipi liner is essential to prevent the condensation-frost issue that Hoop mentioned. It makes all the difference.  Also the standard plastic 'durapegs' that come as standard with the tipi are completely usesles for winter conditions as well as most summer conditions that I encounter in Manitoba and NW Ontario.  If you have the right pegs for the conditions (I'm still working on something that should work well in all conditions), the tipi sets up very quickly.

For winter camping use, I'd recommend the 12 man or even 16 man size for the extra lots of living space, and the fact that their is such a minimal increase in weight with the larger sizes (still lighter than any of the canvas tents).  I am very curious to try out a snowtrekker tent for myself.

As far as the stove set up goes, with any nylon shelters, cinder screens (spark arrestors) are a must.  With the Kifaru stove design, the cinders are located immediately above the firebox and have minimal effect on draft, because when cynders hit the screen, they get incinerated immediately because they are so close to the box.  You very rarely have to clean these screens even with very sappy wood.  If the airflow does seem to be gradually reducing, just pull & push on the 'tail' of the snowshoe-shaped screen. This bit of friction of the screen sliding along the edges of the slot in the stove pipe collars will clean off the screen right away.

Offline dks

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Re: What about a tipi?
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2010, 03:15:01 pm »
I have  a 4 man Kifaru tipi and I suppose what you don't have, you don't miss... Since I travel solo in the winter (with a dog sometimes), I don't find the 4 man too small. A bit cramped, but, the ease of set up and weight make up for it. I bring along the SST stakes that Kifaru sells and they work extremely well in deep snow conditions. Of course, you have to pack the snow a bit and let it set while you collect wood. I think the key is to have deep snow and extend the stakes at a low angle. You don't have to rely on any other poles, trees, etc. to set up the tipi.
Once I set up the tipi, (approx. 15 minutes) I set up the stove sheltered inside the tipi. Practice does help, and I can set up the stove in about another 15 minutes. All the pieces and wire loops do take a bit of getting used to, but, it really is quite easy to set up. Just make sure you assemble it over the carrying case and you won't lose a thing in the snow.
When it snows, you may have to extend the stakes a bit, but, again in my experience it is a quick "pull it out, stretch it a bit and push it back in". The tipi will remain fairly taut, although I have on occasion used extra SST stakes to hold up the sides a bit from the inside. For solo use, the Kifaru tipi suits me fine since I don't like pulling alot of weight. It frees up lots of space- so that I can bring more....useless stuff!

Offline madnorm

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Re: What about a tipi?
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2010, 08:27:24 pm »
I've been with 12 people in a 25 foot teepee in the winter. You burn a lot of wood, and if you get up to pee in the night, it's required you put wood on the fire. It still got a little chilly sometimes in -20 temps, but overall a great experience. The liner is essential. I'm not sure you can make this work with a small number of people and a smaller teepee, but for large groups it's awesome. The liner prevents ground level drafts. We actually had craft programs and  camping instruction during the day. With 12 people it doesn't take a lot of time to gather your wood. You can cook all day if you want stew or something slow, and you always have hot water for tea and coffee. The key, as hoop pointed out, is, the teepee has to be large so you have lots of headroom. The first 4 feet on each side are pretty much useless for living space. And the fire ring will take up 4 feet. So of an 18 foot diameter teepee, 2+4= 8 feet are used by the sloping sides,  and another four for the fire ring leaves you 6 feet if useable space, a 3 wide foot circle around the fire pit. Not exactly spacious.  So an 18 foot teepee is good for 4, 6 if you pack them in. But every couple of feet add after that increases the number of people you can bring in exponentially. A thirty footer a group of friends rented once for the Wiki Pow Wow had room for 12, with a living sleeping area, a social area with a picnic table and chairs, a food prep area, and easily would have supported another 5 or 6 people. We felt like we were wandering around in this huge space. If you're used to camping, there's nothing like it. Even at the beginning of August we found that somehow the tipi design kept the bugs off us. The combination of the fire and the constant updraft seemed to keep them away from us. Even though we had the sides rolled up for ventilation.

You need poles and it's heavy. But if you take 10-16 people, you'd be carrying a lot of tent weight in any case. Sadly, the problem with them, is because of their weight and the difficulty most have setting them up, they tend to get set up and left until nature brings them down. Because they are cooked in, you may have bear trouble. A friend of mine had his 25 footer destroyed by a bear one summer, doubtless attracted by food smells. Another friend had one he left up all summer on land he owned in Muskoka burned down by  a relative who went up for the weekend. He'd built a wooden pad to put the teepee on, if you stick with tradition and have a dirt floor you won't have a problem.  The old timers who used to participate in teepee raising competitions that were popular in the 40's tell me they could put up a teepee in 10 minutes. It's a skill worth mastering, but maybe not for one who isn't going to go at it 100%. having a good time with a teepee requires skill, in erection, in positioning, in managing the smoke flaps. First time I was one my own in one it took a few hours to figure out the flaps so the whole space wasn't filled with smoke. Once you're comfortable in one, you probably won't go back to anything else, as long as you've crossed that critical barrier of probably 6-8 people. For 4 people, I'm not sure it makes a lot of sense in the winter, although 4 is fine in an 18 footer in the summer if it's set up when you arrive and someone else is looking after it when you leave. (In other words if you want to rent one for the Wiki Pow wow you'll love it.) If you're thinking of transporting it through the bush and moving every couple of days, unless you're really willing to put time into your set up and take down skills, it's probably not worth it. Especially since all one man on the trip is going to do is carry the teepee. You're going to need enough other guys to carry all the other stuff you need on the trip. With six people on a trip if each of you cuts three poles, that's doable. If you have 3 people and each of you has to cut 5-6 poles and collect firewood.. you can see how  numbers can take using a teepee from impractical to quite doable with a larger group.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2010, 08:36:55 pm by madnorm »

Offline lonegreeneagle

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Re: What about a tipi?
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2010, 06:08:37 am »
           Hello all,
     I use and abuse my "campfire" tent. Setting the low end into the wind I never (hardly ever) have to worry about ash and burn holes. I still use a spark arrester on my military style Yukon stove which holds a good wood load for heating and cooking without baking me to a sweat. Properly set guy lines means minimal flapping. I have sewn velcro across the tops of the side flaps and the awning for a tight seal. My exit wall and stove corner are also velcroed. The tent is tall in the common area for gathered conversations, drying clothes and getting dressed while cooking meals in the morning.
      I own and use a 16' Teepee for reenactments, Pow-Wows and family camping occasionally. With a liner its fine for cool weather without a stove. I have slept many a night in a hide Teepee with a hide liner and fire and found it quite comfortable. Canvas doesn't insulate as well! At a Browning Reservation PowWow and rodeo we had over a hundred lodges set. During a freak tornado (Montana mind you) only three went down. They had not staked them out completely, set the poles anchor rope to a stake or they hadn't weighted the poles anchor rope which is another technique if you don't mind a large rock dangling.
     As for Chimpac's design, it looks similar to a Hilleburg cold camping tent I cannot justify the money for but would love to have. It is a usable tent with plenty of room. I admire the innovations that went into it and applaud him for making what fits him and his style.
     When the lodge (Teepee) is put to the question I remenber those windy nights in a Montana summer storm during fire season. Those lodges survived and the people inside hardly worried. The conical shape lends itself to diverting winds and loads instead of fighting them.
                                   Happy Camping Gentlefolk
                                             Van
Avid outdoorsman? My son and I snowshoe and winter camp with a four season tent and no stove. When my daughter comes along we drag sleds holding the campfire style tent I made and my military style Yukon stove. We canoe and kayak long trips in the early spring till Thanksgiving. That's my son's and my last float of the canoe season as we celebrate his birthday.  My daughter more than my son loves climbing. My sore neck!
Along with the tent, I've made packs,paddles and the poor man's RV from an 18' boat trailer. It now carries our canoes, kayaks, mountain bikes, camping ger and the TeePee pole