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Old 07-09-2020, 03:12 AM
Despicable_me Despicable_me is offline
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Hi everyone, new here but I need some good advise on constructing a 4 pole tipi that are 3.5 meters tall each. It would be great to get the tipi to have a 4 meters diameter. Also would it be wise to plant the poles in cubic foot foundations with concrete for each? The concrete would hopefully solidify while they lean against one another on the top or am I wrong in thinking this? Any advise would be appreciated thanks in advance
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Old 07-09-2020, 04:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Despicable_me View Post
Hi everyone, new here but I need some good advise on constructing a 4 pole tipi that are 3.5 meters tall each. It would be great to get the tipi to have a 4 meters diameter. Also would it be wise to plant the poles in cubic foot foundations with concrete for each? The concrete would hopefully solidify while they lean against one another on the top or am I wrong in thinking this? Any advise would be appreciated thanks in advance
Well, first off...what is the purpose of the tipi? The purpose dictates most design choices of any structure. Is this something for the kids to play in for the summer or a year round heated structure you are going to live in?

Second....I live where tipi's are still used and lived in one for a time as a kid and so am pretty familiar with them.

Normally they have thirteen poles.

Four will not work. You may have a shelter of some kind but it won't have the durability or space of a tipi. The relatively large number of poles is what makes a tipi so durable and rigid compared to most tents.

There is no need for concrete at the bottom of the poles. The canvas covering is staked to the ground and holds everything very solidly.

The entire purpose of a tipi is to be semi-portable and heatable without a stove or chimney. They are a big, heavy, strong structure, very different than a 'tent' more like primitive mobile home than anything else.
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Old 07-09-2020, 06:07 AM
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Thank you for the reply, yes it will be a live in for a year round period. So 13 poles, I haven't got a lumber supplier here but there are forests with dry wood trees like blue gum. Would gathering the longest and straightest polls do after treating them with vanish or another kind of substance to make the polls weatherproof? Any other designs or in depth advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-09-2020, 06:36 AM
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Just find some old "swing sets" that people throw out and use them. Tried it and it works great, cost nothing.
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Old 07-09-2020, 06:38 AM
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Here everybody uses lodgepole pine for tipi poles, which naturally grows long and straight. If its peeled it lasts for many many years. I suppose you could varnish or oil them if you wanted but I don't think I've ever seen anyone do that. It probably depends on what kind of wood you have available and your climate. Traditionally new poles would be made from the local wood when the tipi was moved so they where never intended to last forever.

There is nothing special about having exactly 13 poles, the idea is though that you have enough that there is a pole every couple of feet around the base. This makes the walls very solid and strong and holds a round shape. Larger tipis may need more poles, smaller ones, less....but more is generally better.

But yes, any long, fairly straight tree would work. For a full sized tipi you want your poles to be about 3-4" in diameter at the base and at least 1.5-2" at the point where they cross at the top. Two of the poles are usually a bit longer than the rest and used on the outside to control the smoke flaps.




If you are planing to live in it you will want a tipi liner. It makes them a lot more comfortable and easier to heat and keep out drafts or creatures.

Its basically another layer of fabric attached to the inside of the poles with laces, about 4-5 feet high, that runs along the base of the walls. The bottom part folds against the ground, making a kind of seal that keeps out drafts which would normally be drawn in under the outer wall.


https://www.manataka.org/images/Engtipi1.jpg
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Old 07-09-2020, 06:49 AM
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That's really great thanks a lot. How much would 13 of the lodgepoles be? And where could I get them online? Regards
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Old 07-09-2020, 07:09 AM
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That's really great thanks a lot. How much would 13 of the lodgepoles be? And where could I get them online? Regards
Doing a quick search I see that you can actually get them online from a few places although shipping is probably difficult given they are usually 20-30 feet long and you need a dozen or more to make a teepee.

I would try to find a local source for poles before trying to order them. Lodge pole pine trees are used here because they grow here by the millions, but there is probably something that grows where you are that can do the same job if you don't have them in your area.

But this is an example of a place that sells them if you have the money to pay for shipping.
https://www.crazycrow.com/teepee-camping/tipi-poles
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Old 07-09-2020, 07:57 AM
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Thanks very much for the insight and resourcefulness
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Old 07-09-2020, 08:43 AM
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I was looking at those pics and diagrams and got to wondering if rain leakage from the top of the teepee and door is ever a problem. Light rain, probably not. But days of sustained rain or some of our thunder boomers here seem like they could allow things to get wet.
I imagine rainwater from the top would tend to run down the poles and deposit it around the perimeter.

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Old 07-09-2020, 08:46 AM
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Yes I saw an article where you can make a rain cover for the top of the poles which seems to do the trick
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Old 07-09-2020, 08:49 AM
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Last question , I've found pine trees in the forests surrounding area. But I also found a lumber in another town father ahead. The thing is does the base diameter of the poles matter a lot for the construction of the tipi? The base of the poles I can buy is about a 1 and half inches in diameter and so is the top also. Would this work? Otherwise gathering them would be the other option.
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Old 07-09-2020, 08:56 AM
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I was on a crew that replaced a broken tipi pole once. So while I have never owned one, I am familiar with that process.
S/H quoted by the company is not to your location but the nearest train yard that will accept it.
Permit needed to for xlong load, driver with certification allowing him to load and drive truck took a few weeks, not sure of the price, but it wasn't free.
The train yard was Tulsa, the destination 125 miles away. Time/mileage added to delivery costs.
Best advice - Catch an invite or rent a tipi for a weekend before you buy. See how location, type of pole and position, outer cover, inner liner and other details work together.
If you haven't erected and/or spent a bit of time in each of 4 seasons in a tipi, the learning curve can be a real bitch.
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Old 07-09-2020, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Black.Dog~ View Post
I was looking at those pics and diagrams and got to wondering if rain leakage from the top of the teepee and door is ever a problem. Light rain, probably not. But days of sustained rain or some of our thunder boomers here seem like they could allow things to get wet.
I imagine rainwater from the top would tend to run down the poles and deposit it around the perimeter.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
I've been in many during OK thunderstorms. My comfort as a guest depended entirely on the owners talent with the poles, liners and flaps.
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Old 07-09-2020, 11:37 AM
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Well, first off...what is the purpose of the tipi? The purpose dictates most design choices of any structure. Is this something for the kids to play in for the summer or a year round heated structure you are going to live in?

Second....I live where tipi's are still used and lived in one for a time as a kid and so am pretty familiar with them.

Normally they have thirteen poles.

Four will not work. You may have a shelter of some kind but it won't have the durability or space of a tipi. The relatively large number of poles is what makes a tipi so durable and rigid compared to most tents.

There is no need for concrete at the bottom of the poles. The canvas covering is staked to the ground and holds everything very solidly.

The entire purpose of a tipi is to be semi-portable and heatable without a stove or chimney. They are a big, heavy, strong structure, very different than a 'tent' more like primitive mobile home than anything else.
I think Aerindel needs to start a new post on how one lives in a tipi. I would be very interested in reading a first hand account. How they are set up, how they are furnished, how you deal with the fire, cooking in one, staying clean in one and just general day to day living would all be interesting to learn about.
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Old 07-12-2020, 02:06 PM
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To add what other's have posted, I submit the following from my experiences.
1st I have lived in them for probably better than a year (possibly 2) total throughout all seasons in Wyoming and Colorado (hence harsh climates; heat, wind and cold). But spread out over a span of 20 years. And I did the first time live continuously from May to Sept (last to 1st snow) at 9,000' in the Colorado Rockies out side Nederland. Used them for hunting camps and had them in my yard for 10 years to "Wow" the tourists as they drove by to the Fetterman Battlefield Historical site that was on the border of my property..
I've owned 3 (12', 16' and 20') and helped set up countless others for Rendezvous' and Dude ranches, etc ad nauseum.
Tipis come in 2 styles. 4 pole and 3 pole set. The 3 pole (Sioux) is an 'egg' shaped foot print with a noticeably sloped entrance side, while the 4 pole (Crow style) is perfectly conical with a circular foot print.
Get yourself a copy of "The Indian Tipi" by Reginald Laubin. There is no better reference than this book for use and history.
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Old 07-12-2020, 02:22 PM
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I had my tipi made by nomadic tipi makers of bend oregon, they made the tipi,s for dances with wolves. I had some special graphics painted on it by them, and the liner had a redtail hawk painted on it I also got a canvas floor for it, I bought a wood stove with a 3 gal water container that attaches to the side of the stove. the tipi alone cost $2000.00, and the lodge pole pine 22 ft poles were $350.00 and the shipping from montana to my home was $400.00, so when all was said and done it was over $3000.00, Go to NOMADIC TIPI web site to view all their tipis and optiond , you will be amazed.
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Old 07-12-2020, 02:27 PM
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There's a lot of etiquette, tradition and protocol if you wish to be 'authentic'.
1) You want plenty of large dried/stabilized rocks for the fire pit.
a) You also want a subterranean draft tube to feed air to the fire.
2) You want a properly fitted Ozan (internal rain fly)
3) You can use any straight saplings (I've used hickory when in central Texas), but bigger is better.
a) Did I mention LARGE poles? lol. Sleeping on the ground level is fine, but being elevated is better in the winter. Therefore, I have used poles up to 5" in diameter and strung a hammock for winter warmth. Elevated is nice too since mice and voles have been known to make sleeping bag visits at O-dark-thirty.
4) For aesthetics you want Long poles. It just looks SO MUCH better with an hourglass shape and the circle of pole tips high above the canvass. I eventually had all the pole numbered and trimmed to achieve this wow factor.
5) You Really want a separate place for cooking and eating. (see mouse comment above)
6) An old style Coleman white gas lantern with the glass removed and a foil lamp shade makes excellent reading light and casts warmth down on you.
Feel free to ask anything specific.
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Old 07-12-2020, 05:01 PM
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Some years ago I used to live in tipis (off and on), and also sold them back in my powwow dancing and trading days. The very best commercially made tipi that I have found (at the time) were from Panther Primitives:

http://www.pantherprimitives.com/tipis.html

I made my poles from young pines cut from my own land, peeled them with a drawknife, sanded with rough, then medium sandpaper, then coated with a mixture of 50% Linseed Oil (commercially boiled) and 50% turpentine.

Because a properly set up 3-pole tipi has an oval footprint, it will withstand strong winds like a champ. Tipis were designed for standing up to harsh winds and have stood the test of time. The four pole style I have had no personal experience with, so I will leave the commenting to others on that.

Tipis are easy to set up (once you learn to do it properly). I am a woman barely over five feet tall and have no problems setting up and dismantling a tipi by myself.

If you would like to learn more about proper construction and set up, I highly recommend this book, The Indian Tipi: Its History, Construction, and Use, 2nd Edition 2nd Edition by Reginald & Gladys Laubin:

https://www.amazon.com/Indian-Tipi-I...4590549&sr=8-1

Here is another (free) source of good info:
https://www.tipi.com/wp-content/uplo...cs-Catalog.pdf
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Old 07-12-2020, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
The Indian Tipi: Its History, Construction, and Use, 2nd Edition 2nd Edition by Reginald & Gladys Laubin:
Yep. THIS ^^

My mother sewed her own 18' diameter tipi with her old Singer sewing machine in 1985 with that book as a guide.
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Old 07-12-2020, 10:59 PM
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Fwiw, we've done repeated business with This Co. out of MT: https://reliabletent.com/tipis/ ..and, they Do 'just sell poles': https://reliabletent.com/product/tipi-poles/ ...etc..

...Although we got a couple of 'wall-style' Tents from them (vs a Tipi-style..) I can't attest to how "good" their Tipis are, but.. Can say the Canvas-walls we've got from them are Excellent (..and Yes, we've 'wintered' a bit in them, and they were Excellent perfomers / stayed Dry in rain, etc..

I would not hesitate to consider one of their Tipi kits (we just needed something bigger / preferred the 'wall' form-factor for our Stoves, etc..)

..Again, just Fwiw..
jd
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