Author Topic: Tipi design  (Read 4431 times)

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Offline Brewguy

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Tipi design
« on: January 11, 2011, 08:19:54 AM »
I'm looking to build a backpacking tipi for myself using some type of silnylon.  I was hoping someone here might have some tips or advice for either the tipi design or working with the sil nylon?  I know how to layout the basic cone shape tipi and we are fairly decent at sewing, although if there are certain seems that work better??

My plan right now is to sew two sheets together to get my width and then cut in a half circle, I believe if I make it slightly oblong it will give me a bit of a pole forward shape that should hold up to wind better. 

Then I'm going to put a stove jack in and make a packable camp stove for winter. 

I know Spoon used to make this type of stuff but I'm not sure he is still around, last I checked this site was down. 

Offline therealsteamer

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Re: Tipi design
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2011, 11:29:58 AM »
Spoon is still around.. his site is getting some revamping done.....   Shoot him a PM for some info on the silnylon..

Offline epijunkie67

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Re: Tipi design
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2011, 11:00:37 PM »
Just exactly how big are you planning on making this structure?  Even using very light weight material seems like you'd need quite a bit of it for a tipi shaped structure.  Including the poles you're looking at a fair amount of bulk.  Which might be great for a camping tent but is it viable for a backpacking unit?

Are you looking for some kind of advantage over regular camping tents or bivies, or are you just looking for something to have fun with?
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Offline Brewguy

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Re: Tipi design
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2011, 10:55:10 AM »
The size will be somewhere around 9 foot diameter for a small one, me and son and roughly 14 feet for the family one.  I like the floorless design and the ability to use a stove in the winter.  Family back packing tents are really heavy and expensive and pack huge.  I'll use a center pole and a fiberglass stove jack. 

Brother in law just got a North face double headed toad, it packs down very large and weighs 9 pounds.  Not a lot of spare room inside either.  I should be able to make a family size with stove and come in under that weight.

There are quite a few manufactures making them, Kifaru and Titanium goat are some of the nicer ones. 

I'm pretty certain I have the measurements down, I'm going to make a test one out of plastic and then I'll get the sil-nylon. 

Offline azredhawk44

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Re: Tipi design
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2011, 01:44:17 PM »
Floorless design has some flaws, in case you haven't thought of them yet:

1.  Rain.  Slope is hard to predict on flat ground.  If you get some rain, you'll get water come in somehow from underneath your walls.  An insulator sleep pad will keep part of you out of the water, but your sleeping bag will still make at least moderate contact.  This will reduce comfort and also drop body temperature.

2.  Bugs/wildlife.  An enclosed tent is a wonderful thing, and in many parts of the country... not just the poisonous southwest.  Problems I've avoided here include black widows, tarantulas, scorpions, centipedes, ticks and other creepycrawlies.  I've camped on South Padre Island in Texas near Corpus Christi, and had little blue crabs running sideways at my tent and paw/crawl at the walls of it for 30 second to 1 minute bursts, then rest for a few moments and try again.  Creepy.  I remember earlier in the night playing a game with the crabs in the dark.  It was like that Vin Diesel movie,  Pitch Black.  I'd turn on the flashlight and aim at a spot on the beach and the crabs would run away from the circle of light, just on the edge of it.  They'd close in behind me and I'd point the light over there.  There were THOUSANDS of them on the beach.  If I laid down on that sand without cover, I would have been pinched by hundreds of them and they wouldn't have left me alone until the mass of them either drove me off the beach, or literally tore me to little pieces.  I guarantee that those buggers would find a way into a tipi.

3.  Snakes LOVE residual night warmth from stones that have been warmed by fire.  You have a floorless tent with a stove inside.  'Nuf said.

Keep those things in consideration if you do use a floorless tent/tipi.  I've done rough-it tarp and tentless backpacking in parts of the country that have less reputation for creepycrawlies and snakes so it certainly is possible and convenient to save on the weight... but I'd rather have a couple of cheap WalMart $20 two man pup tents than a tipi for bugout or long range backpacking trips.
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Offline Brewguy

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Re: Tipi design
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2011, 01:51:29 PM »
It's interesting because the opinions really are all over the place. 

My plan would be to have a tarp under the sleeping area to help with any water that might make it in. 

My primary plan for use is in the cooler months when I'll use a wood stove inside, bugs and things won't be as much of an issue that time of year.  I could always sew a floor in it..

I'll give it some more consideration before I pick up the material.

Floorless design has some flaws, in case you haven't thought of them yet:

1.  Rain.  Slope is hard to predict on flat ground.  If you get some rain, you'll get water come in somehow from underneath your walls.  An insulator sleep pad will keep part of you out of the water, but your sleeping bag will still make at least moderate contact.  This will reduce comfort and also drop body temperature.

2.  Bugs/wildlife.  An enclosed tent is a wonderful thing, and in many parts of the country... not just the poisonous southwest.  Problems I've avoided here include black widows, tarantulas, scorpions, centipedes, ticks and other creepycrawlies.  I've camped on South Padre Island in Texas near Corpus Christi, and had little blue crabs running sideways at my tent and paw/crawl at the walls of it for 30 second to 1 minute bursts, then rest for a few moments and try again.  Creepy.  I remember earlier in the night playing a game with the crabs in the dark.  It was like that Vin Diesel movie,  Pitch Black.  I'd turn on the flashlight and aim at a spot on the beach and the crabs would run away from the circle of light, just on the edge of it.  They'd close in behind me and I'd point the light over there.  There were THOUSANDS of them on the beach.  If I laid down on that sand without cover, I would have been pinched by hundreds of them and they wouldn't have left me alone until the mass of them either drove me off the beach, or literally tore me to little pieces.  I guarantee that those buggers would find a way into a tipi.

3.  Snakes LOVE residual night warmth from stones that have been warmed by fire.  You have a floorless tent with a stove inside.  'Nuf said.

Keep those things in consideration if you do use a floorless tent/tipi.  I've done rough-it tarp and tentless backpacking in parts of the country that have less reputation for creepycrawlies and snakes so it certainly is possible and convenient to save on the weight... but I'd rather have a couple of cheap WalMart $20 two man pup tents than a tipi for bugout or long range backpacking trips.

Offline thereisnospoon

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Re: Tipi design
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2011, 02:39:55 PM »
I think I gave you a few links for your project, but never did hear if you had any success.  If you need furter assistance, let me know.

Original design piotched via paracord over branch:


Via center pole:




Modified/elongated version...2 poles:

double zippered entrance (both sides)




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Offline Brewguy

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Re: Tipi design
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2011, 02:43:55 PM »
I think I gave you a few links for your project, but never did hear if you had any success.  If you need furter assistance, let me know.

Spoon

Yes you did, and thank you.  I've been reviewing them.  There is a lot of info out there and i'm trying to take it all in.   I really like the idea of a heated shelter in the winter and the tipi seems to work great for that, plus I can make it pretty cheaply. 

I'll probably look into a tent for the summer months. 

What ever I end up doing I will let everyone know.

Offline Beprepared

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Re: Tipi design
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2011, 09:48:54 PM »
I'll through my $0.02 in here.

A tipi tent is a nice use of space, I reference spoon's pics. Good sq ft-age, decent headroom. But I have to agree with AZ on this. Camping in the Boy Scouts taught me a few things, first is that if it's raining EVERYTHING will get wet. If it's on the ground it WILL get wet. Ditching a tent to avoid runoff is a myth, unless you dig a 1ft x 1tf moat around your tent, even then the runoff of your tent will come under the sides. Don't argue with me about "well I did this once", the water WILL get in your tent. And your tent will leak.

When I camp I have dogs to that keeps the bigger creepies away. The small bugs WILL get in your tent and it only takes three "no-see-ums" to keep you up at night batting at your ears or face. Ticks (or even the dreaded "redbugs") will ride your cloths into your shelter. Accept that you will have bugs, if you get silly with "bug spray" you run the risk of compromising the waterproof on your tent material.

I use either an enclosed dome tent or my BOB poncho-poncho liner to sleep in when I camp with my kids. (I make them use their own sleeping arrangements, to learn as I did.) And with 20 yrs of camping experience I still get a stick/rock/bug bothering me at night. Unless it looks like rain, I don't have overhead cover.

Just my $0.02 of wisdom and it's worth every penny you paid for it.

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Offline devildog70

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Re: Tipi design
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2011, 06:45:00 PM »
My friend bought a Wyoming Lost and Found tipi at the end of last year, and a Titanium Goat Large Box stove to go with it. It is seriously awesome, and is on my shortlist of things to get - hopefully by winter. Multicam tipi with woodstove = Tactical Hilton :D His is the 5 person, and including the stove, stakes (he got carbon fiber),  and center pole it weighs in at slightly less than 6 pounds. He uses a ground cloth with it, which he pre-cut to fit , including an opening for the stove to sit in. I would probably do the same, only have some velcro -pre sewn to the base of the tipi, and then some to the ground cloth to mate them together, just in case.

The stove folds down to about the size of a piece of printer paper, and 1-1.5 inches thick. The chimney folds down to the size of a paper towel roll. With the stove in the tipi, we slept 4 grown men comfortably, and temps were TOASTY. The tipi in a stuff sack is pretty small as well. Not a setup I'd carry year round, butin the winter, bugging out with the family, it would certainly be very nice to have.