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TENT ARCHITECTURE

THE TIPI

Taking festival bookings now for 2016.

SIZES AND UK PRICES - PITCHING INSTRUCTIONS

No temporary structure is more beautiful, more comfortable, more robust or more practical.  Although the tipi is strong enough to withstand fierce storms and is capable of being a comfortable home all year round, you can dismantle it in less than half an hour and erect it again in under two hours.

NiceTipi

Tipis are an ideal structure for organised camps for both adults and children as part of an outdoor activities holiday.  In places of outstanding natural beauty the tipi, unlike any other structure, will not detract from the scenery.  A tipi is so beautiful and natural that it has a positive impact as you can see from some of the photographs on this site. In the garden a tipi is a comfortable shady summer house, a childrens play space protected from the sun or a cosy evening social space with an open fireplace.  Not to mention a dynamic feature.
The same structure can be so large that you feel as though you are in a cathedral or so small and intimate it¹s almost womb like.

YOUR TIPI

TIPI2

If you want special modifications we can design and then incorporate them. In the past we have made tipis with four doors, permanent tipi installations and changed the size and shape of the doors to suit customers needs.

The size of your tipi will depend on what would best suit you and your local environment. Sizes range from 30¹ down to 10¹ so there is a wide range to choose from.

Your tipi is made to order. You tell us what colours you want and what size you want. Your can even choose the colour of the stitching used where there is stitching detail in the canvases. Your complete Dulas Valley Tipi is supplied with the following componant parts. 1. Fire retardand tipi cover 12oz cotton duck with 16 oz front panel in a colour or colours of your choice. 2. 16 oz cotton duck lining, 4.5 ft high in tipi 18 ft and under, 6 ft high in tipis 21 ft and over in the colour of your choice. 3. Fire retardant 12 oz cotton duck ozan (full internal rain canopy). 4. Spruce poles, 10-16ft tipis 14 off, 18 and 21 ft tipis 17 off, over 21 ft 20 off. 5. Synethic hemp yaughting ropes, anchor 14mm and lining 10mm. 6. Hardwood stakes. 7. Hardwood lining pegs. 8. Willow lacing pins. 9. Charlie stick and braided nylon smokeflap lines. 10. Double satin ribbons for poles and charlie stick. 11. Door cover. 12. Canvas storage bags for cover, lining, pegs and ropes.

colour

The cover of the tipi is mainly white. This gives good light in the tipi. Choose from these colours to highlight the smokeflaps, door panel and interior lining.

RED • ORANGE YELLOW GREEN BLUE BLACKBROWN SAND

SIZES AND UK PRICES

Prices are inclusive of VAT We now include Ozanz at 50% of original cost with all new purchases of our Tipis 16ft and above.

LARGE TIPIS - SOCIAL GATHERINGS - PUBLIC EVENTS - PUBLIC PARKS - PARTIES - FESTIVALS - WEDDINGS - FAMILY GATHERINGS - TEAM BUILDING EVENTSDOOR

SIZE

PRICE

CAPACITY

SLEEPS

30¹ TIPI

£6,700.00

100

20

28¹TIPI

£5,300.00

70

16

26¹ TIPI

£4,700.00

50

12

24¹ TIPI

£3,500.00

30

10

MEDIUM TIPIS - SUMMERHOUSE - GARDEN STRUCTURE - HOLIDAY HOME - PRIVATE RETREAT

SIZE

PRICE

CAPACITY

SLEEPS

21¹ TIPI

£2,600.00

12

6

18¹ TIPI

£2,000.00

8

4

SMALL TIPIS - CAMPING - TOURING - GARDEN STRUCTURE - RETREAT

SIZE

PRICE

CAPACITY

SLEEPS

16¹ TIPI

£1,800.00

6

3

14¹ TIPI

£1450.00

4

2

CHILDREN'S TIPIS - PLAYSPACE - GARDEN SLEEPOVER - EDUCATIONAL STRUCTURE

SIZE

PRICE

12¹ TIPI

£1,200.00

10¹ TIPI

£1000.00

FULLY FURNISHED & EQUIPPED TIPIS

You can choose from our range of quality contemporary furnishings, perhaps to match your chosen colours, plus other equiptment for your tipi. just ask us for a quote to furnish your tipi - or choose items from the selection below.

Coir Matting

£120.00 - £180.00

Canvas Beanbag floor cushions

£25.00

Washable Sheepskins

£50.00

Canvas Backrests

£40.00

Wrought iron fire trivet

£150.00

Stone Fireplace

£40.00

Mexican Blankets and Rugs

£50.00

We offer special deals on basic furnishings purchased with tipis as part of a package.

TECHNICAL INFORMATION:

CANVAS: White, black and brown, fire resistant to British and European safety standards, waterproofed and rot resistant. Weight: 12-15 oz/square metre

Ozans ordered at the same time as a new Tipi will be subject to a 50% discount.

DELIVERY & INSTALATION SERVICES



Wherever you are in the UK, we will deliver and install your tipi. The cost of this service is based on distance and where you want your tipi.  If you want us to come back at any point to reinstall, after winter storage, you can just call us and arrange it. 

Overseas services can be arranged by negotiation.

PITCHING INSTRUCTIONS top

1 Sort poles
2 Measuring the tripod|
3 Raising the tripod
4 Making the frame
5 Putting the cover on
6 Pegging
7 Hanging the lining
8 Tipi care and maintenance
9 Lighting the fire
10 Operational advice
11 How to fold your tipi cover
12 The Ozan



Always give yourself enough room to pitch your tipi, enough room to sort your poles, spread your cover and build your tipi frame. Sometimes it isn't possible to have room for everything at once and you will have to juggle it.

1 Sort poles

Check and sort your poles out, a 14'/16' tipi should have 14 poles, an 18'/21' tipi should have 17 poles. The three strongest poles for the tripod (N,S and D, standing for north, south and door respectively), the longest pole is the lifting pole (LP), two twisted or bendy, medium sized poles for the smoke flap poles.

Tie ribbons (2' min.) to the very tips of all the poles except the smokeflap poles, put these to the side. 

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Fig 1, the cover spread out2 Measuring the tripod

As in Figure 1 spread your tipi cover on a flat area of ground next to where you want to pitch your tipi making sure the cover is stretched flat, in order to measure the position of your tripod. Two poles are laid down. the centre of the cover (N,S) their butts 4 - 6" over the edge of the cover and their tips between the smokeflaps. The third tripod pole (D, door pole) lies on top, and crosses the other two in the centre of the lifting triangle, its butt 3' away from the front strip, 4 - 6" over the edge.

Where they cross on the lifting triangle the poles are lashed together with the tail end of the thickest rope using a clove hitch (Fig. 2).
Fig.2 Tying the poles
It is crucial that the knot is very tight to stop any of the poles slipping when the tripod is upright. To ensure this ,when the poles are lashed ,swing the door pole (D) round to lie beside poles N&S -without moving it through the lashing point. Then tighten again by pulling the two rope ends and pushing with your foot against the poles/knot.Wrap the short end round two more times and secure with a reef knot, then spread the pole D apart to its original spacing, you should be able to hear the rope tighten around the poles.


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3 Raising the tripod



To raise the tripod, move it to where you want your tipi, two or three people are required. Lie the poles on the pitch (Fig 4, dotted lines).One person pushes the butts of the poles into the ground with their boot to stop them slipping or lifting. While the other(s) lift poles N&S while walking underneath them - pushing and walking N&S until they are upright. When you have raised the poles spread N & S apart to make a tripod with D (Fig 3) One person can pitch a 14' tipi, 2 people for a 16' or 18', 2 or 3 people for a 21' tipi and so on. 

Fig.3 Erecting the tripodThe tripod position is crucial. The look and the shape of the tipi depends on the tripod, its pitch and angles between poles should be as close to Fig 3 as possible, when standing where the doorway will be. The doorway will be on the right of where the doorpole D rests, take your time and make sure the tripod is in the position you want it. The door traditionally is in the east but it may be different depending on the lie of the land and the prevailing wind. Ideally the tripod should not be moved once it is in position but it may be necessary to tweek it a little once the cover is on to get the odd wrinkle out.

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4 Making the frame

Now you place the rest of the poles in the frame in the order 1- 8 as in Fig 4 leaving a gap for the lifting pole LP. Poles 1-6 all lie in the same fork of the crown at the front, poles 7 and 8 lie in the same fork at the back. (If you have a 17 pole tipi there would be an extra pole in each side, 4 in each side at the front and 3 at the back).This means that the bulk of the poles at the crown lies in the smoke hole of the tipi.

Fig. 4. Ground plan of tipiThen take the anchor rope, which is hanging from the centre of the frame, pull it to the outside and walk (dance) it round the frame sunwise (clockwise). Take the rope round 4 times (to symbolise the 4 seasons or 4 directions) flicking it up tight to the crown as you walk around. Make sure that the rope winds tight around the crown as this is what holds the poles in place, tighten the rope by pulling it down, not outwards. Then leave the rope hanging down in the middle again, there should be enough rope left hanging to lash securely to two stakes in the ground. Do not worry about the position of poles 1-8 on the ground as they will be adjusted to there final positions when the cover is on.   

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5 Putting the cover on

Tie the lifting pole onto the inside of the tipi cover at the lifting triangle (between the smoke flaps).The pole should lie down the middle of the cover with the butt 4-6" over the bottom edge of the cloth, the same as the tripod, this is how we set the height of the canvas off the ground. Lash the pole to the lifting triangle using strips of cloth rather than rope or cord as it binds better, a secure lashing is important to stop the cover slipping down the pole when it is lifted into position.

Gather the cloth around the lifting pole and lift it in one bundle over to the framework of poles, placing the butt of the lifting pole in between poles 7 and 8 at the back. Again someone foots the butt of the pole and others lift the cover and pole together to vertical, then place in the same fork of the crown as poles 7 and 8.

Unroll the cover around the frame, making sure that the smokeflaps and lines are not snagged on the inside, and lace up the front with the lacing pins - the side with the wider spacing of holes goes on top and start lacing from the top.

Fig. 5 The door coverTie a rope or broomstick across between the door pole and pole 1 below chest height to stand on and reach the top pins. With either of your last two pins secure the door onto the cover by the holes at the top of the door (Fig.5).

Your tipi should now be taking shape before you. The cover should be about 4 - 6" of the ground on the tripod and lifting poles. Then space the other poles evenly around the cover as in Fig 4 each one sticking out 4 - 6" until the canvas is evenly stretched. Notice the shape of the floor plan is elliptical (egg-shaped).Any serious wrinkles may be caused by pushing the pole(s) out to far, if wrinkles appear pull poles back in a little where it happens.

Smoke flaps.To the smokeflap poles tie short sticks 2 - 4' from the tips across the pole with strips of fabric. (The sticks stop the poles slipping through the loops of the smokeflaps).Lance the loops of the smoke flaps with the smokeflap poles, push up and out to stretch the flaps taut (Fig. 6).

Stick through smokeflapsPlant the forked stick in the ground 4 - 6' in front of the door of the tipi then attach the lines from the bottom of each smokeflap to the points of the stick, pulling the lines fairly tight. Taut smoke flaps pushed away from the wind help the smoke draw up and out. 



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6 Pegging

Peg loops are made by tying pebbles or marbles into the cloth with 12" - 20" of strong cord using a clove hitch (pennies will do if you are stuck).

Start at the lifting pole and work round each side at bottom of each pole. After hitching the pebble into the cloth tie of the loose ends of the cord to make a loop.( You may want to leave the pegging until after you have hung the lining or you may want to peg just the windward side - to enable rolling up of sides ). Place a peg in the loop formed and twist round until the cord is tight around it. Hammer the peg into the ground at an angle, removing any last wrinkles.

Stick two pegs crossed in a V form in the ground either behind the fireplace/smoke hole or to the side.Anchor the rope hanging in the centre of the tipi securely to them. This is usually only necessary when the winds are strong, otherwise the rope can hang down behind the lining. 

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7 Hanging the lining

Pass the lining rope around the outside of the poles, but inside the cover. On a 14'-18' tipi the rope should be about waist height, on a 21' or larger tipi the lining rope would be about chest height. Tie the ends of the rope to each other with reef knot. Unroll the lining on the ground inside the tipi starting from the doorway, with the ties in towards the centre. Starting at the door, from the outside of the tipi, peg the lining down just inside the poles. Stretch it between each peg as you go and fold the bottom 6" to the inside.When you have gone all the way round go inside the tipi and tie the webbing ties at the top of the lining up to the rope you passed round the poles. Tie each with a bow knot for easy release. The rope may be too high or too low. If too high the ties will not reach all the way round and you will have to slacken it off. If too low.the lining will sag, you will have to tighten the rope and take up the slack. Pull and peg the lining until it is tight, it takes a little time.

The lining is there to insulate the tipi and exclude drafts, but let air rise up. That is why the cover doesn't reach all the way down to the ground. The air is drawn up by the heat in the tipi and keeps the space ventilated and dry, like a chimney in effect.

To make it homely you have to make a tipi warm and comfortable - no tipi is complete without a fire. Make a fireplace forward of centre under the smoke hole, using good stones to enclose it, like you would an outdoor campfire. Choose your fire stones carefully making sure they will not crack or explode when fired. Good wood is fairly essential, dry seasoned hardwood holds a bright flame . Avoid wet wood and any thing that smokes a lot. Green rushes make good ground cover (traditional), mats, rugs and sheepskins all help to finish the space.

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8 Tipi care and maintenance

To enjoy your tipi it will take a little looking after. Choose a suitable location and aspect for your tipi, one you feel comfortable with.

Care of your tipi canvas and woodwork will ensure that your tipi will last for years.

When pitched it will have to be secured against wind and rain and also opened wide to the air and sun When derigged the canvas must be stored dry. Poles should be stored outdoors but undercover. Sand and oil (linseed) your poles each autumn to protect them from weathering, it cleans any soot of them and smooths any rough areas caused by drying out.

Choose your pitch well, a good pitch should be sheltered from the weather from the west and north and open to the sun from the south and east. Traditionally the tipi is pitched facing east which is good for protection from prevailing winds and catching the morning sun. But it is not obligatory and your pitch may have some features that affect this, like a large tree or a fence to the east etc.

If you are making a permanent camp a good floor is essential in a tipi especially in the cooler months. First make sure that all the water drains off round the out side of your pitch. It may even be necessary to level your pitch before pitching or to dig a ditch on one side to take any surface water away. If you go to the trouble of terracing your pitch you may want to put some gravel on top to encourage surface drainage. Reeds and rushes make a good base layer next to the ground as a barrier and for insulation. If your camp is not a permanent one a layer or two of coir matting will do or some such equivalent. These coverings will allow the ground to breath and any spillages, drips etc. to drain away. Plastic floor coverings are not a good idea. Colourful rugs, sheepskins backrests, baskets all help to insulate your lodge and make it homely. Air out the under layers on dry days every few weeks. 

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9 Lighting the fire

When you have pitched your tipi and laid the floor lighting your fire is the next important task. Always choose the driest wood, especially when first lighting, like dead seasoned branches up in trees which are air dried. Even in the wettest weather dry twigs and branches can be found in most trees. Choice of wood is very important. Trees to steer clear of are Willow, Blackthorn, Rhododendron, Elder, Ewe. Excellent woods when seasoned are Ash, Holly, Apple, Oak heartwood, Sycamore. Pine is good kindling but tends to spark and spit so watch your rugs. Remember to empty your ashes out sometimes, especially if they are damp (the fireplace should be positioned under the smoke hole and collects any drips from above).

As you light your fire you will see how well the smoke draws out the smoke hole, you may have to adjust your smoke flaps. Getting your smoke flaps right shouldn't be a problem but can be a matter of trial and error with changing winds In general they point away from the direction of the wind, stretched tight. The gap between the flaps is wider on finer days than on days when the weather is poor. When the weather is fine it is good to open them wide and let the air through your tipi. At first the smoke flap poles seem a bit large and unwieldy but you will soon get used to handling them. After you have adjusted them always push the flap upright by pushing the pole up and in towards the base of the tipi, taught flaps help wind deflection and smoke draw. 

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10 Operational advice

In bad weather peg your tipi securely. Make sure the anchor pegs are solid, the rope is taught and tied well to them. Check the peg ties on the cover, making sure that they are tight around their pebbles and then peg down well. Always start pegging from the lifting pole and then round each side stretching the cover down and round towards the front. Tipis are quite aero dynamic and are resistant to most winds when properly secured.

In good weather unpeg your tipi cover occasionally and air out the base of of the lining. Roll back the lining away from the door loosening a few ties and lining pegs to create a large entrance, this allows air and sun in to dry out floorspace especially round the door area. You can take out the lacing pins and roll the cover right back onto the lifting pole on fine days, with the sky above using the lining as a wind break.

When you must leave your tipi for a time it is always wise to batten its hatches before you go as weather can change suddenly and sometimes you can't always get back. Rap the smoke flaps around the crown of the tipi, by placing one flap and pole inside the other bringing the butt of the pole round to the door. Then push the other flap and pole over the first, bringing its butt round to the door also. ( insert diagram of closed smoke flaps here ) Crossed poles or sticks over the door being symbolic of there's no one in and the doors shut, and it helps keep most of the rain out. Pull/fold any rugs away from the fire area , hang sheepskins and blankets on the lining rope between the poles. Peg the anchor rope well especially on larger tipis and check the pegs round the cover often.

Repitching your lodge is a good idea at least every six months for the sake of the ground it is on (see Pitching Instructions), canvas and ropes also stretch and everything is restretched and tightened when you repitch. If you don't want to use it over the winter take it down after a couple of dry days make sure the seams and hems are dry. If you don't have some dry days and must take it down or the lower parts of the cover and lining are still damp hang up in a shed, airing cupboard or by the stove until it is well dry before folding and storing.

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11 How to fold your tipi cover

Lining: fold along vertical seams until canvas is in a bundle one panel wide then roll up, rolling from the top of the lining to the bottom. Make sure that where it is pegged to the ground the is dry before storing.

Fig. 6  Folding the lining

Always dry your canvas before folding and storing.

Sometimes you may have to take down your tipi down when it is wet; always unfold and dry thoroughly before putting it away.

Poles should be rubbed down by hand with medium sandpaper and then oiled with linseed oil before storing. Either upright in a bundle against a tree/building or under cover

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12 The Ozan

When pitching an ozan for the first time the Tipi should be well pitched and and the poles evenly spaced, using the lining seams as a guide for the pole spacing, this will help your ozan fit in future. Read these instructions through and look at the diagrams before pitching the ozan. The fire place should be directly under the hole between the smoke flaps and the fire should be completely out.

To pitch the ozan spread it out in the tipi with the two long ties towards the door. You will need a chair or a step ladder to reach up to tie the long strings on to the door poles. The front edge of the ozan (the straight edge) should come half way across the fireplace - see plan.

The two ties should be tied up to the door poles about a foot above the bottom of the smoke flaps leaving about 15"- 20" of string between the poles and the edge of the ozan, you may need to get someone to take the weight of the ozan while you do this.
The ties to the poles will be put in at the correct places by using the pebble technique that we use to peg down the tipi, tying a clove hitch around the pebble and leaving two long ends.

Then stretch out the ozan towards the back of the tipi (if you have an 18' or 21' tipi the centre crease of the ozan will tie to the lifting pole, a 14' or 16' the ozan centre will be between the lifting pole and the one to the left as you look at it from inside the tipi). Hold the centre crease up to the lifting pole or the space between the poles and stretch the canvas back from the door poles - there should be enough canvas to tie to the lifting pole at or just above head height and then to reach down behind the lining. (If there is to much canvas going behind the lining or not enough when you hold it up to the lifting pole you can adjust the length of the ties to the door poles) Adjust the height of the lifting pole tie position until the canvas looks in the right place, then tie a pebble into the cloth with 2' of cord, the pebble on the inside of the ozan and the ties outside - next to the poles. Then tie to the lifting pole at the correct height. Go to the next pole and do the same thing - stretch the canvas back from the door pole ties and from the the lifting pole and tie a pebble into the cloth at the correct height - then tie to the pole. Proceed round both sides of the tipi, stretching and tying pebbles into the ozan and tying up to the poles until you reach the front edge. Make sure you are happy with the look of the ozan at this stage before going on to the next stage.

The ozan should now be stretched above your head and sloping up towards the smoke hole with the excess fabric to tuck behind the lining hanging down. Go to the back of the tipi again and pull the excess fabric down to meet the lining. Where there is a lining tie make a hole in the ozan with a sharp knife or the point of a pair of scissors. Untie the lining tie and push the ozan down behind the lining - pull the ties through the hole you have made and retie tightly to the rope. Do the same with each tie round the lining on both sides, until you reach the leading edge of the ozan. The leading edge may need tidying up with a tie from the edge to the next pole.
Your ozan should now be pitched tightly between the poles sloping up to the smokehole and tucked neatly behind the lining.

Pitching Instructions by Laubin & Laubin