View Full Version : Tipis in the Pacific Northwest

03-14-2003, 06:45 PM
I am on the verge of ordering a 4 man tipi for bow season here in western Washington but I am concerned about the utility of the floorless design for later in the season when the rains start. Any one have input on this? Thanks!!

Dale Lindsley
03-15-2003, 12:54 PM
I have limited experience with a Paratipi in the rain. When pitched on the forest floor, it did fine. When pitched on hard packed dirt, it flooded. In the second case, the ground was so hard I couldn't drive large alumium gutter nails into it.

Ed C
03-15-2003, 04:03 PM

I have been hunting out of tents with no floors for 30 years. First wall tents now a 4 man ultralight. We used to ditch the wall tents if we needed to. I will ditch the tipi if I have to, but so far I haven't had to. No floor is the way to go. If you have a floor you bring mud, snow, water in with you then you have a lake. With the tipi you don't worry about that, you just come in fire up the stove and get dry. You'll love it.

P.S. What's a SubDoc?

Ed C
03-15-2003, 04:06 PM
I forgot be sure and fill the ditch in even if it's only a little one for the tipi.

03-16-2003, 11:20 PM

I have an eight-man and spent three days in the rain perched on fairly hard dirt and unlevel ground. No water issues. Even unsealed--some water came through but ran down the sides. Little if any came in underneath.
You're not asking but....I would recommend the 8-man unless you know what you're doing.

Good luck.

Call me Razorsharp

03-17-2003, 07:12 PM
Ed, I am a submarine Independent Duty Corpsman. When US submarines get underway they don't take a Dr. I am both the medical department and the radiation health officer. I came to this job after 8 years with the Fleet Marine Force as a combat medic.

03-17-2003, 09:00 PM
Subdoc, as a kid, I slept in nothing but Whelen tents, which had no floor, or wall tents. In South Texas, it rained like a SOB at times. We never knew we were missing anything.

My father bought a trailer when a skunk came into my tent at night, and he thought I would sneeze or something and end up with a new after shave.

I occasionally don't even use a tent, and have never had a problem. Patrick will chip in with some hints, but if you can do it in Texas rain, you can survive anywhere in the rain.

03-17-2003, 09:01 PM
My oldest son is on the Chicago in Pearl Harbor. SSN 721, fast attack.
Thanks for what you do.


03-18-2003, 05:35 PM
Unfortuantly all tents are somewhat similar when it comes to rain. They will intercept X amount of water and funnel it somewhere else. I've slept in wall tents curled in a ball while a little creek flowed by too tired to ditch the tent. I've also taken my wife and plopped a floor tent in the wrong spot and woke up floating - so I was tired of driving and didn't listen to the weather forecast. Who knew it would rain that hard during spring in the smoky mountains. Go figure. Anyway, if the ground can't absorb the water then you will have a problem in any tent during a bad storm - floor or no floor. So far I've been lucky with my tipi and hadn't had to ditch it but... Anyway good luck and thanks. Mike.

Ed C
03-18-2003, 08:37 PM
The name makes perfectly good sense now. Admiral profession. I worked on the sub base in Bangor in 73 and 74 built it actually, not single handed though.

Like everyone is saying you won't have any trouble with floorless, it's better actually. One learns by experience. Don't pitch it or any tent in a depression. I like Mike have made that mistake, pitched a dome tent with floor in a hole and woke up with 6 inches of water inside. An old timer taught me think rain, think snow, think wind, especially wind, look up. Are any trees going to get you? What's going to happen in the worst conditions? Level ground is important, but probably not as important as trees or lightning. It becomes second nature after a while especially when you are solo. I'll never forget the first time ol Mel and I set up a spike camp [a lean to tarp] he's looking up in the air and I think he's gone crazy you can imagine the conversation when I had to ask.

Like Kevin I grew up in Texas and did my Boy Scout days in wall tents with no floors, also sleeping out with heavy canvas tarps with no floors. I knew there was something I liked about him. Anyway thanks for serving our country. Even if you don't stick anything with your arrow you will have a first class comfortable camp with a tipi and stove. If you go solo consider a para tipi. Good Luck


03-19-2003, 05:04 PM
Thanks Ed, I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one. Did I mention that it was on our honey moon? You would think after 30 years the woman would forget! Naaaa, a memory like an elephant.

Subdoc, to me a really big advanage of the dirt floor, besides not being concerned about tracking in snow and water, is that you don't care about the mess from storing and burning wood.

03-21-2003, 08:05 PM
Thanks to everyone for the input. I have spent many a night in floorless tents but in dry or snowy areas. I have more than a few nights in shelter half tents but I don't recommend it.
Thanks again!