View Full Version : Pitching tipi in rocky terrain
12-30-2003, 04:35 AM
Just wondering if anyone has devised a way to pitch a Tipi in rocky terrain where you may not be able to put tent pegs in (or maybe not all of them at least)..
12-30-2003, 05:47 AM
You can usually get most of the pegs that come with the tipi into the ground. Try different angles; they'll worm down thru the rocks most often. You can also take a few nails, which can bust thru a lot of rock. Lastly, as you suggest, there are plenty of pegs loops on these tipis, and you don't have to anchor ALL of them to get a very secure pitch. I don't think I've ever been skunked.
The plains indians solved that problem centuries ago. There is still evidence of their method in existance - Tipi rings. Rock rings that held the skirt down, and marked a spot the former occupant deemed comfortable.
Are you talking about the inner skirt ... with a sod cloth?
No just the American indian Tipi.
Would imagine If one can shorten center pole ( I assume these are monopole setups) or just reduce radius one would have enought material to weight down.
In hot weather they would raise the skirts a foot or so to allow cooling, but how they coped with sudden winds in those conditions is another matter
A little bit of what I know about tipi's. Let me first say that I'm not a historian and by no means an expert on the subject, but I do have a couple of friends that make "Traditional Teepees", so I've been around them a little bit.
I've never heard of a traditional single pole teepee ... not saying such a thing didn't exist, I've just never heard of one. Traditional teepees have multiple poles - 10 to 12 on up, depending on size. Prime poles are long and slender, you know, like lodge pole pine. 3 to 4 poles lashed together as a base to stack the other poles up against. These base poles are anchored with a line and a stake on the inside of the teepee. The main cover (pimarily buffalo hide, until the introduction of canvas) is hoisted in place up onto the poles with a lanyard and maybe some help with the smoke flap poles. Sometimes the poles get staked down on the perimeter, but the cover is tied/lashed to the poles.
Here's where the "skirt" comes in. The main cover is usually pitched a few inches off the ground. An inner skirt (4' to 6' tall) is lashed to the inside of the poles. The inner skirt often has a flap, or sod cloth, around the bottom. With this sod cloth the inner skirt can be sealed to the ground. The inner skirt is key to a cozy teepee. It forms a double wall that allows air to flow through so an open fire can be drafted out of the top of the teepee without having a drafty abode. Smoke flaps at the top opening of the teepee can be adjusted for wind direction.
For the most part, the rocks you see around a teepee ring had as much to do with getting them out of the living room as anything. Hope this helps.
Matt in AK
12-30-2003, 12:18 PM
I had to pitch my 8-man this Fall in a swampy, uneven, spot when one of our ATVs broke down. I just used the peg loops that I could. The few low spots where I really couldn't anchor I threw dirt around the base to keep the 'skeeters' out. Worked out pretty well.
I also bought some steel tent pegs from Wal-Mart and they do very well when plastic just can't hack it. They also do better when it's super cold out.
12-30-2003, 02:04 PM
I pitched my paratipi on ground so hard that, in some spots, I couldn't get aluminum gutter-nails driven in. I slipped a two or three foot long spruce branch through each peg loop and then piled rocks on the branches. We got some very strong gusts of wind, but the branches stayed put. However, with ground that hard, the torrential rains did not soak in, so I had a river running through my tent.
Thanks for the discourse for those who have not been exposed to traditional Tipis.
I assume a Monopole is the preferred construction for current backpackable Tipis, as there is less material to carry.
Traditional Tipis could be wrapped around the pole skeleton with material on the ground for anchoring, that is what I refer to as a skirt. The inner wall for winter use is called I believe a "paraflesh"
No the Tipi rings were not just clearing an area, as large stones were utilized.
If you ever get to the Bighorn Recreational Area, on the border of Mt. & Wy. There is a bench on the West side of the Bighorn River, South of the canyon. On that bench are scores of rings, some dating back to pre horse. This seemed to be a camping area prior to crossing the river. Many rings are incomplete as rocks were taken to complete rings that owners felt were more desirable ground.
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