View Full Version : pin holes

01-29-2005, 01:00 PM
Can anyone tell me how often you get pinholes from sparks? Ive had my tipi set up for one day and already have one. The spark arrestors are not clogged and both were pushed in. I'm hoping its just a fluke, but I'm a little concerned. I dont want pinholes everytime I use it.Can Patrick or anyone give me an idea on how often this happens.
With that aside this 4 man/medium stove is just the ticket.It is around 20-30 degrees out and that heat is amazing. Had to vent several times because it got too hot. Boiled apot of coffe in ten minutes with small wood.
Very excited to take this thing out.Right now I'm a little concerned about the hole but other than that I'm very happy. Thank you Patrick

01-29-2005, 02:26 PM
You can and in your case will get small pin holes in your tipi. With that being said I have had my tipi for almost one year now and have burned in it at least 15 times. I have yet to get a pin hole in my tipi from hot embers (or anything else). The type of fuel you burn will make a difference.

If you do get a small hole Patrick recomends a dab of Shoe-Goo to patch it up.

01-29-2005, 04:55 PM
Definately a fuel issue. Oak seems to burn hot and clean but pine and fir throws the sparks. Consider what you are burning.

Dave R.
01-29-2005, 05:09 PM
My tipi is seven years old....many trips with it, one pin hole...Patched with GE Silicone II.


Kevin B
01-29-2005, 06:15 PM
Just a Q... could a guy with a 4 man just use a 6 man tipi stove pipe to get extra length. The weight diff would be nominal and except in severe wind I can't see that it'd be a real problem for it's extra height... just a thought. Might get embers a little extra cooling length and get them to the breeze and away from the tent.

01-29-2005, 07:19 PM
There is alot of pine trees where I am. There is alot of standing dead wood of these. Gathering wood from them is really nice and fast> Should pinewood not be considered?
In any event that is not what I was using when the pinhole occured. I was using spilit up 2*4s
It was popping alot but in the wilderness alot of woods will do that in a campfire.Its not always easy to find high quality wood to burn.
I did have the stove door open along time while burning.I thought with the draft through the stove pipe it would be ok. Could this may have been the problem?

01-29-2005, 07:43 PM
Op- if possible use hardwood...it should cut down on the sparks.

Kevin B- I questioned Patrick about this a while back, I forget what models I asked about, but he didn't seem like it would be a real problem. I think it would be a great idea for the little extra weight. I'd rather carry a bit more if it would eliminate a pinhole.

I've got one in my tipi, but it could have come from an outside fire. I get nervous as one bad wind and the tipi could be in rough shape if pitched to close to the fire pit. Some times though, a camping trip is not complete without an outside fire to sit around.

01-29-2005, 11:24 PM

1st how much damage do the "pin holes" create? can you fix them with a dab of seam sealer then never worry about them again? 2nd if there is no hard wood available should I bring out side wood if truck camping? I am not sure but it seems like there is not a lot of hardwood in my area of washington, that said remember I am from Kanasas and to me hardwood is oak, hickory and that sort of stuff I am not real familure with the pines and such of the olympic area yet! However I might add I am having a great time learning about the area and since finding this web site the learning curve has been cut down a lot..thanks


01-30-2005, 07:09 AM
....and don't burn pineneedles. I made the mistake of letting the kids feed handfulls of needles in and then discovered the tipi was being showered with soot. This may also be a clue that pitchy woods produce more sparks.
...oh, and the pin holes don't affect anything as far as I can tell. I haven't needed to seal them yet. In fact, I haven't resealed my tipi since the first day.
....I wouldn't hesitate to burn pine or fir but I would use both arresters, that's all........

01-30-2005, 08:16 AM
your reply about burning pinewood makes me feel better. 90% of the time this is what is avalable and most ease to collect for me.If pinewood should not be used and will likely create pinholes it could be a problem for me.
Last night I burned pinewood with no problems even though there was alot of popping.
I am still amazed with this set up especially the way the stove and pipe assembles and disassembles and packs in its case.

01-30-2005, 09:47 AM
Ops........to be honest; when I consider that I fire up the stove a half dozen times and burn it for hours, on a camping weekend, say, and have done that at least a dozen times without regard for wood type and with only one arrestor BEFORE I noticed my first pinhole....well, its just not a issue.
Technically, though, I should say that some of that time it was raining or snowing--?

01-30-2005, 01:13 PM
huntinhick: Hello, the maple and alder plentiful to your part of the world is classified a hard wood. unfortunately it can be a bugger to split when its dry hope this helps- rijrunr

01-30-2005, 01:32 PM

Almost all dimensional lumber, i.e. 2x4's, are pine. Conifers (pine, spruce, hemlock, fir, larch, yew, cedar - any tree with needles) are softwood. Generally any tree with regular leaves (since needles are a specialized leaf) is a hardwood and will normally burn hotter and cleaner than softwoods.

01-30-2005, 03:48 PM
I realized after I typed that indeed 2x4s are pine. I don't know what I was thinking?I did continue to burn the 2x4s last night.There was alot of popping but this time no pinholes.Like Ive said pinewood would be a main source of fuel for me. Is there any other guys that need to use pinewood and have done so with no ill effects to the tipi.I would think Patrick and others that hunt up high in the Rockies are forced into using softwood due to thats mainly whats available.

01-30-2005, 04:53 PM
At the rondy last year, we had piles and piles of softwood boards... thats what was burned. Used two screens but that did the job.

01-30-2005, 05:13 PM
I've had my 4-man on quite a few trips now with the stove going constantly some days, and I have used a lot of pine. No pin holes yet,and I use the two screens. I don't think pine is a problem, and you have been a little unlucky to get a pin hole so early in the piece. Not to worry though as you like this setup more and more the longer you have it.

01-31-2005, 05:26 AM
I'm coming up on my 1 year anniversary for my 6-man and small stove. Have used it probably 20-30 times in the last year. I use the stove a LOT!! I can't describe how much fun it is sitting in the tipi with a fire...

That said, I've got about 20 pinholes in my 6-man. I use the screens all the time, and need a new set BTW...I've also got about a 3/4" hole towards the bottom of one of the doors where a bear tried to rip my tipi outta its stuff sack.

Never sealed any of those holes, no rain or moisture ever comes in them, I think the holes are too small for H2O or something.

Last week, camped in freezing rain and had zero problems, was wamr and snug in the tipi.

Point is, don't worry about pinholes, it will not compromise the intergrity of your shelter. I don't like seeing holes in my tipi as well, the it has yet to impact the ability of my tipi to keep me warm and dry.

Point is

Gerard E
01-31-2005, 08:42 AM
Most of my tipi use, even the Elk hunts, are a modified truck camping outing. We camp a few hundred yards from the road and set up a base camp and use a second small tent for extra gear storage. I cut up Oak pallets and save any trim pieces from my woodshop. A chop saw works wonders for uniform sizing. I also cut up kindling and add some to each box so it's easily available no matter which one you grab. I know this is not maximizing the tipi's moblilty but it works well for my hunting partner and me. You might try a cabinet shop to get free hardwood trimmings. Years ago I worked at one and had endless barrels of hardwood butt pieces aavailable. Hope this helps. Also, don't worry about any nails. Gerard E.

01-31-2005, 03:05 PM
Larch and hemlock are notorious for spitting and sparking. Both develop pitch pockets embedded in the wood. The pitch heats, boils and cracks the wood, spitting sparks all over with great sound effects. The spark screens should handle these, however.