Camping… the old-fashioned way.December 5, 2014
You can’t get much more ‘old-fashioned’ than utilizing something from 4,000 years ago. The basic design of the tipi has been in use since the Middle Archaic period but most archaeological evidence dates tipi use to between 2,500 to 500 years ago.
The lavvu or kåta was a temporary dwelling used by the Sami people of northern Scandinavia, and made in a similar design to the Native American tipi. The word ‘tipi’ comes from the Lakota language, however the Sami kåta and the American tipi are in principle the same solution for living close to nature, but the Scandinavian style is less vertical and more stable in high winds.
The cone-shaped frame of wooden poles was covered in animal hides, with an opening at the top to let out smoke. In a very short time the nomadic Sami people were able to erect a wind-resistant and relatively sophisticated home that was easy to keep warm. The Native American tipi had a different cut to the fabric and a slightly different pole structure and placement. Covers were made by sewing together strips of tanned bison hide and cutting out a semi-circular shape from the resulting surface.
The tipi design is durable, provides warmth and comfort in winter, is cool in the heat of summer, and remains dry during heavy rain. They were designed to be set up or taken down easily to allow camps to pursue more fertile land, warmer climates and bison migrations. This portability was important to ancient peoples with their nomadic lifestyle. Just as important to the modern-day camper, Swedish Tentipi tipis are extremely portable, simpler to carry, can be erected with ease, and are also more sophisticated. With just eight pegs and only five minutes work your tipi will be up and sheltering you from the weather.
By the nineteenth century each tipi accommodated, on average, eight to ten adults and children. Tipis by Tentipi are still made for living comfortably outdoors, in any situation or environment, in your garden or in the wild. They are used for family camping, bush craft camps and schools, forest schools and outdoor centres. Beautifully made and designed with sizes ranging from small enough for the lone wolf or back packing couples, to families or larger corporate events. The superb ventilation options mean the Tentipi Nordic tipi is perfect for utilising either an indoor fire or stove, and during hot weather we haven’t found a cooler tent, for when the bottom and top vents are open the chimney effect keeps the interior refreshing and cool.
At ProAdventure we have the expertise that comes from a lifetime of playing and teaching in the outdoors and our aim is to supply kit that we trust to serve you well. Few things are as flexible as a Tentipi Nordic tipi. Perfect for car camping, canoe touring, and even sea kayaking and polar exploration, these are the best of tents and coming with a 4,000 year track record we thoroughly recommend one to you.