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Always have some type of shelter ready to go – Make a cheap tarp tipi / tee-pee for emergency shelter backup…

Wednesday, March 1, 2017 10:41
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Make a single pole tarp tipi – teepee tent shelter from a 12 x 16′ tarp or similar aspect ratio sized tarp. I show how to make this teepee that requires only 1 single wood pole (or a trekking pole)…

You can use other sized tarps to make the tipi bigger or smaller, but try to keep the aspect ratio the same for this DIY project…

The old traditional method of making a tipi requires several poles to go around the perimeter and very much time to gather the materials and build the structure. With this method only one center pole is required, which can easily be found while out camping in the woods, and makes this tarp shelter ideal for backpacking, trail hiking, and exploring the outdoors.

This is an adequate floorless shelter for bad weather. The low profile design of this tipi / tee-pee helps to shed wind and make this shelter system storm proof. The camo flauge pattern tarp I used also provides for great stealth camping.

Requiring only one wood pole, or a single trekking pole, makes this system a compact and lightweight tipi-teepee tent kit that I can easily backpack around with me in the woods, deserts and mountains and I made this relatively cheap, for under $30…

There is a sacrifice in height using this new technique/ cut-out pattern compared to traditional teepee methods, but the added square footage at the base far advances the taller traditional structure in my humble opinion, for more wind resistance and more utilized living space.


To give you an idea of the size you’ll end up with, the diameter at the base will be close in length to the short dimension of the tarp size you decide to use (12′ in this case gave me about a 12′ diameter at the base using a 5’6″ tall pole) so a 10′ by 14′ tarp, for example, would give you about a 10′ diameter at the base. This 12 x 16′ tarp will provide plenty of room for a one person solo shelter, including room for a hot tent stove (coming soon), a cot and chair. This will also be adequate for two persons minus the chair. It would be sufficient for 3 people to sleep in but you probably wouldn’t have room in the shelter for a stove or chair. You’ll have to play around with the tarp to figure out the ideal length for the middle pole, as you cut its length, to suit your needs, but you do have some variance there. *tip: use a tennis ball on the end of the pole you use to give added protection as the tarp rest upon it

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