How to make a teepee – Surviving nature


The tipi is a shelter in the form of a kind of pyramid which contains an opening at the top allowing a good evacuation of the smoke. It is usually made with a waterproof canvas and it weighs around 15 kg. However, in a survival situation, you can make a tipi using a light parachute fabric folded in half of about 1Kg. The manufacture and assembly of this type of shelter is simple and very easy.

Stages of making a teepee

– Cut the canvas in the form of two equal rectangles of approximately (4.30 mx 4.30) and place them one at the end of the other, making them protrude a few centimeters.

– Make a cut in a way to form a semicircle and sew the two fabrics together while forming a narrow space in the middle to be able to pass a pole afterwards.

– On the diagonal, move 65 cm away from the middle of the seam and cut two rectangles on the right side and another rectangle on the left side of 100x60cm each.

– Tie four cords to the rectangle at the end of the right side and fold the canvas in half.

– Move 30 cm away from the left end of the semi-circle, sew four large buttons in correspondence with the cords of the left end.

– On the lower part of the canvas, make a small cut to form an opening that you could close with straps.

– Cut ten fine branches a little longer than the canvas since they will have to be installed at an angle and will exceed the ridge.

– Prepare twenty stakes, a long rope of 7.50m and ten small ropes of 45cm to tie the branches to the canvas.

– Finally, make twenty holes in the lower part of the teepee to then attach it to the pegs during assembly.

Types of assembly of a teepee

Once you’ve made the teepee, you’ll have several options for assembly.

Mounting without poles

You have the option of erecting the tipi without poles, wrap the end of a large rope on the top of the tipi and tie a strong knot, and then you only have to tie this rope to a tree trunk on a height that exceeds that of the teepee so that it is tight.

Sedentary assembly

Set up and assemble the three main poles in a way to form a cone. Then set up the other seven poles in the form of a beam that will come as a support for the canvas of the teepee.

Side pole mount

Start by passing a pole through the seam in the middle of the two pieces of canvas. Tie the pole with the end of the cone using a cord. Attach the large rope to this knot and stretch it out forming a 60° angle with the ground and tie it to a tree trunk or branch to finish.

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