CHOOSING THE RIGHT TIPI
- Choosing the Right Size
Tipi size is the distance from the center of the door to the back of the tipi at ground level when the tipi is properly set up. It is also very close to the radius used to scribe the bottom hem of the tipi during the manufacturing process.
After much experience with tipis of various sizes, we have formed certain opinions about size:
Even those who camp alone usually prefer at least a 15-foot tipi. Unless you intend never to have any visitors, you will eventually find yourself crowded if you select a smaller lodge. When you allow for the space occupied by the fire area and the space needed for wood and for your gear, you will discover that a 15-foot tipi is about right for one or two people (crowded for two unless you travel light). If you expect to do a lot of cold weather camping and/or plan to travel light, you may opt for a 13-foot lodge made of heavy fabric with a high and heavy liner. However, if in doubt, go for the next larger size.
For two to four persons, we recommend at least the the 17.5 foot tipi. Now that the Reese children are grown (and most of us have our own tipis), our parents enjoy their 17.5 foot lodge. It gives them plenty of room for a fire and all of their gear and a little extra room for guests. It is, however, small enough to handle easily and to put up and take down with minimum effort.
For four or more people (up to eight adults) we recommend the 19.5 foot lodge. Remember, the size we use is the distance from the center of the door to the butt of the Lift Pole at ground level.
If you need something for more than eight people, we recommend more than one tipi. If you have small children, you may want to have an additional "play" tipi in a smaller size that can be put up in the back yard and be used on outings as an "overflow" bedroom (with or without fire).
If you have a large family, including teenagers who may want to bring friends, two tipis add considerable flexibility and an opportunity for privacy.
Our parents frequently take their 19.5 foot tipi on outings with the rest of the Reese children who have their own tipis. We then use our parents 19.5 foot tipi as the "kitchen" for all. This makes it easier for the mothers with small children. Their tipi becomes more of a private dwelling and our parents tipi becomes the social center. Of course, our parents love this. They sleep in the "kitchen" tipi and guard the food. Their 17.5 foot tipi serves as an extra bedroom for surplus grandchildren or guests.
Tipis larger than 19.5 feet are useful for some special applications (reunions, group activities, club outings, parties, etc.) but are hard to heat in cold weather and the poles are more difficult to handle and to transport. We seldom recommend anything larger than 19.5 feet for normal family use.
[Choosing the Right Style] [Choosing the Right Size] [Choosing the Right Fabric]
© 2001 - Frank Reese - All Rights Reserved.