The TIPITENT® is an idea that has endured the test of time. Inspired by the cone-shaped shelters traditionally used by the plains Indians and the northern Scandinavian natives (the Laplanders who herd Caribou), Alpine Outfitters Inc, (AOI) has taken the advantage of modern lightweight materials to reinvent the classic tipi.
The classic tipi was made from hides and was supported by many poles placed around the perimeter leaning in towards the center. The tipi was heavy and several persons had to assist when setting up or taking it down. AOI saw the need for a tipi made from modern tent materials and fabrics, thus the TIPITENT® idea came to life.
The TIPITENT® is modular design thus you can tailor the TIPITENT® for each trip. For instance, you can reduce the overall weight by leaving the center-pole at home and use a pine (cut to length) instead. For this purpose, the TIPITENT® comes with a widened TOPCAP™ to that a pine easily fits into it. The single sturdy aluminum center-pole breaks down into four sections that fit into each other, and packs into a 36”by 3” stuffsack.
All TIPITENT® models from Alpine Outfitters Inc, comes with two air vents, optional screened doors and a screened TOPHAT™ for keeping those pesky insects away. In addition, the solid TOPHAT™ will keep a tight seal around the stovepipes’ heatshield thus keeping rain from dripping inside.
The smallest model, the “Mountain TIPITENT ®”, is approximately 10.75m2 (115sqft); weighs 9kg (20lbs) and packs into a sturdy stuffsack of 9”x 34” with shoulder straps for easy carrying. This TIPITENT® can sleep 4-6 people at floor level. We like to promote this as a 2-3-person model where the occupants’ sleep at ground level with ample room for all the backpacks and gear inside.
The mid sized model, the “Camo Hunter TIPITENT®”, is 16.5m2 (178sqft), weighs 11,5kg (25lbs) and packs into a sturdy stuffsack with shoulder straps for easy carrying. This TIPITENT® can sleep 6-8 people at floor level. We like to promote this as a 2-3-person model where the occupants sleep on cots; a woodstove is used, and ample room for all your backpacks, camping chairs and gear inside, or as a 4-5-person model where the occupants’ sleep at ground level with ample room for all the backpacks and gear inside.
The largest model, the “Outfitter TIPITENT®”, is 22m2 (236sqft); weighs 14kg (30lbs) and packs into a sturdy stuffsack of 10”x 42” with shoulder straps for easy carrying. This TIPITENT® can sleep 10-12 people at floor level. We like to promote this as a 3-4-person model where the occupants sleep on cots; a woodstove is used, and ample room for all your backpacks, camping chairs and gear inside.
Substantially higher than most commercially available tents, the TIPITENT® has a waterproofing of 3000mm. This means that you can rub against the tent fabric and water won’t leak through. Another important feature to mention is that all tent fabric panels are adjoined by four seams running lengthwise (i.e. top to bottom) on the TIPITENT® that are both taped and reinforced with a nylon band. In addition, the TIPITENT® TENTPEGLOOPS™ are adjustable so that you may use sticks, skis or poles in addition to TENTPEGS to support the TIPITENT® where the soil or ground isn’t firm, i.e. on a sandbar or on snow.
The TIPITENT® is a floor less design, but don’t despair if you need a floor. The TIPITENT® groundsheet can be purchased separately and easy to attach to the buckles around the lower part of TIPITENT®. In addition, if you are venturing out in areas where the mosquitoes just won’t leave you alone, an accessory such as the TIPITENT® Mosquito Tent can be advantageous. The TIPITENT® Mosquito Tent attaches to the inside loops and can be pegged down in each corner.
Staking or setting up the TIPITENT® is actually very quick and easy once you’ve done it a few times. You simply stake down the corners adjacent to the main opening, then with a pre-measured rope stake down the corner(s) perpendicular to the opening followed by the remaining corners. Assemble the center-pole and insert it into the TOPCAP™ and extend it upwards until the TIPITENT ® is stretched tight.
The TIPITENT® is not freestanding as opposed to the traditional tipi with many poles, and therefore it must be securely staked out along its perimeter and by its guy ropes. If the wind is relaxed, you may opt not to use all the guy ropes, but in strong winds, peg the tent down with all the guy ropes.
What about ice fishing???? Bring your cordless drill, pop a few holes in the ice where you want the TENTPEGS to be placed, insert some long nails, fill after with water (so that the tent pegs freezes in place), insert the center-pole and your ice fishing hut is ready for use.
The TIPITENT® footprints are large, and you will need some space. The trick is “thinking not to have a perfectly flat surface”, but rather considering pitching the TIPITENT® overtop of stumps or rocks. With time and experience, these previous obstacles start to look more like useful furniture rather than a hindrance to set up the TIPITENT®.
Inside the TIPITENT® you may use an open interior cooking fire or use the woodstove of your choice for heating, cooking or drying your clothes. If using an open interior cooking fire inside the TIPITENT®, ensure that only kindling fuels the fire. This is because a kindling will burn hot and create enough of a draft to wick the smoke out of the TIPITENT®. Regular firewood doesn’t burn hot enough and you will get smoked out!. When using a woodstove inside the TIPITENT® always ensure that a heatshield (bi-vent) goes around the stovepipe where it touches the main TIPITENT® fabric. (This is to ensure that the stovepipe won’t melt or damage the TIPITENT®.)
Temperatures inside the TIPITENT® will vary with the outside temperatures. This also reflects the size of woodstove that you select to use. A large woodstove should be used for severe cold weather conditions and a smaller woodstove for those warmer days. If the woodstove is too large you will get cooked out of the TIPITENT® in even 20 below.
The TIPITENT® has been tested in harsh weather conditions, exposed to fierce rain pours, thunderstorms, hail and snow. From northern Norway (close to the Russian border) to northern Canada (Yukon) the TIPITENT® users have DISCOVERED THE ADVANTAGES with a warm, cozy and portable shelter that you can dry your wet or damp clothes inside. In inclement weather we’ve found that we had a tendency to disappear inside the TIPITENT® to play cards or just to hang out and rarely look out despite the opposing double doors with mosquito netting.
When using a woodstove it is essential that you monitor the ground just below as it might get very hot. Simply cover the area below your woodstove with rock or sand or simply periodically wet the area down. For added safety, please ensure that you have a spark-arrestor inside the stovepipe. We all want to preserve our forests, so please take every precaution necessary to avoid a forest fire.
It is also important to remember that in many locations it is very unwise to store or cook food inside the TIPITENT® because of the presence of wildlife (predators).
Overall, the TIPITENT® is an amazing shelter, particularly for base-camp oriented trips. There is nothing like coming back to camp cold and wet from a day out hiking or boating and walking straight into the TIPITENT® with your gear and boots still on, and light the fire you prepared before departing. Soon the warmth will spread throughout the TIPITENT® and you slip off your wet gear and hang it on the clothesline to dry.
With smoke coming out of the stovepipe, be prepared to get visitors. All your buddies will abandon their wet, cold and cramped up little dome tents to share the warmth and the atmosphere inside the TIPITENT®.
Furthermore, be prepared to have discussions with complete strangers, as you’ll attract company. Fellow campers will want to know more about the TIPITENT®. Share a cup of coffee or a hot chocolate and be prepared to make new friends.
14 FT Diameter
sleeps 6-8 / can fit 2 cots
w/ gear and woodstove comfortably.2
weighs 25 pounds.
16 FT Diameter
sleeps 10-12 / can fit 4 cots
w/ gear and woodstove comfortably.2
weighs 30 pounds.