“Teepee, tipi or tepee” the varied spellings are just a fraction of the many design variation adopted by the nomadic plains tribes. Despite the many styles the overall principles remained the same; a conical structure consisting of a lodgepole framework and a hide cover which was later replaced by canvas as the buffalo disappeared. The teepee allowed for quick setup and takedown permitting the tribes to remain mobile and follow the buffalo herds which were their primary food source. Roughly twenty buffalo hides could be sewn together using bone awls and sinew thread to create a teepee cover for an eighteen foot lodge. Once the cover was in place a smudge fire was built inside the teepee and the new cover thoroughly smoked to make it water resistant. A new cover would last one to two years and afterwards the rotting lower sections of the covers were removed and they were reused for smaller tents.
What sets the teepee apart from other conical tents is the slight backwards tilt and smokeflaps. The backwards tilt braces the teepee against strong winds and the smokeflaps created a ventilation system that allowed for fires to be burned inside. Also aiding in the ventilation was an additional lining or dew cloth on the inside of the teepee. The liner prevented drafts by sealing out winds blown under the cover and rain water running down the lodgepoles.
Please visit our blog for a complete history of our teepee developement
Make your cold weather camping a lot warmer with a collapsible backcountry stove. Wood burning, made of stainless steel, lightweight, easy to use and durable. Coming soon to join our ultralight teepees in your field or on your mountain. Early photos of the original prototype. Check back soon for product photos, specs and availability of our [...]
Since most of us have finally finished digging out from Old Man Winter’s last dumping we thought it would be nice to show how the original prototype silnylon teepee is holding up. We were really encouraged by two things. First - the taut pitch despite the heavy snow load; notice the vertical seams on the outsides [...]
Feedback and testing results continue to flow back to us at the shop and we wanted to take a quick minute to thank all of those helping out. With those field reports come another round of design updates. So what’s new? ♦ The most striking change when compared to the previous model are the slanted [...]
Introducing the first prototype of the Arapahoe Outdoors ultralight silnylon teepee. The original teepees made with urethane coated ripstop nylon have served us dutifully for years but working with our gear testers we’ve decided to update our teepees with 30D silicone impregnated ripstop nylon. The new fabric is coated completely through and doesn’t allow moisture [...]
of confidence and power – for all those Pantera fans out there, mainly our co-worker and gear abuser Crazy. We’ve spent much of the last couple years refining our teepees and their assembly process. One of the conveniences of being a small, flexible company is that we can design something in the shop, prototype it, [...]