Week 1

Day 1 in the Captain’s Journal

Set Up:

After 8 months of convincing my parents that I wasn’t going to freeze to death in the Winter (I’m still not convinced myself, sorry Ma), and a few weeks of planning, Ricky B (Dad) and I spent the better part of a day setting this bad boy up! Shout out to the Graff family and Vinnie Broderick from Camp Pasquaney for the SWEET location, my boy Kurt for helping me move in, and BIG thanks to Ricky B (Dad) for all of his crafty, birch log accessories and furniture, and for all the prep work while I was in NZ. People are awesome, man. Grateful for all the cool folks in my life.

Anyway, I got the tipi from Nomadic Tipi Makers out in Oregon, who sent me all the pieces, and not going to lie, I didn’t expect it to be as much work as it was! I mean how hard could putting a bunch of sticks together really be?

…Pretty hard actually…

But WORTH IT! This design is modeled after what the Lakota Sioux used to build, and because of the harsh conditions that would frequent that side of the country, there are heaps of extra steps that need to be taken during construction to ensure the prevention of wind, ice, snow, stingrays, and anything else that damage the tipi and ruin your day. Those steps include: reinforcing the poles’ unity by tying three ropes around the circumference at different heights, staking in the canvas all the way around, tying multiple liners to the inside, and nailing in small three inch “bridges” on the inside on the poles that filter rain water away from the floor and out towards the ground. There’s even an extra piece of canvas called an Ozan, which is essentially a drop ceiling for the back part of the tipi to keep the space warm and dry by shedding water behind the liner.

Although my tipi is a 12 footer, I could imagine the larger ones as being a great place to seek shelter from bad weather. With the prevailing winds predominantly coming in from the West, we put the door facing East (as per Native tradition), so that the gusts would hit the back of the tipi first and slow down as they went up and over the top. It’s also in a pretty exposed field, so the Sun does a great job of heating it up during the day, as well as letting in light.

Life in the Tipi (so far)

Night one was a success! It was decently warm, comfortable, and really cool to hear all the nocturnal animal activity outside throughout the night. I discovered that I have a Barred Owl as a neighbor, which is pretty neat. Maybe I’ll invite him/her over for coffee. (Or do they prefer tea?)

I’d say the only downside is the large hornet’s nest that accrued in my smoke flaps over the last couple of weeks while I was away. My plan is to try and negotiate with them first, but I have a feeling it’s not going to go so well, and I’ll have to end up using spray. I mean they’re not even paying rent.

Anyway, enough of the shenaniganry. I’m pysched to spend the next few months chillin’ in a very small upside down ice cream cone!

Stay tuned for updates


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


2 thoughts on “Week 1

  1. You are the talk of my family. My kiddo is quite inspired by you and planning to follow this closely. My guy just kept saying “Bet it’s wet out there tonight.” STAY DRY!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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