Our Tipis in Use

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We like to hear about our customers' adventures in our Nordic tipis - whether it's a expedition across Siberia, or an interesting weekend in the woods.  There's much to read about on our social media sites, and just a small selection presented here. If you have a story to share, please email it to socialmedia@tentipi.com.

Extreme

Mission Icefox (Spitsbergen) 2013

 

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Photos: fuchs@mikefuchs-fotografie.de
“We undertook an exciting and challenging journey from northern Svalbard back to the capital city. No other tent but a Tentipi® Nordic tipi could have coped with those Arctic conditions. In the last five years, we have used many types of tents but none of them was anywhere near as good as this one. A Nordic tipi is easy to put up on snow, permafrost and sea ice and in winds of 25–33 metres per second. The good quality of the tent means you have true peace of mind, confident that nothing’s going to break, and with a good night’s sleep, you’re ready for another tough day. The combination of these two factors made our expedition a true success. From 80 degrees north to 78 degrees north. Perfect!”  Position N79°17.107, E16°01.550. We’re on our way!

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The two snowmobiles had set off back south early in the morning. Now we were completely alone. Within a circumference of 300 kilometres, there was not a single house or anything else that could be of any help to us. Step by step, we packed our expedition sleds, carefully stowing away each item in the order that we would need it: tent, tea, cameras…After skiing for a few kilometres, Eric and I named the fjord where we had 09b4de49fa.jpg
been dropped off ”Bear Fjord”. We had crossed at least 30 bear tracks as we headed north. It was rather scary and we immediately began thinking about how and where we would set up our next camp.We had actually given a lot of thought to a bear fence and had even made a sketch on two occasions but you can never really know what goes inside a bear’s mind.It takes at least 45 minutes to put up a fence so we were very glad that the tent only takes about 5 minutes to erect, even in a storm or on hard ground. In recent years, I have tested many types of tents — 535431ee1f.jpggeodesic tents, tunnel tents, big tents, light tents, small tents — but I have never been 100 percent satisfied with any of them. But with Safir 5, I have found a tent that can cope with all the requirements of an Arctic expedition: quick to erect and take down, sturdy in the toughest of snow storms and large enough to be able to spend three days in, with all the baggage and other stuff, if you have to wait for better weather. Since we had chosen not to have an inner floor, we could dig a big hole just inside the entrance which gave us even more space inside the tent. Perfect!7127f442b2.jpg

So this was our first night among the polar bears. Did we really dare to cook food or would it be better to refrain from the wonderful smells of a moose stew so as not to attract our four-legged friends? No, we decided we had to cook some food since we were completely exhausted after our first 15 kilometres, pulling 65 kilos of baggage behind us in our stylish expedition sleds.

The last rays of sun did not disappear until around eleven thirty, leaving us on our second night with a temperature of minus 32 — and getting colder.

We felt safe with our bear fence and our rifle positioned between our air mattresses and we soon fell asleep, warm and cosy in our thick sleeping bags. If only we hadn’t drunk so much tea during the evening…

The temperature dropped to minus 38. That sort of cold is not particularly pleasant and your nose hurts when you breathe. Inside our sleeping bags, we were wearing socks, long and thick Merino wool underwear, a thick balaclava and a hat. A layer of ice formed in no time in front of our mouths. The silk inner sleeping bag and the moisture barrier added a few degrees of warmth to the expedition sleeping bag which is designed for use in minus 40. We had asked Nahanny to specially adapt our sleeping bags and had ordered a few extra features: more down filling at the foot end and extra waterproof outer material with a membrane.4fc4d206e9.jpg

It’s not much fun having to go out at four in the morning even if there’s no wind. But was it really still nighttime? The sun had probably been on the horizon again for hours but it didn’t matter; we slept a bit longer.

This was our routine for the next three weeks: we got up at seven, made some tea and prepared our müsli, discussed the day’s route and packed up camp. Every morning, we were on the move just after nine o’clock.

We couldn’t get over how varied the landscape of Spitsbergen is. Fjords, steep mountains, smooth-topped hills, glaciers that slowly float to the sea, huge, flat, elevated table-lands that could have housed large towns, and constantly changing weather. During our preparations for the expedition, we had had intense discussions about which route to take and we had listed many alternative routes including potentially breaking off the expedition. Then we went back south, from the most northerly point of the islands to Spitsbergen’s only settlement, Longyearbyen.

How do you dress when the temperature is way below zero for weeks on end? When you go on trips in the fells, there are plenty of opportunities to dry out your equipment in a cottage and spend a night in warmth. Here, on a glacier plateau in the middle of the Arctic, there is nothing except a few ”sastrugi” (wind-eroded, hardpacked snow formed like frozen waves). When it comes to underwear, my first choice is Merino wool. Then I put on a jumper and trousers made of fleece, a thin down jacket, liners (inner gloves), hardshell trousers, a thick down jacket which goes down to my thighs, thick Canada boots which keep your feet warm even in minus 70, lambskin gloves, a balaclava, a leather hat and — when it’s extremely cold — yet another big down parkas on top of all that.

When you add up the value of all these high-quality products, you soon reach the cost of half a small car! But this is an investment in products that can be used for many years and which won’t let you down when you really need them.

 Strangely enough, after our first all-over wash, standing outside the tent when there was no wind, we didn’t think it was as cold as it had been before. After a few days, our bodies adapted to the cold and they burned food so efficiently that we couldn’t get food inside us sufficiently fast. Before, we had shivered from the cold. It was still very cold but the shivering had stopped and our backs were less tense. We were always quick to put our hands back in our jacket pockets or between our thighs after they had done the job in question. We kept moving by stamping a simple three-beat pattern with our feet.

Every evening, we read weather forecasts sent to our iPad via satellite mail. At the end of the first week, the barometer indicated rapidly falling air pressure so we were prepared for storms every day. As is the case in all polar regions, Spitsbergen has little precipitation and if there is snowfall, it is soon blown away again by the wind. Nevertheless, practically everywhere there was enough snow for our long snow pegs so that we could secure the tent even more firmly, in readiness for the approaching storm. As an extra precaution, we built a small wall out of snow to shelter from the prevailing winds. As we set up camp, the wind increased from 5 to 7.

Outside, the wind was swirling the snow around so much, you could hardly see your feet. But inside the tent, we were just fine, enjoying our soup and chocolate pudding. The peacefulness inside the tent was wonderful. Previously, I have had so many nights when I have stayed awake all night, either because of the noise or because I’ve been afraid the tent canvas wouldn’t be able to withstand the force of the wind.

It’s true we lost three days because of that severe storm but meanwhile we were able to do some small repairs and make some modifications to our gloves, camping stove and communication equipment. Our tired legs were also happy to rest after climbing more than 3 000 metres in altitude over the last eight days. Because of the bitter cold, the snow was very rough and after precipitation in the form of ice fog, it felt like sandpaper. Pulling the heavy expedition sleds upwards took a lot of effort and sweat.

But sweating is prohibited in the Arctic! You mustn’t sweat on ”normal” long winter trips either. We avoided sweating by moving slowly and by adapting our clothes to suit the temperature. That’s why on a sunny day, I will ski in thin skiing underwear even though it’s minus 17!

Sometimes something may still get damp and the only way to dry it is to place it close to your body. We dried gloves and socks by wearing them between our jacket and fleece jumper when cooking our evening meal. By doing that, they were usually completely dry one day later. It’s true that after a fortnight, there were some very interesting smells but it didn’t take long for the cold to dispel them.

One night, the wind chill factor meant the temperature was well under minus 50. Would our cameras and batteries cope with that? At this point, the solar panel and the generator were running day and night and every three hours they had to be warmed up with the help of a hot water bottle. This was something we had not predicted and it caused us extra work and cold fingers.

On my trips, there are always some things that I try out or take with me in addition to the thing that I know works well. This time it was lambskin gloves and “mukluks” (soft boots for a cold climate). These items were based on an old principle that is still unbeaten. There is no high-tech glove that can give me as much pleasure and warm fingers as fast as a lambskin glove. My mukluks gave my feet the relief they needed after the ski bindings had been hard on them for five to twelve hours.

Several days later:
Around 1 200 metres above sea level, in the middle of the Arctic. It’s minus 22, no wind but sunny and a deep-blue sky. Could anything be more beautiful?

At last, we could devote time to our still and film cameras and we eagerly filled gigabyte after gigabyte. We were also able to use our film drone (remote-controlled, airborne camera). With fully charged batteries, it shot up 300 metres into the sky and filmed us from above, with skis and expedition sleds in the middle of nowhere. I could hardly wait to see the pictures on the screen. The extra 3 kilos that we had to pull in order to take the drone with us were definitely worth it. We are extremely proud of these film sequences; after all, we were not just doing this for pleasure!

On this type of expedition, you must consider carefully every kilo that you are going to have to pull week after week. Nevertheless, we did allow ourselves a little luxury. We took a loudspeaker and an MP3 with us and every evening, we could hear it filling the white desert with our favourite music over and over again. It was quite funny how you would go to the toilet and then on the way back to the tent, hear the music and think, there’s a big party going on in there!

Much of the equipment has been carefully designed for low sub-zero temperatures and has been manufactured to withstand such conditions. For instance, we’ve known for years that our ski bindings function very well so we can concentrate on the things that keep taking us back to the cold: confidence, adventure and a search for challenges.

And there are plenty of challenges since it’s impossible to plan everything. That’s when it’s good to have perfect equipment, like our Nordic tipi Safir.

After twenty-two days and a total of 500 kilometres, on 19 April we suddenly arrived at Longyearbyen, a little town with 1 800 inhabitants. That is the equivalent of almost half of Spitsbergen’s population of polar bears. There was no indication at all that there, behind the mountain, there is a settlement. From one moment to the next, we suddenly found ourselves in the middle of the town — and a bit sad that our expedition had already come to an end.

Equipment that we warmly recommend for your next winter trip:
Long Woolpower 400 underwear and other Woolpower base layer products
Sleeping bag and winter jacket, Nahanny Extrem
Lambskin gloves
Canada boots and Mukluks
Weleda Wind & Weather Cream (contains no water and can be used in minus 30)
Plenty of nuts and thin bars of chocolate (they thaw faster)

Mike Fuchs

0049 178 68 83 392
fuchs@mikefuchs-fotografie.de
www.mikefuchs-fotografie.de

A good old friend

Eight years ago, some friends of ours from Switzerland introduced us to Moskoselkåtan’s tents. We were very impressed and just two weeks later we got our Tåpp Jakt 7 (an earlier version of Safir) from Sweden. We were among the first people in Germany to own such a tent. I believe that our Tåpp Jakt is one of the most well-used Nordic tipis!

Our Nordic tipi has always been a safe and cosy home for me, my wife Petra and our two children Sarah and Lennart. They have spent a large and significant portion of their childhood in this tent! The Nordic tipi has been an adventure playground for them and their friends. It has been our comfortable ”hotel” on weekend outings and on trips around Europe. Most of all, it has been a very important part of our adventurous wilderness excursions. Our Tåpp Jakt 7 has accompanied us far above the Arctic Circle to Alaska’s tundra and down to the rocky towers of Patagonia on the tip of South America. It has protected us from heat, cold, violent thunder storms, a hurricane and clouds of mosquitoes.

The difference between our Nordic tipi and other tents that we know of is that the Nordic tipi is more than just a shelter - we can really live in it! Our friends spend evenings with us in it around the fire. When we are off on our adventures, Petra and Sarah cook our meals in it, Lennart curls up to read a book in the cosy light of a candle, and I write my diary or study the maps. Yet it is completely portable and can be put up in a few minutes! That is why it has been with us in our canoe on calm lakes and through wild rapids; it has rested on horseback over mountains, lain in the toboggan and in my rucksack in the wild highlands of High Uintas, even when we hiked in the thin air at a height of almost  4 000 metres.

In southern Utah, the Green and the Colorado rivers flow through hot desert. The rivers have cut out deep and mighty clefts in the landscape, hundreds of metres deep. These ravines retain the heat; during our canoeing expedition along these rivers, the temperature went up to +40 ºC. Every time we set up camp and put up the tent, we opened the air intake at the bottom and ventilator cap at the top, thereby allowing cooling air to circulate. Every afternoon, the stored heat caused strong thunder storms. The steep and narrow ravines acted as a wind tunnel in which the fierce storm hurled rain horizontally at the tent canvas. There was neither forest nor hills to protect us. After having dug the tent pegs down half a metre and tightening up the tent, it stood solid as a rock, as firm as the Egyptian pyramids.

During our hike through Patagonia’s fantastic landscape (Chile, Argentina), the tent was again in my rucksack. Bad storms followed us almost all the time. At the foot of the Cerro Torre mountain (3 128 m), one of the most difficult mountains in the world to climb, we experienced our most beautiful Christmas. The storm beat against the tent walls but we were warm and safe, well-protected by the Nordic tipi. We even had a Christmas tree in it made of hiking sticks and branches from southerly beech trees. We sang Christmas songs and surprised Sarah and Lennart with unexpected Christmas presents.

The most demanding trip undertaken by myself and Petra was a winter expedition along the South Nahanni River in northwest Canada. In February, a helicopter dropped us off alone on the frozen river. We were the only people within a radius of 350 km, with no radio or high-tech equipment. We were putting our trust in the well-tried knowledge that allowed trappers and gold-diggers to survive as they walked across the taiga, knowledge inherited from the Dene Indians. We also entrusted our lives in our dear old friend, our Nordic tipi. The trip was exceedingly difficult with very deep snow, open channels on the river and temperatures down to –45 ºC. More than ever before, our Tåpp Jakt Nordic tipi was our oasis in the wilderness, our home where we could rest while the stove kept us warm and safe after a long day’s work with the toboggans.

We do not know of any other tent that has so many advantageous features and that is as well-suited for adventures in the wilderness as Tentipi’s tents. This year our Tåpp Jakt has already begun its ninth season. The story goes on…

Holger Greiner-Petter (adventurer, photographer, author)

www.wildnisabenteuer.de

Books (only in German):”Wildnisabenteuer mit Familie””Zu Fuß, mit Pferd und Kanu unterwegs in Nord- und Südamerika”

Expedition Siberia 2004

In 2004, Mikael Strandberg and Johan Ivarsson set off on a one-year expedition to Siberia where they documented this unknown part of the world in words and pictures. International media called this Siberia trip “the coldest journey in the world”. Mikael has had the honour of lecturing at the Royal Geographical Society in London, where “all those who have changed the world” — Roald Amundsen, Tenzing Norgay, David Livingstone and other famous figures — have stood.

“Over there!” I shouted to Johan, pointing at an opening in the dense Siberian taiga and added in a tone of panic: “Will we make it over there?”

“No problem,” Johan answered intently. He carefully turned the canoe around 180 degrees and added earnestly: “When I say so, paddle as hard as you can!”

We were surrounded on both sides by steep, forest-clad mountains, between which the Kolyma River rushed furiously. Two huge tree trunks passed by in front of us and our heavily-laden canoe was thrown back and forth among the white waves.

“Now!” Johan shouted suddenly and we both paddled as hard as we could through the torrent and managed to get ourselves over to the other side of the wide river.

Exhausted we paddled over to calmer waters and looked at the brook which was our destination. It flowed down towards us, its water as clear as a Swedish mountain brook, and we suddenly saw fish for the first time on our journey.

“Get out the nets!” I yelled at Johan. “If we don’t get any fish now, we’ll be in a bad way!”

We paddled over to the mouth of the brook and when we put out the net, it covered the whole outflow. We hardly had time to fasten it on the other side before we could feel it jerking.

“Fish! At last!” Johan shouted happily and I must admit that that was one of the happiest moments of my life. I laughed and said: “Johan, I get the feeling that at last we’re going to be able to sleep and eat as much as we like!”

This was the start of a one-year struggle with nature and our own strength of wills. Our goal was to come as close as possible to the people in the coldest place on earth - the Kolyma River in Siberia - in order to document their way of life and culture. We were convinced that we wouldn’t be able to do that if we came by helicopter at the mildest time of year. Instead, we wanted to live the way they had to, living off what nature had to offer, at the toughest time of year. Ten months and 3500 km later by the Arctic Ocean, we were exhausted but truly satisfied. We had succeeded way over our expectations. Wherever we came on our skis to the remote huts and villages, we were received with a hospitality which warmed us even more than their glowing stoves.

During the first months of our trip, we lived in a Varrie Tentipi 7 cp*, one of the journey’s real winners. In practically all situations, the Nordic tipi is vastly superior to any other kind of accommodation. It’s a natural way to live and has been so for 5000 years in this Siberian environment.

I had spent more than 3000 nights in tents before I started to use Tentipi® Nordic tipis. While ordinary tents have simply given me a roof over my head, I have built up a personal relationship with my Nordic tipi. It’s safe and warm, my cosy home, no matter where I may be.

The Nordic tipi is very comfortable. You can stand upright in it and there is plenty of room to sleep and move around. It retains heat remarkably well since you can make a fire and even use a heater. Tentipi’s technical solutions and choice of material are also far superior to their competitors.

I can say that whenever I’m not in my Nordic tipi, I wish I was!

*an earlier version of Safir 7 cp 

The Kolyma River, the first stage of the Siberia expedition.
Photo: www.mikaelstrandberg.com

People like you and me

Andreas & Sigrid

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Photos: Andreas Dreschler

We spend a considerable portion of the year sleeping in tents, mostly in combination with canoeing or cycling. For many years, we have used various types of tunnel and dome tents. Things started to change when we joined the “GOC”, a German association whose goal was to make Indian canoes more popular.

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Sleeping in tipis seemed to be an essential part of all their events but we were very surprised by the different style of camping that these people had. Their tents rarely had an inner-tent; many did not even use a ground sheet but most of them had a stove to make it cozy.

We came up with a lot of arguments to show why their way of camping was pretty stupid: 

  • How can they keep insects away from the sleeping area?
  • Having no inner-tent must give rise to a lot of condensation problems.
  • The drying of the cotton must be a nightmare after rain.
  • Having a pole right in the middle of the tent would seem to be a step back compared with tunnel tents.
  • Opening the zipper during rain must flood the living space.

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To make a long story short, we now own two Tentipi® Nordic tipis: a Safir 7 cp and a Zirkon 5 light. We realised that none of the points listed above are an issue. Even after staying for a week in the same place, very few insects found their way into the tent. The cotton dries faster than any of our nylon tunnel tents; the pole is useful for hanging up a lamp or towels and there is always enough space around it. Opening the zipper during rain is not a problem if you quickly fold away the ground sheet.2475783023.jpg

We use the Zirkon 5 light when we change site every day and we are not sure whether there will be enough space in the evening.

When staying in one place for longer, the Safir 7 in cotton gives a lot of extra comfort, especially on very warm days, or if you are stuck in the tent because of bad weather. I have to admit that since we got the Nordic tipis, we have not slept in our other tents.

No wishes at all? Perhaps a slightly different design of zipper so that it is possible to keep the “snow flap” closed.

Best wishes,

Andreas and Sigrid

A Tentipi note: All of our Nordic tipis have compatible inner-tents and floors available as extra accessories.

Jarmo & Laura

A Year in a Nordic Tipi

In 2009, Jarmo and Laura Järvinen started making plans about how to live in a Nordic tipi for a year. The location they chose was an island in Åboland’s archipelago in southern Finland. Here you can read their story which covers all four seasons.

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How it all started

I don’t think either of us can remember exactly how we came up with the idea of spending a year in a Nordic tipi. At first, it was just a vague dream but then we started to discuss it more seriously. Of course, our initial reaction to such an idea was “No! Impossible!” But then we began to think “Why not?”

After the first mention of the idea sometime in the autumn, things moved very fast. We found the perfect place where we could put up our Nordic tipi: a sheltered valley on a neighbouring island in Åboland’s archipelago in southern Finland. About 15 people live on the island which has an area of about one square kilometre. There is a ferry service to the island several times a week. We were able to rent a piece of land and also got permission to build an outdoor privy there.

We had no problem finding the right tent. Jarmo had come in contact with Tentipi’s Nordic tipis through his job as a wilderness guide so it was just a matter of choosing the model that would suit us the best. With the help of Tentipi’s staff, we chose the Safir 9 cp model. It seemed to be just the right size for us (about 15 square metres) and easy to move. We ordered a Safir Nordic tipi and a stove which were delivered in early November.

Before we could pitch the Nordic tipi, we had to build some sort of wooden floor, like a terrace, that would protect us from cold and damp from the ground. We also built our outdoor privy and ordered some firewood.

When you move from an ordinary two-room apartment to a Nordic tipi that is about 15 square metres big, you have to radically reduce your possessions! We sold a lot of our stuff in flea markets and gave away furniture to anyone who wanted it. When we packed up our remaining possessions, we still had a trailer full of boxes. But now we only had stuff that we really needed — or so we thought…

We tested one night in the Nordic tipi at the end of November. There was a strong wind blowing — almost 20 meters per second — and, with no proper bed yet, we slept on the floor. But it felt very exciting and good fun and we started to long for the new year which was when we planned to move in to our new home.

Winter

Winter came more or less the same day that we moved in. And what a winter it was! There had not been so much snow and ice in that area for decades. But it was great for us because we were really able to find out what it is like to live in a Nordic tipi in winter.5c07ffeaf2.jpg

Normally, it takes a while for the human body to get used to cold. Yet we were both surprised at how quickly we acclimatized. We slept in sleeping bags and had no fire burning at night so it wasn’t difficult to wake up in the morning and go out to the privy without putting on outdoor clothes. But later we discovered it was hard for us to be in normal room temperatures when we were constantly exposed to sub-zero temperatures.

The cold in itself is not dangerous; it is simply something you have to bear in mind. It’s important to make sure your body gets enough energy, warm liquid and rest. We had enormous appetites throughout the entire cold period! We had built a “fridge” under the floor, an old barrel that was dug down into the ground, and our food did not freeze there. Our menu consisted mainly of stews and soups because they warm you up so well and contain a lot of liquid. We always drank warm water. If you drink cold water in cold temperatures, you can feel really ill. It’s easier for the body to take warm water.11101e70b8.jpg

Our daily activities were very simple: we fetched water from the village, cooked food, chopped firewood, prepared split wood, etc. All everyday chores took much longer than they do in a modern household. Making dinner meant first chopping wood, then making a fire and then actually cooking the food. After eating, we had to heat water in order to wash up etc. But we enjoyed the whole process! It was strange but that simple way of life felt so right.

Of course, we were also able to enjoy this fantastic, icy season. We went on outings to other islands, skied across the ice and fished. Even though we didn’t have a fire at night, we still used up quite a lot of wood. We didn’t want to be cold and uncomfortable when we were cooking, for instance, so we had to order more firewood. Because the ferry could no longer moor at the jetty, they had to lower the wood onto the ice and then the friendly islanders helped us bring it home.

It was a surprise for us to see just how light it really is in winter. In a town, the street lights go on early afternoon in winter which makes it seem very dark straight away. The contrast between the street lights and twilight is so great that the sky actually looks very dark. But where there is no street lighting, you can enjoy the soft, beautiful twilight and see how the sky gradually gets darker and darker and the stars begin to twinkle.

Another surprise for us was a feeling of “detachment” when it came to current affairs and what was going on in other parts of the world. Because we didn’t have any newspapers and no electricity for a radio or TV, we didn’t have a clue about what was on the news. And the strange thing was that we didn’t miss it at all. We always got to know the most important things anyway because when we walked to the village, the other islanders told us the main news items. But that was enough. We did ask ourselves just how much unnecessary information modern man is subjected to.

Winter in the Nordic tipi was a pleasant surprise in many ways. It was not at all cold, nor was it boring or difficult to live in the tent. Instead it was very interesting and good fun.

Spring

When did spring come? Perhaps it was when the ferry came to the jetty at Easter — for the first time in two months. Or perhaps it was when the snow melted and it was suddenly so wonderfully easy to walk on bare ground instead of sinking down into the snow with every step. Or maybe it was when the night temperature crept up towards zero and we could pack away our sleeping bags and use sheets instead. It’s hard to say exactly when spring came but suddenly it was there, with greater force than ever!6d9390524a.jpg

We were living in the bosom of nature, day and night. We were able to see, hear, smell and feel even the most tiny changes around us. And it was fantastic! One of our most memorable experiences was hearing the birds. During the winter we had listened to the wind, the waves and the sound of the ice before going to sleep. But in the spring, the sounds around us changed radically. First there was a single blackbird singing in the evening outside the Nordic tipi. But soon we were surrounded by birdsong! Sometimes it was difficult to sleep because the singing was so loud! It was like listening to a never-ending concert with beautiful, different birdsongs. Sometimes the birds sang so much at night that we both woke up at four o’clock! And it was not just the birds’ singing that we heard inside the tent; it was also the sound of their wings.

For us, the birds were also of great symbolic significance. The “silent and lonely” winter was over. First it was just the two of us and a few hares and swans; then all the migratory birds came, and not long after that, the boaters started to come to the island.

All the snow turned into water which meant that it was very wet and muddy around the Nordic tipi. It also rained a lot, especially in April. Yet it didn’t get any damper inside the tent. We were surprised. We knew that it had been dry in the winter because of the cold temperatures but we didn’t have any problems with damp in the spring either. If there was a little condensation on the walls on very rainy days, it dried off as soon as we made a fire in the stove.5ea74fce15.jpg

There were not just birds that visited us. After we had been away to visit some relatives, we came home and found traces of mice. They had had a real party in our “house”! We took everything out of the tent and decided to do a proper spring clean at the same time. That resulted in several more boxes with stuff for the flea market! When we moved into the Nordic tipi, we thought we had taken only the bare essentials with us but after a few months, we had learnt what we really needed. After this incident with the mice, we were extra careful to keep everything in boxes with lids.

We were also visited by some vipers that lived under the floor. Luckily they never came into the Nordic tipi; they stayed outside. The animal visitors we liked the most were probably the cows that came to the island to graze during the summer. Ten cows came to our island in May and ten others were taken to a neighbouring island. But after three days, all the cows were on our island; naturally they all wanted to be together!

Summer

The spot we had chosen was very well protected in winter. Even during the most fierce storms, everything was fine and we were not cold. But in the summer — gosh! Then our valley was hot! The air stood still and we woke up at seven every morning, dripping with sweat. We didn’t use the stove at all in the summer. We cooked our food on a Trangia stove.b197d1c516.jpg

The weather is seldom wrong but sometimes you try to do things in unsuitable circumstances. So we decided to adapt ourselves to the fact that the weather was warm. We slept in the Nordic tipi but were outdoors during the day. That was the best solution we could think up. We went on outings, we canoed, went swimming, and helped people in the village. Then in the evening we walked back to our Nordic tipi. It’s really good that there is a mosquito net fitted to the tipi door. That meant we could air it all day.

The mosquito net was functional in other respects too because there were many insects outside the Nordic tipi. But none inside! A couple of times each summer, the air gets filled with flying ants. That happened this year too but this time we experienced them much more close up than we normally do. It sounded as if it was raining but it didn’t rain water; it rained flying ants! Most of them stayed outside; only one or two got in through the chimney.

In the winter, our Nordic tipi was clearly visible from the nature trail which passes by about fifty metres away. But in the summer, the vegetation was so dense that very few tourists discovered the Nordic tipi. Maybe some people did visit it when we were out and about somewhere but that didn’t bother us. They left us alone. But there were a lot of people in the village and after the quiet winter, it was nice to see people and have a chat. It’s always like that in the archipelago — after winter, it’s great to see tourists and then after summer, it’s nice to have peace and quiet again. We were asked many, many times to describe our way of life in our Nordic tipi. People were fascinated to hear about our decision to live like that and we had a lot of interesting discussions. It does seem that many people are of the opinion that our modern, Western lifestyle is not that good. Quite a few even said that they were inspired by us. That was a good feeling!

In the spring we had made a little garden where we grew herbs, different types of lettuce, tomatoes and other vegetables. Everything was fine until the water in the nearby well dried up. The well was old and in disrepair and the water was not drinkable but it could be used in the garden — as long as there was water, that is. We didn’t have a drop of rain from early June until September. Nevertheless, we still got a small harvest but we decided to repair the well for next summer if we fancy growing something in our garden then.

Living in a Nordic tipi in the summer was very easy, more or less like living in a cottage.

Autumn

After the hot summer, we eagerly welcomed autumn! The temperature was just right; we were able to start making a fire in the stove again and could cook our food on it too. First the tourists left, then the migratory birds, then the cows and finally the leaves from the trees. Now it was just us again.

We started to get hard winds again. And rain. But it all felt familiar to us in a way. Over the year, we had got accustomed to all different kinds of weather. We no longer needed to worry that the Nordic tipi might blow away in a storm — we had learnt that we could rely on it.654c4eb8a0.jpg

Now we enjoyed going for long walks in the rain, coming home again, making a fire in the stove, boiling up water for tea and then sitting reading aloud from some interesting book. We enjoyed every moment! We also liked the fact that the evenings were now dark. We were able to light our oil lamps again and enjoy the soft, gentle, light they spread.

The autumn was probably the most harmonious period of our year in the Nordic tipi. We had got accustomed to our way of life there, everyday chores were easy, and we had had time to fix everything that needed fixing. We had precisely the equipment we needed — no more, no less. And we were short of nothing!

Jon Doran

Teepee camping - I think I've found my spiritual home...

Just back from a weekend racing mountain bikes and camping in a nordic Tentipi teepee complete with firebox and prayer flags. Just lovely.

 

 

I spent last weekend racing mountain bikes for 24 hours at the Original Source Mountain Mayhem event down near Malvern and it was fantastic — great people, awesome sunny weather and a tough but fun course.

There were four of us in the team, plus a mystery fifth member recruited for the event; a seven-person Tentipi Onyx teepee. Tentipi is a Swedish company that specialises in classic Nordic teepees or 'kata' as used by nomadic Lapps. The originals use animal hides spread over wooden poles.

They do make big, big ones with wooden poles, but the Onyx 7 we had uses a single multi-part, aluminium central pole for reduced weight and simplicity. And you know what, it's absolutely lovely in a way that simply makes you grin.

The tent fabric is thick, reassuringly heavy, proofed, poly-cotton canvas-esque stuff. Not light, but really breathable and a lovely colour. And it feels bombproof with amazing build quality, super heavy duty zips and neat features.

It pitches in minutes — you simply use a marked cord to place eight pegs in a circle, clip the tent fabric to them, then stuff the pole up the centre and tension things up. And bingo, one big nordic teepee reporting for duty.

Ours came with an optional, clip-in floor, which we didn't use, because it was dry and lovely. Inside it's light and airy, like really airy. At points where conventional tents felt like portable saunas, the Tentipi was still bearable inside, which has to be a good thing. It's not quite as big inside as you might imagine, the 'eaves' effect means that useable floor space is concentrated in the centre, but for sleeping, most of the interior is viable.

Where it really came into its own was in the wee small hours of the morning. A neat, adjustable chimney vent at the apex of the tent means you can actually run an open fire inside the teepee.

Tentipi supplied a mini-firebox, a sort of metal, fold-out box that you mount on a couple of logs or rocks and simply build a fire in. Normally 3am is the lowpoint of 24-hour bike race events with dew and chill soaking into your bones, but we simply clustered around the fire and toasted ourselves happily.

Really cool, though you need to be careful with what you burn to minimise smoke. Small bore wood and smokeless fuel worked for us. A big log chucked out more smoke than we needed.

Just lovely. And what really blew me and my team mates away was the 'feel-good factor' of a teepee. There's something really nice and primitive and basic about the shape and the simplicity and the coolness — in both senses — of sleeping in a teepee.

The rapid pitching and stability — there are optional guys for breezy days — are a massive bonus and the firebox is the ultimate in cold weather morale boosting. And you can cook on it too.

The downsides? Well, it's not cheap — the Onyx 7 we have on loan retails for £585 with the floor costing another £200 or so and the firebox some £50, so you're looking at a biggish investment.

Then again, it is lovely and kids fall head over heels for it. And it looks great with prayer flags blowing in the breeze. And like we said, the build quality is impressive, a real Rolls Royce of a tent. Or maybe a top-end Saab. There are loads of different sizes and options too with some lightweight versions for those who carry their own.

Really just a lovely thing.

Around the globe

The Voi Project

The Voi Project 1.PNGThree single-pole Nordic tipis from Tentipi are now erected on African soil or, to be precise, on “the Farm” near the town of Voi in Kenya. “The Farm” was bought in 2009 and is part of the Voi project run by the Lutheran Church in Voi and supported and sponsored by various bodies in Ulricehamn in Sweden.

The purpose of the Voi project is to help some 20 children in and around Voi. The children have lost both their parents and most of them now live with an elderly relative. The prime objective is to help the children in different ways, supporting them in their own environment instead of placing them in an institution.The Voi Project 2.PNG

The idea behind “The Farm”, a 16 000 m² plot of land, is to make the project more self-sufficient through different kinds of plantations and cultivations. The produce from the land should also contribute to the maintenance of the children’s guardians.
The tents are mentioned as follows in a couple of blog comments written by Jan-Åke Thorell, coordinator of the project.

“We believe that the tents will be of great value to the Farm and give a lot of joy. We have purchased one 15-man tent and two 9-man tents. In the larger tent, all the children can come together for seminars and the like.

The tents are so-called Nordic tipis and we were offered them at half price by the company that sells them.The Voi Project 4.PNG

This means that we will soon have overnight facilities at the Farm but we are sure that the tents will continue to be of use and pleasure even after buildings have been put up.”

“After talking about the present situation and the future, we went to the farm to erect one of the three tents we had brought. On our arrival, we immediately noticed that the gates and the walls had been painted. Nice!The Voi Project 3.PNG

Out with one of the tents, which, according to the manual, should only take five minutes to erect. I’m sure it is doable — but not the first time …

Putting up the tent was a little bit fiddly but Manase and Lydia proved to be “real whackers” at erecting the tent, and soon it was in its place. I think it's fair to say that everybody was impressed. And Lydia immediately said ‘Now we can start to use the farm for the orphans’.”

Read more about the Voi project at www.voi-ulricehamn.se 

Businesses

Aurora Safari Camp

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Photos: Fredrik Broman www.humanspectra.com

For a large part of 2012, I worked to set up the Aurora Safari Camp. The goal of this project was to create a camp similiar to those I have visited in other places. I wanted to make use of the experience I had acquired through my work as a photographer and developer of safari tourism in East Africa. My vision is to be able to invite photographers and tourists from different parts of the world to Aurora Safari Camp. Groups from other types of companies are also welcome.

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I have chosen the location of the camp very carefully. Here in the Råne River valley in northern Lapland, some Tentipi Nordic tipis have been pitched in the middle of the forest with the river, a large lake and a mountain very close by. I want to give my guests an intense taste of life in the wilds, where they are isolated from the noise and bustle of modern society. Here, people will be able to meet and talk – about changes in society, philosophy or any topic at all – and experience the silence, nature and magnificent Northern Lights.

While the guests experience this close contact with nature, they live, eat and sleep – warm and comfortable – in Tentipi’s fantastic Nordic tipis.

Fredrik Broman
Photographer

www.facebook.com/AuroraSafariCamp?filter=3#!/AuroraSafariCamp?fref=ts

Fredrik Broman/Human Spectra

Photographer Fredrik Broman stars in this short film, where a Tentipi® Nordic tipi serves as his home in the grand Swedish nature. Cameraman is Petri Storlöpare, www.slowlife.se.

Sweden Kayak & Äventyr AB

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Photos: Sweden Kayak & Äventyr AB

We are a whitewater kayaking company named Sweden Kayak & Äventyr AB. On our courses and adventures we use two Tentipi® Nordic tipis, a Zirkon 15 and a Cirrus 40. They are very appreciated and popular among our customers. It’s quite special to sleep in a Nordic tipi heated by a stove. Some customers have even said that they never slept so well as they did in the Nordic tipi, not even in their own bed. In the Cirrus 40 we have an open fire where we both warm ourselves and prepare our food.

After a full day of whitewater kayaking it is really nice to meet the welcoming sight of the Nordic tipi. It blends in with nature and becomes a part of it. You feel harmonious when you enter the tent and sit down by the fire, resting your tired mind, and after a good night’s sleep you feel rested and warm and ready for a new day of challenges.

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These Nordic tipis are very easy to erect, take down and transport, with simple and smart solutions. We use them all the year round, and they are easy to use both summer and winter. We are very satisfied with Tentipi’s excellent products.

Theres and Håkan

Sweden Kayak & Äventyr AB

www.kayakaventyr.se

Jonas Strandgård, musician and guitar teacher

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Photos: Jonas Strandgård

The Inland Railway runs for 1300 km through Sweden, passing through cosy and leafy little towns in the south and then vast expanses of wilderness with lakes, rapids and snow-capped mountains in the north. During the summer of 2013, musician/performer Jonas Strandgård played in various places along the northern stretch of the Inland Railway. He used a Tentipi Nordic tipi as his mobile home.

In the latter part of July and all of August, I was in Storuman, Gällivare, Moskosel, Arvidsjaur, Tjautjasjaur and other places, performing solo and with other bands. Between gigs, I gave live lessons to my guitar pupils by using a web camera.

Being able to teach wherever I am means that at last I am able to combine my two jobs, musician and guitar teacher. No longer do I have to postpone or cancel a lesson because I have a gig. Moreover, being able to live in a Tentipi Nordic tipi while on the road has given me even more freedom, both as musician and teacher. Thanks to the tent, I have had a comfortable mobile home with plenty of space.

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It’s been a successful summer and now I’m going to spend the winter developing this way of living and working even further. This could potentially be a longterm and even permanent solution to the logistical challenges of the intensive touring season.

All the best!

/Jonas Strandgård — www.musikakademin.net

Events

Vinjerock

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Vinjerock is a big annual Norwegian music festival that is held on the bare mountain area of Jotunheimen. A large number of Tentipi Nordic tipis were used during the festival in the summer of 2013, several of them 3.4 metres tall and with a diameter of 6 metres. There were also many other makes of Nordic tipi in use. The area was hit by heavy winds with gusts of up to 25 metres per second which caused damage to both tents and some buildings. But after the storm it was clear that Tentipi’s Adventure Nordic tipis, although they were pitched in places with no shelter, had withstood the storm with flying colours, even our largest 15-man Nordic tipi!

 

Carl Frithjof Tidemand-Johannessen, Vinjerock’s sales manager, made the following comment:

”Vinjerock is an outdoor music festival held at Eidsbugarden in Jotunheimen. The event is held every year at a height of 1,060 metres above sea level, just above the tree line, with typical high alpine variable weather conditions.

 

The vast majority of the 3,000 participants and 600 voluntary workers live in tents during the Vinjerock festival. Vinjerock has bought in 9 Zirkon 15 cp, 2 Zirkon 9 cp and 16 Safir 9 cp. Moreover, every year we rent about 21 Stratus Nordic tipis* from Lavvo Østlandet AS.

 

During the festival this year, we had to battle with hard winds (moderate gales, 15 metres per second, and intermittent stronger gusts). After the storm, it was clear that practically all the Tentipi Nordic tipis were still standing (only three or four of the smaller ones suffered minor damage), while many of the tents in the festival area lay flat on the ground, had blown away or been taken down for safety reasons.”

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*Tentipi’s ”smaller” portable Nordic tipis are available in size 5, 7, 9 and 15 (number of beds), have a central pole and are tensioned by stretching the seams. Zirkon 15 is 3.4 metres high with a diameter of 6 metres. Of course, 5 and 7 are the sizes that function the very best in bad weather conditions.

 

Our Stratus 72 giant Nordic tipi is an event Nordic tipi that is 8 metres high with a diameter of 10.3 metres. It has sides that can be folded up. This tent is also very wind-resistant when the sides are folded down.

 
 
 

Design features and fabrics

Find out what makes our Adventure tipis so special.

Read our fire safety document

Learn how to use fire safely in our tipis.

Adventure tipis brochure

Embrace the elements like no other tent.

 

Adventures