Jocke Sundberg is one of three owners of Uthuset, a Swedish tent company with several different parts. Together with Janne Johansson and Kajsa Albrechtsson, Jocke runs a business in a big old barn, Ladan, where you can buy outdoor equipment, primary tents of different shapes, sleeping bags, sleeping mats and rucksacks. Sales are also done through their web shop. Another part of the business is tent rental and a wholesale business is a third. Ladan, the Barn, was renovated and started to be used as a shop and showroom for tents (summer time) in the spring of 2017. Tentipi is one of the exhibition brands.

Scouting

It all started with scouting in Bodafors, where Jocke comes from. That's where he came into contact with tents and outdoor activities, and the lifelong interest began.

-I've always since then been fascinated by tents. That was just the beginning of my tent story, back in the scout group. I have worked with tents in different ways over the years, says Jocke.

The first Tentipi contact Jocke remembers, was in the early 1990s when he worked in a company making aluminium ladders and flag poles. Tentipi was called Moskoselkåtan in those days, and Bengt Grahn, the owner of Tentipi, wanted to buy ladders to be able to raise the gigantic Nordic tipis. Jocke was thinking:

-What on earth is this gigantic tent that needs 7-8 metres long ladders to be built?

A few years passed before his contact to Tentipi continued. That time the scout compound wanted new tents for the scout meeting Härnö-97, and they bought stoves and three Nordic tipis called TåppJakt then and nowadays they are Safir 9. It is the first class tent for nine persons sleeping.

Jack of all Trades

Three years later, Jocke started an outdoor shop, Getout, and contacted Tentipi to get some discount when he wanted to become a retailer. At that time there were no Tentipi retailers in Sweden, but shortly after Jocke was the first one. One of the first authorized retailers of Nordic tipis from Tentipi in the world in fact. His company hired a few big event Nordic tipis, called the giant hats, to buy two of them for rental at fairs. The giant hats were sold a couple of years later and the company was bought by Outdoor.

Jocke stopped business ownership until 2017 and the start of the company Uthuset. They got a big event assignment during the WM in skiing in Ulricehamn and bought their first Stratus, the large Nordic tipi providing a big protected area when all sides are raised.

-We put up the huge Nordic tipi at home on the courtyard and were thinking: “What have we got into?” It was winter and cold and not the easiest to get all things in the right place without previous exercise, Jocke tells.

-But nowadays we have three of the large Nordic tipis, Stratus 72, so somewhere along the way we agreed, he smiles.

Kajsa Albrechtsson was in the scouts where Jocke was the leader and she loves to hike. She joined the The Mountaineers Green Ribbon in 2012, and hiked from Grövelsjön in southern Swedish mountains to the point where Sweden, Norway and Finland meet in the north, and got a bleeding tooth. For five months 2016, Kajsa and a friend walked the Pacific Crest Trail along the Pacific Ocean coast from the Sierra Nevada to the Mexican border, a hike of 4,270 km. 

-Janne Johansson is a handy man. He is a teacher from the beginning and has worked at the Swedish Board of Agriculture with infectious diseases in animals. He still moves in there when needed. Otherwise, we are the ones who go around and build up the tents of the customers, Jocke says.

IMG 2905 Nordic Rail Elmia t gm ssa entr okt 2019 web IMG 2938 Nordic Rail t gm ssa Elmia okt 2019 slipers och r ls ST72x3 med WF web

Stratus 72 on railway

The fairground Elmia in Jönköping, in the middle of the southern part of Sweden, is neighbourhood to the business of Jocke’s. The company Uthuset use to be there at different fairs putting up Nordic tipis. For Elmia Nordic Rail in October 2019 three Stratus 72 in a row were linked and WallFlex, the system with walls when the sides of a Stratus are raised, was built along the long side.

There are WallFlex with PVC and WallFlex in canvas to give walls to the gigantic tents when the brim is raised. Thanks to WallFlex a panorama view from inside the heated Nordic tipis make a possibility to sit warm and cosy and look out.

A wooden floor was site built and outside the linked Nordic tipis, Pandol the exhibition company, put out a railway where their big maintenance machinery could show equipment to make constructing and maintaining railways easier.

Uthuset put up the Nordic tipis and when the floor was ready, they set the furniture and heating. Two fireplaces and a gas heater made it warm and nice inside the tents.

-It was wonderfully successful. Wednesday evening there was a dinner with entertainment and the other days they served lunch in the Nordic tipis. We cooperated with Mässbolaget, a fair company, and our responsibility was to put up the linked Nordic tipis and to furniture. That’s our way to work. We build the giant tents the day before the fair or occasion and take them down the day after the event. Usually we have nothing to do with the meeting. Sometimes it feels a little sad, but in a small and recently started company that’s how we have to fix it, Jocke tells.

Customers

The assignments grow and thrive in the southern end of Sweden. Uthuset has mostly business customers and not very often private ones.

-They are two different kinds of customers. Business people know what they want to have and we build the Nordic tipis, place the furniture and sometimes take care of the heating during the event. Private customers have much more need for advice on different opportunities and we are not there yet. Either could we work together with some event company in the future, or we may hire someone who can puzzle together even private events. In other countries, wedding parties are something that many Stratus tents are used for, but it is not that big in Sweden. The Nordic tipis are used much more as a trade show tent or for corporate gatherings, Jocke says.

IMG 2197 F rsta spadtaget ny stadsdel Jkp dec 2018 ST72 web

-It’s fun to put up the Nordic tipis in such different places. A construction site is not the most common but we have been there too, Jocke notes.

When Jönköping Municipality took the first shovel for a new district in 2018, Uthuset participated and contributed with a large Nordic tipi, which was to be the scene for speech and music. A Stratus with sides partly raised gave those who performed both shelters from the weather in December and were seen by the audience.

IKEA’s Democratic Design Days 2019

In June 2019 Uthuset linked five big Nordic tipis with a restaurant barn. It was collaboration between Uthuset and the owner of the restaurant on IKEA's behalf. IKEA had invited 400 journalists to eat dinner in the Nordic tipis.

-Our Nordic tipis were a small, but important part of the Democratic Design Days. At the same time we were responsible for two Nordic tipis at the Nordic region’s biggest forestry fair, SkogsElmia. It was a busy time with borrowed and rented Nordic tipis from several companies, Jocke remembers.

-Despite some stress in the meantime, we can see that both arrangements worked and all the big tents stood where they would. It was a great feeling to be able to send an invoice to IKEA, Jocke says and laughs.

IMG 2635 IKEA juni 2019 5xST72 med WF PVC kopplade till matlada 400 g ster web

A video from the event can be seen here on facebook  

The Apple Valley

Just next to Uthuset in Huskvarna, the fourth big lake of Sweden; Vättern, extends in a northerly direction. On the slopes down towards the lake, fruit trees thrive. In spring time all the blooming trees are beautiful and in the autumn people gather in the Apple Valley to celebrate the harvest.

-There is an aroma of the apples when entering the Nordic tipis and the ripe fruits glow red, yellow and green. Nature offers a party and what is better than the warmth beige brown fabrics of the inviting Nordic tipis? Jocke wonders.

At the harvest celebration in the autumn of 2019 there was a couple of large Nordic tipis and also the smaller trade Nordic tipis, Nimbus 16, to exhibit the fruits. 

5AF41939 AB3C 4191 A721 58E3D9655682 Sk rdefest i ppledalen h st 2019 webIMG 2828 Sk rdefest i ppledalen vy ver V ttern web

The premiere of a new Lexus model occurred a year earlier, but was also framed by nature when the car was showcased and Uthuset was responsible for the exhibition's Nordic tipis.

-We are involved in various business events, Jocke states.

Rental and sales

The company Uthuset rents out their giant tents and also sales Nordic tipis turnkey, which means Uthuset puts up the tents at the customer’s and the customer doesn’t need to learn to fix the new Nordic tipis by oneself.

-Some times a year there is a lot of construction work, Jocke explains, and tells about the kayak company in Västervik, on the Baltic coast, which bought two medium-sized Nordic tipis, Cirrus 40, to be linked and placed at the water.

IMG 2558 Nyckelf rdigt maj 2019 kajakfirma V stervik 2x Cirrus 40 web

Another customer, Borås Zoo, wanted a big Nordic tipi on their adventure track. The Nordic tipi was built turnkey, even there, on a large wooden floor platform.

-Turnkey is a good solution for those who will have their Nordic tipis set up for a long time and do not have time to learn how to put up the tent themselves. When you are constantly working on building Nordic tipis, the procedure takes a few hours. It takes longer when you are not used to it, Jocke adds and thinks of his own first time in the winter cold.

Jocke has got many stories about occasions when Uthuset was involved in arranging the Nordic tipis. Most often they build the tents and then pack them up afterwards and it becomes a form of everyday life in this. He does not remember all situations equally well, but they are mostly positive and happy. Then Jocke is suddenly reminded of another time:

- An occasion I will not forget was when we put up a Stratus for the memorial after the funeral of a younger man. He and his wife had decided together that it should be kept in a Nordic tipi. It was their common wish and the warm event tent raised the mood for a sad moment, Jocke says.

Showroom

In their huge barn, Uthuset has a summer time exhibition with the tents they sell in the barn and in the web shop. The idea was that, at the end of October 2019, they would have insulated a part of the barn before their fair, Köldknäppen (the Cold spell), in order to be able to retain an exhibition part even during the winter season. Because the rental was great during the fall, they could not complete the insulation.

The solution to this problem was that two giant tents, Stratus 72, were put up inside the lodge. At one end the building was finished with a WallFlex of PVC and at the other end a WallFlex of canvas was set up. Several of Tentipi's smaller tent models fit into the large tents. On the outside, still in the lodge of the barn, they placed two of the biggest sizes of the small Nordic tipis in the Tentipi range.

IMG 3031 H stm ssa K ldkn ppen okt 2019 Ladan ST72 p loftet webIMG 3053 H stm ssa K ldkn ppen Ladan t lt i t ltk tor okt 2019 web

- It was a good solution for us now that we did not have time to insulate the walls as we had intended. In the barn, it blows right through in normal cases, but we got a nice indoor climate in the lodge under the large roof that becomes of a Nordic tipi with its sides up, Jocke says.

Outside the barn, the ground has been levelled off with the help of 40 truckloads of filling masses, to get a larger area for tent exhibitions in the summer. The old manure plate is also used to put up tents, for example for a staff group who want to experience something special during their evaluation days.

Future

So far, Uthuset is under construction and none of the people involved work full time with the company. In a year or so, they expect three people to be fully employed.

- We try a few different ideas for the company and work to find our ways. One thing I know for sure. I want to continue working with tents, Jocke concludes.

IMG 2863 Fyllnadsmassor 40 lastbilar f r plan t ltust llningsyta Uthuset web

All images: Jocke Sundberg, Uthuset

Please click the 'Add Comment' button below if you wish to comment.


 

Related blog posts

Imagine the Danish country side in May. Small roads allowing cars, but perhaps mainly bicyclists, to gently roll over the green fields, passing red brick houses, farmlands, tree groves that have seen centuries passing by. Above all of these, blue skies with small white clouds blowing in with the salty winds from the North Sea. And in this Scandinavian idyll fourteen giant beige brown Nordic tipis rises, hosting 1,000 people, as a local Danish banking company wanted to celebrate its 100th anniversary together with customers on a big day out.

There are pictures in one’s mind of blazing mountains with white snow on top and an amazing azure-blue heaven with an unbelievably brilliant sun. The thought of going downhill skiing just makes your legs dancing and jumping. On the other hand in valleys and over tree-free heights there can also be very windy now and then. Nordic tipi rental Eventipi had a first-hand experience of the fickle weather of the high altitudes when taking on a spectacular build on 2,800 metres in the French Alps back in 2018.

One of the really great features of Tentipi’s giant tent, the Stratus 72, is its abilities to be linked together, so you can add two, three, five, twelve tents, up to infinity, to create huge enclosed spaces that can host weddings, business events and festivals. This feature is perhaps the key to the company’s success in the event tent industry. And the invention came from one of our earliest customers – a Sami guy called Roger Rimpi from Jokkmokk, northern Sweden.

The 2000th Stratus is in Production!

Thursday 18th July 2019

Bengt Grahn, Sunne, Sweden 2019-06-25

This year we are crafting the 2000th Stratus 72. Two thousand! One of these giant tents can host 72 people seated at tables. Connect all two thousand (yes, it is possible to connect them into infinity) and you could invite the entire populations of Andorra and Cayman Islands for an unforgettable evening under canvas. And there would still be plenty of space for catering, bands and dancefloors!

The First Firecracker - by Papakåta

Friday 28th June 2019

Rental company Papakåta were amongst our very first UK Event customers and have been at the forefront of the Nordic tipi event industry for more than a decade.

Founding Director, Richard Monaghan, tells us how he developed a new technique for linking seven tipis, in a circle, to fulfill a customer request. 

This configuration came to be known as the "Firecracker". Thanks to Papakåta's generosity this technique is now widely used by our customers.

 

1 3