Spring in Lapland

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Bengt Grahn, founder and CEO of Tentipi, recounts a canoe trip in Lapland and the spark of inspiration that led to Tentipi and its range of Nordic tipis.

 

The spark that started it all

That year, just like every other year, the determined rays of the spring sun had transformed frozen shapes into playful, dancing water. Life, barely evident during the cold winter months, had now re-appeared in nature with an explosive force. This was a great time for canoeing. High water levels and good speed in the rapids, getting close to nature, socializing and relaxing together in the Swedish wilderness. Well that was the plan. But when setting up camp after a day of paddling the air was filled with mosquitoes. Six people, two small tents and a million mosquitoes rather destroyed the socializing and relaxing together.

So there I was, sitting on a stone beside the river brushing away the mosquitoes, thinking about how the optimal tent for relaxing together could be designed. It’s not so easy to socialize and relax when insects are greedily trying to feed off you and when the tents are too small for everyone to fit into one tent. Now, let’s see, wouldn't it be good if … and then you could … and then perhaps …? Many years then passed before I returned to that line of thought

Thoughts and ideas take shape and become reality

It was in the village of Moskosel in Lapland’s inland where the ideas which had formed while sitting on that stone were to be revived and developed, more than ten years later. I had just moved into the village and was working as a church warden. One evening, as I was changing a bulb in the church hall, it was not only the lamp that lit up. Standing on a chair, I suddenly had the idea of my life, namely to start making Nordic tipis.

All said and done! My experience of such work consisted of sewing a doll’s skirt on my mother’s sewing machine at the age of five and then making a canoe cover at the age of twenty. But armed with a large dose of self-confidence, I took on the challenge of turning enormous pieces of cloth into large Nordic tipis. Throughout my entrepreneurial journey with Tentipi, I have relied on my self-confidence as my greatest asset - almost any problem can be solved

At first, I did everything myself, from purchasing and sewing to marketing and selling. However, it did not take long before employing the first worker. The tent production proved to be profitable and new products began to be developed. The idea of designing the best tent in the world began to grow and after months of thinking and many failed attempts at constructing it, the prototype of today’s single pole Nordic tipis, the Adventure Nordic tipis, was ready. The larger tents, which we now call our Event Nordic tipis, also took on new shapes and functions. Then the Stratus Nordic tipi (or Giant Hat as it was originally called) was invented, with sides that can be raised up, and in no time at all, it became a favourite among rental businesses and event companies.

 
 
 

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.

 

OUR NORDIC ROOTS