The author learned during six months on a Montana mountaintop that nothing beats living in a tipi.
The author and his assistant adapted well to living in a tipi. Here the assistant sets the smoke flaps with a long pole.
PHOTO: CHET RIDEOUT
A tipi can be erected in half an hour. First, tie three of the poles together—with two of the legs laying side-by-side—using a 45-foot length of good, strong 1/2" rope.
All but one of the remaining poles are set and tied in place before the tipi cover is wrapped around the last "beam" or "lifting pole" and hoisted into position. The cover can then be unfurled and wrapped around the poles.
While one person holds the line, the other walks under and lifts the three poles. One of the paired legs is then pivoted to "lock" the framing tripod.
Once in place, the outer cover is fastened in place with lacing pins.