Can a Tipi Be a Permanent Residence?

January 29, 2019 7:54 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

The tipi is a classic structure popularized by America’s indigenous peoples, and is still used for many purposes today. While many people would love the opportunity to stay overnight or camp for a week in a tipi, the idea of permanently living in a tipi might be difficult to conceptualize.

However, you might be surprised to learn that you actually can make a tipi your permanent residence—and there are some enthusiasts who choose to do exactly that! Read on for more information from a lodgepole supplier in Utah about how this works.

What you should know about tipis as a permanent residence

The biggest thing you should know about living in a tipi is that it’s important to have realistic expectations. You should never expect it to be like living in a house—you’re just a canvas wall away from exposure to the elements of nature. There are some benefits to this—you are that much closer to all the sounds, smells and feel of nature, which is something many outdoor enthusiasts crave. Of course, that very benefit can also be a big-time drawback if you are not prepared to be quite that close to nature.

During the summer months, you’ll be able to roll up the side walls of your tipi to bring in breezes to keep your home cooler. During the winter, you’ll have to have some type of heat source to keep the inside warm. This could include a fire pit, a wood-burning stove or some type of gas heating element. In any case, you’re going to want a liner. This creates a draft for the smoke to travel up and out through the top, and also creates insulation and privacy for the interior space and gives it a more “finished,” aesthetically pleasing feel.

Then there’s the rain. Rain hitting the sides of the canvas can be quite calming and relaxing but, of course, you’re going to have a hole at the top of the tipi to contend with, and rain can come in through that hole. In most cases the water will travel down the poles and behind the liner, but it could also drip into the center of the tipi. For this reason, it can be a good idea to invest in an ozan or extended ozan, which is a type of fabric canopy that hangs inside the tipi to divert rain away from the main living areas and behind the liner. This ozan also helps you hold in heat when the weather is cooler.

All in all, if you are truly invested in making a tipi your permanent residence, there are ways to make it work, but it’s not going to be as easy or comfortable as living in a house. You can certainly make cozy spaces with a tipi and have a wonderful lifestyle, but it’s important that you educate yourself about the challenges you will face while living in one.

For more information about making tipis a permanent residence for you and your family, contact a lodgepole supplier in Utah.

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