How To Make a Teepee With Lodgepoles

June 15, 2023 7:12 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

How To Make a Teepee With Lodgepoles

Teepees are iconic structures of Native American culture. They are easy to construct and provide a versatile living space that can keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Traditionally, teepees were made from animal hides and lodgepole pine, but modern teepees can be made from a variety of materials. In this article, we will show you how to make a teepee with lodgepoles, which is the traditional method of construction.

Choosing the Right Location

The first step in building a teepee is finding the right location. You want to choose a spot that is flat, dry, and preferably near a water source. Make sure the area is clear of any debris, trees, or obstacles that could hinder construction and use.

Gathering Materials

Once you have found the perfect location, it is time to gather the materials you will need. The most important material is the lodgepole pine, which will serve as the frame of the teepee. You will need around 15 poles that are approximately 18 feet in length. Make sure the poles are straight and strong.

In addition to the poles, you will need a rope or twine to secure the poles at the top. You will also need a fabric for the cover. Traditional teepees were made from animal hides, but today, canvas is a popular choice.

Construction Steps

1. Lay the Foundation

Start by laying a ring of stones or logs on the ground where you want your teepee to stand. This forms the foundation of your teepee and helps hold the poles in place.

2. Place the Poles

Take the lodgepole pines and arrange them in a circle. Lean them towards the center of the circle, making sure the tips all meet at the top in a point. The diameter of the circle should be smaller than the diameter of the cover.

3. Secure the Poles Together

Once you have arranged all the poles, take your rope and tie it tightly around the top of the poles. Wrap it around several times and tie it off securely. This will hold the poles together at the top and create the structure for your teepee.

4. Cover the Teepee

With your structure in place, it is time to cover the teepee. Place the canvas over the teepee structure, making sure it is centered over the pole structure. Allow the edges of the cover to touch the ground.

5. Secure the Cover

Now that your canvas is in place, secure it to the ground using wooden stakes. Hammer the stakes into the ground through the edge of the canvas all around the circumference of the teepee. This will secure the canvas and prevent it from flapping in the wind.

6. Create a Door

To create a door, cut a slit into the canvas on the front of the teepee. Make sure the slit is wide enough to allow easy entry and exit. You can also secure the sides of the door with straps or ties to open and close the door.

7. Add a Smoke Hole

To allow smoke to escape, create a hole at the top of the teepee. Use a knife or scissors to cut a round hole into the canvas at the top. Make sure it is large enough to allow the smoke to escape but not too big that it will compromise the structure.


Making a teepee with lodgepoles is a simple and rewarding process. It provides a unique structure that can be used for various purposes ranging from a shelter for camping to a simple backyard play structure. With careful planning and attention to detail, you can create a teepee that is both functional and beautiful. So gather your materials, pick the perfect location, and get ready to create your teepee.

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