As some of you may know, A while back, I purchased a cheap tipi on ebay for $150.00. I probably should have known better then to waste my money on it but , at the time I just figured what the hell...
I shipped it up to Maine and set it up, it only took a few minutes for the first tear to appear. The grommet in the apex of this tent ripped out. I punched a hole in an old soup can and inserted it onto the end of the single pole, I was then able to tie the apex onto the pole and erect the tent.
Things went well until the first rain storm and accompanying winds, I then found the interior swimming in water, and a large tear in the fabric...oh well! So much for buying cheap gear..Lesson learned.
The fabric is still pretty good and very useful so, other day I decided to make a tipi style tent (Lavvu or Chuum) used by the Laplanders and Evenk people of Siberia.
Lavvu (or Northern Sami: lávvu, Skolt Sami: kååvas, Inari Sami: láávu, Finnish: umpilaavu or laavu, Norwegian: lavvo or sametelt, and Swedish: kåta) is a temporary dwelling used by the Sami people of northern Scandinavia. It has a design similar to a Native American tipi but is less vertical and more stable in high winds. It enables the indigenous cultures of the treeless plains of northern Scandinavia and the high arctic of Eurasia to follow their reindeer herds. It is still used as a temporary shelter by the Sami, and increasingly by other people for camping.There are several historical references that describe the lavvu structure (also called a kota, or a variation on this name) used by the Sami. These structures have the following in common:
1) The lavvu is supported by three or more evenly spaced forked or notched poles that form a tripod.
2) There are upwards of ten or more unsecured straight poles that are laid up against the tripod and which give form to the structure.
3) The lavvu does not need any stakes, guy-wire or ropes to provide shape or stability to the structure.
4) The shape and volume of the lavvu is determined by the size and quantity of the poles that are used for the structure.
5) There is no center pole needed to support this structure.
No historical record has come to light that describes the Sami using a single-pole structure claimed to be a lavvu, or any other Scandinavian variant name for the structure. The definition and description of this structure has been fairly consistent since the 17th century and possibly many centuries earlier.
I cut 12 poles from balsam fir and maple,made 12 tent stakes, gathered several small round stones to use as points to tie my tent stakes to, gathered up some bailing twine and other cordage scraps, then set to work.
The first thing I did was to split the tipi straight up from one of the 2 doors. Next, I cut the floor out of the tipi, then the apex. I left some of the nylon webbing attached to the apex intact to use as a means of securing the tipi fabric to the pole so I could raise it in place.
I set up my tripod, raised it into place, laid some additional poles in the manner of setting up an American Indian Tipi, Tied the tipi fabric to the last pole and raised it into place at the back of my “Lavvu”.
The next step was to spread the fabric around the poles and secure it into place with some cordage scraps. Next, taking my small smooth stones , I placed them on the fabric from the inside of the tipi, gave them a twist and tied them into place. Starting at the door way of my tipi, I secured the stakes in place by pounding them in using the back end of my Gerber hatchet.
The only tools I used were my trusty Swiss Army knife and a Gerber hatchet.
Next, I gathered up all of my gear and moved in. I Set up my army cot and wood burning stove, cut some fire wood, and I was in business. It was a cold and rainy past couple of days Here in the Maine north woods, It was nice to be able to get a fire going in the stove to take the chill out of the air,and brew some Chaga tea.
I hope you enjoy the pictures.
Tomahawk – Scouts Out!