Tipi Renovations – Function and Flair!
In December, I took the tipi to Mew Lake camping in the non hydro loop and realized I still needed to make a few revisions. Well one main one, for sure.
I had a big issue with the snow sticking to the bottom of the canvas where the tipi met the ground. The snow that stuck to the main area, wasn’t a huge problem, but the large ice chunks and snow chunks were. They would freeze themselves into the fabric somehow at the bottom and I couldn’t get them off until getting it inside to melt it off.
If I took the tipi into the backcountry, I would need to get it down to the same size to take it out, as I had it to bring in. With this issue, that wasn’t going to happen. I posted on the Traditional Winter Camping page on facebook to see what type of information I could get and was provided with a lot! I was advised to get nylon like tent material or something similar that was slippery and put it along the bottom. I was also shown this photo at that time from Kent Nord and started to drool! LOL!!
This tipi was absolutely gorgeous and mine was so plain. I decided right then that if I was revising the tipi for function, I would also give it some flair!!!!
I made plans to go to Fabricland. The closest one is an hour away so plans were needed. I got up the following Saturday and went to Orillia in the morning to do a hike at Scout Valley Loop Trail, then headed over to pick the ladies brains at the store.
I started out with this taffeta. It was on clearance and was light and slippery, but knew it would not stand up to the elements. It was $3.00 a metre though, which made me happy, but it wasn’t what I needed so I kept looking. I walked around for at least an hour looking and then finally came across one of the employees who directed me to exactly what I needed.
Plastic coated canvas, and amazingly, it was the exact same colour of my Camper Christina Logo!!! It was also $15.00 a metre and with the bottom round being 30.5 feet long, I would need a lot of it!!!
Regardless, it was exactly what I wanted and I didn’t care how much it cost at this point. I was going for it! With further help from Fabriclands amazing staff, I figured out what I needed, had it cut, got thread to match and bias tape for some other parts of the tipi I wanted to revise, and I was set! I headed home to set up the tipi in the parking lot and mark where it would have to be cut.
Once this was done, I could work on it inside during the evenings and not need to set it up again for a while.
While it was up, I also sprayed it with a waterproofing spray, two cans actually. We’ll see if it helps, but I think I will probably need some more.
I took down the tipi and put it on the dining room table. Not nearly big enough but it was the best I had. I worked on it throughout the week in the evenings after work, starting with cutting off the existing bottom. YES it totally freaked me out!! My tipi would not be useable if I screwed this up so I was nervous, but nothing good comes from nothing attempted, right?
After cutting it, I laid the new material in it’s place to see how it would look. I was more than pleased with my purchase. Just worried about how to add it to the bottom as it is round, and the material is cut straight. I did my best to cut it on a curve but it wasn’t quite enough and somehow, I used up all the extra canvas I bought and just barely had enough!
I pinned it, glued it, made darts, and repeated, over and over and over again! Thirty and a half feet!!! LOL. It’s alot of material.
I cut the green bias tape to replace the beige and attached it loosely. I would now have to wait for a decent day to put the tipi up again and check it with the pins in place before double stitching it. I could not just sew it without putting it up and the weather was NOT cooperating. We had snow, rain, freezing rain, more snow! URG. Then one afternoon, I was lucky enough to have a 5 hour break in the weather. I jumped at the chance and put the tipi up in the driveway with a tarp under it to keep it clean and dry. It’s a good thing I set it up before sewing it because lots of things needed moving around and with no material left. I would have to piece some together to make additions where needed. FRANKENTIPI it will be!
Luckily, most of the pieced together sections wouldn’t show too much, as most were in the area that is tucked under the poles. After a few hours in the cold and pinning my gloves to the tipi several times, I was ready to take it down and actually do the sewing. It took about 5 hours to sew 30.5 feet double stitched plus Frankentipi pieces, plus attaching the strings and their loops, etc etc etc, but it was done! YAY!
Time to put it up again and check out how I did?
Below is the finished product and I am very happy with how it turned out! The video is from my First Winter Backcountry Trip in Algonquin park, the first place I took the tipi after its function and flair reno and it did great that weekend! Hope you come back to check it out.
Also, please check out the video that Shawn James from My Self Reliance posted to get a better look or come see the tipi in person at the Winter in the Wild event at Algonquin Park! My tipi will be there as a demo for people to come check it out! Pretty exciting!!! Hope to meet you there!
Thanks so much for checking out my post. If you have any questions or comments or just want to say hi, please leave a message and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
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My name is Christina, also known as Camper Christina. I was born and raised in Southern Ontario, but moved to Muskoka to be closer to the places I adventure. My greatest passion is exploring new places and writing about them. Some of my favorite hobbies are camping, kayaking, hiking, canoeing, snowshoeing, skating, photography and blogging. If you would like to read more about me or my adventures, please check out my blog at CamperChristina.com.