Tipis

Our 6ft kids tipi

We work and live in Mi’kma’ki, the traditional territory of the Mi’kmaq people.

A canvas covered tipi was our first home as a married couple in the beautiful woodlands of Wales. There we learned the textile skills and working with an industrial sewing machine to make tipi coverings.

From the Celtic roundhouse to the tipi and the yurt, our appreciation for circular shelters comes from the grounding feeling we experience when inside. We admire how many nomadic shelters have not changed due to it's ingenious design.

We make the canvas covering for a Sioux style tipi. This is the type that works best with a canvas cover. 

The traditional Mi'kmaq home is the wigwam which comes from the Mi'Kmaq word "wikuom", meaning dwelling. The wigwam was constructed from poles covered with birch bark strips sewn together with spruce. Wigwams were usually put up by women and could be built in a day. Women from yurt dwelling nations were also responsible for the set up of their homes.

The word tipi or teepee wasn't used by the Mi'Kmaq as it comes from a different native language and usually refers to a tent covered with skins, not bark. Birchbark made a good cover for a wigwam since it was waterproof and portable.

The tipi is a beautiful space for events and gatherings of all kinds. Individual tipi owners have used their tipis for year round living, camping, and for historical purposes at museums and community centres. A 15 ft tipi is ideal for camping or for a small gathering space. The 22ft tipi is very large and can fit 25 people seated in a circle; however it is harder to heat. Our 6ft kids tipi can be set up by children in 15 minutes and can fit 6 children in a circle.

We have adjusted the traditional design slightly to produce a tipi that has been reinforced in all the areas that usually wear. Our tipis are extremely hard wearing, particularly in bad weather.


Our tipis have many advantages including:


  • A rot proof bottom on our inner liners

  • Large pockets on the smoke flaps to make it easy to fit the smoke flap poles

  • Grommet enforced dowel holes

  • Nylon loops on the bottom of the tipi to prevent rot

Click on the white arrows to view images

Tipi Cover Prices

Our tipi covers include the pegs, smoke flap ropes, anchor rope, wooden lacing pins, a canvas storage bag and a tipi door. A 50% non-refundable deposit is required to start all orders.


Diameter
Inner liner
22ft tipi cover (340 sq ft)$3095$1255
20ft tipi cover (280 sq ft)$2480$1105
15ft  tipi cover (170 sq ft)$1710$825
6ft kids tipi cover (28sq ft)$795 (poles at $50 each)n/a
 *tipi poles $180 each (26ft long)suitable for 15ft & 20ft tipis 

*We have a limited amount of tipi poles in stock. New tipi poles get cut every March. To confirm tipi poles, a deposit is required before February. 

The inner liner is ideal if you will be using it for accommodation as it prevents drafts and provides a more comfortable space.


Collecting your own Tipi Poles


You will need to... remove bark and sand collect
Spruce or Pine trees

22ft tipi18 poles 28ft long, 5" diameter at bottom 
20ft tipi 14 poles 26ft long, 4" diameter at bottom
15ft tipi 14 poles 22ft long, 3.5-4" diameter at bottom
6ft kids tipi  9 poles 8ft 2" long, 2.5" diameter at bottom

As for acquiring your own tipi poles, we recommend finding poles locally utilizing someone in your community with forestry knowledge.

Our advice is to find an overcrowded stand of spruce trees around 2 ft apart. Taking trees from this area will leave a healthier stand afterwards. The crowded spruce stand will have lots of very straight trees that are tall without too much girth at the base.

Cut and remove 14 trees that are around 3.5-4 inches at the base and still 1.25 inches at the top over 22-28ft long depending on the size of tipi. These trees are best taken between November and February as they will be less sappy and dry better.

The trees should be plained with an electric hand planner or by using a rasp to smooth out any lumps or knots on the trunk. Once all the hard lumps and knots are removed, shave the bark off with a draw knife, log stripper or machete until it is smooth with no cambium or bark.

The finished poles should be stored upright until dry or until you are ready for set up. The poles can be left untreated but for a better look and longer lasting pole, treat the poles with a transparent deck stain or linseed oil.

Our Canvas

We use an Egyptian double weave cotton canvas called Sungorger FR (10.5oz). It is the best quality cotton canvas on the market today. It is tested to Canadian fire codes CPAI 84 and S109 ULC. It is a treated canvas, which is rot, mildew, water, fire, and UV resistant. The treatments are very necessary in damp and cold climates like we have in Nova Scotia.

The life of a cotton tipi cover depends on many factors. If you use it seasonally (spring, summer and fall months) take the cover off when high winds and storms are expected. Store the cover in a clean and dry manner and brush the debris off the canvas as required, then your cover could last between 7-10 years. It is also important to ensure that your tipi poles are smooth which will prevent unnecessary wear on the canvas. Putting your tipi on a deck will increase the dryness of your shelter and the longevity of the canvas.

Learn about caring for your tipi cover in our Maintaining Your Tipi Guide.

Set Up Guide 

A set up guide with pictures is included in the above prices. If you require set of your tipi for the first time we offer face-to face training and set up for $250. 

Delivery charges are not included. Our travel costs are $1.15 per kilometer in Nova Scotia (round trip) and $1.25 per kilometre in NB & PEI (round trip). Due to unpredictable fuel prices, travel costs are subject to change without notice.

The tipi I purchased from Little Foot Yurts is one of the best I have seen, and certainly the best I have owned. They have incorporated the best features that I have noticed, including large smoke pole pockets (to assist in getting the poles in place from far below), offset lacing holes for joining the tipi cover neatly (this is not so on all tipis), and heavily reinforced stress points and seams. They also provide heavy duty rebar pegs, more like staples, that do a terrific job of making sure your tipi doesn't get airborne. The instructions they provide make it almost foolproof to get the tipi up and looking good in minimum time. I needed one minor change after delivery, and they accommodated me quickly and with no fuss. All in all, a wonderful purchasing experience, and an awesome product!

- Dan McIsaac, owner of a 20 ft tipi, Annapolis Royal, NS See more testimonials