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The Cheyenne Teepee

I have always wanted a teepee. Ever since I saw one being erected at a Native American Pow-wow, I intended to own one someday. But there was the dilemma of hauling around a minimum of 9 eleven-foot pine lodge poles, with 100 feet of rope, a pile of stakes and the lodge canopy weighing who-knows-what. Therefore, a teepee seemed appropriate only for car camping.

Until now.

Let me show you around my Cheyenne Teepee.

The front door is black and can be left open, held secure by two different sets of Velcro tabs. If I want it closed, I match the full-length strips of Velcro over to the side. There's a full mesh door, also, with its two different set of clips and loops, so that it can be held open. It also can be closed with a full-length strip of Velcro. That black overhang above the door can be guyed out. Under it is a mesh vent, which is protected by the overhang. Even during bad storms, the vent can be left open. The vent has a casing into which a stiff wire or plastic strip may be inserted, to keep the overhang away from the vent. Then, it wouldn’t need guying.

When I walk inside, I barely need to stoop, because the overhang is 50 inches from the ground. The door itself is 6 feet tall. Immediately I am astounded by the space. This teepee is 11 feet in diameter. Lets see, the area of a circle is pie are squared. Hummm, radius is 5.5 feet. Squared equals 30.25 feet. Times Pi (3.14) equals 94.98 square feet. Not too shabby. Because I have chosen to hang my teepee by the loop outside, there is no pole to interfere with interior space. Along the back wall seam are 4 interior loops, each spaced 4 feet apart. These loops will be used for an interior clothesline, hanging a photon light, or perhaps even a lean-to type tarp, on really cold nights, to keep my body heat from rising to the nearly 9 foot center height. I can easily stand up and change clothes, brush my hair, do whatever. I could fit a small tent inside here. I could even fit a medium size tent in here. Good heavens, I could fit a Boy Scout troop in here.

Lets go outside. Along that same seam where the black meets the brown, are 4 exterior loops. These loops are lifts and guy-out points. This teepee looks difficult to hang, but really, all I had to do was choose my spot. Lay the teepee below the limb, place a rock in my rock sling bag, close that bag and sling away. The rock brings that ditty bag over and down so I can easily reach it. Then, I lift the teepee until it can be properly spread and staked out, and secure the hanging rope to a nearby tree. Today I choose to stake it with some of the 13 inches of mesh skirting showing. That skirting goes all along the perimeter, which, lets see, circumference of a circle is diameter times pi. In my case, 11 times 3.14 equals 34.54 feet. Every 3 feet there is a staking loop, and I put in 10. Each of these 10 loops are designed with 3 staking options. One really nails this teepee down, with no mesh showing. That would be for heavy rain, or severe cold. The second option is like in the photo, some mesh showing, and good ventilation. The farthest option is more mesh showing, yet leaving enough skirting to lay towards the inside and overlap any ground cloth I bring.

These colors were chosen for several reasons. Most importantly, I wanted it to totally blend in. By having a two-tone scheme, and breaking up large areas of color, the entire teepee becomes more stealth. The black is not transparent, giving the back side more privacy. The top and front allows some light in with its semi-translucency.

But the weight? What is the weight of such an elaborate shelter? On the electronic ounce-gram scale, including the seam sealing, rock sling bag (25 feet of paracord) in its stuff sack (12 x 17 inches), it registered only 2 pounds, 9 7/8 ounces. I would probably bring 10 stakes, and perhaps some rope for guy lines, which would increase the weight by a few ounces.

I called it the Cheyenne in honor of a strong people who once freely roamed the western plains. A circular shape is said to be eternal, nothing natural on this earth has four corners.

The Cheyenne Teepee is not for sale, and no plans, or patterns are available.

Check out the video on YouTube for more information

This silnylon teepee was designed by Carol "Brawny" Wellman.