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Friday, June 9, 2017

Venting My Teepees

Gear Nerd Alert - this post is about a subject that is near and dear to a very small population of people.  Sort of like posting about collecting stamps - now that's a blog post I'd roll my eyes at and probably not read.  But the stamp collector is also likely to roll their eyes at a teepee venting post.  So there you go - read on if you are a person who sleeps in teepees a lot and don't like to wake up with wet walls.

I decided to write this post at the urging of my friend Brooks.  I had taken the top 3 photos specifically to send to him to show how I vent my Seek Outside 12 man teepee.  He said I should write a blog post about it.  So here it is.

A big complaint about floor-less, single wall tents (teepees) is that the walls get wet inside with condensation.  And when ever I hear this complaint I think, 'now there's someone who probably closed up their tent tight and stapled it to the ground'.  Because yes it is true that if you do not vent your tent the water vapor in the air will condensate on the inside - but properly vented I've found that teepees are super dry inside.  Even drier than a tent with a floor where the water often pools up on the floor.

Condensation on the inside depends on a lot of variables - how many people are breathing, are you cooking inside, how windy is it outside (this makes your vents more efficient), how wet is the ground when you set up your teepee etc.  Basically the drier and windier it is outside the less need there is to vent.  But if you pitched your teepee on wet ground and went into the teepee wearing wet gear - then you need a lot of vents.  And the wood stove inside always helps dry things out.  But even without the wood stove I find floor-less shelters can be dry inside - you just need enough venting.

I have a number of flourless shelters and basically vent them in one of 2 ways.  The BD Megalight type shelter (HMG Megamid, Golite SL5) I vent by pitching higher off the ground.  I extend the pole higher and there is more space all along the bottom for venting.  There is also more room inside and no one needs to use the door.  You just roll out under the edge of the tent.

The other type of tent, and the subject of this post, is the round style, hunting teepees that are designed to be 'stapled' to the ground.  These are the Kifaru, Seek Outside and TiGoat teepees.  The Kifaru actually used to come with a venting system similar to what I do on the Seek outside in the photo above.  But in general I have found that hunting teepees lack good ventilation - hunters during the cold season don't like drafts!  So with the Seek Outside 12 man above and the 8 Man TiGoat teepee below I came up with my own extra venting systems. Basically I created extra 'holes' or vents along the bottom edge of the tent.

The Seek Outside is designed so that it can be pitched very taut with a raised guy out at every other peg along the bottom edge.  On the inside there is a corresponding raised loop.  To vent I tied a line to each loop.  Then after pitching the teepee tight, I take the inside line, feed it under the edge of the tent and through the tie loop on the outside.  I then pull it tight lifting the up the bottom edge and creating a vent hole - I tie it off with slip knot.

With the TiGoat teepee I do it differently (see bottom 2 photos).  For this tent I added 4 or 5 longer pieces of string that I tie into the tent peg loops along the bottom edge of the tent.  I tie them onto different peg loops every time.  Basically I look for depressions and low areas and add the extra line to the peg loops in those areas.  This both helps with the pitch and creates extra vents along the bottom of the teepee.

So there you go - my venting modifications for your edification!  And now I am off to go teepee camping!


Seek outside vent on the outside

On the inside

Ti Goat teepee - note vent at bottom and also at top of door

Even wet grass inside the tent dries out after a night with the wood stove and the vents drafting

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