The Native American Teepee is in essence a cone shaped tent.
It’s really a very functional yet unique design. The Native American Teepee Tent consists of a number of poles erected in sort of a tripod fashion depending on the number of poles the base will be roughly circular. The poles are normally lashed together at the top, thereby securing them as a part of the structure. The entire pole cone structures is then wrapped with some type of material. The material whether it be animal hides, or cloth then forms the walls of the shelter providing a relatively watertight structure.
One of the unique features of the teepee is its great ventilation. Native American Teepee Tents have a small opening at the top where the poles are lashed together. This opening provides a ventilation opening for air flowing into the teepee tents from the door area. In addition, this opening in the top serves as a chimney. The native american teepee is unique in that a fire can be built in the center and the smoke will rise up through the opening in the top, making this a unique tent for heating and cooking.
How To Construct Native American Teepee Tents
To build a teepee start by gathering together a minimum of 9 poles. The longer the poles, the wider you can make the base and still provide adequate headroom. Start by lightly lashing together 3 of the poles into a tripod. Note that the lashing point should be 1′-3′ below the top of the poles. This helps add stability. Then fill in each of the three sides of the tripod with 2 more poles each. Once all the poles are lightly lashed together the base of the poles can be adjusted to form a circle, the normal shape of a Native American Teepee.
Next the Native American Teepee will be wrapped with the cover. The cover should be in the shape of a half circle. There are a couple of different options on how to deal with the smoke stack area (with or without rain flap) as illustrated below.
The North American Teepee as a Tent
The North American Teepee as you can see makes for a very good tent. It is portable, although carrying the poles can be problem. However, for the nomadic tribes of the great plains the North American Teepee was just thing for portable housing.