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Tipi Canvas

Building Instructions

Raising the main canvas is the most difficult part when putting up your Tipi. The canvas weights around 80kg and it must be hauled over the apex of the tent. The key to success is teamwork, proper preperation and practice. 

There are 2 main factors that influence the success of this process most:

The direction of pull 

Symmetry 

The canvas laid out on the side of the Tipi away from the wind. This is very important. As the canvas raises the wind helps to inflate the canvas and make it go on more easily. 

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Raising the main canvas is the most difficult part when putting up your Tipi. The canvas weights around 80kg and it must be hauled over the apex of the tent. The key to success is teamwork, proper preperation and practice. 

There are 2 main factors that influence the success of this process most:

The direction of pull 

Symmetry 

The canvas laid out on the side of the Tipi away from the wind. This is very important. As the canvas raises the wind helps to inflate the canvas and make it go on more easily. 

STEP 1

Laying out Canvas

Lay out drop cloth

If the ground is wet or muddy lay out a drop cloth on the ground to keep the canvas clean when you unroll it. Make sure the entire canvas is rolled out on this cloth. 

This cloth can be a few carpets rolled out or Tarpaulin or something similar.

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Lay out Canvas

Place the canvas bag at the base of the frame and tip the canvas out of the bag. Unroll the canvas so that the top of the canvas (smallest part of canvas) is furthest away from the main Tipi frame and the bottom of the canvas with all the D-rings is closest to the main Tipi frame. 

unfold the canvas until there are no more folds and an equal amount of canvas is between the 2 main poles you are pulling up against. At this point the canvas is actually still folded in half. The visible top layer that you can see will end up on the far side of the frame and the bottom layer will stay on this side of the frame.

Be sure that all the folds on the bottom layer have been unfolded too. It is easy to leave a couple of big folds on the bottom layer if you are not careful.

Each canvas has a Black strap coming from 1 D-ring. It runs up the skirt and onto the main canvas this is the D-ring you are going to pull your canvas over with it is reinforced to take the pressure of pulling it over the pulley wheel.

pull the canvas round so that this strap is in the middle of your canvas that is on the ground. As you pull the canvas round make sure it all stays equal and that strap stays in the middle this may require you to pull some canvas from the bottom.

with your hauling rope tie a double knot into this D-ring make sure it is tight and will not come loose under tension 

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STEP 2

Ladder - Pulley - Pull

Raise the ladder once again. This time have the canvas behind the ladder in between 2 poles make sure the ladder is secure using a stake in the bottom rung.

Send someone up the ladder to fit the Pulley wheel into the top of the crown 

The pulley wheel must be rotated so that the long arm faces towards the canvas on the round.

Once the pulley wheel is in place give the free end of the hauling rope to the person up the ladder and have them run the rope in the channel in the pulley wheel so that the free end of the hauling rope hangs down on the opposite side of the frame to where the canvas is lying 

Ensure that hauling rope is OUTSIDE all of the pearlin poles it is easy to get it inside by mistake and the canvas raise wont work.

STEP 3

The Pull

There is one person up the ladder, one person pulling on the hauling rope (2 people makes it a lot easier), and one person near the canvas checking nothing gets caught on the frame as the canvas rises up. They are also spreading the canvas out to make it easier on the ropemen.

Keep the hauling rope exactly in the middle of the pulley wheel if you go too far left or right it will come off the wheel and you will have to start again. 

Ropeman start pulling the hauling rope so that the canvas starts to rise towards the pulley wheel 

When the canvas is just touching the pulley wheel frame stop pulling 

This is where the ladderman gets into position (this is the hardest part of building Tipis) 

Raise the canvas a little more stop just before the knot in the hauling rope touches the pulley wheel the ladderman will shout stop !

Ladderman gets the canvas on his back and shoulders and climbs further up the ladder lifting the knot over the pulley wheel at the very same time Ladderman will shout go and the ropeman will pull the hauling rope pulling that knot over the top of the wheel and over the top of the crown itself 

 

It is very important Ropemen do not stop pulling and ladderman does not stop helping the canvas over the crown at this point if the canvas gets stuck on the skirt there is a good chance it will get ripped.

 

Ladderman keep helping the canvas over by using your weight to push the canvas up and off the pulley wheel 

 

Ropemen keep pulling on the hauling rope until the canvas is over the top and the skin is now on.  

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STEP 4

Orientate & peg

If you are lucky the doors maybe in the correct position, but that is unlikely. Spread the crew out around the bottom of the Tipi, grab the skirt and flap up and down whilst pulling either clockwise or anticlockwise. 

When you have finished flapping, the seam running upwards from the top of each gusset should be in line with the main pole underneath 

Finally Peg the Tipi 

Start from 1 pole each section of Tipi has a criss cross rope and at the bottom of this rope is a pocket. The D-ring directly under the pocket goes directly goes directly under the main pole this will be tight but will hammer down no problem 

from the peg you have just hammered in go one way left or right to the next D-ring pull all of the tension out of the skin towards your first peg and peg that D-ring 

Go to the next D-ring pull that the opposite way you just pegged this will make your canvas even tighter keep working toward the next rope then repeat this process on each section 

Leave where you are placing your porch unpegged and if you are linking your Tipis leave the linking section unpegged also. 

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