tipi icon Ishmael's Tipi

I built a tipi in the Spring of 1973 to serve as my dwelling-place while building a New Cabin ( Beware - large images! ) in North Groton, New Hampshire for the MIT Outing Club that summer.

It has also been used while camping, and for lodging when attending Morris Ales.
photograph of Ishmael outside his Tipi 1977 JPEG image, 20k Here it is set up in a field in Maine in the Fall of 1979.

Floor Plan

Ishmael's Tipi Floor Plan
The door faces East, which puts the prevailing wind from the back for best draft for the fire, easy positioning of the smoke flaps, and least trouble from rain. Surprising as it may seem, even with the poles sticking up and the chimney open, the tipi can stay cozy and dry even through a drowning thunderstorm. (or a hurricane, but that is another story)

My tipi is spacious for one, comfortable for two as a vacation house. I have not lived in it as a primary household.


William Taylor introduced me to the concept of tipi living and provided anecdotal experience from his year-round tipi outside Missoula, Montana.

I used the industrial sewing machine at the MIT Outing Club for assembly of the lining and cover. No speed control, just a one horsepower motor and a clutch! It could really make the thread smoke!

One of my sisters, Annie, has been goading me into putting up new pages so she can show them to members of her Tokyo running club.

Cindy Wood sewed colorful streamers to hang from the upper ends of the tipi poles.


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Corrections, additions or comments?
Send email (if supported by your browser) to the author, ijs@mit.edu.
Original Mar 24, 1996
Last Modified: Aug 26 06:36 EDT 1997 / Ishmael the Fiddler