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RMH in a Tipi  RSS feed

 
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A podium would need a surface that can direct rain and thaw away from the tipi. With the tipi set up on the ground, the land has been scaped so that there is a slight slope away from the tipi. A podium needs to also reflect this. Sloped podium, plus system for keeping the poles from sliding down... it's a lot of engineering just to find out that the tipi wasn't set-up properly, and try setting it up a few more times to get it just right.
 
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Olenka Kleban wrote:A podium would need a surface that can direct rain and thaw away from the tipi. With the tipi set up on the ground, the land has been scaped so that there is a slight slope away from the tipi. A podium needs to also reflect this. Sloped podium, plus system for keeping the poles from sliding down... it's a lot of engineering just to find out that the tipi wasn't set-up properly, and try setting it up a few more times to get it just right.



This is an idea that has hit a number of people at once, if in different ways. The fact that the bottom is having problems from being wet, and that the Tipi is static in use, and that a RMH is used to heat it all point to either digging a pit for the RMH/living space or building a stub wall to raise the building skin to where it may function correctly. Finding out how to set the skin and poles up correctly should be done first so that a wall being built would be the right shape... though I would make it wide enough on top to be adjustable. I would use "pockets" for the pole ends to sit in with drainage so they don't fill with water. The wall/podium itself could be more of a berm which is straight inside but has a gentle slope to the ground on the outside. Raising the ground level for the poles may be better than digging a pit as it is less likely to create a pond... Len lives on the wet coast and so this comes to mind... there are not many Tipis here
 
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Olenka Kleban wrote:Hello friends,

It is time that I leave the tipi. Tuesday will be my last day. If anyone is interested in staying there, get in touch on this forum or feel free to PM me.

Thank you to all who have been following the posts.
Thank you to those of you who have replied, asked questions, and given awesome feedback: Miles, Hans, Mary, Len, Glenn, kadence, Julia, Valerie, Thomas, Rufus, Cassie, Adrien, Jami, David, Nancy, Judith and more.
Thank you Judith for your attention to detail and sending goodies in the mail based on your keen eye in this forum.
Thank you Marta! I got your email with winter tipi tips from your friend, and I keep forgetting to reply! Argh, me! thank you! It was a pleasure to meet you and Tim.
Thank you Miles and Hans for hangin' in there with me, for giving much appreciated guidance along the way.
And Miles, the gift of the books you sent is really a treasure.
Thank you to Paul, the host. and apple feeder.
Thank you Jocelyn. You are a good friend.
Thank you Rick, Jason, Sam and Jesse- You are a hilarious bunch. Just when I stop thinking of donuts, you help me get back on the right track.
Thank you Cassie for your film skills.
Thank you Jesse, for being a good neighbour.
Thank you Tim, Kristie, and your sweet little troopers. It's been good to live by a family.
Thank you Mike and Violet.
Thank you dogs.
Thank you Ernie and Erica. Your work is great.
Thank you Zach and Ernie for answering my questions about wildlife.
Thank you Zach and Raleigh. Always smiling, you pair.
Thank you Rich, Sofia, Tel, Bryce, Val, Seth.
Thank you Missoula Public Library. Everyone should get a library card. It's fantastic.
Thank you Devon for getting me a camera for this trip.
Thank you Mama, Tato, Taras, Ksenia, Rick, Marg, kosa kolektiv, and friends back home.
Thank you Tony and Emily for really getting things going here, writing about your experiences, and prepping Derick and I for our move out here.
Thank you Derick. I will be home soon.



Olenka, not only is there beauty in your artist's eye capturing scenes around wheaton labs, but a lovely beauty of spirit, too, in your goodbye. Thank you for being here.
 
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Thanks for all your posts and work, Olenka!
 
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Olenka -

> clearing snow ... easy

Makes sense - good deal. Wasn't sure how the immediate site was graded, access and drainage. Also what the usual snow falls were like. I'm in Chicago at the moment and we've had a couple nice snows like I remember from the '50's -'60's. Bit of exercise but no real problem clearing the walks. As I remember, we used to get 3 or 4 good snowfalls each year - say 12-24" - which often stayed essentially intact for a couple weeks or more and drifts could last into spring. That kind of thing might make sweeping tipi skirts challenging or delayed depending on ease of access.

> mold

Isn't magic. Any reasonable drying will pretty much prevent it. Airflow and warmth, in that order, will do the job. Especially since the canvas s/have air flow on both sides.

> tipi wall

Bingo. That pic looks like a darn good idea. Maybe they missed a detail or two (slope on top) but really that looks worth while. A semi permanent shelter has different priority issues than a seasonal one. Use patterns of occupants get pretty static and apply wear/tear to very specific spots. Floor and pathways don't get shifted and "renewed" just becuz. Ergo it starts making sense to invest more in certain parts, like the floor, maybe some pathways, maybe a wood or stone knee wall. Walls are pretty easy; they're a "mature" technology and I don't think it'd be hard to avoid mold (given a modicum of ventilation planning), include the needed strength, etc. Especially low ones, less than 36" - pretty easy to put it all together. One reason I thought about podium or walls was that raising the tipi bottom 24" or so above the ground on a short wall could potentially keep the bottom of the tipi actually dry while still making a good seal. Really looks like a total "win" to me.

> bigger tipi

There's a simple solution! I'd say you're a heroine if you went and crawled around the perimeter more than once. BTDT inside the eaves under gable roofs.

Vaya con dios 'n' all that. (or whatever translates good for you) We'll miss your tipi adventure projects. <g>

Rufus
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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On Sunday, Paul and I walked the lab a bit looking at sites for the 1-acre ant village plots. We popped over to check in on the tipi and wofati 0.7 and saw this nice amount of firewood in the skiddable firewood shed.
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firewood in the skiddable firewood shed
 
Olenka Kleban
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Rufus, Len,

These are great suggestions. I feel pretty confidant that any new tipi steward will have a good head start to knowing what the right path forward will be based on your descriptive solutions. Some time living in the space, plus a good read of this forum, a daily companionship with the tipi books that Miles sent, and regular visits with neighbours to bounce off ideas: an inspired answer will come through for how to go forward.

 
Olenka Kleban
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The firewood on the right was prepared by Tony and Emily- it is well seasoned and reserved for terribly cold times.

The 3 stacks to the left are mostly green now, but burn just fine if you prime the pump well. A good stack of penciled-sized kindling, then a graduation to some larger tinder-dry pieces is a good prep before throwing in some green wood. The bottom of those piles has some dead-standing and potentially rotten pieces, so best to hold off of digging right to the bottom of the piles for now.

I had been accustomed to burning green wood for the tipi, and then used the well-seasoned wood and unintentionally got the place up to 110F (43C) on the thermometer in 10 minutes time. Seasoned wood is a powerful thing.
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Olenka Kleban
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If you're looking for gapper tipi books, you can find them at base camp. I tucked them into the bookshelf alongside foraging and wild edibles books that I enjoyed whilst in the kanvas kone. They may have since shifted positions, but this is at least a hint to their whereaboots.
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Jocelyn Campbell
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Olenka Kleban wrote:If you're looking for gapper tipi books, you can find them at base camp. I tucked them into the bookshelf alongside foraging and wild edibles books that I enjoyed whilst in the kanvas kone. They may have since shifted positions, but this is at least a hint to their whereaboots.



You are SO awesome Olenka, thank you! Love the Canadian accent there. I *might* move all the gapper books, including these tipi books, to a bookshelf in the bunk bedroom, but haven't advanced to that level of organizing and tidying yet. Some gapper books have been stored in wofati 0.7, too.
 
Olenka Kleban
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very cool.
 
Olenka Kleban
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The sewing awl is stored in the tipi. It's in a little sack on a shelf.
(Thank you Judith Browning for the lovely little sacks!)

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Olenka Kleban
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Contents:
-3 extra spools of waxed thread
-sewing awl with spool (needle and wrench stored inside the awl handle)





 
Olenka Kleban
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And if you're around the tipi and you gotta go, look for the sign out just past the bee hut...



Flip the sign over to suit your fancy.




And follow the pompoms through the forest!
They are a little sparse, so keep yer eyes peeled.

 
Olenka Kleban
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Know your forest, and you will know a million paths.

The pooper path is not really a necessary thing considering that the forest is already filled with unique markers
but maybe these poms will help a newcomer find the throne. :)

If there's interest in making more pompoms (for any reason:), you can find yarn down at basecamp, in a box of dye-related things sent graciously by Judith Browning.

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I love it!!! Pooper Path PomPoms

...so glad you are still around the forums
 
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Here are a few pictures of the tipi



 
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I have been reading these posts on tipis and living in a tipi with great interest. Love the heated floor construction with walls. The shredded Rain Cover was interesting. Those things never did exist in the history of tipis nor what was called the Ozan by the Laubins. We know that the lining in a tipi is the Ozan. That was all started after the 20th. century by the father of Boy Scouting Thomas Seton. In high winds they are dangerous to your poles. But in all this great information I have gleamed off this site let me add this site to go to for more information. www.tipis.org and a book on the Historical tipi with far more information than the Laubin book or added information on tipis as the most the book is on tipis and the construction:Tipis, Tepees, Teepees: History and Design of the Cloth Tipi . http://www.amazon.com/Tipis-Tepees-Teepees-Linda-Holley/dp/1586855115/ref=sr_1_1/102-4719946-9795367?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1174086974&sr=8-1
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Art and his friend Tom were out for pictures again!

Here's the tipi with the berms a-growin' in the background.




And an interesting view above the RMH with a gapper gift tea kettle.




A last view inside.




 
Julia Winter
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Lookin' good!
 
Cassie Langstraat
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Hopefully I will get to stay in this bad boy when I'm up at the labs in a few days!









 
Olenka Kleban
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Hello folks of tipi curiosity! (hello then to myself, too!)

It's been, what, 4 months since my traverse away from the tipi? Yes, something like that.
My time in the tipi was an excellent primer for my days today, days of summer homesteading in my native Ontario.
My time in the tipi has given me confidence and foresight to prepare and take me into a coming winter of homesteading. :)
Summer is nice, but winter is fantastic- I can't wait!

Alas, summer homesteading, especially at a time when so much infrastructure is just waiting to be built, is a time that's not so convenient to hop on the internet and creatively cruise around. But hey, it's hot, so I'm seated in the shade and perusing the forums.

So I see that there are some new photos of the tipi, all beauteous, wonderful.


But of the bumbling bodies at the Lab, is there someone who's been stewing about the tipi lately? Any thoughts about that site, that place as a home, that place an efficient dream place? Cassie, have you had a sleep or a few in there? What's it like to heat up a pot of evening tea with the the exhaust re-route? Perhaps the ants might have some thoughts on the site, especially in contrast to their own doings as they establish their personal homeplaces? Any opinions or ruminations out there?



 
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My understanding is that not much focus has been put into it lately. Currently, the only gapper here is Fred, who is staying in Allerton Abbey and focuses mostly on planting and mulching all over the place. I have a feeling that the tipi has more appeal during the winter because of the whole RMH in a tipi deal, so maybe someone will show up sometime in the fall? I know Paul does want someone to focus on fixing the place up and turn it into a glamping experience, so if anyone is reading this and that sounds fabulous, it might be time for you to make the trek out here.
 
Julia Winter
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Cassie just stayed in the tipi for four nights and said it was a luxurious place to stay. It certainly looked lovely!

Running the tipi as a vacation/learning experience is an income stream that is open for development, or that's how it looks to me. . .
 
Cassie Langstraat
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I did stay in the tipi and it was SO amazing!! I never fired up the rocket mass heater though, it was perfect temperature in there without it.
 
Cassie Langstraat
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Maddie was recently at Wheaton Labs and tooks a bunch of great pictures. You can see them all here. But here is a couple good ones of the tipi!.





 
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I built and lived in tipis in the UK and Ireland back in the early 80's. They were Sioux tipis, which I made from plans from Reginald and Gladys Laubins tipi book. We installed an Ozan and it was great! It needs to be canvas, and sloped back towards the liner to catch and expel any vertical rain that falls on still days. The Ozan made a huge difference in the coziness of the lodge. We only had an open fire, but we used a feeder (a huge stump that you build your fire against, in the morning you just chip some embers off the stump and get a fresh blaze going).

Good luck!
 
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It has been a privilege to experience The Tipi life, especially the RMH. Coming 'home' from work on chilly nights is no big deal with the RMH, in minutes your are warm and cozy and without all that creosote up your nose! The site draws you to talk a nature walk and take it all in.
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Jocelyn Campbell
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Julianne of dirtpatcheaven made another video from her family's visit here earlier this month.



More dirtpatcheaven videos and links here: https://permies.com/t/58861/videos/YouTube-Dirtpatcheaven-great-videos-family.


 
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I think this might be a good time to point out that the build of the tipi is half of DVD 1 of "better wood heat".  You can get this DVD all by itself and it is over two hours long.   The DVD has not only the full build of the tipi rocket mass heater, but it also has an interview with Emily and Tony in the middle of the first winter.  I think they are being interviewed on a day where it is below zero outside - so the interview starts outside in the bitter cold, and then you move inside where you can see it is clearly warm.

click here for more about the full dvd




 
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Entering the tipi guests usually react with, 'Oohs' and 'How cool!'s. I'm pretty lucky to get to see that so often. Everyone loves the tipi! Four couple have celebrated their wedding aniversary in the tipi! Perhaps one day we will be able to host and cater weddings at the lab!
 
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Hi there! I've spent the past few weeks reading through permies rocket heaters forums, but this is my first post--wish me luck!
Some folks & I are planning to build a heater in a tipi at an encampment started by a Native American tribe in New Jersey. The camp is standing in solidarity with Standing Rock and in resistance to a gas pipeline that is threatening the water and communities of the Northeast region. Campers will be staying in tipis and tents throughout the winter. They have some wood stoves but we want to experiment with a more energy efficient, DIY version. We don't have much money at all, so we are going for a version made primarily from salvaged and natural materials. That said, we can spend a little money on something that would improve the efficiency and longevity of the stove by a good factor!

I have some appropriate technology experience and have made small, low-tech, rocket cookstoves, but never any heating stoves. I really have tried to research quite a bit, but the information here is so copious and the diversity of styles so awesomely overwhelming that I hope it's alright for me to seek some specific advice on this thread

*Which style of heater?

> Ground as thermal mass
I think we don't have the time and space to do a large thermal mass rocket heater right now, e.g. one with a cob bench. The tipi designated to receive the first stove is on the small side. One thought is to dig the feed tube, burn tunnel, and combustion chamber into the ground a bit in the middle of the tipi, then run the exhaust from the 55 gallon barrel through the ground and out of the tipi, using the ground as thermal mass. I don't think we have money for the elbows that would enable us to run the pipe in a circle around the floor. So it would likely be a straight line of piping or salvaged steel round or square tubing, on a bed of rocks, maybe with some sand as insulation, and covered with soil. Does this seem like an okay idea? I myself worry that 1. Without insulating the ground inside the tipi from the ground outside, the capacity of the pipe to transfer heat to the ground might not be very effective, and 2. The area is low and I am told in certain seasons it can be a flood zone, which is obviously a larger problem...

> Radiant heater without mass
Considering this, I wonder if one of the models presented in the Aprovecho guide entitled "Designing Improved Wood Burning Heating Stoves (58 pages, October 2005)" (http://aprovecho.org/publications-3/ - scroll down to "Books") might be a better option. Specifically, the "Picasso Stove" presented on page 38 seems like a reasonable option. It's basically one barrel on top of another. The bottom part of the bottom barrel holds the fire on top of a grate. Above the fire there is a pipe surrounded by insulation and held up by a 'false floor.' This pipe feeds straight up into a second, equally sized metal drum, which serves as the heat exchanger and contains a smaller drum inside. The hot gases rise into the space between the smaller and larger drum of the heat exchanger and the leave via an exhaust pipe, which we would run out the top of the tipi where the smoke flaps are. (The manual actually recommends closing the space between the small and large drum, but leaving the smaller drum open so there is more surface area making contact with the air in the tipi.)

Insulation

With the canvas tipi being generally poorly insulated as others on this thread have mentioned, what is recommended? Are the smoke flaps closed once there is an efficient heater that doesn't produce smoke? Is any kind of insulation or sealing added around the top? I was also thinking to hang a tarp on the inside, bottom half of the tipi. And perhaps hanging a blanket as an improvised ozan? From what I've researched this would cover the back of the tipi, behind the heater at the center. Any low-cost recommendations would be greatly appreciated.


Materials

At this point, I don't think we have time to build with cob and let it dry properly. So, we could use salvaged metal, but I have read that in a well-insulated, high temperature rocket-style stove the metal corrodes quickly. I'm thinking fire bricks sealed with mortar may be the best option. Though firebricks seem to be $1-1.50/piece in these parts. Vs. $8 for 2 feet of 6" diameter black stove pipe. Any recommendations considering a balance of cost effectiveness, heating efficiency, and eventual degradation would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance for your patience and guidance!

Hugs,
sam
 
paul wheaton
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Have you watched the DVD that documents this build?

Have you read erica's book?
 
Thel Ess
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Hi there! I've mostly read through this thread documenting this build and many others. I don't have much money for purchasing books or DVDs at this time, but I would love to eventually. So I've just been reading forums and watching videos the past couple of weeks because it's getting cold and we're starting the build this Sunday. Thanks!
 
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You can rent the video for three bucks.  Seems pretty cheap to me.
 
Julia Winter
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Thel, I think that trying to use the earth as your mass won't work very well.  There's too much moisture, which has an almost limitless ability to absorb heat.  I would recommend a pebble style RMH if you think cob is not practical.  You can look around here on permies.com for more information, there are pebble style heaters in the Fisher Price house and the office.
 
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Hi! Thanks for the replies.
Paul, that is reasonable, thanks for pointing me to the videos.
Julia, what you say about moisture is sensible and helpful.
The pebble style stove looks neat but I think in the small tipi there just isn't going to be room for the mass. I may try the barrel on top of a barrel stove I mentioned, though in my research I haven't yet found commentary or documentation from folks who have tried it. Perhaps I'll ask in a thread about non-rocket stoves.
Maybe next time when we have more time and space we can try the RMH with the cob bench - we've never made cob before so it should be a good adventure, but we're doing the soil analysis to see what it's like.
Thank you!
 
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For a cob house, you need to be very sure of the quality of your clay. For a cob bench, as long as it acts like clay, sticky and pliable without cracking when wetted, it will work fine.

 
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