how to make a single pole survival backpacking tarp tipi

Make a single pole tarp tipi – teepee tent shelter from a 12 x 16′ tarp or similar aspect ratio sized tarp. I show how to make this teepee that requires only 1 single wood pole (or a trekking pole)…

You can use other sized tarps to make the tipi bigger or smaller, but try to keep the aspect ratio the same for this project…

The old traditional method of making a tipi requires several poles to go around the perimeter and very much time to gather the materials and build the structure. With this method only one center pole is required, which can easily be found while out camping in the woods.

banner image showing wooden tarp clip in use with tarp

This is an adequate floorless shelter for bad weather and is storm proof. The camo pattern I used also provides for great stealth camping.

Requiring only one wood pole, or a single trekking pole, makes this system a compact and lightweight tipi-teepee tent kit that I can easily backpack around with me in the woods, deserts and mountains and I made this relatively cheap, for under $30…

There is a sacrifice in height using this new technique, but the added square footage at the base far advances the taller traditional structure in my humble opinion.

To give you an idea, the diameter at the base will be just a little smaller than the short dimension (12′ in this case gave me about a 12′ diameter at the base using a 5’6″ tall pole) so a 10′ by 14′ tarp, for example, would give you about a 9-10′ diameter at the base.

This 12 x 16′ tarp will provide plenty of room for a one person solo shelter, including room for a hot tent stove (coming soon), a cot and chair. This will also be adequate for two persons minus the chair. It would be sufficient for 3 people to sleep in but you probably wouldn’t have room in the shelter for a stove or chair.

You’ll have to play around with the tarp to figure out the ideal length for the middle pole, as you cut its length, to suit your needs, but you do have some variance there.

how to make cheap tarp teepee tipi tent shelter image

Look for upcoming videos for modifications to this tarp tipi – teepee tent shelter such as adding a stove and jack making it a ‘hot tent’ and bushcrafting my own furniture such as a cot and chair to make the shelter more comfortable for living in…

—You can go right to the cut pattern/plan at 1:30

banner image showing wooden tarp clip in use with tarp


4 thoughts on “How to make a Tarp Tipi / Teepee Survival Tent Shelter – Backpacking

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