Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My First Real Tipi Experience

Please enjoy this special treat: a guest blog entry from my lovely girlfriend, Jill :)

Since Josh moved into the tipi I have only spent a night or so there, never staying more than one night at a time. Last week I finally got my chance to stay for almost an entire week! I arrived on Tuesday night and didn’t leave until Monday morning.

As Josh has described, life in the tipi is wonderful. It’s simple and relaxed and really does bring you closer to nature. Never have I experienced so vividly the sounds of nature: the sound of rain hitting the canvas of the tipi, the sounds of the wind rushing by, the sounds of roosters starting their calls at 4 am and not stopping ‘til 6pm, the sounds of endless geese migrating somewhere (it certainly did not appear to be south…), and of course the nonstop moans of nearby cows who sounded as though they were being tortured or mutilated or plagued by mad cow disease.

There are also a few perks to living in the tipi that Josh has failed to mention. The first is all-natural hair gel. I discovered this one night as I lay in bed (well something very similar to a bed) and suddenly I felt a little tickle in my hair. I instinctively whacked my head only to find that I had squished a golf ball-sized bug into my hair line (it MAY have been a bit smaller, but I was sleepy so it’s hard to say). This left a thick, sort of gel-like substance in my hair, giving me a nice cowlick, something I imagine looked similar to Cameron Diaz’s hair in There’s Something About Mary. The other little perk is something I experienced early one morning. As I squatted down towards the cold ground to relieve myself, I found myself immersed in a cloud of steam as my warm urine hit the frozen ground. Who knew living in a tipi meant you got your own personal sauna every morning!

But in all honesty living in the tipi is superb. It forces you out of your normal indoor living habits. No longer can you sit on your computer or cell phone for prolonged periods of time-they will die, there is no cable to be watched, you can’t waste precious energy by taking 30 minute-long, scolding hot showers (one of my favorite pastimes I will admit), and no more making a quick meal in the microwave. Preparing meals, washing dishes, reading a book are all more comfortably done outside beneath the sun rather than indoors. And of course, practicing your dance moves at 8pm is an activity best done outside the tipi, under the immense, star-filled sky.

-guest blogger, Jill Wagner

Monday, October 5, 2009

Testing, 123, testing

"I'm surprised that thing is still standing, those Indians really knew what they were doing." Those were the words of my neighbor, greeting me as I returned from a weekend away from the tipi. It appears the tipi faced its first major test this weekend, and passed with flying colors. There was trash scattered about, a few inches of water (which was presumably snow at one point) in the pots and pans I had left outside, and my canvas door had been ripped away from the opening of the tipi and twisted multiple times around the wooden dowels, the force of the wind causing the rope to rip right through the canvas.

But the tipi its self looked as if nothing had happened. The bricks had blown off of my tarp where I am storing my bike and kayak, but the tipi remained stoic and strong. Not a single stake was pulled from the ground, not a single pole had been shifted. There was about 2 gallons of water collect in my make shift Ozan waiting to be drained. The design was improvised after having earlier trouble with leakage. I cut out a 6 foot circle from a painters drop cloth and tied it to the poles inside the tipi, about 8 feet in the air, to create a sort of inner roof, that would catch any water that might come through the opening at the top. I wasn't sure if it would hold up in a big storm, sure enough it did.

So the tipi has been test, but I haven't. I'm sitting in the tipi, in my sleeping bag, wearing my winter coat and hat, listening to the snow fall onto the canvas, stumbling to find the right keys as my fingers are half frozen. My test will come soon enough. What's it like to live in a tipi in the Montana winter? I'll let you know.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Cool, Clear skies.

Well, today was the first official day of fall in the northern hemisphere and it has been accompanied by the first two mornings of frost in Montana. I've woken up to frost and 30 degree temps the past two days. It hasn't caused any problems as far as sleeping at night. I haven't had any trouble staying warm. It is harder waking up in the morning. The quickly vanishing sunlight and the lower mercury make for a situation better faced from the inside of a sleeping bag. I'm a bit disorganized at the moment, which makes adjustments more difficult to make. I have been doing some cleaning of the tipi and thinning out my things but it's a bit of a clutter. I just need to figure out a system that allows me to adapt to the cold weather. I need to get all of my stuff ready in the evening, while it is still daylight, so I can wake up in the morning, before the sun has filtered into the tipi, and leave for work without delay.

One thing that has been nice is sleeping outside in the cold weather. The great thing about living in a tipi is that you don't forget about the outdoors when the weather turns coold. It's right there. If I were living in a house I wouldn't think to forgo the warmth and comfort of my bed and sleep on my lawn, but since I'm in a tipi, I'm already sleeping on the lawn. I might as well go outside where I can look up at the stars. There's something special about sleeping under the stars in sub-freezing conditions. The air and sky have a sterile, fresh, clean look and feel. The stars are brighter and crisper. Your breath hovers in a cloud then evaporates.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


I've been away from the tipi for a few days, actually, I've been away for an entire week. I hadn't realized it was that long until I thought about it this afternoon. Crouching down to enter the A-frame door of my humble abode I found everything to be the way I left it. The door was open, but that happens sometimes. It could have been the wind that swayed the rock enough to un-trap the string and allow the door to swing open (yes, my security system is a canvas door with strings attached to both sides and rocks to hold the strings in place), it could have been shadow letting himself in for an evening snack. Other than that, things were the same, the grill was still over the fire, the pots and pans were still on the top shelf. My swimming trunks were still dangling from the fence where I left them after my shower (oops)

It's just like living in a house; things stay where you leave them, weather you're gone for a day or a week. That's not to say everything stays how you leave it. I've notice big changes in fact. As I walked the short dirt path through the tall grass from my car to my tipi I noticed a reduction. The number of grasshoppers that chatter and jump has declined rapidly. The second change I noticed when I was doing some cleaning and purging of things around the tipi and looked up at the sun to find it already gone at 7:30, and now I lay, in the dark, at 8:30 typing this message slowly while using the light of my laptop screen to find those unfamiliar punctuation marks. Just one week ago I would have had 15 more minutes of light!

It's hard to fathom how things can change so quickly, yet it happens every year, it's just that usually I wake up one morning and realize that summer is gone and fall is here. Now I'm actually witnessing summer slipping silently out the back door while others may have their heads turn. I'm seeing the day-by-day changes that cumulate into the massive change that is Montana Summer to Montana Winter. Indeed, it's sad to see it slip away, I feel like I’ve only gotten a taste of what this landscape has to offer, but I'm also excited to see it go. As summer slips out fall and winter take its place on the dance floor.

I've been in the tipi for about 6 weeks now. I've got this summer thing down. I can cook, wash up, sleep, I can do everything I need to do in the tipi, and not once have I been discouraged or second-guessed my decision. The Montana summer is a companion, not an opponent. It's good that I've started with such a gentle season, but now I'm ready for the fun to begin. Living in a tipi in winter in Montana is going to be on heck of a ride. Every day I get a minute or two of daylight closer to those 5pm sunsets and bone chilling temps. Let the games begin.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Dependency and Perception

The closer I live to nature the more I recognize my dependence on it. But it stops there. When I hear the chime of a grasshopper land on a spoke of my bike tire inside the tipi, sneak over, cup my hand and scoop him up in one quick swoop, run over to my cook pot and throw him in forcefully, to create enough force to stifle his last effort to jump out of my hand, I'm able to realize had that grasshopper not been in that spot at that moment or had he been a tenth of a second faster to jump I would have had to find something else to eat. It is easy to connect the dots in that way, whereas if you go to McDonald's and order a double cheese you lose the connection. Itis still there, but you do not feel it.

You do not get to see the cow roaming free in an open pasture (oops, I said McDonald's, right? Correction: You do not get to see that sick cow crowded in a coral with all the other sick cows) You are still dependent on nature, but you do not realize how dependent you are. It is a dangerous thing. Modern society has allowed us to turn off our brains to think that hamburgers come from a heat lamp on the back counter of a fast food restaurant, that gas comes from a pump at the quick stop, that water comes from a faucet in your kitchen, and light comes from a switch on your bedroom wall. This disconnect negates the natural world to a leisure activity, a past time, a luxury. The rivers becomes for play when we have free time on a hot summer afternoon, the sun is for tanning, the trees are for shade. it is much easier to justify destroying a wilderness when we recognize it as a place for children to build forts rather than the life sustaining entity it is.

Whether you enjoy a lazy afternoon on the trails or you prefer to sit on your sofa and finish the latest season of Curb Your Enthusiasm on DVD you still need that forest, that open land, that lake. Regardless of your love and direct interaction with nature, your dependency on it is fixed, it's only your perception which is variable.

the Cree Indian prophecy says it all:
Only after the last tree is cut down
Only after the last river has been poisoned
Only after the last fish has been caught
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Protein or Pest?

I cooked up my specialty for dinner tonight, hash brown potatoes, green pepper and two scrambled eggs. Typically I'll add butter and cheese to the mix, but I'm all out at the moment. The process is simple. First I shred 1 or 2 potatoes into a glass bowl (I used to spend about 10 minutes cutting them into small pieces until Jill showed me how much easier it was just to shred them) dice up a green pepper, add it to the glass bowl.

Then I start the fire. I've become pretty efficient at this task in the past couple weeks. I'll pick a left over coal out of the fire from the night before, heat it with a lighter for about 10 seconds to get some nice glowing embers, blow on the embers until more and more of the coal starts to turn orange, then I put the coal into the fire in contact with some dry tender (which is usually chips of wood that fly off as I chop my fire wood, and bark from the wood) I blow on the coal to get it hotter and to cause it to spread, it starts to heat up the tender, smoke forms, then BAM, a flame, blow on it a few more times, then add a log.

I've found it takes four pieces of wood, 1 inch in diameter and 8 inches in length each, to cook dinner, these four pieces of wood equate to less than one regular size log. It's quite efficient, it takes about as much time to start as it does to preheat an oven and gives me about 15 minutes of high hot even burning fire. Once the fire is going I oil the pan and put it on the grill which rests on two bricks, and sets directly in the fire. the potatoes and pepper take about 10 minutes to cook. I flip them every minute to avoid burning. right as the potatoes finish cooking a crack to eggs into the pan, the eggs scramble and cook almost immediately and dinner is served.

As I enjoy my meal, the fire is still going. I think about what a shame it is to waste 5 minutes of good flames, but I don't have anything else prepared, and by the time I do the fire would be out. Then, I catch something out of the corner of my eye. It's a grasshopper, they are all over the place. As I walk from my car to the tipi each evening hundreds of them jump in the tall grass on both sides of me, and just the other day I started looking up recipes on how to cook these bad boys up. I had planned to try it soon, and now was a perfect opportunity.

The fire was raging, the grasshopper was hanging out on the tipi canvas. I walked over causally (there's really no need to sneak up on a grasshopper, they don't get spooked until you actually try to swipe them) batted it to the ground and crushed it with my cutting board. Maybe not the most humane way to kill a grasshopper, but there weren't any instructions on that part in the recipes. Then I saw he had a buddy right next to him, so I repeated the process. I took the grasshoppers, put them in the frying pan, added some more oil and put them over the fire. they only took a few minutes to get golden brown and crunchy. Actually, I think I over cocked them a bit, they tasted like burnt popcorn, but delicious no the less, there was no ick factor whatsoever. I look forward to perfecting the cooking of these little guys and adding them to some of my everyday dishes.

Now before you get judgmental and think to yourself (or to me) how gross it is to eat a grasshopper, let me tell you they are an excellent source of both protein and fat and are eaten in many countries (along with hundreds of other bugs) throughout the world. And before you tell me how disease ridden and unhealthy it must be, let me assure you that it's much healthier than the MSG, High Fructose Corn Syrup, trans-fat, artifically colored/flavored, Hormone injected meal most Americans consumed this evening.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Breaking the Cycle

Living in a tipi is an adventure in and of itself. But it's not just about saving money on rent by living in a tipi. It's an adventure. It's an experiment to see how far a modern man, spoiled by technology, convenience and comfort can go in return to a life-style of self-reliance and self-efficacy.
For some background information about myself: I don't have advanced skills in survival or primitive living, I've certainly never lived in anything other than a modern house or apartment. Up until a few weeks ago, I could probably count on one hand the number of times I have started a fire. I have a decent amount of backpacking/backcountry travel experience but nothing more than a few days out on the trails with all the equipment I need. I have no skills, only a dream.
A desire to free myself from some of the things we have come to believe we need in our lives. A desire to show others they could do it, too. It's about finding out what I have the ability to do for myself, and what it feels like to live that way as apposed to how I'm used to living. I have no desire to ostracize myself from society, I just want to know what it's like to be a little less dependent on everything it offers. I want to know what it's like to live in closer harmony with the earth. I want to know what it's like to go back in time. As Jeremiah Johnson says to Del Gue when he suggests Jeremiah gets out of the mountains, back to town to avoid the Indians looking to kill him
"I've been to a town, Del"
Well, I've been to a town, too. And I'm still in a town, but I wonder what it's like not to need anything form that town, not to need anything that you can't do with your own two hands. Some would accuse me of romanticizing a life that is difficult and unnecessary given the advances we have made. They would be right, I have a tendency to do that kind of thing. This is the beginning of my journey. I don't know how long it will last, how far I will go, or what I will discover, but this is the journey I have chosen and it's exciting to be living the life you want to live.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Polite Intruder

Living in the wilds of Montana you are taught to be aware of and prepared for grizzly bears, black bears, mountain lions, you might even run into a wolverine, and there special bone-crushing teeth! You see the videos on proper food storage, you know what to do if you see one of these critters on the trail. But living in a tipi in someones backyard I've quickly discovered there is a whole in outdoor preparedness education. His name is Shadow, his species is domesticated house dog.

Shadow is one of the three dogs owned by the property owners where I am graciously allowed to set up my tipi. One dog stays in the house all day, another, Beck, greets me at my car from time to time, The tiny Chihuahua hops in my car as I open the door, licking me up and down. Then there is Shadow. Shadow is an old dog, a terrier something mix, or maybe not, I don't know much about dogs. He's small, small enough to get into my tipi where I have yet to finish the liner extending all the way to the ground. The first couple weeks Shadow had no interest in me. Then I built a fire pit, which meant I started cooking food. I presume Shadow to be both partially if not mostly blind and deaf but he has an uncanny sense of smell.

Minutes after I finished cleaning up the dishes from my first meal (he's very polite and would never barge in on me while cooking) prepared over the camp fire in the tipi I hear the jingling of bells and the sounds of little sniffs. I pop my head out the door and see shadow hanging around my solar sink/shower, where I have just done my dishes. Then he does a loop around the tipi, working up the courage before he finally invites himself in an starts liking the rocks of my fire pit where I spilled some oil. I don't know if it's good for him, but I sense that it isn't, though he looks so content, I can't work up the gumption to stop his fest.

Now that my tipi has the general smell of fire and food Shadow doesn't limit his trips to dinner time alone. A couple times I've come home from work to find evidence of an intruder. I know it's Shadow, because he's a courteous invader. rodents would chew things up, knock everything over, poop everywhere. Shadow? Well, he casually tips over the garbage can to check for goodies, licks a few rocks then goes on his way.

It's getting to the point where I can determine the success of my meal by Shadows reaction. Sometimes he lingers around the tipi. As i type this post, lounging in my chair watching the sun set just outside the tipi, I can also see shadow walking away. he was only here for about 3 minutes this evening, dinner wasn't up to his standards, he said I burnt the potatoes.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Early Bird and the Stubborn Human.

Crisis, threats and close calls have a way of expediting processes, Por ejemplo: Yesterday I almost burned down my tipi and everything in it while attempting to bake bread, today I bought a grill grid to put over the open fire. Problem solved, and the evolution of mans return to tipi continues. I used my left over badder from yesterdays debacle and cooked up some more bread, it turned out much better this time, still not all the way cooked in the middle, but I take what I can get. I always end up cooking more than I need, but left overs never go to waste. The bread has a striking resemblance to pancakes (not by design) which makes it great for a quick breakfast. Starting a fire and cooking in the morning is to much of a hassle anyhow, so it's nice to have something ready.

Morning in the tipi is an interesting time. I'm not much of an early bird, but I now know why the term is early bird and not early grasshopper or early ant. The early bird gets the worm, and the early bird wakes up josh in his tipi when he's trying to sleep at 5:30 in the morning. The neighbors rosters do their share, but they're no match for the song birds right above my head. The structure of my tipi consists of 12, 25 foot lodge pole pines (Trivia of the day: Do you know why they are called lodge pole pines? Answer: The settlers gave the trees this name because they noticed it was the type of tree natives used for their tipis, or lodges, lodge poles. Lodge pole pines were the perfect trees for the natives of the great plains region as they often grow very close to each other and in an attempt to compete for sunlight they grow tall and straight, perfect for a tipi.)

First, the three strongest poles are tied together on the ground, this is the tripod, the base of all things tipi. the tripod is then lifted (typically requiring two people) and set into place. Then the remaining 9 poles are placed evenly around the three main poles. Once all the poles are in place the remaining rope used to tie the tripod is wrapped around all of the poles 3-4 times and the rope is staked into the ground to add extra stability against high winds. So if you can picture that, you can see how all twelve poles converge at the top of the tipi, about 12 feet in the air, then the remaining length of the poles sticks out above the canvas forming a hour-glass type shape.

What I noticed through the interest of the birds is that the convergence of the 12 poles resembles a birds nest, and the top half of the hour glass shape is a perfect perch for a bird hangout. It's like a coffee shop with free wi-fi for birds. This isn't something I take issue with. I'm glad I'm able to provide this asset. I feel like a contributing member of society, albeit, the bird society. But some times the birds get a little rowdy and I fear a hostile takeover of the tipi. When this occurs I shake the poles a bit and they usually back off. And the whole singing at 5:30 AM thing? Really birds? You need to chill out. Or maybe I'm the one that needs to get with the program. I live in the elements now. It's time for some adaptation. When the sun seeps in, replacing the beige shading of the canvas with a golden yellow it's time to rise and shine, and when it's to dark to walk around without fear of stepping in the fire pit which may still contain hot coals from dinner, it's time to hit the sack. We spend a lot of time today trying to beat nature, maybe we should give cooperation a shot.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Conditional indestructibility

The quotation marks sparked my imagination, but surely if something is "indestructible" than nothing I would think to do with that thing would end in it's destruction.

"Do you guys sell axes?" That was my question to the clerk at the Home Depot. It occurred to me that anyone who lives in a tipi needs an axe, a perfect tool for cutting up all of that wood I loaded up from the farm of the nice lady I met through Freecycle.

"yeah, go over to garden" she points the way, "take the second right."

I should have been tipped off right away, any store that requires it's patrons to wear shoes, isn't the kind of store I need to be shopping in, but I followed her direction, shoes and all, to the garden section where I was faced with a few different options. A bit overwhelming as I had never chosen and axe before. This one looks nice...no, not sharp enough. Too short. What about this one? OH and it has an "indestructible" handle! Perfect. So I slung it over my shoulder Paul Bunyan style and made my way back to the tipi.

I've made quite the turn around in my fire starting abilities in the past few days. I went from half an aerosol can of air freshener, to one small strip of paper. It's all about the patients of blowing on the coals. As long as you have that one red coal, you've got a fire, just keep blowing!

I looked up a simple bread recipe today at work and I thought I'd give it a shot. I've had great success on my first three cooking sessions in the tipi, so i was feeling ambitious. The fire was still burning from the potatoes I cooked for dinner. I mixed the ingredients with special attention to precise amounts: A lot of flour, a fair amount of oil, enough water to make it nice and homogenized and a little butter.

I oiled the pan, placed the dough in the pan, then put the pan over the fire. I've been planning on obtaining some sort of grill to go over the open fire to create a more stable platform for my pots and pan, as opposed to placing them directly on the fire, but I haven't gotten around to getting a grill yet, no big deal. When I placed the pan I notice it is slanted. The logs in the fire are not even. I leave it for a little while then realize one side is cooking much faster than the other, so I attempt to rotate it. The logs are burning through, and one looks like it might soon break which would cause my bread dough to fall out of the pan into the fire.

I look around trying to find something that may make a suitable grill. I think to my self: I have some bricks, all I need are a couple long pole type objects that can be placed over the fire, using the bricks on each side of the poles to hold them above the fire, then place the pan on top of the two poles. I think the criteria for the poles over in my head, it needs to be something strong, something able to with stand intense heat, it needs to be......indestructible. The axe handle! of course! So I grab my axe and the ice axe that is right next to it which I was using to strip wood chips off of my logs to use as tinder and kindling for my fire. I will place the handles of the two axes across the fire, resting on the bricks, and put the pan on the handles. I'm not sure how the ice axe handle will hold up, but the other axe? well it is "indestructible" no problem.

I set up my make shift grill and put the bread back over the fire. Things are looking up. The fire isn't quite high enough, but I blow on the coals and the fire gets hotter and higher. I take a knife to the pan in an attempt to even out some of the dough that doesn't appear to be cooking. after a few minutes of tinkering I look underneath the pot to my make shift grill and notice the "indestructible" handle to my axes is melting. The yellow handle is turning into velveta cheese right before my eyes. Apparently heat is not contained within the quotation marks of "indestructible." The bread is almost done so I figure I'll just see what happens to the handle. I think of it has a field test.

As the handle drips into the fire I find that it is not only destructible, but it is down right flammable. Flames begin to shoot up over the pan. reaching about 3 feet into the air, not good considering my fire ring is only a few feet away from EVERYTHING in my 14 foot tipi. I grab a couple towels, take the pan off the fire, try to pick the axe up, only to find that the actual handle is on fire, and standing it up right only makes the flames shoot higher. Careful not to knock any of the wood or coals out of the fire ring, I keep hold of the burning axe handle with my right hand, reach for my water bottle on the floor behind me with my left hand and extinguish the flaming handle. catastrophe averted.

Oh, you're wondering how the bread turned out? Well parts were dough and soupy while others were charred and black, averaged together it was a nice golden brown...perfect! That's breakfast tomorrow.

So I learned something today that I didn't know yesterday, and I didn't die in the process, that's the definition of success, no?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Refrigeration and the Art of Starting Fires

It's been brought to my attention that living in a tipi may be of public interest. It makes sense to me. If I knew someone else that was living in a tipi I'd want to hear all about it, but I figured that was because I'm the type of guy who's interested in that type of thing. So I don't know if anyone wants to know about me living in a tipi but now they have the option. I think there is something powerful in hearing a story about someone doing something out of the norm. It taps into a since of adventure and wonder that's natural in all of us. Most people probably don't want to live in a tipi, but they might want to do something else they can't bring themselves to do because they don't want to deal with the uncertainty or peer backlash of following their desires.

So I've been in the tipi about 2 weeks now and things are going well. I haven't had any regrets, which is good considering the investment of the tipi makes it impossible for me to afford moving back into an apartment and paying rent. Savings will come soon enough, right now I'm broke. I'm learning new things everyday. Problems are being fixed almost at a faster rate than they are occurring. I've spent the weekend getting a little more settled in. I've built a refrigerator which consists of a cooler stuck in a hole I dug in the ground, I used the dirt form the hole as an extra layer of insulation between me and the ground for my bed. I don't know if this method of refrigeration will be sufficient, but the presence/absence of food poisoning in the next week should give me that answer.

I also built a small fire pit where I can do some cooking. Shortly after building the fire pit I learned that I am terrible at starting fires, but after a few squirts from an aerosol can (not recommended) the fire was going and dinner was cooking. I think I'll enjoy cooking over an open fire, it eliminates the concern of what temperature to set the stove at, in a tipi you have fire, and no fire. For my first meal I cut up potatoes, green peeper, egg plant, put them in a frying pan directly in the fire mixed in some butter, an egg and some cheese on top. It was quite the curious. I'm not a very good cook in the first place, couple with the fact that I'm not good at tending to a fire, and you've got a combination that will equate to some interesting meals in the coming weeks. But it turned out great, and might have been the most satisfying meal I've ever had.

I'll work on more pictures in future posts.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Why I don't have a Jacuzzi Bathtub

For the most part I think there are two basic trains of thought individuals have when you tell them you live in a tipi, or other methods of alternative housing. A: they think it's crazy, stupid, barbaric, undesirable, uncomfortable and reserved for the marginalized in society. or B: they think it's pretty cool, and they're interested in knowing more about it, the hows and whys. For the people in camp A, it's most likely that you won't change there minds, and you're better off not trying, for people in camp B, here's my why.

For a while now, maybe a year or so, I've been thinking of ways to live more unconventionally. for me that means cheaper, lighter, smaller, simpler. Anything from tiny houses to tents. I'm of the mind set that it gets to the point where the stuff you own ends up owning you. It's crazy to think of all the things people in developed countries see as necessities for everyday life. How things like indoor heating and cooling and plumbing are no longer comforts, but necessary and if you think of living without them you're putting yourself in danger. humans survive and adapt, we haven't lost that ability, only the knowledge of how.

With that said, I am by no means roughing it, sacrificing all comfort and exposing myself to a life of masochism to prove a point. I don't have electricity or indoor plumbing, but I have access to it on a daily bases. I'm not living in a tipi to see how much I can endure. I'm living in a tipi because when I'm able to minimize the noise around me I'm able to enjoy the noises I do hear. I'm living in a tipi because it's what I want to do, as much as some people want to live in multi-million dollar mansions. I'm not giving something up, I'm gaining the life I want to live. I'm taking control, and questioning all of the things I'm supposed to want and need. I'm rejecting the idea that you need to aspire to own a home with a 30 year fixed mortgage and get a job you hate so you can pay it off. I'm rejecting the idea that the more stuff you have, the more money you make the more successful and happier you will be. I think I'm lucky, very lucky. The things I want don't require me working my whole life lusting after some arbitrary monetary currency to obtain them.

I just want to enjoy the world around me, why separate myself from that world with four walls, a floor and a ceiling, when I can live in a cone made of 12 sticks and a canvas cover with a whole in the top?

Supply and Demand of a Tipi Blog

So, I live in a tipi. But before I lived in a tipi I wanted to know what your average tipi dweller goes through on any given day. I wanted to read the stories of someone who already made the mistakes and fixed them so I wouldn't have to. I wanted those answers to the questions I hadn't thought of yet. I want someone to tell me that I shouldn't put anything that wasn't in a sealed container directly on the ground because the bugs would swarm it, no matter what it was. I wanted someone to tell me that sparying that colony of ants (the colony of ants which live within the boundraies of where I set up my tipi...woops) with water doesn't make them go away, it actually concentrates them and makes it easier for them to dig their tunnel all throughout my tipi. I wanted someone to tell me that I should put all my belongings in one corner to maximize space. But I never found that person. So I am going to become that person. I want to let anyone that is thinking about moving into a simpler way of life know it's been done before, it's an adventure, and it ain't so bad. I'm here to give hope to the millions and millions, or maybe the tens and tens of people who are thinking about living in a tipi.