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.


  1. How much did you say your tee-pee cost again? I didn't realize it would put you too broke to move back in an apartment. Hooray for pictures in the future!

  2. The tipi and pole expense was $620, including some other things the total cost of my setup was about $800. So it will take 2-3 months for me to break even, less if you figure in a security deposit that would be required of an apartment.

  3. Sounds exciting! As far as your campfire cooking goes, get a cast iron pan (if you dont already have one) as you can cook virtually anything in it. Aluminum foil should be your best friend, baked potatoes or roasted bell pepper anyone??? Good luck!

  4. Kat,

    Thanks for the tips! I have a pan that has worked well so far, I'm trying to stick with one-pan dishes.

  5. I think a dutch oven ("camp" dutch oven, with a flanged lid, and feet) will be your best friend.