the rogue turtle the rogue turtle
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For the Romantic at Heart
Adventurous in Spirit
And someone who needs a shelter…

© 2006

Here is my all-time favorite. Not because it is the best or the strongest or the easiest, but because of all the memories it brings back to me.

When I was a camp counselor in Indiana the camp staff and I made the following teepee, almost exactly as shown in this example. The book is a long-time out of print and I found it almost by accident because my parents kept it for over 50 years. Now I pass it on to you.

It was initially made using unbleached muslin for the fabric. We rolled it all out and stitched it together on the family sewing machine. It took too much hand strength for my mother to sew, so young RT ran the machine while several other people helped guide all that fabric through the sewing machines needle. It took a lot of time, a lot of needles, and a lot of fabric to complete.

When the large patch of fabric was assembled, we laid it out on the floor of a local gymnasium. My parents were teachers so we "borrowed" one for a morning to lay out and mark the fabric for cutting into "teepee" shape. We could have done it on a lawn or a public parking lot, but the gymnasium was cleaner (and it was winter so it was a lot warmer).

This teepee is not a "pop-up" tent that is convenient to move around in the back of a Volkswagen. It takes a lot of poles, and the fabric is a bitch to set up correctly. If you’re alone and in a hurry, forget it.

When we got all the parts cut out and seams stitched, we water-proofed the muslin with some chemicals we got from Sears. We applied the water-proofing with a garden sprayer. When it was dry, we used regular enamel paint to decorate it. It took 6 or 7 people to put it up the first time since we had no idea what we were doing. However, it was well worth the effort.

Imagine being an 8 year old city kid, walking through a 30 acre camp full of 200 year-old beach trees. Off through the brush you see a clearing with a small tendril of smoke rising. You enter the clearing and see a full-fledged Native American teepee standing 14 feet tall. And you get to play in it all day long. We even had a totem pole.

At night, I slept in it a lot, after the campers had gone for the day. I moved into other more waterproof quarters only when it was storming outside. This is how I spent my youth. I thought you might like to share it with me.

I have included detailed instructions for those who are curious and those that are daring enough to try it:

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