The biggest advantage of the tipi over other types of tent is the open fire inside. A well maintained fire makes the tepee warm and comfortable in cold and rainy weather. The fire must be maintained carefully, because too small a fire develops too much smoke and too much is a waste. The fire is pleasant even in summer, it makes the teepee on cool evenings homely and in winter it is indispensable. The fire is sacred to the Indians.
«The fire place is the center of our abode, the fire the center of energy. »
THE POSITION OF THE FIREPLACE
The position of the fireplace is due to the tent shape and is located directly below the smoke damper opening, ie approx. 20-30cm outside the center of the tent towards the door. That has two good reasons. In the back of the teepee, in the "living area", this creates more space and the asymmetric shape of the tent makes it easier to escape the smoke in this arrangement.
When we prepare a fireplace, we prune the lawn in the desired location. The rest of the lawn is kept with the soil outside the tent. With it we can, when we break the camp again, the patch formed in the soil scar again. Then we dig out an approximately 6-10cm deep pit, the edge of which we cover with flat stones. These prevent the fire from spreading inside the teepee and the stones also store the heat for the night. The fireplace should have a diameter of about 40-50cm. For larger tents we create a correspondingly larger fire place.
HEATING WITH FIRE
For heating in the tepee we can use practically any wood. However, the best is wood with a length of about 30cm, which smokes little and sparks no spark. Beechwood is particularly well suited for birch wood, as it has good heating properties. The wood is stored in the tepee south of the door, where it stays dry.
In order not to be disturbed by smoke in the tepee, we must burn as dry wood as possible and align the smoke flaps according to the wind. Between the smoke flaps, the alignment distance is approximately 40cm. To achieve optimal smoke extraction, the door should be open if possible. In winter, the supply air can be interrupted by snowfall. If the supply air is missing, the fire can no longer breathe and heavy smoke is the result!
Attention: If the wind blows directly from the east between the smoke flaps, there is a problem that can not be eliminated. Then the fire must be throttled, or even extinguished. East winds are fortunately rare!