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Wintertime Camping – Tips and Tricks

Wednesday, 27 January 2016 at 14:43 pm

When temperatures drop and nature turns white it’s the perfect time to bring out your Tentipi Nordic tipi for some wintertime camping. They’re not called “Nordic tipis” for nothing! Camping wintertime is fun, but it also require some extra attention from the user, so we sent Tentipi PR manager Torsten Gabrielsson out in the Swedish winter to show you some tips.

Alright, so this was a cold day in January. Once we got the car running the thermometer showed minus 15 degrees Celsius. The last couple of days we had seen some really nice snowfall, and adding that to the already existing layer we now had a total snow depth of about 60 centimetres. Great camping conditions, in other words!

We packed a Safir 9 cp, a Hekla 30, an Eldfell Pro 9, some reindeer furs and some firewood and drove up into the hills outside of Sunne in Sweden, where we found a great, even spot for pitching our tent. My colleague Thorbjörn joined me, granted that he’d get to move around so he wouldn’t be cold. Sure, no problem! You pitch the tent Thorbjörn!

So, let’s get down to business!

If the ground is covered with only a few centimetres of snow, clear the ground from snow with a shovel where you intend to pitch the tent. Then pitch the tent normally using steel pegs. If the ground is frozen, make sure you don’t hammer the pegs down too far. You want to leave them a couple of centimetres up so you can hammer them down a bit to get them loose from the frozen ground once you’re leaving the camp site, otherwise you’ll have to wait until spring…

For this occasion however, with about 60 centimetres of snow, clearing the ground wasn’t an option. Instead we packed the snow with skis to make a hard,  even floor of snow to pitch on. This can be done with snow shoes or snowmobile as well.

Pack the snow with skis

When the snow was packed we measured out where to put the tent pegs, with a measuring cord and the mounting cross as usual. But instead of using the regular Tentipi pegs we used our special snow pegs. You can use thick twigs or branches as tent pegs as well.

Make a loop with the ground strap and fasten it around the branch/peg….



lopp runt pinne

and bury it horizontally as deep as possible under the snow.

begraver pinne

Pack the snow over the pegs firmly and let it freeze 15-30 minutes before you raise the tent. The colder it is the less time you have to wait.

plattar till grav

To ensure that the central pole does not move or sink down in the snow, put a cross made of wooden planks or a piece of plywood under the central pole. We used a Tentipi pole plate, but depending on the ground material you may need something larger to keep the pole from sinking.

platta under mittstång 2

Use the reinforced edging as a snow flap by folding it outwards. Put a thin layer of snow, about one centimetre, on it to keep it firmly to the ground and to keep cold air fom blowing into the tent. Don’t put too much snow on it, it will strain the central pole. We will talk more about that soon!

snowflap utan snö


snowflap snö

If you are camping in wintertime it’s great to have an Eldfell stove or a Hekla firebox to keep you warm and cozy. We brought both to show you how to mount them on snow.

Put two branches parallel on the ground and place the feet of the Eldfell or Hekla on them, this will keep your heat source from sinking down in the snow as the heat melts the snow underneath.

pinnar till eldfell

eldfell på gren
hekla på plats

Try bury the branches a few centimeters down in the snow so nobody will trip on them while walking around in the tent.

begraver gren eldfell

Okay, let’s talk about snow and how it affects the tent!

The central pole is a key feature of our Nordic tipis – made of heavy duty aluminum, durable yet light in weight, it keeps your tent portable, easy to pitch yet a great shelter from bad weather. Since wind is a common phenomena, no matter where on earth you pitch your tent, we designed the central pole (in fact the whole tent) to stand in very windy conditions. Just make sure you have your tent correctly pitched and your storm cords fixed!

Snow, however is a completely different story! Let me explain how.

On a size 9 Tentipi Nordic tipi the central pole is designed to carry a weight of 120 kilograms in an upright position. With a canvas surface of 20 square meters this tent has a lot of surface for the snow to land on.

A snowfall of 5 centimeters of wet snow equals a total weight of 150 kilograms (!) when laying on the canvas of the size 9. A central pole that could carry that much weight would need to be much thicker and therefore much heavier which would make the tent much less portable.

This is why we strongly recommend you to always remove all snow from the canvas, no matter how little. Note that if you simply shake the canvas the snow will fall to the ground and on the snow flap. Here it will eventually build upwards on the tent and put a lot of extra weight on the construction. Therefore you need to remove the extra snow from the snow flap as well.

snow build på flap

snow build på flap med kryss

So, in case of snowfall, make sure that the canvas is properly tensioned and the central pole is, as always should be, in a straight 90° position. Never let any snow build up on the canvas, no matter how little. This goes for dry snow as well as for wet snow.

To provide extra strength in snowy weather you can change the central pole to a solid pole of metal or wood, still you need to regularly make sure that the canvas is clear from snow.

I hope this information was helpful. Have a great winter adventure, and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us at info@tentipi.com!

…oh, by the way. In case you ever asked yourself if it’s possible to get the heat up in a Tentipi Nordic tipi even when it’s minus 15 degrees outside. Here’s the answer….

skratt fixad


tb vis elden fixad

kåtan fixad


/Torsten, Tentipi PR manager

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