If you purchased poles from us, they will come peeled and dried. Once you receive your poles, we recommend that you smooth out any remaining rough surfaces. Use medium-rough sandpaper or a hand-held electric planer. Do not be alarmed if you see shallow splits in the wood. Cracking and “checking” of the wood lengthwise is perfectly normal in tipi poles and does not affect their strength or longevity.
Treat your poles with a commercial wood preservative such as Superdeck, Olympics ‘Maximum’ or your own solution of 50% boiled linseed oil and 50% turpentine. Two coats wet on wet would be best. For faster application you can use a rag, but please use gloves and protect your ground from excessive dripping. Whenever you take your cover down, it is always a good time to retreat your poles. A set of poles will last more than 15 years if properly cared for.
The thickness of your poles will vary a little, but all your poles will be the same length. Choose the two thinnest poles as your smoke flap poles and cut them at the tips to a length that is 2 ft. longer than the stated diameter of your tipi. As an example, a 20 ft. tipi will need 22 ft. smoke flap poles. Long smoke flap poles are very difficult to handle and become a tripping hazard.


If you purchased a rain cap from us, you will need to cut the rest of the poles down and round the tips to fit the rain cap. A 9 ft. rain cap fits over poles that are around 1½ ft. longer than the diameter of the tipi. The 12 ft. rain cap can be used with poles that are around 2½ – 3 ft. longer than the diameter of the tipi. Once you cut your poles, round the tips of each pole to make it easier to slide the rain cap over the pole crown. The longer the poles and the larger the tipi, the wider the pole crown becomes and the more difficult it will be to place the rain cap on top of it.

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