We have excellent hand-peeled Lodgepole Pine tipi poles available. Lodge Pole Pines are “thinned” from the forest to allow other species to grow. Because Lodge Pole Pine grows so tall and thin, it was the Native’s first choice of tree for their poles – it was from its use as a tipi pole that the first settlers named this tree” Lodge Pole” Pine. Our poles are hand-peeled and are usually sufficiently dry for immediate use. To get your poles perfectly smooth to the touch, sand them down with medium-rough sandpaper or use a hand held electric planer, then rub them down with a solution of 50% boiled Linseed Oil and 50% turpentine. Commercial wood preservatives can also be used. This gives the pole a beautiful, light brown color, helps preserve it, and will prevent it from turning grey from exposure to the weather. Lodge Pole Pine is not the only species of tree that will make a good tipi pole. Any tree will do that is reasonably straight and can be thinned down to approximately 2-1/2″ to 3″ (7.5 cm) in diameter at the butt end.


Tapering the pole is most easily accomplished using a drawknife or an electric planer. Poles should be dry before applying Linseed Oil. A set of poles will last more than 15 years if properly cared for. You will need 17 poles for your 16ft. – 20ft. tipi: 15 poles are used on the inside and two poles on the outside for the smoke flaps. For the 12ft. and 14ft. tipi, 14 total poles will do.

What length tipi pole do you need? The table below gives you a suggested pole length and diameter for each size tipi. Variations at the butt or the tip are fine, as long as the diameter at the tripod is close. For a table that gives you the measurements in the metric measurement, please click here: Stangen/Poles

If you plan to be transporting your tipi poles often but feel that they are too long to carry on your vehicle, here is an excellent solution. Tipi poles can easily be sleeved together in the middle using plastic PVC pipe. Use “schedule 40″ PVC pipe that is 1-1/2″ in diameter and 16” long. (Longer for 24′ to 30′ poles.) Cut the poles in half and carefully taper the cut ends so that they fit snugly into one-half of the sleeve. A draw knife is the best tool for the job. Don’t worry if you accidentally shave an end a bit too much. A snug fit can be easily created using one or two wraps around the pole with duck tape. Tap the PVC sleeve half way down on one of the prepared pole ends for each individual pole and your job is finished. We have a set of 16′ poles that are sleeved together in order to carry them on our white water raft trips.

Tipi Pole Measurement
Tipi Size Diameter Number
of Poles
(see also*)
at Butt
at Tripod**
8ft (kids) 11 10-12 ft 1.5 inch 1.0 inch
12ft 14 16ft 2.5 inch 1.3 inch
14ft 17 18ft 2.5 inch 1.5 inch
16ft 17 20ft 2.5 inch 1.5 inch
18ft 17 24ft 3.0 inch 1.5 inch
20ft 17 25-27 ft 3.5 inch 1.7 inch
22ft 20 27ft 3.5 inch 2.0 inch
*= Two of them are smoke flap poles. Please cut them to (Tipi Size + 2ft). Kids: 8ft
** = The tripod is at the vertical height of: (Tipi size minus approx. 3 ft)


With every tipi we send a 28-page set-up instruction booklet. The set-up instructions are clear and easy to follow and contain 35 photographs along with step-by-step diagrams. We also include six pages of personal suggestions about tipi poles, use of smoke flaps, living in rain and snow, and much more. To download these instructions in their entirety, please click on the Tipi Set-Up Instruction icon (Adobe PDF). Please click this link for a Tipi Set-Up Video.

Note: This PDF does not work with the built-in Google Chrome viewer. You can deactivate the Chrome viewer by going to chrome://plugins. Otherwise download using Adobe Reader through the printer function.

If you order a tipi, we offer you the newest edition of the Laubins’ book The Indian Tipi for $15.00 extra. We know of no other book that provides more complete information on the Indian tipi. This 278-page book includes history, inside furnishings, cooking, sweat lodges, variations in tipi style, tipi ritual, etc. with numerous photographs, illustrations and diagrams. This book is also available without a tipi order for $25.00 postage paid. (Tipi book is not included with the 8′ tipi.)