How to Waterproof a Tipi

Lucy Clarke

A tipi is a tented structure that is used for shelter. Originally popularized by the Plains Indians, they are still used today for camping and outdoor refuge when needed. Tipis used to be universally constructed with a waterproof finish, but today that is not always the case. If you make your own tipi, or purchase one that is solely intended for occasional use, you may find that it is missing the waterproof component. Thankfully there are a few things that may be done in order to prepare your tipi for the less-than-kind weather conditions that may arise.

Tipis can be prepared for varying weather conditions with the help of some coated fabric.
  1. Purchase a roll of waterproof fabric. Choose cotton duck canvas or a durable fabric that has an acrylic coating. These can be found at any camping supply store or fabric outlet.

  2. Using shears, cut the fabric to size. Trim it until it is at least 3 inches larger than your tipi's original drapery on each side.

  3. Loosely drape the waterproof covering over your tipi.

  4. Using metal pegs and a hammer, secure each side of the new covering to the ground.

  5. Apply a coat of outdoor fabric waterproofing spray (found at any camping supply store) to the cover for added protection.