Tipi Sizing Advice 5 guys

Wyo78

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May 14, 2019
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Next fall we have 5 guys going on an Alaskan caribou float hunt on the Southern Brooks Range (probably 6 days of hunting). Really like the idea of a Tipi but none of us have ever used one. Trying to decide between the SO 12 or 16 man, or the Kifaru 16 man? Will need to sleep 5 guys, and hold all of our gear, and will also be planning on running a stove in it. 16 man seems like maybe it's overkill on size, but if weather goes bad we may be spending a lot of time in it. Planning on going September 10th-15th so weather could be turning a bit crummy from what I hear. I also worry a little about the footprint of using this large of a tipi, and finding a spot suitable for the whole thing, and a tent that size holding up to what could be some big winds.
Love all the great advice that get's thrown around on this forum, Thanks for all the late nights of reading.
 

ozyclint

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i have a kifaru 12 man tipi. it's perfect for 4 guys with gear and stove if your well organised. it would do 5 guys at a pinch. the 16 man would be great for 5 guys. the footprint is large on the 16 man but any shelter that houses 5 people is going to have a significant footprint. they do pretty good in the weather.
 

Dvidos

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i have a kifaru 12 man tipi. it's perfect for 4 guys with gear and stove if your well organised. it would do 5 guys at a pinch. the 16 man would be great for 5 guys. the footprint is large on the 16 man but any shelter that houses 5 people is going to have a significant footprint. they do pretty good in the weather.
+1
 

sneaky

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You'll never sit around in your shelter and say "man we've got too much room, should have gone smaller"

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Gunnersdad49

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A pair of 8 man tipis will be a lot more versatile for the future. You will have a bit more privacy, flexibility in where you pitch, and you can probably rig a tarp between them if you get creative and want a common area.
 

jhm2023

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Get 2 or 3 tents.
The biggest reason is being far easier to find a place to set up offering more flexibility on site selection. A tipi takes up a good bit of real estate and can be a challenge finding a suitable place that big and that allows for proper placement of all the required stakes.

The second reason is so 1 person isn't carrying the shelter weight for all 5 people.

The third reason is like gunner said, a little more privacy. I spent enough time in the Army to know sleeping in a tent with just one other person is better than a lot of people. You can make a common area with a tarp of some sort for hanging out or even just sit out in the open when the weather is nice.
 

Trial153

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Anything that sleeps 5 guys and gear better be HUGE. Two shelters will work better for you.
 
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Wyo78

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Thanks guys,
good points and suggestions. Our biggest concern is certainly the footprint, and the wind load on a structure that big. I will check with people that have hunted the Southern Brooks Range and see what we can expect for available room for something that big.
 

Gunnersdad49

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I will check with people that have hunted the Southern Brooks Range and see what we can expect for available room for something that big.
Here are some pics from the Northern Brooks Range. There were lots of wide open spaces, but the nice campsites that were a bit sheltered tended to be pretty narrow. We had 6 guys, with a SO 6 man and an 8 man, but slept all 6 in the 8 man one night without the stove, just to simplify a late night camp that had to be broken at daybreak.

The little tents were brought to each house one guy, but they quickly learned that it was nicer to sleep in a tipi with a stove.
 

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shanny28757

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Feb 10, 2016
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I would look at 2 tents instead of 1 big one. I took a Kifaru 12 man to the North Slope this year with 3 guys. When you account for uneven ground taking up some space, losing some room around the edges where it's not tall enough for anything except gear, and not sleeping under zippers due to rain drip....i wouldn't want 5 guys in a 12 man even without a stove unless you store packs outside and don't mind getting cozy.
 
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Wyo78

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I would look at 2 tents instead of 1 big one. I took a Kifaru 12 man to the North Slope this year with 3 guys. When you account for uneven ground taking up some space, losing some room around the edges where it's not tall enough for anything except gear, and not sleeping under zippers due to rain drip....i wouldn't want 5 guys in a 12 man even without a stove unless you store packs outside and don't mind getting cozy.
Would you do a 16 man, or two smaller ones? We aren't worried about privacy, and would actually prefer to all be together, not to mention we wouldn't have to worry about another stove, or have 2 separate tipi's to put up? Like you mentioned, we are worried about finding a suitable space for this monster. I have never been there so didn't know if large sand and gravel bars were easy to find, or if we would be causing ourselves a lot of problems and really limiting ourselves on campsites? The SO 12 man diameter is 18'10" and the 16 man is just a little bigger at 21'.
 

shanny28757

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Would you do a 16 man, or two smaller ones? We aren't worried about privacy, and would actually prefer to all be together, not to mention we wouldn't have to worry about another stove, or have 2 separate tipi's to put up? Like you mentioned, we are worried about finding a suitable space for this monster. I have never been there so didn't know if large sand and gravel bars were easy to find, or if we would be causing ourselves a lot of problems and really limiting ourselves on campsites? The SO 12 man diameter is 18'10" and the 16 man is just a little bigger at 21'.
Like I said I was only there once so you’re probably asking the wrong guy haha. But it probably boils down to where you get dropped. In our spot there were places that would’ve been much better locations to pitch the tipi (flatter, less ground cover, etc) but they were farther away than we wanted to carry stuff back and forth when we had a spot that worked very close to where the plane dropped us off and picked us up.

One other thing to consider are the winds. We had fairly decent winds but definitely nothing crazy. From what I’ve read on this forum alone it can get wild up there. The bigger the tipi the bigger the sail. Guys have had them out in very high wind with no issues, but the ground up there is soft so staking isn’t ideal. I bought some extra long, extra wide snow/sand stakes as well as some long spiral stakes to mix in. Really glad I did. The regular msr stakes weren’t worth [email protected]&” in that soft tundra. We also put rocks down over every staking point to fortify even more.
 

teamkabob

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We used a Cabelas 12x20 this year and we were limited on where we could set it up being that large. We did the Ivishak river in the North brooks range. We got flooded out and left because of high water on day 4. The previous time I hunted this river we took two tents. Much smaller foot prints and more places to pitch them with out taking out any brush. Plus my other thought is you loose a tent to wind, having two is nice to fit people inside in a pinch. Good luck


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Steve O

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A pair of 8 man tipis will be a lot more versatile for the future. You will have a bit more privacy, flexibility in where you pitch, and you can probably rig a tarp between them if you get creative and want a common area.

Yep. 2-8man is much wiser than one 12 or 16. 5 2man tents might be even smarter.
 
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