FAQ’s about Tipi Village

For folk who are inspired by tipi living and tipi village, we have compiled here more detailed information, the closest you’ll find to an FAQ.

Tipi village is currently on private land in Southern Oregon.  The vision is to one day liberate land and put it into a trust so that it is not owned by any individual and can never be sold again.  This land is dedicated to the Tipi Village vision.  There is a land fund accumulating money to fulfill this vision.  Any contributions are welcome. Send them via paypal to davetwodaves@gmail.com or mail to 1064 Buckhorn Springs Road, Ashland, Oregon 97520

The village moves twice a year, living in the high mountains during the warm and dry season and the valley below during the cold and wet season.  The entire village is nomadic and lives in tipis year round.

The central community space is the Big Lodge, a 27′ tipi.  It is used for gatherings, talking circles, ceremonies, potlucks and as a place for all guests, visitors, travelers and new comers.  The way into Tipi Village is through the Big Lodge.  Time spent dwelling there is important, useful and healthy because it helps new comers and the community get to know each other and if new to tipi living, a good way to learn some of the art and skill of living on the ground around the fire.  Living in the Big Lodge takes initiative, especially during the cold and wet times.  Perhaps it could be viewed as a sort of “initiation”, which is why it is said to be “the way in”.  The Big Lodge at times can be pulsing with life and at others be quite the opposite.  It has been said that the Big Lodge is a state of mind; is what one makes it to be. Time in the Big Lodge can be one of great bonding, sharing a hearth with a common intention. When staying in the Big Lodge, one is not only a guest but also a host.  It is beneficial to keep the space open and welcoming to others, remembering it is common space.  Some basic Big Lodge etiquette is to remove shoes upon entering, keep personal belongings together and tidy, bed rolled up when not in use, and the general upkeep of the lodge (shaking rugs, sweeping hearth stones, emptying ash, keeping hearth free of clutter, keeping communal cookery clean, laying fresh boughs down, gathering wood and water, bringing trash along on a town trip etc.)  Always make room for others around the fire.  The circle can expand.  Please don’t sit between people and the fire.

For many folk, it isn’t easy, that is transitioning from a life full of conveniences and instant gratifications to one in the woods, where ones level of comfort is entirely up to oneself.  Being directly responsible for the resources one uses takes effort.  And sometimes its more than folk can handle, especially when the weather turns.  A tipi life is often romanticized.  And unfortunately modern culture is weak when it comes to living as one with the elements, simply and responsibly.  Other folk arrive having already been living a life “off the grid” or as “primitivists” or travelers etc.  These people may know about how to find decent wood during a wet spell or how to simply dress warmer when its cold.  Basically, transitioning into a life at Tipi Village can be challenging, physically, emotionally and spiritually.  Come with perseverance, willingness and humility and you’ll find it easier.  Its harder to run away from oneself in the woods.

One might already have a tipi or need to manifest one.  It can be empowering to make your own home, which is highly encouraged here.  Also there are often used tipis available as well as new ones that are locally made.

Both the winter and summer villages are off the road.  The distance from the parking area to ones home can vary (5-20 minute walk) depending on where they are pitched (wheel barrows and wellies are useful).  A car free reality seems to be rare in this part of the world.

There is an absence of chainsaws, generators and pets as all can have a negative and harsh effect on the surrounding land and people.

Folk who like a bit of electricity provide their own, mostly through small solar panels or use of their car.  There’s plenty of other low impact ways of generating a bit for oneself.

Poo only in the specific latrines. For the sake of hygine there are no other options. Ask when you arrive.

The nearest town is Ashland (population about 20,000).  From the winter grounds its about a 15 minute drive (11 miles) and the summer grounds about 45 minutes (20 miles).  Its a good town as far as they go.  Most popular in a town trip might include the food co-op, mineral wellsprings, library, laundromat, some second hand shops, the farmers market and hardware store.

Making a livelihood while living out in the woods can take some creative thinking and is entirely possible.  A big part of the vision is to create a sustainable, functional and diverse village, providing for our needs together.  And while we do not seek to separate ourselves entirely from town, it is not only empowering but also practical to make a living from ones home.  It is hard coming home to a cold hearth late at night, frequently shifting from a town reality to a simplified earthy reality.  Finding the time to tend to ones lodge, while commuting into town for work is challenging and honestly, discouraged. The need for money is minimal living out here, a little seems to go a long way and can feel quite luxurious and abundant.  Much of modern society base their lives around “work” or more accurately, making money.  If that is a persons true, deep inspiration, good.  But often it isn’t.  Money is not a center to be revolved around but rather a piece of lifes puzzle.

A tipi is a living thing. Left alone in the woods it would quickly rot away into the earth.  It takes daily maintenance to keep it healthy and alive.  Many tips and tricks regarding a tipi life can be passed on verbally (too numerous to mention here) but mostly it takes living in one and developing ones own unique relationship with their lodge and the elements to gain any real understanding.

A few words on tipi etiquette.  When approaching a lodge, it is considerate to give a little shout or some verbal gesture of ones presence.  Remove shoes when entering.  It is usually polite to leave the tending of the fire to the lodges dwellers.  The fire can be considered a center and each lodge dweller has his/her own unique relationship with the fire and smoke.  Bring your own bowl/cup when invited to eat at another’s place (an armload of wood is always appreciated).  Don’t sit in the middle of the doorway.  And please be aware of sitting where others are not blocked from the fire.

Tipi Village deeply values the circle and consensus as a means of collective communication and decision making.  Much power lies in the circle.  I believe the circle is a place where great togetherness is found.  It gives the more quiet and subtle voices a chance to speak.  Its a place for all parts to be heard and hopefully integrated.  It discourages any one or few people from dictating the space and having control.  Its a place where deep surrender and trust in our fellow humans, our other parts, can be found.

All who are inspired are welcome.  Please come stay in the Big Lodge for awhile before making any decisions to relocate.  It is a different reality than this online one.

Many blessings to all.


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