Bamboo Poles

Bamboo VS traditional poles.

Review of bamboo tipi poles.

Bamboo tipi poles are becoming increasingly popular so I thought I would provide a review of them.

Pros

Bamboo is very light weight. If you are transporting the poles on a small car which cannot handle a lot of weight this is their main advantage over traditional poles. They are also very easier to maneuver when setting the tipi up.

No stripping of bark is required so they are far less time consuming than traditional tipi poles.

Bamboo poles are also very strong, the majority of scaffolding in Hong Kong is bamboo so will be more than strong enough for your teepee.

Price

If you are not harvesting your own poles for free, bamboo is very reasonably priced compared to traditional poles as they tend to be about half the price.

Cons

Lacks authenticity and spoils the aesthetic look of the tipi. However, with a mix of both bamboo and traditional, once the teepee is up it is hard to tell the difference.

Wide crossing point. Traditional teepee poles are wide at the base and much narrower at the tip. As bamboo poles are a uniform diameter throughout, when they are lashed together at the top you are left with a much wider opening which will result in more rain entering the tipi. A solution to prevent this is to use less poles in the tripod however this will result is a more angular tipi and spoil the asthetics.

Water running down the poles. The poles at the top collect water and you get a greater amount of water running down them and dripping into the teepee.

Green credentials.

Bamboo is fast growing and renewable so it is an exceptionally environmentally friendly alternative to traditional poles. However, the bamboo need to be transported thousands of miles to reach the UK.

Size

It is currently diffucult to source bamboo greater than 19 ft in length in the UK.

Splitting

There is a tendeny for the poles to split at the top however the splitting is restricted to individual chambers rather than down the length of the pole. Traditional poles do however last longer than bamboo (but as stated earlier bamboo is a lot cheaper)

Verdict.

Bamboo is a very good solution if you are concerned about the weight  when transporting your poles and it is very good for use with smaller vehicles or if transporting multiple tipis at a time. Being light weight it is also much kinder on the back when lifting and carrying.

If transportation weight is not an issue, and you have a good source of traditional poles for authenticity, durability and asthetics for our hire business traditional poles would still be my first choice.