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Tipi Village | Rawhide Ranch

Tipi Village

Native American lodging structures.


The Tipi Village is the only primitive campground in Brown County Indiana that gives you the opportunity to sleep in a real tipi. These 20' lodges are styled after the Sioux design with a few modifications. The lift pole flap is taken from the Blackfoot Indians and the smoke flap extensions are modeled after the Cheyenne. You will be amazed at the amount of space these beautiful structures provide. We have even installed the inner lining to provide privacy at night.


Rawhide Ranch currently has 2 of these lodges, allowing groups of up to 16 people in a group. These sites are great for the adventurous family, scout group, company outing or youth group.


Two Tipis: available for individual rental

Sumanitu - Sioux word for Wolf (hand painted wolf on North side of tipi)

Mukwa - Sioux word for Bear (hand painted bear on North side of tipi)


Tipi Rental Price: 
$45 a night per tipi 
Available (March 15 - November 28)

Maximum: 8 per tipi


Private fire pit inside tipi
Picnic table
Potable water (short walk) 
Public flushing toilets (short walk) (no shower) 
Communal fire pit outside 
Parking for one vehicle at each tipi


What to bring: This is primitive camping; you will need to bring bedding, firewood and anything else that you would use during your stay.


Ranch manager Derek Clifford says, "I have stayed in the tipi numerous nights through the winter. There is something majestic about relaxing in your tipi by a warm fire while the cold wind blows outside. I know that most of you have never stayed in a tipi and asked for a little advice, so here you go.....


Ground covering: You will want to have something on the ground under your sleeping bag. A tarp or piece of canvas a little bigger than your sleeping bag is best. You do not want to cover the entire tipi floor with a tarp, especially if it rains. If it is winter time, you will want something under you that has some insulation properties. Air mattresses are a terrible idea! The air in the mattress absorbs the ground temp and the outside ambient air. I use a thermarest camping pad with an R3 value, then a couple wool blankets. If you don't, your body will absorb the cold from the ground


Fire: We require tipi guests to bring their own firewood. You want smaller pieces of wood, and the ranch staff does not have enough time to split the wood to keep up with demand. You do not want big logs. The fire needs to have flame and not smolder. If it smolders, your tipi will get smoky and uncomfortable. You will want the fire burning all night in the winter. The fire will heat the rocks surrounding the pit which helps, but will not do it alone. Someone will need to get up periodically to tend the fire. If the fire goes out, you will notice a drastic temperature change as the night goes on.


Smoke Flaps: Taking a few minutes to learn about the smoke flaps and how they work is crucial to your tipi experience. There is no better description of how to operate them than the instruction manual from the company that fabricated ours. Please take a moment to follow this link to a pdf copy of the manual. You will find the instructions for the door and smoke flaps on pages 19 to 22. The entire manual is neat to read through, as it gives a lot of great information. 
Tipi manual


Camping: This is camping, which means you are in nature. The tipis are not a sealed environment. If you have a fire going, the smoke will keep most bugs away. If the tipi has been vacant, you might find a critter hanging out in your temporary home. We have found frogs, turtles, and other little guys hanging out inside. This is not an issue during the winter months but you never know. The poles of a tipi are a great place for wasps to build nests. Those are dealt with when a customer makes us aware.


Inner liner: Inside the tipi you will find a second layer of fabric. This is the liner and your best friend. It serves three purposes. The first is privacy. If we did not provide a liner in the tipi you would give your neighbors a shadow show of all your interior activities. The second is the drafting of the fire. This liner helps direct the smoke out of the tipi. The third is as an insulator during the winter. The tipi should have about 3 inches of separation off the ground all the way around its perimeter. This allows enough air flow into the tipi for the drafting of the fire. If the liner is not in place, that 3 inch gap lets one heck of a draft right at ground level, right where you are sleeping. Please leave this liner up, it is not a handy ground tarp.


Sense of adventure: You are sleeping in a real tipi, how cool is that? The tipi can be an amazing experience for you, your family and/or friends. You will be roughing it, but that is the point. Step away from modern day comforts and ease back into the old days where life was completely different.  You will gain perspective!



Have fun! 
Derek W Clifford 
Ranch Manager

Lodging Cancellation Policy- 30 day policy - All cancellations made more than 30 days before your arrival will have the deposit refunded, minus the cancellation fee*. If you cancel within 30 days, but more than 48 hours prior to check-in, your deposit will be refunded to you in gift certificate form, minus the cancellation fee*.  That gift certificate will be valid for one year from your original check-out date.  If you cancel within 48 hours of your arrival, your deposit is forfeit and non-refundable.
*Cancellation fee - $20


Additional Guest Policy: Your lodging fee covers the amount of people your lodging unit sleeps. If you have additional visitors joining you on the ranch causing your total number of ranch guests to exceed your lodging capacity, there is a $5 per person fee.