About Us


 I am Joseph Pannell  the owner of Dusky Deer Bell Tent sales and TipiRent.

The first time I can remember being introduced to canvas tents was some 24 years ago on family camping trips in either traditional frame tents, or in Grandfathers tentomatic. A tent where the roof rack of a car forms part of the basic structure that the makers claim one person can set up “in the time it takes to smoke a cigarette”.

My first tent business was TipiRent  which I set up in 2009 following a trip to America where I set up, repaired and lived in tipis for 3 months in the San Juan Islands.

What started as a tipi hire company quickly developed into a tipi and bell tent hire company when we discovered people wanted the style, comfort and beauty of a traditional tent without having to battle the tipis ‘smoke flap poles’.

Over 5 years and hundreds of bookings for weddings, parties camping trips and corporate events we constantly developed and updated both the furnishings, and also the tipis and bell tents themselves. In order to create something truly luxurious we started hiring out the ‘lovers tipi’ which came furnished with a steel framed bed, memory foam mattress, duck down duvets, flowers chocolates, champagne and a great little WindySmithy wood burner.

We decided to set up DuskyDeer bell tents as we knew that with 5 years worth of experience behind us (plus the 20 or so years enjoyed camping in traditional tents) we had an in depth knowledge of not only canvas and canvas tents in general but all the small details that add up to make an excellent bell tent.

After being gifted the website name by the brilliant mind of our three year old nephew and with a bell tent for sale that we knew people would love, Dusky Deer was born.