Best layout for a camp of 2 people

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.
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cmrabet
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Best layout for a camp of 2 people

Postby cmrabet » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:10 am

Hi everyone!

What would be the best organization/layout for a camp for two people traveling in a Toyota Sienna 2006 (mini-van)? We want to avoid cooking as much as possible so the plan is to take canned/dried food.

I'm thinking that we could use the mini-van as bedroom, use a tent to put the food, water and all supplies, and put everything under a monkey hut for shade.

Thanks!

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Re: Best layout for a camp of 2 people

Postby lucky420 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:40 am

I use my monkey hut as my outside kitchen. Keep things in bins to minimize dust.

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Re: Best layout for a camp of 2 people

Postby Chowski » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:42 am

More important than using the van as a bedroom is using the van as a windblock. There is a published map which details the predominant wind direction and sunrise. My advice is, know this generally in advance of arrival. When you get there, park the vehicle to block the wind, then set the tent up in the lee of the van. Then, put up the carport or ezup (or monkey hut) over the tent to provide daytime shade, and drape the one wall (old bedsheets work fine) to block the sunrise and buy yourself another couple hours of relative cool in the morning.

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Re: Best layout for a camp of 2 people

Postby Ratty » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:53 am

cmrabet, That is an excellent idea. (It's exactly what I do.) However, I have a carport instead of a monkey hut. I bring an ice chest for beer and fruit cups but no perishables. Check out the threads about food.

Put up your tent and position some lightweight cloth over the vents. Every window and vent has to close when you leave camp to keep out the dust. Pin, glue, sew, clamp or whatever. Get some rebar, a good heavy hammer and big vice grips for removal. Make a cloth or tarp end piece for your hut. If it's a windy year you'll appreciate it.

A twin air mattress fits perfectly in your van. I had the hardware removed from the bed when I bought the van. You can even keep a plastic dresser in there. Keep in mind it's about a million degrees in there when you shut the car tight. I have reflectix taped on the outside of my windows. I can sleep-in for an extra hour or nap with the doors open.
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Re: Best layout for a camp of 2 people

Postby some seeing eye » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:37 am

One thing I've done is to put the monkey hut adjacent to the side wide door or tucked over the back door of a van. Then try to bridge some fabric to "seal" the monkey hut to the van door. Keep the van door closed as much as possible. Then cover all the van windows with mylar space blankets cut to size and taped around each window edge with 2" wide blue masking tape. (Regular beige masking tape adhesive turns into concrete in the sun, the blue does not - peels right off when you are ready to leave.) The window coverings help keep the vehicle cooler.

Any tarp or rope in contact with the van paint finish will vibrate in the wind and the playa dust which has some grit will wear away the paint. So if you are using the van for a guy line anchor, take that into account.

Some people use their luggage rack as a tie down point. Racks are usually rated for about a hundred or two pounds downforce. They are not rated for side force or up force. The force of wind on a sail goes up as the square of wind speed. The building code max design wind speed is for the area is 130mph. It usually doesn't reach that, but if a gust gets under a tarp the force can be thousands of pounds. That's why some people use shade cloth or Aluminet - it can cut the sail force in half.

Built to proven designs, monkey huts can handle it. It's better if the ends can be closed off. But if you attach anything else to your vehicle, design it well.

It does sometimes rain, so take that into account. Some people put down a floor of some type in their monkey hut.

A camp flag and a sign with your camp name is always nice.

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Re: Best layout for a camp of 2 people

Postby BBadger » Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:23 pm

For reference, the map(s) Chowski mentioned are here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=78496

Make sure to pack along extra tarps, and maybe a small sheet of aluminet/camo netting to allow yourself to adapt to however your camp actually ends up. Even with the best planning, you might be setting up at night, in a tight spot, or will have sun creeping in at only certain times of the day even with optimal orientation. You can use your tarp and netting to enclose one end of your MH, or wrap around between your van and MH as well.

I also liked having some netting near the entrance in order to provide an extra bit of shaded chill space to sit and eat and set thing down. It's not always nice to have to sit in the shade of the MH entrance. The netting and tarps will also provide a small level of privacy.
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Re: Best layout for a camp of 2 people

Postby Token » Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:59 am

If that mini-van is you main wheels in real life, where you drive friends and family, kids and colleagues around ... I’d nix the idea of sleeping in it.

It will forever be full of Playa.

Roll up the windows in Gerlach, unload it at the campsite, lock it for the duration.

Do what the rest of the folks do and sleep in a tent tucked in the hut.

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Re: Best layout for a camp of 2 people

Postby FlyingMonkey » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:23 am

Token wrote:If that mini-van is you main wheels in real life, where you drive friends and family, kids and colleagues around ... I’d nix the idea of sleeping in it.

It will forever be full of Playa.

Roll up the windows in Gerlach, unload it at the campsite, lock it for the duration.

Do what the rest of the folks do and sleep in a tent tucked in the hut.


I second that and also agree that correct placement to block wind & the morning sun is also an important consideration. packing an extra tent in your van for you to live in & keep it locked up.

If however your van is dedicated to the Playa then do what you can to minimize getting dust in it. If you're not shy dress/undress in your supply tent & hang out/sleep naked in the van. I've also seen people use battery leaf blowers to de-dust. Open the van as little as possible and a floor mat (secured) under the door can help. Keep in mind that unless you have a chrome vinyl wrap on your van it will be an oven in the daytime.

Of course this all depends on how close you are to your camp-mate. If close, the best layout is spooning.
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Re: Best layout for a camp of 2 people

Postby Ratty » Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:28 pm

I sleep with my back hatch open, (not every night or the battery would be dead). To hell with family and friends. If they don't like dust, don't get in my van. I cover the dash and seats with fleece. The cargo area is covered with carpet. Ok. It still looks dusty all year but I like it. If the wind blows I close the back hatch. The side door has a fleece curtain. Embrace the suck.
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Re: Best layout for a camp of 2 people

Postby BBadger » Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:01 am

Why would it kill the battery with the hatch open? Is it from the light? I keep mine set to completely off even if it's open.
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Re: Best layout for a camp of 2 people

Postby mgb327 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:38 am

Yes, kill the interior lights. I have 12 or so inside the Sub., but there is an override switch so they don't go on. I leave them off year-round. Waste of power. Ratty, I have seen your car....playa-ish. Delish.
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Re: Best layout for a camp of 2 people

Postby AntiM » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:06 pm

I know you don't want to cook, but do consider a small butane stove to heat water. A cup of tea or some ramen noodles can be just the thing after a late night, or an early morning.
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Re: Best layout for a camp of 2 people

Postby Ratty » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:21 pm

So...In 2016 my battery went dead. Of course I didn't know it till I turned the key. Just the 'door open' dash lights being on for 2 weeks is enough to drain a good battery. No. I can't pull a fuse. I can pull the battery cable but that's a whole other problem getting in and out with electronic door locks. This year I closed the doors. No dead battery.
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Re: Best layout for a camp of 2 people

Postby Captain Goddammit » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:49 pm

It should still manually lock and unlock without any battery power.
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Re: Best layout for a camp of 2 people

Postby BBadger » Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:57 pm

Ah, that explains it. Yeah, those indicators can drain the battery. I did notice that my ol' Subaru would have a semi-depleted battery after some weeks of disuse because of the alarm light or some other low-but-still-power subsystem.

What about using some cheapo solar panel to keep things topped off? Closing the door is probably cheaper though. :)
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Re: Best layout for a camp of 2 people

Postby AntiM » Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:30 am

We have one of those dashboard solar panels made specifically to keep the battery topped off when the vehicle is parked. Some years we forget to use it, but we rarely get into the truck.
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Re: Best layout for a camp of 2 people

Postby Ratty » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:06 am

I'll look into that. I love to keep the doors open at night.

Capt. My 2012 Toyota van has exactly ONE keyhole. Drivers door only. Then I could climb in and open doors from the inside. Except the back hatch it only opens from the outside. There would be no way to lock or unlock it without juice. I hate the convenience of new cars.
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Re: Best layout for a camp of 2 people

Postby cmrabet » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:09 am

Chowski wrote:More important than using the van as a bedroom is using the van as a windblock. There is a published map which details the predominant wind direction and sunrise. My advice is, know this generally in advance of arrival. When you get there, park the vehicle to block the wind, then set the tent up in the lee of the van. Then, put up the carport or ezup (or monkey hut) over the tent to provide daytime shade, and drape the one wall (old bedsheets work fine) to block the sunrise and buy yourself another couple hours of relative cool in the morning.


Thanks!! I didn't think about the wind planning. Definitely will do.

By the way, what do you mean with this?:

Chowski wrote:...then set the tent up in the lee of the van..

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Re: Best layout for a camp of 2 people

Postby cmrabet » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:12 am

Ratty wrote:cmrabet, That is an excellent idea. (It's exactly what I do.) However, I have a carport instead of a monkey hut. I bring an ice chest for beer and fruit cups but no perishables. Check out the threads about food.

Put up your tent and position some lightweight cloth over the vents. Every window and vent has to close when you leave camp to keep out the dust. Pin, glue, sew, clamp or whatever. Get some rebar, a good heavy hammer and big vice grips for removal. Make a cloth or tarp end piece for your hut. If it's a windy year you'll appreciate it.

A twin air mattress fits perfectly in your van. I had the hardware removed from the bed when I bought the van. You can even keep a plastic dresser in there. Keep in mind it's about a million degrees in there when you shut the car tight. I have reflectix taped on the outside of my windows. I can sleep-in for an extra hour or nap with the doors open.


Thanks!

For the mattress, I'm considering this:


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Re: Best layout for a camp of 2 people

Postby cmrabet » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:24 am

some seeing eye wrote:One thing I've done is to put the monkey hut adjacent to the side wide door or tucked over the back door of a van. Then try to bridge some fabric to "seal" the monkey hut to the van door. Keep the van door closed as much as possible. Then cover all the van windows with mylar space blankets cut to size and taped around each window edge with 2" wide blue masking tape. (Regular beige masking tape adhesive turns into concrete in the sun, the blue does not - peels right off when you are ready to leave.) The window coverings help keep the vehicle cooler.

Any tarp or rope in contact with the van paint finish will vibrate in the wind and the playa dust which has some grit will wear away the paint. So if you are using the van for a guy line anchor, take that into account.

Some people use their luggage rack as a tie down point. Racks are usually rated for about a hundred or two pounds downforce. They are not rated for side force or up force. The force of wind on a sail goes up as the square of wind speed. The building code max design wind speed is for the area is 130mph. It usually doesn't reach that, but if a gust gets under a tarp the force can be thousands of pounds. That's why some people use shade cloth or Aluminet - it can cut the sail force in half.

Built to proven designs, monkey huts can handle it. It's better if the ends can be closed off. But if you attach anything else to your vehicle, design it well.

It does sometimes rain, so take that into account. Some people put down a floor of some type in their monkey hut.

A camp flag and a sign with your camp name is always nice.

The adventure begins! Have a super burn experience!


Thanks for your advice!!

You are completely right with the "adventure begins", there are still 9 months ahead of us, but my wife and I are already having fun with all the reading, learning and planning. We are taking the Radical Self-reliance very seriously..

For the monkey hut "connection" to the minivan you mentioned, do you mean something like the attached picture?
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Re: Best layout for a camp of 2 people

Postby cmrabet » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:45 am

BBadger wrote:For reference, the map(s) Chowski mentioned are here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=78496

Make sure to pack along extra tarps, and maybe a small sheet of aluminet/camo netting to allow yourself to adapt to however your camp actually ends up. Even with the best planning, you might be setting up at night, in a tight spot, or will have sun creeping in at only certain times of the day even with optimal orientation. You can use your tarp and netting to enclose one end of your MH, or wrap around between your van and MH as well.

I also liked having some netting near the entrance in order to provide an extra bit of shaded chill space to sit and eat and set thing down. It's not always nice to have to sit in the shade of the MH entrance. The netting and tarps will also provide a small level of privacy.


Thanks for the link.

I didn't know that the orientation of the city can change every year. How soon is the map for the current year available so we can plan sunrise, winds and shadows?

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Re: Best layout for a camp of 2 people

Postby cmrabet » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:46 am

cmrabet wrote:
BBadger wrote:For reference, the map(s) Chowski mentioned are here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=78496

Make sure to pack along extra tarps, and maybe a small sheet of aluminet/camo netting to allow yourself to adapt to however your camp actually ends up. Even with the best planning, you might be setting up at night, in a tight spot, or will have sun creeping in at only certain times of the day even with optimal orientation. You can use your tarp and netting to enclose one end of your MH, or wrap around between your van and MH as well.

I also liked having some netting near the entrance in order to provide an extra bit of shaded chill space to sit and eat and set thing down. It's not always nice to have to sit in the shade of the MH entrance. The netting and tarps will also provide a small level of privacy.


Thanks for the link.

I didn't know that the orientation of the city can change every year. How soon is the map for the current year available so we can plan sun travel path, winds and shadows?

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cmrabet
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Re: Best layout for a camp of 2 people

Postby cmrabet » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:47 am

Token wrote:If that mini-van is you main wheels in real life, where you drive friends and family, kids and colleagues around ... I’d nix the idea of sleeping in it.

It will forever be full of Playa.

Roll up the windows in Gerlach, unload it at the campsite, lock it for the duration.

Do what the rest of the folks do and sleep in a tent tucked in the hut.


It's the minivan that we use to drive our kids.. It already looks like it came from Burning Man if you know what I mean.. :)

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Re: Best layout for a camp of 2 people

Postby cmrabet » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:51 am

FlyingMonkey wrote:
Token wrote:If that mini-van is you main wheels in real life, where you drive friends and family, kids and colleagues around ... I’d nix the idea of sleeping in it.

It will forever be full of Playa.

Roll up the windows in Gerlach, unload it at the campsite, lock it for the duration.

Do what the rest of the folks do and sleep in a tent tucked in the hut.


I second that and also agree that correct placement to block wind & the morning sun is also an important consideration. packing an extra tent in your van for you to live in & keep it locked up.

If however your van is dedicated to the Playa then do what you can to minimize getting dust in it. If you're not shy dress/undress in your supply tent & hang out/sleep naked in the van. I've also seen people use battery leaf blowers to de-dust. Open the van as little as possible and a floor mat (secured) under the door can help. Keep in mind that unless you have a chrome vinyl wrap on your van it will be an oven in the daytime.

Of course this all depends on how close you are to your camp-mate. If close, the best layout is spooning.


Thanks for your input, my camp-mate is my wife, so we are pretty close :).

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Re: Best layout for a camp of 2 people

Postby cmrabet » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:52 am

Ratty wrote:To hell with family and friends. If they don't like dust, don't get in my van.


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Re: Best layout for a camp of 2 people

Postby some seeing eye » Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:09 pm

cmrabet wrote:
some seeing eye wrote:One thing I've done is to put the monkey hut adjacent to the side wide door or tucked over the back door of a van. Then try to bridge some fabric to "seal" the monkey hut to the van door. Keep the van door closed as much as possible. Then cover all the van windows with mylar space blankets cut to size and taped around each window edge with 2" wide blue masking tape. (Regular beige masking tape adhesive turns into concrete in the sun, the blue does not - peels right off when you are ready to leave.) The window coverings help keep the vehicle cooler.

Any tarp or rope in contact with the van paint finish will vibrate in the wind and the playa dust which has some grit will wear away the paint. So if you are using the van for a guy line anchor, take that into account.

Some people use their luggage rack as a tie down point. Racks are usually rated for about a hundred or two pounds downforce. They are not rated for side force or up force. The force of wind on a sail goes up as the square of wind speed. The building code max design wind speed is for the area is 130mph. It usually doesn't reach that, but if a gust gets under a tarp the force can be thousands of pounds. That's why some people use shade cloth or Aluminet - it can cut the sail force in half.

Built to proven designs, monkey huts can handle it. It's better if the ends can be closed off. But if you attach anything else to your vehicle, design it well.

It does sometimes rain, so take that into account. Some people put down a floor of some type in their monkey hut.

A camp flag and a sign with your camp name is always nice.

The adventure begins! Have a super burn experience!


Thanks for your advice!!

You are completely right with the "adventure begins", there are still 9 months ahead of us, but my wife and I are already having fun with all the reading, learning and planning. We are taking the Radical Self-reliance very seriously..

For the monkey hut "connection" to the minivan you mentioned, do you mean something like the attached picture?


Here is a photo. (I use a 20x20 silver tarp almost to the ground with bungie balls - so my hut is a little neater than this, but I don't tuck my car under it, I just use the car for valuables and minimize opening it at the event.) I've also seen it done with a pickup with a few foot high camper top over the bed. If you cover the windows, only 2-3 feet of the back if the vehicle needs to tuck under the hut. I'm a fan of 3/4 schedule 40 sprinkler pipe you can get at home despot in 20 foot lengths and carry on top of your vehicle with a red flag in the back, and a rope down to the front bumper. You can get a 20 foot 2x4 to make it straight end-to-end if you like. Many people join 10' sections or smaller, I don't but if you do an image search for "burning man" "monkey hut" you will see all kinds of designs.

You can buy one piece of sprinkler pipe now and experiment at home with the arch to clear your vehicle.

The other thing I've found useful is a packing list and ways to keep things separated in your camp, sleeping area etc. that your playa-brain can find. Where did I put those spare batteries, first aid, personal care, spare eyewear, where are the socks, accessories, on an on.

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Re: Best layout for a camp of 2 people

Postby BBadger » Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:20 am

cmrabet wrote:Thanks for the link.

I didn't know that the orientation of the city can change every year. How soon is the map for the current year available so we can plan sunrise, winds and shadows?


The orientation of the city does not change year to year. I believe it was oriented so that the sun would come up behind the man through Center Camp or something at that time of year. For camp set-up the sun moves across the sky at an angle that your monkey hut's shape may not always be able to accommodate throughout the day. For example, my shade seemed to do well for mornings, but by noon was glaring in through the back. I needed additional tarps to block out the sun in the later part of the day.

You may also not be able to optimally orient your tent in the space you can find. Maybe the orientation would require you to have your tent entrance face the street or you can't park your car or shade exactly where you want it. Maybe you'll be disoriented setting up at night, or simply not have enough room to plan and orient yourself.

Mostly, you should plan on being flexible. Your shade will cover most of what you need, but you should also be able to adapt to situations as they come up.
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Re: Best layout for a camp of 2 people

Postby Papa Bear » Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:56 pm

cmrabet wrote:It's the minivan that we use to drive our kids.. It already looks like it came from Burning Man if you know what I mean.. :)


As someone with kids myself, I know exactly what you mean... but I should warn you, it's not at all a close contest. Playa will get into places you and your kids would never have thought possible. A few months after my first burn I removed a taillight cover to change the bulb, and discovered nearly a quarter-inch deep layer of playa had accumulated inside. That said, the dust really isn't *that* horrible - you can vacuum out or wash off most of it, you'll just never get all of it.

Speaking of vacuuming, be sure to do yourselves (and the rest of us) a favor and thoroughly clean the vehicle interior before packing up for the burn. Those random bits of string, paper, crayon, french fries, and what-have-you that kids leave behind have a tendency to fall or blow out once on playa, and thus become moop you will have to pick out of the dust and pack away. It's far easier to do it at home.

Similar advice applies if you're bringing gear you've taken camping, by the way - one of our neighbors in Kidsville last year didn't think about it, and after they left my campmate and I wound up picking dozens of pine needles out of the dust in the spot they were camped in. That spot was maybe 10% of the area we swept for moop afterward, but easily took >50% of the time to clean up.

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Re: Best layout for a camp of 2 people

Postby AntiM » Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:02 am

Indeed. We have maple seeds in strange places, and they're pretty much playa colored in the first place.
http://burningman.org/timeline/

Poke me to experience my gooey insides!


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