So your tent has mesh vents...

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.
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JezebelinHell
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Post by JezebelinHell » Fri Jul 11, 2008 1:16 pm

Trying something new this year... I just bought a new tent, and it's huge and has a good deal of mesh. I don't mind some dust. Hell, even the best tent is gonna get dusty out on the playa after a week. What I do mind, a lot, is not being able to sleep because it's so incredibly hot in my tent that I feel like I'm about to die. So, here's the gameplan:

Bought a LARGE two room tent with a lot of mesh

Bought carpet remnants and Slumberjack lounge chairs for one side of the tent, other side has air mattress, camp closet, and things of that nature.

Bought four Coleman tent fans and enough batteries to keep them running all week.

Bought one large, four nozzle hand-pumped mister and one standard garden mister.

Bought a shitload of super-strength velcro, reflective tarp, and a hot glue gun.

So, my plan for this year is to set up a "chill" room in my tent. Two fans, a large mister, carpet so it doesn't get too soggy, and some super comfy lounge chairs that I could easily sleep in. To cover the mesh panels in the event of a massive dust storm I'm cutting pieces out of reflective tarp (haven't got that yet. Need to find just the right stuff) and adhering velcro all the way around the edges. Velcro will also be adhered to the tent, surrounding the mesh panels. This makes my tent convertible so that I can air it out whenever possible.

The side of the tent with all my stuff/bed in it will be sealed off in a more permanent fashion to keep it as clean as possible. I'll only be sleeping on the air mattress if I sleep at night. If I need to sleep during the day I'll do so in the chill room. This is my first time attempting anything this luxury-like for my tent, so I'll let everybody know how it goes.
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gidget
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Post by gidget » Fri Jul 11, 2008 5:02 pm

At our camp eveyone is under a shadestructure of carports and camo netting. My fiance and I have always been under a carport in a tent with a rain fly, a little dust but no problem. Last year after the whiteouts it looked like the Sahara had relocated to the inside of our tent, sand dunes and all. Yay bed full of playa...

One of our campmates was out in the open under camo netting only, but he had sealed his tent vents with air conditioning filters. Custom cut to the vent size and taped (or something) inside. They worked great for air flow, let the breeze in and kept the dust out. It was AMAZING how clean his tent was at the end of the week, especially with no solid structure over him to keep out the dust. If I can get my shit together I'm gonna do that this year... no waking up with playa in the crack for me :D
gidget is gadgety-good!

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JezebelinHell
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Post by JezebelinHell » Fri Jul 11, 2008 6:33 pm

Any specifics on those A/C filters? Sounds pretty brilliant.
"The future is a whore, she promises herself to everyone."
--Poe

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gidget
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Post by gidget » Fri Jul 11, 2008 7:26 pm

they looked like your standard run of the mill air vent filters that you can get at the hardware store or wally world or HD/Lowes kind of places.... they are probably made from some fiberglass product, about 18"x24" size maybe? I'm going from playa memory here, not always reliable! the edge is encased in a cardboard frame but the filter is soft and flexible about 5/8-7/8" thick I think. discard the cardboard, cut to fit, tape up the new edges so there's no moop fiber, install in tent. It seemed to be as simple as that... If I find out anything different I'll let you know.
gidget is gadgety-good!

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AntiM
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Post by AntiM » Sat Jul 12, 2008 8:22 am

We have rolls of the swamp cooler filters ... hmmm.

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gidget
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Post by gidget » Sat Jul 12, 2008 9:19 am

That'd probably work
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Post by Barbie » Sat Jul 12, 2008 10:09 am

you know... you might have to be careful about breathing the dust when cutting ac filters (I don't know for sure)

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gidget
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Post by gidget » Sat Jul 12, 2008 10:21 am

Oh yeah, definitely wear a dust mask at least, those little fibers can be nasty. I'd recommend gloves and long sleeves while cutting too...
gidget is gadgety-good!

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gyre
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Post by gyre » Sat Jul 12, 2008 5:29 pm

There are paper type filters too.
I pay about $7 for a 2 by 2 foot industrial filter.
I think the raw material is even cheaper.

I have seen some fibrous filters that were not fiberglas too.

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gidget
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Post by gidget » Mon Jul 14, 2008 1:52 pm

Good to know... there's probably lots of filters out there that would do the job. I think a recon mission to the hardware store is in order, I'll let you guys know what I find.
gidget is gadgety-good!

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gidget
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Post by gidget » Mon Jul 14, 2008 7:18 pm

Okay, info on more playa friendly filters:

My friendly neighborhood hardware store has natural air filters for about $7 a pop. They are 20"x30"x1", biodegradable, washable and reusable. They look like a big rectangular pad of blue shredded wheat. Didn't get a chance to look at the fine print as the store was about to close so I don't know what they are made out of but the label said in big print that they were an eco-friendly alternative to fiberglass and polyester filters.

I would hope that you can pick these up in any hardware store or major hardware megaplex chain. But I live in Hippie Disneyland so I can't say for sure. Depending on where you live you may need to have them ordered in.

Hope this is helpful for some!
gidget is gadgety-good!

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Post by DoctorIknow » Tue Jul 15, 2008 5:24 am

I haven't done it, but why not just paint the mesh before you go? Use that tent exclusively for BM. (what, you think you will only go once?)

Or if you are in the market for a tent, get one with zippered covers for the mesh windows.

I notice amazon.com has a great deal on the exact tent I've used 8 times at BM. (However, it could have been updated to have vents under the "built in fly." I can't tell from the photo. Mine has a seperate fly...)

It looks like an underengineered "car camping" tent, but has never failed in ANY area. Very little dust gets in, and what is really neat is that by closing the curtains to the middle "room", one can heat up that space with a propane lantern in about 2 minutes.

http://tinyurl.com/56xxcr

Image

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Cassidy
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dust-free? HA!

Post by Cassidy » Tue Jul 15, 2008 1:05 pm

In my experience, if you want to test your tent so see how much dust will get in... dump some baby powder all over it and then flap it around. Then take a look inside. That will give you a good idea.

I'm thinking: velcro-ed high, thread-count sheets over the mesh and/or that air filter idea sound pretty good. I put my pillow and one sheet into a big ziploc bag when I get up so it's a bit less dusty when I want to lay down. I figure everything else can be shaken out a bit.

I also was considering bringing my hammock - any suggestions as to how to hold that thing up? I'm brainstorming ideas about some sort of rebar poles so it won't blow away.

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galaxybeing
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DUCK TAPED CLEAR SHEET PLASTIC THE OVER VENTS

Post by galaxybeing » Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:53 pm

A couple of years ago we had three large triangular vents at the top of the tent and we got tons of dust on our bed. The next year my gf took triangular pieces of tent material and sewed velcro around the edges and the same on the tent. It worked great, but we never took them off, just unzipped the windows for venting.

Image

Last year I went by myself with my 10x10 tent with two huge vents at the top. I'm not good a sewing so I just DUCK TAPED CLEAR SHEET PLASTIC THE OVER VENTS and it worked great. I think it was 5 mil? I had a pretty clean area inside the tent, with occaisional dustings during the storms that I could easily clean up. Always cover your bedding with something when you get up.

Like I say I use the windows and door when there's a nice breeze and zip them all up when I leave.

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Elorrum
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Post by Elorrum » Sun Aug 03, 2008 11:31 am

A neighbor explained to me the venturi principle and dust in my tent. Now I understand how bagless vaccuum cleaners work as well. Engineers can be a trip to talk to. I think I started the conversation by asking the time. ;) I figured all that dusty zoomy air was happy to find a restful place in my tent. I was concerned about leaving one flap slightly open to prevent pressure build up.... and then I looked at the entire ceiling of mesh!!!! DOH!!! I'll try some plastic and duct tape or velcro this year on the ceiling. also, I kept all my sleeping stuff in garbage bags during the day. I forgot to cover my cot however, and that was a big dust collector. tip it on it's side this year. After years of stooping and dressing on my knees, and crawling up from the ground when camping... A couple years back I got a stand up in tent (REI camp dome) and a regular height cot. This year I got a very thick and wide self inflateable foam mattress, and I can't wait to use it. This is luxury for me. The dust I can handle.

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Post by DaniB » Thu Aug 14, 2008 6:04 pm

[quote="JezebelinHell"]Trying something new this year... I just bought a new tent, and it's huge and has a good deal of mesh. I don't mind some dust. Hell, even the best tent is gonna get dusty out on the playa after a week. What I do mind, a lot, is not being able to sleep because it's so incredibly hot in my tent that I feel like I'm about to die. So, here's the gameplan:

Bought a LARGE two room tent with a lot of mesh

Bought carpet remnants and Slumberjack lounge chairs for one side of the tent, other side has air mattress, camp closet, and things of that nature.

Bought four Coleman tent fans and enough batteries to keep them running all week.

Bought one large, four nozzle hand-pumped mister and one standard garden mister.

Bought a shitload of super-strength velcro, reflective tarp, and a hot glue gun.

So, my plan for this year is to set up a "chill" room in my tent. Two fans, a large mister, carpet so it doesn't get too soggy, and some super comfy lounge chairs that I could easily sleep in. To cover the mesh panels in the event of a massive dust storm I'm cutting pieces out of reflective tarp (haven't got that yet. Need to find just the right stuff) and adhering velcro all the way around the edges. Velcro will also be adhered to the tent, surrounding the mesh panels. This makes my tent convertible so that I can air it out whenever possible.

The side of the tent with all my stuff/bed in it will be sealed off in a more permanent fashion to keep it as clean as possible. I'll only be sleeping on the air mattress if I sleep at night. If I need to sleep during the day I'll do so in the chill room. This is my first time attempting anything this luxury-like for my tent, so I'll let everybody know how it goes.[/quote]


I actually just figured out the exact same thing - and velcro is a super easy solution, plus it makes the mesh convertable. Im looking into one of two tents that have fly's that go all the way down to the ground, but lots of mesh on the inner tent, they can be opened up and fully ventilated, or closed and totally protected. I'm torn over how sturdy a coleman tent is over this chinook one, and also what will happen in the heat with either. Is the thicker fabric better for keeping cool inside? Or perhaps the thin white fabric will just make it hotter? hard to tell without experiencing it...

option 1:
http://www.thehanstore.com/index.php?ma ... cts_id=223

option 2:
http://www.ioffer.com/i/44128761

option 3:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 0250143453

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gyre
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Post by gyre » Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:38 pm

Translucent creates a greenhouse in sun.
White tents are great for curing ham.
A white or silver surface on the shade structure is great as long as it blocks sun.
That requires special layers or thick and heavy material.
Many better tents only come in lighter colors for winter use= collecting heat.
In some cases, the colors are bright in the event air rescue has to find you.
I guess they are presuming more serious use.

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gyre
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Post by gyre » Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:44 pm

Worth mentioning that some tents have flimsy poles and will not stand wind.
It might be possible to improve some with better poles.

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Elorrum
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Post by Elorrum » Fri Aug 15, 2008 8:00 pm

I wonder if anyone has tried this and has any feedback: There is a sticky plastic that is used to cover carpets when you are painting or doing dirty remodeling work. Cut to size and applied to the mesh ceiling panels in a tent. After the trip, remove plastic. I know that dust can reduce any stickiness, but wonder if it is applied pre-playa and perhaps taped around the edges... I think I'll try it and post results afterwards.

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gidget
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Post by gidget » Fri Aug 15, 2008 8:15 pm

I would think the adhesive would melt in the heat and the plastic would fall off in a gooy mess... but I could be wrong... see how it goes.
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Post by Free2B » Fri Aug 15, 2008 10:51 pm

I spent a lot of time trying to find a tent with all mesh zippable, with no luck. I'm gonna be sowing & gluing shower curtain linner (the thicker kind) to the seams around the mesh this weekend, some velcro at top only for venting. Why not, I already made this tent's rain fly BM only (covered it w/refletix), might as well do the whole tent. Besides, it's actually see-through from the side even though coleman said "no-see-um" mesh.

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gyre
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Post by gyre » Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:56 pm

Free2B wrote:I spent a lot of time trying to find a tent with all mesh zippable, with no luck. I'm gonna be sowing & gluing shower curtain linner (the thicker kind) to the seams around the mesh this weekend, some velcro at top only for venting. Why not, I already made this tent's rain fly BM only (covered it w/refletix), might as well do the whole tent. Besides, it's actually see-through from the side even though coleman said "no-see-um" mesh.
Where did you look?
There are still real tents out there.
Look for a fly that goes all the way down too.
This makes a huge difference in the cold.
If you leave a vent, it doesn't need to be large at the top.

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Elorrum
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Post by Elorrum » Sat Aug 16, 2008 10:44 am

I agree gidget, hot adhesive goo mess very likely. Does this also happen to hot glue? lol can see no-see-um mesh. My last weekend for gear tune-up: what will make the cut, what will be left on drawing board. check: keys, wallet, ticket, water, sunscreen, hat. no freaking. yee ha!

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Post by Free2B » Sat Aug 16, 2008 8:23 pm

gyre wrote:
Free2B wrote:I spent a lot of time trying to find a tent with all mesh zippable, with no luck. I'm gonna be sowing & gluing shower curtain linner (the thicker kind) to the seams around the mesh this weekend, some velcro at top only for venting. Why not, I already made this tent's rain fly BM only (covered it w/refletix), might as well do the whole tent. Besides, it's actually see-through from the side even though coleman said "no-see-um" mesh.
Where did you look?
There are still real tents out there.
Look for a fly that goes all the way down too.
This makes a huge difference in the cold.
If you leave a vent, it doesn't need to be large at the top.
I looked online only, hunted down pics of all promising tents with rain fly off. Nothing. And I need a big tent, I settled on a 5 foot high so at least I can stand w/my head bent. The small army ones you can find w/no open mesh or no mesh at all. If you know any specific brand/type/keyword, let me know.

So, this is also suppose to be my last weekend of sowing/gluing/adjusting. Maybe I just overslept (5am-7pm) but I got frustrated with the linning I was gonna use for the mesh, ripes when sown just like the thin ones, so I went on to other things for now. I'm kind'a traped too cause I can't go out to get new linning w/out taking apart the whole tent & locking it away from my cats. So... my rain cover is almost completely to the ground almost everywhere.. any chance I might make it w/out the mesh? Oh, who am I kidding, I wouldn't risk it.

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gyre
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Post by gyre » Sun Aug 17, 2008 2:20 am

Some people get by when the fly comes down that far.
They put a fuzzy quilt or blanket over the mesh area and tape or clip it down.
I had success with a huge sheet of billboard plastic staked over my tent to the ground everywhere except the door.
Windbreaks help.
Some people put a tent or enclosed shade structure over the tent too.


Real Tents
4 season, permanent, expedition, refugee (some of the best), desert, arctic, family in rare cases, cold weather tents, outfitter tents, safari, fifth season, 5 season.
Military, military arctic and so on.

Springbar only bad thing I can see is weight
North Face better tents tend to be low in height
Mountain hardware
Vango
etc
Do not pay full price for an outlet north face tent.
Last years are at campmor with warranty.
Outlet should be very cheap.
North Face says there are bootleg fakes out there too.

Many of the bigger tents are not listed in the normal catalogs.

Over the top
http://www.realexpeditiontents.com/

expedition
http://www.canoeing.com/gear/tents/expedition/
http://www.shelter-systems.com/expedition-tents.html
http://www.msrgear.com/tents/expedition.asp
http://www.adventuresportsonline.com/tentexpedition.htm
http://www.adventuresportsonline.com/tentexpedition.htm
http://www.travelcountry.com/shop/mount ... tion-tents
http://marmot.com/spring_2008/equipment ... expedition
http://www.alaskatent.com/products/tent ... c_oven.htm
http://www.army-technology.com/contract ... ku-armors/
http://www.angusadventures.com/arctic/tents.html

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Free2B
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Post by Free2B » Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:15 am

Just saved your whole message it my mailbox for safe keeping, thank you Gyre! I came across that over the top site too... If I ever end up w/some wooded property, I'm setting one of them up.

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gyre
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Post by gyre » Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:06 am

That's just a sample of what is out there.
North Face and Vango have really big domes for cold weather and military use.
I think Vango is only sold as a refugee tent.
I have seen these in the us though.
The North Face only seem to show up used selling around a $1000 typically.

These guys do interesting shade structures.
http://www.shelsys.com/

Silvicool looks efficient too.
Solid aluminet is great shade if you can find it.
They stopped importing it.

Some use is being made of reflectix and reflektra.

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Post by Gage » Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:42 am

We have been researching this exact subject for months, doing the larger tent (as Jezebel is) for luxury-ish purposes. After discussing batting/velcro/heavy blankets/goop/filters/duck tape/glue, we decided to go down to Lowe's and check out their options...

We finally decided on a custom-cut duvee cover (thick, but not heavy) that we sliced open (now one long piece that's 2x the regular cal-king length) to fit the top of the tent, and a high-temperature epoxy that will hold up to the heat and will dry rock hard in 5 minutes. We will also be using a cross-rope tie-down on each section of mesh to ensure nothing goes anywhere, then attaching the rain-fly for that final touch...

Good luck with everyone's plans... We'll post pictures (and a post-burn report) on how well it does...
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Post by somekind » Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:56 am

Dust always gets into the tent. When you come back at 2am or whenever you don't want to have to deal with it.

I make sure to re-pack EVERYTHING into its bag or stuffsack when I leave my tent.

THEN:

I take my tarp and spread it out INSIDE the tent (over the gear). When I get back to the tent, all of the dust has settled on top of the tarp. Grab all four corners and bring the tarp/dust outside. Everything under the tarp should be clean.

Just don't take your nap during the dust storm.
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Post by DoctorIknow » Sun Jul 05, 2009 2:16 pm

DoctorIknow wrote:
I notice amazon.com has a great deal on the exact tent I've used 8 times at BM. (However, it could have been updated to have vents under the "built in fly." I can't tell from the photo. Mine has a seperate fly...)

http://tinyurl.com/56xxcr

Image
Coleman has radically changed the above mentioned "Weathermaster" tent, and the new ones have LOTS of non-closeable vents.

I've found quite a few old ones on craigslist (search the entire nation of craigslist by using Google, search "craigslist" and there will be a window for search of every city. Searching within craigslist, one must search city by city!)

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