Tents

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.
LindseyRaeFace
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Tents

Postby LindseyRaeFace » Fri Dec 18, 2009 7:45 am

2009 was my first year, and my boyfriend's second. He went in an RV the first year, but we decided we'd like to be more connected to the playa and go in our camping tent this year.

Mistake # 1: Parking on the outer south side of the playa. We broke the wind for everyone!

mistake # 2: Using a regular camping tent. It got destroyed. Poles Broke, Walls ripped. And that was just setting up in a white out. =)

The wind was gnarly and we definitely needed a more sturdy, weather resistant, that can stand up to winds a little better. We were smart and put the car between us and the wind, but it still tore us up.

So my question is... Any recommendations for tents? I saw a lot of other ones that seemed to hold up better but am not sure if there is a secret to selecting a better tent.

Thanks in advance!

<3

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C.f.M.
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Postby C.f.M. » Fri Dec 18, 2009 7:52 am

I recommend you do a search on these forums and read the plethora of existing, exhaustive threads on this subject. Then you can decide for yourself to listen to the guy who's had the same $40 Coleman for five years, the Springbar advocates, the people in RVs...


It all depends on you, your needs, budget, location, etcetcetc.

LindseyRaeFace
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Postby LindseyRaeFace » Fri Dec 18, 2009 7:55 am

I did a serch for the topic tents and got an array of posts about "the dirtiest thing youve done on the playa" and a few things on Food preparation.

Ill keep looking i guess... Thanks

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ygmir
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Postby ygmir » Fri Dec 18, 2009 8:00 am

yeah, the search feature can be confusing......I still can't use it right.
look in "tips and tricks"..........I think a lot of them are in that thread.
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geospyder
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Postby geospyder » Fri Dec 18, 2009 8:57 am

I used a regular tent last year but I also reenforced with a 1/2 inch PVC frame. Had no problem at all with the wind. Without the frame I have a feeling the tent would have been flattened.
You know it's going to be a bad day when you jump out of bed and miss the floor.

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Ugly Dougly
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Fri Dec 18, 2009 9:25 am

You on the South Rim were the ones stirring up the dust! ;)

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C.f.M.
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Postby C.f.M. » Fri Dec 18, 2009 9:50 am


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phil
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Postby phil » Fri Dec 18, 2009 11:59 am

C.f.M. wrote:I recommend you do a search on these forums and read the plethora of existing, exhaustive threads on this subject. Then you can decide for yourself to listen to the guy who's had the same $40 Coleman for five years, the Springbar advocates, the people in RVs...


It all depends on you, your needs, budget, location, etcetcetc.


There's pretty much no consensus. Apparently, there really are people who have used $40 tents for years with no problems. I wish I knew how they did it.

If you set your tent up during a wind storm, you're more likely to have it shredded and the poles broken than if it gets hit by the wind after it's properly erected, staked, and guyed (if guying is required).

Bring a back up.

Expect to get it wrong the first time, the second time, maybe the third.

Hence, bring a back up. (However, budgets may have constraints on that issue, I realize.)

Louise and I have had a tent fail during the night when we were in it - getting flapped in the face at dark:thirty is not fun. The tent was a Mondo Condo 8 from Sierra Designs which replaced the pole free. We had an Armadillo from Moss tents which survived superbly for years and years (with a seriously bent pole after one trip, which was replaced free).

My experience has been that I get better value for my money buying good tents, but other reasonable people disagree. One of the reasons may be that we camp year round, so we use our tents in more places that the playa.

Read the threads C.f.M. linked to, make a judgment, and expect to learn from your mistakes and do it better next time. The problem is that everybody tells you what works for them and expects that to work for you. It often doesn't work that way. Find what works for you, then fine tune it as the years go by.

Tips & Tricks is a great place to get ideas and feedback; you'll learn a great deal here. But nothing substitutes for your own experience.

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CapSmashy
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Postby CapSmashy » Mon Dec 21, 2009 6:11 pm

Kodiak Canvas....
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Postby Sail Man » Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:18 am

If your hiding out behind a car, try a dome shaped tent for its wind shedding abilities.

I'm guessing next yr you wont be setting up during a dust storm. Reinforce the poles as has been suggested, use 12" nails to rep. the tent stakes. Also guy the whole tent from the top if poss. to either your ride, or some bigger stakes.
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lbdavid98
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Postby lbdavid98 » Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:42 pm

I am in love with my new tent. I've always had bad camping experiences because of cheap, borrowed, or military issued gear--I reallllly wanted to avoid having my time at burning man ruined by the same problems, so I spent more than I planned and got a tent big enough for an air mattress. Also, I made sure it was constructed of some pretty sturdy stuff (the tent poles alone weigh like 30 lbs). Add some inflatable chairs and a sleeping bag rated for ~30 degrees and I'm hoping to make this my most comfortable outdoor trip ever.

However, it really is larger than I had imagined. Is it bad playa etiquette to take up 8'x10' with a tent for 2 people? We're not bringing a car... or an RV. I'm a disabled vet and I have to take medication just to sleep comfortably in my own bed at home, a week in the desert requires some extra effort--but I still can't wait to be there.

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Postby Oldguy » Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:52 am

I used a 30 foot square as my footprint last year, no problem. I used two exterior framed 2 room tents. One for sleeping and food/parlor. Second for storage and visitors. In front I had a 12x20 rug, with vehicle plus trailor as windbreak. I had room for my third 2 room tent but really did not use it, except as a spare. I never put up my picnic tents either, my visitor room was plenty.

I'm looking for a portable garage (freecycle) as shade next year to cover my 2 room tents. I almost bought one on the creditcard last week. a fully enclosed 8 post 12x20 with two zippered end doors for $280.00. I'll check back in January for summer items. I'll be 59 next time and I too love my comfort. My corners were marked with garden solar lights and camp chairs. Walkthroughs were at a minimum except when I was gifting breakfast sausages in the mornings. A neighbor reported a stolen backpack, but he was right on the 5:30 road; I was in the middle of the block and somewhat protected.
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Postby lbdavid98 » Wed Dec 23, 2009 5:32 pm

I feel a little better now, also I did some reading -after- the fact because I hadn't considered the winds--if I show up early on the first day and try for a camping spot towards the middle of BRC will that serve as a windbreak too? Is it super hard to find a spot there? The reviews I've read on my tent indicate it holds up well in winds--but I'd rather be safe than sorry!

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gyre
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Postby gyre » Wed Dec 23, 2009 11:55 pm

What kind of tent?

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Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:06 am

YOu will be showing up during the "land grab" phase of the building of BRC. I'd try for something on the F or G street, but since I"ve been in a placed camp every single year I've attended, my advice may not be very good.
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Postby Boijoy » Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:52 am

you can create you own wind block by pitching your tent on the opposite side of your car from the prevailing winds. OF COURSE the wind can come from any direction, but mostly it comes thru Gerlach. :)
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Sail Man
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Postby Sail Man » Thu Dec 24, 2009 2:43 pm

Boijoy wrote:you can create you own wind block by pitching your tent on the opposite side of your car from the prevailing winds. OF COURSE the wind can come from any direction, but mostly it comes thru Gerlach. :)


That wouldnt have anything to do with the food at Bruno's would it? :wink:
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Ugly Dougly
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:15 pm

Tense?

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lbdavid98
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Postby lbdavid98 » Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:51 am

gyre wrote:What kind of tent?


I went with a tent from Eureka called the Copper Canyon 1610. Set it up last weekend and tested it with an air mattress. the "sitting room" doesn't have a floor, so I'll have to bring a tarp of some kind. Gonna buy some inflatable chairs too

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geospyder
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Postby geospyder » Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:44 am

My guess is that you will end up with more playa dust than normal if you do not have a floor. Not just what you're sitting on but blown up under the sides.
You know it's going to be a bad day when you jump out of bed and miss the floor.

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gyre
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Postby gyre » Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:05 pm

Does it have windows that don't close?
Mesh and other holes?
How does the steel and fibreglas work together?

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Postby lbdavid98 » Mon Dec 28, 2009 1:42 pm

Everything on the tent closes except the bottom of the 2nd room. The windows are mesh, but they have solid fabric covers that zip from the inside so that everything can be closed for privacy/weather protection. As for how steel and fiberglass work together, my only response has to be: the tent went up, and from what I read it stays up in heavy winds... so I guess they work great together!

There are accessories I'm looking into, including tarps for blocking the dust from coming under in the 2nd room, but it's going to be used mostly as a buffer room anyways (gear storage, some chairs, ice chest) so a good place to shake off the dust might be just what the doctor ordered.

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gyre
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Postby gyre » Mon Dec 28, 2009 1:50 pm

That sounds good.
Do the windows zip all the way around?

I'm thinking of the structural way the steel and fibreglas flex.
Can you provide more details?

Rigid joints in a flexible structure are weak points.
Everything needs to stay rigid or flex together.

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Postby peachandpapa » Mon Dec 28, 2009 4:42 pm

Buy a "wall tent." Denver Tent Co. or Montana Tent Co. are great manufacturers of canvas wall tents. Expensive but last a lifetime and are very comfortable. Worth the expense and pays for itself in one Burning Man if you normally rent an RV.
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Boijoy
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Postby Boijoy » Tue Dec 29, 2009 8:20 am

WHY the heck would a tent not have a floor in one room??

You might want to consider setting it up again & putting some velcrow around the "floorless" room. Our geo-yurt doesn't have a floor & dust does blow under. We only use it to hide from the storms. I didn't even take it last year. I hid behind my van instead.

Yeah.. Sailman.. I think the wind comes from the raviolis. :)
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theCryptofishist
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Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Dec 29, 2009 7:23 pm

peachandpapa wrote:Buy a "wall tent." Denver Tent Co. or Montana Tent Co. are great manufacturers of canvas wall tents. Expensive but last a lifetime and are very comfortable. Worth the expense and pays for itself in one Burning Man if you normally rent an RV.

How easy do those go up? Single person with impediments have a hope of doing it?
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CapSmashy
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Postby CapSmashy » Wed Dec 30, 2009 9:55 am

theCryptofishist wrote:
peachandpapa wrote:Buy a "wall tent." Denver Tent Co. or Montana Tent Co. are great manufacturers of canvas wall tents. Expensive but last a lifetime and are very comfortable. Worth the expense and pays for itself in one Burning Man if you normally rent an RV.

How easy do those go up? Single person with impediments have a hope of doing it?


Nope.

Unless they have changed a lot, most wall tents require 2 people.
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theCryptofishist
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Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:03 am

Okay. I suppose that's why my people have special tents.
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Postby yizzah » Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:35 am

I've slept in my tent for 2 years now. Just a cheap $35 dome tent from Big 5. I upgraded the stakes and bought tiny spring clamps and clamped thrift store bedsheets around the tent to the poles. So it looks a bit like a geodesic dome. I also brought 4 10 pound weights and stuck one in each corner of the tent. I've never had any problems. In fact, most of the tents around me just used the standard tiny stakes that came with their tents and they were fine too.

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Postby Fire_Moose » Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:08 am

Having a good, easy year at burning man does NOT constitute a lack of planning for the next.

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