I'm tired of trashing my tent every year.... suggestions?

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.
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alt12
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I'm tired of trashing my tent every year.... suggestions?

Postby alt12 » Thu May 12, 2011 7:03 pm

So it seems like every year I destroy a tent or my tent gets lost/broken/stolen in storage somehow. I think I've probably gone through like 6 tents so far, at a cost of $100-200 each. Its ridiculous. Each year I think to myself "this is the last burning man tent I'll ever need" and each year I am proven wrong.

Any suggestions for a large durable tent or shade structure for burning man without spending an arm and a leg (i.e. no $1,000 hexayurts)...... Am I going about this all wrong with standard family camping tents?

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Postby Sham » Thu May 12, 2011 7:31 pm

My first year--11 years ago, I bought a cheap $40 4 person tent, that I expected to use for just that year. While I've used it several times in between, this tent has gone every year with me to the playa. It's all washed and packed up again for 2011. I guess when it finally gives out at some point, I'll bring it back to Walmart and see if they really honor their "Satisfaction Guarantee" policy! It will be fun explaining that it didn't hold up as well as I expected! :D

My suggestion is to really soak down the tent when you get home to clean off all the playa dust. If there are any small rips or wear spots, use a tent patch and fix them.

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Postby lucky420 » Thu May 12, 2011 8:03 pm

I built my hexayurt for under $500 and plan on using it for many years. The only thing I will have to replace every year is the tape for it (as long as no panels get accidently crushed) even then 1 panel costs about $23. So if you have the means to transport it and store it...

Anyhoo that's my 2 cents worth

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Postby dragonpilot » Thu May 12, 2011 8:29 pm

Likewise I have a very old Coleman car camping tent used for more than 25 years, 6 of those on the playa...proper care and feeding, my friend.

Thorough cleaning post-playa including a spritzing with about a quart of water mixed with about 1/8 cup bleach, rinse, repeat, dry, fold, pack away.

AAMOF, everything gets a treatment with bleach/water to remove the corrosive effects of the playa dust.
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Postby oneeyeddick » Thu May 12, 2011 10:57 pm

And when he says bleach he is actually meaning vinegar but he is stoned right now.

Bleach would help in destroying your tent even faster.

Don't use bleach, seriously...
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Postby teardropper » Thu May 12, 2011 11:00 pm

oneeyeddick wrote: he is stoned right now.


It's actually required...
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Postby graidawg » Thu May 12, 2011 11:04 pm

teardropper wrote:
oneeyeddick wrote: he is stoned right now.


It's actually required...


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Postby TomServo » Thu May 12, 2011 11:27 pm

Get a 10x10 canopy and know how to secure it. Wal-Mart tents are fine, for a year or two...but, funny how the dust always gets in. Buy something you can hose off, and won't break in the wind.
anything worth doing is worth overdoing..

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Postby Ranger Genius » Thu May 12, 2011 11:35 pm

One word: Springbar.
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Postby AntiM » Fri May 13, 2011 5:54 am

Ten years on the playa, our little REI two person backpacker is still going strong, although the zipper is sticky (It is 20 years old and has been all over the world). We have gone to a slightly larger "umbrella" tent which sets up in one minute. The trick is they're under a carport. No dust inside either, we have little tricks which keep us relatively dust free.

Nothing stored in the tent except bedding and stuff like tissues. No shoes in the tent, no changing clothes in the tent. That's all done in the carport. Now there's a dusty area! I say it isn't the tent, it is the shade structure which protects the tent.

Even our lender tents hold up if they're used under the carport.
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Postby mudpuppy000 » Fri May 13, 2011 8:58 am

I just sleep in my truck, don't have to worry about dust or getting blown away. :)

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Postby darcitananda » Fri May 13, 2011 9:14 am

well if you have bought 7 x $200 tents, you may as well have bought a hexayurt or whatever by now. So you could look at it as an investment, and nice to know you could set up a home almost anywhere.

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Postby FIGJAM » Fri May 13, 2011 10:22 am

Playapod!
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Postby peachandpapa » Fri May 13, 2011 10:34 am

Spend the money and buy a wall tent. Reliable, strong, and roomy. Invest and you will love it and use it for decades. Best playa investment I have ever made!!!
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Postby dragonpilot » Fri May 13, 2011 11:29 am

oneeyeddick wrote:And when he says bleach he is actually meaning vinegar but he is stoned right now.

Bleach would help in destroying your tent even faster.

Don't use bleach, seriously...


Oh gawd...you are so right...I meant vinegar! Sorry, just got outta the hospital!
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Postby FIGJAM » Fri May 13, 2011 12:43 pm

dragonpilot wrote:
oneeyeddick wrote:And when he says bleach he is actually meaning vinegar but he is stoned right now.

Bleach would help in destroying your tent even faster.

Don't use bleach, seriously...


Oh gawd...you are so right...I meant vinegar! Sorry, just got outta the hospital!



Thats what happens when you mix up bleach and vineger!!! :wink:
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Postby VeganChoirGirl » Fri May 13, 2011 2:51 pm

Get yourself a Kodiak.
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Postby Trishntek » Fri May 13, 2011 2:53 pm

dragonpilot wrote:
oneeyeddick wrote:And when he says bleach he is actually meaning vinegar but he is stoned right now.

Bleach would help in destroying your tent even faster.

Don't use bleach, seriously...


Oh gawd...you are so right...I meant vinegar! Sorry, just got outta the hospital!


Just don't be puttin' bleach in yer salad, 'k?
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Postby alt12 » Fri May 13, 2011 9:46 pm

Ranger Genius wrote:One word: Springbar.


Yes I remember Springbar being bandied around a couple of years ago by someone on eplaya. I forget what the issues were. I think it was mainly that they got too hot? Has that been your experience? I'll look into them. I definitely need something more serious then another disposable Coleman cabin tent. I'm not a delicate man. I need something hardier.

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Postby alt12 » Fri May 13, 2011 9:52 pm

peachandpapa wrote:Spend the money and buy a wall tent. Reliable, strong, and roomy. Invest and you will love it and use it for decades. Best playa investment I have ever made!!!


this sounds like what I am looking for... any make/model recommendations?

thanks!

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Postby Elderberry » Fri May 13, 2011 9:58 pm

alt12 wrote:
peachandpapa wrote:Spend the money and buy a wall tent. Reliable, strong, and roomy. Invest and you will love it and use it for decades. Best playa investment I have ever made!!!


this sounds like what I am looking for... any make/model recommendations?

thanks!

Springbar, for one. The link was posted for you above.
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Postby teardropper » Fri May 13, 2011 11:26 pm

VeganChoirGirl wrote:Get yourself a Kodiak.


Get a Springbar...

But anyway, when I started coming to the playa I just went out and bought a really old motorhome. It's low miles, everything works and it's got a V8. Dual exhausts and glasspacks. Don't want to get into it, but it's been great.

My friend is going through the tent thing as a virgin. Wants to spend his money once. He's been to the playa for the Fourth of Juplaya, and has an of the possible conditions. He's getting a Springbar.
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Re: I'm tired of trashing my tent every year.... suggestions

Postby Zhust » Sat May 14, 2011 5:38 am

alt12 wrote:So it seems like every year I destroy a tent or my tent gets lost/broken/stolen in storage somehow.


I have no idea what you're doing, then. I have alternately used a Coleman 3-person tent and heavily-modified nylon 5'x7'x6' tall cabin tent for 5 years now. The only problem I've had with the Coleman is the zippers are starting to get a bit sticky. The cabin tent was never intended to be used someplace windy but my reinforced anchor points and using bed springs between the tent and the straps anchored to the ground has kept it alive.

Can you be more specific? What kinds of failures have you encountered?
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Postby Elorrum » Sat May 14, 2011 6:05 am

Any tent: Tie out every available guy out point. Check it and adjust, add more ties even, using the pebble and string trick. If you don't know knots, use lots.
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Re: I'm tired of trashing my tent every year.... suggestions

Postby alt12 » Sat May 14, 2011 8:11 am

jaycerochester wrote:
alt12 wrote:So it seems like every year I destroy a tent or my tent gets lost/broken/stolen in storage somehow.


I have no idea what you're doing, then. I have alternately used a Coleman 3-person tent and heavily-modified nylon 5'x7'x6' tall cabin tent for 5 years now. The only problem I've had with the Coleman is the zippers are starting to get a bit sticky. The cabin tent was never intended to be used someplace windy but my reinforced anchor points and using bed springs between the tent and the straps anchored to the ground has kept it alive.

Can you be more specific? What kinds of failures have you encountered?



I've had every possible failure. To be fair, first couple of years I brought my simple REI half-dome back-country tent. That survived just fine. In fact I lent it to a friend this year for use on the playa and it still rocked. Unfortunately its about 4 square feet.

Its once I started getting larger tents that I developed problems. I mean big 12x14 cabin-style tents etc. All less than $200. Coleman, etc. I've had everything from poles snap (twice) in high winds, zippered-door tear right out of the tent one year when I drunkenly stumbled into my tent with my backpack still on and it snagged. I can never get these crappy tents back in their tiny storage cases that they come with and I leave my tents in our camp storage in reno and the poles end-up separated from the canvas or get mixed with other tents or get thrown out. I just need something different. I'm not going to lie, I'm not a delicate type and I don't treat these things with kid gloves.

More importantly, its clear that the tents are useless for keeping sand out and of course the heat up like bitch in the a.m. So I guess I am tired of both the frustrating experience with the tents and the fact that they are constantly breaking. This leads me to think their has to be a better way.

So far I've heard and considering:

1) Hexayurt (though a friend of mine made one a couple of years ago and spent about $1,200 on it... said the parts are way more expensive than what the instructions suggest).

2) Wall tent (ala springboard design). Seems like it will be at least $1,000k for that. Not sure I can swallow it but am thinking about it.

I'm also considering a cheapie tepee-tent. I don't know why I think the outcome will be different simply because it has a conical shape (wishful thinking?):
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003C4 ... E0CFLN81HP


Am open to other ideas. BM is an expensive proposition for me every year so I try to keep the spending down. But seeing as I am out there longer and longer every year (almost 2 weeks last year) I feel like I need something more comfortable and more durable...

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Postby alt12 » Sat May 14, 2011 8:32 am

teardropper wrote:
VeganChoirGirl wrote:Get yourself a Kodiak.


Get a Springbar...
.


For those who have springbar wall-tents, how do they handle the dust? I am assuming that without the mesh roofs and other unsealable screen elements of a vinyl camping tent that the Springbar keeps dust out beter. Is this true? What about the heat? Just wondering how it compares in terms of trapping heat in the morning sun versus a regular tent....

thanks for all the input!

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Postby Elorrum » Sat May 14, 2011 8:40 am

tipi looks neat. good headroom lots of guy out points, no mesh. take the pole out if it starts getting too wild and collapse the sucker.
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Postby DragginLady » Sat May 14, 2011 9:21 am

I have both the Springbar and the Kodiak tents. They are extremely similar in material and style. The Springbar, however, is superior in keeping the dust out and seems a bit better made than the Kodiak. It is also made in the U.S., which counts for me.
The Kodiak developed a sticky zipper first time out. The Kodiak does come with better tent stakes. Tent stakes on the Springbar were near worthless. Buy some better ones before you go out to the Playa.
Both tents get hot in the daytime, but all tents do.
I felt a little clausterphobic in my with the windows closed. But if you under a carport, or don't mind a little dust, you can keep the windows open. I kept mine open when I was in the tent and the wind was not blowing.
I guess these tents are expensive, but when you figure how well made they are and how long they last, it makes sense to me to spend the $$.

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Postby StevenGoodman » Sat May 14, 2011 1:42 pm

Springbar and Kodiak Canvas tents are very similar. The is a long discussion on ePlaya about the differences.

I have a Springbar, great tent. The people I camp with have two Kodiaks, great tents.

Get real stakes, I like the miltary kind, I use these:

http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/cb.aspx?a=784421

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Postby lucky420 » Sun May 15, 2011 9:46 am

I don't know what your friend made his hexayurt out of but $1200 is nuts


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