Is it possible to make a tent comfortable?

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.
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Funkfish
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Is it possible to make a tent comfortable?

Post by Funkfish » Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:28 am

So I camped in a yurt with an AC unit last year which was pretty great. I don't know if I'll be able to do the same this year however. We all know that tents on the playa get balls hot the second the sun comes out though. Is it possible to make a tent sleepable during the day at all? Maybe with some aluminet over it and a swamp cooler inside?

Any ideas?

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Jackass
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Re: Is it possible to make a tent comfortable?

Post by Jackass » Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:35 am

Two words for you... SHADE STRUCTURE
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

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Re: Is it possible to make a tent comfortable?

Post by maryanimal » Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:37 am

Sometimes I'm confused by what I think is really obvious. But what I think is really obvious obviously isn't obvious.

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Re: Is it possible to make a tent comfortable?

Post by maryanimal » Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:40 am

Jackass is right, SHADE STURCTURE.

Build a bucket cooler, bring an air mattress, sheets and comforter, a few throw pillows and scented candles... :roll: :wink:
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Re: Is it possible to make a tent comfortable?

Post by trilobyte » Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:07 pm

With a decent shade structure, you should be able to sleep at any time of day or night. As for making it comfortable, I'd suggest an air or roll-up foam mattress.

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Re: Is it possible to make a tent comfortable?

Post by Drawingablank » Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:42 pm

If tenting some form of shade structure is pretty much essential. You can put one over the tent for uninterrupted sleep, or just have a way to lay down in your shade.

Normally If I need to sleep during the day I just use a lounge chair under my shade. The breeze makes it a comfy place to nap. This year I am going one better and bringing a lightweight cot I can bring out to my shade if needed.
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Re: Is it possible to make a tent comfortable?

Post by Sundial » Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:18 pm

One time I cut out a bunch of custom fitted reflectix panels to fit together over the tent and under the fly. Worked well enough that I was able to nap in the afternoon. This year I'm thinking of adding some camo netting to that setup.
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Re: Is it possible to make a tent comfortable?

Post by mudpuppy000 » Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:47 pm

I put mine under an enclosed carport, and used a cot inside the tent. It never got very hot in there last year.

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Elorrum
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Re: Is it possible to make a tent comfortable?

Post by Elorrum » Wed Jul 24, 2013 5:17 pm

I sleep at night. It's quite comfortable then.
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Re: Is it possible to make a tent comfortable?

Post by dragonpilot » Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:12 pm

If a shade structure is not available, consider pitching your tent behind a larger structure or big truck in a way that throws morning shade. Of course, you'll pay the price of afternoon sun, but at least you'll get an hour or two of sleep in the AM.
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Re: Is it possible to make a tent comfortable?

Post by maladroit » Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:01 pm

If your shade structure isn't at least 1 foot away from any part of your tent or doesn't allow a cross breeze, then it can actually make your tent worse in the morning. A 10x10 monkeyhut will only shade a 3 or 4 man dome tent, if it's positioned to block the morning sun. Don't be tempted to aim a wall of your shade structure south.

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Re: Is it possible to make a tent comfortable?

Post by Lonesomebri » Wed Jul 24, 2013 8:58 pm

Two Words-
Booze
Exhaustion

oh yeah, and whatever that Jackass above me said.
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Re: Is it possible to make a tent comfortable?

Post by Theraplst » Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:13 pm

Drawingablank wrote:If tenting some form of shade structure is pretty much essential. You can put one over the tent for uninterrupted sleep, or just have a way to lay down in your shade.

Normally If I need to sleep during the day I just use a lounge chair under my shade. The breeze makes it a comfy place to nap. This year I am going one better and bringing a lightweight cot I can bring out to my shade if needed.
Be careful of those wimpy ones though, I saw a 20 dollar cheapy one at walmart in reno last year and thought, eh why not? broke after 3 days.
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Re: Is it possible to make a tent comfortable?

Post by Savannah » Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:21 pm

Theraplst wrote:
Drawingablank wrote:If tenting some form of shade structure is pretty much essential. You can put one over the tent for uninterrupted sleep, or just have a way to lay down in your shade.

Normally If I need to sleep during the day I just use a lounge chair under my shade. The breeze makes it a comfy place to nap. This year I am going one better and bringing a lightweight cot I can bring out to my shade if needed.
Be careful of those wimpy ones though, I saw a 20 dollar cheapy one at walmart in reno last year and thought, eh why not? broke after 3 days.
Do you remember what brand it was?
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Re: Is it possible to make a tent comfortable?

Post by Theraplst » Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:27 pm

I don't, but I must say it was only marketed as a cot. It broke after a friend of mine layed down on it, and he weighed maybe 20 lbs over the advertised weight limit. The legs and stuff were done in the style of a regular canvas lawn chair, with the top being connected by plastic "rivets."
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Re: Is it possible to make a tent comfortable?

Post by Savannah » Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:31 pm

Oh, one of those tent cots . . .

Yeah, if you go cheap, you gotta stay under the weight limit of something like that. 20 lbs over is 30 lbs too much. If one is approaching the threshhold, the next size up (if in existence) is probably warranted, unless it's very high quality.
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Re: Is it possible to make a tent comfortable?

Post by BBadger » Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:57 pm

I hate cots. Unless you get a big high quality one, they confine you to this pocket in the middle and don't give very well when sleeping on your side. They also squeak when you move, take up a lot of space, and aren't very big.

Of course you can sleep well in a tent! Last year, I slept quite well in a 2-person tent with an inflatable Coleman full-sized air mattress, a sleeping bag, and a full-sized pillow. I had a monkeyhut (MH) over my tent (shared the MH with a buddy) and was kept nice and cool such that I could sleep at any time of the day I wished. Just make sure your tent is well ventilated so that it, too, doesn't trap heat.

Note that our MH was sandwiched between another MH and someone's trailer, so we had double the amount of shade to keep us cool. You should consider placing your MH adjacent to a vehicle or larger structure (like another MH) to reduce the amount of sun it receives. We used silvered, heavy-duty, full-sun blocking tarps. Those tarps are very high quality and do not allow any sun to pass through them. They can, however, heat up, so try to have another layer of shade as described above.
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Re: Is it possible to make a tent comfortable?

Post by Savannah » Thu Jul 25, 2013 12:10 am

I pitched my tent very closely NW of two friends' trailers (forming a corner) last year, and slept in under a shade and the shadow of the trailers 'til 9am (60-90 minutes later than normal). It was great.

I can't sleep in the day anyway--my brain won't allow me. Even in the default world.
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Re: Is it possible to make a tent comfortable?

Post by Oldguy » Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:30 am

I can pitch a tent very comfortably.

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Re: Is it possible to make a tent comfortable?

Post by Drawingablank » Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:00 pm

Savannah wrote:
Theraplst wrote:
Drawingablank wrote:If tenting some form of shade structure is pretty much essential. You can put one over the tent for uninterrupted sleep, or just have a way to lay down in your shade.

Normally If I need to sleep during the day I just use a lounge chair under my shade. The breeze makes it a comfy place to nap. This year I am going one better and bringing a lightweight cot I can bring out to my shade if needed.
Be careful of those wimpy ones though, I saw a 20 dollar cheapy one at walmart in reno last year and thought, eh why not? broke after 3 days.
Do you remember what brand it was?
I picked up the larger size Coleman cot, but also have a large air mattress as a backup plan.
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Re: Is it possible to make a tent comfortable?

Post by Mojojita » Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:01 pm

If you drink enough, anywhere is comfortable.
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Re: Is it possible to make a tent comfortable?

Post by MikeGyver » Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:27 pm

Comfortable is relative. If all depends on what your used to. Living in Southern California Burning Man sun is nothing new and I actually gave away my monkey hut last year because I didn't use it. But if you live in a cooler climate then the heat might get to you and you need a shade structure. I am more concerned about comfortability which is why I bring a big ass air mattress once I'm asleep I don't notice the heat.

Long story short. What other people are comfortable in is probably different than what your comfortable in.
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Re: Is it possible to make a tent comfortable?

Post by Elorrum » Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:29 pm

one of these is nice for naps in the shade.
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Re: Is it possible to make a tent comfortable?

Post by BurnerBunny » Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:45 pm

on the playa tents can be useful for baking cookies in the middle of the day. not so much for sleeping though, even with a shade structure they get too hot for me to sleep in. Although I've never been able to tolerate the heat well.

I tried to do a tent (no shade structure) on my first burn, won't ever do that again. This time around I'm doing a hexayurt, but if that wasn't an option I'd try a dome or an RV. You can call me princess, but sleeping in past 8am is worth anything when I'm trying to stay up late. can't burn the candle on both ends

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Re: Is it possible to make a tent comfortable?

Post by Captain Goddammit » Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:02 pm

It's all about what you can transport to the playa. If I was gonna stay in a tent, I'd put a 10 x 20 Costco carport over it, and a big-ass swamp cooler in it. And I'd bring a real, home-style mattress and box spring.
A tent can be made VERY comfortable!
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Re: Is it possible to make a tent comfortable?

Post by Malcolm » Sat Jul 27, 2013 11:40 am

Does anyone have any experience with this stuff?

Image

It looks pretty cool (no pun intended), but a bit pricey too.

http://www.silvershademesh.com/TentPage.html

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Re: Is it possible to make a tent comfortable?

Post by pretty_monster » Sat Jul 27, 2013 1:01 pm

i use a combination of shade and instant cold packs. for my afternoon nap, i pull my air mattress out of my tent, but stay under my shade structure, and i use 2 cold packs to keep cool (one under the small of my back and another on my chest.) i sleep like a rock for a couple of hours in the middle of the day.
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Re: Is it possible to make a tent comfortable?

Post by Drawingablank » Sat Jul 27, 2013 1:42 pm

Elorrum wrote:one of these is nice for naps in the shade.
Image
We used those in 2011 (same color even), they were great for napping but as general camp seating they were too low for comfort.
Malcolm wrote:Does anyone have any experience with this stuff?

Image

It looks pretty cool (no pun intended), but a bit pricey too.

http://www.silvershademesh.com/TentPage.html
Pricey, but packs pretty small, and provides shade that doesn't catch as much wind. There are tons of threads on here with advice about Aluminet - a quick search brought up 720 posts with aluminet in it.
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