Camping Table and Bike Question

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pepagirl
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Camping Table and Bike Question

Post by pepagirl » Sun Aug 17, 2014 12:00 pm

We really want to have some type of table set up under our monkey hut but we are on a seriously tight budget at this point. I had an idea I wanted to run by everyone and tell me if you think it would work and not fly away. I was thinking instead of buying a folding table, instead taking two of those big plastic storage bins with lids and setting them up side by side under the hut with a piece of plywood over the top as a makeshift table.

I was thinking of using the bins to store stuff inside and keep out playa dust and to anchor them down I would drill two small holes on the inside of each and use 12 inch tent stakes in the holes to hold them down for the week- then load them up with whatever supplies we could (cooking gear, lights, clothes, whatever). Do you think that this would work and keep our stuff relatively dust free? Would it be enough to anchor them down and walk away, no worries of it getting swept away in a dust storm? Also, call me green, but how prevalent is theft from shelters and tents if you leave them unattended? I know bikes HAVE to be locked up at all times, but is someone going to jack my broom or my lantern if it's visible?

Now the bike question... thinking about just buying a new cheap cruiser bike from walmart for $100. We are having trouble finding used bikes for less than $80 in the bay area (they all get scooped up before we can get to them), so I figure why not spend and extra $20 and hopefully have a bike we can use for a few years of burning? I'm torn on mountain vs. cruiser; the cruiser I'm looking at is a single speed, rear wheel (coaster) brakes. Do coaster brakes and single speed bikes preform well on the playa as a rule? Honestly, I'm short as hell and mountain bikes are just hard for me to operate, so I was going for comfort but I don't want to wind up pushing my single speed around the whole time either! :) Thanks for any advice, you guys are so awesome!

Fan C
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Re: Camping Table and Bike Question

Post by Fan C » Sun Aug 17, 2014 12:55 pm

Sounds good to me, especially the table. Anytime you can dual purpose I'm all for it.

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Lonesomebri
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Re: Camping Table and Bike Question

Post by Lonesomebri » Sun Aug 17, 2014 1:10 pm

The fact that you are going to stake down the boxes shows that you are thinking this thru. There are tons of cruisers out there, that is the "official" bike. Not many people going to the Burn to steal things, few would have room in there vehicle for anything extra on exit. Drunk lost clowns and hippies might stumble thru your camp, so don't leave anything valuable laying around, but your booze is more likely to disappear than your broom.
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DoctorIknow
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Re: Camping Table and Bike Question

Post by DoctorIknow » Sun Aug 17, 2014 1:11 pm

Lots of cruisers out on the playa, but for me, when I see a pile of playa drift that is so wide it makes no sense to go around it, I put it in low gear and power thru. Also, IF, and that's a big IF, there are nice bowling alley flat spaces with no drifts, it is great to put it in high gear and bust ass.

Also, with gears, you can pedal according to your energy level and cadence.

However, there could be maintenance problems with multi gears (lay bike down flat AWAY from the gears.)

If WalMart has an internal hub three speed, that would be awesome.

pepagirl
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Re: Camping Table and Bike Question

Post by pepagirl » Sun Aug 17, 2014 1:20 pm

Thanks for the responses and the advice! It's awesome and reassuring just to have someone with more experience give their opinions, you guys really do rock!

pepagirl
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Re: Camping Table and Bike Question

Post by pepagirl » Sun Aug 17, 2014 1:20 pm

Thanks for the responses and the advice! It's awesome and reassuring just to have someone with more experience give their opinions, you guys really do rock!

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AntiM
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Re: Camping Table and Bike Question

Post by AntiM » Sun Aug 17, 2014 2:22 pm

Yeah, small camps don't often see a lot of casual theft, unless drunks are looking for booze or bacon. We had a camp in our village lose all their raw bacon one year, it was flung all around the street. Weird. Disguise or lock up unattended alcohol.

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Lonesomebri
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Re: Camping Table and Bike Question

Post by Lonesomebri » Sun Aug 17, 2014 2:31 pm

Ha, those storage boxes hidden under the plywood table would make a good place to hide booze..... Things of real off-playa value you want to stash in a vehicle.

I wonder what the occurrence of car's being actually broken into are out on the playa....ever?
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asr9754
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Re: Camping Table and Bike Question

Post by asr9754 » Sun Aug 17, 2014 5:32 pm

RE: your table, you might be setting yourselves up for a headache--if there are more than 2 or 3 of you, any flat surface tends to become covered with batteries, beers, just general *stuff* in about 30 seconds. Do you want to have to clear everything off the table every time you need to get into one of the bins below it? Just a thought. As long as you're getting the plywood top, it wouldn't cost much more for a few 2x4's and screws to put together a simple frame for your table. Make the table an inch taller than the bins, and you can still store the bins below table and slide them out when you need access.

pepagirl
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Re: Camping Table and Bike Question

Post by pepagirl » Sun Aug 17, 2014 6:36 pm

There are only 2 of us so I don't think cleanup will be a huge issue. We could try to just make a little table, true, but we have so much going on I don't even think we could fit it in. LONG STORY that one, but either way we'll be ok just trying to get things done right. :)

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Savannah
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Re: Camping Table and Bike Question

Post by Savannah » Sun Aug 17, 2014 9:39 pm

pepagirl wrote:We really want to have some type of table set up under our monkey hut but we are on a seriously tight budget at this point. I had an idea I wanted to run by everyone and tell me if you think it would work and not fly away. I was thinking instead of buying a folding table, instead taking two of those big plastic storage bins with lids and setting them up side by side under the hut with a piece of plywood over the top as a makeshift table.

I was thinking of using the bins to store stuff inside and keep out playa dust and to anchor them down I would drill two small holes on the inside of each and use 12 inch tent stakes in the holes to hold them down for the week- then load them up with whatever supplies we could (cooking gear, lights, clothes, whatever). Do you think that this would work and keep our stuff relatively dust free? Would it be enough to anchor them down and walk away, no worries of it getting swept away in a dust storm? Also, call me green, but how prevalent is theft from shelters and tents if you leave them unattended? I know bikes HAVE to be locked up at all times, but is someone going to jack my broom or my lantern if it's visible?

Now the bike question... thinking about just buying a new cheap cruiser bike from walmart for $100. We are having trouble finding used bikes for less than $80 in the bay area (they all get scooped up before we can get to them), so I figure why not spend and extra $20 and hopefully have a bike we can use for a few years of burning? I'm torn on mountain vs. cruiser; the cruiser I'm looking at is a single speed, rear wheel (coaster) brakes. Do coaster brakes and single speed bikes preform well on the playa as a rule? Honestly, I'm short as hell and mountain bikes are just hard for me to operate, so I was going for comfort but I don't want to wind up pushing my single speed around the whole time either! :) Thanks for any advice, you guys are so awesome!
All your plans sound pretty reasonable.

If your monkey hut is East-West, the things inside are not super likely likely to move if they have any weight to them (the strongest wind comes from the SW, but technically can come from any direction) but it can't hurt to stake things if you have everything accessible that you need. I've never staked anything inside a monkey hut before--a tent, yes--but not objects. The hut itself must be nicely staked, of course. And don't leave the paper napkins open, they'll fly away.

Bikes, booze and tools are the most likely to walk off. Remove visible temptation and (as you know) always lock the bikes if only to themselves or each other, even when you hope off for 2 minutes, and you should be fine. Light them distinctively at night if you can, & memorize your lock-up spot in relation to something that doesn't move, i.e., not an art car. (Some folks who think their bikes are stolen have really just lost them in the hundreds that might be parked at a sound camp).
asr9754 wrote:RE: your table, you might be setting yourselves up for a headache--if there are more than 2 or 3 of you, any flat surface tends to become covered with batteries, beers, just general *stuff* in about 30 seconds. Do you want to have to clear everything off the table every time you need to get into one of the bins below it? Just a thought. As long as you're getting the plywood top, it wouldn't cost much more for a few 2x4's and screws to put together a simple frame for your table. Make the table an inch taller than the bins, and you can still store the bins below table and slide them out when you need access.
Quite true. Surfaces get cluttered in camp, because few people can have the same organizational skills they do at home. Anything that helps you collect odds & ends by category will help a lot.
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Hoolie
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Re: Camping Table and Bike Question

Post by Hoolie » Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:20 pm

Savannah wrote:If your monkey hut is East-West, the things inside are not super likely likely to move if they have any weight to them (the strongest wind comes from the SW, but technically can come from any direction) but it can't hurt to stake things if you have everything accessible that you need. I've never staked anything inside a monkey hut before--a tent, yes--but not objects. The hut itself must be nicely staked, of course. And don't leave the paper napkins open, they'll fly away.
Agree with this. My shelter is similar to a monkey hut (open ends on two sides), and it's been through some major storms out there, but I've never had a problem with things inside the structure blowing away, so staking down a table seems unnecessary to me, particularly if it's weighted down with stuff.

As for bikes, I'd go with the cruiser. Simpler is better, particularly with a Wally World bike.

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