Dome shelter feedback?

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.
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DesertDragon0554
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Dome shelter feedback?

Post by DesertDragon0554 » Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:48 am

I'm new here, but some of y'all are calling me DD...so I'm DD.. I apologize if this topic has been covered before, I'm not having luck with searches right now. I have noticed that a lot of folks use the dome design. As it turns out I have a school grade play dome gifted to us a while back. I assume it has all its parts, it is similar to this one https://www.schooloutfitters.com/catalo ... AGPSPN=pla
I was wondering if it is feasible for a group of noobs to make this into a sheltered living space for us on the playa? What do you cover it with? Can you hang a hammock inside it? I think the one we have is 18 feet in diameter. Can anyone tell me if this is worth trying or offer any.words of wisdom?

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GreyCoyote
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Re: Dome shelter feedback?

Post by GreyCoyote » Thu Sep 04, 2014 6:14 am

It would work, but dont expect a great deal from it. It is very small and low - just 3.5 feet high, and barely wide enough for an adult to stretch out.

But hey! If its free, play with it and see how you like it.
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DesertDragon0554
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Re: Dome shelter feedback?

Post by DesertDragon0554 » Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:44 pm

That's not the exact one we have, it was just the first one I found that has the same style. The one we have came off a large school playground, I believe it's 18 feet in diameter and nearly six feet tall? We wanted to make a "living room" type space, we will have a camper to actually dwell in. This would just be for relaxing and hopefully holding up a hammock or two.I have just never find this before so I wasn't sure if it was something worth trying. I guess we need to go dig it out and try setting it up...it's been collecting dust for years.

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theCryptofishist
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Re: Dome shelter feedback?

Post by theCryptofishist » Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:59 pm

If it's 18 feet in diameter, it should be nine feet tall. Six feet tall is 12'.
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DesertDragon0554
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Re: Dome shelter feedback?

Post by DesertDragon0554 » Thu Sep 04, 2014 3:14 pm

The person we got it from probably gave us the wrong dimensions

Cassidy9
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Re: Dome shelter feedback?

Post by Cassidy9 » Thu Sep 04, 2014 3:32 pm

Domes are awesome. But first, you've got to set it up & measure it. We have built both a FoamDome/modified hexayurt & a conduit dome. For our last two burns we have been using a self-designed (original startup design from Domarama - highly recommend that site), conduit dome which is 16' diameter/8' tall. Each strut is designed to hold ~150lbs each (really 200, but we don't want to push it - wanted something we could also climb on safely.) It is our shelter for the burn, with no other retreat. We hang multiple hammocks, though you need to get the right length for your design. Hammocks can be cold to sleep in, even with sleeping bags, so this year we brought a futon, which worked very well. We have tried multiple covers both times with differing results & would be happy to discuss, if you'd like. We enjoyed it, but our covers are just too hot during the day, so that aspect is still a work in progress for us at this point. We plan on creating a solar powered cooling system so I don't get heat stroke next time. :? Also, another reason you need to do the setup is so you realize how much work it is, so you can plan your on-playa work time accordingly.

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GreyCoyote
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Re: Dome shelter feedback?

Post by GreyCoyote » Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:24 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:If it's 18 feet in diameter, it should be nine feet tall. Six feet tall is 12'.
This holds true for even-frequency icosahedron-based domes. The odd-freq domes get woofie and are never a hemisphere.

I think they do this just to be difficult. :mrgreen:
"To sum up my compassion level, I think we should feed the unwanted animals to the homeless. Or visa versa. Too much attention and money is spent on both."
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Re: Dome shelter feedback?

Post by BBadger » Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:13 pm

I really don't see the appeal of domes. Sure they look kind of cool, but they're a pain to set up, require lots of parts, and lots of people to help. Covering the spherical shape is also a pain, often turning into an oddball patchwork of coverings. Despite the volume, there really isn't all that much room in domes if they don't have a large diameter (= more setup and expense), especially for standing up. You also need to ensure they're strong because they act as an attractive nuisance for climbers, requiring better materials and joints and stuff.
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remi
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Re: Dome shelter feedback?

Post by remi » Fri Sep 05, 2014 8:21 am

theCryptofishist wrote:If it's 18 feet in diameter, it should be nine feet tall. Six feet tall is 12'.

Most domes are either 3/8th's or 5/8ths domes. You rarely see a dome that is a half sphere. This would fall into the +/- 3/8ths domes which are the most common.

Like most people are saying, domes are a lot to set up and take down. We used two carports this year and aligned them so they got great wind and kept us nice and cool. My campmates are considering getting a dome with reflective tarp and hammocks. If you're good at setting stuff up and are camped with helpful people, I'd totally go for it.
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Re: Dome shelter feedback?

Post by Sunbeam56 » Fri Sep 05, 2014 8:53 am

We have been camping with a dome since the year that a squall with 40mph winds tore our camp apart. Flattened tents become swimming pools. Frightened children shivering in the dark. No useful kitchen when the sun came up.
Sure it takes 4 hours to put up - but we also add lights, rugs, cots, tables- and sometimes a ceiling fan.
Thats with only two people doing setup.
Really not ideal for a one night stay - but mostly we dont go for less than a 4 day camp.

Its a trade off. Comfort and safety vs expedience.
Let GOOD win!

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Martiansky
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Re: Dome shelter feedback?

Post by Martiansky » Sat Sep 06, 2014 12:24 pm

This is the third year my dome has made its trip to the desert.
I have a fitted cover for it made out of a billboard vinyl.
My sister and I set up our monkeyhut right off the doorway like an igloo. I added ratchet straps over the top of the monkey hut at each end and it and the dome survived the gusts just fine. We had a few neighbors over and we all sat in the monkey hut having some drinks and enjoying the company during the worst of the wind. It probably also helped that the back part of the dome faced the wind and the fitted covered helped the wind to deflect out and around the monkeyhut.
The couple of issues with the dome were, it is NOT totally waterproof especially at a few stitching points, the top hangs down and will make pools of water if it rains alot and the zipper for the door is worn and should be replaced but we got it to work.
We started by pushing up the pockets with a broom to empty them but after the first small rain shower I decided to add a tarp over the top and also over the gap between monkeyhut and dome. We got done securing the tarp just in time as the really heavy rain started to fall!
Very glad I had that extra tarp with or it wouldve been a big wet mess inside the dome!

Love my dome....but maybe during the next lightning storm, we should probably sit in the truck instead of in the metal framed dome and wait out the storm!
So the theme this year is like a giant camp out in the desert? With people bringing lots of shit from all over? uh.. -Marscrumbs

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Re: Dome shelter feedback?

Post by GreyCoyote » Sat Sep 06, 2014 2:05 pm

To clarify: all even frequency geodesic domes (ie, 2V, 4V, etc) are exactly half a sphere and all have a flat base. No odd-frequency domes have this characteristic. Odd-freqs all have unflat base circles, and are never a perfect half sphere.

Most small to medium domes you see on the playa are 3V types. They strike a fair balance between complexity and size and are a good bang for the buck. But for the truly insane (me!), dome life starts at a 4V. :)

And yep, its a pain in the keister putting up 250 struts, but the results are worth it.
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chuckularone
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Re: Dome shelter feedback?

Post by chuckularone » Sat Sep 06, 2014 2:41 pm

Grey, is there a way to break the dome down into sections, so you can put it up faster the next time, or is it more hassle than it's worth?
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GreyCoyote
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Re: Dome shelter feedback?

Post by GreyCoyote » Sat Sep 06, 2014 2:58 pm

The only faster way is to build it hanging from the top down. I plan on experimenting with this shortly. That should radically speed-up assembly.

Teardown is easy if you have help. Gravity does its thing nicely. :)
"To sum up my compassion level, I think we should feed the unwanted animals to the homeless. Or visa versa. Too much attention and money is spent on both."
(A Beautiful Mind)

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Re: Dome shelter feedback?

Post by chuckularone » Sat Sep 06, 2014 3:24 pm

Sorry I didn't stick around to help with tear down, I was over the top manic and needed to goooooo!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: Dome shelter feedback?

Post by GreyCoyote » Sat Sep 06, 2014 5:02 pm

Chuck: radical self reliance! I do appreciate the thought but you had a plane to catch and it was basically a one-man show to disassemble (safety reasons. Falling struts!).

Next year, you need a dome, Dude. Hehehe!!
"To sum up my compassion level, I think we should feed the unwanted animals to the homeless. Or visa versa. Too much attention and money is spent on both."
(A Beautiful Mind)

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