Poles for shade or tent

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.
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DerbyDave 18
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Poles for shade or tent

Post by DerbyDave 18 » Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:35 pm

I'm going to have a large piece of heat reflective fabric for shade. I am also thinking about making my own tent. I'm wondering what kind of poles to use for them. Would a long piece of 2" by 2" wood work for the four corners? Maybe aluminum poles or long pieces of rebar. Maybe pvc pipe? Any ideas?

Burner123
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Re: Poles for shade or tent

Post by Burner123 » Fri Jun 19, 2015 9:04 pm

We have always used 1 inch metal conduit

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Token
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Re: Poles for shade or tent

Post by Token » Fri Jun 19, 2015 10:46 pm

Poles for tensile, tensegrity, or similar structures:

EMT Conduit, minimum 1" - used as rigid compression members
Lumber - 2x4 maybe (can double up if flimsy), 4x4 better at 8 to 10 foot length - used as rigid compression members
PVC Irrigation sch40 pipe, minimum 1" - Used for tensioned pipe domes, high-tunnels (monkey-hut), etc. NOT rigid compression applications.

Rope, lots of.
Rebar stakes, concrete form stakes, lag screws, drive-shafts, truck axles ... all have been used to anchor stuff down.

Knots, basic ones, fancy ones, get a book on knots, learn some.

Note on lumber; it dries up real quick out there and tends to warp, split, shatter. Not a good choice for a "pole" deployment. Lumber expects some kind of cross member truss to be nailed in every 16 - 24 inches to maintain true dimensions.

Have fun.

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DerbyDave 18
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Re: Poles for shade or tent

Post by DerbyDave 18 » Sun Jun 21, 2015 10:00 pm

Thanks guys. Now i just have to go to Home Depot and ask what metal conduit is and I'll be set. I seriously know next to nothing about outdoorsy stuff which is making getting ready for this more of an adventure all the time.

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Re: Poles for shade or tent

Post by Jackass » Sun Jun 21, 2015 10:03 pm

google, google, google...
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

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Re: Poles for shade or tent

Post by Popeye » Mon Jun 22, 2015 3:40 am

DerbyDave 18 wrote:Thanks guys. Now i just have to go to Home Depot and ask what metal conduit is and I'll be set. I seriously know next to nothing about outdoorsy stuff which is making getting ready for this more of an adventure all the time.
Don't ask Home Depot for conduit or you will get the stuff that looks like pipe (with threads on the ends). Ask for EMT Electric Metalic Tubing. A lot lighter and strong enough.
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Re: Poles for shade or tent

Post by misfit » Mon Jun 22, 2015 7:37 am

1.5 to 2" pvc works for your shade structure. cheaper and lighter. have had the same shade structure since 95'. no issues.
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DerbyDave 18
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Re: Poles for shade or tent

Post by DerbyDave 18 » Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:02 pm

Okay next dumb question. How do I set it up so it won't go flying away after a good gust. For that matter how do I put the conduit or pvc into the ground. Do I dig a little hole or just jam it down into the ground or what? I swearn I seriously know nothing about anything having to do with the outdoors.

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Re: Poles for shade or tent

Post by trilobyte » Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:15 pm

Don't take this the wrong way, but it might be time for a reality check. If you've never built your own tent or shelter before, and you've never been to Burning Man and experienced the kind of extreme environment conditions... now might not be the time to get into the custom tent or shelter design game.

My advice, spend some time doing some research - this board has TONS of great advice for building things like monkey huts and hexayurts - they're fairly straightforward designs using pretty readily available parts, and even though you may never have built one of those things... they're pretty well tested designs. You could adapt the monkey hut design to use your heat reflective fabric (if you've already purchased that), that way nothing's going to waste.

Whichever direction you take, good luck!

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Re: Poles for shade or tent

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Jun 25, 2015 10:08 pm

Practice your design at home to get the bugs out.

Once it is up, grab it and try to shake the shit out of it.

If it's to stiff to shake, you're on the right track. 8)
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DerbyDave 18
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Re: Poles for shade or tent

Post by DerbyDave 18 » Fri Jun 26, 2015 1:07 am

Actually all I'm working on myself is the shade because i'm not aware of any premade shades that I can buy with the shade and poles already made up together. I'm not going to try to make my tent. That will be store bought. Also, despite the fact that I know so little about these kinds of things, learning them with people's help and advice here is very exciting for me. Learning and trying new things is fun even if I don't know what the heck I'm doing. This whole experience is something of a new start for me that I've been needing for a long time.

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Re: Poles for shade or tent

Post by misfit » Fri Jun 26, 2015 7:45 am

you can use cement stakes. hammer stake into ground, put pvc over stake. the use of rope to hold structure down will also help.
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DerbyDave 18
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Re: Poles for shade or tent

Post by DerbyDave 18 » Fri Jun 26, 2015 1:04 pm

Thanks. That sounds like it would work real well. I'll check that put.

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Re: Poles for shade or tent

Post by ignium » Sat Jun 27, 2015 10:17 pm

Does anyone have experience using the 4' sectional aluminum or fiberglass military poles (I use that description for lack of anything better)? They have male and female ends for stacking so two make a post just short of 8'. They would be ideal for packing. They are lightweight, just not sure how strong of reliable.

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Re: Poles for shade or tent

Post by motskyroonmatick » Sun Jun 28, 2015 12:00 am

ignium wrote:Does anyone have experience using the 4' sectional aluminum or fiberglass military poles (I use that description for lack of anything better)? They have male and female ends for stacking so two make a post just short of 8'. They would be ideal for packing. They are lightweight, just not sure how strong of reliable.
I've seen and worked with the aluminum Camo Spreader ones before. They are hella strong and fit over a T post.
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Re: Poles for shade or tent

Post by AntiM » Sun Jun 28, 2015 5:49 am

We have a few for our auxillary shade, they work jut fine.

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Re: Poles for shade or tent

Post by danibel » Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:46 am

It's seriously too bad that the North Pole Party Tents are no longer available. They were great shade for just a tent and little living room. Eight long pieces of rebar and you were done!

If you have the room, and are near Oakland, I highly recommend a flat top shade from Black Rock Hardware. I don't know if they have any more. They do sell out. A single only needs 6 pieces of rebar (they supply in he kit) and with a shade wall you can be nice and shaded all day.

One of my campmates made a similar structure with shade cloth, EMT, and "footies." Here is a picture of mine, that is a double.
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DerbyDave 18
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Re: Poles for shade or tent

Post by DerbyDave 18 » Sun Jun 28, 2015 3:36 pm

I've seen suggestions about using pvc pipe to build a shade structure. Again, I know little about all this stuff so please bear with me. PVC pipes are a thick plastic..or some material like that, right? Will that be strong enough to not bend or break if some strong winds come along?

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Re: Poles for shade or tent

Post by Roundabout » Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:32 pm

No! Unless configured as a monkey hut.
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DerbyDave 18
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Re: Poles for shade or tent

Post by DerbyDave 18 » Mon Jun 29, 2015 2:07 pm

Okay, new idea. I just learned about silver tarp. Is it heat reflective and waterproof? If it is could I just make a tent out of it instead of having a shade structure and a tent. I think kind of like a monkey hut but since it would be just me, something smaller?

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