Questions on Tent Camping

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.
Post Reply
User avatar
Stilesfamily
Posts: 110
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2005 4:20 am
Location: Long Beach

Questions on Tent Camping

Post by Stilesfamily » Tue Aug 16, 2005 3:13 am

3rd time burner. We have used a trailer for the past 2 years but this year Gabilicious and I are opting for a tent. It’s a needlessly large 2 room, 8 person job, but I figure we could use the extra space for storage. I have read everything that I could find in regards to tent camping on the playa but I was looking for some alternative info. I was considering pitching our tent on palates covered in plywood. Has a few benefits, keeps me above even a fairly heavy rain soaked playa, keep our cooler in the tent and not worry about condensation on the playa, and I figured a little air circulation under the tent could not hurt either. Anyone have any thoughts, concerns?

Has anyone pitched a tent within a tent? I was thinking about putting up my 2 man tent inside the larger one as a more protected sleeping area. Also, if anchored down securely, has anyone had any problems with those aluminum shade structures? They are not really my first choice but this year I have to go with the equipment I already have or can borrow. I would hate to return a wind twisted, mixed media art piece.
E Tu Brute?

User avatar
geekster
Posts: 4867
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:53 pm
Location: Hospice For The Terminally Breathing
Contact:

Post by geekster » Tue Aug 16, 2005 3:36 am

I will be pitching a tent under a shade structure. Tent within a tent sounds funny to me. Are you going to drive the stakes for the small tent through the floor of the bigger tent?

A tent within a carport shade structure is kinda cool. If you have others that you are particularly friendly with, you can easily put 2 tents under a 10x20 or 12x20 shade structure and still have room for some chairs and a table, cooler, candles, wine ... uhm, there I go again ...

Maybe even three tents

I am not sure I would go the pallet route but some plastic and a sheet of plywood would be cool. Remember, the playa is VERY flat. It would take quite a bit of rain to flood over a piece of 3/4 inch plywood. a 3/4 inch lake would be possibly miles across and if the wind came up, the entire lake might blow a few miles away (no, seriously!).

Or, nevermind, I am tipsy.
Pabst Blue Ribbon - The beer that made Gerlach famous.

User avatar
geekster
Posts: 4867
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:53 pm
Location: Hospice For The Terminally Breathing
Contact:

Post by geekster » Tue Aug 16, 2005 3:42 am

I was only partially kidding. It is not impossible to be camped in spring in a place that is perfectly dry and to wake up 5 miles from the shore of a 3-inch deep lake that "blew in" overnight.
Pabst Blue Ribbon - The beer that made Gerlach famous.

User avatar
Stilesfamily
Posts: 110
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2005 4:20 am
Location: Long Beach

Post by Stilesfamily » Tue Aug 16, 2005 3:49 am

geekster wrote:a 3/4 inch lake would be possibly miles across and if the wind came up, the entire lake might blow a few miles away (no, seriously!).

Or, nevermind, I am tipsy.
That would be cool.

Tent within a tent, well I would not steak it down since it would be sheltered from the wind by the larger tent. Just though it might be another barrier for the playa dust. As for the shade structures, I’m not talking about the car ports, but the family, day at the beach, 10x10 jobs. I have 2 at my disposal.
E Tu Brute?

User avatar
geekster
Posts: 4867
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:53 pm
Location: Hospice For The Terminally Breathing
Contact:

Post by geekster » Tue Aug 16, 2005 3:57 am

Most of those beach structures are not sturdy enough to stand up to the wind at BRC.

Take tomorrow's (today's?) forecast:

Partly cloudy with isolated showers and thunderstorms. Highs 82 to 92. Northwest winds up to 10 mph.


In those "isolated showers" it is not at all unusual to experiance 60mph winds. The winds we experianced last year on Tuesday night broke poles on 2 of our tents. It isn't impossible to see sheets of plywood flying through the air.
Pabst Blue Ribbon - The beer that made Gerlach famous.

User avatar
geekster
Posts: 4867
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:53 pm
Location: Hospice For The Terminally Breathing
Contact:

Post by geekster » Tue Aug 16, 2005 4:00 am

Check thsi movie out, recorded on July 21 of this year at the Gerlach work ranch ...

http://rawfire.torche.com/~bc/timelapse/0721.mpg
Pabst Blue Ribbon - The beer that made Gerlach famous.

Cooky
Posts: 79
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 9:57 am
Location: Detroit, MI
Contact:

Post by Cooky » Tue Aug 16, 2005 6:58 am

If you go with the pallets you best check them closely for nails and rough spots that could puncture your tent floor. I can't picture it working well but if you test it please be sure to post pics post event with the results.

Tent within a tent seems like you'd be creating a little oven inside a bigger oven, not sure I'd want to be in there during the day at least. It would create a bit of a dust block if that's your concern.

robotland
Posts: 3778
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2003 8:29 am
Location: Kalamazoo

Re: Questions on Tent Camping

Post by robotland » Tue Aug 16, 2005 7:56 am

Stilesfamily wrote:Has anyone pitched a tent within a tent? .
*snicker*
..Not since grade school.
Howdy From Kalamazoo

dragonfly Jafe
Posts: 1877
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 11:08 am
Location: the Oregon Trail

Post by dragonfly Jafe » Tue Aug 16, 2005 8:04 am

geekster wrote:...It isn't impossible to see sheets of plywood flying through the air.
It may not be impossible, but it usually is pretty hard in a big blow to see anything (unless it is right before impact with you). A good reason not to wander out in a wind storm unless you absolutely have to. Lots of stuff smaller than a sheet of plywood will hurt you in a 60mph wind, and you won't see it coming.

For the Virgins out there, DO NOT underestimate the wind. Bring plenty of rope or 550 cord for guylines and plenty of 3/8"x18" rebar pieces for stakes (along with a hammer and gloves to get them out). 2 lines per corner at angles to each other are recommended (8 total) with more along the sides if your structure is not a square or is bigger than 10', and the lines should be out from you structure as far as your structure is tall. And use extra lines on your tent, possibly adding lines from the middle sides of your poles to the ground (where they flex the most). It really would suck to come home and find your tent and sleeping stuff gone (it does happen!)

robotland
Posts: 3778
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2003 8:29 am
Location: Kalamazoo

Post by robotland » Tue Aug 16, 2005 8:12 am

DJ speaks the truth...If you secure your tarps with clips or clamps, make sure that they're TIED on in AT LEAST one location or else pick 'em off the fence later if you're lucky. Trying to "beat" the wind is impossible. Allow for the wind to blow THROUGH your structure if it gets seriously a-blowin'. I no longer use tarps bigger than 6'x10'.
Howdy From Kalamazoo

User avatar
Nightterror
Posts: 230
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2005 8:54 am
Location: close enough to hell i see Sparks

Post by Nightterror » Tue Aug 16, 2005 8:15 am

We had a brand new Coleman 12 person tent last year. Three poles bent in half from one gust of wind. I had extra rebar which I cut into 2 foot lengths and duct taped to the broken poles. Definitely use plenty of rebar stakes and good strong rope. Please mark or cover your stakes to minimize injury.
I express my excitement by brutally interrogating whomever is nearby

Kinetic IV
Posts: 2977
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 7:34 pm
Location: Kyiv, Ukraine as of 10/27/06

Post by Kinetic IV » Tue Aug 16, 2005 8:33 am

I've been reading all these discussions of late about putting tents on pallets, trampolines, etc and I don't get it. Why in the world would you want to elevate your tent, in effect giving the wind another surface to act on? Under the right conditions you've made the equivalent of a deformed wing, you get 70 mph gusts going under that lightweight deformed wing and the lift may surprise you. Next thing you know your tent will be showing up on Reno's ATC radar scope or you'll be getting an up close view of the real Black Rock....as you chase your tent down if anything's left.

I'll take my chances with Lake Lahontan and keep my tent down on terra firma, stake it down, and let the wind go around the sides and over it....it might be a little hotter, I might run the risk of getting wet, but it's a lot less complexity to deal with. I go to BM to volunteer, have fun, and work on art, not to deal with pesky tents in high winds. Stake it down, ride it out and go have fun. That's my take on it.
K-IV
~~~~
Thank you for over 7 years of eplaya memories. I have asked Emily Sparkle to delete my account and I am gone. Goodbye and Goodluck to all of you! I will miss you!

User avatar
phil
Posts: 2936
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2005 2:10 pm
Location: Codgerville

Post by phil » Tue Aug 16, 2005 10:44 am

I've been reading all these discussions of late about putting tents on pallets, trampolines, etc and I don't get it.
Some of the best ideas I've come across are ones I didn't get till someone 'splained it to me. shrug. Not all. And some of the ones I didn't get really _were_ dumb. One of the great things about BM is the tide of ideas that roll through, some sheer genius, some sheer stupidity -- but the clever part is telling which is which.

A tent on a pallet does strike me as inviting at least having all the stuff on the floor of the tent tossed wildly as the wind blows under the tent, but I'll be interested in finding out what the real results were.

cbdancin2
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2005 8:48 pm
Location: Washington DC

Post by cbdancin2 » Tue Aug 16, 2005 10:19 pm

Ok... this might sound a bit naive but I want to be absolutely clear. I am flying into Reno and can't construct one of the marvelous domes of BRC legend and I have a nice backpacking tent which I will be sleeping in but I also bought a nice camping shade structure this year which has stood some tough storms due to it's ability to bend in the wind (nothing like what I expect on the playa though). I would not imagine that my structure is much different from the typical beach shelter it is just a two pole design.

Is there no hope and I should give up on having personal shade? Should I bring it and just buy tons of rebar and rope when I land? Are there any other suggestions for those of us with weight limitations on the plane?

Just curious. Thanks in advance.

Peace Corbett
There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats. -Albert Schweitzer

User avatar
Stilesfamily
Posts: 110
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2005 4:20 am
Location: Long Beach

Re: Questions on Tent Camping

Post by Stilesfamily » Wed Aug 17, 2005 1:34 am

robotland wrote:
Stilesfamily wrote:Has anyone pitched a tent within a tent? .
*snicker*
..Not since grade school.
I knew it was just a matter of time.

So pallets are out, I am thinking either just pitch my tent directly on the playa or on ¾ inch plywood. cbdancin2, for the last 2 years I have secured everything with 3ft rebar stakes bent into candy canes and I have never had anything short of a minor problem with the wind, and last year it was fairly strong and constant. I'm actually thinking of going to shorter, narrower rebar this year, those long steaks are a living hell to pull out. Things rip and pop out and come loose but I have never lost anything. Keep it simple and you will be fine. Btw I’m trying to picture a 2 poled shade structure?
E Tu Brute?

User avatar
geekster
Posts: 4867
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:53 pm
Location: Hospice For The Terminally Breathing
Contact:

Post by geekster » Wed Aug 17, 2005 1:43 am

While they are more expensive, screw-type stakes work well and are easy enough to insert/remove in the chuck of a hefty variable speed drill on low speed. Rather large lag bolts should even work.
Pabst Blue Ribbon - The beer that made Gerlach famous.

User avatar
robbidobbs
Posts: 2825
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 1:07 pm
Burning Since: 1999
Camp Name: Pottie Central
Location: LOS of the Pottie doors

Post by robbidobbs » Wed Aug 17, 2005 8:54 am

Keep all your stuff in snap-lid totes. I put all my totes in a "storage room" dome-tent around the edges, leaving the center for "dressing space". I sleep in the back of my truck with a shell. Nuthin beats hard walls in a dirt storm.
I survived 99 with a Coleman Vagabond canvas tent, using bungee cord as guy-lines, staked down with rebar. Worked well, as long as I kept all the windows and doors open to prevent pressure rupture. I then covered my bedding with a large sheet, pulling it off when I needed to sleep. I could then walk away from my tent to go to work not worrying about my stuff.

Embrace the dust.

User avatar
phil
Posts: 2936
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2005 2:10 pm
Location: Codgerville

Post by phil » Wed Aug 17, 2005 10:27 am

cbdancin2 wrote:>SNIP<
I also bought a nice camping shade structure this year which has stood some tough storms due to it's ability to bend in the wind (nothing like what I expect on the playa though). I would not imagine that my structure is much different from the typical beach shelter it is just a two pole design.
After two years of failure with my home made shade, I gave up and bought a Moss para wing after talking to Moss reps on the phone. There's a picture of it on our campsite at
http://www.cieux.com/bm/bm98.html
It's the khaki fabric, and it has two poles.

The Moss rep assured me it would stand up to hurricane force winds if properly staked, and that the included stakes would _not_ be sufficient. No problem, I said: I've got rebar. Saturday there was a long-term dust storm that bent one of the poles into the shape of a (. Monday afternoon, we had another dust storm that broke the pole. With no back up shade we were _very_ lucky to be able to pack up a day early and miss nothing of the event. (Since it's BM, we could have relied on the kindness of strangers for shade, but still ... .) I called Moss when we got back, and they not only replaced the two poles (even the one not broken), but gave us two larger, sturdier poles.

You don't say what model fly you're using for shade, nor what kind of poles, so no one can give you first-hand experience with your set up. It's nice to have a backup plan. I understand you're flying in and can't bring a cargo van load o' crap with you.

Depending on your schedule and time between arrival at Reno airport and departure for BRC, you might drop by Twin City Surplus and see what they have to offer -- in fact, drop them an email and ask whether they'll buy back stuff when you leave:
http://www.twincitysurplus.com/
They're very supportive of Burners and may be able to trick you out over the phone and you just drop by, browse some more, and pick up your stuff. Or get a small parachute and a few sections of military fiberglass tent poles and spreaders. (You'll still need stakes, though.)

melanie
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 11:05 am
Location: Bend, Oregon

Post by melanie » Wed Aug 17, 2005 12:20 pm

The tent within a tent idea rules: my husband and I have done it the last three years and we manage to keep a lovely, mostly playa-free sleep space. We have a large coleman tent, and within the tent we have a 3-man freestanding tent. No need to stake it down. For comfort we have a futon - my husband swears he gets some of the best nights of sleep ever on the playa. We bring two sets of sheets - one to change midweek - and sleeping bags for warmth. Outside of the small tent, but within the big tent, is our dressing area. Ditto with what robbidobbs says: keep all your stuff in plastic totes, I also keep my clean clothes in large ziplocks within the crate. No shoes in the tent: keep a little carpet outside your tent for the shoe-staging area. Keep a box of baby wipes by your small tent to cleanse before you go to bed, and you will have a pretty close to pristine sleeping area.
We also have a carport for a shade structure: everyone arranges their tents around the shade structure and brings tarps from around the shade structure over their tents to keep them as cool as possible.
Good luck!

Post Reply

Return to “Building Camps & Villages”