Playa wind nightmare stories

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LostinReno
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Post by LostinReno » Sun Jul 18, 2010 11:49 am

They are about 14" long and about 11/2" in diameter. You still think they'd launch? Hmmm, might have to just deal with rebar.

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Post by bm_cricket » Sun Jul 18, 2010 11:55 am

LostinReno wrote:They are about 14" long and about 11/2" in diameter. You still think they'd launch? Hmmm, might have to just deal with rebar.
They honestly may be plenty depending on what you are using them for. If you put 4 or 6 of them on a little Coleman tent I bet it would be fine. I wouldn't even consider holding a Costco barn down with those little things but if you are dealing with small stuff those little stakes would probably be 'okay'. Anything bigger than a camping tent should usually get rebar. There may be exceptions but probably not many.
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ygmir
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Post by ygmir » Sun Jul 18, 2010 12:00 pm

LostinReno wrote:They are about 14" long and about 11/2" in diameter. You still think they'd launch? Hmmm, might have to just deal with rebar.
I'd say, it's totally dependent on how many you use...........
that's a good sized stake.
there may be info on holding capacity for soil conditions somewhere.......seems, maybe it was "Phil" had that info at one time.

but, there is a way to figure soil+surface area+ angle of pull = holding strength.

I use augers, and have never had them fail on my 12x20 carport....One every corner, two in the middle.
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LostinReno
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Post by LostinReno » Sun Jul 18, 2010 12:12 pm

We're planning on using them on our North Pole shade. I bought 8 of them which I believe will support all the outer points. We still need to drill out the center pole so we can use bigger and badder stakes (these are too big for the center pole)

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LostinReno
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Post by LostinReno » Sun Jul 25, 2010 5:50 pm

Not the playa but 45 miles SW at Pyramid Lake. We were hit with 60+ mph wind gusts for about two hours last night. (I bet the playa was interesting) The rockbuster stakes worked great on the North Pole but the wind wanted to shred the actual shade structure around the 3 support poles (need to do some minor repairs) we managed to get the structure down while the wind was still around 45mph. I hope this isn't a sign of things to come... :shock:

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lucky420
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Post by lucky420 » Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:03 pm

how did the center pole do? was there much swaying or any such thing?

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LostinReno
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Post by LostinReno » Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:46 pm

lucky420 wrote:how did the center pole do? was there much swaying or any such thing?
You know, the center pole was pretty solid, the three support poles at the top were whipping around a bit, I think if we'd have left it, it would have tore it to shreds (where the support poles spiral through the actual grommets on the tent). It was crazy wind gusts along with a serious sand storm. Pyramid sand is a whole lot heavier than playa dust. It feels like needles pelting your body when standing in it. Still trying to figure out ways to heavily reinforce those. The nice thing I did notce about taking the North Pole down quickly in a windstorm is there really isn't much to get clocked with. :wink:

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Post by accordionMan » Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:12 pm

Ahhhh.. dust storms. Just thought about another doozy.

A few years back I was performing at center camp. All year long I was looking forward to play. I had a 1/2 hour set planned and was really excited.

I walked up to the mike to play and a freight train of a playa storm came ripping through center camp. I heard the banners flapping like a machine gun.

People are ducking behind sofa's people were running for cover.. it was a white out.

Now as you can guess, an accordion is sensitive to the dust because of the bellows sucking in air and pushing it out of the reeds.

So I removed my accordion as fast as possible and hunkered down.

This kept up for almost a 1/2 hour. I ended up playing one song.

It wasn't the experience I was expecting but it was a memorable one!
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Post by hardw » Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:17 pm

2007 -- our shelter was a 32' long tunnel made with creative shelters connectors, 1" EMT and 1.5" wooden dowels, big heavy-duty shiny tarps stretched taut, and 10 lehigh 16" landscaping stakes. It was oriented for the "normal" wind to blow over it. I went a step too far and made a canvas wall for the end facing the street (the East end), so that I could draw a Green Man face on it.

On Thursday afternoon there was a big one. That was my 8th visit to BRC, so I can feel them coming. I had made sure everything was locked down.

My structure was like a rock, so I was running around helping the neighbors. One camp of virgins had busted out all their bins to put on the day's costumes then gone away without putting the lids back on. I stuffed what was left of their clothes and feather boas into some trash bags, then went and helped some other neighbors trying uselessly to keep their folding picnic shade from folding in all the wrong places. I'm a big hero!

An hour or so later, I'm sitting in my shelter soldering some EL wire when I get the feeling again. I repack everything in time, but the wind comes in from the Northwest, down the open throat of my tunnel. Before I can cut any bungie-ball loops to let the air past the back wall, the grommets tear on the big tarp, half of my EMT poles bend, and three of my wooden poles snap.
Whoops!

There was enough material left to reduce the thing to half its original size, so we still had shade for my tent. So I got off with a slap on the wrist.

I kept hearing people say they thought those must have been 70 MPH winds, but I looked it up in the logs from the weather station after I got home. The peak gust they recorded was 43 MPH. I'd like to believe that it took a 70MPH gust to take out my structure, but the fact is that it takes a lot less than that if the aerodynamics are wrong.
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lucky420
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Post by lucky420 » Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:21 pm

LostinReno, I think I'd better take mine out again and try to figure something out for extra reinforcement also. Maybe gorilla tape (on both sides) all around those spots? [/quote]

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Post by robrob » Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:31 pm

Eric wrote:
dragonfly Jafe wrote:Surely there are some horrifying stories from that huge dust devil that hit the city in 2006...it missed our camp by 50 yards or so (I ran out to meet it), and was at least a 1/4 mile wide...
Image

That was solid, basically new parachute on Monday.

hmm. not feeeling particularly confident in this purchase.

Image

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lucky420
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Post by lucky420 » Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:14 pm

but that little family is...as they eat their watermelon with wild abandon

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Post by capjbadger » Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:25 pm

robrob wrote:hmm. not feeeling particularly confident in this purchase.

Image
I wouldn't worry. They look like they will work hard for you. :twisted:

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Post by TomServo » Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:14 pm

Meh.... 1999 were reported gusts of 120mph. Ripped the grommets right out of my tarps. That's when I fell in love with duct tape! Were still together...one kid on the way..
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Post by geekster » Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:54 pm

"We only put four legs on the carport, on one side. The other side stays down, with specially made short stubby legs. That way the wind lifts up and over, we call it a clamshell."

Yeah, I found that out by accident in 2005, I think. It worked great. We use a variation of it now for camp shade where we use two half sections with shade cloth between rather than your camo netting for our tent shade area.

The 2006 dust devil was interesting. We were just coming in from the playa on our art car. Probably coming in (headed out) the 4:00 radial. I made the turn onto B and there is was. I turned around to the folks in the truck and just said "Holy fuck, look at THAT". We were only about a block from camp so we got there in time to batten everything down but it didn't get us.

We got it bad in 2007 and 2008, though. 2007 was the day we had that storm toward the end of the event with the double rainbow. We had a flat topped shade area and the wind blowing across it made it want to lift straight up. The center poles inside fell out of their couplings but some quick thinking campmates shoved them back in and just held onto them until the wind passed and the roof settled back down again.

2008 was total destruction. We lost the entire structure. We had recycled billboard vinyl as the cover. It was its 3rd year on the playa and gave up the ghost, just shredded. We still haven't really recovered fully.
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Post by AntiM » Tue Jul 27, 2010 6:18 pm

Our problem in 2008 was we couldn't get completely set up Sunday or Monday. A complete day of early entry wasted in an eight hour whiteout, both damn days. Larry and Genius and BDLine got half up and we huddled a lot. Tuesday we finished up and everything was fine even in the winds later in the week. Our problems have been minimal, knock wood.

Early on we had a flat structure made with pipe and silver tarps, too hot because we tried to keep the dust out, and we had to hang onto it in a big blow in 2002. The carports weren't as efficient straight up and in an "L" configuration which we used in 2003 and 2004. 2005 saw a half clam half up, while 2006 was the year we came up with our current layout.

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Post by theCryptofishist » Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:45 pm

lucky420 wrote:but that little family is...as they eat their watermelon with wild abandon
I'm sorry to break it to you, lucky, but...well...um...

...they were blown into such tiny pieces that they weren't identifiable and they got a discount because they all went into the same grave...
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Post by geekster » Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:05 pm

I can't remember what year it was, but it was probably 2005 (but it might have been 06) when we had a big blow on Monday night while a lot of people were setting up. I was headed down towards center camp on B and there was this poor woman and child sitting in a convertible with the top down, the car and them just caked with dust. Nearby was a dome about 50% built and what was left of a shredded tarp. Looked like they had one hell of a night.
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Post by AntiM » Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:09 am

That was 05, the year the wind torqued one of our carport roof poles during set up. The guys were holding it and the wind did a snatch and twist on them.

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Post by Fire_Moose » Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:38 am

AHAHAHAHAHAHHA


AntiM said snatch.
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AntiM
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Post by AntiM » Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:45 am

... and twist. :twisted:

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Post by Fire_Moose » Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:01 am

Hey, Do you want art to be framed when we drop it off or does it not matter?
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AntiM
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Post by AntiM » Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:02 am

Fire_Moose wrote:Hey, Do you want art to be framed when we drop it off or does it not matter?
Doesn't matter. Frames with glass aren't great. Drawings without a mount suck too. Something in between is best.

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Post by Ugly Dougly » Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:45 am

AntiM wrote:That was 05, the year the wind torqued one of our carport roof poles during set up. The guys were holding it and the wind did a snatch and twist on them.
Matching pictures. The "wisdom" of applying the cover to the frame before it's set up and secured is WRONG for the playa. Erect the frame and secure it before bringing out the cover.

And do not park your rental vehicle downwind of anything that's likely to catch the wind and dent the fender. :oops:

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Post by Sail Man » Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:52 am

08 was our first year as well. We struggled during the Monday dust storm to get our 2 ez-up style shelters in place. After a few hrs we succeeded. I rebared, lashed, reinforced them like a crazed lunatic and they withstood everything beautifully, unlike a similar shelter I saw about 100' in the air in the area of 5:30 and E. :shock:
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Post by TomServo » Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:37 pm

I think it was 08 or 07 that a flying carport landed on D's mini van...its owners were using 6 to 8 inch rebar to keep it down.
anything worth doing is worth overdoing..

Harinama
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2008..seriously!

Post by Harinama » Thu Aug 12, 2010 11:32 am

5 yrs going, and i think that monday storm of '08 beats 'em all. Spent the entire day cuddled up in a small springbar tent(AMAZING TENTS), which was so solid, you couldnt even tell there was a storm wiuth 70mph gusts outside.

Main shelter-completely destroyed, revamped and became a shade-only structure. Looked like a beached whale that had rotted away leaving only bones. Unfortunately, we lost all ability to hang together during inclement weather..

My tent-SHREDDED. It was a light multiroom tent that i "thought" i had secured enough. Poles broke and tore right through the material. Had to spend the entire week with a piddly dome tent that did not keep out the dust and was super hot. The night of the burn i slept cramped in my car. I realized that, yes, sleep is VERY important to your good mental and physical health on the playa!

Large tarp covering tents: Some fool even after my repeated attempts to stop him, used a 30x30 tarp to cover many tents. Of COURSE it became a huge sail during the storm and threatened to cause much pain and suffering had i not got it down in time.

Secondary shelter: Carport, folks decided to cut holes in the roof rather than disassemble. So, it was completely bent/warped afterward, and provided significantly less shade.

Moral of the story:

1) NEVER underestimate the ability of the wind or any other environmental factors to KICK YOUR BUTT on the playa.

2) Get a bomber tent-I purchased a larger springbar tent and love it at brc. It is ROCK solid!

3) Be smart, and listen to others with more experience during setup. Do NOT let things go, jump on them immediately if the wind picks up. Get home FAST if out on the playa to help with camp if you see a wind storm approaching.

4) Dont let your dome become a kite, which i saw during 08. Use rebar or cast iron stakes to keep your structures down.

5) setup camp with good windbreaks using vehicles if possible.
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Re: 2008..seriously!

Post by Fire_Moose » Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:07 pm

Harinama wrote:5 yrs going, and i think that monday storm of '08 beats 'em all. Spent the entire day cuddled up in a small springbar tent(AMAZING TENTS), which was so solid, you couldnt even tell there was a storm wiuth 70mph gusts outside.
This makes me happy cuz that was my first day on the playa (arrived earlier in the morning and got smashed)

I set up all my shit before it got going then i headed out to center camp. On the way there is when the storm picked up. Hung out for a while and went back to camp a few hours later, my set up was still standing there as if i had just put it up :)


I was a little disappointed with that storm after reading on here all year about the furies of the playa.....I musta been born with the dust in my graw
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Re: Playa wind nightmare stories

Post by FIGJAM » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:59 am

Dusty bump.
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Re: Playa wind nightmare stories

Post by Lonesomebri » Sat Jul 28, 2012 12:40 pm

"Maybe I should undo that rope and connect it better before the winds get blowing too strong."
One of our first burns, set up on the outer rim. It was just past sunset, the evening wind was starting to howl. My buddy was in the tent behind the carport, soundly sleeping prior to the nights action. My truck is set as a windblock, and anchor for the carport, two corners tied to the roof rack on the truck shell. The tent tied to the back or the carport, everything staked down. But I hadn't got the corner poles tied to the upper ends to stakes set off from each corner of the carport. And I wasn't using anything over a foot long. As the wind start to pick up, I noticed some stakes crumbling the playa dust they were set in, each gust of wind yanking at the ropes and tethers. I figured that I should tie the carport alittle bit tighter and secure to the roof rack. The wind howled, dust blowed. I untied the rope and the wind caught the carport and the stakes were given another good pull. Both hands gripped the rope tied to the carport. My full weight was necessary to keep the carport from being lifted further, increasing the force of the wind on it. I was trying to keep my 20 X 10, steel pole carport from becomeing a kite for a short brief moment, before continuing on it's way rolling thru Black Rock City. It would have rolled over, then with the guy wires, taken our tents with it. Every gust of wind loosened the stakes further, the rope gripped in my hands desperately, unable to let go enough to retie the rope to the truck roof rack. I shouted for my friend, above the screaming winds. I couldn't let go to go get him. I was struggling to hang on. I shouted until I heard him answer, he was still sleeping, what did I want? Just like if someone woke me up while I was resting up. Shouting back and forth, I made the situation known, and he made it out to help as he wiped the sleep from his eyes now filled with dust. For awhile there, it was just me and a little rope keeping our camp from becoming a major threat to the neighborhood. I have more, and longer stakes now.

I still think about that carport rolling thru the City.
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