BRC shade from sun direction/elevation

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.
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Canoe
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BRC shade from sun direction/elevation

Post by Canoe » Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:01 am

Using the BRC City map with a Sun Map overlay or the Elevation & Shade Ratio drawing to determine when and where your shade will be, takes some time and effort.
So I'm trying this way to allow people to visualize what shade their shelter will provide them and when.
I'm starting with a test/trial phase, so there are limited shade structures displayed.
Last edited by Canoe on Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BRC shade from what sun direction/elevation

Post by Canoe » Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:10 am

  • There's a gold gear clock near the middle that's pointing to the top of the image, which is North.
  • At the back left, are three “trucks” around the size of a UHaul 17' cube van.
  • Next are a series of flat tarp roof, 24' x 24', which is sitting ten feet above its footprint, which is rendered in one foot square checks, so you can see what shade it generates.
    - The version in the upper right has no walls, so you can see when and how far sun gets in. The roof is transparent blue, so you can see inside to see when the green “tents” (4' x 6' x 5' high) are hit by sun or are shaded.
    - The version closer than that is just the roof and footprint, with a cube van tight to its east to show what shade such a vehicle can provide to a shade structure.
    - The version to its left, shows two slanted walls, east (purple) and south (orange). They're transparent so you can see what shade they provide when added to such a structure.
    - The version behind that is the same, but has the roof removed, so you can easily see what shade the walls provide.
  • Just this side of the North indicator, there's three 10' x 10' flat tarp roof, mounted eight feet up, a common building block for shade structures on the playa. Each shows a corresponding checked footprint.
    - The leftmost version has both an east and a south vertical wall, transparent for viewing.
    - The middle version has only the east wall.
    - The rightmost version has no walls.
  • Then there are three simple angled tarps, angled 45 degrees and aimed at east, south-east and south.
    -Then to the left of the south facing tarp, I show a vehicle tight to its east, so show what shade benefit that has.
  • Then for the same angled tarp, but it extends out flat with a duplicate size. Again, aimed east, south-east and to the left, aimed south.
    -And to the left of that, the same aimed south, but with a vehicle parked tight to its east.
  • (The red pole and the white dots & ring are my experiments at a sun-dial, so I won't have to mark each image with its time.)
Shade at 10:30.
If you haven't got something between you and East and South-East, you've been warming then baking in the sun.
BRC shade 10.30.jpg
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Last edited by Canoe on Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BRC shade from what sun direction/elevation

Post by Canoe » Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:21 am

And here's an animated gif. Very low res due to eplaya file constraints.
  • Sunrise is around 06:20.
  • The gif series starts out at 06:30 for three seconds.
  • Next it shows 07:00 for three seconds.
  • Then it advances to the next half-hour for a half-second, then the next(edited out to make file size) hour for three seconds, continuing for each hour.
  • Solar noon is just before 13:00 (1 pm), so that image has the shadows running pretty much north.
  • The last image is at 18:00 (6 pm).
    (Elevation & azimuth data from Aug 28, 2017. For shadow projection, the lat & long had to be rounded to 40.786 & -119.207)
BRC-shade-06.30-to-18.00-hourly-360.256.gif
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Re: BRC shade from sun direction/elevation

Post by Token » Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:04 am

This is so cool!

For years on end I’ve been a fan and advocate of lean-to structures on vehicles, shade canopies with one side going straight down to the Playa, clamshell designs.

Never had the words to even come close to this animation.

Thank you Canoe for the geekery on this one. Very handy to visualize why that flat-tip shade has a wandering cast shadow.

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Re: BRC shade from sun direction/elevation

Post by Canoe » Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:47 am

It sure illustrates why a simple tarp can give you a better sleep-in in the morning if it is aimed against south-east. If you've aimed against the south, you get baked from sunrise to past 10:30, even 11.
I thought aiming ESE would be the best, but it's low angle at sunrise and swings towards the SE so soon.

Shows why walls or something to the east are important, more so than to the south.

And why just about anything with walls (or other block) to the east, south and west go for the win.
Like the tarp with flat top with the sides filled in.
Or a monkey-hut with the ends to the east and west, with both ends closed, but the north side lifts up some into an awning.
And if you can get or have something close beside you, vehicle, neighbours, as the 24'x24' with vehicle on east illustrates, you only need to have something hang down from your 'roof' 1/3 to 2/3 to block the high-angle sun that gets through that gap.

Like the above east-west monkey-hut with both ends having their top 2/3 filled with something hanging to close the high-angle light, with their vehicle or neighbours' ____ blocking the low-angle sunrise light. Some even have a large portion of the north side's lower cover liftable as an awning; can be closed during the worst heat of the day to block the heat radiating in from the sun-baked ground, or kept up for lots of shade area.

Here's a lower angle view, at 10:30 am.
.
BRC shade 10.30 mid angle.jpg
.
And the 9:00 am shows why so many people find themselves full baked already if they don't have shade or adequate shade.
.
BRC shade 09.00 mid angle.jpg
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Last edited by Canoe on Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BRC shade from sun direction/elevation

Post by Canoe » Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:48 am

And 9:00 am looking east.
Just starting to get some meaningful shade from things aimed south.
Things with a top and something to east or south-east are doing well.
.
BRC shade 09.00 east mid angle.jpg
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Re: BRC shade from sun direction/elevation

Post by Canoe » Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:07 am

9:00 am looking south.
.
BRC shade 09.00 south mid angle.jpg
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Re: BRC shade from sun direction/elevation

Post by Token » Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:07 am

There is also the effect of surrounding mountains that delay the sun hitting a tent from the astronomical sunrise time.

This helps the concept of a well placed vehicle as a very good way of ”buying” and hour or two more time before the bake of the day sets in on a tent.

Low to the ground sleeping tent is also a good way to take advantage of this.

The trend however has been going big on the tent and building vast shade structures as a sort of dogma.

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Re: BRC shade from sun direction/elevation

Post by Canoe » Tue Aug 06, 2019 3:05 pm

And here's the most common base Monkey Hut section, 10'+10' rib, three ribs, ten feet long.

These renderings do NOT show the typical slight sag at the top, which varies on your tarp weight.

One can see the shade these provide at key times in the day, so one can see which site alignment provides what shade, and where it would benefit from an end covering for more shade. If you have a longer Monkey hut, only the 10' end sections towards the sun would be affected, as the longer sections would be fully shaded as long as they're not open on the east-west alignment.

The three closest Monkey Huts are the above components, aligned north-south, so the side is facing due east on the left:
  • right - standard 12' wide
  • middle - 11' wide, for a little more height
  • left - 10' wide, for max height
  • These don't do too bad, as the early morning is shaded inside and the mid-day sun is at a fairly high angle.
The other two Monkey Huts are the standard 12' wide x 10' long, one aligned east-west with it's sides open to the east and west, and the second has its side facing south-east.

The view is looking south, at 9 am, 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm.
.
BRC shade Monkey hut 9, 11, 13, 15.png
.
Also in this image in the upper left, is the 12' x 12' tarp, half angled 45 degrees and the other half as a flat roof, but with the sides filled in for more shade in the morning & afternoon.
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Re: BRC shade from sun direction/elevation

Post by burnercat » Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:53 pm

OMG this is so helpful. Thank you!

I'm curious, from all of these hypothetical scenarios, which is the one that you would suggest to keep yourself in maximum shade?
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Re: BRC shade from sun direction/elevation

Post by Canoe » Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:03 pm

burnercat wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:53 pm
OMG this is so helpful. Thank you!

I'm curious, from all of these hypothetical scenarios, which is the one that you would suggest to keep yourself in maximum shade?
Whatever blocks the sun from the east, south and west and open to the north, that has the size for your tent or whatever you're shading.

If you're only wanting sleep in, then block against sun to the SE, and you'll be heading out touring BRC from 10:30, 11. Add south blocking if you need mid-day shade.

Unless you're solo camping with minimal gear, the cost ($, weight, bulk) to add a roof isn't much. The simple tarps in the SE corner of that layout are 6'x12', so you see what that ratio of tarp can cover. The ones with the roof are 12'x12', four poles, two guy-lines on each pole. Larger tarp, larger shade. Aim it SE for morning sleep in and midday shade. Or cover the ends as one example shows.
Vary the pole height and tarp size to change the height of the slope to the SE vs size of roof.

A large/tall enough vehicle close to one of those side may do the job of a wall for that direction.

IF you need more shade, then there's the 10x10' flat tarp or shade cloth up eight feet, and multiples for the size your camp needs. Or the 10x12' footprint monkey-huts. Add more ribs and tarp for the size you need.

All are documented and discussed many times on eplaya.

And, what are you wanting to shade?
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Re: BRC shade from sun direction/elevation

Post by Canoe » Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:36 pm

Examples of structures that could be aligned Open to North.
viewtopic.php?f=277&t=80373&start=30#p1137335
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Re: BRC shade from sun direction/elevation

Post by burnercat » Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:30 pm

Thank you, this is amazing as I have never fully understood the best compass alignment to maximize shade.

I am handling placement for our camp this year (including a variety of tent sizes, shade structures, hexayurts, vehicles, etc for 35 campers) and a 20x20 communal lounge. Maybe I can try to mock up something for our camp layout and share it with you?

As for me personally, I have a small tent and a 10x20 carport with shade cloth for walls/ceiling and tarp for the floor with one end open so that's pretty simple.

I was more just curious what you would be building for yourself? Haha

Thanks again!
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Re: BRC shade from sun direction/elevation

Post by Canoe » Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:58 pm

burnercat wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:30 pm
... I am handling placement for our camp this year (including a variety of tent sizes, shade structures, hexayurts, vehicles, etc for 35 campers) and a 20x20 communal lounge. Maybe I can try to mock up something for our camp layout and share it with you?
I was more just curious what you would be building for yourself? Haha ...
Do remember you have to consider wind too.

I am interested in building up an "inventory" of the usual playa structures, hence the typical conduit 10'x10'at8' component. So do 'email' me the camp footprint and what is where and I'll take a stab at it. I'm just learning 3D modelling (I started the day before starting this thread), but the basics are pretty simple, as we're not trying for photo-realistic, but just structures so we can see where the shadows/shade falls.

You can also do it yourself using Blender 2.8 (free) and the plugin Sun Position (current version free at githhub). That way you can:
  • duplicate, move and rotate the shelters around your camp's footprint
  • build/modify your own shelters
  • move the view all around to see how they fit together as a camp/village
  • aim a camera and:
    - generate a snapshot of the camera's view (as I posted here)
    - generate a series of snapshots and assemble them into a gif using photoshop or such software (as I posted here)
    - run an animation to show how the sun/shade will fall through the day, which is a very small file size, very easy to email around to camp members.
For key structures that are used for the public participation, you can make those as photo-realistic as you care to. Lots of Blender web and youtube examples and how-tos.
And you can specify different cameras, so you can see what the camp will look like from different directions, like from the street going by vs. how the camp is separated from public vs. private areas, without having to re-aim a camera all of the time.
I can certainly email what I have when I get there, and then you can take it as far as you want.
My file is currently in metric, so I need to redo it as Feet, so it's easier for people to work with.

As to what I stay in. I've gone past Boy Scout Level Preparedness and well into Batman-Level Preparedness, as I stay in a plywood box mounted on an old boat trailer, so I can handle Condition Alpha. :D
Ogallala home.jpg
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Last edited by Canoe on Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: BRC shade from sun direction/elevation

Post by Canoe » Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:12 pm

Canoe wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:58 pm
You can also do it yourself using Blender 2.8 (free) and the plugin Sun Position (current version free at githhub).
Here's the Sun Position settings I'm using.
The Light for the Scene is set to Sun (and I renamed the Light "Sun").
Then under World, Sun Position is configured, then Sun Position sets the Cycles Sky look and the Sun look, including the shadows.
For the animations, I set the size to 1280 x 720, Frame Start 1, End 45, Frame Rate custom at 5 fps. Then I give Frame 1 a Keyframe with 7 am in Sun Position, and frame 45 a Keyframe with 18:00 (6 pm). When it steps, each frame should jump forward 15 minutes.

I'm using 2017, as I already had the data to be able to confirm Sun Position's output upon configuration.
.
Blender 2.8, Sun Position settings for BRC.jpg
And the Output settings.
.
Blender 2.8, Output settings for animation..jpg
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Re: BRC shade from sun direction/elevation

Post by Canoe » Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:50 pm

O.K., I'm working up the Blender file with feet as the base unit that anyone could use to layout their own camp.
  • I've got the standard monkey hut in the typical 12'x10' section, and three for those for 12x30', also showing one example at 11' wide and 10 wide' for those going for some extra height to squeeze their tent in.
  • Tarps at 10'x8' angled at 40 degrees, and 10'x16' for the extra eight feet for a roof.
  • Then the standard conduit unit at 10'x10'x8', with showing one unit alone and four units together.
  • I've checked the playa with 5'x5' squares, so you can size things.
    Showing North (gold) and blue lines/arrow for the Prevailing Wind and the usual Cross Wind (same as the Sun Map or BRC).
Here's two views, a low angle and near ground (just before 1 pm).
I haven't got the exposure quite correct yet for the rendering, but it's close enough to show layout and shade.
BRC slightly elevated.jpg
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BRC ground view.jpg
.
If you think you might be interested, then descibe what structures you'd want to place, and provide their size, including height, and where there are walls. I've got the dimensions of the hexayurts already. Photos of anything odd ball shape.
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Re: BRC shade from sun direction/elevation

Post by lucky420 » Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:55 pm

This all wonderful Canoe! I will be printing this out for sure. Right now I am high and am having a bit o trouble computing all this. But I know on playa it’s going to be invaluable.

Last year the ass end of my rental truck was facing west, so it got the blazing afternoon sun. Wouldn’t be much of a big deal except I keep my coolers in the truck towards the back end for easy access. Thank goodness for yeti and rtic, RMAX and moving blankets :mrgreen:
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

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Re: BRC shade from sun direction/elevation

Post by Canoe » Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:17 pm

Basic hexayurts done, as are three-walled ____ structure (choose your size for carport, lounge, ).
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BRC shade with hexayurts & three walled structures.jpg
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Not pretty, but they're to scale. Duplicate, Move.
.
BRC hexayurts.jpg
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Re: BRC shade from sun direction/elevation

Post by Canoe » Sat Aug 10, 2019 2:42 pm

Here's the latest, showing 9:30, for Aug 28, 2019.

Added Kelty/Noahs, some trucks, and the sundial.
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BRC, added Kelty, trucks, sundial.jpg
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The real disappointment is the Kelty/Noahs. If there isn't anything to the east, you're baked in the morning. I chose 9:30 as that's when they start to provide some useful shade on their footprint. They're rendered showing their low point to the E, SE and E. These are 16' tarps, 8' poles, and non-pole points at 4', with the group to the east having the sun-ward point lowered to 2', which provides a lot more useful shade. Sure shows why the internet shows most of these in use as midday shade, with many used like a regular tarp, with an edge low to the ground towards the sun.
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Re: BRC shade from sun direction/elevation

Post by Canoe » Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:32 pm

Have to go for very tiny resolution to get a file size that will fit on eplaya, and break it into morning and afternoon files.
Pauses every hour.
Showing for Aug 28, 2019.
.
Morning to ~solar-noon, 7 am to 1 pm.
.
try-gif-gen-morning.gif
.
Afternoon, ~solar-noon to effective sunset, 1 pm to 6 pm.
.
try-gif-gen-afternoon.gif
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Re: BRC shade from sun direction/elevation

Post by Canoe » Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:05 pm

And the view from 5'8" for 9:30 am on Aug 28, 2019.
.
BRC, for 2019.08.28, 9.30 am, view from 5ft8in.jpg
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Re: BRC shade from sun direction/elevation

Post by Canoe » Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:11 pm

Token wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:04 am
... For years on end I’ve been a fan and advocate of lean-to structures on vehicles, shade canopies with one side going straight down to the Playa, clamshell designs. ...
Online I found the Kelty/Noah used with three corners down, remaining corner up.
Reminded me of your clamshell comment, and your 'what if only two sheets of ply'.
So I put a 16x16' with three corners down. Aimed the ground point at SE. Up corner ~8' up.
Provides a fair amount of shade for one tarp. Have to watch the height of the up corner, and two poles angled to the sides, for more clearance to get a ten in there.
.
Here at 7 am and 1 pm (~solar noon). Squares on the playa are 5'x5', view is looking south.
0001.jpg
0025.jpg
.
And the animation. 7 am to 1 pm, pauses on the hour.
.
KeltyNoah-three-corners-down---morning.gif
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Re: BRC shade from sun direction/elevation

Post by Canoe » Sun Aug 11, 2019 5:03 pm

Is this ever handy for laying out a camp.
Those stupid shadows and sun do not always fall where you think they will.

7 am check for who is getting sun.
Thought that red tent was protected. And the yellow tent under the conduit structure.
BRC camp tent shade check - 7 am.jpg
8 am, not so bad now, but the one behind the hexayurt getting some.
BRC camp tent shade check - 8 am.jpg
9 am, everyone is looking good.
BRC camp tent shade check - 9 am.jpg
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Re: BRC shade from sun direction/elevation

Post by Canoe » Sun Aug 11, 2019 5:12 pm

12 noon
The yellow behind the hexayurt is out of luck.
BRC camp tent shade check - 12 noon.jpg
12 noon from the SW
Take a quick look from another angle, and that yellow is almost getting nuked.
The red tent (7.3'x5'x4') in the 12'wide monkey hut is getting some sun - move the tent North a foot or two and it can trade the intense noon sun for a bit of low angle morning sun, or put the whole MH positioned so it's back end is shaded by a truck in the early morning. Or decide if you want to put an end on the MH.
And surprise, a yellow tent (7.3'x3.6'x3'), has been shaded the whole time by the 16'x16' kelty/noah/tarp. And jumping the time forward, I could see that only the bottom of one corner got sun at 1 pm, and half of a corner at 2 pm.
BRC camp tent shade check - 12 noon, from SW.jpg
So it's easy to check who has sun for those that have various night shifts and need shade to sleep until noon, or through the day.
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Re: BRC shade from sun direction/elevation

Post by Skuzzy61 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:25 am

Might want to post a map of the city and how it is oriented as well. It might be helpful for those arriving at night. I know I had to do that for 2016 (10:00pm during a white out) and I nailed the orientation of the RV.
As the camp evolves.....
We got this! 2016/2019
We had it! 2020
We almost lost it! 2021
We have no idea where it is! 2022
Who the hell are we and why are we here? 2023

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Re: BRC shade from sun direction/elevation

Post by Canoe » Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:30 am

Skuzzy61 wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:25 am
Might want to post a map of the city and how it is oriented as well. It might be helpful for those arriving at night. I know I had to do that for 2016 (10:00pm during a white out) and I nailed the orientation of the RV.
I did it last night.
I'll post it now.

~edited
2019 BRC Sun Track map
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=78496&p=1189324#p1189324
Video games are giving kids unrealistic expectations on how many swords they can carry.
.
... but don't harm the red dragon that frequents the area from time to time. He and I have an agreement.

Skuzzy61
Posts: 683
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2015 11:26 am
Burning Since: 2016
Camp Name: Barbie Death Camp/We got this!
Location: Fort Worth, TX

Re: BRC shade from sun direction/elevation

Post by Skuzzy61 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:49 am

Thank you for your efforts in this Canoe. Good stuff!
As the camp evolves.....
We got this! 2016/2019
We had it! 2020
We almost lost it! 2021
We have no idea where it is! 2022
Who the hell are we and why are we here? 2023

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Canoe
Posts: 3747
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:01 pm

Re: BRC shade from sun direction/elevation

Post by Canoe » Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:34 pm

Here the simple sloped tarp shade.

All with two eight foot poles.
Highly recommend TWO guylines per pole.

The annimation shows with the bottom edge along the ground.

Note that some people like having the bottom edge of the sloped tarp resting on the ground. Others like to have it be around six inches above the playa so the tarp can't trap wind, which would mean some short lines to your ground anchors for the groments along that edge. Some prefer some loops of shock-cord for that, as that buffers wind gusts. I've seen more tarps that are raised up than sitting flat on the ground.

Tent in the animation: I'd modeled the Kodiak 14' x 10' springbar tent, so I just resized that shape to 6.5' long, 5' wide, and 4' tall. So the shape I'm fitting under the tarp is likely wider at the top than most tents of this size. Your tent shape has to fit under without rubbing the tarp.

Three rows:
  • far row tarp is 10' x 12', 12 wide on the ground, ~50 degree slope
  • middle row is 10' x 14', 14 on the ground, ~50 degree slope
  • close row is 12' x 14', 14 on the ground, ~45 degree slope
Five tarps/tent in each row, left to right:
  • tarp aligned 0 degrees from north, facing due east
  • tarp aligned 30 degrees, facing ESE
  • tarp aligned 45 degrees, facing SE - usually best for morning sleep-in
  • tarp aligned 60 degrees, facing SSE
  • tarp aligned 90 degrees, facing due south
The animation starts from 7 am for two seconds, then every hour for 1 second, except it pauses for two seconds at 1 pm (~solar noon) and at 6 pm, where it ends as the sun sets around 6 pm due west, behind the hill west of BRC.
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When you're accessing which angle would be best for the time you want to have shade, consider how much of the area of the tent the sun is falling on and the intensity of the sun at a low vs. high angle. The SE is typically best for most people to get a sleep-in, as the sliver of sun near sunrise hitting the north of the tent is small and low intensity vs the sun later in the day. But you can easily adjust either your tent or tarp after you experience your setup.

BIG TIP: notice how far the early morning shadows fall. If you can setup with the north end of your tarp within 25 feet of something due east, even as small as a car, that shadow can protect the north end of your tent in the early hours, allowing you to aim your tarp less east and more south, for longer shade in the morning. The taller it is and the closer you can get, the more to the south you can aim your tarp. If it's tall enough and you can get close enough (like a truck or RV), you can face your tarp due south, possibly even a little westward. (If you're in a pack of tents without any vehicles (say Burner Bus refugees), even being due east of another tent is worthwhile. Line up in a row. Just don't tell the guy at the far east. Or make sure he's got a tarp too.)
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Simple-Tarp-tight-300-128.gif
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Video games are giving kids unrealistic expectations on how many swords they can carry.
.
... but don't harm the red dragon that frequents the area from time to time. He and I have an agreement.

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