Playa Practical

Questions, answers, tips & tricks for newbies and veterans alike
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FIGJAM
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Playa Practical

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:10 am

This thread is for the quick and easy projects that make TTITD more convenient.

Here are a couple to get us started.

Power packs for all those portable lighting projects on bikes or costumes.

These will work for AA, AAA, C, and D batteries,they're 1 1/2 volts apiece.

This example is for AAs.

Get some 1/2" PVC.

Image

AA batteries fit perfectly in this size PVC.

Image

Calculate how much voltage you need and make the PVC long enough for the number of batteries needed.

Example: 12 volts takes 8 batteries.

Get a couple of PVC end caps, drill a small hole to feed a wire through.

Image

Put a small loop of wire on the inside of the cap to make the connection to the battery, and a loop on the outside to connect to your project.

Cut the PVC to the right length, and when you put the caps on, the connection is made!

I'll call these "Battery Wands", and you can get the PVC that will fit whichever batteries you want to use.

There is a PVC made for hot water lines that is small enough for AAAs! 8)

This next one is for lock hasps that you only have the bale for.

Get an eye screw and install it .

Image

If it is screwed down far enough, it cannot be unscrewed when the bale and lock are in place.

Image

I think this is actually stronger than the hasp that came with the bale!!! 8)

OK, now it's your turn.
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Sham
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Re: Playa Practical

Post by Sham » Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:20 am

I have put brass grommets into my back pack which allows me to use my bike lock to secure it to the bike. This keeps someone from just picking it up and walking away if I leave it for a few minutes.

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Re: Playa Practical

Post by unjonharley » Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:29 am

:coffee: :idea: :coffee: I am going to like this thread.

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Re: Playa Practical

Post by VultureChow » Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:36 am

I discovered quite by accident this year that you can mount a cheap led headlamp on the top of a monkey hut entrance for a lovely spotlight. Just wrap the elastic headband over and through, similar to a cow hitch and it lights the ground or artwork in front of the hut very nicely.

Solar LED spots sucked, so I need something on the cougar.
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Re: Playa Practical

Post by BoyScoutGirl » Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:02 am

I used cheap strands of LED Christmas lights as my personal and bike illumination:

Image

But the strands are fairly fragile and very easy to get tangled. So this past year I wrapped the strands around a giant, 3-foot pipe cleaner I got cheap at the crafts store:

Image

This was colorful and fuzzy during the day and a good way to lessen light strand tangling. However, some of the LED's inevitably wound up behind the pipe cleaner, masking their light, so I may add another strand for next year.
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Re: Playa Practical

Post by Zhust » Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:06 am

"Pocket belts" are excellent on the Playa to carry all the little things (notepad, sun-block lip treatment, hand sanitizer, small gifts to give) and offer a way to clip on larger things (cup, water bottle). See, for instance, Etsy's "pocket belts" feature page. I bought mine off the shelf at Archimage in Rochester (where I live.)
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Re: Playa Practical

Post by unjonharley » Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:09 am

For side walls this year.. I used king flat bed sheets.. Let the light in kept the direct sun and wind off.. Might put some aluminet port holes in for 2014.. They wash up and iron flat for storage..

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Re: Playa Practical

Post by Zhust » Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:13 am

A bundle of tear-off index cards is great to have to (a) take notes and reminders, (b) give other people information. Pens dry out; pencils don't. Mechanical pencils do worse in dust than wooden pencils. But bring a pencil sharpener that catches all the shavings.
notepad.jpg
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Re: Playa Practical

Post by Savannah » Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:18 am

VultureChow wrote:I discovered quite by accident this year that you can mount a cheap led headlamp on the top of a monkey hut entrance for a lovely spotlight. Just wrap the elastic headband over and through, similar to a cow hitch and it lights the ground or artwork in front of the hut very nicely.

Solar LED spots sucked, so I need something on the cougar.
Oo, using headlamps as overheads is a fantastic idea. They're lightweight and bright as hell. If I ever fly in to the Burn, several headlamps (or similar) will probably be my general lighting solution in camp.

(I love my big battery-powered lantern, but I'm not gonna take it on a plane.)
Zhust wrote:A bundle of tear-off index cards is great to have to (a) take notes and reminders, (b) give other people information. Pens dry out; pencils don't. Mechanical pencils do worse in dust than wooden pencils. But bring a pencil sharpener that catches all the shavings.
You're right, ballpoint pens go out there to die. :lol:

I hate the drag of graphite, so I bring 2-3 Ultra Fine tip Sharpies for regular writing (in addition to the larger markers for other stuff).
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Re: Playa Practical

Post by VultureChow » Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:33 am

Savannah wrote: Oo, using headlamps as overheads is a fantastic idea. They're lightweight and bright as hell. If I ever fly in to the Burn, several headlamps (or similar) will probably be my general lighting solution in camp.

(I love my big battery-powered lantern, but I'm not gonna take it on a plane.)
I'm going to pick up at least one or two of those battery operated, push led lights to put on the floor of my tent near the entrance. I can hang something, but most times I'm crawling or stumbling in there, so something at ground level would be better.

Image
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Re: Playa Practical

Post by Drawingablank » Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:42 am

VultureChow wrote:
Savannah wrote: Oo, using headlamps as overheads is a fantastic idea. They're lightweight and bright as hell. If I ever fly in to the Burn, several headlamps (or similar) will probably be my general lighting solution in camp.

(I love my big battery-powered lantern, but I'm not gonna take it on a plane.)
I'm going to pick up at least one or two of those battery operated, push led lights to put on the floor of my tent near the entrance. I can hang something, but most times I'm crawling or stumbling in there, so something at ground level would be better.

Image
They actually make those with built in clips for tent poles - I picked up a 4 pack at wally mart last year for 10 bucks. They are pretty good on battery life and so far have survived 2 burns. I use a spring clip to attach them to the rails in the box truck.
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Re: Playa Practical

Post by Savannah » Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:50 am

Drawingablank wrote: They actually make those with built in clips for tent poles - I picked up a 4 pack at wally mart last year for 10 bucks. They are pretty good on battery life and so far have survived 2 burns. I use a spring clip to attach them to the rails in the box truck.
. . . with tent pole clips! That is great to know. :)

Absent a clip, I would probably use electrical tape! I had great success with it this year for spontaneously attaching a makeup mirror to my tent pole (can't take the girly out of the girl) and for adding an extra light to my bike when it turned out a screw for the bike light was missing. Duct tape is usually the coin of the realm, but electrical tape was actually brilliant for both, held tight, looked tidy, and came off easily at the end of the Burn.
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Re: Playa Practical

Post by maryanimal » Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:22 pm

Savannah wrote:
VultureChow wrote:I discovered quite by accident this year that you can mount a cheap led headlamp on the top of a monkey hut entrance for a lovely spotlight. Just wrap the elastic headband over and through, similar to a cow hitch and it lights the ground or artwork in front of the hut very nicely.

Solar LED spots sucked, so I need something on the cougar.
Oo, using headlamps as overheads is a fantastic idea. They're lightweight and bright as hell. If I ever fly in to the Burn, several headlamps (or similar) will probably be my general lighting solution in camp.

(I love my big battery-powered lantern, but I'm not gonna take it on a plane.)
Zhust wrote:A bundle of tear-off index cards is great to have to (a) take notes and reminders, (b) give other people information. Pens dry out; pencils don't. Mechanical pencils do worse in dust than wooden pencils. But bring a pencil sharpener that catches all the shavings.
You're right, ballpoint pens go out there to die. :lol:


I hate the drag of graphite, so I bring 2-3 Ultra Fine tip Sharpies for regular writing (in addition to the larger markers for other stuff).

Savannah, I've see a pack of 3 headlamps (and they look very sturdy) at Costco for *drumroll* $9.99!!

Or Harbor Freight has these most of the time for $2-$3 on sale.

Image
Last edited by maryanimal on Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Playa Practical

Post by VultureChow » Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:32 pm

maryanimal wrote:

Savannah, I've see a pack of 3 headlamps (and they look very sturdy) at Costco for *drumroll* $9.99!!
I bought them this year and if they are the same one's I got, I didn't like them. The end caps holding in the batteries were oddly flimsy. They came open all the time. Even the Harbor Freight ones were better. The Costco headbands were better, and they were bright. Maybe I should do a side by side comparison.
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Re: Playa Practical

Post by maryanimal » Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:36 pm

I think I had a Costco head lamp because the battery door kept popping open! I just put a piece of tape over the door. and they are bright for sure!
Sometimes I'm confused by what I think is really obvious. But what I think is really obvious obviously isn't obvious.

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Re: Playa Practical

Post by GreyCoyote » Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:53 pm

Look for a "Space Pen" made by Fisher. These were made for the space program in the Apollo era and can now be found at most office supply stores. They write upside down, in zero G, under water, at -40F, on any surface, are permanent, and laugh at dust. About $15. Refillable too. Highly recommended.

My current Fisher has been to 4 burns and counting. :mrgreen:
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Re: Playa Practical

Post by Captain Goddammit » Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:01 pm

Savannah wrote: Absent a clip, I would probably use electrical tape! I had great success with it this year ..................... and for adding an extra light to my bike when it turned out a screw for the bike light was missing.
The hellz the matter with you. All you had to do is stop by my or particularly Elliot's place... wait a minute, the hellz wrong with me, criticizing someone for solving their own problem...

never mind
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Re: Playa Practical

Post by Savannah » Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:07 pm

Captain Goddammit wrote:
Savannah wrote: Absent a clip, I would probably use electrical tape! I had great success with it this year ..................... and for adding an extra light to my bike when it turned out a screw for the bike light was missing.
The hellz the matter with you. All you had to do is stop by my or particularly Elliot's place... wait a minute, the hellz wrong with me, criticizing someone for solving their own problem...

never mind
:lol:

Oh, I have my own tool kit . . . which may have had the right size screw in there . . . somewhere . . . as well as two mechanics in camp, but the electrical tape was right on top there, beckoning and singing to me with its siren song.

Better yet, when it came to fixing the mirror to my tent pole, the tape was the same color as the pole and made it look like my tent had always just had a mirror in it, which I find funny.
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Re: Playa Practical

Post by ygmir » Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:14 pm

Savannah wrote:
Captain Goddammit wrote:
Savannah wrote: Absent a clip, I would probably use electrical tape! I had great success with it this year ..................... and for adding an extra light to my bike when it turned out a screw for the bike light was missing.
The hellz the matter with you. All you had to do is stop by my or particularly Elliot's place... wait a minute, the hellz wrong with me, criticizing someone for solving their own problem...

never mind
:lol:

Oh, I have my own tool kit . . . which may have had the right size screw in there . . . somewhere . . . as well as two mechanics in camp, but the electrical tape was right on top there, beckoning and singing to me with its siren song.

Better yet, when it came to fixing the mirror to my tent pole, the tape was the same color as the pole and made it look like my tent had always just had a mirror in it, which I find funny.
*waits to hear story of Cap'n taping mirror to tent ceiling*
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Re: Playa Practical

Post by unjonharley » Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:19 pm

Had extra cooler water.. Put it the garden sprayer and sprayed down the floor area of the shelter.. It washed the dust off the little bits I had dropped.. There was a full fruit cup of trash bits under the dust.. Also it harden the surface..

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Re: Playa Practical

Post by Captain Goddammit » Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:02 pm

ygmir wrote:
*waits to hear story of Cap'n taping mirror to tent ceiling*
Including the part where it fell on us while we were... oh never mind the First Mate told me never to tell that story...
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Re: Playa Practical

Post by Elorrum » Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:19 pm

I put a little pocket knife, and my bike key on something like this. (Not that long though) I snapped it onto a belt loop on my pants, and never had to look for either one. Unfortunately, this year, I had the wrong key.
Image
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Re: Playa Practical

Post by unjonharley » Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:32 pm

You arrive with the wrong key.. You get no new key.

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Re: Playa Practical

Post by Elorrum » Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:36 pm

unjonharley wrote:You arrive with the wrong key.. You get no new key.
that's good... I'm slow, but I finally got it. :lol: :lol:
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Re: Playa Practical

Post by name redacted » Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:23 pm

A leatherman or multi-tool tool is indispensable.
A wise man gets more from his enemies than a fool does from his friends.
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Re: Playa Practical

Post by ygmir » Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:31 pm

unjonharley wrote:You arrive with the wrong key.. You get no new key.
until you grasp the options............
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Re: Playa Practical

Post by Eric » Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:33 pm

BoyScoutGirl wrote:I used cheap strands of LED Christmas lights as my personal and bike illumination:

Image
I went nuts on these lights this year. I have piles in multiple colors, and will be adding more next year. Google "fairy lights battery" (without the quotes) and you'll find them super-cheap from China (surprise), and I found quote a few places that had no shipping, so I was getting $8-12 worth of lights (one 40 LED strand was about $4) at a time. You just need to give yourself about 4 weeks for shipping (though mine all arrived within about 3).

Had enough to gift to camp-mates who were short on illumination, to decorate my bike, to pin to coats, plus I got the ones that look like little tear-drops on copper wire & used those for illuminating my hats (both the admirals hat I wore to the MnG, plus my top hat).
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Re: Playa Practical

Post by AntiM » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:13 am

I get mine at Target after the holidays on clearance. Love them.

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Re: Playa Practical

Post by tahiti_treat » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:52 am

I do the battery-operated fairy lights too. As much as I like the look of EL wire, I've found them to be way more durable, better on the battery life, and brighter.

Laundry detergent jug for the midnight pee. Cut out the pour spout and you have a nice wide mouth to aim for, plus no chance of mistaking it for a tasty beverage.

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Re: Playa Practical

Post by unjonharley » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:58 am

:idea: For tie downs on a Hex yurt... Saw one that used a pick up truck bungie net.. They throw it over the hex and tied the net.. Saved having to put anchor hole in the yurt. :idea:

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