Tent questions

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.

Tent questions

Postby Frankenstipe » Sat Aug 08, 2009 4:30 pm

So yeah it's my first year, I'm going with a pretty big group of people who have gone the last 2 or 3 years I think so most of the prep work is already done. I just need to figure what I personally am going to need and right now my tent is the main issue.

It's not really my tent I just found it in a cupboard in our house and no one else claimed it so it's mine now. Anyway it's a Rugged Exposure Prospector Tent, I think it's a 7x7. It's made out of Polyester and the poles are fiberglass I think, it came with a rain fly too. I've been warned a lot about the high winds and playa dust so I'm trying to prep it for that but not really sure what I could use.

I know to use candy-caned rebar for the stakes, but the issue is mostly the fabric tearing at the seams or the poles breaking or falling down. Any idea on how I can solve either of those problems for say less than $50. Also I hear heat is an issue in the desert, go figure right, so any ideas on how to stay cool in the tent during the day time whilst I try and sleep.
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Postby Oldguy » Sat Aug 08, 2009 5:55 pm

Welcome to eplaya. It is good to ask reasonable questions before ending up on the real playa unprepared.

Besides properly stacking your tent down, your tent fly must be secured also. Do not depend on little plastic hooks. Tie that sucker down.

To provide inexpensive shade, you might try stacking down a shade cloth over all your tent and fly. Use guylines and heavy stakes again. You might even use some failsafe ropes also. Storing your water jugs inside at the corners will weigh down your lightweight tent also. Some folks tie their tent to their car bumper. We are carcamping here, not backpacking.

Small picnic shade structures are renowned for their flimsyness, I'm inclined toward heavy 8 leg carports. In all cases anchor legs, crosstie members; and brace, tape, and secure connections and tarps. Duct tape is your friend, same for painters tape.

Your neighbors will appreciate your extra efforts in protecting thier stuff from your possibly wayward stuff.

Check your tent for mesh walls, windows now, today. Set it up. See if you got all the parts, now, today. Figure out a way to cover or close mesh. Dust will get in anyway, but you don't have to suffer. Bring a brush and dustpan. Cover your bed when you are not in it. Close and lock your door when you leave. Keep your stuff picked up.

Oh, don't forget your sleeping bag. Luckily I had an extra bag for a neighbor, once. I use a foam mattress, sheets, quilts, duvet's, extra pillows. Your milage might vary... Less than 3 weeks to go, I got's stuff . Do you?
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Postby phil » Sun Aug 09, 2009 11:34 am

stacking = staking

Tents are a frequent topic here, so if you search for tent in the search thing, you'll find lots of posts, and I think you'll also find that there's no consensus on what a good tent its.

Is this your tent?
Image
If not, you might set it up and post a picture. People can get a better idea of their opinion of its suitability for the playa. But it's probable no one will agree. :->

After your first year, you'll have a better handle on what will suit your needs. I guarantee you'll think you have it all down before you go; then you'll go and you'll realize you had no clue.

The tent above is for sale for twenty-five bucks on
http://www.bonanzle.com/booths/AuctionTitan/items/Rugged_Exposure_Prospector_8_Family_Dome_Tent_4_Person
At that price, I'd consider buying another brand and model as a back up tent in case your tent fails. shrug - depends on your budget and space available.

Since you're going with people who've been, have you shown them the tent and asked?
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Postby geospyder » Sun Aug 09, 2009 12:40 pm

That's the basic shape of my tent but mine is a 12X12 Coleman. I just got back from HD with four ten foot lengths of 1/2 PVC and the various connectors I plan to use to make a stronger frame (I hope). I'm using a four way connector at the top to tie the four lengths together. At the end of each length I'm putting a T through which I can run a small piece of rope to be used to put the stake through. The PVC frame will piggyback the actual tent frame. Once staked in place I'll use tie wraps to connect the actual tent poles to the PVC. My hopes are that this will keep the tent from collapsing in upon itself in the wind. I'm using Playa Staples to hold everything down. Wish me luck.
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Postby Frankenstipe » Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:46 pm

[quote="phil"]
Is this your tent?
[img]http://s3.amazonaws.com/bonanzleimages/afu/images/2158/9202/281293657_tp.jpg[/img]
[/quote]

Yeah that's the one, mine is blue though. There are 2 mesh vents at the top that cannot be closed.
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Postby dragonpilot » Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:49 pm

[/quote]Yeah that's the one, mine is blue though. There are 2 mesh vents at the top that cannot be closed.[/quote]

Go to your local thrift shop and buy a cheap, light weight blanket. Cut sections of the blanket to fit the shape of the mesh. Get some heavy-duty thread and a large needle and stitch the blanket sections to the outside of the mesh.

It's not completely dust-proof, but will keep most of it out. To get an idea of what a dust storm will do without the blanket covering, sift flour into a bowl for about 30 minutes....that's what'll be covering you and all your stuff.

Once the tent is erected, you can also apply blue painters tape to the stitched seams.
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Postby Bob » Thu Aug 13, 2009 9:24 pm

Tent looks fine.

Ice your beer to keep cool.

Worry about other stuff, please.
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Postby yizzah » Sat Aug 22, 2009 4:05 pm

I'm thinking about buying some thrift store sheets and using my spring loaded hand clamps to clip the sheets onto the fiberglass support poles. It would help with the dust and catch the first wave of heat, while still allowing some airflow between the sheet and the tent, if only a few inches. Guess it would be ok unless it rains...
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Postby Frankenstipe » Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:01 am

Wow can't believe this thread is still on the front page. Anyway I decided to build a Geodesic Dome instead of using a tent, just didn't think going in a tent would make it seem very fun.

I'm building an 8ft diameter 2V out of EMT (Metal Conduit) and covering it with a Heavy Duty Silver Tarp from Ace, not the best of coverings but I think it'll do just fine. My friend was going to build a 1V with 5ft struts (about 9ft diameter) but modified it the other day and is now making it a HexaYurt kind of a thing, he's covering his with the same kind of tarp.
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Postby geospyder » Tue Sep 08, 2009 11:30 am

geospyder wrote:That's the basic shape of my tent but mine is a 12X12 Coleman. I just got back from HD with four ten foot lengths of 1/2 PVC and the various connectors I plan to use to make a stronger frame (I hope). I'm using a four way connector at the top to tie the four lengths together. At the end of each length I'm putting a T through which I can run a small piece of rope to be used to put the stake through. The PVC frame will piggyback the actual tent frame. Once staked in place I'll use tie wraps to connect the actual tent poles to the PVC. My hopes are that this will keep the tent from collapsing in upon itself in the wind. I'm using Playa Staples to hold everything down. Wish me luck.


The PVC skeleton I put up worked perfectly. In fact once I took it down Sunday the wind collapsed my tent. Also, the Playa Staples were absolutely fantastic. They were easy to pound in, no tripping hazard and easy to remove. We even used a couple to hold down the center pole of a parachute. With duct tape wrapped around the pole and staples I was shocked at how well it held in the high winds.
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Postby Lucid484 » Tue Sep 08, 2009 1:23 pm

I had a cheapo ozark trail walmart brand tent this year...I was camped on jurassic so I didnt have much shelter from the wind...my tent was blowing down almost completely horizontal at times and shaking violently....I thought it was going to get ripped to shreds. but surprisingly it didnt. I had the small stakes that came with it..they seemed flimsy but when i pounded them into the ground they were secure,even had a hard time pulling them outta the playa when done.

I think it would have been much better if I had more stakes and guylines posted all around my tent to keep it standing up straight and give me a little more security.
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Tue Sep 08, 2009 2:15 pm

I wonder if we put up a high fence with shadecloth on the upwind border of our camp next year, would there be a reasonable chance of keeping out the wind and dust?
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Postby Lucid484 » Tue Sep 08, 2009 2:36 pm

well from what i obsereved was that peopel with RVs on the side of the street faceing the wind with tents in front got railed by wind and dust...the other people who had the rv with the wind to their back and the tents in front seemed to not get destroyed by the wind dust...the rv was so much bigger that the wind flowd over it...i assume that if you put up a sturdy enough barrier behind your tent it would achive the same thing.
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Tue Sep 08, 2009 4:50 pm

Lucid484 wrote:well from what i obsereved was that peopel with RVs on the side of the street faceing the wind with tents in front got railed by wind and dust...the other people who had the rv with the wind to their back and the tents in front seemed to not get destroyed by the wind dust...the rv was so much bigger that the wind flowd over it...i assume that if you put up a sturdy enough barrier behind your tent it would achive the same thing.


That's how the BR Rangers arranged their camp at 3:00 plaza. It seemed antisocial, however. I can see making a wall like this, with one elaborate gateway letting people in. That would be cool.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Sep 10, 2009 7:39 am

The rangers may need a little privacy.
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Postby LindseyRaeFace » Fri Dec 18, 2009 9:38 am

We set our car up to block the wind, then the tent in front and a monkey hut over the tent, with a trap coming down between the monkey hut and car. Great for shade, pretty good for stability, but we had our own issues. Parking on the outer south side of BRC = no bueno, broken tent poles upon arrival, Shredded tarp (not a bit of moop tho!)... We still loved every minute of it =)

But in all, I will always camp in front of the largest object we drove.
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