Stuff inside a shade structure

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

Postby Bling » Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:22 pm

Thanks, AntiM. We're camping with a group, but planning to be on our own for cooking, since we have special diet needs. So, it's mostly just my sweetie and me with regard to the zip pantry, and my chances of getting him to remember to zip 'em up are about the same as my chance of getting him to remember to turn off the light to the basement or close the toilet seat. Hmmm. Guess I'll be on zip-patrol...

We have a Leatherman tool with a pretty strong scissors to remove those zip-ties and corral them before they can escape to MOOP-land.

I'm spending WAY too much time going through these boards backwards to not miss any useful bits folks posted in the past. Wheee! Found a couple of winners already. :D
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Postby AntiM » Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:30 pm

I hear ya on "special diet needs". I had my "hit the wall" day last year when a camp tried to feed us and all I could have was steamed rice, fruit salad and a fortune cookie. I quietly burst into tears in a corner.
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Postby Bling » Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:36 pm

Oh, I'm sorry that happened! :cry: I'm just planning on us being self-sufficient re: food/water, and if anyone offers anything we CAN eat, we'll be very grateful, and if not, we can just say "no thanks."

Reading some of the threads about "special" foods (brownies...) and bevs, I'm getting a little paranoid about accepting either anyway. How often does it happen that folks "accidentally" get acid or whatever? I'd prefer to trip on Burning Man without chemical aids.
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Postby madmatt » Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:45 pm

Everything is secured. You can see entire shade structures rolling down the street in bad storms and gusts.

Quonset huts are great because they are ventilated and aerodynamic.

Use tent stakes and rebar for tents. For shade structures, use rebar, and pound them in at an angle - one time my HEAVY 20x20 shade structure lifted up like a wing, all the way up, and over the rebar that was pounded in straight, then crashed back down to the ground.
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Postby Bling » Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:47 pm

We have heavy-duty wrought iron tent stakes for reenacting that are already bent over at the tops, and about a foot long. Put in at an angle, they're pretty secure.
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Postby AntiM » Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:56 pm

Bling wrote:Oh, I'm sorry that happened! :cry: I'm just planning on us being self-sufficient re: food/water, and if anyone offers anything we CAN eat, we'll be very grateful, and if not, we can just say "no thanks."

Reading some of the threads about "special" foods (brownies...) and bevs, I'm getting a little paranoid about accepting either anyway. How often does it happen that folks "accidentally" get acid or whatever? I'd prefer to trip on Burning Man without chemical aids.


They were trying to be kind, but their vegan food was everything I cannot have. There are days when you aren't at your peak and the oddest thing may set you off some way. Dirty porto, stuck bike chain, running out of water, sore feet, you name it, someone will cry over it at some point in the week for no good reason. It was one of those moments. Normally I try to be mellow (shut up, RG!!) but this one got to me.

I've never been dosed with acid, and I've only had "magic" brownies/etc. three (?) times. Offered and accepted. Puts me straight to sleep, LOL. Waste of resources. I've heard reliable accounts of dosed drinks, which is why you watch your cup and/or get a covered one.

I'd actually enjoy acid, I haven't done it since 1980!
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Postby Bling » Tue Feb 09, 2010 5:11 pm

Ah, so those brownies could be useful for getting to sleep over the rave music!
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Re: Stuff inside a shade structure

Postby LeChatNoir » Tue Feb 09, 2010 5:35 pm

Optic wrote:My question is, how much securing should the stuff you put within your shade structure be given? I was planning on using one of the open cylinder, quanset hut style structures, and parking my car in front of the east opening to block the wind.


For several years, we used a wooden structure over the truck camper top. Over this wood structure we stretched a heavy tarp (from the ground, over the truck, and back to the ground forming a sort of quasi-quanset hut) and secured it to the ground with rebar and rope laced back and forth bootlace-style through carabineers attached to the rebar stakes.

Several nights in 2004 the wind was so severe that the entire truck was shaking pretty intensely for hours at a time. And this with the truck’s nose pointed into the prevailing wind. The tarps survived the week, but not without damage and some repairs partway through the week.

Secure your stuff as well as possible.
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Re: Stuff inside a shade structure

Postby motskyroonmatick » Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:29 pm

LeChatNoir wrote:Several nights in 2004 the wind was so severe that the entire truck was shaking pretty intensely for hours at a time. And this with the truck’s nose pointed into the prevailing wind. The tarps survived the week, but not without damage and some repairs partway through the week.

Secure your stuff as well as possible.


2004 was my first year and I was not prepared for wind like that. My high profile brand new $100 coleman tent was junk after the event. Imagine a dome tent blown flat by the wind for hours and hours on end.

I recommend a very sturdy tent. If it is a dome it should have at least 3 of the flexible poles. The ones with only 2 poles don't hold up well.

Quonset huts/monkey huts seem to do well because they are well ventilated and pressure/vacuum that gets built up by passing wind can equalize very quickly.
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Postby Sail Man » Wed Feb 10, 2010 7:16 am

Also, the zip ties can get brittle from the heat so bring extra as well as using a bigger size to start.

I'd stake down the kitchen unit jik.
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Postby Bling » Wed Feb 10, 2010 7:28 am

Had NOT thought of that, Sail Man. Will do.
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Wed Feb 10, 2010 7:43 am

The kitchen thingy looks really cool. It just needs two things added for BRC, both of which have been mentioned: Plastic totes with lids for storage and a cover for the whole thing. Without those two things, all your stuff and food prep area will be positively nasty by the end of the week!

A really good dust storm is like living inside a vacuum cleaner dirt bag while someone is using it to clean the attic.
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Postby Bling » Wed Feb 10, 2010 7:48 am

Wouldn't a cover go sailing away? Maybe we could find a heavy-duty grill cover that would fit this thing. We have a plastic one for the peddlar cart we bring along to reenactments, and it's already shredding after one season--without the Playa... Or a sheet? Tied in place?
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Postby AntiM » Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:34 am

A fitted cover would do alright, but be a real pain to make. I made covers for my coolers my first year and they've been perfect. You could sew several covers, or go with the simple solution: yes, a sheet.

A sheet would help a lot. Find Japanese clothes pins to hold it on, or small spring clamps. Spring clamps are your good friend on the playa, we have a whole tub of assorted sizes.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Category.taf?CategoryID=224

I tried to find a picture of the big Japanese clothespins which go on the drying poles, but apparently you can't find them online. At least, I can't!
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Postby Bling » Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:40 am

Thanks, AntiM. Visions of sewing cooler covers, a kitchen cover, and a new cover for my peddler wagon (which is NOT coming with us to BRC) are dancing in my head. 'Course, that means getting the sewing machine fixed. And then remembering how it works... (It's been a while!).
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Postby teardropper » Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:01 am

Bling wrote:Thanks, Bauhaus, that's what we were thinking of (once we thought about this at all) :wink: Clearly, plenty of zip ties will need to come along. A million uses!

Just remember, those zip ties, the white ones anyway, turn into almost invisible MOOP as soon as you cut them loose. Hard to see on the playa.
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Postby Rommel » Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:05 pm

[quote="Optic"]What are some good techniques for securing things? Putting heavy stuff on top of light stuff, obviously, but does anyone know some other tricks?[/quote]

If you're in a tent, placing your gallow water jug's in the corners helps
when the wind kicks up, especially while you're sleeping; helps keep the tent from going into self destructive seizures.
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Postby illy dilly » Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:26 am

madmatt wrote:Use tent stakes and rebar for tents. For shade structures, use rebar, and pound them in at an angle - one time my HEAVY 20x20 shade structure lifted up like a wing, all the way up, and over the rebar that was pounded in straight, then crashed back down to the ground.


At least it landed were you could re-secure it!
Last year at one point our 10x20 was hoovering off the ground, had we not hat it tied down it would have flown. 7 of the 8 legs were off the ground, it was only held down by the straps and rebar. We use ratchet straps for tie lines. There only the inch wides, their still really strong and once you get them on you can tighten them down real hard.

Do you all normally use the big plastic yellow tent takes for your done tents? I had some of the high strength metal ones last year, but in the process of pulling them out I ended up straightening the top ends of them.
What tricks do people have for getting rebar and/or tent stakes out of the ground?
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Postby oneeyeddick » Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:38 am

Big vice grips, and water poured down the hole , if necessary.
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Postby Elorrum » Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:29 am

illy dilly wrote:
What tricks do people have for getting rebar and/or tent stakes out of the ground?


my dollar store visegrips broke very quickly, but I had some 12" slip joint pliers that worked fine, the longer handle made it easier to twist the rebar... twist the rebar around like a screw in both directions, before or during pulling, that helps make pulling out easier too.
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Postby illy dilly » Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:44 pm

Thanks guys!
I was thinking about take a piece of rebar, and bending it into a right angle at the middle. And try using that to hook under the rebar steaks.
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Zip ties reinforced with hose clamps or U-bolts?

Postby dewnorth » Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:32 pm

Would it help to supplement zip ties with a few hose clamps or maybe a few U-bolts (with flat plates inside the nuts)?

Or is that overkill? (I stopped short of suggesting welding everything together.)
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Re: Zip ties reinforced with hose clamps or U-bolts?

Postby Sail Man » Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:10 pm

dewnorth wrote:Would it help to supplement zip ties with a few hose clamps or maybe a few U-bolts (with flat plates inside the nuts)?

Or is that overkill? (I stopped short of suggesting welding everything together.)


I think the hose clamps would probably work, just make sure the bit of the clamp that sticks out, especially if it is at eye level is taped over to secure it. Duct tape also works, wrap with saran wrap first, then the tape.

Welding is beyond my forte. There are those here that drool over a good weld, you may elicit a response from them.

Also, homeboy isnt sticking no plates in his nuts, even though I have had all the children I wish for. :lol:
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Re: Stuff inside a shade structure

Postby Lord Of Ruin » Fri Mar 12, 2010 2:56 pm

Optic wrote:Alright, 2010 will be my first burn, and I've been looking at a lot of different pictures of shade structures to find which one will work best for the amount of stuff I'm planning to bring, etc. One thing I've noticed in a lot of the pictures, is that tents within structures don't seem to be secured. They look like they're just sitting on top of tarps (unless people are actually hammering pieces of rebar through their tarps, and I haven't caught it).

My question is, how much securing should the stuff you put within your shade structure be given? I was planning on using one of the open cylinder, quanset hut style structures, and parking my car in front of the east opening to block the wind.


And you sir, would be wroooooooooooooong.

Kidding..but seriously you are.

In years I've tented it's Costco Carport. Each leg is rebarred into the ground. I also have some very large "V" stakes and those are out at a 45 deg angle from each "shoulder" of the carport. If possible we put vehicles behind it to break the wind. Often we do a safetry line from carport to bumper and rear bumper as well.

Tent inside carport is indeed on a tarp. Tarp is held done with those little "pin" stakes. 10 X 10 tent is then erected over tarp. Corners are again staked down with very large "V" stakes.

I've been through the worst dust storms of the last 4 years with such and although we had some carport fabric rip in places, and the thing rattled like a banshee in high winds, it didn't move an inch.

Really not a huge concern to be honest. Think about whatever normally comes with the structure, triple it, and buy that number of a much larger anchor (be in stakes or rebar). learn how to apply whichever stake type you get properly.

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Postby Lord Of Ruin » Fri Mar 12, 2010 2:59 pm

One trick:

Go to a store that sells plastic containers and closet supplies. I'll get bumped if I name the store where I got mine.

Buy one or more of the plastic "trunks" with latching lid. We staked one down and locked a bike cable to it.

This was the box where all loose stuff can be tossed if wind picks up or if you are leaving camp. Lid shuts and generally keeps out dust as well.

You can add a padlock if you like as well...give all your campmates the combo and you're golden.

It's not really hardcore security, but it's good enough for the nuisance stuff...and is an excellent "dump bin" for anything that can't blow away.
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Postby Lord Of Ruin » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:01 pm

teardropper wrote:
Bling wrote:Thanks, Bauhaus, that's what we were thinking of (once we thought about this at all) :wink: Clearly, plenty of zip ties will need to come along. A million uses!

Just remember, those zip ties, the white ones anyway, turn into almost invisible MOOP as soon as you cut them loose. Hard to see on the playa.


Also, if they aren't UV treated, they'll snap like brittle little crackers in as little as a day out there. This is not theory...we had a comical "unzipping" sound one year as a whole raft of them just crumbled when a little breeze came up. We scrambled to put new ones on.

They had been in place for 18 hours. They were very large..it wasn't the stress that broke them...they crumbled like pretzels when we held them in our hands.

You have been warned.

Paracord is superior in almost every situation to zip ties out there. And I'm the friggin' zip tie king...
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Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:44 am

I don't know about the playa, but zip ties in my civilian world get brittle and break. I'm giving up on using them for vital infrastructure.
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Plastic Storage Containers

Postby dewnorth » Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:16 pm

Lord Of Ruin, are they special, strong, durable containers only found in certain spots, or could they be had at most stores?

Could you post a picture or give us a hint? (Everybody else, avert your eyes.)
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Postby AntiM » Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:22 am

Lord Of Ruin wrote:One trick:

Go to a store that sells plastic containers and closet supplies. I'll get bumped if I name the store where I got mine.


You won't get bumped, the no commerce thing is no personal commerce. Referrals are fine. So unless you're the CEO of the Big Box Store, you may mention it by name. Brand names as well. Unless it offends you'r personal sensibilities and you'd prefer not to do so.

We stake down out tents right through the carpet/groundcover. Landscaping nails are perfect for securing your flat surfaces.

I've seen a huge dome lift and begin to roll once. They'd got it up and hadn't staked it as they went. One guy tried to hang onto it, he was six feet in th4 air before he let go!
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