Regular Old Canvas Tents - How Do They Fare on the Playa?

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

Regular Old Canvas Tents - How Do They Fare on the Playa?

Postby Packoderm » Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:15 pm

This is a traditional canvas tent I picked up at the Goodwill. I think I lucked out on it. It is in great shape, and it only cost me $5.99. The floor is 8x10. Do canvas cabin tents seem to hold up better in the wind than oversized poly fabric dome tents? What if it is guyed down?

Image
(currently Zeke Chaparral)
User avatar
Packoderm
 
Posts: 582
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2010 11:06 am
Location: Sacramento

Re: Regular Old Canvas Tents - How Do They Fare on the Playa

Postby Bob » Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:38 pm

Try pitching it somewhere windy.

Like any tent, should work fine w/ a windbreak.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

"Let us say I suggest you may be human." -- Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam
User avatar
Bob
 
Posts: 6762
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 10:00 am
Location: San Francisco
Burning Since: 1986
Camp Name: Royaneh

Re: Regular Old Canvas Tents - How Do They Fare on the Playa

Postby kikaroo » Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:20 pm

Hi Packoderm,

$5.99!!?? A total steal!!

Canvas tents ROCK on the Playa.

1. They breath MUCH better than a traditional tent. Nylon tents instantly heat up like a sauna once the sun rises. Canvas buys you a lot more time.

2. Do the windows completely zip shut? If so, AWESOME! If not, then be prepared for dusty to whip up under the cover and effortless get inside your tent. If this case you may wish to modify the windows (sew, hot glue, or duct tape them shut for the Burn)

3. Finally, from the appearance the of the structure of your canvas tent I would HIGHly advice rebaring each of the corners into the ground AND tether at an angle from the top bend of each pole to a separate piece of rebar to the ground with a ratchet tie down. You'll be set for any wind storm.

I have a Springbar tent. It has been to the Playa three times and has stood up against the gnarliest windstorms with out additional tie downs. I LOVE it! ...then again it wasn't $5.99. You found yourself a sick deal!!!

Have an awesome Burn!

'kika
User avatar
kikaroo
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:54 am
Location: San Diego

Re: Regular Old Canvas Tents - How Do They Fare on the Playa

Postby Savannah » Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:45 pm

Damn, Kikaroo, that's a great first post. :shock: Welcome to ePlaya!
User avatar
Savannah
Moderator
 
Posts: 11244
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2008 8:33 pm
Burning Since: I'm not sure

Re: Regular Old Canvas Tents - How Do They Fare on the Playa

Postby trilobyte » Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:09 am

Replace the standard stakes with something longer (10-inch or better, you can probably find a few discussions around the boards about staking down your stuff). Otherwise, put it up in your yard or at a local park before you take it to the playa (always a good idea to be familiar with how your tent comes together before you arrive), and you can get a better sense of whether it can survive strong winds. Hopefully it all works out, that's a great deal!
User avatar
trilobyte
Site Admin
 
Posts: 12697
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2004 11:54 pm
Location: San Francisco
Burning Since: 2004
Camp Name: Eridu Society

Re: Regular Old Canvas Tents - How Do They Fare on the Playa

Postby CapSmashy » Tue Aug 02, 2011 6:35 am

NICE SCORE! Canvas is wonderful tent material.
Playawaste Raiders cordially invites you to suck it.
User avatar
CapSmashy
 
Posts: 1919
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 12:29 pm
Location: Awesome Camp 2.0
Burning Since: 2007
Camp Name: Terminal City://404 Village Not Found

Re: Regular Old Canvas Tents - How Do They Fare on the Playa

Postby Packoderm » Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:46 am

Thanks for the compliments on the tent. It gives a nice feel to sit in it as opposed to nylon tents. I'm very happy that Springbar and Kodiak are still making canvas tents. Springbar's tents are back ordered, so the demand is there. Based on your comments, I will bring this new (to me) tent to the playa. The Goodwill clearance center sells all tents for $5.99 regardless of size or fabric. I bought a nylon backpacking two person tent there yesterday. When I bought the canvas one, the poles were scattered about, and there was one missing. I announced that I would pay $5.00 to whoever finds it for me. It was fun to watch all these kids get busy looking for it. So, I guess I really paid $10.99 for the tent, but it was worth it to see the kids be so industrious.
(currently Zeke Chaparral)
User avatar
Packoderm
 
Posts: 582
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2010 11:06 am
Location: Sacramento

Re: Regular Old Canvas Tents - How Do They Fare on the Playa

Postby Oldguy » Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:44 pm

Stake down the bottom first, then lift exterior frame. Wind will move aluminum poles around with flexing. You may have to reset frame daily. I suggest rebar anchor spikes at each footing. It's easy to secure shade covering from ground over frame to ground on other side. I always throw a safety rope overall as a wind failsafe. I have used civilwar a-frame style as well as cabin style...Canvas is cooler than plastic, less noisy too.
Image current moon
Burning Man is an exercise—indeed, a challenge—in balancing cooperation, self-reliance, individual expression, and creative collaboration in the formation of an artistic community. E. Britannica
User avatar
Oldguy
 
Posts: 1454
Joined: Sun May 07, 2006 12:22 am
Location: LiveOak Cal
Burning Since: 2005
Camp Name: Monkey Business Annex of Banana Camp

Re: Regular Old Canvas Tents - How Do They Fare on the Playa

Postby nncoco » Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:48 pm

You will be comfortable.

I have ben using a smaller square canvas tent for over a decade out there. Mine is a bit stronger in a wind because it has a cross at the top. Just get some good stakes and some rope. Check for dust/air leaks. If you tie it on the wayward side of a vehicle, it will be bomber.

One thing you will really appreciate is some carpet out front and a make-shift shade awning.

When you get home it will have a playa dust smell that I for one don't particularly like. Set it up right away and hose it off good and then dry it in the sun. The dust will corrode any metal zippers. Mine fits in the largest coin operated commercial washers but yours may be a bit too big.
nncoco
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:50 pm

Re: Regular Old Canvas Tents - How Do They Fare on the Playa

Postby peachandpapa » Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:45 am

$5.99.... Awesome score!!! We use four different size canvas wall tents...would not use anything else on the playa. When you get home, wash it really well, and more importantly, make sure it is completely dry when you store it. The only thing tougher to get out of it than playa dust is mold and mildew.
Go Forth and Tell the Story...
User avatar
peachandpapa
 
Posts: 118
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:21 pm
Location: Malibu
Burning Since: 2005
Camp Name: Peach's Verdant Camp

Re: Regular Old Canvas Tents - How Do They Fare on the Playa

Postby shroom » Sat Aug 06, 2011 9:57 am

I did great in mine last year. Use the rebar playa steaks that you can read about on here. I put a shade over and in front of it to sit under. I parked my truck on one side to help with the wind. I didn't tape my flaps down and wish I did after the one bad windstorm we had. Cover all your things with a sheet with you leave so you can have a sort of dust free place to sleep when you return.
"Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must first set yourself on fire."~~Fred Shero
User avatar
shroom
 
Posts: 1060
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:11 pm
Location: Georgia
Burning Since: 2010

Re: Regular Old Canvas Tents - How Do They Fare on the Playa

Postby robbidobbs » Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:50 am

I had a Coleman Vagabond canvas cabin tent my first 2 years. Here's what I learned:
replace the factory poles with galvanized steel conduit, drive rebar stakes into the playa to act like a foundation for the poles.
DO NOT ZIP UP THE TENT IN A DIRT STORM. The pressure exploded my tent and snapped the conduit joins in a silly little 50 mph storm my 2nd year.
My first year we had 75 mph dirt storm that lasted 2 days. No really. 1999 was nuts. My tent did terrific as long as I left the windows open.
To join in with shroom, just bring a huge king size crappy sheet from a thrift store to cover all your bedding and shit. Gently pull it off when you want to go to sleep. Works terrific. I still use this method even though I now use a nylon tent.
User avatar
robbidobbs
 
Posts: 2647
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 1:07 pm
Location: LOS of the Pottie doors
Burning Since: 1999
Camp Name: Pottie Central

Re: Regular Old Canvas Tents - How Do They Fare on the Playa

Postby Lassen Forge » Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:52 am

+1 on opening the windows and covering with a sheet. I forgot one time, and watched a fiberglass pole shatter when it went 90 degrees in a windstorm... I like the conduit idea, too, Robbi! (BTW, see you at TTITD)

Wish I could score one of those $5.99 tents... I'm thinking of biting the bullet for next year and getting a Kodiak... Can't afford it this year, darnit. But yeah, I'd love to switch to canvas.
User avatar
Lassen Forge
 
Posts: 5322
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 10:35 pm
Location: Where it's always... Wednesday. Don't lose your head over it.

Re: Regular Old Canvas Tents - How Do They Fare on the Playa

Postby Packoderm » Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:20 am

I talked with a friend who does canvas sewing. He says to get 2 inch strips of velcro and sew it to the edges of the windows instead of zippers. I'll price some velcro.
(currently Zeke Chaparral)
User avatar
Packoderm
 
Posts: 582
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2010 11:06 am
Location: Sacramento

Re: Regular Old Canvas Tents - How Do They Fare on the Playa

Postby Bob » Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:15 pm

Well if you're going to sew on it, consider reinforcing the grommets and ties, those are the weak spots.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

"Let us say I suggest you may be human." -- Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam
User avatar
Bob
 
Posts: 6762
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 10:00 am
Location: San Francisco
Burning Since: 1986
Camp Name: Royaneh

Re: Regular Old Canvas Tents - How Do They Fare on the Playa

Postby Packoderm » Mon Aug 15, 2011 6:18 pm

I got another tent. This one is canvas, but it is a lighter weight canvas. I'm unsure how it will fare in the playa winds. I have a few backpacking tents for backup in case these big ones can't hack it.

Image
(currently Zeke Chaparral)
User avatar
Packoderm
 
Posts: 582
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2010 11:06 am
Location: Sacramento

Re: Regular Old Canvas Tents - How Do They Fare on the Playa

Postby Bob » Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:42 pm

You're going to need a windbreak or something for that.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

"Let us say I suggest you may be human." -- Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam
User avatar
Bob
 
Posts: 6762
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 10:00 am
Location: San Francisco
Burning Since: 1986
Camp Name: Royaneh

Re: Regular Old Canvas Tents - How Do They Fare on the Playa

Postby Ugly Dougly » Mon Aug 15, 2011 11:19 pm

Bob wrote:You're going to need a windbreak or something for that.

That's what the RV in the background is for.
User avatar
Ugly Dougly
 
Posts: 16500
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2003 9:31 am
Location: San Jose, CA
Burning Since: 1996

Re: Regular Old Canvas Tents - How Do They Fare on the Playa

Postby Packoderm » Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:25 am

I think Bob has a point. It's still set up, and it doesn't feel that sturdy. Sure, it's worth $5.99, but it will take wind breaks and reinforcing. We'll see how it goes on the playa. Like I said, if it gets too flappy, I'll just move stuff on over to one of the backpacking tents. What I'd really like is one of those Springbar tents.
(currently Zeke Chaparral)
User avatar
Packoderm
 
Posts: 582
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2010 11:06 am
Location: Sacramento

Re: Regular Old Canvas Tents - How Do They Fare on the Playa

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Aug 16, 2011 6:44 am

Packoderm wrote:I got another tent. This one is canvas, but it is a lighter weight canvas. I'm unsure how it will fare in the playa winds. I have a few backpacking tents for backup in case these big ones can't hack it.

Image


It looks like it would be easy to make some new poles out of 3/4 emt.
"Don't buy ur Burn...........Build ur Burn!"

"If I can't find an answer, I'll create one!!!"

Fuck Im Good Just Ask Me
User avatar
FIGJAM
 
Posts: 8413
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:39 am
Location: apache junction az.

Re: Regular Old Canvas Tents - How Do They Fare on the Playa

Postby robbidobbs » Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:29 am

Definitely consider replacing some/all of the poles. And if you can't fashion a shelter structure to protect it, bungee the fuck out of it. All the way around. solid tie-downs could just pull it apart. It would be really sad to lose it. I've lost x2 tents, and although I had options, it was still sad.
User avatar
robbidobbs
 
Posts: 2647
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 1:07 pm
Location: LOS of the Pottie doors
Burning Since: 1999
Camp Name: Pottie Central

Re: Regular Old Canvas Tents - How Do They Fare on the Playa

Postby Bob » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:08 am

I've done windbreaks just by hanging cheap painter's dropcloths on a tripod spanning the tent.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

"Let us say I suggest you may be human." -- Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam
User avatar
Bob
 
Posts: 6762
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 10:00 am
Location: San Francisco
Burning Since: 1986
Camp Name: Royaneh


Return to Shelter & Camping

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Roundabout and 4 guests