How will this Tent fair on the Playa?

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

How will this Tent fair on the Playa?

Postby pyrocat » Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:45 am

I have an opportunity to trade a used vehicle that I no longer use for this Tent, and I'm wondering how well it will hold up on the Playa. I would most certainly use this thing for other adventures but I'm interested to know if I should use it at BM. I'm a virgin btw, just trying to plan for 2012.

http://www.mountainhardwear.com/Strongh ... lt,pd.html

Please let me know your opinions. I would love if someone happened to have first hand experience with this particular tent on the Playa.
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Re: How will this Tent fair on the Playa?

Postby tattoogoddess » Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:23 pm

Instead of spending $3,000 on a tent why not make that your self for a HUGE fraction of the cost? You can do that with PVC and a army chute quite easy. There are a lot of tutorials out there on how to make these. Also take a look into making geodesic domes. They are VERY cheap to make and easy to put up.They look similar to that tent. If you have to get that tent get Re-bar that is 12-15 inches long and 3/4 inch thick. Not those little dinky posts they give you to secure it down with.
I have not been on the playa yet but there is A LOT of info here regarding tents and how to secure them on here.
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Re: How will this Tent fair on the Playa?

Postby Trishntek » Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:37 pm

To simply answer your question, that tent would probably perform very well on the playa. 12" galvanized nails work as do 12" military tent stakes.

"I have an opportunity to trade a used vehicle that I no longer use for this Tent" Sounds like a good trade to me!
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Re: How will this Tent fair on the Playa?

Postby jkisha » Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:40 pm

Build a HexaYurt. Less expensive and it will be way more comfortable and pretty much dust fee. With the money you save you can air condition the hexayurt and outfit it nicely with playtech furniture.
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Re: How will this Tent fair on the Playa?

Postby Sham » Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:55 pm

A trade sounds very fair. I don't think I would spend $3k on it. You could buy a used RV for that price.
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Re: How will this Tent fair on the Playa?

Postby swampdog » Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:25 pm

For $3000 I'll build you a hexayurt.
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Re: How will this Tent fair on the Playa?

Postby Trishntek » Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:29 pm

What part of TRADING do you not understand? He's not paying $3k for the fugging thing!

Are you saying YOU will trade him his vehicle to build a hexayurt? WTF??
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Re: How will this Tent fair on the Playa?

Postby delle » Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:32 pm

Bet it packs down sweeter than a homemade.


Which will help -- especially if that vehicle was your big one.


Sounds like a great trade to me.
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Re: How will this Tent fair on the Playa?

Postby Savannah » Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:22 pm

Pyrocat: the shape is good. The fact that it is (apparently) designed for high winds is excellent. Looks roomy, and like you could stand up in it, which--trust me--is a wonderful thing. Having to bend or kneel all week gets old fast (and bruises the knees).

All the mesh is a bit of a concern. (Playa dust is very fine, like baby powder). A lot of Burners spend a little time stitching down improvised coverings for particularly porous areas of tents with that characteristic. Perhaps one of them will say how well it's worked (I get the impression that it does, pretty well).

Bring a broom and dustpan just in case (and for sweeping on the last day). Zip everything tightly when you leave.

It will get very hot inside after 8:00am and stay that way until 4:00 or 5:00pm, once its ventilation is sewn shut, so shade it with a monkey hut or carport--it buys you a little more sleeping time--or have a separate, adjacent shade to escape to (that's what I do).


My tent cost $110 and has survived three burns handily, but I can understand that if you're not doing anything with that unused vehicle anyway, it may be a very tempting trade for a pretty cool-looking (and quite possibly decent) tent.
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Re: How will this Tent fair on the Playa?

Postby robrob » Sat Sep 17, 2011 12:27 am

The Stronghold™ is our most impervious, double-walled, expedition base camp shelter for day-to-day use in the Antarctic or Himalayas.


gonna go out on a limb and say it probably will suffice for a week of gettin' high in the desert.
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Re: How will this Tent fair on the Playa?

Postby essjay » Sat Sep 17, 2011 12:39 am

robrob wrote:The Stronghold™ is our most impervious, double-walled, expedition base camp shelter for day-to-day use in the Antarctic or Himalayas.


gonna go out on a limb and say it probably will suffice for a week of gettin' high in the desert.



Apples and oranges. Antarctic cold and playa dust beg for different requirements.
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Re: How will this Tent fair on the Playa?

Postby Trishntek » Sat Sep 17, 2011 1:20 am

Not really going out on a limb here to mention that any four-season tent will provide good shelter on the playa. Will it wipe your ass and make you coffee? If not, it must be good for something,,,, shelter! Yeah! I've had space blankets turn to confetti in sub-zero weather and poles snap like they were toothpicks because of the cold. I'm sure the materials in this unit can handle a few days in the desert just fine.

Would I pay $3k for it? No! Would I trade a vehicle of no use to me for it? Maybe,,,, depends on the vehicle. It is obviously a premium quality item, so what's all the naysaying about? I don't understand why so many folks take to spewing their own shelter agendas instead of simply answering the question posed. I've got a tent i'm very pleased with but I haven't seen one advertised for trade on a vehicle.

Just spit ballin' now, but I'm betting that is why he did NOT ask what kind of tent I use! For hell's sake it's a simple question,,, will it or will it not provide good shelter at BRC? I say, "yeS!" I bet it comes with some fucking awesome tent stakes too!
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Re: How will this Tent fair on the Playa?

Postby Sham » Sat Sep 17, 2011 2:38 am

If this is a truck that you can sell for $3000 or more, then I would take the money and not buy the tent. It looks like a great tent, but you can sell that truck and buy an amazing $500 tent and use the rest of the money for other things. If it's a $1000 truck and you can get a $3000 tent for it, then buy the tent.
This may also be a tent that you will only use a few times, so consider that part as well. Cash for your truck can be a good thing.
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Re: How will this Tent fair on the Playa?

Postby pyrocat » Sat Sep 17, 2011 9:39 am

Thanks all for the feedback. It looks like a good trade with not many downsides. The vehicle is an old VW Vanagon that's probably worth 3k.. it's going to need work soon. I think I need to see this thing erected.

I have a pretty good idea about what people use at BM from this forum and videos on the net, but I also see tents shredded in the desert and it's hard to tell if that was because of BM or not.
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Re: How will this Tent fair on the Playa?

Postby trilobyte » Sat Sep 17, 2011 9:49 am

It looks fancy, but without something above it to shade it from the sun, it may get toasty during the daytime. If you do get shade over it, you'd probably love it to death. My gf and I used to have a 16' dome that we kept under shade, and it was phenomenal - a cool by day, and cozy by night, big enough to walk around in as well as keep all our personal gear and have room to have friends over.

As others have suggested, if the vehicle's sellable for a reasonable amount, I'd recommend going that route instead. If you don't mind the added bulk, an actual Pacific Dome (or similar brand) might not be a bad idea. Steel poles are bulkier/heavier, but you can do stuff like hang things from it (we added a wardrobe pole, hammock, and lighting inside our space when we had it).

Good luck with whatever you end up doing :)
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Re: How will this Tent fair on the Playa?

Postby Lassen Forge » Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:06 am

It will be dusty. Remember to have it last you will need to clean it (lkely with at least a hose, if not handwahsed in a baby pool and vinegar water and dishsoap) which will be a hassle, but imperative for a tent of this caliber to have a LONG life. And taken care of, it will have a long life.

My very first thought was Why is the person getting rid of this tent?? I mean, it's like trading off an alternate fuelled self contained and solar electrified Rolls Royce for an unknown. (That's what kind of tent this is, BTW.) Did he/she put a cookstove too near the edge and cook off part of the cover (seen that, not cheap to patch in a new piece) or crack a pole (not fatal, but a PITA to deal with). Decide that extreme trekking wasn't their cuppa? Tired of hauling this behemoth on their back? Realized it was a yuppie chase for something they'd barely use? Lotsa unknowns...

My first OPERATIONAL thought is its overkill for the playa, but the price is right... so go for it. You WILL have an amazing (if time consuming to set up) gig that will stand up to WORSE than the playa can throw at you. GET RID of the vanagon... you may regret it later, but you will have an awesome home under the dome. REMEMBER, tho... you STILL need shade over it. ANY tent and most RVs NEED to be under shade on playa. Period.

Plus, you will have it in case you need to, shall we say, have alternate domicilage during unexpected events during the 51 week hiatus.

Yeah, a vehicle (which will cost you $$$ anyway) you are not using for probably an amazing basecamp style tent? Fook yeah, I'd go for it. You could do a HELL of a lot worse.

Just remember that as a dome you will have to learn uses for the space near the edges that would otherwise go unused. I'm going with a Kodiak for this reason - I've done domes, still have one as my emergency GOOD shelter, but want something spacious and usable for a change on playa (or at Yosemite or whereever), and like the "pavillion tent" wall space usability.
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Re: How will this Tent fair on the Playa?

Postby Bob » Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:33 am

Dittos. Looks like a bombproof stand-alone tent, but keep in mind that unless you're fastidious about using & cleaning it, and prevent your camp neighbors from molesting it, Burning Man will likely ruin it within a couple years just like it ruins everything else.

Might want an awning of some sort with sloped sides to shade it. Or toss camo or aluminet over it. Or not.
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Re: How will this Tent fair on the Playa?

Postby Snow » Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:35 am

yes that will be a very bad ass tent on the playa! Made for wind, zip closed windows, lots of room. Sets up and packs way smaller than any home made dome could ever dream of. Won't be flappy in the wind keeping you awake all night.

Are some of you other people crazy? Mesh what mesh? The windows zip closed as do all good tents designed for extreme cold and wind blown snow. Its designed for super high wind loading, you don't think perhaps they factored in that when selecting stakes to include? Mountain hardware is a great company and knows what they are doing making extreme tents.

The biggest issue is the dust that will soon coat it. It won't ever all come off which may or may not be an issue for you. It will also get into the zippers. I don't take my 4 season tent for this reason.
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Re: How will this Tent fair on the Playa?

Postby FIGJAM » Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:49 am

I did'nt see the dimentions of the tent.

That would be my only concern.
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Re: How will this Tent fair on the Playa?

Postby jkisha » Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:55 am

Doesn't much matter...trading for something that is worth $3K means what he is trading for it is also worth $3K. Why trade for something that is overly expensive and unnecessary when he might be able to find something else to trade for instead? Or just outright sell the vehicle for $3K and use the money to better advantage. Sheesh...it's not like trading isn't a financial transaction.
Trishntek wrote:What part of TRADING do you not understand? He's not paying $3k for the fugging thing!

Are you saying YOU will trade him his vehicle to build a hexayurt? WTF??
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Re: How will this Tent fair on the Playa?

Postby FIGJAM » Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:58 am

Thats true.

Selling the van would pay for an entire trip to BM.
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Re: How will this Tent fair on the Playa?

Postby Packoderm » Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:02 am

I'd say that at 45 lbs and 17" diameter by 34" packed size, the Stronghold is the ultimate shelter for those flying into Reno or Sac and renting a car. I agree with the need to shade it, or it would be mainly a nighttime sleeping area. A monkey hut could be built over it and somehow fit in a larger rental car or SUV.

The ultimate overall shelter to haul in a rental van might be the Stronghold design made with canvas cover materials and thicker poles, a 12x12 pipe/fitting flat roof shelter placed over it, and trapezoidal sections of shade mesh tarps for sides attached via bungeeball to poles going diagonally from the top corners of the shade structure down to the ground. It would be a shame to hide the beautiful dome under the tarps, but function over form I believe, and a dusty, truncated, shade structure pyramid would be stunning in its own right.

Concerning those who are pooh-poohing the idea of trading a functioning vehicle for an extravagant tent, remember that Burning Man would not be Burning Man if every single installment was measured by efficient practicality alone. The Stronghold looks just too cool for words. The Stronghold's poles appear to be perfectly suited for holding LED lights. They would look nice shining through the rain fly. I think if the trade results in viable shelter and also results in fun, it is worth a think over.
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Re: How will this Tent fair on the Playa?

Postby jkisha » Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:05 am

Frankly, if I were paying $3,000 for a tent, I would expect it to NOT need any further modifications or accessories to make it suitable to my needs. :shock:

Packoderm wrote:I'd say that at 45 lbs and 17" diameter by 34" packed size, the Stronghold is the ultimate shelter for those flying into Reno or Sac and renting a car. I agree with the need to shade it, or it would be mainly a nighttime sleeping area. A monkey hut could be built over it and somehow fit in a larger rental car or SUV.

The ultimate overall shelter to haul in a rental van might be the Stronghold design made with canvas cover materials and thicker poles, a 12x12 pipe/fitting flat roof shelter placed over it, and trapezoidal sections of shade mesh tarps for sides attached via bungeeball to poles going diagonally from the top corners of the shade structure down to the ground. It would be a shame to hide the beautiful dome under the tarps, but function over form I believe. But a dusty, truncated, shade structure pyramid would be stunning in its own right.
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Re: How will this Tent fair on the Playa?

Postby Snow » Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:07 am

Dimensions are on the website, click on the pictures

Only the parties involved know if it is worthwhile trade or not in the end, just because it doesn't seem like a good trade to you doesn't mean it isn't to the OP. I would love to have that tent for BC skiing base camps, although i'd hate to get it dusty.
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Re: How will this Tent fair on the Playa?

Postby jkisha » Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:11 am

Normally that might be true, but in this case I assume that the OP posted here because he wasn't able to determine if it were a good trade.
Snow wrote:
Only the parties involved know if it is worthwhile trade or not in the end, just because it doesn't seem like a good trade to you doesn't mean it isn't to the OP.
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Re: How will this Tent fair on the Playa?

Postby Packoderm » Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:15 am

I do not think a commercially available tent exists on this earth that is shade ready for the playa and able to withstand the winds one might encounter on the playa. Anyway, where's the fun in not having a shade to design?
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Re: How will this Tent fair on the Playa?

Postby Bob » Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:21 am

I've had vehicles I'd trade in a second for that tent.
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Re: How will this Tent fair on the Playa?

Postby Snow » Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:30 am

Packoderm wrote:I do not think a commercially available tent exists on this earth that is shade ready for the playa and able to withstand the winds one might encounter on the playa. Anyway, where's the fun in not having a shade to design?
You obviously haven't done much research into 4 season tents then especially this one designed for extreme conditions and winds possibly greater than we see on the playa. You think it might get a little windy on Everest or in Antarctica? :roll: Ever done any winter camping in a raging storm?
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Re: How will this Tent fair on the Playa?

Postby Packoderm » Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:32 am

Snow wrote:
Packoderm wrote:I do not think a commercially available tent exists on this earth that is shade ready for the playa and able to withstand the winds one might encounter on the playa. Anyway, where's the fun in not having a shade to design?
You obviously haven't done much research into 4 season tents then especially this one designed for extreme conditions and winds possibly greater than we see on the playa. You think it might get a little windy on Everest or in Antarctica? :roll: Ever done any winter camping in a raging storm?


I do believe I have, and they are very capable against wind and snow, but can you sleep in them past 10:30 A.M. on a hot morning on the playa?
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Re: How will this Tent fair on the Playa?

Postby Snow » Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:34 am

seemed to me the OP was only asking if this tent would hold up to life on the playa. Which the answer is HELL yes, there aren't much better tents out there for severe winds.

Perhaps he has 10 VW vans in his backyard rusting away for all we know.
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