Looking for cheap shade options

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

Looking for cheap shade options

Postby littlemissfancypants » Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:51 pm

I have a *huge* tent: 11 ft squared and about 7 feet tall.
I had it with me in 2009 and it "tacoed" quite a few times.

It was not my first year but I also was foolish enough not to have a shade structure. Once my tent was parked inside a geodesic dome, I had no problems. However, since I don't know where I'm camping yet, I have no idea what infrastructure my camp may have. Also, I want to be more self-reliant!

I need a cheap shade structure. When I say "cheap" I mean I have no income, living off of student loans on my own, and am going only through a gift from a friend.

I'm not much of a builder but I follow instructions well. :)
(I also need something I can buy in Canada as I live in Vancouver - or if I have to buy in a store in the US, something would be a guarantee find on the way down)

Thanks! :D
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Re: CHEAP SHADE

Postby MikeGyver » Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:56 pm

Monkey Huts are probably the cheapest but takes some space, most expensive part is the tarp
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Re: CHEAP SHADE

Postby littlemissfancypants » Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:44 pm

Thanks actually, that looks awesome!!

Only problem is the pipes from Home Depot in Canada cost $15 each. Home Depot in the US = $3 each. :(
Just need to find another place to buy it so I can test-build it!
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Re: Looking for cheap shade options

Postby trilobyte » Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:48 pm

Take a look around the boards, there are a few different options. No matter what it'll cost more than you'd like - it's just a question of how effective and strong you get.
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Re: Looking for cheap shade options

Postby Bob » Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:04 pm

Jesus fuck, you live in Vancouver. Go to the woods and get sticks. Go to the beach and get driftwood. Learn how to tie a few knots. Throw some sheets over it.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Re: Looking for cheap shade options

Postby maladroit » Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:25 pm

I don't want to be impaled by Vancouver deadfall.

You're doing the right thing by asking how to do things the right way.
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Re: Looking for cheap shade options

Postby littlemissfancypants » Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:26 pm

^Thanks, and me neither!
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Re: Looking for cheap shade options

Postby dragonpilot » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:13 pm

Take a look at the Kelty Sunshade (http://www.rei.com/product/808947/kelty-sunshade-large). Pictured here is the large, but they have a small and medium. That said, I think you'd want the large. I have the medium and it provides enough shade over my big car camping tent that I take to the playa to keep me happy.

It fits in a cylindrical carry bag, poles and all. It has multiple guy line points, but like most tents and things like this for playa use, you'll want to ditch the stakes that come with it and go with at least 10" galvanized nails at all the tie down points.
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Re: Looking for cheap shade options

Postby Bob » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:19 pm

Funny, I've recommended that in ten other cheap shade option threads.

You're afraid of wood? And you're Canadian? Really?
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Re: Looking for cheap shade options

Postby littlemissfancypants » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:35 pm

Dragonpilot: and that would hold up in windstorms if pegged with galvanized screws/rebar?? It looks about the same fabric as my tent...is it that shape that gives it integrity, or am I missing something?

Bob: so then you would suggest what? I'm having a hard time following your logic. I've already said "I'm not a builder" and I need explicit instructions. Are you volunteering?
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Re: Looking for cheap shade options

Postby Bob » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:51 pm

With all due respect, Burning Man isn't a day camp for adolescents. Is it really too much to expect that you people have some camping and woodcraft experience? Have you ever camped, anywhere, in your life?
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Re: Looking for cheap shade options

Postby littlemissfancypants » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:58 pm

I have LOTS of camping experience. I have almost no woodcraft experience. We're not all hard labourers... everyone has their strengths, and making shit from scratch and building is not one of mine. I would appreciate some actual input into this rather than continuously insulting me. Clearly you have nothing better to do than to antagonize some female you've never met before...I bet this works real well in your default world life!
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Re: Looking for cheap shade options

Postby Bob » Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:08 pm

One does not simply wok into Mordor. It takes skillets.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Re: Looking for cheap shade options

Postby eLPea » Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:12 pm

That sunshade looks pretty sweet, and would cost probably about the same, or slightly more, than a monkey hut -- assuming you sourced that PVC stateside and not at crazy Canadian prices!

Essentially you're going to pay a lot for a premade item of mediocre ability to stand up to the desert, or you've gotta put some effort into making something yourself which will stand up to the elements.

What do you mean your tent "tacoed"? Too much salsa?

Is it possible you didn't quite stretch it at the corners enough to provide tension for it to stand up in the wind?
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Re: Looking for cheap shade options

Postby littlemissfancypants » Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:16 pm

Yeah the Monkeyhut instructions were simple to follow. And yeah, I'd prefer knowing that the structure will last more than once...

"Tacoed" was a term my friend enlightened me to: it means that the winds keep hitting on the long face and squishing the tent along its longitudinal axis. So it looks a bit like a taco, apparently. :P It was tied down just fine, but I didn't have a shade until Wednesday because I was camped under a geodesic dome and had arrived a week early. This is why I'm insistent on having my own shade if I'm bringing my tent!
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Re: Looking for cheap shade options

Postby eLPea » Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:29 pm

Get it, girl. Way to be self-reliant.

You shouldn't have a problem purchasing the necessary PVC in Reno ahead of time, especially if you're heading in early again. But buying ahead of time and test building is always the smart way to go.
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Re: Looking for cheap shade options

Postby littlemissfancypants » Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:31 pm

Yeah I guess I could build it in any Home Depot parking lot, as long as my ride isn't in a rush... :)
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Re: Looking for cheap shade options

Postby maladroit » Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:27 am

The bare, painful minimum would be PVC, Home Depot parking lot, and a hacksaw.

Upgrade to a jigsaw and some method of actually powering it, and you're living in luxury.
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Re: Looking for cheap shade options

Postby some seeing eye » Fri Aug 03, 2012 2:07 am

I've done monkey hut and you can get 100% of the materials in Reno. Rebar, hammer, tywraps, PVC pipe, tarp, bungie balls, rope. I have also done Aluminet shade cloth, bulky but light to ship in a duffel, with 2x3x8 mini studs, screws, rebar and rope, everything but the shadecloth from the Reno building supply store. And I bet you could prearrange some on playa consulting.
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Re: Looking for cheap shade options

Postby CrispyDave » Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:40 am

maladroit wrote:The bare, painful minimum would be PVC, Home Depot parking lot, and a hacksaw.

Upgrade to a jigsaw and some method of actually powering it, and you're living in luxury.


Be sure to MOOP the plastic sawdust in the Home Depot parking lot remember this is a leave no trace event...
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Re: Looking for cheap shade options

Postby dragonpilot » Fri Aug 03, 2012 11:28 am

littlemissfancypants wrote:Dragonpilot: and that would hold up in windstorms if pegged with galvanized screws/rebar?? It looks about the same fabric as my tent...is it that shape that gives it integrity, or am I missing something?


The fabric is high quality 68D polyester 450 mm...the poles are wrapped fiberglass. It has 12 anchor points. I'd go with 10" aluminum tent stakes...Coleman makes them, but there are other manufacturers as well...Some folks like rebar, but for a structure like this, it's a bit of overkill. The main thing is to use all the guyline points, and try to position it amongst and behind other structures that provide a windbreak. I've had mine setup on the playa and in the windy fjords of Glacier Bay, AK and it held up just fine...but nothing survives everything...ever been in a hurricane?
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Re: Looking for cheap shade options

Postby Lonesomebri » Fri Aug 03, 2012 11:49 am

Yeah Bob, why can't you actually help with the OP question.....like maybe provide some internet link.....an aid in creativity, some sort of lead or examples that could be used, say, a link to Temporary Desert Structures, other options used in the past, a plethora of information? You could have simply spelled out a direction for the curious to follow that would lead to the answer. Yeah, Bob, why didn't you do that?

See amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/
See amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/
See amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/
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Re: Looking for cheap shade options

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Aug 03, 2012 2:20 pm

If Bob were a guru, he'd be one of those head-slapping kinds.
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Re: Looking for cheap shade options

Postby portaplaya » Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:21 pm

maladroit wrote:I don't want to be impaled by Vancouver deadfall.


This isn't "all about you." Do what you have to do and get impaled, for the tent's sake. :D
Last edited by portaplaya on Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Looking for cheap shade options

Postby portaplaya » Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:45 pm

littlemissfancypants wrote:I have a *huge* tent: 11 ft squared and about 7 feet tall.
I had it with me in 2009 and it "tacoed" quite a few times.
Thanks! :D
Science Queen


Hey Science Queen,

Are you trying to make a windbreak so your tent does not taco again, or are you trying to shade your tent from the sun? Or both? Those are really two different tasks.

A windbreak is pretty easy to make. You would just get four 2x4's, 6 foot long, stand them up in tall inverted 'V's and screw them together at the top. Then screw the 'V''s to a sheet of plywood (1/4 inch or 1/2 inch) and stand this windbreak up on the windy side of the tent. Like this: //\

You could make it fancier, but this would probably be enough. At worst, you might need a brace at the bottom to keep the feet a set distance apart.
And this is cheap: sheet of plywood 4'x8' for about $20 (about double the price of a tarp), 6-foot 2x4s are around $2.50 or less.

Need to shade your tent and also break the wind. Then you might want to look at a monkeyhut. Or building a box frame of wood and tarping the top side and the windward side.
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Re: Looking for cheap shade options

Postby Bob » Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:01 pm

Monkey fucking monkey huts. The Chickie-Fil-A of the playa.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Re: Looking for cheap shade options

Postby FIGJAM » Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:33 pm

Monkey huts don't like gays?
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Re: Looking for cheap shade options

Postby Bob » Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:47 pm

Are you trying to make this political?
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Re: Looking for cheap shade options

Postby motskyroonmatick » Fri Aug 03, 2012 11:51 pm

CrispyDave wrote:
maladroit wrote:The bare, painful minimum would be PVC, Home Depot parking lot, and a hacksaw.

Upgrade to a jigsaw and some method of actually powering it, and you're living in luxury.


Be sure to MOOP the plastic sawdust in the Home Depot parking lot remember this is a leave no trace event...


One of those pipe cutters that you twist and tighten at each turn around the pipe doesn't leave any moop. It is the same style that you cut coper pipe with just bigger. I bring one to every burn since I learned my first year.
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Re: Looking for cheap shade options

Postby Bob » Sat Aug 04, 2012 9:12 am

Spoiler -- rather Oedipal.

Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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