So confused about rebar, steaks, and EMT

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So confused about rebar, steaks, and EMT

Postby karr » Sun Aug 21, 2005 3:34 pm

I have been reading all the different topics that relate to rebar, tents, setup and so forth but now I am feeling WAY overwhelmed and I haven't the slighest clue of what to do.

I get the idea that regular stakes won't work and need something sturdy like rebar. I have a general idea of where to buy the rebar...and that the general rule is to buy at least 2 feet long 3/8. It gets driven into the ground by a hammer/sledgehammer as far in as you can get it.

The only rebar I have found is straight and has no little arms and have not found any candycane rebar.

Also, how do I attach my tent to the rebar? Where does guyline come in? And rope?

It's my first time going out to Burning Man and although I've been camping, it was one of those camping trips where not much is necessary to keep the tent down. So I have NO clue.

Others topics I have read talk about 2 feet long stakes and some refer to EMT with cement. *deer in headlights*

Can someone help me or point me to a virgin how-to on rebar setup?
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Postby phil » Sun Aug 21, 2005 4:42 pm

Your tent should have loops on the ground cloth and on the fly so that you can put stakes through those loops. Rebar is ridged and rough, so it holds the loop without any problem, just plain vanilla straight. That's what I've always used.

This means you don't pound the rebar all the way into the ground. I have solar lights on plastic tubes that I put over the part of my rebar that sticks up. You can buy PVC pipes or tubes and cut them to six inches or so and put them over the rebar around your tent. Generally, you want people not to come into contact with the rebar, as hammering it in creates share edges around the end your hitting with the hammer. Generally, you also don't want people tripping over things -- however, with the rebar holding down your tent your tent, generally people aren't going to walk into your tent. Still, cover it so that if someone does hit the rebar, it doesn't cut them.

Your question on guyline leaves out some stuff. What guyline? My tent doesn't use guylines, and neither does my shade. If you have rebar that stands off from a structure, like a guyline for a shade or a tent, the preferred way is to hammer the rebar in all the way. The problem is that if you don't have candycane style rebar, it won't hold the line and you can't get it out. My suggestion for this is to use six foot or so long PVC and put that over the top of the rebar that you leave sticking up. That way the PVC is eye level and may not be a tripping hazard. You still need to mark guylines with white ribbon of some kind during the day, and you'll still have people walking into it day and night. C'est la vie if you have to use guylines.

Finally, this is Burning Man. When you get there, ask for help. You'll get dozens of people offering dozens of different advice and assistance. :-> Let them sort it out while you offer water or gratitude.

Relax. Enjoy. Repeat.
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Postby AntiM » Sun Aug 21, 2005 5:33 pm

You can make do with straight rebar indeed. Try to get a good heavy mallet rathter than a metal hammer to pound it in. Bring vice grips to pull it back out after, whatever you do DO NOT use your vehicle to pull rebar out of the ground.

Things I have seen capping rebar: plastic soda bottles, tennis balls, stuffed animals. The solar lights are an excellent idea!

Like phil says, you will find help on the playa, most people are willing to pitch in.
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Postby karr » Sun Aug 21, 2005 7:05 pm

phil wrote:I have solar lights on plastic tubes that I put over the part of my rebar that sticks up. You can buy PVC pipes or tubes and cut them to six inches or so and put them over the rebar around your tent. Generally, you want people not to come into contact with the rebar, as hammering it in creates share edges around the end your hitting with the hammer. Generally, you also don't want people tripping over things -- however, with the rebar holding down your tent your tent, generally people aren't going to walk into your tent. Still, cover it so that if someone does hit the rebar, it doesn't cut them.

Thanks Phil for the advice on covering rebar. I really like the idea of solar lights!

phil wrote:Your question on guyline leaves out some stuff. What guyline? My tent doesn't use guylines, and neither does my shade.

My question on guyline is that I have no idea what it is for, if I need it or not, etc. My tent may not need it, but I don't know. I just saw everyone recommending to bring some along but haven't figured out why. What to do with it.

AntiM wrote:You can make do with straight rebar indeed. Try to get a good heavy mallet rathter than a metal hammer to pound it in. Bring vice grips to pull it back out after, whatever you do DO NOT use your vehicle to pull rebar out of the ground.

AntiM, thanks for the advice! :) I won't be trying it with my car. Especially since it's a rental!

Here are pictures of my tent and shade structure. I took a picture of the corners of my tent which is what I imagine goes into the rebar?

Image
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Postby HughMungus » Sun Aug 21, 2005 8:02 pm

I kept hearing "rebar" too but I have no idea where to get it nor would I want to mess with having to bend it AND I keep hearing that it bends when you hammer it. I got some 16" stakes from Home Depot. I've gotten by with 12" stakes in the past so I'm pretty sure I'll be fine. If not. then I'll start thinking about rebar.
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Postby fancy1 » Sun Aug 21, 2005 8:15 pm

Hey Karr,

We'll probably have a few extra pieces in camp, a sledge to pound them in with and a crow bar to remove them. You'll probably need one for each corner of the tent and one for each corner of the shade. The guy ropes attach at the top of the shade and tie off to the rebar. You can use ropes or ratchet tie downs for the guy lines. I know that we have one good knot man in camp and I've always let him tie my off. I think that there will be a few guys in camp that can help pound rebar in too!

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Postby keepercurrent » Sun Aug 21, 2005 8:30 pm

You should be able get rebar at any building supply place, such as Home Depot....They generally can cut it for you too! They may even be able to bend it, though hmmmmmm...friends in the building/carpentry business should be able to point you in the right diection or have the tools to do the bend.
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Postby Chai Guy » Sun Aug 21, 2005 8:43 pm

Karr,

Do this, when you arrive on the playa put on sunscreen and your big hat. Then walk over and introduce yourself to your neighbor who has a shade structure. Bring beers or your favorite beverage to share. Sit down and take a breath. Ready? Breath with me. Ahhhhhhhhhh... Ok, nice and relaxed right? Finish your tasty beverage and excuse yourself to go set up your camp.

Step 1. Unload your tent and shade structure.
Step 2. Set up tent in it's desired location.
step 3. Put something very heavy in the tent so it does not blow away in the wind.

step 4. Pound in rebar stakes at each corner of the tent.
step 5. Cap rebar with empty water bottles, tennis balls or something to prevent you and others from impaling themselves on said rebar.
step 6. Connect rebar to tent by tying rope around rebar and tent straps/grommets. Tent should be pulled taut between all corners.
Step 7. Set up shade structure and place over tent. (have someone hold shade structure until you get it secured).
Step 8. Secure shade structure by pounding in a rebar stake at each corner of the shade structure. The rebar should be pounded in as close to the leg of the structure as possible, one you figure out where it's going to go move the shade structure an inch or two so you don't hit it with the mallet.
step 9. Wrap the legs of the shade structure with plastic wrap. (just the first ft. from the ground up.)
step 10. Duct tape the legs of the shade structure to the rebar (the plastic wrap ensures that the glue from the tape won't permanently stick to the leg).

Now I've always used this method and never had a problem but for extra safety you can also use guylines. here's how.

Pound rebar approximately 3-4 ft. out from each corner of shade structure, cap rebar and tie a rope from the rebar to the top strut of the shade stucture (where the vertical strut meets the horizontal strut). Make sure the rope is taut.
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Postby phil » Sun Aug 21, 2005 8:57 pm

Karr, see
Image

The part of the photo with the thing rolled up doesn't tell me what part is what, so I can't tell where the rebar goes. A close up of the area I circled would help. If I read the photo right, the rebar would go in the metal D-ring stirrup (the tent's pole going in the grommet. The problem is the photo of the D-ring is smeared, and I can't tell if there are two D-rings, which means that's not where the stake goes.

If rebar won't fit in the D-ring, follow Dallas's advice but get a two-foot stake (or as close to 2 feet as you can get) or Chai Guy's advice -- there is on one way to do it. Your tent looks like it will ride out storms fairly well. I'm sorry to say I don't have a lot of hope for your shade, though -- but I could be wrong.

Getting help when you get there won't be a problem, I'm sure.
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Postby PurpleKoosh » Sun Aug 21, 2005 9:00 pm

Chai Guy wrote:Step 8. Secure shade structure by pounding in a rebar stake at each corner of the shade structure. The rebar should be pounded in as close to the leg of the structure as possible, one you figure out where it's going to go move the shade structure an inch or two so you don't hit it with the mallet.
step 9. Wrap the legs of the shade structure with plastic wrap. (just the first ft. from the ground up.)
step 10. Duct tape the legs of the shade structure to the rebar (the plastic wrap ensures that the glue from the tape won't permanently stick to the leg).

That has got to be the most incredibly brilliant suggestion I have ever heard for EZUps. I'm sorry I've run out of money, now, or I'd actually get one this year. ;-)
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Postby Kinetic IV » Sun Aug 21, 2005 9:18 pm

I thought shade structures like the one Karr posted wouldn't hold up in the high winds out there, staked down or not. Chai, is your structure like that one? If so I'll be buying one to cover my tent and using your approach to holding it down

I've also been thinking of using steel posts...I've got access to thousands of them and I'm thinking they would stick up high enough that I could keep from running into them at all unlike the rebar that always seems to "get me" one way or the other. The question is how hard is it to drive them into the playa? I still don't have all of my strength back to be swinging sledge hammers or heavy mallets. But I don't want to be heading off down the playa chasing my stuff either.
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bending rebar

Postby chrispburn » Sun Aug 21, 2005 10:46 pm

in case you do want bend rebar, it's fairly easy.

when you buy the rebar, buy it a little longer than you think you need, as the candy cane hook will subtract from your "pound-able" length once you bend it also buy two metal pipes that the rebar could fit inside -- try to get a pipe that has a similar sized hole to the tickness of your rebar. Doesn't need to be exact, but it should be close.

buy the METAL pipes from the plumbing section, not the electrical section.
They'll have black pipe or a silvery pipe (galvanized). They should be at least a couple of feet long, 3 or four feet would be better.

Now, recruit a friend to make this easier. offer bribes. But it will be pretty easy.

lay one pipe on the ground. stick a piece of rebar inside, leaving about 6-9 inches sticking out. Then, stick the other pipe over what is left. This is a little awkward, as the rebar will want to slide into the first pipe. But have one person hold the rebar, while the other slides pipe number 2 over the remaing 6-9 inches.

One person stands on top of pipe one (the pipe with the majority of the rebar inside) You basically just want to keep it on the ground. Person number 2 lifts up pipe number one from the opposite end, and BENDs the rebar. Keep going, until you've almost bent the rebar in half -- you have a candy cane.

The longer pipe number two is, the easier it will be to bend. This is a basic lever.

There are many other ways, I'm sure. This one just seemed easy to me when I first read about it. And I had some pipe handy. It went really fast for me, so I think it should be pretty easy.

The nice things about candy cane rebar
- slightly less dangerous, since you'r not staring at the pointy end of it
- gives you something to hook your tent or rope to
- gives you something more substantial to hook onto when you take the rebar out.

AND PLEASE, if at the end of the week you are stuck, and can't get the rebar out of the ground -- PLEASE ask someone for help. A couple of years ago, the neighboring camp must have been completely overwhelmed -- but they left at least a DOZEN pieces of rebar in the ground. And ironically, we had tons of tools, inlcuding a tool called a "REBAR PULLER"!!!!

Leaving rebar can be one of the most dangerous, even deadly, pieces of MOOP. aside from someone tripping or cutting themeselves, a car could blow out a tire, and people go out to the playa during other parts of the year to drive REALLY fast. that could be a serious accident.

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Postby karr » Sun Aug 21, 2005 11:06 pm

fancy1 wrote:We'll probably have a few extra pieces in camp, a sledge to pound them in with and a crow bar to remove them.

The guy ropes attach at the top of the shade and tie off to the rebar. You can use ropes or ratchet tie downs for the guy lines.

Hiya Fancy. Thanks for the info. That definately makes it easier as far as what I'll need. Any suggestions on the type of rope? I have a feeling that the store I go to isn't gonna have guy lines or ratchet ties.

Chai Guy wrote:Breath with me. Ahhhhhhhhhh...

Ahhhhhhhhhh...thanks Chai Guy. That definately helped me understand way better how it all works. Thanks a ton.

phil wrote:A close up of the area I circled would help.

Your tent looks like it will ride out storms fairly well. I'm sorry to say I don't have a lot of hope for your shade, though -- but I could be wrong.

My shade structure has been the one thing nagging at the back of my mind. When I bought it, the guy told me that he had one and it held up well in his backyard. Here in Vegas we get winds that gust up to 65mph at times...but I don't know if that's what he meant. I think I smell an easy sell tactic from the guy. Here's a closeup of the corner you mentioned.

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Postby Chai Guy » Sun Aug 21, 2005 11:24 pm

I have no problem with those types of shade structures. I've never had to guy them down, (I just drive in 4 pieces of rebar and duct tape the corners to the rebar). I do however park mine next to my van which provides an additonal wind break. Also, while I've used ones of varying quality the higher quality (read: more expensive) tend to last longer. I've never had even a cheaper one fly away however. YMMV
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Postby Chai Guy » Sun Aug 21, 2005 11:27 pm

Oh and one more thing. (sorry) I am NOT a fan of the candy cane rebar. I read the website my first year and everyone was saying to do that, so I did it. I quickly found out that:

1. It actually makes hitting it more difficult as the hammer will tend to slide off and not drive the rebar into the ground. SUCKS

2. The candy cane top is almost impossible to cap, so while you may not impale yourself, it will cut your ankle or shin as you "bump" it in the night.

again, ymmv.
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Postby karr » Sun Aug 21, 2005 11:36 pm

So the shade structure I have is not giving me a comfortable feeling and based on a few comments, it seems it may not be adequate. Pffff.

Anyone have any opinion on this structure?

Image
Based on the information I read on this, "the special center hub strengthens the shelter's ability to stand up in windy conditions."

Any comments on these?
Image

Image

Image

Image
It has an air vent that supposedly helps reduce shelter lift forces.

Basically, I'm limited to what I can find at Big 5, Dick's Sporting Goods, [insert]mart, Tarjay, and Sports Chalet because of the proximity of Burning Man and my budget.
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Postby karr » Sun Aug 21, 2005 11:40 pm

Hey Chai Gui. Thanks for the flipside info on candy cane rebar.

In regards to the shade structure you've used, have you put anything on your structure on the sides?
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Postby Elemental666 » Mon Aug 22, 2005 12:49 am

I got 36 4ft lengths of rebar and took them to a Iron Worker (fence and gate type place) They charged me $15 to bend them all at the 1 foot mark. So I ended up with 36 candy canes 3ft long on the longest side. I won't need them all for my dome so I'll use the others for my tent and extra shade stuff...
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Postby Chai Guy » Mon Aug 22, 2005 1:52 am

I have seen some of those tents on the playa but have no first hand information. I can say again however that I've had no problem with my ez-up structure out there (it's the kind with the scissor desing, the one with fiber glass poles worked but not as well).

My shade structure does not have sides, but I usually add them in the from of a tapestry or two for additonal shade protection. They are so light weight the wind usually goes right through them, but they do keep the sun off the sides of the tent. I've also used painters tarps (canvas) to good effect.

If you already own this, I say go for it and see how it works for you.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Aug 22, 2005 8:39 am

I'm gonna second Chai Guy here. If it don't work, you'll have a whole lot more information about what you want next time you attend. (Or even if you want to attend again.) Save your money so you can have a descent meal on your way home or some alchohol to bribe your neighbors with so they are too drunk to notice you've userpted their shade structure...
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Postby HughMungus » Mon Aug 22, 2005 8:43 am

I'd go with whichever one is most stable and throw up some blankets as shade walls using tarp clips.
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Postby robotland » Mon Aug 22, 2005 8:49 am

If you decide to use rebar, look around at the building supply store (or ask) for PRECUT lengths. Most places like Gnome Depot sell 'em, and it saves time. Don't worry- they're cheap. I you need to cut your own, bring a hacksaw to cut the 10' or 20' length down to car-carrying size and bring something to wrap it in, unless you can tolerate rust in your ride. When I get mine home I scuff it clean with a 3M pad and paint it gloss yellow, to retard further rust and increase visibility.
For tents straight rebar's fine, as stated earlier. Since I bring domes, I candycane mine to make "staples" that hold the struts to the ground. (This method's easier if you bring a prybar to pop 'em up with later.) 'Caning them as tightly as possible reduces the annoying bounce phenomenon. Pound on the side of the bent-over part to condense.
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Postby phil » Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:41 am

Here's a closeup of the corner you mentioned.

Yeah, that's the D-ring you drive your stake through. If you go with rebar, be _sure_ the diameter rebar you buy will go through that D-ring.

I know you're getting tons of advice here and some of it conflicts. Take a Chai Guy breath and realize it _all_ works for someone.

On rebar sizes, I've never had tohave it cut. I've bought it locally at whatever number of big-box hardware/home improvement/lumber stores at whatever length I wanted. Also, the diameter varies from a quarter-inch up. A 24- or 18-inch length of 1/4-inch diameter rebar on each D-ring for your tent would likely hold it if that's the largest that will fit through the D-ring. I can't tell if you have only four D-rings, one on each corner or if you have some in the middle of the tent sides -- stake all you've got.

Check your stakes daily when you get up or go to bed or whatever. If you don't have rebar, it's likely one or more stakes will loosen in the playa after any wind. If you have a loose stake, pull it out and move it over and drive it in again. I have seen a tent rolling like a tumblin' tumbleweed through a bunch of camps.

A few of the posters here are in Hushville. Drop by and say hello when you get set up.
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Postby fancy1 » Mon Aug 22, 2005 1:09 pm

Karr,
Like Chai Guy said, just take a deep breath, it'll all be great!
We have an ez-up shade like your first one pictured. With rebar stakes and duct tape, it didn't move last year. And we plan on doing the same this year.
As for rope, natural rope is better than the poly rope, but either will work for guy lines. There are riggers, fishermen, loggers, boy scouts and girl scouts in camp so they'll be happy to help get your gear secured. We won't let ya blow away!

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Postby karr » Mon Aug 22, 2005 6:38 pm

You guys and gals are ALL awesome! Very much looking forward to meeting as many of you as I'm able to.

Thanks SO much for the replies and shedding light on this. I am definately feeling comfortable with all the advice received and I have a very solid idea of how the setup will go (at least what to do).

Very much looking forward to my first burn and learning from it!
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Postby Wakawaka » Tue Aug 23, 2005 1:40 am

...having read only some of the replies....

I use (3/8)x1' pieces of rebar to stake the corners of the tents (I have a 6' dia dome and a 9x11 upright type tent) and 2' pieces for each leg of a 10x20 shade structure (carport type).
I use 2 pieces of pipe to bend each piece of rebar into a candycane shape, easy to pound into the ground and no holes in the shins.

I've found the 10x10 shade structures are pretty flimsy and can be destroyed very easily with a little wind. If you set up a 10x10 place a larger 12x15 (or so) thick tarp over the whole thing and tighten it down with rope in each corner to 2' pieces of rebar. It'll flap but the tarps won't tear (in my experience).

My favorite ingredients are zip ties and reber. Add a little wind and some dust, kick back with a beer and your favorite chair, WWAAAAHHHHHHHH!~!!!!!!!!
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