Playa wind nightmare stories

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Playa wind nightmare stories

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:07 am

OK, i like stories. Sooooooo id like to hear about tent and shade failure and distruction. What happened. What did you change. What worked. What didnt. I finaly got old enough to learn from others misstakes so please share your stories and pics if you have them. (for education and entertainment purposes only...heehee)
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Postby mdmf007 » Mon Apr 05, 2010 4:17 pm

Second or third year a neighbor was using the old blue tarp and PVC for poles for a shade structure. He used rebar for stakes but didnt pound them in deep enough or didnt have enough.

During an awesome wind storm, his shade structure caught the wind perfect and ripped the upwind side out of the ground, flipping over the down wind side. The stakes were still attached to the 8 foot long cords, and now having been spun 180 degrees at just under the speed of sound struck my truck. The first one went through the windshield completely dead center, the second one pierced the hood like an arrow. - It gets better.

Now that it is anchored on all four sides it catches the wind again, the spear in the hood is not coming loose because it is wedged in tight. The one in the windshield had gone through completely andnow that it is being pulled on it turns like a toggle inside my cab and locks against the windshield. The next big puff then pulls the entire windshield out and flings it 40 feet downwind.

Barely any glass in the cab. and we sealed it up with plastic and tape in less than 5 minutes to preserve my dust free cab.

took only 5 seconds for the entire destructive phase to do its thing.
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Mon Apr 05, 2010 4:59 pm

I have 2 dents in the side of my truck from when THE WIND GODS grabbed my car port and threw it against the side of my vehicle. It was glorious.
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Postby teardropper » Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:24 am

mdmf007 wrote:Second or third year a neighbor was using the old blue tarp and PVC for poles for a shade structure. He used rebar for stakes but didnt pound them in deep enough or didnt have enough.

During an awesome wind storm, his shade structure caught the wind perfect and ripped the upwind side out of the ground, flipping over the down wind side. The stakes were still attached to the 8 foot long cords, and now having been spun 180 degrees at just under the speed of sound struck my truck. The first one went through the windshield completely dead center, the second one pierced the hood like an arrow. - It gets better.

Now that it is anchored on all four sides it catches the wind again, the spear in the hood is not coming loose because it is wedged in tight. The one in the windshield had gone through completely andnow that it is being pulled on it turns like a toggle inside my cab and locks against the windshield. The next big puff then pulls the entire windshield out and flings it 40 feet downwind.

Barely any glass in the cab. and we sealed it up with plastic and tape in less than 5 minutes to preserve my dust free cab.

took only 5 seconds for the entire destructive phase to do its thing.


Well, I thought I might have a wind story, but I yield to one great one. Sorry for your damage, but this is a comedy of errors. Good story.
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Postby AntiM » Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:10 am

Points for style, 007!

Putting up the carport, you put on the roof canvas before the legs. At that point, the only thing holding it down is people. The wind snatched the roof, Larry and crew had a good hold on it, didn't go anywhere. but it torqued one of the roof poles. This is an older carport, heavier poles than the ones Costco is currently selling, so I imagine this could happen easily to flimsier poles. Our camp no longer tries to raise the shade if the wind is up.
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Postby Fire_Moose » Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:35 am

Some friends were putting their carport up, one side had legs and the other didnt as the wind started to pick up. So they staked the legs that were on with rebar and began to put the other legs on. as they lifted the other side the wind caught it and flipped it over, bending all 4 legs on the first side at over a 90 degree angle, about a foot off the ground. This happened on monday..before noon.
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Postby AntiM » Tue Apr 06, 2010 8:05 am

Fire_Moose wrote:Some friends were putting their carport up, one side had legs and the other didnt as the wind started to pick up. So they staked the legs that were on with rebar and began to put the other legs on. as they lifted the other side the wind caught it and flipped it over, bending all 4 legs on the first side at over a 90 degree angle, about a foot off the ground. This happened on monday..before noon.


That sucks, and I can totally picture it!

We only put four legs on the carport, on one side. The other side stays down, with specially made short stubby legs. That way the wind lifts up and over, we call it a clamshell. We use two carports facing each other, with a double camo net shade area sandwiched between. Took us six years to perfect the structure. First two years we had a homemade structure, sturdy, but hot. Next year we had two carports, but for two years we set them up in an L, which sucked, no common shade area. Had a gazebo one year, it sucked. Fifth year we got them side by side, clamshelled one, left the other full upright (year of the pole bending) with shade in between. It was alright, but needed perfecting. Next four years we did the double clamshell with common shade in teh middle, works well.
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Postby Lord Of Ruin » Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:04 pm

Oh man.

My first year was 07. My friend an I arrived about 4 days prior to our campmates to set up (we got in early working for Gate). Got the frame to our Costco canopies set up, but whiteouts were so awful we sorta just huddled there in place for two days. Eventually worked out with fairly few pratfalls. Our neighbors, however...

So, we have our camp set up facing street. Vehicles behind canopies as a wind break.

Early in even week, group shows up and sorta weasels in between us and the camp behind us. So, camp behind us was originally facing out onto their street (our towards the Gate) and our camp faced our street (towards the Man) and this jumble of peeps decides to use this little bit of dead space between us.

Young kids...early 20's it looks like. Show up with much enthusiasm and musical instruments! Look like high school band camp, actually....

Tents go up, beer is broken out and they seem to be havinga fine time. Then....a decision is reached....the SHADE must go up! They proceed to produce camping stakes, rope, ginormous blue tarps and what appear to be logs about 4" in diameter about 12 feet long. Their idea? To IMPROVISE an enormous tipi! They succeed in getting it up, and the top of the tipi lashed in place. All file inside and play said musical instruments...and scene for the night.

What could POSSIBLY go wrong with what is now almost 20' high, unvented tarp, with LOGS as supports?

Next morning, about 11 am...wind starts...the white is a-comin'...and the thing proceeds to be ungracefully dismantled by the elements. Some logs slip their lashings, and proceed to be whipped about, tattering the structure. Ropes come free of the flimsy stakes and whip around like the snakes of medusa, threatening to put out an eye of anyone who ventures close. Items left under shade are being slowly pulverized by the whippng ropes and tarp and ground to small bits by flailing logs.

After about 3 hours, some brainiac decided to rush it and just flatten the other poles.

They never did resurrect it fully. They never properly took it down either, so it became a tattered, noisy sound sculpture for the rest of the event.

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Postby FIGJAM » Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:32 pm

Exelent stories. Thank you and keep um coming.
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Postby Fire_Moose » Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:54 pm

Oh, this was in the year of our man, 2008.

I was out in the deep playa and came upon a piece of art that was SO beautiful. So i whipped it out and started rubbing. Long story short i came into the wind and got it all over this guy that was 20 feet behind me.
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Postby Dr. Pyro » Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:06 pm

Jesus, I was wondering who the hell that was.
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Postby dragonfly Jafe » Tue Apr 06, 2010 8:19 pm

the first year my MV failed to make it down, but it's trailers did, we used the "wings" of the dragonfly (25' welded steel) with 4 guy ropes each to anchor a huge shade structure (20'x40' tarp or somesuch). The other side was anchored to the cargo rack of a friend's RV (her idea). It was a lovely camp shade area, we had our BBQ, couches, coolers, everything pretty much under it. Glorious for the first 3 days. Then the wind storm hit.

The tarp started flapping as everyone ran around trying to gather the debris of our laziness. Then the cargo rack ripped free from the RV. Then the tarp and cargo rack started flailing about, smashing us and our stuff. Dinner was spilled, drinks were spilled, coolers were spilled. Somehow we managed to cut the guy wires and drop the "towers" before they fell down, without smashing anything else, ending the flapping of the tarp (which we had anchored so far above ground we could not reach it to cut).

The wind died down after a day or so, but we never again erected a shade structure like that. The RV never made it down again either (although I think the black water tank dropping down on the freeway had more to do with that than the broken cargo rack)

Surely there are some horrifying stories from that huge dust devil that hit the city in 2006...it missed our camp by 50 yards or so (I ran out to meet it), and was at least a 1/4 mile wide...
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Postby Tiahaar » Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:04 pm

2007 was my bad luck wind year. That was the last time for the 20x30 solid tarp that zipped most all the ball bungies loose on the top connected-to-bus side (beware several-year old sun rotted ball bungies!!!), then flapped around and ripped most of the bottom grommets out that were roped to stakes. A neighbor's carport took off like an umbrella and sailed away to land upside down in the street luckily not on anyone.

Also alarming was that during the same big blow a diode melted in my wind turbine control box while I was away, opening up the generator circuit, and I came back to find the rotor blades freewheeling and screaming like a banshee. Waited for a break in the gusts and hit the 'brake', a switch that shorted the turbine power leads together and stalled it out.

If you camp by a wind turbine, or any other tall thing for that matter, doesn't hurt to check it out and see if it looks well anchored. I'm going to try shade mesh this year instead of solid tarps.
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Postby AntiM » Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:14 am

I once saw a camp erecting a dome, they had it up and partially covered when a wind gust caught it and lifted it. Big dome, too! One guy was hanging on to try to bring it down, at one point his feet were dangling six feet off the ground!

I remember the monster dust devil. Amazing.

There's a reason we use doubled camo netting for our main shade, the wind blows through it. And there's a reason we're fussy about keeping camp picked up, so noting takes off on us. Nothing like Camp OCD for anal-retentive control issues!

I remember a tent caught high up in air once, thought it was a kite. But I may have been hallucinating....
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Postby ygmir » Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:57 am

naw, AntiM.......I saw a vid of a little tent about 100' up in a "twister", I think it was 07?
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Postby Fire_Moose » Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:38 am

At our Decompression they have a HUGE geo dome. We decided to put a tarp on the outside of it, so there was some shade. Well once the wind started up it got so bad that the force of the wind on the tarp on the dome bent like 6 of the struts (that's what they're called right?) and put a nice big dent into the dome.
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Postby AntiM » Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:51 am

ygmir wrote:naw, AntiM.......I saw a vid of a little tent about 100' up in a "twister", I think it was 07?


Maybe. If not, something like it?
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Postby C.f.M. » Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:52 am

I have a nice windstorm story. My friend and I got "trapped" in that acrylic heart, on the very bottom.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2503/388 ... 0158_o.jpg

(it seemed to big to actually post)

Directly outside, complete white out. Whiteout?

But, if you looked straight up through the one valve that was open at the top? Pure, blue, dust-free sky. It was neat.

And hot damn, looking at that picture makes me all misty-eyed! I loved that blue balloon arc so much.
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Postby ygmir » Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:56 am

Fire_Moose wrote:At our Decompression they have a HUGE geo dome. We decided to put a tarp on the outside of it, so there was some shade. Well once the wind started up it got so bad that the force of the wind on the tarp on the dome bent like 6 of the struts (that's what they're called right?) and put a nice big dent into the dome.


are you sure?

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Postby zorro sings » Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:40 am

Club Verboten has seen many such calamities in the past.Many of which happened to Club Verboten.Two in particular.

In 2002 we were located cruely enough on the outer reaches of Sound Art with completely unprotected frontage for a very long way out.Think it was Thursday when a large storm struck suddenly from the east and sent a serious tide of dust heading our way.Never forget as it came through our front door creating an actual three dimensional solid wall of dust before exploding into our rear and making any further attempts as a functioning camp a fools errand.A miracle we came back in 2003.

In 2008 Club Verboten may have achieved somewhat of a feat by actually having The Authorities wrap"Danger"tape around the outside of our Super Shade Stucture.Of course when several,jagged by now, 12 foot PVC pipes are whipping wildly in the wind it seemed appropriate.The SSS went to 3:00 Keyhole in 2009 .
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Postby ZaphodBurner » Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:43 pm

2005 was our first time doing our own theme camp, which featured a three-sided wooden castle structure. We were told that the camps had to be up by Tuesday so when the windstorm hit, we all worked through it. Couldn't see halfway across the street and putting up plywood in 40mph wind is ridiculous, but we got it done.

When the dust cleared, we were the only people on the block who had even bothered to try.

In 2008, a dust devil hit the camp across the road, lifted their entire shade structure about 20 feet in the air and dropped it in the middle of the intersection. Burning Man 2008 WAS a playa wind nightmare.
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Postby sputnik » Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:57 pm

In 2007 I was camped around 7 and J, just over on I was a huge black shade structure. The camp that put it up decided to simply use cantilevered weights to anchor the tarp. It was really quite beautiful, but when the wind started whipping the structure the weights started bobbing around, and when I say bobbing I mean violently swinging back and forth. They had something like 150 lbs on the end of each rope, clearly not enough to hold the many thousands of square feet of sail in place. I was able to convince them that their weights were not going to do and we rigged up a much more secure system that involved multiple stakes and ropes at each tie-down point.

It would have been deadly had this thing taken flight as it was about to do.
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Postby Boijoy » Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:01 pm

[quote=
Surely there are some horrifying stories from that huge dust devil that hit the city in 2006...it missed our camp by 50 yards or so (I ran out to meet it), and was at least a 1/4 mile wide...[/quote]

Image

didn't hit our camp either... we just stared at it in wonder just prior to the dust "storm" hitting. :)
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Postby Bounce530 » Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:16 pm

In '08 my small camp arrived in the city just after the gates opened. We decided to camp on J at 5:45ish. So being that the gates had just opened most everybody else was headed futher into the city for the land grabs.
We spent all night and just past dawn setting up (2) 10x20 shade structures. They were set up with a van between them. After spending all night driving in, and setting up camp we decided to goto bed before it got to hot. It wasn't but an hour after that the infamous all day Monday wind storm started.
I heard a bunch of flapping, so I peaked out of my tent and could see the end of the stucture on the other side of the van sailing straight up in the air. uh-oh...
So I quick woke everybody up and the only thing we could do was to tear it down as a bunch of the legs where bent and broken. While we where cutting that one down, the other one started to go. We were able to get the one down and stored, then spent the next 5 hours holding on to the other. We were on J, and the gates had been closed, so we were the first in line of the dust and wind, there was no other wind blocks ahead of us.
We finally decided to cut down the second structure and try to piece something together out of the parts that we had. Which we did, but it ended up being a whole lot smaller, and didn't shade our tents.

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Postby FIGJAM » Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:28 pm

Were you camped out there for the quite or or was there another reason? Im planning on camping in just that area so im trying to design a bomb proof camp.
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Postby Bounce530 » Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:36 pm

The quiet was part of the reason why we camped there, but also, at the time it just seemed like a good place. But, just because we were far away from the sound camps doesn't mean that the frat boys who show up mid-end week aren't quiet.
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Postby accordionMan » Wed Apr 28, 2010 3:42 pm

Last year I arrived early to do some bench illustrations at center camp. I camped on G and there was no one around. Nothing to stop the wind but my tent. The Saturday before the burn a storm kicked in at 3:oo and I hunkered down. the noise in my tent was deafening... I had to put ear plugs in.

Soooooo I'm lying there looking up at the hub that has my 5 tent poles that were inserted into it. The hub is twisted to almost a 90 degree angle... I'm trying to figure out what would happen if my poles snapped... would I be impaled? I figured not.. that they would break away from the inside of the tent.

Sure enough... after about 2 hours I watched as 3 poles snapped!

I run outside with my duct tape (don't you love duct tape?) and do some quick repairs. At 11:30 that night I was about to call it a day and just pack it in when the storm STOPS!

So I throw on my blinky hat, grabbed my accordion and ran into a marching band... and we started to jam!

A fun time was had by all!
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Postby FIGJAM » Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:14 pm

Please tell me you played another one bites the dust on your accordian. Als version always cracks me up...........lol......
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Postby FIGJAM » Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:22 pm

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YQa6l3Geyo[/youtube]
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Postby accordionMan » Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:43 pm

That was great!

Weird Al's Dad was a famous accordionist.

The fellow in the back was doing his percussion on Weird Al's accordion case positioned upside down.

I have to get me a pair of pants like his.

Gonna pick up my accordion now and squeeze....

With that accordion on my chest
I'm feeling vibrations that are the best
I'm thinkin' "naughty boy, naughty boy, that accordion ain't no sex toy"
But it feels sooooo good!

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