North Pole Party Shade

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

Postby SilverOrange » Sat Sep 18, 2010 8:58 am

We had three in our camp besides mine. Those have been out to the playa for the last four years with no issues. We put three tents in each one which allowed for a little chill space inside for those times when people wanted a little "me" time. Worked great for shade allowing a little longer sleeping in every morning. They also worked good for keeping the majority of peoples things dry during the rain this year. (Tents had been set up to not be directly in front of the large vented doors.)

I've since brought mine to another festival, and am surprised how many people really admired the design but have never seen them before. It would be nice if they started producing them again, and maybe do a little better marketing to reach outside of the burner community.
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Postby copilot602 » Sun Sep 19, 2010 12:46 am

Well we didnt get to go this year - still no baby!- but I had made some mods to the tent that might interest you. I sent the tent to the playa with some friends and they loved it.

The first mod I did was to get tent poles made that could go in a circle around the inside of the tent above the supports. This literally added a ton of space in the tent as it didnt sag as much (by design).

Here is a picture in our backyard:
Image
Here are pictures from the inside:
Image
Image
It dipped a little betwwen the supports, but worked great and did well in the rain both here in town and at the playa. I paid around $45 (cant find the invoice now!) at www.polesforyou.com who custom made them to fit. My math was off and I ordered it a touch to big but cut out one length out and it worked perfect. My final size is two peices; 1 with 8 sections of 27" peices (including the connectors) and one with 7. I slid the poles through the cloth hoops on the inside (a bit tricky but you will figure it out!). I would even recommend getting it done in 3 peices with 5 sections in each, much easier to put through the loops!


Best part is is folds up and fits inside the tent bag!
Image

I also had a welder friend of mine throw together a way to hang lights off the middle pole. Basically just a slightly larger pole with a hole drilled through it and some arms coming off. I have a better design planned (didn't give him a lot of direction on this one) that should actually fold up and store in the bag. Will let you know when it is done, but it seems brilliant to me! This little fixture wasn't as cheap as I would have liked (used LED lightbulbs from Ace Hardware at $10 each fixture) but it was nice and worked great with the solar setup I purchased from Harbor Freight (you can see it in the second picture.)
We wanted to use a plastic table with the pole going through the umbrella hole and the light hung above it, but I think they ended up just setting a table next to the pole. I put the mounting hole for the fixture through the top of the 4th pole. Of course I also had lots of LED xmas lights as well, so it had lots of light on the inside.
Image
Image

Well that is about it for now. When my friend gets me the pics from the playa, I will post.

BTW please post pics of mods for the open flaps. I wanted to do something but ran out of time!
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Postby LostinReno » Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:53 am

copilot602 wrote:Well we didnt get to go this year - still no baby!- but I had made some mods to the tent that might interest you. I sent the tent to the playa with some friends and they loved it.

The first mod I did was to get tent poles made that could go in a circle around the inside of the tent above the supports. This literally added a ton of space in the tent as it didnt sag as much (by design).

Here is a picture in our backyard:
Image
Here are pictures from the inside:
Image
Image
It dipped a little betwwen the supports, but worked great and did well in the rain both here in town and at the playa. I paid around $45 (cant find the invoice now!) at www.polesforyou.com who custom made them to fit. My math was off and I ordered it a touch to big but cut out one length out and it worked perfect. My final size is two peices; 1 with 8 sections of 27" peices (including the connectors) and one with 7. I slid the poles through the cloth hoops on the inside (a bit tricky but you will figure it out!). I would even recommend getting it done in 3 peices with 5 sections in each, much easier to put through the loops!

OMG, that's awesome! That was our biggest complaint (sagginess) my husband is 6'2" Definately going to look into this, thanks for the tip! We put schedule 40 PVC pipe on the 3 cross beams like someone else on here suggested. We felt better about hanging lights etc. from them as opposed to the break down poles, not sure if we'd have hung the coleman lantern from the skinny cross poles by themselves. It worked out great! North Pole needs to reconsider their discontinuance of this item! We even had lots of positive compliments on it last summer when we took it camping.
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Postby Tabula Rasa Mistress » Sun Sep 26, 2010 1:07 pm

copilot602---I love it!

We took two last year; left the middle round connector piece at home for one and just re-barred the hell out of it and covered those with good fur and both withstood the whiteouts around ring road near 6:00. We then took it to LA Decom, and with not being able to stake, cinderblocks would not hold it up... We did end up staking in dirt and my Husband stacked cinderblocks around the pole (since it was on the California State Seal, it was cement and could not be secured) and then we ran white Christmas lights up and around---from outside, it looked like a tree! People danced, meditated and were mesmerized; this year, we were on the inner ring of Center Camp with less space, so we only took one; it was to the rear of camp and we put about 60 pillows and a hammock; same lighted tree set-up and burners who did find it loved it.

When we had the rain on Monday, three of us sat around the center pole and it was the only place in camp that was dry-huzzah!! I love this tent---we hang tapestries around the outer areas and run rope lights around the circumference...

I love your modification and you've given me food for thought and ideas, your modification would have kept a couple more people dry, I think---thank you so much for posting; and the use of this to house sleeping tents is a great idea too :) I wonder if your modification would make it secure enough for a set-up at the park for decom this year?

A couple of pics to show how we are using ours---I'd never heard of it, bought the 2 last year and thought it was cool to see other's out there:

Burning Man '09---from inside camp, down our pathway (Lamplighter across the street)---dark, but open---
Image
'09 Burn by damaradeaella, on Flickr

Day shot:

Image
'09 Burn by damaradeaella, on Flickr

First night set-up at decom, pre-staking and epic failure.

Image
'09 LA Decom by damaradeaella, on Flickr

After decom:

Image
'09 LA Decom by damaradeaella, on Flickr

Right after the rain on Monday (even when the rain came sideways at us, we stayed dry, the whole internal perimeter was soaked though) :

Image
Northpole Structure 2010 by damaradeaella, on Flickr

Night shot from walkway built for the Cafe Village---I took very poor night shots this year:

Image
Northpole Structure 2010 by damaradeaella, on Flickr

Another view with flash from the walkway:

Image
Northpole Structure 2010 by damaradeaella, on Flickr


Our camp, with this structure on the left (Sunday to Monday after Temple, our neighbors gone, so you could see the whole thing, too bad my shot is awful):

Image
Northpole Structure 2010 by damaradeaella, on Flickr
Tabula Rasa Mistress "Lady D" married to her favorite person, "Roo"
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Postby copilot602 » Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:55 pm

Very cool. Sadly my friends took one lousy picture of the tent at the burn so I will just have to take some pics at our next decomp!

Has anyone found a good way to close off the meshed openings? I was thinking it would be a great way to keep out the dust.

Also, my friends who used it complained that it was "hot" undernesth during the day and mostly say under their quick-pop-up square tent. This is contrary to everything I hav read. Does anyone else feel that it is warm under the North Pole?

Josh
(oh baby is now 7 weks old and attempting to make sure I never sleep again!)
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Postby teardropper » Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:46 am

Mine was a favorite place to nap in the daytime. Remember, it's hot out. Everyplace is warm. Under there was cooler.
\^/
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Postby lucky420 » Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:44 am

we had our hammock under ours and was a nice place to relax during the day...we also sprizted ourselves alot with our garden sprayer, it kept us cooler under there.
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Postby mudpuppy000 » Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:44 am

Mine wasn't too hot during the day. I kept the doors all open to allow more breeze through. I think it'd get pretty hot if you covered the doors to keep the dust out.
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Postby dcweas » Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:40 pm

I was envious of people who had these this year. We just got one on ebay, at a good price - they are floating around out there.
I'd rather hit the books.
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Postby lucky420 » Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:54 pm

Yay...easy to put up but a little challenging doing it in the wind
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Postby Elorrum » Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:56 pm

If the bottom is staked out first, I don't think it's hard at all to get set up... I put a big nail down with a 15 foot rope for the radius to get the edges started at decent distances. The person who has to crawl in to find the peak of the tent got the glory of all of last year's dust. oh wait... that was me. I didn't find it hot at all, and think the breeze being able to blow through is a key to not letting a good wind get any real purchase on the large surface area. Bends, but does not break. Love it.
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Postby delle » Sun Jan 09, 2011 6:45 am

'Twould appear that Amazon has them in stock again. $180 - free shipping. 3 left last time I looked.

I ordered one last night which is expected to be delivered to Arizona within the next 3 to 5 days.

Unfortunate thing about living so far away (Quebec) is that I won't get to see it until we get there -- tho my nephew has gleefully promised to "tart it up" before then!

I'd really like to order the pole structure that CoPilot had made up for it. Am I right in figuring it would be three units with five 27" sections each?
Thats it???

(not including the shoring-up materials, of course)
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Postby copilot602 » Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:05 am

Yes. My recomendation is for either 3 units of five or five units of 3. I have 1 unit of 8 and 1 unit of 7 and it is a bit cumbersome to install in the tent. The 5 units might be a little much for set up. There is a string of elastic that runs down the middle to hold them together and they couple at each end. If I can find new elastic, I will probably remake mine into 3 units of 5.

The tent poles themselves went through little loops connected to the tent that are meant to hold room dividers. I would much rather connect something like this to the loops so the poles just snap in, but haven't look real hard to find them. This place is out of stock as of this posting...

Image

I know others have used pvc to stabilize the 3 center supports, but I did not feel that was neccesary. Then again, I only wrapped them in xmas lights as I had my main light hanging from the central support pole.
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Postby copilot602 » Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:13 am

BTW, Tabula Rasa Mistress, what did you use for the floor mats? I looked into something for the floor and was really sticker-shocked by how much all the flooring options would cost.

Looking at your pictuires, I am thinking maybe some thin foam with covers made from cheap sheets might be the way to go...sucky to transport howvere, I would imagine...
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Postby delle » Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:13 pm

copilot602 wrote:The tent poles themselves went through little loops connected to the tent that are meant to hold room dividers. I would much rather connect something like this to the loops so the poles just snap in, but haven't look real hard to find them. This place is out of stock as of this posting...

Image


Way to upgrade on an already truly inspired addition.

I spent some time this morning looking around the internet for some, but unfortunately encountered the same problem as you. Out of stock - or broken links and out of service phone numbers.

When I was at the church basement today I happened to ask them if they ever got in tents that they couldn't sell, and their reply was "All The Time!!". They recoup the zippers and whatever poles are there and cut up the fabric for other things but had never considered harvesting the pole-clips. They'll be on the lookout for me from here on in. With any luck at all I'll have enough to share before they're restocked!!

(that might be a tad optimistic in this season of Minus-40-Blowing-Snow, but you never can tell)


I doubt I'll ever look at a trashed tent the same way again!
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Postby teardropper » Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:36 pm

copilot602 wrote:Well we didnt get to go this year - still no baby!- but I had made some mods to the tent that might interest you. I sent the tent to the playa with some friends and they loved it.

The first mod I did was to get tent poles made that could go in a circle around the inside of the tent above the supports. This literally added a ton of space in the tent as it didnt sag as much (by design).

Here is a picture in our backyard:
Image
Here are pictures from the inside:
Image
Image
It dipped a little betwwen the supports, but worked great and did well in the rain both here in town and at the playa. I paid around $45 (cant find the invoice now!) at www.polesforyou.com who custom made them to fit. My math was off and I ordered it a touch to big but cut out one length out and it worked perfect. My final size is two peices; 1 with 8 sections of 27" peices (including the connectors) and one with 7. I slid the poles through the cloth hoops on the inside (a bit tricky but you will figure it out!). I would even recommend getting it done in 3 peices with 5 sections in each, much easier to put through the loops!


Best part is is folds up and fits inside the tent bag!
Image

I also had a welder friend of mine throw together a way to hang lights off the middle pole. Basically just a slightly larger pole with a hole drilled through it and some arms coming off. I have a better design planned (didn't give him a lot of direction on this one) that should actually fold up and store in the bag. Will let you know when it is done, but it seems brilliant to me! This little fixture wasn't as cheap as I would have liked (used LED lightbulbs from Ace Hardware at $10 each fixture) but it was nice and worked great with the solar setup I purchased from Harbor Freight (you can see it in the second picture.)
We wanted to use a plastic table with the pole going through the umbrella hole and the light hung above it, but I think they ended up just setting a table next to the pole. I put the mounting hole for the fixture through the top of the 4th pole. Of course I also had lots of LED xmas lights as well, so it had lots of light on the inside.
Image
Image

Well that is about it for now. When my friend gets me the pics from the playa, I will post.

BTW please post pics of mods for the open flaps. I wanted to do something but ran out of time!


Really want to do this. Do you think my local tent maker can do it with your photos?
\^/
/..\ Furthur
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Postby copilot602 » Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:56 am

I would imagine that they could, being a "tent maker". There are definitely some funky curves to allow the tent to sag rather than be taunt like a normal tent. But hell, if the price is right, I say go for it! I would say your biggest difficulty may be fashioning the crossbars that come off the center support as it has a custom plastic fitting.

Maybe somebody will break out the tent and put a pattern together for you, or at least take some up close pics of the details. If you have somebody to do it, I would say get them to make it with two center poles (twice as long, like a rectangle) or even better, with a crown of supports that jut up at a 45 degree angle from the center post to allow it to give you more head room throughout.

Just some food for thought.
Here are some crude and hastily drawings that may inspire or garner your derision! Enjoy!

Image
Image
Image

Here is the new design for the center post light holder. The concept would be that it could stay connected to the pole in storage, and the top piece would just be pulled up which would make the whole thing relatively flat. Then when you want to use it, it is pushed down which makes the arms flair out...
Image

Josh

PS - got my tickets yesterday (what a zoo that was!) Maybe this year we will actually make it to the Burn!
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Postby tamarakay » Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:30 pm

well bad news on our north pole shade. We put it up in the back yard as weather man said would be 30-35 mph winds, thought we'd do a little test. had gusts of 65-70. ripped the tent in three places (shredded the fabric where the loops attach to the re-bar, should have used the bungee ball thingys) so now have to figure out how to re-sew the damned thing. also, we had built a little fence around it to keep daughers dog off of it, last time we had it up she kept trying to climb it for some reason, sharp claws in netting not good. so when the three sides ripped out it flapped all into the fencing and put holes in the netting. i can patch that pretty easy though.

good news: from previous posts on eplaya i learned that bungees have balls! and that those are a good thing.
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North Pole Fail

Postby tamarakay » Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:09 pm

This is what happened in a 30 minute storm with gusts of 60 - 70 mph:

Image
ring by tamarakay60, on Flickr

what's left of the ring that attaches the three "roof" poles

Image
top by tamarakay60, on Flickr

The top piece, coming through the tent

Image
loop by tamarakay60, on Flickr

three of these loops ripped out

Image
loop attachment by tamarakay60, on Flickr

this is what is left after your loops rip out.
When the only tool you got is a hammer, every problem looks like a hippie.

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Postby unjonharley » Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:29 pm

Netting can be mended with a net patch and glue
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Postby Elorrum » Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:06 pm

oh, dear. I do not like seeing this. I've used mine for two years and love it. um...I guess I can consider taking the center pole down in a big blow, and just getting it all flat. I'm curious, did you have any guy ropes tied out from the loops above the doors?
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Postby tamarakay » Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:20 pm

no, we didn't have it guyed yet, it was just suppose to be a little cold front, no one was expecting the severity of what happened. mayhem in texas. the big storm was forecast for two days after this one. we were going to guy it up before that hit.
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Postby tamarakay » Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:22 pm

on a positive note, the rebar loop thingys held fast
When the only tool you got is a hammer, every problem looks like a hippie.

Mmmmmm I love the smell of Burning Man Token


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Postby FIGJAM » Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:14 pm

Tensioning everything that will tension is vital.

Flapping of anykind is what destroys shade structures.
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Postby Bob » Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:36 pm

Part of camping in the Black Rock is knowing there might come a time you should take everything down, and quickly.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Postby copilot602 » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:08 pm

Now we just have to figure out how to mold a new piece for you!!! Surely somebody in the community has that skill set!
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Postby teardropper » Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:23 pm

Yeah, this is horrible. I've had mine out only a few times, never in any big wind. Will have to give some thought to taking it down in a big wind. Maybe because it wasn't guyed out...? It really shredded that baby.
\^/
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Postby tamarakay » Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:13 am

we have been working on sewing in new loops and patching up the tent. Still pondering the new piece for the pole attachments. Have searched for replacement parts, but not finding any. If anyone who has one of these puppies could send me a really good picture of the pole attachment a mechanic friend said he might could wing something together for me.
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Postby copilot602 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:03 am

Yea I was thinking somebody should fairly easily be able to weld a workable replacement.

Top:
Image

Bottom:
Image

Side:
Image

Notice that slight downward tilt of the lateral support "sockets"

Good Luck!
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Postby tamarakay » Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:16 am

wow, you simply rock! thank you
When the only tool you got is a hammer, every problem looks like a hippie.

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