Tent Questions!

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

Re: Tent Questions!

Postby DoctorIknow » Fri May 18, 2012 9:45 am

ElevenEleven wrote:TO REMOVE REBAR --- First - Take a long par of vice grip pliers and use them to rotate/twist the rebar around in full circles loosening the playa. The twisting is what really gets the rebar out. After twisting you can use your sledge hammer to pound the rebar from side to side. The twisting helps WAY more then using the brute force of the sledge hammer. After a little work, each rebar should twist out in under a few minuets. If you are still struggling to remove your rebar, make sure you are doing full rotations with your twists while pulling up at the same time.


Perfect description.

I have about thirty 18" to 30" rebars in my setup and it is never difficult to pull them out. Newbies: please don't think 12" tent stakes from REI will help out there. The first 5" to 7" of the playa may be very soft, providing no support at all.

Yes, as said above, clamp on the ViseGrips and start by just moving them an inch or two in each direction and you'll see how "stuck" the rebar is. If it is being resistant, as said above, take the time to do a 360 degree twist.

If you have candy caned the rebar, at this point use a regular 3' crowbar. Put a foot square piece of 3/4" plywood on the ground next to the "eye" of the candy cane, and put the "straight" end of the crowbar thru the eye, and give it jerky upward pressure. If it doesn't come out, add a small piece of 2x4 to increase the leverage. Rarely will you need more than one piece of 2x4, but sometime you might.

Don't forget to pick up any splinters that may be created in this process.

BTW, the pre-cut pieces at HomeDepot are too short or too long. Forget the 1' pieces, and the 2' pieces once candy caned CAN be good for installations that are not subject to huge stress, but are no good at all for high stress applications. The 3' pieces are just too damn long. For the average tool owner, the only reasonable way to cut the larger pieces is a metal cutting fiber disk on a circular saw or better yet, a chop saw.

Be aware also that using the two pipe system of making candy canes will cause some of the rebar to break. Not all rebar is the same. I've had good batches and bad. It does help to not make your entire bend at one time as the heat generated might have something to do with breakage. Best suggestion yet is to get a propane torch, use the "yellow" gas cannistars, and heat it up before bending, but I never do and only break about 1 out of 10

Image
This is 1/2" rebar inserted in 3/4" galvanized plumbing pipe. About 3.5" of rebar is left exposed
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Leave 3.5" or 4" of rebar exposed in the rebar placed on the ground. (notice the bent pipe. This is a good thing as it softens the cutting edge of the pipe, which might put enough pressure on the rebar to start a fracture.) If one is strong in the arms and has body weight, it is possible to put your weight on the pipe on the ground and then bend the other pipe up. If you are not weighty or strong, it is a two person job.
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DO NOT let the rebar slide into pipe once you put other pipe over it and start to bend.
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Three stages of bending to avoid overheating and possible breaking of brittle rebar.
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The candy cane on the left sucks, as the energy of the sledge is too far "off center" and it will like trying to pound a spring into the playa. The candy cane on the right will cause no problems. Take two 3lb or 5lb hand sledges as you will loan one out and you will forget who you loaned it to.
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Re: Tent Questions!

Postby ElevenEleven » Tue May 29, 2012 4:56 pm

Great post DoctorIknow! I will use the 2x4 trick to pop them out this year!
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Re: Tent Questions!

Postby Jenifersteppat » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:20 pm

We have a Kodiak tent. Has anyone felt the need to use addition rebar stakes or anything additional from what comes with it to hold up on the playa?

Thanks for any info.
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Re: Tent Questions!

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:28 pm

How long are the stakes? how sturdy? Those weird aluminum stakes with a "crinkle" in them aren't good for much. I know of people who just use foot long nails... Oh, and those wimpy aluminum stakes that come with the dome tents--also not powerful or long enough.

Someone will be along in a couple of minutes to give the answer more clearly.
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Re: Tent Questions!

Postby Jenifersteppat » Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:50 pm

Jenifersteppat wrote:We have a Kodiak tent. Has anyone felt the need to use addition rebar stakes or anything additional from what comes with it to hold up on the playa?

Thanks for any info.


It's made for high winds. Comes with 1 ft metal stakes. Better safe than sorry - we are gonna stake that mutha down even more, no matter what the manufacturer says it can take. Radical self reliance.
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Re: Tent Questions!

Postby Oldguy » Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:59 pm

Sometimes, bigger IS better. Overengineer it. hint: google potatotrap
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Re: Tent Questions!

Postby Jenifersteppat » Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:43 pm

Oldguy, thanks for the info, I showed my husband (also an oldguy) the link - thanks! 8)
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Re: Tent Questions!

Postby tattoogoddess » Sun Jun 17, 2012 4:19 pm

never mind found my answer.
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Re: Tent Questions!

Postby misterdj » Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:39 am

Hey guys. Anyone have a experience with this tent? Thoughts? Seems like it has no mesh cieling which is a plus.

http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___27807#
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Re: Tent Questions!

Postby Bob » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:26 am

As with just about any family tent, it will work much better with a windbreak around it and some sort of awning over it. Better than some because of the solid nylon wall extending up about two feet, because most of the blowing dust is close to the ground. An 8' x 8' footprint will fit nicely under an awning made using 10' conduit struts on the horizontal.
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Re: Tent Questions!

Postby DoctorIknow » Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:01 pm

misterdj wrote:Hey guys. Anyone have a experience with this tent? Thoughts? Seems like it has no mesh cieling which is a plus.

http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___27807#


You asked the correct question: anyone use this on playa?

I've had a much bigger cheapo Coleman out there 10 times, no failure, and I'm amazed it has survived some mighty blows. Cheap doesn't automatically mean a playa fail.

I would suggest you bring "backup" guy ropes and some stakes to tie to the "bends" on the four poles. Observe how the tent is stressing in moderate winds. You don't want a pole to bend. Bending it back won't work.

Correct comments about wind break..... Ask neighbors who know the direction of the prevailing winds and situate your car/van so it lessens the wind.

This part of the tent description (4 sided hooded ventilation) may be problematic, but could be an easy fix externally with a tied down blanket, or perhaps internally (but beware of a pound of playa accumulating). The fly will do nothing to reduce playa dust but will provide a very small amount of shade and does help during rain...
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Re: Tent Questions!

Postby dragonpilot » Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:29 pm

DoctorIknow wrote:
misterdj wrote:Hey guys. Anyone have a experience with this tent? Thoughts? Seems like it has no mesh cieling which is a plus.

http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___27807#


This part of the tent description (4 sided hooded ventilation) may be problematic, but could be an easy fix externally with a tied down blanket, or perhaps internally (but beware of a pound of playa accumulating). The fly will do nothing to reduce playa dust but will provide a very small amount of shade and does help during rain...


My 12 X 12 cheapo car camping tent has two large overhead mesh screens. I cut triangular sections of wool blanket to fit the mesh sections and wrap-stitched those sections to the outside of the mesh. Does an amazing job of minimizing the dust sifting in from overhead.
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Re: Tent Questions!

Postby catinthefunnyhat » Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:33 pm

Sigh... OK, I have a question that I hope isn't dumb. I've searched and searched to no avail.... but sometimes I can't see something that's right in front of my face, so there's that...

Anyways, my issue is that I want to avoid using rebar this year because I'm flying into Reno, and that stuff is heavy. And while I could pick some up there, there would be the whole issue of candy-caning it. So I've been looking at good tent pegs -- those MSR cyclone thingies, for example, or military-type pegs. But all of them seem to have the same problem as non-candy-caned rebar: they're straight.

Why is straight a problem? Well, our tent is a ring-and-pin style system, so at each corner, there's one of these doohickeys where the pin goes into the tent pole and the ring sits flush on the ground, held in place by a hooked tent peg.

Image

The tent pegs that came with the tent were garbage. We've replaced them with sturdier ones, hooked to work properly with the ring, but they're still too smooth and thin to get much purchase in the soft playa dust. Last time we went to BM, we drove down and brought candy-caned rebar. Again, not a particularly good option for us this time.

So, the questions:

1. Ring-and-pin systems aren't exactly uncommon. Surely there are good hooked tent pegs out there. If someone has found them, could you please point me in the right direction?

2. If such a thing does not exist, presumably that's because it's unnecessary. Is there a technique for using a straight peg to hold the ring flush to the ground? Does it work in soft ground like playa? I'm envisioning something involving a fairly acute angle. How long would the peg need to be to do this solidly?

3. Or... maybe I'm assuming too much about what I need to accomplish. Does the ring really have to be flush to the ground? One possibility I've considered is to just make sure the stakes stick up far enough that the rings won't be lifted up and over them (in addition to the four rings on the four corners of the tent, there are about 10 places where guylines will be attached to the fly, so it's not like the tent would fly away). But would the slack in the tent created by even a little lift jeopardize its structural integrity -- i.e., would poles come uncoupled from pins, or from the tent?

4. If I resign myself to using candy-caned rebar, is there a way I can get the candy-caning done for me in Reno?

Thanks for your patience and your time. I hate asking questions that I feel I should be able to answer myself, but I'm just flummoxed this time.
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Re: Tent Questions!

Postby inthecolumbiagorge » Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:46 pm

We could bring extras for you if we can find each other once you get there. We are making our own so no problems with a few more and are driving so no issues on space with all our stuff. I offered them to someone else but they did not seem interested but if we can figure out how to meet up I am happy to bring them for you. We are in a theme camp and should know the camp location before we all leave for the playa so perhaps it could work out depending on when you hope to be arriving. We may have early arrival but I am not sure yet and if not we plan on arriving Sunday night when the gates open.
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Re: Tent Questions!

Postby International Incident » Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:56 pm

catinthefunnyhat wrote:So, the questions:

1. Ring-and-pin systems aren't exactly uncommon. Surely there are good hooked tent pegs out there. If someone has found them, could you please point me in the right direction?

2. If such a thing does not exist, presumably that's because it's unnecessary. Is there a technique for using a straight peg to hold the ring flush to the ground? Does it work in soft ground like playa? I'm envisioning something involving a fairly acute angle. How long would the peg need to be to do this solidly?

3. Or... maybe I'm assuming too much about what I need to accomplish. Does the ring really have to be flush to the ground? One possibility I've considered is to just make sure the stakes stick up far enough that the rings won't be lifted up and over them (in addition to the four rings on the four corners of the tent, there are about 10 places where guylines will be attached to the fly, so it's not like the tent would fly away). But would the slack in the tent created by even a little lift jeopardize its structural integrity -- i.e., would poles come uncoupled from pins, or from the tent?

4. If I resign myself to using candy-caned rebar, is there a way I can get the candy-caning done for me in Reno?

Thanks for your patience and your time. I hate asking questions that I feel I should be able to answer myself, but I'm just flummoxed this time.



I don't think they are dumb questions. Here are my suggestions.

1. Sand pegs (plastic ones that are very long and have a hook to go over the tent ring) will probably be OK. The ones here are pretty long and I took some with me last year (yes yes this year will be worse weather wise). So you could use them. You could also double up on them as they hook over the edge of the ring.

2. The foot long nails are cheap and light but they don't cope with the whole ring and pin system . But they do have an end on them so you could angle them in and they may hold. But what could could do is make the rings smaller - ie sew or attach some new rings onto the tabs.

Other
I can pick up some rebar for you in Vegas if you tell me what you need and where to get it.
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Re: Tent Questions!

Postby Sham » Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:04 pm

I have used these stakes for years with no problem. My tent is just a 7x9, so it may not work for larger ones. I found if I use corroded ones, they tend to grip better than new shiny ones. I also keep my water in the four corners of the tent for ballast.
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Re: Tent Questions!

Postby International Incident » Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:16 pm

Shambala wrote:I have used these stakes for years with no problem. My tent is just a 7x9, so it may not work for larger ones. I found if I use corroded ones, they tend to grip better than new shiny ones. I also keep my water in the four corners of the tent for ballast.
Image


Shambala - they look perfect. I am going to upgrade to those. Thanks
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Re: Tent Questions!

Postby catinthefunnyhat » Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:26 pm

Oh, our tent is tiny. About 7'x5' -- literally just floor space for my partner and I and a couple of small bags (we'll store most of our clothes, etc. in bins in the van) -- and only a few feet tall. No room to use water for ballast, sadly. (It was bought for all the backpacking we imagined we'd do :roll: -- of course, we've never actually taken it backpacking, only car camping and similar (including BM). But it's sturdy and ridiculously waterproof, and we somehow manage to still like each other at the end of a week in it.)

MJ -- what you're talking about sounds perfect.
Sham -- it sounds like you've had a lot of success with those, which makes me wonder if I've been overthinking things again. Like maybe our slippery aluminum ones will be OK for our wee tentlet.

MJ & Columbia Gorge: Thank-you both for the offers of rebar! I'd like to find another solution, but if I get into a panic and feel I need it, I may take one of you up on your offer!

:) Thanks all!
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Re: Tent Questions!

Postby Sham » Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:51 pm

I just measured those spikes and they are 10 inches long. You can get them anywhere, but they are on sale at Harbor Freight this week if you have one nearby. If you use them in the alkaline playa for one year, they will have a rough, abrasive surface that will be difficult to yank out of the ground. If it's a windy year, you might consider using these stakes for ALL the stake points on the tent, not just the four corners.
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Re: Tent Questions!

Postby catinthefunnyhat » Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:53 pm

Yeah... our tent only has 4 stake points, plus the 10 guyline attach-points on the fly.
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Re: Tent Questions!

Postby dragonpilot » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:22 pm

The stakes are not the only thing holding the tent to the ground...you'll also have 100 pounds of gear/bedding inside as well...and do what Shambala does...put water bottles in the corners for added weigh-down.
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Re: Tent Questions!

Postby tattoogoddess » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:31 pm

Well considering right now the first 3-4 inches of the playa is "fluffy" meaning not packed. not sure how i could see 10 inches holding holding the tent down to well. This is from just a few weeks ago
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Re: Tent Questions!

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:35 pm

Under that soft surface it's like a very hard packed clay.

Once you get 6 inches or more into that, you're anchored! 8)
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Re: Tent Questions!

Postby tattoogoddess » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:48 pm

im just going to dig a hole and stick my tent in it lol. Dont have to deal with the soft stuff. All 10 inches of packed playa :D
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Re: Tent Questions!

Postby Bob » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:33 am

catinthefunnyhat wrote:Image


The lightweight MSR and military surplus stakes have hooks and holes at the top. Tie one or the other to the other thing. That's why you brought a couple hundred feet of parachute cord. Tie on, then hammer it a little deeper to get more purchase.


The playa is always cracked. Dig a little divot with your claw hammer before you drive tent stakes.
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Re: Tent Questions!

Postby tattoogoddess » Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:08 am

ok so i got my nylon in to sew onto the mesh of my tent. Should I sew it on the outside or inside? Im thinking if I go it on the in the dust will blow in and collect between the mesh and nylon? Sound like a good idea to do it on the out?
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Re: Tent Questions!

Postby SnowBlind » Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:15 am

catinthefunnyhat wrote:4. If I resign myself to using candy-caned rebar, is there a way I can get the candy-caning done for me in Reno?


Or, option 5, you just buy precut rebar (at homedepot or such) and don't candy cane it. Just bring something to cover the top. Tennis balls work great. Or buy those orange OSHA approved rebar toppers at the same place. Use a vice grip to pull them out.
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Re: Tent Questions!

Postby catinthefunnyhat » Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:55 am

Bob wrote:The lightweight MSR and military surplus stakes have hooks and holes at the top. Tie one or the other to the other thing. That's why you brought a couple hundred feet of parachute cord. Tie on, then hammer it a little deeper to get more purchase.



I thought about this. I was worried that having an extra level of indirection (i.e. a cord, an additional ring, whatever) between the tent-ring and the stake would be problematic, as the ring wouldn't end up being held flush to the ground. Perhaps I am wrong about that...

SnowBlind wrote:[quote="catinthefunnyhat"Or, option 5, you just buy precut rebar (at homedepot or such) and don't candy cane it. Just bring something to cover the top. Tennis balls work great. Or buy those orange OSHA approved rebar toppers at the same place. Use a vice grip to pull them out.


Again, I'm concerned about the ring remaining flush with the ground. Would a tennis ball or rebar cap fit tightly enough to hold the ring down when a strong wind is pushing on the tent and trying to lift it up? I've never used a rebar cap, so I don't know how tightly they fit or how hard they are to pop off.

Thanks, everyone, for your suggestions. I'm considering all of them. I wish I could test all of them. Any experience you have specifically using these solutions with a ring-and-pin tent on the playa would be good to hear about.
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Re: Tent Questions!

Postby Bob » Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:43 am

I've used 3/8 x 18" threaded rod topped w/ nuts & fender washers for that, but I thought some of you people wanted to keep the weight down for travel. I don't really trust the round lumber spike-type steel stakes for the main tent stakes, although you can place two of these at opposing angles at the tent tiedown points. Might work.
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Re: Tent Questions!

Postby Savannah » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:29 pm

Tennis balls fit really snugly onto rebar and I have never had one come off during the week. Cutting a small "x" in a tennis ball to permit the entry takes hand strength and dexterity. If you're bringing them from home (as opposed to buying them in Reno) and can therefore pre-score them, do it. It will save you a certain amount of work. Wear protective gloves and proceed with caution.

I've heard folks complain about the orange mushroom-shaped rebar toppers (they're apparently easier to knock off) but I've never used them. Other folks top their rebar with solar lights. I've never done that either . . .

I do not cushion my 10' tent stakes; I pound them flush with the ground (to be removed later with a Fulton 36" wrecking bar) and then light the guy lines at night.
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