Low Waste Tent/Mattress Solution (Coming from Abroad)

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

Low Waste Tent/Mattress Solution (Coming from Abroad)

Postby kiss-o-matic » Wed May 30, 2012 6:04 pm

I've read quite a bit, including the beginners guides, and perhaps more importantly, Finxiekins thread which has some good info. The caveat for me is as I'm coming from abroad, I can't just load up on blankets, tarps, rebar (the hardest part) and call it a day. As the city I live in is ripped right out of Blade Runner, I can't just go test out my gear either. My best bet is to buy just before the event, and store at a friends place in The Bay. Not out of the question for someone w/ a garage, but I would like to impose as little as possible.

On the plus side, there is an RV in our group, and maybe even another mini-van which could provide shade. I plan on sleeping in my tent, and if my girl comes with, making wild passionate love to her. That's it. If I'm awake, I'm going to be socializing, and I've even been told there will "be times when there's an open bed in the RV".

Having said that, do I really need to buck up for a nice tent? Sounds like not only are they easily trashed, I don't know what I'm going to do w/ it when it's done. I'm really only worried about 1: the thing blowing away (maybe w/ me in it), 2: staying cool during the morning/day. I can bundle up at night I'm convinced. I sleep on a futon now, since I like to sleep on a stiff surface. I'm thinking an air matress + sleeping bag will keep me off the ground, and slightly padded.

So, questions I guess based on previous experiences:
1: Not much of an outdoors man, but if I get a low-mesh, run-of-the-mill Coleman or other brand name tent, should I assume that's ample? Something like this?

2: Assuming I can park next to the RV (it sleeps 4, not sure of the size other than that) can I assume I'll have decent shade? Not sure of where BRC is in terms of latitude but I would guess at some point the sun is going to be overhead.

3: Not a lot of talk about mattresses I've seen. Would small airmatress provide a bit of relief from the cold at night?

If the answers are yes, I can probably do something that will not kill me cost or luggage-wise. If I have to throw in another tarp and more rebar, I'm going to have to donate when it's all said and done, me thinks.

Cheers.
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Re: Low Waste Tent/Mattress Solution (Coming from Abroad)

Postby lemur » Wed May 30, 2012 6:25 pm

you dont need no stinkin rebar just buy some nice lightweight reusable tent stakes:

Image

10 of them will probably weigh as much as 2 pieces of rebar.. ..will cost more, but wont be all rusty and weigh a ton either

pound them a bit below the surface and youll be golden for a 2 person tent.. even a family tent if it has enough guy lines..

this whole rebar thing is a bit over the top for a little backpacking tent..


it might cost a lot.. but id skip one of those cheap (and gigantic huge and hard to keep inflated) air mattresses.. get something like one of the therma-rest 'self inflating' things.. they are much smaller:

Image

id say skip the tarps .. theres tons of shade out there already.. ...but if you really want something like that youre gonna need poles/rope to hold it up.. which adds more junk.. if i was trying to do something and i just had to have shade id go with an ultralight groundcloth (like that go under tents) before one of those noisy/heavy/large poly tarps.. you can order them seperately from the tents.. they come with.


theres no reason that just because youre coming from overseas that you gotta buy a buncha junk just to give away after one week.

preprend your searches with "ultralight" ..buy stuff intended for backpackers climbing up mountains.. its small.. its light weight.. and it should last you more than 1 burn.. and its small enough to bring home with you.... but it will cost more! but.. if this is soemthign you want to do every year.. itll be worth it

[edit: when buying a tent id try to be sure it has points to tie down guylines on the tent itself.. not just the spots to stake it down on the corners.. it will help keep it rigid in the wind and not be pushed flat by it.. .. as for mesh.. some clothes pins/safety pins and an old sheet goes a long way to covering it up.. of course nothing is perfect.. ...]
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Re: Low Waste Tent/Mattress Solution (Coming from Abroad)

Postby lemur » Wed May 30, 2012 6:42 pm

ive put my tent next to RVs before.. in the perfect spot to keep the morning sun away... it still gets pretty much just as hot as the years when i didnt....... around 10AM or 11AM, on a hot day, your tent will be very hot inside.. like 110+

if you can spare extra space for shade and ready for the hassle you can make yer own but it wont really stop yer tent from being really hot.. maybe just a bit more comfortable... and making shade can become its whole own project that some people dedicate TONS of time to.... a project that ive often seen turn in to disaster on playa or seen people spend all week tending to.. again lots of shade out there already

if its 115f in yer tent without shade ... perhaps you can get it to 100F with shade..

if you must you can get something like this to hold up a tarp/shade thing:
Image

and get something like this, with enough guy lines and stakes..

Image

itll make lounging about near your tent more comfortable.. but being inside of it probably will still be hot
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Re: Low Waste Tent/Mattress Solution (Coming from Abroad)

Postby kiss-o-matic » Wed May 30, 2012 6:55 pm

Thanks -- that mattress tip is golden. I think that's just what I want.

I think it's safe to say that I will probably go back at some point, as I don't have a deathly-afraid-of-the-sun-and-nature ball and chain (wife) weighing me down any more. :) But, it's more about not wasting rather than saving dough. I don't mind paying for quality, and more specifically, re-usability. Tent Poles I'm simply not lugging across the Pacific though, to go in my shoe box of a home. I already have a snowboard in here which is horribly out of place right next to my TV. :roll:

>> Shade

Even down to 100F sounds pretty brutal. Sounds like if I don't sleep at night I'm not going to get a whole lot, other than maybe dusk? What's everyone's take on sleeping in the back of cars w/ the AC on? There's a possibility I'm in a rental van. I know it's unlikely, but I guess the thing could slip into gear which would just suck ass.
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Re: Low Waste Tent/Mattress Solution (Coming from Abroad)

Postby some seeing eye » Wed May 30, 2012 6:59 pm

Since you are camping with friends, I wouldn't be surprised, because of the ticket shortage, they might have friends who aren't going with any gear you need to borrow. Of course it may be crusty..

I have found the biggest hot galvanized gutter nails, about 12" make excellent tent stakes - standard item at Home Depot. They will not be sufficient for a shade structure.

I am not a big fan of backpacking mattresses on the playa. I have used an inflatable mattress, like a Coleman, with a wool blanket on top to reduce heat loss, then flannel sheets, then a synthetic comforter then another blanket over that. All those things are items your SF hosts can inherit for their own future house guests if you have to buy them here.

Shade structures and rebar are better acquired by your US hosts. There are so many options and none are transportable by air (IMO). Same for camp chairs.

It's common for camps with significant shade structures to have people just sleeping in them outdoors in the day, though every camp is different on public and private areas.

Maybe there are things your USA friends want from Japan you can bring, like old inexpensive kimonos, rather than hauling camping gear.

If you search for packing lists, then international/ fly-in threads, there are suggestions on bring, buy and borrow. Sure it will work out.
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Re: Low Waste Tent/Mattress Solution (Coming from Abroad)

Postby Bob » Wed May 30, 2012 8:34 pm

Rebar is unnecessary. Go with what Mr. Lemur said. Borrow a hammer from neighbors.

MSR stakes are 20 g. Rebar (1/2 inch) is 300 g / foot, so one rebar stake = 15 MSR stakes. Pound them flush with the ground.

Count on hauling your gear home. It's a LNT desert, and nobody wants your crap. Give it to a charity if you don't want it.
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Re: Low Waste Tent/Mattress Solution (Coming from Abroad)

Postby kiss-o-matic » Wed May 30, 2012 8:53 pm

Shade structures and rebar are better acquired by your US hosts. There are so many options and none are transportable by air (IMO). Same for camp chairs.


Agreed -- I never thought about chairs. The leader of the 2nd group is coming in a school bus so I'm assuming he's got tons of crap, but he's also got like 10 people, so who knows.

Maybe there are things your USA friends want from Japan you can bring, like old inexpensive kimonos, rather than hauling camping gear.


Haha -- you pyschic? I just bought a stack of kimonos last night.

If you search for packing lists, then international/ fly-in threads, there are suggestions on bring, buy and borrow. Sure it will work out.


Cheers.

Give it to a charity if you don't want it.


I'm all about reuse. I understand the LTR concept, but when I'm back in civilization, I have to decide whether or not keeping said item after an 8 day battle w/ mother nature is worth it.
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Re: Low Waste Tent/Mattress Solution (Coming from Abroad)

Postby Savannah » Wed May 30, 2012 9:58 pm

It's cold enough to sleep at night. Heck, sometimes very cold. But yes, tents are oppressive in the day. The trick as a tent camper (which I have done every single time) is to actually convince yourself to sleep while the getting is good. Count on the temperature waking you up in your tent at 7:30 or 8:00am like clockwork, and sleep accordingly. This is not so punishing if you realize that you can dance and frolic 24 hours a day, not just in the evenings. Afternoon dance parties are actually kind of golden and gorgeous, although I do dance at night, too.

You can also take supplementary disco naps from 6-9pm, or something (your tent will be cool enough then) but set a travel alarm or you'll sleep the night away . . . which is not always a bad thing, but it should be done on purpose.

I have a sleeping mask to help extend my sleep in the morning (the sun is up at 6:15am or so, but it doesn't warm up for an hour).
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Re: Low Waste Tent/Mattress Solution (Coming from Abroad)

Postby kiss-o-matic » Wed May 30, 2012 10:44 pm

I plan on taking my camera gear as well. My understanding is that sunrise is beautiful, so would want to be up for that at least twice. So many things to do... so little time. Guess getting the sleep will take some discipline. Boo.
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Re: Low Waste Tent/Mattress Solution (Coming from Abroad)

Postby Savannah » Wed May 30, 2012 10:52 pm

kiss-o-matic wrote:I plan on taking my camera gear as well. My understanding is that sunrise is beautiful, so would want to be up for that at least twice. So many things to do... so little time. Guess getting the sleep will take some discipline. Boo.


It does take discipline to sleep out there, it's true. :shock: The only tip I have as far as that's concerned (and this is not for everyone) is to carry a timepiece, because time flies, and no one else will have any idea what time it is.

It's funny--I never wear a watch in the default world, but I use one in BRC so that I'll sleep and not slowly lose my sanity. :lol:

The sunrise is indeed wonderful.
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Re: Low Waste Tent/Mattress Solution (Coming from Abroad)

Postby catinthefunnyhat » Thu May 31, 2012 8:17 am

Savannah wrote:It's funny--I never wear a watch in the default world, but I use one in BRC so that I'll sleep and not slowly lose my sanity. :lol:


:lol: I don't own a working watch (many dead ones, though! I am a watch-killing MACHINE!), but I have it on my Burning Man shopping list for precisely the same reason! (I'm leaving it till the last minute, though, to minimize the likelihood that I kill it too soon).
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Re: Low Waste Tent/Mattress Solution (Coming from Abroad)

Postby Ratty » Thu May 31, 2012 8:45 am

A timepiece is a MUST. I keep one hooked on my pack. If you sign up for volunteer work, (and I hope you do because it adds to your enjoyment), you'll need to know the time. Get one with a day or date. An alarm is nice if you want to go to certain planned events.
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Re: Low Waste Tent/Mattress Solution (Coming from Abroad)

Postby junglesmacks » Thu May 31, 2012 8:49 am

Ratty wrote:A timepiece is a MUST.


This is complete conjecture and is entirely personal opinion. I shun your notion of any sort of timekeeping besides looking up at the sun and guesstimating. I live by time pieces and constraints the other 358 days of the year. Let me have my 7 days of absolute freedom.

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Re: Low Waste Tent/Mattress Solution (Coming from Abroad)

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu May 31, 2012 9:33 am

When you say you kill watches, cat, have you heard of other people who do? Apparently there are a number of people who have some sort of electric field going on that kills watches. Which makes me wonder--do stem winders work?
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Re: Low Waste Tent/Mattress Solution (Coming from Abroad)

Postby illy dilly » Thu May 31, 2012 9:54 am

Kiss-o-matic, how are you getting from "the bay" to BRC?
Is it possible that the person you are traveling with will have a vehicle tall enough that you could tie 2 ropes to the top of it, then stretch them to the ground over your tent?
A person in our camp did this off the top of an RV last year, and it worked out very very well. Though, the RV was parked North/South and they put the tent on the west side of the RV.

Also, the Coleman Sun Dome 4 tent that you link in your first message, I'm pretty sure, is entirely Mesh under the rain fly. I gave my sister the Sun Dome 6 for Xmas two years ago. Great tent for mountain/plains/lake camping, not so great for desert, unless you cover the mesh. Which is easy to do with an old sheet and little cheap spring clamps. My home depot had a bag of 1Lb of these little 1.5" guys for like 3 bucks the other weekend (I too thought it was odd they were measured in weight and not count).
Image

Regarding time pieces, that is entirely up to you. Like many folks have said, it is nice to have a watch if you plan to attend events out of the W.W.W. or you have Volunteer shifts that you need to be at on a certain time. Though, if you prefer the entirely "I'll get there when I get there" "go with the flow" sort of Burn, don't worry about it.
I think the main reason that many of us that don't wear a watch or carry a "time piece" in default but do in BRC is because we don't carry a simple "time piece" around Default, just a cell phone.
We have a cheap alarm clock that we all share in camp, for who ever has the next volunteer shift coming up.
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Re: Low Waste Tent/Mattress Solution (Coming from Abroad)

Postby Elorrum » Thu May 31, 2012 10:45 am

I just had a sense memory of how refreshing and cool it feels to step out of my tent in the morning. Pardon me. Carry on. I like to have a watch, I got a ten dollar watch last year hat still works fine.
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Re: Low Waste Tent/Mattress Solution (Coming from Abroad)

Postby kiss-o-matic » Thu May 31, 2012 11:51 pm

illy dilly wrote:Kiss-o-matic, how are you getting from "the bay" to BRC?
Is it possible that the person you are traveling with will have a vehicle tall enough that you could tie 2 ropes to the top of it, then stretch them to the ground over your tent?
A person in our camp did this off the top of an RV last year, and it worked out very very well. Though, the RV was parked North/South and they put the tent on the west side of the RV.


One of two ways. 1: Hitching a ride /w the RV guys. 2: My gal comes with and we rent an SUV/Van. It is indeed possible and I was thinking about it (theirs is a 4-sleeper) but I will probably get some type of minimal shade device which can stand on it's own to be certain.


Also, the Coleman Sun Dome 4 tent that you link in your first message, I'm pretty sure, is entirely Mesh under the rain fly. I gave my sister the Sun Dome 6 for Xmas two years ago. Great tent for mountain/plains/lake camping, not so great for desert, unless you cover the mesh. Which is easy to do with an old sheet and little cheap spring clamps. My home depot had a bag of 1Lb of these little 1.5" guys for like 3 bucks the other weekend (I too thought it was odd they were measured in weight and not count).
Image


I'm going to the south bay for work next month and there's a few outdoorsmen there. I will probably have one of them take me tent shopping... unless someone wants to post something here that is recommended. :)

On that note -- I've not seen many people here talking about renting gear. Most people buy their own? I'm thinking there's probably stuff I can borrow... maybe even get blankets and whatnot from a quick "junk drive" from co-workers.

Regarding time pieces, that is entirely up to you. Like many folks have said, it is nice to have a watch if you plan to attend events out of the W.W.W. or you have Volunteer shifts that you need to be at on a certain time. Though, if you prefer the entirely "I'll get there when I get there" "go with the flow" sort of Burn, don't worry about it.


I do that in Vegas but it always ends bad. I usually lose watches, but I've had my two now for a couple of years, so I'm on a roll. Maybe I'll press my luck and take one!
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Re: Low Waste Tent/Mattress Solution (Coming from Abroad)

Postby StevenGoodman » Mon Jun 04, 2012 1:13 pm

Our camp has a group that comes in from Japan. Some of them have been coming for years (previous to being part of our camp). They would fly into SF, rent vans, and buy everything here. I don't think they would ever bring camping gear to/from Japan; only things they needed that are available here.

However, now that they are part of our camp we provide them with a lot of gear. Tents, shade, etc. We have lots of extra gear. Heck, I got three extra tents in my garage (in various states of repair).

I would contact the people you will be camping with/next to (you weren't real clear about that), and see what they have laying around. It is pretty easy for people who come from closer to throw in an extra this or that. A tent, air mattress, etc. If they don't have what you need, maybe you could send them money, and they bring it for you, and get to keep it; for next year or to loan to other people.

It seems a waste to ship stuff around the world!

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Re: Low Waste Tent/Mattress Solution (Coming from Abroad)

Postby kiss-o-matic » Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:46 pm

Is the group from Japan part of the regional burner group? That's about all I've been able to find on the subject, and when I mentioned to some friends that I was attempting to go this year they mentioned another guy I know that is from SF and had gone regularly. I've not crossed paths with him in a while though but will probably get some pointers.

I got a line on some loaner camping gear from a few people I work with (near SF) but the tent still alludes me. I think any loaner tent would be mostly mesh any way.

On the fence for a Kodiak. If I use it 3 out of the next 5 years, I think the $500 would be worth it. Not sure about any less though.
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Re: Low Waste Tent/Mattress Solution (Coming from Abroad)

Postby StevenGoodman » Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:16 am

I don't know exactly where the people from Japan in our camp live, One lives in Osaka (I think), but I don't know about the rest.

Tents with some mesh are OK. Even a Kodiak or Springbar will get some dust, you can't stop it.

Kodiak and Springbar tents are awesome (we have three in camp). But a cheap $50 tent from Walmart or Target will work, especially if you have something to block the direct wind; and good stakes.

You mentioned being in the "south bay"? Do you mean San Jose? I can probably find you a tent while you are here! And, no, you can't have my Springbar! :)

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Re: Low Waste Tent/Mattress Solution (Coming from Abroad)

Postby Jackass » Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:34 am

If you're going to be in San Jose for a while before the burn, they have a huge flea market weekly or just drive through neighborhoods on the weekends and look for yardsales. Thats where I usually find the best stuff anyhow. Where else can you find a $200 tent for $10-$20 bucks? If it ends up beat up by the time you're done with it, no big deal. You bought it for twenty bucks, tis the season for yardsales!
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Re: Low Waste Tent/Mattress Solution (Coming from Abroad)

Postby Ratty » Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:45 am

So true. I just bought an Eddie Bauer 4 man tent for $3. NO fiberglass poles. If I can't make it work I'm out $3.
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Re: Low Waste Tent/Mattress Solution (Coming from Abroad)

Postby kiss-o-matic » Sun Jun 10, 2012 11:44 pm

StevenGoodman wrote:I don't know exactly where the people from Japan in our camp live, One lives in Osaka (I think), but I don't know about the rest.

Tents with some mesh are OK. Even a Kodiak or Springbar will get some dust, you can't stop it.

Kodiak and Springbar tents are awesome (we have three in camp). But a cheap $50 tent from Walmart or Target will work, especially if you have something to block the direct wind; and good stakes.

You mentioned being in the "south bay"? Do you mean San Jose? I can probably find you a tent while you are here! And, no, you can't have my Springbar! :)

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Sorry for the late reply. I'm in Los Gatos, to be exact, but my friend from birth (literally) who has just relocated to SF has offered me any number of tents. He's spent the last 10 years or so in the mountains of Colorado, so I think I'm all good. Just gotta make a decision and go with it. Between him and a guy down here in LG, I got everything except a monkey hut. ;)

Cheers for the offer though.

If it ends up beat up by the time you're done with it, no big deal. You bought it for twenty bucks, tis the season for yardsales!


Thanks for the heads up. I will only have a car for one day though I think.
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Re: Low Waste Tent/Mattress Solution (Coming from Abroad)

Postby zifra » Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:57 pm

kiss-o-matic wrote:I plan on taking my camera gear as well. My understanding is that sunrise is beautiful, so would want to be up for that at least twice. So many things to do... so little time. Guess getting the sleep will take some discipline. Boo.


The nature of the playa is very hard on cameras. Place it in a ziplock, with a hole cut for the lens taped to a cheap lens cap.

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Re: Low Waste Tent/Mattress Solution (Coming from Abroad)

Postby Bob » Fri Jul 06, 2012 7:11 pm

Ratty wrote:So true. I just bought an Eddie Bauer 4 man tent for $3. NO fiberglass poles. If I can't make it work I'm out $3.


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Re: Low Waste Tent/Mattress Solution (Coming from Abroad)

Postby yumyumms » Sat Jul 07, 2012 3:18 pm

My first burn, my neighbor brought scrap lumbar- pannels, 2x4's etc and built a mini box home

It was basically a mini shed with extra length of wood panneling on top

Half the time when it was too cold or windy, he slept inside his fort, the other half- specially when he brought a girl home with him, he slept on the roof looking at the open sky

The people in the ''neighborhood'' helped hold wood and all that while he nailed everything down, then he let everyone spray paint it for decoration.

Burnable digs. He used free wood that he found at a dumpster in Reno

Just another option...
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