Shades, stuctures and desert dwellings to rely upon

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

Shades, stuctures and desert dwellings to rely upon

Postby oxygen » Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:24 am

Wouldn’t be nice to have a thread showing your structures or the ones that caught your eyes has being playa-worthy?

Everyone has a specific solution to offset the challenges of sun, wind and dust.
Because images speak better than images it might be interesting for beginners or seasoned old timers as well,
to have some photos of different shelters to look at and maybe get inspired for next year.

I start with my dwelling which far being cute or innovative, has in the last ten years withstood the fiercest winds on the playa:
aluminum adjustable poles, 6mm ropes and 2 tarps connected with a cargo van blocking the prevailing wind.
Easy to pack in a big duffle bag that doesn’t take too much space to store yearlong.

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If I am courageous enough I add some stretch fabric for the walls.

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Except for a drop cloth nothing touches the ground, less strain on the back, thanks to a lot of tables and chairs.
And lately I don't bother to put up the walls, I want to enjoy the view of the desert.
The tent is there just in case of lasting rain, I sleep outdoor on a cot under the stars.

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Two structures that blew my socks off


The Metal Pod Cabins by Tin Man

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A vertical Tensegrity with a viewing platform on top underneath the square fabric

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Now, it's your turn show us yours.
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Re: Shades, stuctures and desert dwellings to rely upon

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:02 am

I prefer no guy lines and no upright poles! 8)

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Image

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Re: Shades, stuctures and desert dwellings to rely upon

Postby Drawingablank » Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:10 am

We've been using this monkey hut for 2 years. We are planning to lengthen it to 20 feet for next year as the ten foot length was a bit cramped at times.

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Re: Shades, stuctures and desert dwellings to rely upon

Postby oxygen » Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:47 am

Hi FIGJAM
this looks sturdy. How is it inside? Do you have AC or is it just an air/dust filter?

Image
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Re: Shades, stuctures and desert dwellings to rely upon

Postby Elliot » Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:58 pm

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Re-purposed school bus is great transportation-value and wind-proof.
Old construction scaffolding makes solid "tower" for supporting shade, without guy wires for people to trip over. Scaffolding must be well secured to the ground, but you do that inside the footprint of the scaffold (tie-down not yet installed in this picture). (Next year, scaffolds get wrapped in decorative banners.)
:D
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Re: Shades, stuctures and desert dwellings to rely upon

Postby Milayna » Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:31 pm

IMG_2522.JPG
This was my monkey hut, held up beautifully from Sunday gates open to Monday exodus, even though it was definitely not perfectly straight (I put it up alone, I did my best :oops: )
Best part is how conveniently it bundled up to go in the car (the bundle was about 5 feet long):
IMG_2344.JPG


I used this monkey hut plan (with duct tape, not rubber tubing): http://www.maxicon.com/Burning_Man/PVC_Structures/pvc_on_the_playa.htm
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Re: Shades, stuctures and desert dwellings to rely upon

Postby Savannah » Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:38 pm

You put that up alone?? Milayna, you're awesome! :D

I've never put up my shade alone, although I had my it designed so that it was technically possible.
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Re: Shades, stuctures and desert dwellings to rely upon

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:19 pm

oxygen wrote:Hi FIGJAM
this looks sturdy. How is it inside? Do you have AC or is it just an air/dust filter?

Image



Swamp cooler! (see "Cooling your tent or van")

Filters the dust while reducing the temp 30 degrees!

105AH battery will power it all week. 8)
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Re: Shades, stuctures and desert dwellings to rely upon

Postby BetaBox » Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:58 pm

The hammock is missing, and the bottoms of the 4x4's are dilled out about 3/4" x 12" deep for concrete stake forms to slide in.
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Re: Shades, stuctures and desert dwellings to rely upon

Postby trilobyte » Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:52 pm

Awesome structures across the board! As usual, I did a crap job of trying to take pics of the shade structures this year. Fortunately one of my campmates grabbed a few pics worth sharing. What I built are all EMT conduit frame structures, which are made using galvanized steel fittings and (as the name implies) EMT conduit poles to build the framework.

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Once that's together, you use ball bungees to connect the roof tarp. It's easiest to start on the windward side, then you walk the tarp across to the other end, bungee the opposing corners, then fill in all the grommet spaces with bungees. We use a heavy duty silver-on-silver tarp with UV protection, as it reflects the most energy away from the structure and blocks UV rays from getting through. Here's a shot of us getting ready to walk the roof tarp with the first 20x30 structure.

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Once the roof's on, we put on angled side tarps. In years past that was done using guy lines at every intersection staked directly into the ground. While that held up even in the strongest dust storms, invariably the side tarps flapped a lot in the wind and a lot of grommets would get torn up over the course of the week. Last year I changed the design, using a run of conduit connected to hurricane stakes via bungees, then secured the angled side tarps to that. Significantly reduces the flapping, and no tarps/grommets get torn up even in the worst conditions.

From there, we rinsed and repeated for the other ground structures. This year we did four on the ground (two 20x30 structures for campers and some space to lounge around, one 20x20 for a kitchen & shower, and one 8x8 out front for the deli counter), and then I build another structure on top of our cargo van.

Several years ago, a friend and I designed and built a custom heavy-duty roof rack as part of an art car project. As part of that plan, we'd welded in a number of fittings that can accommodate EMT conduit poles - so I just built another one up top…

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The arched roof gives it a nice quirky feel, and then we use the center poles to support the almighty drunkwaiter (a dumbwaiter for drinks). The elevated perch makes for a great view and awesome chill space (we called it the Lofty Thoughts Lounge, and had a bunch of white furry cloud-shaped pillows up there). Extension poles on the corners made for great flags.

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In past years we had always left the frontage of the main structure open, and had tarps on the other three sides. This year we were going to be in a much more high profile spot (just off Esplanade), and were worried a bit about strangers and fuckos wandering into camp. So we made murals for the fronts of the two big shade structures, and then left the 'inner' side of each open (for airflow). That served as a great barrier between public and private space, and at the same time kept things colorful and fun out front.

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Here's a shot of us on Sunday, just as the sun was going down and we had gotten everything out front finished up. The deli counter shade seems taller than the others because it is - where I went with 6'8" vertical everywhere else I went with 8' height on that structure, giving us a bit more room for the striped canvas awning of the deli, plus the lighting gear I was hanging from the frame.

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And then one more shot, once things were all opened up. Yes, that's wood paneling behind the deli - it serves not only as a backdrop, but covers up our clunky old cargo van.

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I was really happy with how everything worked out. Extremely sturdy (I didn't even end up needing to use all the stakes), and I felt we had a nice divide between public and private space. One campmate reported having something fancy stolen, but he left it sitting out in the open on a big burn night.
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Re: Shades, stuctures and desert dwellings to rely upon

Postby Savannah » Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:51 pm

It was a really nice looking camp, Trilo. I'm sorry I wasn't there longer. :)
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Re: Shades, stuctures and desert dwellings to rely upon

Postby Milayna » Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:38 pm

Savannah wrote:You put that up alone?? Milayna, you're awesome! :D

I've never put up my shade alone, although I had my it designed so that it was technically possible.


Thanks!! :) It was a humbling experience hahaha
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Re: Shades, stuctures and desert dwellings to rely upon

Postby Sunbeam56 » Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:00 pm

Bump
Let GOOD win!
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Re: Shades, stuctures and desert dwellings to rely upon

Postby uncle sticky » Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:02 pm

Suggestions on EMT sizing? I see the 1" readily available everywhere, but it seems like the diameter combined with thin walls might make it too wobbly to stand up to heavy wind? Also, connectors? I've seen connectors with thumb screws, but I wonder if that would do the trick?
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Re: Shades, stuctures and desert dwellings to rely upon

Postby trilobyte » Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:18 pm

I've designed a number of conduit structures for the playa over the years, and in my experience 1 inch EMT can (and does) handle anything the playa throws at it just fine. Assuming, of course, your structure design is sound. On the fittings side, I go with galvanized and use an eye hook bolt. I tighten them by hand (monkey tight, not gorilla tight), and that works beautifully (if someone who's not very strong is helping to put together/take apart, they could easily use a screwdriver through the eye hook, just remind them not to go too tight or they'll dent the EMT conduit).
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Re: Shades, stuctures and desert dwellings to rely upon

Postby uncle sticky » Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:19 pm

Thanks. I'm thinking of a very simple 10x10 box, probably two side by side. Four legs, four corners, four perimeter poles. Do your eye screws fit into drilled holes, or is it just the pressure? I was thinking about cotter pins for more security. Tarps on top, maybe on the sides, secured by bungee balls.
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Re: Shades, stuctures and desert dwellings to rely upon

Postby FIGJAM » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:26 pm

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Re: Shades, stuctures and desert dwellings to rely upon

Postby tattoogoddess » Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:48 pm

Man now I'm starting to plan for 2014 already. Tom is not going to be happy!
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Re: Shades, stuctures and desert dwellings to rely upon

Postby Ugly Dougly » Fri May 03, 2013 6:29 pm

At the company where I work, we received some high-tech equipment in a gigantic styrofoam box, almost big enough to camp inside.
Sad thing is, it will probably be "tipped into the dust bin" eventually.
Our civilization throws away so much styrofoam; it should be possible to gleam some and use that.
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Re: Shades, stuctures and desert dwellings to rely upon

Postby oscillator » Fri May 03, 2013 7:12 pm

If it is true styrofoam (tiny beads), Sports Basement in SF will recycle it for use in surfboards.
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Re: Shades, stuctures and desert dwellings to rely upon

Postby oscillator » Fri May 03, 2013 7:19 pm

Gotta love the monkey hut.

2013 will be its 6th trip to BRD.

Have lost a few grommets, repaired a coupla tears (with gorilla tape, ha!), but this thing works well.

I like to put LED strip lighting along the upper 'spine'.

P1010809.jpg
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Re: Shades, stuctures and desert dwellings to rely upon

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri May 03, 2013 8:11 pm

Why is "spine" in inverted commas? Are you insinuating that monkey huts aren't really vertebrates?
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Re: Shades, stuctures and desert dwellings to rely upon

Postby Earthwalker » Sat May 04, 2013 8:47 pm

Who's Tom? Does he run Burning Man?
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Re: Shades, stuctures and desert dwellings to rely upon

Postby Earthwalker » Sat May 04, 2013 8:50 pm

That's damn impressive, Trilo.

Oscillator, you use two tarps with a gap? No issues with that?
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Re: Shades, stuctures and desert dwellings to rely upon

Postby 48_love » Mon May 06, 2013 12:25 pm

I'll be getting my shade in time to host a Mother's Day party ... and I am psyched about it!

- 12'x20' 3/4" EMT
- Medium Gable 110 degree
- Valance Tarp
- Two 12' Zippered End Cap Walls
- Two 7' X 20' Side Walls
- I added a rafter for a total of 4 (8 legs): hoping it adds rigidity but also keeps longest conduit lengths a little shorter
- 6'6" sides (since we'll use walls, the entrance at the end provides clearance for tall folks; additional foot of wiggle room with 7' tall wall tarps, too)
- I'm getting a crapload of bungee balls, but we may lash down the tarps with rope (will experiment)
- Considering getting some additional fittings and conduit to attach legs together lengthwise along or near the ground (prevent tarp flapping and provide extra rigidity - you see carports with this config)
- I'll also get a beefier roof tarp (mix in flat silver tarp?) before the event as I went with stock white tarps for party applications

Supposed to be here Thursday, and I will share some pics then!
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Re: Shades, stuctures and desert dwellings to rely upon

Postby 48_love » Thu May 30, 2013 4:36 pm

Image

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Need to make some final cuts to the legs ... I was going to go 6'6" for side heights. Now, I am going with 6'8" as it's a better fit for the sides.

Which I don't even think will make it in the wind, but we are going to give a try.
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Re: Shades, stuctures and desert dwellings to rely upon

Postby MacGlenver » Thu May 30, 2013 5:45 pm

20x30' Monkey hut. No horizontal PVC, just 2 straps down the middle and guyed out. Had to add a vertical support to the windward end, otherwise it held very well.
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Completed 20x30' hut, plus our 3 additional 12x20' huts for tents and kitchen. Adding 2 more 12x20' huts this year... God, I'm tired just thinking about it.
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Re: Shades, stuctures and desert dwellings to rely upon

Postby Elorrum » Thu May 30, 2013 6:13 pm

pret-a-porter
2007,2008 kelty sunshade lg. and REI campdome 6 c.2000
Image
2009 -2012 Northpole party shade shelter. and REI campdome 6, Kamprite tent cot.
Image
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Re: Shades, stuctures and desert dwellings to rely upon

Postby MacGlenver » Fri May 31, 2013 3:38 pm

Ahhh, you're using a Camp dome 6, eh?! I bought one last year before bman for $145 at REI. Was too good of a deal to pass up. It was one of the last clearance models, and they dont make them anymore. I'm impressed that you used it out in the open without any serious wind protection. I was convinced that mine would get trashed by some serious wind. You can barely see mine tucked into the middle monkey hut in the post above yours. Unfortunately i didnt realize that the top of my rain fly was touching the PVC arch, and at the end of the week i saw that it'd worn a hole right thru the rain fly and the tent pole support sleeve. Nothing a little tent repair tape couldnt fix.

Even with its size, i found it impossible to keep organized (*cough*iblamemygirlfriend*cough*), so I upgraded to a Kodiak for this upcoming year. Im uber excited :)
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Re: Shades, stuctures and desert dwellings to rely upon

Postby Elorrum » Fri May 31, 2013 4:05 pm

The rain fly wore out on the old REI, I caught the edge on a patio table when I was washing it this September, and it just ripped in two. One tent pole also was split. Otherwise, it was a good tent, and lasted me ten years or so. Stake every stake, and tie out every tie out. It wasn't a problem, and 2007 was super windy... never had a big vehicle for wind break either. I'm not sure if it was a camp hut, or camp dome. Hexagon, and once the cot was in, a lot of space was lost.
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