Packing in limited space and finding a suitable shade struct

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Packing in limited space and finding a suitable shade struct

Postby Sandwichman » Fri Feb 20, 2004 2:15 pm

I was wondering what ideas people had for shade structures that are easy to pack in limited space and won't make my wife cry when looking at the check book. If you have not seen any of my earlier posts here is the scoop. I am driving by myself in my little Kia Spectra and cannot tow anything behind me. I need to pack all my necessities into the car including a structure to go over my tent and I am at a loss for how to do this fairly cheap. Any advice?

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Postby centrifuge » Fri Feb 20, 2004 4:48 pm

Sounds like a large tarp & 4 metal poles with guy lines would be right up your alley. That is, if all you need to do is cover your sleeping tent.

Anything else would either be too much $$$ or take up way too much space.

we were very lucky to find a 12'x20' canopy at Sears for $130 & that folded up to fit in a large duffle bag. I'm pretty sure they discontinued those though & everything else I've seen is MUCH more costly than that & they'll take up a good 6'x2' of space when broken down.

So yeah if $$ is a concern, use a tarp. You could even do without the metal poles & just rebar the corners down & wrap the tarp around the tent like a ravioli with the front exposed.
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Postby Chai Guy » Fri Feb 20, 2004 4:48 pm

I've found that the EZ-UP shade structures, when properly staked function well, don't take up much room and are pretty light. You can add to the shade qualities by attaching fabric or tarps to the sides (I prefer attaching them at an angle to give more interior space.) Also you are going to want to avoid the type that use the flexible aluminum tent poles and stick with the more heavy duty ones that incorparte the scissor gate design.


Other than that you may want to check out some tensegrity structures, either building your own or buying ready-made (this is assuming you have a roof rack to strap down any neccessary poles).

http://www.designboom.com/history/tensegrity.html
http://www.shelter-systems.com
http://www.dymax.org/pages/7/

And as always, Check out Bob's Site:
http://www.sonic.net/~bullnose/bluetarp.htm
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Postby centrifuge » Fri Feb 20, 2004 4:50 pm

haha I was first!

OH YEAH I forgot, use the roofrack!
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Postby Sandwichman » Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:02 pm

No roof rack on the Kia so my options are less than thought.

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Postby centrifuge » Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:18 pm

yeah, you're gonna want a lot of room for things like water & food & supplies.

I had a 8'x8' scizzor stylee canopy once & it folded up to be about 6 feet long by a foot & a half square. Took up a LOT of space & was HEAVY.

Then after a couple of the rivets in the top fell out, it ended up looking something like a squished spider & I left it near a military base party location we have in the Mojave.
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Postby centrifuge » Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:19 pm

I've also seen those EZ-UPS going for like $500 for something small.

You could buy a dozen tarps & create an entire little villiage with 'em for that price....
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Postby Sandwichman » Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:23 pm

I should have also said I probably only need maybe a 15x15 area of shade with the availability of side shade. I am camping with a group that will have shade to sit under I just don't want my tent melting. I might buy a heavy tarp and then find a way to work out poles and using guy lines to make it secure. I am almost thinking like a lean-to. As for prices if I could $500 I wouldn't be asking at all I would build it. No offense meant I know I can come accross as harsh but I am not that way.

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Postby centrifuge » Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:29 pm

that was my point as well...EZ-UPS & the like are much too pricey from what I've seen.

Unlike most Burners sure situation, I can't afford anything & everything either!

The lean-to idea with a tarp was what I had imagined at first. That'd probably work the best out of your cheapO options.

with a nice 20'x20' tarp (about $15 if you look in the right place) you won't even need poles...just rebar down 1 side on the backside of your tent & wrap the other side up & over like a bonnet. Rebar the front down as well & it would look something like a parka hood.
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Postby Sandwichman » Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:32 pm

My only concern with wrapping the tent like that is that when you have an object that is hot sitting on the tent the heat will radiate into the tent if there is no gap between the two. I was thinking maybe two 7 foot spans of 2x4 prefitted to be used with rebar. I think I have the idea now but i will need to look into it.

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Postby centrifuge » Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:42 pm

Good point & good remedy.

I could be completely wrong, its happened before, but I think those silver tarps would be maybe twice as much but would deflect much more heat.

Using wood as anchors would sturdy it up nicely.

I'm going to be building multiple wind-blocks this year by getting a 8' length of 4x4 or 6x6 studs, screwing a thick eyelet in the tippy top, building a base for it so that the beam sits at a 60 degree angle or so, using the eyelet for guylines & also to attach 1 corner of a large tarp to....the opposite corner of the tarp will be stretched out & rebarred down to the ground & the other two corners of the tarp will be folded down & rebarred as well to create a triangular shaped (almost taco shell shaped) wind block.

Not really worried about it working as a wind block as much but more just as a visual add on.

we'll see how it goes!
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Postby Sandwichman » Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:48 pm

I think Home despot I can find a few steel brackets and afix them to each side of a 2x4 they are brackets used for securing a patio to a concrete deck very common when I lived in AZ. Now instead of having bolts into the concrete I can use rebar at a 45 degree angle to secure it let me know if I am describing this horribly. I think instead of the back section being on the ground use 5 ft 2x4's right up to my car. If I use a 20x20 tent and and use only a surface of 10x10 the overlap will allow for sides and rear cover to help even more with heat. I can't believe my brain didn't think of this sooner.

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Postby centrifuge » Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:57 pm

I was thinking the same thing.....your little sleeping tent is only going to take up so much space under a large tarp. The surface area of the tarp far exceeds that of a standard camping tent & the sides of the tarp would extend out & create a nice breeze area.

I was thinking of staking down all sides as a wind issue. You don't want wind to be able to catch the underside of that too much. You'd have more of a parachute than shade at that point. Stretch it tight & taut & secure it like a pro & you won't have as bad a problem in that area.

Using the car as an anchor is a very good idea. Last year we camped next to these guys that had an SUV & completely covered it with a large military surplus canvas. The canvas extended about 6 feet past the SUV & was pulled tight & at an angle creating a perfect shade structure for their small group the entire time.

...canvas or any material other than a plastic tarp will deflect heat much much better.
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Postby centrifuge » Fri Feb 20, 2004 6:00 pm

a 20'x20' tent by itself is a perfect shade structure! I thought you just had a little 2 man thingy that you wanted to hide from the elements.

Our 12'x20' canopy worked better than I had hoped last year. With a solid canvas roof & mosquito netting sidewalls, a very nice breeze blew thru & the canvas defected heat nicely.
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Postby Bob » Sat Feb 21, 2004 11:59 pm

Google on [mesh truck tarps]; get sectioned poles and spreaders from a military surplus outlet to prop it up.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Postby robotland » Mon Feb 23, 2004 7:26 am

Regarding EZ-ups- You can buy several models of these for under $200- I remember seeing one at KMart for under a hundred, but I wouldn't bring it to the Playa. I've used these for years at art fairs and for camping, and am fairly pleased with them because of their ability to be adjusted quickly to various heights. For a windy beach shelter we've lowered one side completely and raised the other, or replaced the white nylon top with silver tarps long enough to cover two sides AND the top. They do need to be anchored and guyed securely, and playadust will get all into its folding parts, but they're Viable Playable. DO NOT PAY $500. Don't pay HALF of that. Buy a 2" pipeframe garage if you're looking to throw down that kinda 'ching.
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packing..

Postby Skyhawk » Tue Feb 24, 2004 2:03 pm

something that may help.. you said your driving by yourself in a Kia Spectra? what year? (trying to get a picture)

have you considered taking out the pasanger side seat and rear bench seat? you might not want to do it for some reason (lack of experience or trying to protect the car) if you DO take the extra seats out, it should be easy to put them back in. this will also shed a lot of weight you can make up in supplies and materials. this will also give you a long, straight space along the entire passenger side, from the very back of the trunk to the front dash. just a thought.. if you still uner some kind of warrenty, then Dont do this, and probably talk to a friendly mechanic about getting the work done carefully.

$.02
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Postby Sandwichman » Tue Feb 24, 2004 2:08 pm

The Kia is under warranty still and if I pretty much unscrew any bolt it is a big problem with the warranty. We have the 2003 Spectra. I figure since it is just me the water weight will be equivalent to the weight of a second person. Even packed to the gills our car gets about 300 miles to the single gas tank. I think using the idea of the 2 seven foot 2x4's I will be able to fit it just right. I need to find a way to get good cheap coolers is my next task. I am working on costumes that will take little space as well. It was like the other day someone hit me upside the head with the idea and packing stick. ;)

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Postby robotland » Thu Feb 26, 2004 10:46 am

Would it free up space in the car if you invested in a clip-on roofrack like those made for kayaks? Banish those 2x4's to the top, more room for coolers inside....
To anchor your tarp, you could lay one end down and then drive over it- Up, around, over and down.You just need some kind of spacer to keep it off the car.
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Postby Sandwichman » Thu Feb 26, 2004 10:52 am

I wish the roofrack was an option but funds are limited and a rack that holds up to a drive from the NW to the NV desert is not cheap. I will be able to pack the car I am pretty sure if not it is time to pay someone to haul some of my items to the playa from the NW.

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Postby bushonk » Thu Feb 26, 2004 12:05 pm

depending on how limited funds are, I was able to find an old sears brand x-cargo car top carrier at a garage sale for less than 50 bones. That made all the difference, as I packed all the clothes, tent, blankets and tarps for last year up top, leaving the rest of my subaru for all the heavy & bulky stuff...
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Postby robotland » Thu Feb 26, 2004 1:37 pm

Two self-ratcheting cargo straps and an old blanket- Ten Bucks.
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