2008 is going to be my first burn. Feeling very prepared already, concerning equipment and mind frame (thanks a bunch to talkative people on tribe who like to send messages to a young girl with many questions!)
My story - Going alone, on a much needed journey to the west coast from New York. Obviously will need a tent for BM and camping in Cali and Arizona afterward. I am thinking a 4-5 person tent would best so I have room for storage, to stand up, and to share...if need be. Anybody find anything great? good brand that withholds the wind well? etc?
A lot of people swear by the Spring Bar tents.
2007 was my first year and I took a 20.00 tent that worked just fine. I bought better stakes for it and I used my truck as a wind block and I had a shade structure over it.
A shade structure/shelter, even a small one, is way more important than the tent. If you have a shade structure that does any sort of half-way decent job of blocking the wind, any tent will be fine (basically it will be for privacy minor dust control). Last year I didn't bother with a tent, we just used our small dome to sleep in, and another camp mate had a more breathable setup for day use.
Depending on how much room you have, and how much you'd like to spend, suggestions on that will vary quite a bit. A small dome is pretty easy to set up, and strong, but it is a bit of weight to bring the struts and cover (and requires some tools and money to build, but is not technically challenging). Monkey huts are cheap and easy (and pretty good, if set up correctly), but require the ability to bring semi-long pieces of PVC. A small tensegrity structure would likely be ideal for you, but it takes a bit more know how to set up. If you can strap some pvc to the roof (and you can buy it out west, but I'd make sure you know how to set and identical structure up before you leave NY), a monkey hut is the way to go. Easy, cheap, but it will keep the sun off of you and ventilate (with some wind protection). Check out the shade structures or shade geeks tribe for more info.
you do realize that anything over a 20 mph wind, will make a 6' tall tent. just about flat?
I think you should share. Let me know where we are camping and I will bring the tequila. ;)
Springbar tents rock! But they are expensive and heavy.
They setup in 10 minutes with one person.
They handle wind great (with real stakes or rebar)
They zip up tight.
Being canvas (not plastic) they let some air though, and don't get terribly hot.
If you put a white snow camo tarp over them they seem fine temperature wise.
They will last a zillion years and you can put them in your will for the next generation.
for easy shade on a springbar...
buy eleven four or five foot 1.5" wood dowels, screw 8" cheap plastic bowls to ends (so wind can move shade material without tearing),
bungee to every tent pole, to elevate tarp,
buy huge aluminet,
A Sunshade like this, and any well ventilated tent are a great combo.
the sun is brutal if you're inside a tent unless you've got a sun shade protecting the tent.
Springbar wall tents are excellent tents and they have been in use for a long time. I have used them camping in the past.
I used recycled aluminum 2" pipe to make a shade about the same. The horazontal pipes were 19' long and the vertical pipes were 8'. I used scaffold pipe clamps to anchor it to the lumber rack of my truck so that it would not go anywhere.... I parked the truck so that it would take the major brunt from the wind.
Once you get your camp space you can look at it on the map and plan your camp on grid paper, plan with wind direction in mind.
keep your eye on a site like this for the last couple of weeks before you go
Note wind direction and speeds.
Here the link to instructions for the Monkeyhut, if you're able to make use of it:
The first thing you should do after buying a tent is toss out the stakes that come in the package. Invest in 10 to 12-inch metal stakes. Even if you weigh down your tent with clothing bins or coolers, heavier stakes are needed to dig into the playa and serve as a last line of defense. I agree that shelter for your tent is more important that the tent itself. Even tying a tarp to your car and draping it over your tent is better than nothing. While Springbars are awesome, remember that any tent you use for Burning Man will forever be a Burning Man tent. You can never get all the playa out. You might want to consider having a BM tent and another tent for everything else, if you're an avid camper.
There's no one perfect solution. A Springbar will hold up just fine on its own. Throw some aluminet over it and it will stay relatively cool. A mid-range tent will do fine if it's protected from the wind, such as setting it up right next to a car with lots of guy lines going to the car and ground. An el-cheapo tent will do fine if it's almost completely isolated by a good shade structure such as a dome or monkey hut. My $40 tall, narrow tent has made it through 2 years now under carport equivalents. Last year I needed to run a couple of bungees from the sides of the tent to the poles on the shade during a wind storm, but otherwise it's been great.
As mentioned, the tent will be saturated with dust. You might consider using the large tent just for Burning Man, and a different one for the road trip. You won't need something that big for the rest of the trip anyway, right?
I have also heard good things about Kodiak, which seems to be a Springbar clone (both even made in Utah!) But I have never seen one in person.
The one thing I can't tell about the Kodiak tents (from the description) is if the windows and "roof vents" zip up tight. If not, that would be bad! :)
I am not sure which tent you should get cause I saw most name brands break out there, but a the trick I pick up last year to help keep my tent for breaking in wind, is to lay it down during the day time hrs.....by pulling the polls and laying it flat to the ground I had no problems with the wind....I had one camp mate leave hers up and by end of the week 3 polls had snapped
good to know. thanks. makes a lot of sense. if theres a problem, just take away any problem material.
I'm also a BM08 virgin and plan to bring a Reflectix-covered small Kelty tent and a shade structure to put it under. I've used Kelty tents on numerous camping trips, and they've worked out well for me.
The Springbar tents look awesome, but I just couldn't justify the expense.
Actually, I have been wondering which to get...the Kodiak or the Springbar. Went to Sportsman's Warehouse today to look at the Kodiak 10 x 10 tent and almost let then ring it up ($399.00). When I picked up the box I saw "Made in China" printed on the box label. Kodiak's corporate headquarters might be in Utah, but the 10 x 10 is made in China. The Kodiak looked real nice and strong and the windows, doors and vents were tight, don't get me wrong... but I'll get the "Made in USA" Springbar. Even if the Springbar costs more.
The best tent is found in my guy's pants. He's the CFO of the Morning Wood Company.
But since he is already occupied I would recommend you allow for a few things:
1) Attachment to the ground. Rebar stakes.
2) Sufficient size that if this is your only shade you can get some without cooking yourself alive. Ventilation is key but so is the ability to keep out dust during storms.
3) Along that line, poles / tubes that won't disconnect or blow apart easily. Get a strong tent, even if it's not as large as you'd like.
4) Don't buy these from REI or the LLBean camper set. They will tell you that you are overthinking and you'll be toast in short order because many of them have no idea what it's like to camp if they aren't in protected areas.
5) Do you need storage area? If yes, consider a multi-room tent with a good vestibule and rope it down with rebar.
I'm sorry I don't have names but those are things I'd be thinking of. xoxo
Munky is actually mistaken.....her guys tent has NOTHING on mine.......Not even sure why you would think his is best.....but doesnt REALLY matter i suppose....to each their own
My B.A.T. (big-ass tent) by Trek has been to two burns and several weekend events and has held up extremely well...
It's huge! Three rooms. You can stand up almost anywhere in it. With two people, each one has a roomy, private bedroom with a communal/living room space to spare.
Very strong metal supports.
When all openings are zipped up, there is NO mesh. The only way for dust to get in is if you leave something open. (Make sure you call the distro first. I hear that newer ones have mesh, but I'm not sure).
For such a large tent, it's fairly inexpensive.
When properly staked and tied down, it will withstand the strongest playa winds.
It's huge and not easily luggable. Two people can erect it in about 10 - 15 minutes.
Note: If you do get this tent, do yourself a favor. Practice putting the tent together first. Get some colored vinyl tape and color-code which pipe goes into the other.
And, of course, toss the tent stakes and get some good metal ones.
Nice. i just bought the slightly smaller version of that one (10x16) but it hasn't come in yet. I should be getting it this week!! Glad to hear it's a decent quality! From the description, I'm assuming all mesh comes in the form of windows/doors which can be zipped shut from the inside. No roof mesh to worry about! Will report back if I find out otherwise. Did you use it w/ some sort of shade, or just out there by itself?
If I was buying a new Springbar I would get a Vagabond 7. The extra windows and the canopy of my Traveler 5 aren't all that useful on the playa.
And a Vagabond 7 now has the option of a canopy if you really want one.
I have a very inexpensive tent. It did great on the playa last year. I put it under a monkey hut and it worked great. I think the secret is putting your tent under a shade structure.
One year, we had a large communal shade structure, so it was fine. On it's own, it can get hot. Aluminet or other shade material would be helpful.
Well I am appreciative of everyone's thoughts and opinions. I ended up getting a Cabela's 3 season tent.
Super easy to set up and apparently good in wind and bad weather. Its a three person and its what I could afford with tons of saved up cabela's gift cards. Desperately hoping it will be the right size and make it thru the desert terrain.
We have used this Shade structure from Cabelas several times at Bman. ( to supplement our TT)
Held up really well in high winds, easy to sweep out ( with the optional floor) , great chill space easy setup for 2 people ( always folks around to help.)
I'll be trying out my new Vagabond 7 (with canopy) this year... and I'll report back how it performs.
Park your car to block the "normal" wind. And bring some rope and extra stakes, in case you need to guy it in a different direction from your car.
My new Springbar Vagabond 7 worked out perfectly on the playa this year. It held up to the wind and the zippered openings kept out the dust. I left my portico awning completely off but I draped a layer of Aluminet shade cloth over the tent and that really helped keep it cool in the daytime. Springbars rock.
I tricked out my space this year. I had a Costco Carport I got used for $45. Inside it I had my Cabelas Outback Lodge tent.
I setr up right next to one of the BMIR containers so I had a solid wall on one side of me.
The carport is 20X10. The tent is 10X10 and 8 feet at the top with one central pole as the picture shows. This left me with a 10X10 space in front of my tent for me to set up my altar in and decorate with tapestries. A few chairs and a stereo and I was styling.
Yes indeed Bobzilla, you were stylin, nice and cozy in there.. it was nice to visit ya..
I am so getting a spring bar tent now that i have seen them in action during the wind storms this year.
* Bump *