Monday, February 4, 2008
Burnin' Hot Shade!!!!!!
It's official: The Playa Parachute Dome is officially retired! We have a new Playa shade structure!
After Burning Man last year, we decided that we needed something easier to transport and set up than the dome. We had a camp across the way that had a huge "Tipi" type of shade structure, sort like a "big top tent". It was exactly what Sweet pea wanted. We talked about what it would take to sew one ourselves and started searching for one that was already made that wouldn't break the bank. One random search for "tents" on Ebay, and we found it! I found a listing for a "tipi" style shade tent that was brand new, with no bids!
This beauty has a footprint of 30' x 30' (that's 30 feet!), and a height of about 12 1/2 feet! I did some more checking and found out that the company that listed the tent has an actual store in Nebraska and is an outlet for overstock and returns from Coleman and other companies. They sell the tent direct, on their website as well. I noticed that as soon as one tent sold on Ebay, they immediately list a new one.............. well, we won the auction!
Here's the link to the company that sells the tent, "Just Camp", in Nebraska. in case you want to order one right off of their website instead of doing the whole Ebay auction thing:
We unpacked it and checked it over the other night and let me tell you, this baby is HEAVY DUTY! I weighs in at 4o pounds and comes in a great, expandable dufle bag. The center pole is extremely well made. I would call it "industrial". The pipe lengths are super thick walled with heavy enamel paint, and the tab locks that hold the lengths together are the heaviest I've seen. I had wondered if I would have to make a new center pole that would be tough enough for the Playa........... no need, this thing won't have a problem at all. The canopy material is very heavy weight with sail seams, even the perimeter stakes are tough and solid (I'll still need to substitute rebar for the Playa though, just to be extra safe).
I can't wait until Spring so we can set this thing up and give it a pre-Playa shakedown check!
August 2011 Update:
The shade structure has been a FANTASTIC improvement to our Playa set up and tear down...... I will always miss our old geo-dome and parachutes, but with this set up, I can hit the Playa in the early-dark AM, and have this set up in about 20 minutes, mostly by myself. You need one person to hold the center post up while the second person pounds the stakes. I use a long piece of cord with two nails as a "compass" to mark out the footprint before setting it up. It really helps in placement and it helps to know where to pound stakes! We've had it on the Playa for two years and only very minor wear. I think this will last us for many future trips as well. (unfortunately this is a no-go year for us (2011).... we'll be back next year). Feel free to email me for more info if you need it.
Here's a picture of the actual tent and box on the front walk:
2015 Blog Update: I have added another entry about this tent. Click the link to find out what's up with it today!