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Festival Tips - Tent Weights

At many of the shows I do someone sees something about my tent set up and comments about what a great idea it is.  Of course I do the same which makes doing festivals a great learning experience, especially if you can set up early and visit other peoples tents.
One thing people comment about is the weights I use to help secure the tent against the wind.  So many shows don't allow the use of spikes in the ground; it's a good idea to have weights as a back-up.  Mine were made pretty easily after a trip to the hardware store.  I bought a long piece of PVC pipe with a fairly large diameter, some concrete mix and 4 eye bolts with large washers and 4 nuts for the eye bolt.  I cut the PVC into 4 equal lengths, mixed up some cement and poured it into the PVC while they were standing upright on some scrap plywood.  Before the cement hardened I sunk one eye bolt assembly into the top with just the eye showing.  This gives me a place to tie a rope or hook a bungee cord which would then tie onto the tent frame where it meets at the four legs.   Since I used white PVC and the tent legs are also white they blend very nicely.
You would want to be sure not to make the weights heavier than you can lift, it'd be better to make several sets of smaller ones if a big one is too much weight to lift in and out of your vehicle easily.
I can't promise that these will keep your tent down in really, really strong winds but they will help on an average day.

Comments

  1. I like that these look neat and professional. We don't do many outdoor shows but we really should make some. Great tip!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Michèle, they work well and are unobtrusive which is a big plus.

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  2. I remember the first show I did, the wind was blowing like crazy, I spent most of my time hanging on to it, as I looked at the tent beside me, envious of their PVC weights, like these. I never got around to making any weights, brought along cinder block instead, and now I think my outdoor show days are coming to an end. I just don't have the mental tolerance for them! Yours are so well crafted, wow!

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    Replies
    1. Tracey, one of my first shows was like that, it was at the beach and the wind was trying to sail my tent away. It was awful but not enough to make me quit.

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  3. I've heard of folks tents blowing off in heavy winds which we get here in Florida a lot. Almost everyone here in Florida has pvc weights. I am using dumb bells but one of these days I'll get around to making some of the pvc ones. I have seen some folks put a pvc cap on the bottom but that adds to the cost. Great tip.

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  4. I've seen empty buckets used. Filled up with water onsite they weigh enough, but are easy and light to pack away.

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  5. Linda, I've heard the same, also about potter's shelves being blown down which might be a good thing to consider when buying or making shelves.

    Ross, welcome. That's a great idea. I've used buckets full of bricks that I brought from home but they are a hassle to transport.

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