Saturday, March 30, 2013

DIY Alert: How to make tent weights

by Karen Mahoney of City by the Sea Ceramics

**Alright guys, real talk. Let me plead with you for a moment about the importance of weights at shows. If you already understand this importance perhaps you can pass this along to a friend who doubts the unpredictable power of mother nature. It is incredibly important and necessary to properly weight your canopy tent for all outdoor shows. It doesn't matter how still you expect it to be, weight your tent. Very strong single gusts come out of nowhere at shows. It happens. Weather is unpredictable. To not prepare for this puts yourself and so much else at risk. The property and bodies of yourself, other vendors, shoppers, and organizers are all compromised if you ignore the possibility of disaster. While this may seem dramatic I have seen too many tents grow wings out of nowhere, too many events that don't enforce their own tent weight rules, and worse yet, too many vendors with no weights or inadequate ones. 10 pounds on each leg isn't going to do anything when your tent is ready to fly. For the sanity and safety of everyone, please properly weight your tent.** Thanks guys. I knew you'd understand. :D

Last summer I made some new weights for my tent out of PVC and I used these instructions I found. They were exactly what I was looking for, and the project was simple and cheap. They took about an hour to make and the weights are sturdy enough I don't expect to ever need new ones.

The hardest part of this project is lugging the bags of concrete so it helps if you've got a strong friend to assist you. I had help from the hardware store staff for both lifting the concrete in and out of my cart, and cutting my PVC pipe for me.

I opted for the flat plastic caps on the bottom of the weights so it can rest sturdily on the ground (the lower the weights are the more stable they are) and be bungee corded to the tent legs as well as the upper tent frame. You can see in the photo below the weight in the bottom left has two short bungees around it's body and the canopy leg. Each leg and weight also has a long yellow bungee that attaches at the hook on the weight's top to the upper frame of the tent. These weights have gotten me through some solid wind gusts at shows without anything budging.

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