Burning Man: How to Pitch a Tent

Tips on how to keep your tent secure at Burning Man

Posted on: July 25, 2019
By: CanvasCamp
Burning Man: How to Pitch a Tent

You’ve got your ticket to Burning Man. You’ve figured out which goggles and outfits to wear. Have you given just as much thought to your tent as your costumes? You’ll be sleeping at Black Rock Desert for a week where extreme weather changes and strong winds can exceed 75 mph (120 kph). Keeping your tent secure is essential to enjoying yourself at TTITD (That Thing In The Desert). Here’s a few tips on how to pitch your tent at Burning Man.

All tents come with stakes, however most of the time they are short, scrawny poles that come out of the ground with minimal effort. The wind can pick up unexpectedly on the playa and when you’re not looking, it can even take your tent along for a ride. Check out this video of a flying tent at burning man that wasn’t staked down properly.

What are "Rebar Stakes"

Many people have said, “Burning Man changed my life”. We don’t promise that, but rebar stakes will change your camping experience out there. They are sturdy, durable and can survive the harsh weather changes out in the desert. Don’t impale your friends and fellow burners, get rebar that has a "J" on the end; they look like a candy cane. Cap the ends that stick out with tennis balls. Check out Burning Man's Rebar Safety 101 for more information.

Tie me down

Guy Lines are tensioned cables or rope designed to add stability to your tent. They’re the middleman between your tent and stakes. Do yourself and others a favor and light up your guy lines so no one trips on them. Solar string lights are a great option as they turn on by themselves at night and you don’t need to replace the batteries. Illuminating your tent also makes it easier to find at night.

How to Choose a Tent for Burning Man

There’s a lot of tent styles out there. Natural fibers are better than synthetic. We’re partial to the Sibley tent because they’re enduring, rugged and charming. The sides roll up to let the breeze in on a hot day. Due to their design, they don’t bake you when the sun is up, which is crucial at Burning Man because you’re sleeping at odd hours. You won’t need to build a shade structure over your tent. They’re made of cotton, so they’re breathable. They keep you cool and they look cool. They come with sturdy stakes and guy lines. Depending on the amount of space you like and how many people are camping with you, check out our Sibley 600 Twin Pro, Sibley 400 Pro and Sibley 300 Ultimate.

burning man how to pitch a tent on the playa

Dusty Pro Tips

  • When your bed is made, cover it with an extra fitted sheet over it so it keeps the dust out. That way when you come home to crawl under the covers, your pillow and blankets aren’t covered with a thick layer of dust.

  • Door mats. To minimize dirt getting into your tent, give people a place to take their shoes off before coming in. If you put a mat outside your tent, stake it down. An inside door mat can be shaken out easily.

  • Ziploc bags or sealable plastic bins for clothing. You can keep your outfits separate & clean. If you don’t wear it, you won’t have to wash it when you get home.

Have a great time at Burning Man! If you follow our tips on how to pitch your tent, you won’t have to worry about finding your tent as MOOP along the trash fence.