The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

First-Up failure

First-Up temp tent failure when using for straw protection

We thought this First-Up temp tent would be good enough to protect our straw.

It did great most of the summer, but high winds got the better of it back in late August and we've been ignoring it ever since.

I doubt if I could fix it good enough to be folded back in travelling mode, but it might be possible to make repairs in a way that beefs up the weak points. Maybe it will make it through a medium wind storm if it's tied down and tucked up next to the barn.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Didn't you use the guy wires? For a big open surface like that I should think you'd need at least two wires per pole tied to separate stakes.
Comment by Roland_Smith Wed Oct 26 20:02:26 2011

I have three of these and they can not take 40 knot winds. The top has been cheapened since I started buying them some years ago until now it is only a matter of months before the sun eats the fabric top. Without strength in the fabric the frame is useless. Mine have been rolled into a ball and out of three I made two but I'm finding that the frame is being cheapened as well as the top. To strengthen them good enough for the thunderstorms we have here is possible but the "rule of diminishing returns" kicks in. Currently I have them in a protected location, lowered to the lowest notch and extra guy wires but a good sustained 60 knot wind will still take them out I believe. They were made for a day at the beach for suburbanites.

Comment by Oldfool Wed Oct 26 20:32:15 2011
To be fair to our First Up, it did last through over a year of heavy usage. It was Mark's chicken waterer construction station for about a year, rain or shine, until we made the East Wing. Unfortunately, it got a bit bent during that first trial, so the frame had lost some of its structural integrity by the time we moved it to the straw. Guying it down might have helped, but I think we would have really needed to solidify the frame first to do any good. (We tend to get a bit cocky about lack of wind since we only get gusts a couple of times a year.)
Comment by anna Thu Oct 27 08:10:14 2011

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