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Dear Shelter Systems,

I was thinking about Burning Man 2001 planning today and visited your web site to see what was new. Andy Nourse and I were glad to see that you had gone out to check how Shelter Systems domes did on the playa in 2000 — and glad to see our own (DSCN0495.jpg) among those you photographed.

DSCN0495

Our Shelter Systems dome did well. For the first few days it was pegged only at the base by a ring of foot-long steel stakes. The reflective shade tarp kept the dome comfortable and we put short lengths of plastic pipe between the fabric panels to increase air flow.

One morning Radio Free Burning Man warned that 70mph gusts were expected in the afternoon. We decided to stay close to camp just in case. As the wind picked, we recalled we hadn’t guyed the dome down per the instructions. Andy quickly drove several three-foot rebars in the ground, guyed the dome and came back inside.

It was awesome and a little nerve-wracking. But the dome did not flap itself to bits nor did the PVC fold. After a while the wind diminished.

Emerging from our dome, we were even more startled. A few other tents and shade structures in the vicinity had collapsed, flattened or simply vanished. In the distance we could see a metal-frame geodesic structure that had buckled.

Anyway, your 20-foot dome passed the Playa Test in 2000.

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