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I did a show in downtown Philadelphia this weekend where there were heavy wind gusts.  Saw 1 tent (not sure of the brand, not an EZup, but was aluminum) have its one front leg lift up 7 feet off the ground and onto the tent next to it. Saw another tent (a Trimline) end up upside down on the other side of a 4 foot fence that ran behind our booths. 

A few reminders:

1) If you have weights hanging from your tent, secure them to your tent legs. In the first instance, the person's weights were swinging in the air after the front of the tent was 7 feet off the ground.

2) if the winds are strong and are coming in from the front of your tent, roll up your sides or at least unzip the back two corners to let the air flow thru your tent.  Both tents had their roofs and 3 sides on them.  Both tents ended up becoming kites. As soon as the wind started, I removed all three of my sides.

3) Have enough weight.  I had 6 GreatWeight bags (from Trimline) each with around 40 pounds of pea gravel.  Both tents that had issues did not have enough weight.

Both exhibitors got off pretty easy - no one got hurt and there was minimal damage to merchandise. Could have been way worse.Please be prepared for wind.


Views: 2549

Comment by Michael Reimer on October 12, 2016 at 1:05pm

Kathy - weights can't swing if you attach them to the legs.  I don't know which is better - on or off the ground, but they should be securely attached to something and not be allowed to swing. Mine are attached to my stay bars (horizontal bars 6 inches off the ground between the legs on three sides), just barely touching the ground, no chance of swinging around.

Comment by Kathy Ross on October 12, 2016 at 3:21pm

Im still a fan of on the ground.... 

Comment by Robert Wallis on October 12, 2016 at 3:31pm

Kathy; on the ground is okay as long as the weight is bearing down on the foot pad directly. On the ground but tied to the top of the frame isn't. Ropes can stretch or have too much slack and allow a tent to lift. I'll add more on this a bit later this evening after I finish matting a bunch of prints.

Comment by Steve Sawusch on October 12, 2016 at 5:56pm
Forgot to mention that our weights are hung then strapped to our legs with thick Velcro so they can not move/swing.
Comment by Richard L. Sherer on October 13, 2016 at 1:45pm

High winds and micro bursts from thunderstorms are a fact of life for Colorado mountain shows. Here is how I anchor booth that has withstood 40mph sustained winds.  The center weight is a 5 gallon bucket of water weighing about 45 pounds. Robert Wallis and I understand force vectors.  Once, it pivoted around one leg in a microburst, and one sustained gust of 50 mph, scooted one corner into a curb. The only damage in both cases was a slightly bent 1” conduit corner pole.  Note the latest change from duct tape on the weight to a buckled leather belt. I have a series of photos with notes on how to build the PVC weights. PM me at

Comment by Robert Wallis on October 13, 2016 at 3:44pm

Richard; nice construction there :-) Angled bracing to keep the sides from flexing, weights secure and resting on the foot pads, and enough weight in the middle to keep down any lateral movement during  high gusts. I see too many PVC pipe weights, while heavy enough, are just resting on the ground unsecured and leaning sideways. Those folks don't realize that the 40+ pound weights give less than 10 pounds of effective weight  to holding down their tents. It may keep it from becoming a box kite but it doesn't mean it won't become a boat and start sailing across the parking lot. I still remember a show I was setting up for in Chicago, where the tent had just been put up, and as I turned around to get the weights a slight breeze hit and was enough to lift and flip my tent. No heavy wind noise or anything, just a very slight breeze, but enough to develop better than 80ft/lbs which was enough to lift a 65 pound tent. No damage, but it was like magic seeing the tent lift before your eyes with hardly any breeze at all. After that, I always attached weights before the sides went on.

Comment by Richard L. Sherer on October 13, 2016 at 10:08pm

Thanks Robert. I get weights on ASAP too and no dinking around. It doesn't take much of a breeze to lift the others off the ground. Lots of little things like rolling the sides placing panels, watching wind direction all help too. I see you and I sat through statics and dynamics classes LOL. 

Comment by Kathy Ross on October 13, 2016 at 10:34pm

I like the way they make you do it in LaQuinta. You hammer a 1/2" piece of rebar about 24" into the ground at each leg, and then strap the leg to it with clamps or else cotton rope and duct tape. Then at the end of the show, they come around with a rebar-extracting gizmo....

Good tip about putting on the weights before putting on the side tarps.

these photos are helpful....

Comment by Judy Christian on October 14, 2016 at 8:43am

I appreciate all of the info everyone.

Just got back from a 3 day show outside Leesburg, VA, watching for any remnants of the hurricane on the east coast. We had wind on the third day. We also use rebar to hold down my shelving. It's easy to carry and to put up. Of course we have weights, too, for the canopy.

Phila seems to have been hit worse than VA? Thanks for the photo, Michael, I showed that one to my husband, as he does the mechanics of the tent.


Comment by Marti Johnson on October 14, 2016 at 9:44am
Where do you get the water at an event? Thanks


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