It’s a beautiful day in the desert. Probably going to be hot…that’s a given…so you need a shade structure to set up over whatever items you plan on selling today. Whether it be vegetables, crafts or pretty much anything, you and your customers will appreciate relief from the sun!
The 10×10 foot awnings available anywhere will provide shade. These are generically designed to protect from a light rain as well. Most of them have stakes to drive into the ground for stability from a light breeze, but the biggest drawback will be any moderate or greater gust of wind. I’ve seen these shelters picked up by afternoon desert winds and tossed around like a dog with a stuffed toy.
You can mitigate the wind flow problem by using several strategies for anchoring or modifying the standard structure. Ropes or bungees hooked to the upper corners and secured to cement bricks or 5 gallon buckets or plastic tanks of water is a good start, if you are allowed to set up next to a truck you can anchor to it as well. Even then you’ll get some significant pulling when the wind scoops up from underneath. Even if the structure stays in place the wind can warp or damage the poles.
Another modification that significantly lessens winds ability to pull the structure. Set it up and using a very sharp knife, make some V shaped or wave shaped slits in the fabric roof. My daughter and I carved several different patterns into one of our structures and they work very well. Also, in order to “hide” the modifications, we used acrylic paint to create a nice mountain picture on the outside of the roof.
The next time I set up to do some solar cooking demonstrations my structure withstood the afternoon winds significantly better than the others in the area. While neighbors grabbed for the anchor posts frequently, the wind fluttered through and escaped through the venting. We don’t often have to worry about heavy rain here, and the structure will still tolerate a mild rain without soaking people and items inside.