It’s that time of year again, the Burning Man Festival is over and people want to know…. 

How do you properly clean your tent after attending the Burning Man Festival? 

The Burning Man Festival is famous for the Playa Dust that coats EVERYTHING. From your skin to your clothes and most certainly your tent, it gets everywhere and can be very difficult to clean off. It is however vital that you clean this playa dust off of your tent, not only for the comfort of future uses but because, if left uncleaned, it will damage your tent.


What is Playa Dust?  

The playa dust at Black Rock City is almost like a fine powder and includes both gypsum, an alkaline dust, and silica. There is evidence that it is hazardous for your health so please be sure to use a proper mask and gloves when cleaning your tent. Because of the fine powder like composition, it is very important NOT TO WET YOUR TENT. Wetting your tent will turn the playa dust into a clay like substance and will ruin your tent. Follow the instructions below to best clean your tent. 

What You’ll Need

  • Gloves  
  • Old clothes you don’t mind tossing 
  • Hepa Respirator Mask and Filters (doesn’t let minute particles through)
  • Industrial strength leaf blower 
  • Space to do the cleaning. 
  • Goggles
  • Clorox Wipes (or similar)

Time Needed

If you clean the tent properly you can expect it to take about 5 hours.

Where to Clean Your Tent

From a customer: “The first time we tried to clean a tent after the Burning Man Festival we chose a large grassy spot on our lawn. By the end our grass was gray from the dust and a thick gray like sludge made its way to the storm drain.”  

 If you plan to do this in your yard, be aware not to impact your neighbor’s lawn and be aware not to let any children or animals play in the grass while it’s still wet.  

 Ideal Clean-up Space: A grassy lawn space with good drainage for the canvas top, and a large concrete space for the groundsheet


You really do have to wear a mask, it is not a suggestion. As you beat the tent to loosen and remove the playa dust, it will go into the air and it will irritate your lungs. This is not to alarm anyone but to share our experience so that you can take the proper precautions. 

From a customer: “Our first time cleaning our tent after The Burning Man Festival we did not wear proper masks and we ended up with bloody noses and coughing for days.”  


Ready to Clean Your Tent?

Step 1: Prepare your gear and cleaning space 

Step 2: Set up your tent (canvas top) and beat with a broom. After you’ve gone around the top of tent with the broom, use your leaf blower to blow dust away from the tent.  You’ll want to repeat this step repeatedly until not much dust is lifting off of the tent. It’s at this point that you can hose the tent off. This is a good time to note the amount of water-proofing treatment left on the tent. You should see water bead up and run off. If you are noticing that the canvas is absorbing the water, then you will want to re-proof.

*We suggest setting up the tent without the groundsheet if possible. It is much easier to properly clean both the groundsheet and tent if they are not attached during the cleaning process because you will use water to clean the ground sheet. To do this, you will setup the tent as normal, and then unzip the groundsheet from the canvas all the way around. Then you will pull the groundsheet stakes out of the D-rings in the groundsheet, and instead stake the rubber loops on the canvas side-walls. The groundsheet can then slip out, and be moved to the concrete cleaning area.   

 Step 3: Clean the groundsheet.  

As stated above, we recommend cleaning the ground sheet separately. You’ll need a bristled push broom, bleach,  and a pressure nozzle hose. You’re going to clean both sides of the groundsheet a few times, scrubbing each time.

To begin, start by pouring a water mixture with about 4 or 5 tablespoons of bleach on the ground sheet, then scrub with the broom and spray off, repeatedly.  

Once you’re finished with one side, flip it and repeat. You will need to repeat this process a few times. As you work you will need to power wash the ground beneath each time you flip so that you’re not laying the groundsheet back down a dirty work space.  

When you are finished, let the groundsheet dry naturally in the sun.

**Pay special attention to the zipper track. If you leave playa dust in the zipper track it will blow dust back onto your tent each time you zip it. You may want to vacuum the track out with a shop-vac or something similar. 


Guy Lines: It makes most sense to replace all the lines, we have not found an effective way to clean them and they are inexpensive to replace.  

Stakes: Power wash the stakes and then apply a WD-40 or other degreaser spray.  

Poles: Use the Clorox Wipes (or similar) to wipe the poles completely.  

Screens: If the bug netted screen/windows/double wall is still retaining playa dust, use a vacuum on it, but be sure to beat it really well before using a vacuum.

Stout Tent has multiple years experience cleaning tents that we have rented out to  attendees of the Burning Man Festival. This year we are offering an After Burn Cleaning Package and we are happy to accept ANY tent, not just Stout Tents. Send us your tent by October 3rd to take advantage of our sale price. Cleaning tents after the burn is a time consuming and laborious process. Please allow 4-6 weeks turnaround.  



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We cannot get enough of this gorgeous wedding in Napa. Wine, books, and tents? In.

These pictures feature a few of many different ways in which our Stout Tent Glamping Bell Tents can be used at Events.

Don’t forget, you can book all of your tent rentals and furnishings through us!


Photography Credit: Pepper Nix (@peppernix)

Sibley Tent versus Bell Tent


The history of the Bell Tent is quite a long and interesting story, woven through various continents, time-periods and wars. The Bell tent’s history begins as an adaptation to the Sibley tent.


Serious tent enthusiasts know that the Sibley Tent was originally designed by Henry Hopkins Sibley in 1856 while serving as an Officer of the US Army. He had observed the Native American Tipi’s during Frontier duty in the Southwest and adapted his tent for travel by making a single center pole.

Sibley filed for a patent:

Bell tent sibley tent patent


As you can see from the diagram above, the Sibley tent has no sidewalls and is a more tipi like structure. It features a smoke hole at the top, a smaller entrance and is not defined with any protruding porch. It also has no guy-lines, but uses tent stakes to secure the canvas into the ground.


The above Sibley tent was used exclusively during the Utah Expedition and the US Army agreed to pay a $5 royalty to Henry Sibley for each tent made. However, shortly after reaching that agreement, Sibley resigned from the US Army and joined the Confederate States Army during the Civil War, consequently forfeiting his royalties from his tents. The Union Army proceeded to make over 40,000 Sibley tents during the war.


During this same time period the British Cavalry was using Bell tents, an adapted version of the Sibley tent. The Bell tent is differentiated from the Sibley tent mainly by it’s sidewalls and guy-lines. Bell tents had the same benefits that the Sibley had in regard to canvas and conical shape – able to deflect high winds, set-up and pack down easily with the single center pole, but the adaptations offered additional headroom and breathability due to those side-walls.


Sibley Tent:

  • No sidewalls
  • Low Entry
  • No defined porch
  • Tripod pole
  • Stove hole
  • Fire Pit


Bell Tent:

  • Sidewalls (more headroom)
  • Guy-Lines (instead of tripod pole)
  • No fire pit inside tent



Bell tents in the Crimean War (1855):


Who doesn’t love a good short film featuring an epic road trip up the California coast in a Stout Tent.

Watch, drool, repeat.

Have you had an epic adventure in a Stout Tent? Use #stouttent to share your story with us. We can’t wait.

World’s best stylists use our sweet PRO edition tent with the sides rolled up for a beautiful June bedding spread. Take a page from Nordstrom’s playbook and rent a Stout tent for your event.

A Stout Tent Ultimate 5000 PRO edition is featured in Nordstrom's June 2015 Bedding catalog.

A Stout Tent Ultimate 5000 PRO edition is featured in Nordstrom’s June 2015 Bedding catalog.

Need to add some color and depth at your outdoor dinner, wedding, or gathering?

We’ve created a collage of different ways you can easily integrate them into your outdoor decor.

Outdoor design hack by Stout Tent -Eucalyptus garland DIY

Outdoor design hack by Stout Tent -Eucalyptus garland DIY

Here are a few best practices when using foliage:

  • Wait until just before your event to clip.
  • Keep your clippings cool outside until needed.
  • Use florist wire to keep your unruly trimmings in line.
  • Submerge in a cold bathtub if it’s warm out.


Picking the right trimming can be an exciting and eye pleasing adventure, we’ve had to jump fences for a good clipping of one of  our favorite plants for outdoor use; Eucalyptus. Eucalyptus lasts for weeks, and can be preserved with glycerine to last even longer. It bends easily without breaking, which makes it a great choice for a wreath or bunting. We used florist wire and a nice piece of vintage rope to make the bunting for this event.  A small line of leaves on a thin branch was the perfect garland for this wedding cake, and matched the bride’s natural, earthy vibe. More on that gorgeous inspiring wedding, here.




We were thrilled to be a part of Kelly Kriger, of Whatchawant Design‘s daughter’s birthday party. It was an amazing event! Kelly collaborated with her friend, and neighbor Angela Marie Events, and the fantastic photography is courtesy of Carolynn Seibert.

Kelly styled her Stout Tent as the “Dreamer’s Lounge”  where the girls lounged, had tipi-treats, and giggled…  they also setup a bead bar, with feathers, beads, and stylists braiding hair.

Every detail was covered, from tiny gold figurines, donut arrows, ribbons, and feathers. She used tree stumps as stools, and vintage picture frames for direction. Oh, and the succulents… perfectly placed, in the greatest planters. Look at the decorated stones! Literally, no stone was unturned for this party. It is one of our favorite stylizations of our tent, ever.



We were beyond honored to be a part of Agritopia’s Outstanding in the Field dinner! It was magnificent to see everything come together so flawlessly.

Photo Credit: Siegel Thurston Photography,

Outstanding in the Field was created by Jim Denevan in 1999. It’s a traveling feast/dinner tour that lands in the best farms in the world, sets up a classically beautiful long table outside, and fills that table with food and drink from the community they are celebrating.  Jim describes it as “A traveling feast with a central vision of farmers, chefs, cheese makers, ranchers, foragers and winemakers in delicious communion with the people they sustain.”

October 21st and 22nd, 2014 the Outstanding team diligently setup, cooked, pruned and prepared for Arizona’s Agritopia location. Agritopia, a community in Gilbert, built around a community farm, and charmed with a coffee shop, and the famous Joe’s Farm Grill was the perfect setting. A long table was setup through the orchard, low lying branches trimmed back, free range chickens within ear shot. It was lovely.

Stout Tent provided a lounge tent, furnished with comfortable couches, and lit with candles and lanterns for after dinner conversations.






We thought it was time to share some more Glamping eye candy with you… here is what Fall Glamping in Arizona looks like:

Stout Tent Glamping Shoot - Fall

Stout Tent Glamping



That orange blanket, is a Rumpl Blanket. We’re obsessed. Think of your most favorite puffer vest… turned blanket.


Fall Glamping Photoshoot

Geometric Bunting - Stout Bell Tent

Succulents in Geometric Bunting

The canvas walls and netted walls are both zipped closed.

The canvas walls and netted walls are both zipped closed.

Stout Tent Chandelier


With netted side walls zipped closed.

With netted side walls zipped closed.

Notice something different? The canvas side-walls are unzipped from the groundsheet, and rolled up. They are secured with toggles, and the second netted wall is still zipped into the groundsheet.

Breathability at it’s finest:

Double-wall version, with canvas sides rolled up, netted walls zipped closed.

Double-wall version, with canvas sides rolled up, netted walls zipped closed.

A 4000 model on the left, and a 5000 PRO Edition on the right.

Stout Tent Fall Photoshoot

The campfire is calling.

Stout Tent - Rumpl Blanket

Grab your Rumpl.

Dusk - Stout Tent Bell Tent


Stout Tent - Bell Tent - 4000 Ultimate with Double Wall

This 13 foot in diameter tent has a zippable groundsheet, with a double bottom wall with additional mosquito netting.

Sweet Dreams.