Wednesday, October 26, 2016

How to Weight a Flea Market Canopy on Concrete or Asphalt

Last year, before we set up at our first flea market / county fair booth, I did some research on how to weigh down our tents and camper awning. We knew our booth would be on an old tennis court, so there wouldn't be any option to stake into the ground. 

My research proved that 40 POUNDS of weight, PER LEG, was recommended to keep your tents stabilized, when set up on concrete or asphalt. There are several options to go about getting 40 pounds per leg, but I wanted something easy, inexpensive, and fit in with the look of our booth. 

Can you find the weights, in any of my pictures? They are there! 
Gypsy Farm Girl and Rooster Tails Flea Market Booth
I use 5 gallon buckets of water! A gallon of water weighs 8 pounds, so 5 gallons equals 40 pounds. But here's my trick - I hide my buckets in the burlap coffee sacks! You don't see blue, red, orange, and yellow buckets here! 
GypsyFarmGirl and Rooster Tails Yamboree Booth
I have plenty of five gallon buckets and they get used throughout the year to hold flowers, animal feed, etc, so that is my practical item to use. I have lids for my buckets as well. With either twine or bungee cords, we tie the tent corners to the buckets. My bearded man is responsible for hiding the buckets and anchoring the tents, but he also has a little fun while setting up!
gypsyfarmgirl and rooster tails booth
After the show, we can pour the water out (or use it to water flowers, reserve for when the electricity is out, or the water well malfunctions) and stack the buckets back up and out of the way, opposed to concrete filled buckets which will only have one purpose and always be heavy to transport. I've also read about concrete becoming a dangerous projectile, when severe weather strikes, whereas the lid would most likely come off the bucket and spill the water out.
Gypsy Farm Girl and Rooster Tails craft fair booth
At all of our previous markets, we have experienced at least one day of windy conditions and so far, our tents have not flipped over or blown around, unlike some of our neighboring vendor booths. Last week, I saw several booths literally being held down by people, tires, concrete blocks, cases of water, or walls simply falling over, since they weren't weighted. Last year, one completely flipped over and the booth behind us had those little weights that hung on the poles and it "walked" around all day long.  I think those weights were 5-10 pounds max. 

Our doors are also secured in with the tent poles and serve as additional weight to anchor our booth. On the windy days, clothes racks and mannequins are placed and strategically tied to points to prevent them from falling. 
Gypsy Farm Girl and Rooster Tails Craft Fair booth

As a added bonus, in case of emergency, we have 30 gallons of water, on sight. (4 buckets on white tent, 2 on camper awning.) Will this keep the booth weighted if the tornado /severe storm comes through, most likely not and I would pack up all my stuff, if I knew bad weather was coming! Although so far, we haven't blown away under windy conditions. Please, for the safety of you and customers alike, make sure you use some type of weights on your tents. It definitely makes for a more enjoyable market experience, when you don't have to worry about your tent flying off and you can focus on visiting and helping customers!   

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