PVC 'Monkey Hut' Shade Structure for Burning Man

PVC 'Monkey Hut' Shade Structure for Burning Man

Author FORMUFIT Staff

Making a pilgrimage to an artistic festival in the middle of a desert can be an exciting yet, harrowing experience. But to do the same while being responsible for shelter needs for 10 other people provides a whole unique set of challenges. Luckily, Celeste (a.k.a ‘Danger is my middle name’) with Instructables saw fit to utilize our PVC furniture grade pipe connectors to do just that.

Night on the Playa in a PVC Tent
Night on the Playa

Celeste was planning her trip to the famed Burning Man festival and for the first time that year, was a co-director of a camp for ten others, many of whom were going for the first time. She needed to be sure that the camp’s temporary shelter needs were met…not only so shade could be provided, but also to build a structure that could be easily constructed, taken down, stand up to Black Rock’s high winds, have enough room to fit everyone, and be able to be constructed by only 2 people. No tall order by any means!

Quonset Hut PVC Assembly

They were able to get the job done building a Monkey Hut (based off an idea originally produced by ‘Mr. Lovemonkey’) utilizing FORMFIT’s 1-1/2" PVC Tees,  our 1-1/2" PVC Cross, and our 1-1/4” Furniture Pipe.

Construction had to be simple and quick, as once on the playa, providing shade is critical to your group.  Rather than construct using PVC cement or screws, they opted to increase the side of the fittings over the pipe, and use duct tape to create a snug, tight fit into each fitting from the smaller pipe.  These were simply pressed into place and tension held them tight.

PVC Duct Tape Construction

Due to its modular structure capabilities, the tents could be as long as they wanted, but in the end it was decided to build two 20’ tents: one for fellow camp-goers to set their tents under, and another for a common area for hanging out and cooking. 

Tailoring to their own ends, Celeste was gracious enough to provide the plans and materials needed for the hut construction on her own Instructables post here. She does state that they could have reinforced the connections in a more permanent manner but remember that at Burning Man the idea is to have something that could be quickly built and taken down without leaving a trace that anyone was ever there.


In the end the structure held up to all ten days of intense winds and provided great shade!  Hats off to this Celeste for her own version of this ingenious idea and to sharing it with the Instructables community!

Post a Comment

Please Note, comments will be reviewed before they are published