By Michael Tharpe
Q: What should I consider when anchoring in sandy soil?
A:Everyone wants a memorable event, and the natural beauty of a beach makes the perfect background for that memory. However, the reaction from many rental stores, when confronted with doing a tented beach event, is “no way.” If you must consider moving forward with a tented beach event, take the following into consideration:
Wind: The natural updraft created by the wind coming off the ocean is the biggest challenge to overcome. Issues such as holding the tent down, preventing sand from blowing into the covered area and keeping your sidewalls from flapping in the breeze will come to the forefront.
Sand: The soft sand is an inherent obstacle because it creates issues with maneuverability, the stability of the event site and the integrity of the tent.
Salt: In addition to the havoc it plays on equipment (steel/aluminum), it will cause the tent tops to hold moisture, which can create mildew and shorten the life of the tent tops if not taken care of properly.
Labor: Beach tenting jobs will require more labor for your tent crew. Let’s face the facts: these jobs usually do not present easy vehicle access to the site. The result is that everything must be carried from the truck to the jobsite, and walking on sand is difficult enough without moving equipment to the site. You may even need to consider using pneumatic tires on carts and dollies.
Permits: Special permitting is also a factor to consider when doing a tented beach event. This is to ensure that the beach is maintained and left in its natural state, as well as to ensure that it is a safe event.
If you make the decision to move ahead, ensure that the tent is anchored properly (per manufacturer’s recommendations). In soft soil conditions such as sand, alternative staking is recommended. The safest method is helical cut augers. These are a must in soft soil conditions.