MATERIALS NEEDED for 2 Beds (available at Home Depot, or other DIY):
4 x 10 ft. 3/4" dia. #40 PVC Tubing @ $1.94 ea. (set of 4 = $7.76)
8 x 3/4" dia. PVC Slip Caps @ $0.22 ea. (set of 8 = $1.76)
Total Cost: About $10
The advantages of the PVC approach are numerous – it’s cheap, lightweight, tapes well, is readily available at Home Depot, and is virtually unbreakable while still being flexible, and easy to store and reuse. The only disadvantage is you have to buy it in 10 ft. lengths, lug them home and cut down to make the recommended lengths (see below).
CONSTRUCTION (10 minutes):Place and tap the Slip Caps over the ends of the 10 ft. tubing, which will result in each length being 10 ft., 1 in...then cut each of the four lengths into equal pieces...resulting in eight 5 ft. poles.Trim an additional 18” off of four of the poles.You should then have the following finished pieces:
(a)4 x 5 ft. (two for each bed)
(b)4 x 3 ½ ft. (two for each bed)
FINAL ASSEMBLY (5 minutes): After arrival at camp, simply use duct tape to attach the makeshift poles to the four corners of each bed.Due to the compact space inside the tents, as well as to accommodate the slope of the tent roof, the shorter poles need to be taped to the side of the bedframe next to the tent sidewall.The two longer poles should be taped to the bedframe closest to the center of the tent.Then drape the mosquito netting over all four poles and allow to gather on the floor.Make sure the poles/netting are not in contact with either the tent sidewall or roof.
DISASSEMBLY:It’s real easy…just remove the netting from the poles, then unwrap the duct tape from around the base of the poles.
FINAL NOTES:As an alternative to "capping" the top end with the recommended Slip Cap, you could simply duct tape (or preferably sand/bevel) the top edge to keep the cut tube from tearing the netting.Again, my suggestion is spend the two dollars for the Slip Caps and be done with the whole process.
Naturally, there are a myriad of other methods/techniques for supporting your netting -- for example, you could employ sticks, branches and the like; or make poles from broomsticks, 1x1 lumber, or wooden dowels.Only after evaluating all the various alternatives have we come to the near unanimous conclusion that the above PVC approach makes the most sense for our purposes.