DIY Swamp Cooler
12 Volt Evaporative Cooler Burning Man Tent Cooler
There are a lot of articles out there about how to build a 5 gallon bucket swamp cooler. Most of them seem like they haven't done much real life experimentation. In this article, I'm going to give you knowledge I've gained from 12 trips to the harsh desert environment of Burning Man. Believe me when I tell you, trying to sleep in your tent during the day without this device is going to turn you into a sweaty, miserable mess.
If you are going to Burning Man, do this project at home BEFORE you go. Cutting the holes in the plastic bucket creates a ton of little plastic bits that get everywhere. And cutting the padding is even worse. Spend a day building this, and it'll basically be plug and play when you arrive (that'll be after you sit in line for 12 hours because they had the gate closed).
5 Gallon Bucket
I recommend using a new bucket because you'll be mounting the fan with adhesive (in addition to screws) and you want to get a good seal. If you have a clean used bucket, that's fine. If not, Home Depot has cheap buckets and lids that do the trick. I'll be listing all the prices I paid for everything down below with links to all the parts I recommend. You're welcome to use other stuff and modify, this is just how I built mine.
12V DC Fan
This is probably the most imporant piece of equipment. If anyone is recommending a 12v computer fan, that should be a huge tip off that they don't know what the hell they're doing. You want to use an inline fan that's built for wet environments, something you can attach flexible ducting to, something that will actually blow air. At a minimum, you'll need 100 CFM. ECO-WORTHY Marine Blower Bilge Vent Fan Ventilation In-Line Marine Bilge Air Blower 130 CFM 3" SEAFLO 4" In-Line Marine Bilge Air Blower 12V 270 CFM Quiet Boat White