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Ground sheets, what do you use?

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Ground sheets, what do you use?

Postby js hill » Tue May 19, 2009 12:36 pm

I just purchased a new tent from REI and I also purchased a "Footprint" for it. This footprint weighs almost three quarters of a pound which adds to the weight of my ultra light tent. In the past I used a sheet of plastic which weighed less than 12 ozs. A backpacker friend uses a piece of Tyvek for his ground cloth. I was wondering what might work well and weigh as little as possible? If anybody has any suggestions, please let me know. Thanks, js hill



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Re: Ground sheets, what do you use?

Postby rlown » Tue May 19, 2009 3:09 pm

Ok,

I'm thinking we're looking for a guinea pig here, so i'll jump in. I use a heavy 9x12 green tarp for a ground cloth, when in a group of 3 or more. Yes, it's heavy, but it's for 3. We tried plastic, but it's more noisy in the wind. For a tent, plastic is fine if you don't move around a lot and compromise the plastic. Nylon "footprints" work the best and are light.. I kinda liked the Tyvek idea.

Russ
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Re: Ground sheets, what do you use?

Postby copeg » Tue May 19, 2009 3:27 pm

The majority of the time I use either a plastic painters tarp (3mil) or nothing. I've tried a 1mil plastic tarp but that has a serious tendency to get holes. I've always wanted to try out Tyvek, but I've never put the time in to find a source for it.
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Re: Ground sheets, what do you use?

Postby gary c. » Tue May 19, 2009 4:50 pm

trailblazer, you can buy Tyvek by the foot on EBAY.
Gary C.

http://sporting-goods.search.ebay.com/t ... catZ159043
"On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude."
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Re: Ground sheets, what do you use?

Postby The Other Tom » Tue May 19, 2009 6:00 pm

trailblazer wrote:The majority of the time I use either a plastic painters tarp (3mil) or nothing. I've tried a 1mil plastic tarp but that has a serious tendency to get holes. I've always wanted to try out Tyvek, but I've never put the time in to find a source for it.

I think you can get it at Lowe's.

To the OP, I've used both "painter's plastic" and Tyvek. They both protect well, but to me the plastic was more pliable and easier to use. Seems like lots of people use Tyvek, though.
I'm surprised the footprint from REI weighs so much.
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Re: Ground sheets, what do you use?

Postby hikerduane » Tue May 19, 2009 6:36 pm

Tyvek is noisy at first, tough, but heavy. From Gossamer Gear, I use their polycryo gc. Check the width, may not be wide enough for all. I cut it down to length to use with my Squall and it's around 3 oz. by then. Comes in a package of two, you need tape to separate the edges to open it up the first time. Keep it out of the sun or it will get brittle in time or shrink if conditions are right. Tough stuff for being so light, but watch for tears where you cut it, as those will keep going if you don't catch them early.
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Re: Ground sheets, what do you use?

Postby copeg » Tue May 19, 2009 6:49 pm

Thanks for the sources for Tyvek Gary and Tom!

Duane, the Gossamer cloth looks very similar to the painters cloth I've used in the past, although I don't know the thickness and can't say they're the same - but 3oz sounds nice (mine cut down was 5oz for a descent sized 1 person ground cloth)
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Re: Ground sheets, what do you use?

Postby fishmonger » Wed May 20, 2009 7:46 am

am I the only one who just uses the tent, without additional footprint? I figure I paid for a waterproof tent floor and lightweight tent, why should I haul some additional plastic around?

In the past I used to put a poncho under the tent, but I don't bring those any longer either, nor do I think they really did more than pick up dirt and added one more item to clean/fold in the morning.
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Re: Ground sheets, what do you use?

Postby The Other Tom » Wed May 20, 2009 9:15 am

fishmonger wrote:am I the only one who just uses the tent, without additional footprint? I figure I paid for a waterproof tent floor and lightweight tent, why should I haul some additional plastic around?


My worry has always been that a rock/twig, etc will puncture a hole in my waterproof tent floor. I assume that's not happened to you ?
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Re: Ground sheets, what do you use?

Postby BSquared » Wed May 20, 2009 9:56 am

hikerduane wrote:... From Gossamer Gear, I use their polycryo gc. Check the width, may not be wide enough for all. I cut it down to length to use with my Squall and it's around 3 oz. by then. Comes in a package of two, you need tape to separate the edges to open it up the first time. Keep it out of the sun or it will get brittle in time or shrink if conditions are right. Tough stuff for being so light, but watch for tears where you cut it, as those will keep going if you don't catch them early.

I've been looking at those for precisely the same use as yours (under my Squall). Thanks for the endorsement -- I think I'll go for it.
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Re: Ground sheets, what do you use?

Postby gary c. » Wed May 20, 2009 10:07 am

I've never used a footprint for my tents either for the same reasons as fishmonger stated. So far I've gotten a lot of use out my tents with no problems so I won't feel bad about having to replace one if something major does happen. My only real concern is the eventual wear to the bottoms of my tents. Small poke holes can be repaired but I have yet to even get one of those. This weekend will be the first time I'll use a footprint and that is because I'm taking my 11yr old grandson. I'm afraid his answer to feeling a stick under the tent will be to stomp it down rather than reach under and remove it :retard:
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Re: Ground sheets, what do you use?

Postby maverick » Wed May 20, 2009 2:13 pm

Just throw the Tyvek into the washer a few times and it will soften up, I have
used the same one for about 7 yrs or more.
If you choose a rock and branch free tent site than it is unnecessary, but I
some times eat an early dinner and hike till almost sunset and do not want to
look around for a clean debris free site in the dark, so it comes in handy for
my style.
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