Author Topic: DIY Tips  (Read 6847 times)

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Offline GCharles

Ground Cloths
« Reply #15 on: December 29, 2010, 07:59:58 am »
I really have an overall aversion to the use of ground cloths, especially in rain areas.  My preference is to find camp sites with good drainage and an good overall surface.  However, that is not always doable, so ground cloths do have a place in my kit.  Instead of buying the expensive ones made by the manufacturer, I simply go to Lowes or Home Depot and buy a box of the painter plastic.  The plastic rolls come in varying thickness, so you can choose the level of protection that is right for your needs.  I take the plastic roll out of the box, cut out 4 or 5 of them based on the footprint of my tent and there you go.  Not only do you save a ton of money, but these things last forever.  I carried one of them with me for over 6 months as I went up through Alaska and other than dirt and grime, it was in great shape.  Long distance travelers can cut out 3 or 4 of them and leave the spares with their resupply person and then have them mailed to a resupply point when needed.

Offline knolltop

  • World Traveler
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Re: Ground Cloths
« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2010, 11:14:10 am »
I simply go to Lowes or Home Depot and buy a box of the painter plastic.  The plastic rolls come in varying thickness, so you can choose the level of protection that is right for your needs.  ... these things last forever.
Hmmmmmm ... always assumed these things would puncture very easily.

I use Tyvek as ground cloth.
+-+ Michael +-+

Offline tonythomson

Re: DIY Tips
« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2010, 12:50:58 pm »
Hope not off topic but has anyone come across a "chair" to take as getting up these days or sitting long periods on the ground is proving somewhat harder than it used to  >:(
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline Shane

Re: DIY Tips
« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2010, 02:44:49 pm »
I have one of those "chair kits"for my inflatable mat(insertnamehere), for the extra 1-1.5 pound its well worth it, the main disadvantage is that it doesn't really work for breaks, only at camp. When I stop for a break I use one of my front panniers as a seat (its full of cloths) against a tree or fence post when possible.

Shane

Offline litespeed

Re: Ground cloths (footprints)
« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2010, 09:55:15 am »
I always buy the footprint that comes with any tent I buy. It is well worth the extra $30 or so. With my Hilleberg I just stake out the footprint and half the setup work is done. Unlike sheet plastic it stays put, doesn't wrinkle up and probably works better. I have never had a tent bottom leak.

Offline staehpj1

Re: DIY Tips
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2010, 10:18:51 am »
I have taken to not using a ground cloth for bike touring and never bought into the fancy and expensive "footprint" options.  My rationale is that:

  • When I spend more money to get a lighter tent, I don't want to defeat that light weight by carrying a ground sheet.
  • I don't want to be a slave to making a tent last forever.  I figure that to some extent it is a consumable.  I try to pick nice surfaces to camp on, but don't sweat it when I can't.
  • When it starts to wear out and leak from the bottom, I can patch the bottom, re-coat it, replace the tent, or start using ground sheet at that point.
  • When touring I find that I camp on nicer surfaces the large majority of the time (as compared to canoe camping, backpacking, etc...).  On tour a pretty large percentage of the time my tent is on grass, concrete, or some other improved surface.

Offline staehpj1

Re: DIY Tips
« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2010, 10:26:28 am »
Back on topic...

One DIY piece of gear I like is a little "throw bag" I made with maybe 60' of parachute cord in it.  It is like a miniature version of the throw bags used in whitewater rescue.  It was made using a little sack that originally held tent stakes.  It works great for hanging the food bag to keep it away from critters and also serves as a clothesline among other things.  The bag probably adds less than a half an ounce compared to just carrying the parachute cord loose.

Offline GCharles

Re: DIY Tips
« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2010, 05:59:41 pm »
This is a great tip, I always struggle with innovative ways to deal with my throw bags and food hanging.  I have an extra stake bag and will bring it on my upcoming trip and try that out.  Thanks!

As for the plastic cloth, I like the fact that it is cheap and nearly indestructible, depending on the thickness you get.  If it does break or get worn out, well, it is only another couple of cents to replace it.  However, like I said, in general I don't like ground cloths because I find they are just magnets for collecting moisture.  I have been in huge storms and had the sides of my tent blow up in the middle of the night exposing the ground cloth to the moisture.  Choosing a site with good drainage is in my opinion a really good way to go.

Happy Holidays,

Glenn

Offline MIBIKER

Re: DIY Tips
« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2011, 05:23:11 pm »
My rims have presta valves.  I drilled out the valve hole to the same size as a schrader valve.  I then inserted a presta valve rim saver so I can  use a presta or schrader tube.  I also keep a presta valve adapter on the presta stem that way I always find the adapter in case I have to use a pump that is not presta adaptable.