Author Topic: Ground Cloth Recommends  (Read 4956 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline knolltop

  • World Traveler
  • *****
  • Posts: 149
  • So, what's the problem?
Ground Cloth Recommends
« on: April 20, 2011, 08:21:11 pm »
Need help from the experienced touring cyclists here ............

What material, and why, do you recommend under my tent floor to protect from abrasion & poke through and to serve as waterproof barrier?

Thanks!
Michael
+-+ Michael +-+

Offline John Nelson

Re: Ground Cloth Recommends
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2011, 10:02:26 pm »
I use Tyvek, cut an inch or two smaller than the floor of the tent. I use it for abrasion protection and mud protection only. Tyvek is in general waterproof, but that's not really to protect anything but the footprint itself, since you don't want a footprint that absorbs water (which would be annoying to pack up). Tyvek is cheap, very sturdy, readily available, and relatively light (but quite noisy).

Having said all that, I don't really consider a footprint mandatory. In my opinion, it might be better to buy a slightly heavier tent made with a sturdier floor and skip the footprint. A light tent plus a footprint may weigh about as much as a heavier tent without a footprint, and the former will cost a lot more than the latter.

Offline hem

Re: Ground Cloth Recommends
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2011, 10:54:57 pm »
I tried Tyvek but had issues with it in regards to noise and packing size. I bought the footprint for my tent and use it as a standalone fly as well as for those times I want to protect the tent floor. It is small and light weight too.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Ground Cloth Recommends
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2011, 06:44:08 am »
Need help from the experienced touring cyclists here ............

What material, and why, do you recommend under my tent floor to protect from abrasion & poke through and to serve as waterproof barrier?

Thanks!
Michael
Tyvek is fine as is plastic sheeting.  Personally I have gone from using  plastic sheeting from home depot to not using a ground sheet. 

Offline tsteven4

Re: Ground Cloth Recommends
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2011, 07:56:50 am »
Like staehpj1 I also have gone from plastic sheeting to nothing.  With a waterproof sheet you must be very careful about the edges sticking out from under the tent.  Any rain running off the tent that lands on top of the sheet can run under the tent and create a pool for you to lie in.  I also don't believe that using a sheet under the tent extends the tents life.  The wear issues with the many tents I have owned are i) the coating on the fly fails which leads to water getting into the tent from above ii) the zipper on the door/net fails which can lead to water and mosquitoes getting in the tent.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Ground Cloth Recommends
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2011, 12:08:54 pm »
I still use a ground cloth, and I have tents that are 15+ years old and still viable.

In the past I have cut my own from 8 mil black polyethylene sheeting, but that is really hard to pack.  Tyvek is more packable, and may protect you from abraison, but I don't know how good of a vapor barrier it will be. 

When REI has their garage sale, look at the orphan tent foot beds.  I bought one that I use on an older tent I have.  The tarp is too big, but I just tuck it under so that it does not overhang.  The goal is for rain water to flow under your tent.  If you put your tent up in a basin, water will puddle, and you will get wet.  I choose my tent sites very carefully now and I don't get wet anymore.
Danno

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Ground Cloth Recommends
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2011, 03:13:02 pm »
You can get a cheap tarp and cut it out from that. Nothing fancy but it does the job.

Offline knolltop

  • World Traveler
  • *****
  • Posts: 149
  • So, what's the problem?
Re: Ground Cloth Recommends
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2011, 08:48:46 pm »
You can get a cheap tarp and cut it out from that. Nothing fancy but it does the job.
Are you referring to the blue WalMart type tarps?
+-+ Michael +-+

Offline driftlessregion

Re: Ground Cloth Recommends
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2011, 10:46:01 pm »
On the NT in 2004 Oris, a 70 yr old cyclist, and still crossing the country at 76, introduced me to polyester window screen material. Purchased by the foot at any hardware store it is cheap and lightweight and provides the main thing you want from a ground cloth: abraision protection. The tent is your water protection. The holes in the screening prevent water from pooling under the tent and may reduce leaking into the tent as a result.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Ground Cloth Recommends
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2011, 10:56:04 am »
On the NT in 2004 Oris, a 70 yr old cyclist, and still crossing the country at 76, introduced me to polyester window screen material. Purchased by the foot at any hardware store it is cheap and lightweight and provides the main thing you want from a ground cloth: abraision protection. The tent is your water protection. The holes in the screening prevent water from pooling under the tent and may reduce leaking into the tent as a result.
I am not sold on that one.  Wouldn't the screen itself possibly be more abrasive than the ground in many places especially once it picks up some grit.  Also, wouldn't it just fill up with mud and also let the bottom of the tent get muddy?


Offline gregg

Re: Ground Cloth Recommends
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2011, 09:03:18 pm »
I've had pretty good luck with the polycryo ground cloth: http://gossamergear.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=ground+cloth

It is very light, tough, and packs up really small.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2011, 09:06:12 pm by gregg »

Offline knolltop

  • World Traveler
  • *****
  • Posts: 149
  • So, what's the problem?
Re: Ground Cloth Recommends
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2011, 09:32:39 pm »
Thanks to all for the ideas and comments!
+-+ Michael +-+

Offline bogiesan

Re: Ground Cloth Recommends
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2011, 10:31:46 am »
My experience is different from the others'. After watching many dozens of campers on decades of backpacking trips and large bike touring events, I'm convinced the best ground cloth for a tent is the footprint from the manufacturer designed specifically for the tent.

There are a couple of reasons but they're all open to rational contradiction.
Your mileage will vary.
I like footprints.

david boise ID
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline sam21fire

Re: Ground Cloth Recommends
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2011, 10:49:40 am »
I carry a piece of ordinary nylon material that I bought from a fabric store, melted and "sewed" a hem around the edge (I'm not very good at sewing but it's not a fashion contest) that I use a variety of purposes... ground cloth for the vestibule area of my tent, table cloth, shade etc. It's about 5'x5', packs easily and doesn't weigh much as long as it's uncoated.

Offline knolltop

  • World Traveler
  • *****
  • Posts: 149
  • So, what's the problem?
Re: Ground Cloth Recommends
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2011, 07:29:27 pm »
It's about 5'x5', packs easily and doesn't weigh much as long as it's uncoated.
How waterproof is your piece of uncoated nylon?
+-+ Michael +-+