Author Topic: Tent ground cloth?  (Read 4250 times)

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Offline mbattisti

Tent ground cloth?
« on: July 08, 2017, 08:40:31 am »
Anyone had any luck using tyvek house wrap as a waterproof ground cloth for a tent?  Worried about the long term durability of its weave.

Offline dkoloko

Re: Tent ground cloth?
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2017, 09:02:11 am »
Yes. Lasts long time. Crinkly.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Tent ground cloth?
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2017, 11:51:23 am »
Lasts forever, but you'll wake up the whole camp when you shake it out in the morning.

Offline DaveB

Re: Tent ground cloth?
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2017, 05:45:10 pm »
I've used heavy (6 mil) polyethylene sheet but Tyvek should work fine.  Why are you concerned about it's "long term" durability? It's cheap and easily replaced.

Offline canalligators

Re: Tent ground cloth?
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2017, 12:05:20 am »
Remember to cut it just smaller than the floor, so it doesn't catch rain.

Related question: Is using a ground cloth better than just relying on a heavy waterproof floor?  That seems to work fine for me.

Offline DaveB

Re: Tent ground cloth?
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2017, 08:59:59 am »
Remember to cut it just smaller than the floor, so it doesn't catch rain.
Yes, a good point.

Related question: Is using a ground cloth better than just relying on a heavy waterproof floor?  That seems to work fine for me.
Most tents don't have very heavy duty floors so the extra protection from abrasion is worthwhile. 

Offline staehpj1

Re: Tent ground cloth?
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2017, 09:14:00 am »
Tyvek works fine and lasts very well.  That said I don't use a ground cloth any more.  I was happy to shed the extra weight.   I figure that if it comes to it I would patch or recoat the floor as needed, but in practice my tents typically fail somewhere other than the floor anyway.  That may be in part because I am only in the tent for sleeping and then only on the sleeping pad.  The lack of "traffic" directly on the floor keeps it pretty pristine.

I figure that worst case I'd enjoy the light weight of forgoing the ground cloth until the floor was in bad shape and start using a ground cloth then.  It has never come to that though as other things tend to fail before the floor on my tents.

BTW, on cutting the GC smaller than the floor...  When I did use one I cut it just a little larger and folded the excess under.  It worked fine.

Offline dkoloko

Re: Tent ground cloth?
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2017, 11:57:03 am »
Related question: Is using a ground cloth better than just relying on a heavy waterproof floor?  That seems to work fine for me.

A backpacking tent manufacturer said worn floors are rare.

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Tent ground cloth?
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2017, 04:10:52 pm »
I would not dream of pitching my BA Fly Creek UL 2 without something under it. My Seedhouse SL 2, which has a tougher floor, got a few holes in it after not all that much use.

I simply use one of those blue, plastic "tarps" you can find many places.

Offline driftlessregion

Re: Tent ground cloth?
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2017, 05:53:03 pm »
Having just upgraded to a 4# tent (2 person) from a same sized 6# 4 oz tent (ground cloths included) and seeing how thin the new fabric is I wouldn't think of going without a ground cloth. For years I used polyester window screen material (thanks Oris). No pooling of rain, pretty good protection.  This time I bought the ground cloth made for the tent.

Offline BikeFreak

Re: Tent ground cloth?
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2017, 07:52:18 am »
Combined, I think I camped more than 300 days with my Hilleberg tent. There is still no hole and nothing to be patched.

Offline canalligators

Re: Tent ground cloth?
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2017, 08:06:04 pm »
My question is probably biased; i have only used inexpensive (Coleman) tents, which are heavy but sturdy.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Tent ground cloth?
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2017, 11:46:16 am »
If you camp in campgrounds, or other areas where the ground is generally smooth and free of debris, then a ground cloth is probably unnecessary. But if you sometimes camp on rocky ground or in areas where the ground may be covered with thorns, I would think a ground cloth would be useful.

Offline cyclistdave

Re: Tent ground cloth?
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2017, 10:51:21 pm »
I prefer to run sans underlayment. Less weight. With an inflated mattress, I don't miss it.

Offline fastrog

Re: Tent ground cloth?
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2017, 02:23:40 am »
It is a matter of wear and tear (literally) on your tent floor, as well as some water getting through. Adds life to
 the tent.