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Shrink wrap
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Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Shrink wrap on 04/16/2009 12:40:21 MDT Print View

Hey I was wondering for a super-cheap, see-through tarp could one use shrink wrap? The kind they use to wrap pallets of stuff? I saw a bag of it behind the grocery story and got to thinking. It's the same stuff as that polycro ground sheet stuff, isn't it?

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Shrink wrap on 04/16/2009 12:59:20 MDT Print View

The shrink wrap I've used is not the same as the polycro. A lot more flimsy, and sticks to everything. It was more like saran wrap.

Edited by skinewmexico on 04/16/2009 14:39:53 MDT.

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Re : Shrink wrap on 04/16/2009 13:01:12 MDT Print View

Probably different stuff. The shrinkwrap we use at work has nothing like the strength of the polycro i use as a groundsheet. If you want larger pieces of polycro, look for double glazing film at your local hardwear store.

Zack Karas
( - MLife

Locale: Lake Tahoe
shrink wrap on 04/16/2009 13:02:45 MDT Print View

I would think that you would have a very hard time unsticking it all the time. You would probably be better off with 2 or 3 mil drop cloths or something like that.

Joe Kuster
(slacklinejoe) - MLife

Locale: Flatirons
Shrink wrap on 04/16/2009 13:53:32 MDT Print View

For a tarp: sadly no. Even if you could secure it, a single gust of wind would stretch it radically out of shape or tear it apart.

For tarp materials, the fabric (or plastic) cannot stretch must at all or you'll never get it made into a stable pitch without it distorting. Of course, for a ground sheet, polycro works just fine but due to the static and clingy nature, stretch wrap would be very ineffective.

Polycro does not work well for a tarp either, but it'd work as a one time use in an emergency. It still has some stretch and heat/extensive sunlight will shrink or degrade many types of it.

Edited by slacklinejoe on 04/16/2009 13:55:05 MDT.

Nia Schmald
(nschmald) - MLife
Re: shrink wrap on 04/16/2009 13:55:40 MDT Print View

Polycro is the same as heat shrink film which is totally different than shrink wrap. Heat shrink film is used to seal windows. I picked up some heat shrink film at the local hardware store for $8 and it's enough for 2 solo ground sheets. This is about the same cost as gossamer gear but I didn't have to pay for shipping.

The image of someone trying to use shrink wrap is hilarious. Someone should make a video.

Dan Whalley
(thedanwhalley) - F

Locale: peakdistrict natonial park, UK
shrink wrap! on 04/18/2009 12:37:46 MDT Print View

i have also bought some heat shrink film of ebay and some advitised as shrink wrap even though its different, it was the same as my polycro ground sheent from gossamer gear and much cheaper of ebay!
not the best material for a tarp tho!