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Ground Cloth or Pad?
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Jace Mullen
(climberslacker) - F

Locale: Your guess is as good as mine.
Ground Cloth or Pad? on 06/08/2011 20:07:04 MDT Print View

I am about to buy my first tarp and am left with a few questions.

What is the lightest groundcloth set up? Or would a full length (1/8' inch) foam ccf pad be lighter and more effective? For a Grace Solo should I look at getting a bivi sack or can I get through most things without one?

I am looking at getting a set up that I will also be able to use on a thru-hike of the PCT in 2012.

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: Ground Cloth or Pad? on 06/08/2011 20:16:38 MDT Print View

Polycro, from GossamerGear is tough and lighter than a pad.

You can also buy the window film from Ace Hardware, WallyWorld, etc and cut to size.

Jace Mullen
(climberslacker) - F

Locale: Your guess is as good as mine.
Re: Ground Cloth or Pad? on 06/08/2011 20:18:30 MDT Print View

Thats what I was refering to with the 1/8" foam. Is there anywhere to buy those full length? The question still remains: wich is more effective, the foam or the groundcloth.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Ground Cloth or Pad? on 06/08/2011 20:30:08 MDT Print View


Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Ground Cloth or Pad? on 06/08/2011 21:10:10 MDT Print View

More effective for what? If simply keeping out water, polycro (window film) would be better and lighter and cheaper (on sale @ Walmart now). However, if you have an inflatable pad, you may prefer the CCF under it as added protection for your PCT hike. It will also add a bit of insulation.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Ground Cloth or Pad? on 06/08/2011 21:53:52 MDT Print View

A groundcloth is really more for keeping your bag and bivy (or tent floor) clean and dry. A polycro or tyvek sheet will not provide any insulation.

A sleeping pad is for insulation and comfort. A thin polyethylene pad (like a Thinlight from Gossamer Gear) is mostly for insulation, not much for comfort. Thicker foam pads (like a Ridgerest) or inflatables (like a NeoAir) provide both insulation and comfort.

Most people seem to take both as they really do different things. For the PCT, I think I'd take a polycro groundsheet and a foam pad like a 3/4 length Ridgerest or ZRest.

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: Ground Cloth or Pad? on 06/08/2011 22:49:58 MDT Print View

I use a 1/8" foam pad as my snow camping groundsheet. It adds a little warmth at very little added weight (like 1 oz more than a polycro for 30x74). But for summer use, every sharpish object ( pine needle, pine cone, etc.) sticks to it so it's kind of a hassle unless you are always on sand or smooth rock slabs.