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Help buying ground sheet
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Daniel Kats
Help buying ground sheet on 01/28/2013 10:49:44 MST Print View

I just bought a TarpTent Notch. Now, I wonder what ground sheet dimensions would fit it best?

Also, does anyone have experience with either the ZPacks Tyvek ground sheet, or the MLD super-ultralight plasticky ground sheet? The MLD one intrigues me, because it's so much lighter than Tyvek. It looks flimsy, but I'd like a second opinion.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Tyvek on 01/28/2013 10:57:52 MST Print View

Check this out:

Tyvek kite-making material, super cheap and lighter than the stuff they wrap houses with, with no giant "DuPont" emblem. Great stuff. Buy extra and cut it to fit!

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Help buying ground sheet on 01/28/2013 10:59:55 MST Print View

I've never used a groundsheet with my tarptent, so If you really want one you can ignore my post. It's just been my experience as well as countless others that you don't NEED a groundsheet with floors like the Notch has. The fabric does mighty fine by itself.

At any rate, the dimensions aren't as important as there not bring any material protruding out from underneath the shelter.

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
Ground sheet on 01/28/2013 11:18:13 MST Print View

I'll second the above comment that a ground sheet under the floor of a Tarptent is uneccessary. The silnylon floors are pretty tough by themselves.

That said, if you still really want one, you could fashion one yourself out of materials available at the hardware store. The plastic like the MLD ones is the same material as the window heat shrink kits you buy at the hardware store. Get a big one sized for a sliding glass door and cut to fit your shelter.

Same goes for the tyvek. You can buy the heavier homewrap style from the hardware store or order some of the lighter stuff like Max pointed out.

The tyvek is probably tougher material, but also heavier and doesn't pack down as small as the window heat shrink stuff.

Or, a final option... SOS makes a thin emergency blanket. It weighs like 2oz and costs $4. If its large enough (it might work for a small 1 or 2p shelter), you could cut a groundcloth from it and it could double still as an emergency blanket. This is what I use under my tarps for a groundcloth. Holds up about the same as the heat shrink plastic.

Daniel Kats
Floor gets wet? on 01/28/2013 11:31:35 MST Print View

I'm not super-experienced, so this may sound stupid.

I'm from the North-East, and when I go on a trip, it's almost always raining or wet. I think that keeping a tent soggy in a small bag is a bad idea, so I wipe it down with a small pack towel before I put the tent away. That being said, I haven't found a good way of wiping the tent floor without getting the other parts wet.

As well as a TT Notch, I have a GoLite SL-3. That guy has the advantage of a separate floor, so I first wipe down the tent, put that away, then wipe down the floor.

Maybe it just takes practice. What do you think?

Jared Baker
(simply_light) - MLife

Locale: Midwest, US
+1 Heat Shrink Window Wrap on 01/28/2013 11:40:15 MST Print View

+1 on the Heat Shrink stuff. Lasts a long time, lightweight and easily and cheaply replaced.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: +1 Heat Shrink Window Wrap on 01/28/2013 11:54:30 MST Print View

Heat Shrink Window Wrap is slightly tougher and slicker than an ordinary polyethylene plastic.


Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Heat shrink window film on 01/28/2013 12:08:05 MST Print View

This stuff is good for a ground sheet. Very light and pretty cheap. Its the same thing you see marketed as polycryo. But for a tent, I agree, none is needed. A little dirt on your tent floor is fine. I will sometimes use the window shrink film when tarping.

Daniel Kats
Window Shrink Film on 01/28/2013 12:12:38 MST Print View

Is this what you mean, when you say I can buy it at a hardware store?

or like this?

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Heat shrink window film on 01/28/2013 12:16:04 MST Print View

Those are not the brand we had. I think mine was 3M. But it looks like the same stuff to me.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Floor gets wet? on 01/28/2013 12:24:06 MST Print View

Daniel, no, your post does not sound stupid! I had the same questions when I started. It's good to take care of your gear, but you have absolutely nothing to worry about putting a wet tent in a stuff sack during your hike. When you take it out for the evening, it will dry very quickly. What you want to avoid is storing a wet tent long term, like for a week or more.

That being said, it is nice to have a dry tent to take out each evening and not worry about the inside getting wet.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Window Shrink Film on 01/28/2013 12:37:32 MST Print View

Don't believe the specifications found at the Home Depot web site. The package does not weigh 15 pounds.

I've purchased it at different places, so there are differences. In some, you get one piece. Some, two pieces. Some, one size. Some, a different size.

Once you get your plastic cut down to the right size, you might have a small piece left over. I've found that to make a good "storm flap" for one end of my tarp.


(strong806) - F
Re; ground sheet on 01/29/2013 16:06:58 MST Print View

I would agree with the others that with good site selection and policing for rocks and sticks the bath tub floor on my TT Contrail holds up just fine. That being said, I have tried both Tyvek that Henry Shires sells and the Gossamer Gear Polycro ground sheets for a bit of comfort and to idiot proof the setup. At 1.6 ounces the Medium GG Polycro is what I would go with if you want that added layer of protection.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
No groundsheet on 01/29/2013 16:30:40 MST Print View

Even if you do make a hole in your TarpTent's floor, you can repair it by wiping some silicone sealant on the hole. Usually all you can manage to make are pinholes.

Heck, I'm pretty sure that henry Shires himself says that you don't need a footprint or groundsheet.

Herbert Sitz

Locale: Pacific NW
yes, shires says not necessary on 01/29/2013 18:30:30 MST Print View

Yes, it's true Henry Shires does not recommend a groundsheet. In his FAQ on question regarding groundsheets he says, "The sewn-in flooring is remarkably tough and does not usually require a separate groundsheet. We just never see floors come back for repair."
Tarptent FAQ

I have a Tarptent Notch and, though I did buy some shrink-film at Home Depot, I have not bothered using it. No need, under normal circumstances the bother of fussing with a groundsheet (and extra weight) isn't worth the gain.

Edited by hes on 01/29/2013 18:35:00 MST.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: No groundsheet on 01/29/2013 18:54:52 MST Print View

+however many to no groundsheet. If you're often in volcanic or desert areas where there's lot of sharp stuff the polycryo may help a bit. I use it for my tarp (no floor), but not my tarptent.

Mole J
(MoleJ) - F

Locale: UK
Don't worry on 01/30/2013 00:05:45 MST Print View

I don't use a groundsheet with my tarptent Scarp ( same floor fabric as Notch).

I live in the UK. It nearly always rains when I'm backpacking ! No issues with the floor. ( so far!)

If the tent is put away wet, it's no problem to wipe down when reerected. I did 2 weeks in Scotland where it rained every night and day like this. It was fine.