Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Recommendations for groundcloths
Display Avatars Sort By:
Bryan Oliphint
(HotTub) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Texas
Recommendations for groundcloths on 04/14/2013 16:10:19 MDT Print View

I'm looking for some type of reasonably priced, reasonably light ground cloth.

I've used GG's polycro--only to have it rip in the middle of the trip. I've used Tyvek--and had to pick off a million pine needles that seem irresistably attracted to the material. In short, I need something new. And I need to be able to source it in a variety of sizes. And for a reasonable price. And it needs to last for 1 week under a variety of conditions.

I'm taking a group with 1 Contrail, 2 Rainshadows, and 2 Squalls, as well as a 9.5 x 10 Bearpaw tarp. I need to get groundcloths under all of these for a reasonable price. We are hiking the West Coast Trail, so ground conditions will vary from sandy to forest floor.

Someone out there give me a great idea ! ! !

Edited by HotTub on 04/14/2013 16:11:11 MDT.

Bill Segraves
(sbill9000) - F - M
Re: Recommendations for groundcloths on 04/14/2013 17:49:54 MDT Print View

I've had really good results with the polycro from GG and with window shrink film. Assuming for the moment (and you'd want to confirm this) that this stuff generally works well but will occasionally fail, I expect your best option, wrt total weight and cost, is to go with the polycro and bring a spare. With that said, I'll be following the thread to see if someone comes up with a better option!


Bill S.

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Recommendations for groundcloths on 04/14/2013 17:54:41 MDT Print View

If Tyvek and polycro are out of the question, that leaves cuben or one of the various Sil/Pu nylons. Cuben probably fails the reasonable price test. What about 70d silnylon or PU coated nylon? It's a shade heavier than Tyvek, but is also very cheap and durable.


Mike In Socal
(rcmike) - MLife

Locale: California
Plastic drop cloth on 04/14/2013 17:55:33 MDT Print View

2 mil plastic drop cloth from a hardware store might work for you.


Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
I'm confused... on 04/14/2013 18:28:57 MDT Print View

Except for the tarp, all those shelters already have floors.

People have thru-hiked the PCT with a single GG polycro sheet.

I have been using the same polycro ground sheet for about 4 years.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: I'm confused... on 04/14/2013 19:17:37 MDT Print View

+1 to all nick's comments except in my case the same polycro sheet has been used for around 6 years, though likely less nights that Nick. How did you rip it?


Bryan Oliphint
(HotTub) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Texas
Beginning to think I had a bad batch. on 04/14/2013 19:48:15 MDT Print View

I used one polycro for the JMT and several other hikes.

I ordered a couple of other sets for group hikes and they simply fell apart--one prick and they tore down the middle.

Maybe I got a bad batch.

Backpack Jack
(jumpbackjack) - F

Locale: Armpit of California
Re: Recommendations for groundcloths on 04/14/2013 21:44:57 MDT Print View

PM inbound.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Recommendations for groundcloths on 04/14/2013 21:50:07 MDT Print View

$10 at Wal-Mart will get you enough window film to last years.

I used to use 2mil painters dropcloths but found they wear out quicker and seem to hold more dirt/dust.

Edited by xnomanx on 04/14/2013 21:52:17 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Recommendations for groundcloths on 04/14/2013 21:57:32 MDT Print View

Craig? Walmart??? I don't believe it...

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Re: Recommendations for groundcloths on 04/14/2013 23:05:41 MDT Print View

Craig is this what you're talking about?

Duck brand polycryo in supposedly two 62"x210" rolls. That's good for at least 10 individual groundsheets at 31"x84" (some may need to be taped together from remnants).

If this is suitable for ground sheets I may have to pick some up.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Recommendations for groundcloths on 04/14/2013 23:27:06 MDT Print View

That's the stuff.

Jared Baker
(simply_light) - MLife

Locale: Midwest, US
Window Shrink Film on 04/15/2013 03:39:08 MDT Print View

I 2nd sbill9000 on the window shrink film. It is light enough to carry a spare to cover an emergency tear.

Pete Staehling
(staehpj1) - F
None? on 04/15/2013 05:39:45 MDT Print View

With any tent with a floor, with a bivy, or with a a tarp bivy combo, I gave up on carrying any ground cloth a few years ago and have yet to regret it. A tarp and no bivy is the only combination where I am likely to use one and then I am more likely to just take my 5.5 ounce bug bivy or 7 ounce Momentum bivy rather than a ground sheet. Either of those are pretty light and offer more utility than a ground cloth. I don't own any tents without floors though.

If you must have a ground sheet... Given that a lot of folks manage without a ground sheet the notion that a polycro one might fail doesn't seem like it would be the end of the world and if it really is that big a deal to you then as has been mentioned you can carry a spare

Edited by staehpj1 on 04/15/2013 05:44:34 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Recommendations for groundcloths on 04/15/2013 18:31:00 MDT Print View

> I need to get groundcloths under all of these for a reasonable price.
All of those tarptents have built-in groundsheets. You don't need another one.


Bryan Oliphint
(HotTub) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Texas
Oooohhhh...I like the window shrink...and yes, I think I still want a groundcloth on 04/17/2013 17:36:56 MDT Print View

I hear y'all about giving up the groundcloth. I've certainly been considering it. I just can't seem to get over the notion of wanting to protect some of my more expensive gear. Besides, on this trip my tents are going to be set up by teenagers.

I love the idea of the window shrink. It's certainly cheaper than buying the polycro from hiker websites. Then I'll just get something more substantial for the tarp.

Thanks for everybody's input.

Edited by HotTub on 04/17/2013 17:52:07 MDT.

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Zpacks Poncho Groundsheet on 04/17/2013 17:52:13 MDT Print View

One of the things I don't like about the Polycro is that it's clear and so it's more difficult to see things on it. I have personally decided to go with the Zpacks Cuben Poncho Groundsheet. At 5oz it's nice UL rain protection and a great marriage with my tarp.

Edited by randalmartin on 04/17/2013 17:52:47 MDT.