Is a groundsheet really necessary?
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Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Is a groundsheet really necessary? on 07/15/2013 17:10:14 MDT Print View

Maybe he doesn't have the sense to have good cents.

--B.G.--

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Is a groundsheet really necessary? on 07/15/2013 17:12:03 MDT Print View

Oh, I suspect that after a long trip, Roger has a lot of scents.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Is a groundsheet really necessary? on 07/15/2013 17:29:56 MDT Print View

"So I think the smallest bit of advice you can now offer is 5 cents."

Hmm... so are taxes rounded up to the nearest 5 cents? That would be a lot of money. Seems like someone made a movie about that.

Back on topic. I never use a ground sheet with a tent. Half the time I don't use one with a floorless shelter, I use a water proof ground pad to sleep on. In desert I use a polycro ground sheet to keep sand out of everything when floorless.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
re on 07/15/2013 17:36:24 MDT Print View

I figure if the bottom of my 30d tent wears out the worst thing that will happen is water/ drops will get in, and I have a pad.

A groundsheet is just not my style, I use my gear, if it wears out I can always get a new tent or get a new floor sewn in.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: Is a groundsheet really necessary? on 07/15/2013 17:52:57 MDT Print View

I think Nick's point is that you first need to define what a ground sheet is expected to do.

In some cases, you have rough ground, and you are trying to put a ground sheet in there firt to protect the bottom of the tent from puncture and wear. In some cases, the ground is damp, and you are trying to put a ground sheet down first to stop the moisture from moving up into the tent. In a few cases, you might be trying to use the ground sheet as extra padding for your sleeping, although that isn't efficient. It does tend to make air pockets in there, and that might help the temperature insulation situation.

If you let the ground sheet cover a light depression, and if the ground sheet extends an inch beyond the tent or shelter, then rain will roll off the tent, hit the ground sheet, and collect underneath in the center. This may or may not be desired, just depending on where you are and what your water situation is. If you don't want to collect water this way, then make sure that the ground sheet is completely underneath the tent and not visible.

--B.G.--

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is a groundsheet really necessary? on 07/15/2013 18:05:48 MDT Print View

Methinks the thinking comes from the big tent makers who sell footprints for their tents. Last time I was at REI they had more footprints than tents. And they weren't cheap either. Create a need, sell the need.

Dondo .
(Dondo) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Re: Is a groundsheet really necessary? on 07/15/2013 18:16:15 MDT Print View

A full-length wide foam pad might be enough on clean pine duff. It would be a bit pathetic on wet or muddy ground though.

Yep. Tried that. It was pathetic. ;-D

Eric Lundquist
(cobberman) - F - M

Locale: Northern Colorado
Re: Is a groundsheet really necessary? on 07/15/2013 18:29:32 MDT Print View

From my experience on trips in the BWCAW, we took Cliff Jacobson's advice on placing the groundsheet on the inside of our tent. If you add an additional 6" to each dimension of your shelter's footprint, you end up with a fully waterproof bathtub floor. If your camping areas are often in established sites with depressions you won't get wet from pooling water.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Is a groundsheet really necessary? on 07/15/2013 18:37:45 MDT Print View

I have a almost 50 year old tent that has seen a lot of use without a ground sheet. The only real damage is a couple spots I dripped DEET on the floor.

rei tent

rei 2

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Is a groundsheet really necessary? on 07/15/2013 19:34:52 MDT Print View

Nick, this tent so explains your choice of hiking shoes.....

Bogs and Bergs
(Islandized) - F

Locale: Newfoundland
Groundsheets on 07/15/2013 19:49:26 MDT Print View

May I suggest -- weed-block fabric.

I didn't think I needed a waterproof footprint underneath a waterproof floor, but I did want protection from punctures and abrasion (spruce needles) if the floor was going to remain waterproof. My father, a smart man, suggested the weed-block fabric.

This solved a problem I had with waterproof footprints: my climate is damp enough that I sometimes had condensation form on the underside of the tent floor, wherever there was an air pocket, and that moisture was trapped by the footprint. And then I'd put pressure on the trapped water from inside the tent. Same thing with occasional runoff finding its way between the two layers.

Weed-block fabric allows moisture through, but is very tough. Puncturing it is difficult. It doesn't wick, absorbs very little if any water (it doesn't get heavier when wet), and dries very quickly.

I wish I could tell you how much it weighs, but I don't have a scale that registers something so light.

Stephen Parks
(sdparks) - M

Locale: Southwest
Re: Groundsheets on 07/15/2013 20:08:45 MDT Print View

Weed block fabric like this?

http://www.amazon.com/Dewitt-100-Foot-Barrier-Landscape-PBN3100RF/dp/B0016APS6E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1373940276&sr=8-1&keywords=weed+block+fabric

If the 3oz means per square yard, it isn't all that light. Maybe there are other versions? The idea is interesting.

Bogs and Bergs
(Islandized) - F

Locale: Newfoundland
Re: Groundsheets on 07/15/2013 20:19:42 MDT Print View

Hi Stephen, I don't think that's quite the same stuff, Amazon says it's "black on one side". What I'm using is all black, and it's possible to see light through it in the centre of the meshes. Has a slightly fuzzy texture. Sadly I have no idea what brand I'm using, just that it's the cheapest kind in Canadian Tire. But it isn't the thick shiny 'professional' stuff I see in city parks. If that's any help. :P

Edit to add, my best guess is maybe 3 ounces, for a piece cut to fit a Copper Spur 1. It does weigh a bit less than the custom footprint for the Spur (4.5 oz), which I also have. Of course, that's with no grommets. Haven't bothered to add them as I originally planned, the stuff doesn't move once you've put it down.

Edited by Islandized on 07/15/2013 20:28:49 MDT.

Evan Chartier
(evanchartier) - M
Groundsheet on 07/16/2013 09:23:37 MDT Print View

I agree with most of the posts, I have rarely used a groundsheet. Never used one under my tarptent. The only time I used one was for a few days while I was hiking the PCT in 2010. At that point I used it to cowboy camp with a thermarest zlite. Since then I have used the neoair and bivy combo. However, I am wondering if I shouldnt try out the polychryro groundsheet, xlite, tarp combo? I really only use my bivy to protect my pad, and perhaps the polychyro can do the same job for 4 ounces less?

Thoughts?
Evan

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Weed-blocking fabric on 07/16/2013 09:38:02 MDT Print View

There is a very heavy version, more properly called "geotechnical fabric" used during road construction or under sand/ gravel in a playground. There are much lighter weights in small rolls (3' x 50') at the garden center.