Ground sheet question
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mik matra
(mikmik) - M

Locale: Allways on the move
Ground sheet question on 07/19/2014 15:51:32 MDT Print View

Hi,

Does anyone still bother with groundsheets in full tub shelters? I mean the 'water proof-ness' of the tub of shelter materials seems to negate it for that purpose and when you keep erecting the shelter on non abrasive surfaces there would be minimal wear.....what other reasons to use a groundsheet for?

Ta

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Ground sheet question on 07/19/2014 16:01:48 MDT Print View

yeah - waterproofness and to protect tent floor from wear

but it weighs "a lot". Tent floor should be waterproof by itself. Maybe have to replace floor at some point but that wouldn't be too difficult and could be a long time in future.

I used to have groundcloth but did away with it a long time ago

I can think of a time or two when rain got on top of groundcloth and got into tent

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Ground sheet question on 07/19/2014 16:16:16 MDT Print View

What Jerry said, especially about rain getting on top of the groundsheet!

Cheers

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Ground sheet question on 07/19/2014 16:33:47 MDT Print View

Now-a-days, half the time I just sleep out with no tent. So I have a bivy or you could have a ground sheet.

When it's raining I have floorless tent. My bivy keep me dry from ground. Any water just soaks into the ground. No need for tent floor at all.

If there are just a few bugs, this works okay, but if it's real buggy then maybe floored tent is better, with mesh door. Also in winter conditions maybe floored tent.

It's weird though, with floorless mid, bugs all congregate at the peak and leave me alone down below. There's maybe 1 inch gap between ground and walls around the perimeter.

Dondo .
(Dondo) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Re: Ground sheet question on 07/19/2014 16:50:15 MDT Print View

It's weird though, with floorless mid, bugs all congregate at the peak and leave me alone down below. There's maybe 1 inch gap between ground and walls around the perimeter.

I've noticed the same thing, Jerry, so haven't carried a tent with a floor in years. But I still carry a headnet in case I run into a mosquito who doesn't know the drill. But I hike in relatively bug-free Colorado, so YMMV.

IMO, there's no need to carry a ground sheet if you're sleeping in a shelter with a floor. Just clean the bottom when you get home.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Sometimes on 07/19/2014 21:12:21 MDT Print View

There have been times where I've wanted a groundsheet. Namely, the sharp, sandy gravel of car-camping campgrounds like the ones in Acadia National Park, for instance. Anywhere where rolling in my sleep can pull the fabric over sharp rocks. The Eastern Colorado Desert also stands out, especially in Fall when the goatheads are out.

In that case, I use Tyvek. There's a lot that will quickly pierce polycro that wouldn't get through tyvek. It's one of the few materials I put a lot of trust in for abrasion resistance.

But yeah, other than vegetation-free, desert or gravelly conditions, I don't bother.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Sometimes on 07/19/2014 22:42:42 MDT Print View

When I car camp I use a piece of plastic grass astro-turf - maybe 3 x 7 feet

Good protection against sharps. A little water protection. A little warmth. A little cushioning

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Ground sheet question on 07/21/2014 10:01:30 MDT Print View

I use a completely transparent groundsheet. It is handy as a guide for laying out my tarp tent. Since the tent isn't free standing, I can't easily move it. Once the groundsheet is down, I can remove little rocks or cones that are underneath (which is why it is handy that it is transparent).

The main disadvantage is that it is so light that it gets blown around with the slightest breeze. So I end up putting rocks on it, then removing the rocks once I throw the tent over it.

If the weather looks really wet, I can remove the groundsheet and use it as extra internal rain protection. The bathtub on my tarp tent isn't that high, so it is possible that rain (or thick fog) could get pushed through the mesh. I'm sure I could ride out a damp night of sideways moisture though, using the extra plastic (so far I've never had to).

Barry P
(BarryP) - F

Locale: Eastern Idaho (moved from Midwest)
Re: Ground sheet question on 07/21/2014 14:20:13 MDT Print View

“…and when you keep erecting the shelter on non abrasive surfaces there would be minimal wear.....what other reasons to use a groundsheet for?”

Well that’s HARD to guarantee.

A few more reasons:
1. Most places I camp leaves residue that stains the tent. I keep my tents looking good.
2. It forces needles to pierce two barriers instead of one. It’s better to go through the cheap barrier. And you might clean your camp spot as good as possible but you’ll still miss that burr. Ouch.
3. The underside of the tent will collect condensation. It’s much easier to dry out the ground cloth on your backpack or at lunch than trying to dry out the whole tent.
4. Because of that condensation, and since you’re with a group, you need to quickly roll up that tent. Now the condensation permeates the whole tent and that night you find your whole tent damp. And it won’t dry since the humidity has set in.
5. If you pack that wet tent, its moisture can permeate your pack’s contents (unless you use a separate dry bag).
6. While the tent underside is wet, it will attract a whole bunch of dirt that eventually turns to mud that’s easily transferred to your pack’s contents.
7. It’s easier and safer (and eventually cheaper) cleaning pine gum off the ground cloth than off the tent.
8. If you have a silnylon floor, on sopping wet ground, your kneeling pressure will wick water through and soak your bedding. But with a ground cloth, it will not wick through.
9. The dual-use of a ground cloth is handy if you want to lay out your pack contents w/o getting them soiled.

I’ve never had problems of a ground sheet trapping water. It’s all how you place it under the tent.

It’s just 2.6oz for great protection.

-Barry
-The mountains were made for Tevas