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  1. #1

    Default Tarp campers- do you use a bathtub ground sheet ?

    Been hammocking for years. Thinking of going tarp for some western trails. Do you use a bathtub like ground sheet to sleep on or bicycle?

    Mostly worried about water running under tarp. Or can you mitigate that with site selection for the most part.

  2. #2
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    No just window film

    thom

  3. #3

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    It's kind of hard to support a "bathtub" ground sheet without making it an actual tent. So, don't camp on hard packed soil where the rain doesn't soak in and camp on reasonably level ground. Or use a bivy sack.

    Mostly your dealing with afternoon or early evening thunder storms, which can be quite torrential.
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nodust View Post
    Been hammocking for years. Thinking of going tarp for some western trails. Do you use a bathtub like ground sheet to sleep on or bicycle?
    Mostly worried about water running under tarp. Or can you mitigate that with site selection for the most part.
    Site selection and raising up the high side of a slightly sloping CS so H2O flows under rather than over the ground sheet using a trekking pole, branch, staff, rocks, etc. Even so in the PNW during rainy times yes I do use a bathtub ground sheet DIY made from Heavy MAX 1.5 mils Duck Brand window film. However, bathtub designs can also repel wind blown sand. I've seen ZP's mid shelters serve this purpose in N American desert camping many times.

  5. #5
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    I still like to use tyvek. It's probably slightly heavier than plastic options but very durable and multi-use. And the price is right.

  6. #6
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    I've played with bathtub ground sheets. They are one of those things that sounds like a great idea. Instead, I've always ended up using a flat ground sheet and, as noted above, place bits of rocks stick, or whatever under an uphill side or two if something is needed.
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  7. #7

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    If money is no object, zpacks makes a combo poncho/bathtub ground sheet. If you could make it work, it could save weight overall.

    Here

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nodust View Post
    Been hammocking for years. Thinking of going tarp for some western trails. Do you use a bathtub like ground sheet to sleep on or bicycle?

    Mostly worried about water running under tarp. Or can you mitigate that with site selection for the most part.
    I just use window film. But, you can tie the 4 corners and middle points into knots and it helps to make it more bathtub oriented.
    We will never conquer a mountain. The mountain allows us to visit and with enough time asks us to kindly go back down. And then sits in peace with or without our presence. me.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    It's kind of hard to support a "bathtub" ground sheet without making it an actual tent. So, don't camp on hard packed soil where the rain doesn't soak in and camp on reasonably level ground. Or use a bivy sack.

    Mostly your dealing with afternoon or early evening thunder storms, which can be quite torrential.
    There's a way to do this, which I've done with Tyvek. Take a sheet of Tyvek and fold it with hospital corners (anybody who's ever been in the military can do this ) and tape in place with duct tape. Next, make some small holes in the corners and run some shock cord thru the holes and tie them to small pieces (about 4"... whatever height you want the sides) of stick and then tape the sticks to the inside of each corner. Bamboo chopsticks are perfect for these little sticks. Next pitch your tarp and adjust the shock cords so that the bathtub is positioned as you like it under the tarp. Put some loops in the shock cords where you want them to attach to stakes or tarp tie-out points and it'll deploy easily and perfectly every time.

    This setup has worked well for me in some very wet conditions.

    tyvek corner duomid.jpg Duomid shock cord closeup 01.jpg Duomid inverted V.jpg
    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier?"

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmoulder View Post
    There's a way to do this, which I've done with Tyvek. Take a sheet of Tyvek and fold it with hospital corners (anybody who's ever been in the military can do this ) and tape in place with duct tape. Next, make some small holes in the corners and run some shock cord thru the holes and tie them to small pieces (about 4"... whatever height you want the sides) of stick and then tape the sticks to the inside of each corner. Bamboo chopsticks are perfect for these little sticks. Next pitch your tarp and adjust the shock cords so that the bathtub is positioned as you like it under the tarp. Put some loops in the shock cords where you want them to attach to stakes or tarp tie-out points and it'll deploy easily and perfectly every time.

    This setup has worked well for me in some very wet conditions.

    tyvek corner duomid.jpg Duomid shock cord closeup 01.jpg Duomid inverted V.jpg
    That's beutiful

  11. #11

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    Nice design. I would think a couple more "sticks" along the edges would help keep the sides up. Could make a pocket to set them into. Tyvek gets kind of soft after awhile.


    Quote Originally Posted by cmoulder View Post
    There's a way to do this, which I've done with Tyvek. Take a sheet of Tyvek and fold it with hospital corners (anybody who's ever been in the military can do this ) and tape in place with duct tape. Next, make some small holes in the corners and run some shock cord thru the holes and tie them to small pieces (about 4"... whatever height you want the sides) of stick and then tape the sticks to the inside of each corner. Bamboo chopsticks are perfect for these little sticks. Next pitch your tarp and adjust the shock cords so that the bathtub is positioned as you like it under the tarp. Put some loops in the shock cords where you want them to attach to stakes or tarp tie-out points and it'll deploy easily and perfectly every time.

    This setup has worked well for me in some very wet conditions.
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  12. #12

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    Bathtub floors are great. Mine are both from ZPacks, and my "tarps" are both 'mids with corners to attach them to, but you can get standalone floors with corner struts from MLD, and at least one other maker I can't recall at the moment.
    With a bathtub floor, it's easier to keep your stuff dry, clean, and from getting moved around, and somewhat less likely(depends on how high you get the corners) for your pad to get off in the dirt, or it and the foot of your bag up against the tarp.

    One of my few gripes about the Tarptent Notch, whose fly I also used with a ZPacks Solo floor, was that it didn't make attaching a bathtub floor convenient. I rigged up a way, but was always ok using the Solo as a regular groundsheet. The bathtub feature is nice, and better, but it's not a huge deal, either.
    I like it, though!
    20200622_092202.jpg

    20210315_134600.jpg

  13. #13

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    I don't use it much any more but I used to use this BearPaw floor quite a bit with various tarps. It has little plastic tubes sewn in the corners:

    DSCN2619-L.jpg

  14. #14
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    I don't. I have a zpacks CF ground cloth that's wider in the middle and tapers at the feet (think coffin.. . ). I put it under a HMG Echo II tarp. The big thing is site selection if there's a chance of being flooded. And pitching so runoff from the tarp goes away from the groundcloth.

  15. #15

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    Never used a bathtub floor in a tarp. For tarp camping, or any floorless shelter, don't camp where people have been camping regularly for 20+ years. The ground will be compacted into the hardness of concrete in a bowel shape that will collect water into a pond around your shelter in a heavy downpour, hence the reason tents now have bathtub floors. Picking a site with a slight slope will allow the water to run off instead of standing where you are sleeping. With some experience you can start to eye how water will flow and pitch accordingly. I have on very rare occasion, put rocks under the very edge of my ground cloth on the uphill side to promote it going under or around instead of over it when I wasn't sure how the water would flow. I have a friend who uses his heel to make a very shallow v shaped trench around his ground cloth (Note, this is not the same kind of trenching that many places have rules against, which is referring to using a shovel to dig a sizeable trench around a shelter which use to be very common before my time. What my friend does can be erased with his shoe in seconds as it's barely an impression and meant more for the water dropping off the edge of his tarp).

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