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  1. #1
    Registered User Drakken's Avatar
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    Default Cheap Easy Groundcloth

    For the past 5 years I have been using a 7' long piece of Ripstop as my groundcloth for my tent. It's relativly lightweight, packs easily, and cost me like $7. It is not waterproof and offers minor protection, but I like it. I still want a footprint for my tent, but until then I will continue to use my groundcloth.
    Hope someone finds this as helpful.
    Let me know if you like this or have a better idea.

  2. #2
    Registered User Drakken's Avatar
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    Here is a pic of it in action. Not too far N of Vandeventer Shelter. I had to put my boots down to hold it in place, it was a little windy on that bluff.
    decided where I am pitching tent.jpg

  3. #3
    Registered User Studlintsean's Avatar
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    For years I have used a small piece of painters plastic (Not sure the mm off the top of my head). The whole roll was like $3.00 and ive used the same roll for years. On a side note: I was in Abingdon the week of Christmas and did a small day hike out of Damascus with my G/F. Next time I am in town to visit her family I will send you a PM to do an over nighter. Being XMAS I couldnt get away that week.

  4. #4
    Registered User Drakken's Avatar
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    Cool about the plastic. I never would have thought it would hold up that long. That's fantastic.
    Give me a shout if your in the area. I work weekends so I probably couldn't go for an overnighter. Maybe I could meet you along the trail somewhere. Or offer some support of somekind if needed.
    Do you mind if I ask where in NoVa you are? I have a buddy that lives in Aldie. I'm trying to get him to hit the trail up there.

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    Registered User Studlintsean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drakken View Post
    Cool about the plastic. I never would have thought it would hold up that long. That's fantastic.
    Give me a shout if your in the area. I work weekends so I probably couldn't go for an overnighter. Maybe I could meet you along the trail somewhere. Or offer some support of somekind if needed.
    Do you mind if I ask where in NoVa you are? I have a buddy that lives in Aldie. I'm trying to get him to hit the trail up there.
    Im in the Bristow/ Manassas area.

  6. #6
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    Default Cheap Easy Groundcloth

    $3 emergency blanket works for me...

  7. #7
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    I just take Tyvek rubbish from the builder's garbage pile. One person's garbage is another's treasure.







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    +1 on the tyvek, it's tough, light and you can find it in a construction dumpster for free. And you can make other stuff from the leftovers.

  9. #9

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    A large Hefty yard waste bag sliced down the sides and opened lengthwise works well. It's designed to hold grass and twigs so is fairly durable.

  10. #10
    Registered User WILLIAM HAYES's Avatar
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    plus three on the tyvek I have used it for years as a ground cloth under my hammock to keep my pack and shoes off the ground i also use it for a gound cloth for my CCF pad if I happen to stay in a shelter
    hillbilly

  11. #11
    Registered User Drakken's Avatar
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    Tyvek, that's brilliant guys. I would have never thought about that. I think I will look into that.

  12. #12
    Registered User G-FOURce's Avatar
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    Default Cheap Easy Groundcloth

    I love tyvek, too! The stuff is great! I am making some bivy sacks this week with tyvek bottoms and 1.2oz ripstop uppers. I also have a 9' x 8' tyvek tarp and a stuff sack i made for my water filter.

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    Another easily available option and cheap too, is weed block fabric from most any garden supply store. It is water permeable, so water wont pool or collect underneath your tent. But is tough and will protect the bottom of your tent. It also packs/compresses down to very small.

    I am a fan of both Tyvek and weedblock fabric. I just found out about using the weed block fabric a few days ago and have been doing some experimenting. So far I like it better than Tyvek.
    "We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." George Orwell

  14. #14
    Registered User The Cleaner's Avatar
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    I have always carried a reusable "Space Blanket". It does weigh a little more but makes up for that by it's many uses.I have slept under it in mild weather.Used as a ground cloth.Use in shelters,shinny side up,makes your other gear easier to see in low light conditions.Hung up by a fire to block wind and to reflect heat.By folding the 4 corners in,shinny side down, it will make a nice cross to aid SAR in locating your location.Hang shinny side up to reflect sun in treeless areas,ect,ect.Anyone else got any uses I missed?

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    Tyvek is best, but it is heavy.

    cheap space blankets pack smaller, are much lighter (1.5 oz), and can be bought at walmart for $3. Replace as needed.

    Polycryo is OK, also about 1.5 oz for solo size, but harder to replace on trail.


    but the lightest, ...is nothing at all.

    You need something to sleep on in shelters though, so whatever you have should double for that too.

  16. #16
    Registered User G-FOURce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Tyvek is best, but it is heavy.

    cheap space blankets pack smaller, are much lighter (1.5 oz), and can be bought at walmart for $3. Replace as needed.

    Polycryo is OK, also about 1.5 oz for solo size, but harder to replace on trail.


    but the lightest, ...is nothing at all.

    You need something to sleep on in shelters though, so whatever you have should double for that too.
    not to create any chaos, but i disagree that tyvek is heavy. is it heavier than a cheap walmart space blanket? yep. is it heavy? i dont think it is...

    tyvek home wrap, which is what you'd want to use as your ground cloth if youre going to use tyvek, weighs 1.8oz/sqyard. if a typical solo tent (42" x 96") requires about 3.1sq yards of material then a tyvek groundcloth would weigh about 5.6oz. while that is technically heavier than the 3oz space blanket, i would offer that its total value is immeasurable over a $3 wallyworld space blanket. the space blanket is only cheaper initially until you've had to replace it enough times that the cost surpasses the far more durable tyvek (remember, paying for quality only stings once). also, do you really want to trust your tent floor to a $3 wallyworld space blanket? to help keep things in perspective - we're talking about a cost difference of less than $8 here. i also wouldnt want to be reliant on that cheap space blanket when i am in the woods X miles from home and X miles from the nearest opportunity to replace it. i trust my tested and proven tyvek ground cloth.

    i try to be as budget-conscious as the next guy, but experience has taught me that there are just certain things you shouldn't go cheap on and when i am in the woods i dont wants a groundcloth under my tent that doesnt earn my confidence. until i find something better, the tyvek solution is the best ounce-for-ounce and dollar-for-dollar solution i have found. if your budget requires that you use a $3 space blanket instead of going with an $11 tyvek sheet, then that's better than nothing. would i use one? nope.

  17. #17
    Registered User Papa D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blissful View Post
    I just take Tyvek rubbish from the builder's garbage pile. One person's garbage is another's treasure.
    Good post - - go find a new house being built and when they do the "house wrap" hit the dumpster (or just ask for a piece - all you need is about 6' x 3' which is just a scrap for them. It IS waterproof and tough.

    Even better, if you can find an expert tile-setter, and get a piece of Schluter Membrane - it's waterproof cloth made in Germany. You could also buy a whole roll at Lowes and sell the spare to your friends:

    http://www.lowes.com/pd_433980-36265...cagpspn=pla%22

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    Lawson is carrying a tyvek that is 1.1 oz/yd now thats a better choice if thats your thing.
    Cost is not a factor to some, neither is having to replace periodically

    Im not carrying an extra 1/4 lb thats not unnecessary. Im just more careful with what I have.

    A tent is gear , its disposable
    Expect wear and tear
    Even in perfect condition it will become outdated and worthless one day.

  19. #19
    Registered User Drakken's Avatar
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    I just weighed my groundcloth on my digital kitchen scale. It's 9.5oz (269g); I don't know if thats good or not. I guess a ultra-lighter could tell me. It's dimensions are 4'x7'. I think that's pretty good for it's size and cost.
    Has anyone tried sewing Tyvek? I was thinking of like an outer bag for nasty Wx for fast packing.

  20. #20

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    Is there anything wrong with the fitted footprint made for my tent ? Should I use something else ?
    With construction down these days, I have not seen much tyvec in dumpsters. Where can you buy it by the sheet or by the yard ? And for those with fat wallets......cuben fiber ??????

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