Tom Nisius (db298@CLEVELAND.FREENET.EDU)
Mon, 2 Oct 1995 10:08:21 -0400
I put my ground cloth either inside the tent or under the tent,
depending on the tent and the circumstances. But I never do
For family camping I use a large canvas tent. It is over 20
years old, but is still in excellent condition because I try to
take good care of it. When I don't expect rain, I put the ground
cloth under this tent to keep the canvas clean and dry. When I
guess wrong and it rains, the ground cloth usually ends up
catching water. The rain running down the sides of the tent,
doesn't drip off at the edge of the tent. It runs around, under
the bottom of the tent and ends up on top of the ground cloth
even though I cut the ground cloth smaller than the floor of the
For Scouts, I use a small nylon dome tent. I've used this tent
once a month for more than 10 years. The floor is not
waterproof, so moisture comes up through the floor even when
there is no rain. I always put the ground cloth inside that
tent. That way I don't have to worry about water getting on top
of the ground cloth. Nylon dries very fast and doesn't rot like
canvas, so I have less concern for damage to the tent.
I tried the two layer approach; one ground cloth under the tent,
and one inside the tent. That hasn't worked well for me. Once
water gets on top of the bottom ground cloth, it is trapped and
can form a deep puddle that gets on top of my inside ground
cloth. The water either goes over the edge of the top ground
cloth where my body presses the inside ground cloth down or comes
up through small pin holes in the inside ground cloth. With just
one ground cloth inside the tent, I usually stay dry (but not
always). The water doesn't get trapped by the ground cloth so it
can either run away or sink into the ground.
One problem with using a ground cloth inside the tent is how
slippery plastic is, especially if your sleeping bag is nylon. I
use a thin vinyl shower curtain liner for a ground cloth. It is
heavier to carry than plastic, but isn't slippery.
. Tom Nisius, Troop 77 .
. Greater Cleveland Council .
. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City