scouts-l Mail Archive for May of 2000: Re: Groundcloths for tents, flys for tents
Tue May 02 2000 - 07:17:48 CDT
In a message dated 4/11/00 10:13:13 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
> A question for the list - who uses groundcloths with backpacking
> tents on scout campouts - and if so, what type and why (I've seen
> opinions for and against, hence my query)
I use a sheet of clear, heavyweight plastic cut to the size and shape of the
tent floor. It helps keep the tent clean and the campers dry. And it helps
protect the tent floor from any sticks and sharp sticks in the ground you
might have missed. Never have a ground cloth extend beyond the drip line of
your tent or fly. It'll catch rain and carry it under the tent, defeating the
purpose of the fly.
> Has anyone ever replaced a factory fly with a larger (full-coverage to the
> ground) fly to increase the degree of rainproofing? Our troop has nine
> almost-new Eureka Crescent 3 tents and the rain fly leaves a lot to be
Replacing the fly would add a lot to the cost of the tent. It'd be cheaper to
start with a tent with a proper fly in the first place. You probably won't
recover the cost before the tents wear out. That being said, I've seen people
simply erect a blue poly fly (you can buy less intrusive colors) a foot or
two over the tent when camping in the rain. You can get a fly that's just
large enough to protect the tent as well as an area to protect packs outside
the tent. Or, you can get one that's large enough to also protect an area for
lounging, cooking (on a stove -- no fires) and eating. It'll do the job until
the tents wear out and you can buy replacements with good flys.
I never even buy a tent that doesn't have a decent rain fly. The fly should
never go all the way to the ground -- that would eliminate the ventilation
you need between the fly and the tent. However, it should extend down to
within a few inches of the ground and protect the entire tent. All good tents
are built this way, and the cost more as a result. Eureka builds good tents.
They also cut corners on some models so they can sell a cheaper tent to those
who don't think about the role of the fly until it's too late.