Here’s a project that’s been gaining a lot of ground recently. You go camping and you’ve got to haul your pack, tent and other needed accessories. If you’re just parking your RV or truck near a campsite… no big deal. But, if you’re an enthusiast seeking the ultimate wilderness experience, you might be hiking into a remote location to camp.
When hauling gear over long distances, campers know one thing is key- weight. and more specifically, the less weight the better. There has been a recent rise in ultralight backpacking supplies, penny-weight camping stoves (be sure to check out our own page on the classic soda can stove) and now ultralight ground cloths. Resourceful campers know they can make their own lightweight ground cloths.
The most popular material for a DIY ultralight ground cloth? Tyvek, of course!
Why Tyvek as a Camping Ground Cloth?
Tyvek is light, durable and waterproof and readily available. Perfectly suited for a ground cloth. So you want to make your own Tyvek ground cloth to protect your tent and keep your pack as light as possible? Here’s how:
Ultralight Backpacking Supplies:
- Enough Tyvek Homewrap to cover the footprint of your tent. (Tyvek is often sold to contractors in rolls about 3 ft wide and 100 ft long or so- but there are many online retailers now catering to the DIY camper, offering cut-to-order sections)
- Contact cement/seam sealer
- Starting in a large empty room or yard, roll out your Tyvek to the length of your tent footprint
- If your tent footprint is wider than your Tyvek, roll out several sections and lay parralel. Join with contact cement to create one large piece.
- Once the cement has dried, lay (or fully assemble) your tent and place on the Tyvek cloth.
- Trace the outline of your tent onto the cloth. *Tip: if your tent is assymetrical, it will help if you make a mark, like a star, to indicate the doorway of your tent, for later alignment
- Remove the tent and cut the outline out of the Tyvek
You now how have a DIY Tyvek ground cloth for your Ultralight Backpacking trip and you’re ready to go. Go try it out! If the crinkling noise bothers you, some folks have reported success in gently crumpling the Tyvek to soften it, or running it through a few minutes of a cold wash cycle in a washing machine and hang-drying.
See more DIY projects, from camping, to woodworking, to electronics and more, at the DIY Projects Guide!
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