View Full Version : Ground Sheet for Kifaru Shelters

05-13-2003, 12:27 AM
Dear Patrick, Mel and other message board members:

I have an idea for a ground sheet for the Parahootch, ParaTipi and other Kifaru shelters. In my part of the world, the tropics, the high rainfall mandates a floor or ground sheet for our shelters. While Patrick has said to just throw a tarp on the floor for his tipis if you want, I think that it will be paradoxical to couple an ultra lightweight shelter with a heavy tarp for a ground sheet.

While I am using the Parahootch as an example, this idea can be extended to the other Kifaru hootches and shelters. My idea is for the ground sheet or floor to be made of the same lightweight waterproof paraglider material as the Parahootch.

This ground sheet has a footprint the shape of the narrower two-thirds of the erected Parahootch. This leaves the wider, front one-third of the Parahootch without a floor for muddy boots and a tent stove.

This ground sheet has cords or ties at its corners and along its edges. These tie to corresponding loops or grommets of the Parahootch above, to lift the edges of the ground sheet several inches off the ground. This way, while a substantial part of the ground sheet remains flat on the ground, the edges are raised to form a bathtub floor, preventing rainwater from running onto the floor.

I think that this idea will work for wet regions *IF* the silicone waterproofing of the paraglider material is up to snuff to be used as a ground sheet. If it is not, any other suitable material may be used.

Please let me have your comments on this idea. Best regards to all.

05-13-2003, 02:35 PM
Yeah, it's definately a good idea, however you need to pick your material carefully based on your AO. Out here in the desert southwest, you need something more like hypolon for a groundsheet, because of the rocky terrain. Bath-tubbing it for me is not an issue, although that's a good idea. What you need to be careful of is taking a light-weight idea and packing so much on it that it becomes a full tent again. I normally run a groundsheet made of coated cordura, and an overhead cover of packcloth. It cuts down the weight and bulk of a full tent (besides the tactical considerations), but you have to give up some comfort (TANSTAAFL). I'm looking forward to trying the para-hooch.

05-13-2003, 06:22 PM

Good thinking, but I may as well tell you that paracloth is just too dang slippery! Wonderful stuff in many applications but unless you're on absolutely flat ground you're gonna take a ride! Been there, done that.

My actual position on "ground cover" is to use your foam sleeping pad. I've done it for years and years in "cold tropics" like Alaska--where it rains constantly. Pitch the tipi so that its hem is snug to the ground and it WILL keep the water out. I don't carry ANYTHING that ain't proved to be essential. And "ground cover" didn't make the cut.