Camping skills: Groundsheet Repair
Sewn-in groundsheets keep your tent dry, warm and bug-free but they need a little extra care to keep them in good condition. A damaged groundsheet can leave your tent useless - here’s some useful tips that will extend the life.
- Clear your pitch of sharp stones and twigs before laying the tent down.
- Protect the groundsheet from the ground with a footprint – basically a groundsheet for the groundsheet. Not only will it extend the groundsheet’s life but keeps it clean, making packing easier.
- A large cheap tarp from a DIY store will serve as a footprint rather than shelling out on a custom version.
- Spreading out the footprint is the first job on site, so pack it last.
- Unpacking the tent is easy when you're not worried about dragging the tent through mud and wet; try to walk about on the footprint as little as possible.
- A carpet for the living area is kinder underfoot and will also help to protect the groundsheet. Instead of a bespoke carpet, a picnic blanket or cheap fleece will work almost as well.
- Fit non-slip fabric to the corners/sides of the carpet if it doesn't have them.
- Clean and dry your footprint and wipe down the groundsheet when you get home or it could damage the main fabric.
- If your sewn-in groundsheet does get damaged, you can repair a hole or tear using a patch or tape specifically designed for the purpose and a flexible repair sealant. You can buy a repair kit from such as Stormsure and Tear-Aid, for around £5 to £6. If you don’t have a kit to hand, then you can use Duck tape over the tear, although this would probably be a temporary measure. Whatever you use, make sure you clean the groundsheet material down, get it as flat as possible and apply the repair material on both sides.