Recommendations for a ground sheet

Any recommendations for a small ground sheet, up say 1 x 2 mtrs ?

I bought a survival bag for the purpose, but it’s got quite a few splits in now and with having two layers, they slide over each other meaning I’m sliding too. It’s also hard to get all the air out to roll back up to put in the rucsac after the activation.

Thanks Nick G0HIK

The ultralight option is “polycryo” film. It is surprisingly durable, hikers have used the same sheet for an entire Appalachian Trail thru-hike. It absolutely will blow away in a wind, so keep hold of it. I’ve been using it for years and like it.

Duck Brand is one variety of this film. You can find it in hardware stores here in the US, but here is an Amazon UK link.

Here is the same stuff sold by an ultralight backpacking vendor.


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Not quite a groundsheet, but I have been using a piece of aluminium bubble insulation as a sit mat with room for my butt and the rig. The same piece has lasted ages.

Can’t recall what make I bought, but it’s this kind of thing:

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wow - never thought about. When activating in snow or rain I keep standing or wear waterproof trousers. For me working /p is something different than setting up a shack in the wilderness. As I’m getting older I have to rethink.
73 Martin

Something about the same is a windshield reflective sun shade. Reflective on both sides and has insulation in between.

As for a ground sheet I use a RAP Siltarp.


I have just bought this from Amazon:

I intend to use it for the Portable Ops Challenge, so I can’t say how good it is yet, it’s certainly light. Up until now I have been using part of a heavy duty painters cover sheet.

73 Ed.

Thanks for all the replies.

I like the look of the car sunshade, it will also keep me off the ground and a bit warmer, I’ve seen those around and should roll up and be quite lightweight.
What ever I get I’ll post an update and how I get on with it.


Nick G0HIK

Hi Nick,
I’m using the car sunshade it go easily on rucksack , but I’ve a good weather here !
photo on F/JU-099

73 Éric

Thanks Eric,

I’m going to look in my local car accessory store and see what they have.

Nick G0HIK

Underlay for laminated flooring is another option.

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I use a campers windscreen seems to help

John Ve3IPS

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For What It Worth (and with a wink)

There is something called Elephant Hide* that seems very adequate and quite popular in some circles. Search google for “elefantenhaut bundeswehr”.

*) It is the nickname of the German army ground sheet.

73 de ON4KJM

Thanks for that, I just nearly ordered one as it’s just what I was thinking of. Then I looked at the weight, it’s 420g, pretty heavy.

Nick G0HIK

And I’ve thrown loads of suitable off-cuts of that out :slight_smile:

Nick G0HIK

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You could also try the close foam cell stuff they use under floating wood floors. I got a big bit for nothing off our carpet fitters. It is about 2 or 3 mm thick and is the same stuff as sleeping/camping mats.

(this sounds a bit like the stuff G3CWI mentions in an earlier post).

When I get some time and nothing better to do, I’ll have look in the local car and DIY outlets David.


Nick G0HIK

If you know someone in the building trade, then you may be able to get hold of some Tyvek. It makes a very cheap groundsheet. Alternatively, you can buy some from Extremtextil:

It varies in price, which is why it’s handy if you know a builder who can let you have some at trade price. For camping, I made my own bathtub groundsheet with TPU coated ripstop nylon; very high spec:

   73 de OE6FEG

Thanks Matt,

I’ve seen that on building sites.
It looks interesting I will ask my friends about it.

Nick G0HIK

Unfortunately Matthew I made a temporary bivvi bag out of that stuff. Mind did not work as a ground sheet - it might, and does make a water proof barrier in buildings but when subject to pressure - from your body weight it becomes water permeable.

So you’ll get wet! Better use it as a poncho. :+1:


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I have a gardener’s kneeling mat as it was 95p and proper camping sit mats were many pounds. It’s been in use since 2006 and going strong still. Not very big especially compared with my backside but it is insulating and waterproof. I’ve avoided needing a groundsheet for 14years so far. However, if I did need one, a Tyvek sheet would be my choice and then I’d set the garden kneeler on that. The sheet would be waterproof enough for the weight, volume and cost.

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