Tyvek Innovative Uses Blog, by Material Concepts

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tyvek ground sheets for camping and hiking

A recent discussion on an online Appalachian Trail Hiking forum talked about using Tyvek ground sheets as tent ground cloths. The first post said that they found their Tyvek ground cloth used under their tent was slippery. Some replies suggested washing the Tyvek ground sheet, and cautioned against drying it in a hot dryer - good advice! Others suggested tying the ground sheet to the tent poles, and one reply may have even been reading our website’s Tyvek Ground Sheet page, saying "they recommend bunching the corner and using a sheet bend to tie a line to it."
Tyvek Ground Cloth from Material Concepts, Tyvek Ultralite OmnicovR®
As described on our Tyvek Ground Cloth page, there are two types of 8’ x 10’ Tyvek ground sheets that Material Concepts offers - Hard and Soft. Ultralite OmnicovR® is the Material Concepts’ brand name for ground sheets. The Hard Tyvek Ultralite OmnicovR® is a little less expensive and people to run it through their washing machines to soften it. The Soft Tyvek Ultralite OmnicovR® is a little more expensive and is a little more compact, which can be a critical factor for backpackers.

Of course, Tyvek’s properties - water resistance, toughness, tear resistance and lightweight - make it a good choice for use as a ground cloth. This also makes it a good tarp or rain fly too. And it’s washable. Yes, Tyvek is slippery (especially when wet) and should not be walked on.

As far as tying Tyvek, we recommend:
When attaching a rope or cord to the corner of the Ultralite OmnicovR®, use a sheet-bend knot to achieve the strongest tie downs. Never use traditional grommets; instead, use fabric clips, spring clamps, or tarp and fabric fasteners.
See the illustration on how to do a sheet bend knot.
Tying a Tyvek tarp illustration
You can purchase the Hard or Soft Tyvek Ultralite OmnicovR® ground cloth from our online store.

Let us know by commenting below on how you are using Tyvek in your hiking and camping activities.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tyvek - usually HouseWrap - is used for small boat sails.

Would the ground sheet product be suitable? Sail size about 50 sf; no seams needed, no housewrap printing on one side; hems doubled over and secured with double-sided carpet tape; grommets at corners, etc.

October 28, 2010 at 3:37 PM  
Blogger Douglas Kohn, www.MaterialConcepts.com said...

Thanks for your question. Over the years there have been folks that have made boat sails out of Tyvek - actually, out of the Tyvek 10G & 10GX (the 10GX is the style we use to make the Tyvek Ground Sheets). While I've never had any feedback as to the results of a sail made of Tyvek, and because this application is certainly not typical for Tyvek, you would really have to test it to see if worked for you in this specific use.

I like the idea of hems being doubled over for reinforcement - and we've heard of folks using double sided carpet tape to join two pieces of Tyvek together - so using that tape to help secure a hemmed seam also sounds like good reinforcement.

There are many times when we hear customer ideas or new uses for Tyvek that are not typical. In these instances, the best advice we can give is to try it out and test to see if it actually works and is suitable for your idea/application.

Great question! Thank you.

October 29, 2010 at 11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the UV resistance properties of the Tyvek 10GX?

January 5, 2013 at 3:57 AM  
Blogger Douglas Kohn, www.MaterialConcepts.com said...

What is the UV resistance properties of the Tyvek 10GX? - Great question.
DuPont tells us that Tyvek will have a typical outdoor life of 90 days under direct UV for Tyvek styles that do not have UV inhibitors. Tyvek 10GX does not have any UV inhibitors so you would not want to use this style as an outdoor cover or in applications where it would be under the sun day after day. One style of Tyvek carried by Material Concepts that does have a UV inhibitor is Tyvek 1460. The UV inhibitor give Tyvek 1460 a 2-year life under direct UV. You can find more information about this style on our website http://www.materialconcepts.com/products/tyvek/uv-soft/

January 5, 2013 at 10:50 AM  

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