Feb 16, 2013 at 4:19 pm #1299353
I am thinking about getting a Hexamid Twin. I don't want to buy the expensive cuben groundsheet. I like the idea of using polycro as a groundsheet.
Has anyone made a polycro bathtub floor that works well in a Hexamid solo/twin shelter? I am trying to get some ideas. Considering that polycro is so cheap, I'd like to know how simply this could be done.Feb 16, 2013 at 5:51 pm #1955090
Do not even worry about making a "bathtub"…. just buy a big sheet of the material and throw it inside of your hexamid then cut it to fit the entire inside, making a quasi-floor.Feb 16, 2013 at 9:16 pm #1955132
Thats easy enough. However wouldn't this create a problem during a prolonged rain? I don't know exactly how the Hexamid does, but I would think that water could end up inside and on the floor if not properly fitted as a "bathtub" style. Am I incorrect?Feb 16, 2013 at 9:24 pm #1955135
I have both a polycro and the Zpacks CF GCs that I use with my Hexamid tarp. If I expect a lot of prolonged bad weather, then I take the CF GC, otherwise I just use the polycro, which I do not "bathtub."
However, when I first got my Hexamid, all I had was some polycro and ended up in a prolonged storm for 40 hours under my tarp. As long as the polycro was completely under the tarp, no water got on it as the rain just slid down the tarp. I was even on a slight slope, but as long as I didn't let the polycro corners flop out side the tarp, no rain or splatter were channeled in. I stayed completely dry.
SusanFeb 16, 2013 at 9:24 pm #1955136
Randy MartinBPL Member
That is where site selection is important and avoiding terrain where runoff is likely to come through or where the layers of forest floor are enough to absorb any accumulation of water.Feb 16, 2013 at 9:25 pm #1955137
Hey Aaron, I do not mean this in a rude way what so ever… but if you are so worried about a little water, why in the world did/would you buy a shelter with a bug netting floor?
Furthermore, exactly what kind of sleeping bag have you bought that does not have a single bit of dwr on it and that has material that is not able to survive even 5 to 8 hours of being in a little puddle of water that has collected on the floor? Since I started hiking I have never owned a sleeping bag that could not handle a ten hour water puddle test.
A little puddle of water here or there, or a little bit of condensation on the inside of a shelter in the morning, it is not the end all of things. Proper hiking skills including keeping your gear in good condition, drying out your shelter, drying out your sleeping bag, and so forth throughout the day, and the life of your gear.Feb 16, 2013 at 9:57 pm #1955140
Thanks for the replies. Sounds like the polycro will work just fine.
I have not yet purchased the Hexamid. Just thinking about what i'll really need if I decide to. I'm not overly worried about water inside the shelter..maybe my question sounded like I was?
In researching this shelter and others, I see many that go to great lengths to seam seal, tape, etc or fabricate a system to keep drips and spray out of their sleeping area. My idea was just to use the inexpensive polycro. I just want to know if others have used just a flat sheet of polycro, or they somehow fashioned it into a bathtub/clip in style floor.
If I can make a simple adjustment to my gear and avoid having to put my down quilt through the water puddle test, by all means I will.
Condensation isnt going to be a life or death situation, but I don't think I am the only person here that wants to avoid sleeping in puddles of water.
However I do understand your point. A little water isn't the end of the world. I agree.Feb 16, 2013 at 10:13 pm #1955143
My idea was just to use the inexpensive polycro. I just want to know if others have used just a flat sheet of polycro, or they somehow fashioned it into a bathtub/clip in style floor.
Yep, either works.
The thing that nobody here has really said is that the ZPacks bathtub is not really all that good. Hate to say it but it is true. It has zero structural support and it is prone to flop over because of the design of the shelter and the lack of tie off points.
Take this groundsheet for example, from oookworks, it has a pretty solid and firm side throughout the entire length of it. Such is just not the case with the zpacks groundsheet, as can be seen in this photo.
I have bought three or four groundsheets from zpacks for multiple size hexamids, and none of them have firm bathtub walls.
It might not ever be an issue for you, but it is worth being aware of this fact going into it.
So yes, a piece of plastic can do just about as good of a job, for a far less cost. It may not solve 100% of the puddles 100% of the time, but we pretty much addressed that above.Feb 16, 2013 at 10:24 pm #1955145
Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
I've used bathtub floors before, but the problem is it keeps any water from running off the floor.
Better to have flat floor.
If you're in a puddle or stream of water that a bathtub floor would theoretically protect you from, doesn't work very well, you really need to select a site that has no puddles or streamsFeb 17, 2013 at 5:29 am #1955167
It's pretty easy to make a polycryo bathtub floor. Lay a sheet of polycryo out inside the Hexamid a draw an outline where you want the floor to be. Then cut the polycryo 6 inches outside your mark. Fold the corners in a triangle and tape them to form the bathtub walls. Punch a hole and add bungee to fasten to the hoops in the Hexamid.
If you want to be fancy, you can make the back and side walls higher and add ZPack's tie out loop patches to the Hexamid to attach them to. These walls can then block splash back, though I've never found them necessary.
Cut edges of polycryo can tear easily, so you may want to tape them. I've found it easiest to use double-sided tape. Tape the outside of the floor, remove the backing tape, folding the spare polycryo over onto it as you go, then finally cut away the excess polycryo.
However, I no longer use a polycryo floor in the Hexamid as I find it too slippy.Feb 17, 2013 at 5:37 am #1955169
John, we have the Twin groundsheet, so it may be different, but we find that if you clip up the floor and put some gear in the corners then the bathtub keeps its shape pretty well. It works better now that the shape of the floor has been improved (longer at the front).
However, the picture of the Oookworks' floor makes me wonder if the ZPacks floor could be improved by adding some loops of tape so the floor can be attached not just from the upper edge at the corner and from the bottom of the corner as well.Feb 17, 2013 at 5:51 am #1955171
So are you (John) telling us that your bags can lay in a puddle for ten hours and not soak up the puddle and be soaking wet? If so im impressed. Or are you saying you can put like a table spoon of water on top the bag and not have it soak through, which I have doneFeb 17, 2013 at 6:27 am #1955177
Have you considered just going for the tarp Hex rather than the tent? Personally, I would not want to own a shelter with a net floor for several reasons. I own a Hex solo tarp and it is one of my all time favorite piece of gear. I have used in heavy rain on several occasions, and always been completely dry. I use a garbage bag cut in half as a ground cover often, or a double MYOG ground cover that is a garbage bag with a space blanket taped on top of it, and these do a great job of keeping me dry from the ground as well as protect my bivy and/or sleeping mat.
I have been backpacking and camping for over a decade and a half, and have never been in a situation where a flood of water came into my shelter and pooled around me. Maybe I have been very lucky, or good at picking locations to make camp for the night, or both. I think the whole flood of water into your shelter area, enough to cause big puddles, is both rare and largely preventable.
Anyhow, with a tarp you can still get bug and/or wind protection with a bivy. If bivies are not for you (there seems to be a big love em or hate em trend), you can get a bug shelter to put under a tarp, or just a bug screen or head net to take care of the bug issue, depending how much of an issue it is for you and where you camp.
If you feel that flooding will inevitably be an issue for you, I dunno, maybe you are going to be backpacking in a rainforest or something–perhaps it is best to just take the weight penalty of a tent with a solid, built-in, bathtub floor, of which there are many options.
Report back on what you ultimately decide on and let us know how things go! :)Feb 17, 2013 at 6:50 am #1955182
"the ZPacks bathtub is not really all that good. Hate to say it but it is true. It has zero structural support and it is prone to flop over because of the design of the shelter and the lack of tie off points."
They do have no particular structural support, but they do have tie off points (though the picture doesn't show it). Mine has clips for all four corners and for each side at the middle, which correspond to clip points on the underside of the shelter, so it's quite easy to clip it up and form a very useful pseudo bathtub floor.Feb 17, 2013 at 8:07 am #1955201
I am interested in pure "tarping" in the future. However, I'll probably get into that for solo trips. I typically go with a friend, or my wife. Particularly for my wife, having a fully enclosed net is important because of mosquitos, other insects, etc. The hexamid twin looks like the best possible enclosed shelter that I know of that is extremely light.
I agree with you about flooding and site selection. The vast majority of my trips are to the Sierra, which I typically plan around pleasant weather. I've only been rained on for a few hours total, ever. Although one day I might try a thru hike, which might be a little less predictable.Feb 17, 2013 at 9:42 am #1955254
David GardnerBPL Member
@gearmakerLocale: Northern California
I have built a number of polycryo shelters and do not recommend punching holes through it, especially at a stress point. It will tear. Instead, melt the holes you need with a red hot piece of wire or metal rod, like a hanger wire. And you definitely want to "hem" all the edges of the polycryo sheet using the double-sided tape that comes with the window insulation kits as recommended by William.Feb 17, 2013 at 10:24 am #1955280
David, I reinforced the corners with tape where I planned to punch the holes. The tape prevented the hole from tearing.Feb 17, 2013 at 11:48 am #1955315
Jason MahlerBPL Member
There are some people out there that have made Polycro tarps by using sailing tape at the corners and putting nylon washers between the tape. You could do this in the approximate locations of the mitten hooks inside of the hexamid (there are 6 places right?). This and some shock cord would give you raised edges so that the condensatation drains right out and gives you a bit of protection.Feb 17, 2013 at 5:11 pm #1955428
Yeah, the zpacks floor isnt great. But its likely better than a plain sheet.
The problem with the hexamid, is the mesh is attached at the edge of the tarp, where much of the water from roof runs down the mesh.
If your groundsheet edge touches it , it can wick the water right onto it and wet you in an instant. It takes some care to prevent this
It takes less care with the cuben groundsheet.Feb 17, 2013 at 5:20 pm #1955432
William: John, we have the Twin groundsheet, so it may be different, but we find that if you clip up the floor and put some gear in the corners then the bathtub keeps its shape pretty well. It works better now that the shape of the floor has been improved (longer at the front).However, the picture of the Oookworks' floor makes me wonder if the ZPacks floor could be improved by adding some loops of tape so the floor can be attached not just from the upper edge at the corner and from the bottom of the corner as well.
Hey Will, the twin ground is the only one I have not owned.
I have often wondered the same thing as you posted.
Mark: So are you (John) telling us that your bags can lay in a puddle for ten hours and not soak up the puddle and be soaking wet? If so im impressed. Or are you saying you can put like a table spoon of water on top the bag and not have it soak through, which I have done
Hey Mark, before each big hike I will put one cup of water over different parts of my sleeping bag, just to make sure whatever bag I am using is still good to go. I let it sit overnight (usually 10-12 hours). I use Mcnett for both washing and dwr treatment.Feb 17, 2013 at 5:34 pm #1955441
David GardnerBPL Member
@gearmakerLocale: Northern California
Here are a couple of pictures of sailing tape with washer grommet details from the polycryo tarps I make.
Will, the tape is good reinforcement at a punched out hole, but I still think you're better off melting the holes through. The polycryo will hold, even if the tape lets go.Feb 17, 2013 at 7:19 pm #1955477
USA Duane HallBPL Member
@hikerduaneLocale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
I appreciate the info here as I have a netless, beakless solo ordered. A change from my floorless TT Squall. I'll continue to use a polycryo gc, sounds like I'll be using it the same as I have been for my Squall, small rocks, sticks on the gc perimeter. For bug protection and my fall back plan for avoiding a wet bag is a cuben bivy with full noseeum top on order.
All you have been keeping your gear dry for your short bping life, there is hope yet to get wet or some gear wet.:)
DuaneFeb 18, 2013 at 8:23 am #1955573
francis siracusaBPL Member
I've got a Twinn and use a Tyvek sheet that I have glued up into a bathtub style edge that most of the time is pretty structural. A little heavier but durable, cheap. I have had the rain wicking down the mesh at the edge problem in hard rain get my bag wet.Feb 18, 2013 at 9:43 am #1955597
Hi John I've no debate that the bag can pool water on it but more the real world use of "5to8 hours laying in a small pool of water on the floor of the tent" that you stated I'm assuming also that someone is in the bag during that 5-8 hrs. I would never allow my bag to lay in a puddle of water on a trip nor depend on a dwr. I'm from the school of you don't get your bag wet you do everything you can to keep it dry. Many mornings are to wet or damp to dry a bag, combine that within a humid area you are traveling in and good luck keeping any loft in a bag. There is a big difference of water pooling on a bag and a bag rubbing up against something wet or laying in a bag in a puddle. Sorry for the thread driftFeb 18, 2013 at 4:39 pm #1955758
Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
The Hexamids are tarps. Most tarping people don't use bathtub floors, just a groundsheet or waterproof foam mat.
I have a Hexamid and usually just use a foam mat. I have a zPacks poncho/groundsheet, which is primarily rain gear. Sometimes I use it as a groundsheet if I am expecting a lot of rain and that saves the weight of a groundsheet.
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