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Re: [pct-l] ground cloth

Re: Has anyone out there tried using an emergency space blanket as a ground

I used the Space brand survival bag as a ground cloth on the Colorado Trail
last summer. It held up better than I expected; "like new" for a few hundred
miles. But nearing Durango, it began to get a bit trashed - the reflective
coating abraded away to a large extent, and rips were beginning to develop.
Suffice it to say, it wouldn't have served its intended purpose as an
emergency bag at that point. But it would protect a tent floor adequately
for a month or more, given care. Helpful is the fact that this is a bag,
rather than a blanket, making for two layers of protection. Cutting it open
to increase its length might lessen the life of the thing somewhat.
Unfortunately, they seem to be making these bags a good foot or so shorter
than in the past, so cutting it open might be necessary to gain the needed
coverage... This spring I used the Jardine-recommended Sportman's Blanket
instead, which is heavier and more durable, and suitably long for a ground
sheet. Wider than necessary for most tents, or for traveling solo. I cut it
in half, then tried duct taping "flanges" of the Space blanket material left
and right of the main ground sheet, for extra coverage at less weight. This
didn't work too well, as the Space blanket additions flapped about in wind
and soon ripped to shreds. But the heavier Sportmans Blanket material worked
great, still going strong at 900 miles of use. It would be my ground sheet
of choice for tarping or bivying. I'm still theorizing on a way to make this
blanket serve double-duty as an umbrella, in conjunction with a stick, some
parachute cord, and perhaps a tuna can lid or two. One side of the blanket is
reflective, and folded several times it is about sun-shade size. Until I work
this creation out, I'm cautioning against the use of an umbrella as a ground

- Blister>Free, Mex-Bishop Pass '99
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