Guide to Camping Ground Sheets

The camping ground sheet provides insulation and cushioning from the ground. Camping tents may or may not come with a ground sheet already sewn in. Ground sheets provide a buffer between your sleeping bag and the floor. Proper knowledge about buying the right groundsheet, its use and maintenance is paramount before you set out on your camping trip. To make sure you are well equipped with all of this, here is a guide to camping ground sheets.

Camping Groundsheet

Extra Groundsheet – To Buy or Not to Buy

If your camping tent already comes with a sewn in ground sheet, how do you decide if you need an extra ground sheet? Consider the climate and terrain of your campsite. An extra ground sheet can provide more cushioning in a rocky terrain and a second layer of waterproofing in wet climates. If your default groundsheet does not seem very durable, you could consider a second groundsheet or even a simple polythene or tarp sheet.


Ground sheets are available in pre-cut lengths or customized to suit your tent. Check the dimensions of your tent before buying a ground sheet too make sure it fits properly. You could even leave a little extra room for the exit of the tent so that your ground sheet doubles up as a porch outside your tent. You can’t buy a one-size-fits-all ground sheet to make it adaptable to different tent shapes and sizes. So it is better to check the size of your tent before you buy the ground sheet.

Advantages of a Ground Sheet

A groundsheet makes it easier to unpack and peg a tent. After laying out and pegging the corners of a groundsheet, you can easily get an idea of where the corners of the camping tent fit before pegging them down. By providing an extra layer on the ground, it also helps protect the sewn-in ground sheet of the tent and prevents wear and tear of the fabric. Some ground sheets also come with a ‘bathtub’ feature to provide extra protection against water seepage.

Material of the Ground Sheet

Ground sheets come in different materials. Their basic function is to provide a dry and clean stepping area within the tent to protect you sleeping bags and other gear. Easy lock flooring tiles recreate a tile like surface and are usually made of non-slip rubber to provide good grip. Weave tread ground sheets offer more breathability. Simpler material includes polythene which is a basic outdoor camping mat. Based on your budget and functionality, select the ground sheet that best suits your needs.


Ground sheets are the first thing to layout before pitching a tent so they must be packed last into a car. Consider the space available and the portability that the sheet offers before selecting one. While backpacking, multiple ground sheets can reduce the load on your back as opposed to one single large sheet. Make sure that you do not damage the ground sheets while traveling as it might spoil the very purpose of the tent and you are left with damp floor inside the tent.

              Ground sheets are the foundation of the building blocks that form your tent. Apart from keeping the inside of your tent dry and clean, they also protect your investment by preventing rips and tears in the underside of your tent. This guide should help you make an informed decision before buying a ground sheet and also help you increase the life of your camping gear.

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