A groundsheet is a relatively simple project. Getting the geometry right and sewing good quality seams is not as critical as with a tarp because there’ll be no tension applied and it won’t need to stand to any wind force. Just get the dimensions about right and sew away.
The original Rainskirt was a good idea and it actually worked very well… depending on conditions. When it was not only rainy but also cold and, all the worse, windy, I wouldn’t even consider using it. When travelling to places where such conditions were expected, I wouldn’t even take it with me.
The wet & cold is hard on your hands. They’re exposed (particularly if you’re carrying hiking poles) and so they’re difficult to protect. Waterproofing them doesn’t seem to work in the long term as water seems to always find a way through by overwhelming the waterproof layer, through seams, openings or all of them. Traditional waterproof-breathables additionally are relatively heavy for an item that is usually on your pack most of the time for the summer season.
When I finished the Siltrapo I thought I’d had enough. The results were satisfying but the process was long and painful, time and effort consuming, partly due to my own fear of doing things wrong, I know (and that’s something I’ve quite learnt to amend) but I was not that eager for a second try. Then I started using the Siltrapo and checking its pros and cons as well as wishing I also had a smaller version for solo use… I just let time go till I kind of forgot about the difficult part and when I found the motivation, I didn’t let it go. I’ve called it Siltoldo
I knew it was easy and from a certain point in time I even knew I could do it. Still I felt overwhelmed by the task, by the amount of time it was taking from me and by the feeling I might as well be using it in better ways… I’m always time starved. But then it’d be such a meaningful achievement… it’d be worth every minute if I’d eventually get it working.
Tired of hearing you can’t use a windscreen with a canister stove? I surely was, particularly when the reason seems to be just the canister over-heating. And who wants a windscreen for the canister? I need a windscreen for the burner. It’s only the flame that matters. Then, what’s the engineering problem to build a screen for just the burner?
This is a strictly no photos article :)
I don’t like rain pants: they’re odd to put on and take off, weight too much for an item that stays on the pack for a long time and don’t breathe enough. Sometimes, I found I wouldn’t be using them even if I was carrying them, letting my regular pants get wet and trusting my leg muscles to keep legs warm while moving. A quick drying, comfy when wet pant fabric is a must too. The net effect is I quit carrying rain pants.