Is a Tent Footprint Worth It? – Appalachian Mountain Club
Yes and no, but the majority of the time no. It is important to use a tent footprint to protect the underside of the tent from damage and moisture. This will assist to extend the life of the tent and make it drier on the inside. Footprints are precisely tailored to the shape of the tent, reducing the quantity of fabric necessary for complete coverage. They are also equipped with corner grommets to hold it to the tent frame, ensuring that the footprint is appropriately positioned below the tent.
When is it worthwhile to have a tent footprint?
- Yes and no, but the vast majority of the time no! Using a tent footprint, you may protect the underside of your tent from abrasion and moisture, so extending the life of your tent and keeping it dryer on the inside. Footprints are made to precisely match the shape of the tent, reducing the quantity of fabric necessary for complete covering. They are also equipped with corner grommets to hold it to the tent frame, ensuring that the footprint is appropriately positioned below the tent floor. Most footprints for two-person camping tents weigh between 5 and 10 ounces and range in price from $30 to $60, depending on the size and material used to make them. When is it useful to have a tent footprint? –
Yes and no, but the vast majority of the time no. A tent footprint protects the underneath of the tent from abrasion and moisture, so extending the life of the tent and keeping it drier on the inside. Footprints are made to precisely match the shape of the tent, reducing the quantity of fabric necessary for complete covering. They are also equipped with corner grommets to hold it to the tent frame, ensuring that the footprint is appropriately positioned below the tent. Most footprints for two-person hiking tents weigh between 5 and 10 ounces and range in price from $30 to $60, depending on the size and material used.
- Whenever you’d prefer not to have the extra weight and girth on your back. By eliminating the tent footprint, you may save a significant amount of weight in your pack. Personally, I rarely carry a tent footprint and have spent many, many nights in several of my tents that did not have a footprint on them. There has been little to no serious damage to the tent undersides (and any tiny tears or punctures have been easily repaired using Tenacious Tape), and the lack of further moisture protection has been a minor nuisance at most.
When is the best time to purchase one?
- It is essential to purchase a footprint at the same time you purchase your tent, or at the very least during the same season. Why? Because even if you only use your footprint on an irregular trip-by-trip basis, you should acquire one at the same time you purchase your tent. Many tent models come and go in a short period of time. Manufacturers are also continually changing and tweaking the proportions of recurrent models (as well as the footprints that accompany them) from year to year. As time passes, the likelihood of discovering a precise footprint to match an earlier tent diminishes fast.
Matt HeidWorking as a Freelancer AMC’s gear expert is blogger Matt Heid, who is well-equipped: He adores his gear, and he enjoys putting it to use in the field. His research on many guidebooks, including AMC’s Best Backpacking in New England, has taken him across New England, California, and Alaska, among other wilderness areas, logging thousands of kilometers on foot. He also enjoys cycling, climbing, and surfing.
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Is A Tent Footprint Worth It: Yes, and how to make your own for free
If you’ve already read our in-depth guide to buying a tent and discovered your ideal backcountry structure, you might be wondering if you’ll need to purchase a tent footprint to go with your new construction. Alternatively, if your tent comes with a sleeping bag, should you really take it on your next trip? When it comes to backpacking and camping, tent footprints, sometimes known as groundsheets, may be a source of friction for both groups. Is a tent footprint, on the other hand, worthwhile?
The straightforward answer is yes.
Find out everything you need to know about footprints and groundsheets by continuing reading this article.
Here’s what we are going to cover:
- What is a tent footprint, and how do you make one? What is the purpose of a tent footprint
- What is the purpose of using a tent footprint? What is the composition of tent footprints
- Is it really worth it to leave a footprint? Tent Footprints Made at Home
What Is A Tent Footprint?
As the name implies, a footprint (sometimes called a groundsheet) is an extremely lightweight sheet that is roughly the shape of your tent floor’s outline and that is placed beneath your tent to act as a barrier or additional layer between the ground and your tent floor. These are frequently supplemental or optional pieces of equipment. Groundsheets, on the other hand, are becoming increasingly common among tent manufacturers, who are included them in the price of their tents.
Footprints are frequently constructed of the same material as your tent, but with a thicker thread—a thicker thread is referred to as a higher ‘denier.’ More on this in a moment.
What Is A Tent Footprint Used For?
Despite the fact that it is constructed of exceptionally durable nylon or polyester, the floor of your tent is subjected to a great deal of wear and tear. Some terrain can cause your tent floor to wear out considerably more quickly than others. Exposed granite and sandstone can act as sandpaper on the bottom of your tent, potentially causing thin areas or holes to appear quite rapidly on the ground surface of your tent. Minor, sharp pebbles and twigs can also create small punctures in your floor, especially if they are close together.
Even yet, if holes begin to form in your tent, the effectiveness of the tent to keep you dry and warm gets more weakened over time.
A footprint serves as a protective covering against these abrasions and as a barrier between you and the ground, which can be chilly or damp at times.
Why Use A Tent Footprint?
Tent footprints have the potential to significantly increase the useful life of your tent. When you consider that a hiking tent might cost $300 or more, a footprint that costs $40-50 or less could well be worth it. In the event that you let your tent floor to become worn, you may as well be employing an arp shelter or a bivy bag. Unlike your tent, when the footprint wears out, it can be simply changed at a far cheaper cost than the tent itself.
Footprints Are Useful For Other Things Too
Tent footprints are also helpful for a variety of other applications, which is an added plus. As we explained in previous post, tent footprints, as well as old rain-flies, may be utilized in a variety of practical ways, including the following ones:
- Tent footprints are also helpful for a variety of other applications, which is an added advantage. Tent footprints, as well as old rain-flies, as we detailed in another post, can be utilized in a variety of ways, including:
What are tent footprints made of?
It is possible that your tent will arrive with a footprint, however most tents can be purchased with a fitted footprint. Footprints will be made of either nylon or polyester, similar to how tents are manufactured. In a recent post, we discussed the differences in the characteristics of nylon and polyester. Generally speaking, nylon is a stronger textile that is also more elastic and less water resistant than polyester. Polyester is less elastic than nylon, but it is significantly more water resistant and resistant to UV damage than nylon.
When you consider that the objective of your footprints is to protect you and your tent from moisture and abrasion, most people would agree that a polyester groundsheet is the superior choice (disregarding weight).
You may already have a footprint for your tent, but most tents may be purchased with a custom-fitted footprint. Footprints will be composed of either nylon or polyester, similar to how tents are constructed. A previous post discussed the qualities of nylon as contrasted to polyester and the advantages and disadvantages of each. Nylon is a more durable material that is also more elastic and less water resistant than polyester. Polyester is less elastic than nylon, but it is significantly more water-resistant and resistant to UV damage.
When you consider that the objective of your footprints is to protect you and your tent from dampness and abrasion, most people would agree that a polyester groundsheet is the superior choice (disregarding weight).
Denier By The Numbers
For example, the universal footprint for the MSR Hubba Hubba NX costs $45 when purchased from Backcountry.com. It is made of 68-denier polyester and weighs 7.0 ounces. The Nemo Hornet has a footprint that weighs 6.9 ounces and is made of 75-denier nylon. It costs $49. As a point of reference, the floor material of the Hubba Hubba is 30-denier nylon, while the top micromesh is 15-denier nylon. Nylon is much lighter than polyester. Because it is made of a higher denier material, the Nemofootprint weighs less than the Hubba Hubba footprint in terms of total weight.
Is A Tent Footprint Worth It?
All of this is in order to answer the question, “Is leaving a footprint worth it?” A tent footprint is absolutely worth the investment, especially considering how lightweight, inexpensive, and versatile they are. Let’s imagine you’ve come to a conclusion and are now looking for the ideal footprint for your tent on the internet. There is one more thing to think about, and it might end up saving you a significant amount of money.
DIY Tent Footprints
Tent footprints are quite basic objects, despite the fact that they are extremely vital. What exactly are they in the first place? You should put a sheet under your tent. Is it really necessary to spend $40-50 bucks on anything like that? The answer to this question is a resounding no. The manufacturer-issued footprints may be replaced with a few other options that will perform better, are more adaptable, and will save you money as well. Before we get into the DIY possibilities, it’s crucial to understand how to measure the footprint of your DIY tent.
How Big Should A Tent Footprint Be?
It is recommended that the footprints be cut to be around 1-2 inches smaller than the actual outline of your tent on all sides. The rationale behind this is a bit puzzling, to be honest. It is possible that a footprint that extends beyond the tent’s edge will operate as a moisture trap. In the event of a downpour, this will allow water to pool and flow between the footprint and the bottom of your tent’s floor. It is possible that more water will enter the main tent as a result of this than if the footprint had not been present in the first place.
3 Materials For A Solid DIY Footprint
Approximately 1-2 inches smaller on all sides than the actual contour of your tent should be used to make footprints for your tent. There are a variety of reasons behind this. Leaving a footprint that extends beyond the tent’s perimeter might create a moisture-retaining environment. This will cause water to pool there and flow between the footprint and the bottom of your tent if it rains heavily. It is possible that more water will enter the main tent as a result of this than if the footprint had not been present in the first instance.
- It is inexpensive
- You may choose the size. Completely impervious to water
- Big tents
- When weight is not a consideration
- Car camping or walk-in campsites
Polycro, which is available from Gossamer Gear and Six Moon Designs, is the lightest of the ultra-light polymers. Polycro is transparent, and it appears just like a plastic painter’s tarp, only it’s wayyy thinner. Its high strength to weight ratio means that, despite being a thin layer, Polycro is exceptionally durable, puncture and abrasion resistant, in addition to being water and abrasion resistant.
A normal sheet of polycro, measuring 96″ by 48″, weighs just 1.6 ounces, which is nearly indistinguishable (45 grams). Pros:
You know that white paper-like material that is used to cover houses while they are being built? Because it’s practically unbreakable, it’s inexpensive, it’s waterproof, and it’s also somewhat lightweight. Tyvek has a high burliness factor, which means it is difficult to tear. It is far more puncture resistant when compared to the other choices. Tyvek is also impervious to water. However, because it is light and compact, you can simply roll up and cinch it in the top of your pack or one of the exterior straps when not in use.
Others will cut the piece to your preferred length if you ask them nicely.
In comparison to Polycro, a piece of Tyvek measuring 84″ × 84″ weights 6.5 ounces (184 grams).
- Those white paper-like sheets that are used to cover houses while they are being built? I love that thing since it’s practically unbreakable, low-cost, water-resistant, and lightweight. In terms of burliness factor, Tyvek is a strong performer. It is far more puncture resistant than the other alternatives. Tyvek is also waterproof, which is a nice feature for outdoor activities. However, because it is light and compact, you can simply roll up and tighten it in the top of your pack or one of the exterior straps to keep it safe from being crushed. If you don’t have any pieces laying around, you can buy a 3’x165′ roll of carpet at a hardware shop for $66 (about $2.50 per foot). Others will trim the piece to your chosen length if you request it in advance. A groundsheet-sized piece is sufficient if you only want a little amount. Tyvek groundsheets are available for purchase at Six Moon Designs. A piece of Tyvek that is 84 inches by 84 inches weights just 6.5 pounds, as opposed to the heavier Polycro piece (184 grams). The weight is still really low, but it is not the lightest. Pros:
- What Is the Footprint of a Tent? A footprint is a ground sheet that is molded to the contour of your tent and serves as a barrier between the floor of your tent and the ground. What Is the Purpose of a Footprint? A footprint is a piece of rubber that protects the bottom of your tent from damage. When placed between your tent and the ground, it works as a barrier, keeping moisture and cold from getting into your tent. Is It Really Necessary To Bring A Tent When Backpacking? When hiking, you do not need to leave a trace. A footprint, on the other hand, will extend the life of your tent by preventing moisture and cold from entering the tent and is very light in comparison. Footprints may be used for a variety of additional functions while hiking or camping, such as a rain tarp, a gear sorting station, wind protection, a picnic blanket, and other things. In Your Opinion, What Is The Best DIY Tent Footprint? Tyvek and Polycro are two inexpensive and lightweight materials that may be used to create your own imprints. Compared to Tyvek, Polycro is considerably lighter and less durable, but it is also more costly and more delicate. Tyvek is more durable and less expensive. Both variants are water-resistant.
In what way does a tent footprint differ from other footprints? As a barrier between your tent floor and the ground, a footprint is a ground sheet that has been fashioned to match the shape of your tent frame. Is There a Purpose for a Footprint? The floor of your tent is protected from wear and tear by a footprint. When placed between your tent and the ground, it works as a barrier, keeping damp and cold from entering your tent. Backpacking Without a Tent: Is It Really Necessary to Bring One Along?
A footprint, on the other hand, will extend the life of your tent by preventing moisture and cold from entering the tent and is relatively light in weight.
The Best DIY Tent Footprint: What Is the Best Design?
When compared to Tyvek, Polycro is significantly lighter, yet it is more costly and delicate than Tyvek, while being more durable and less expensive.
Do You Need a Tent Footprint for Backpacking?
You’ve invested in a tent with a water-resistant floor. Is it necessary to purchase a tent footprint or a groundsheet in addition to the tent? How sturdy and waterproof your tent floor is, as well as what the surface conditions are like where you want to use it, are all factors that must be considered. If you want to make a decision, you’ll need to understand how the thickness of your tent floor and the waterproof rating of your tent will affect its overall longevity.
The choice of a camping spot is also an essential consideration. Despite the fact that there are occasions when a footprint is beneficial, there are a variety of lesser cost and lighter weight footprint alternatives that you may employ in lieu of a traditional footprint.
What is a Tent Footprint?
It is important to understand that a tent footprint is a piece of protective fabric or material that you place under your tent to act as a moisture barrier while also protecting your tent floor from abrasion and punctures. Abrasion occurs on the bottom of your tent every time you pitch it due to the grit, small rocks, sand, and twigs that build on previously used tent sites. This weakens the fabric, which might result in a hole or puncture that allows water to seep past the waterproof layer of your tent floor and into the inside.
The majority of tent footprints are designed to correspond to the floor measurements of a certain tent.
In the event that your tent floor has a hole or has deteriorated seam tape, the puddle may soak through the fabric or seep inside the tent.
Tent Floor Durability and Waterproofing
It is important to understand that a tent footprint is a piece of protective fabric or material that you place under your tent to act as a moisture barrier and to protect your tent floor from abrasion and punctures. Abrasion occurs on the bottom of your tent every time you pitch it because of the dirt, small rocks, sand, and twigs that build on previously used tent sites. A hole or puncture in the fabric, which allows water to seep through the waterproof layer of your tent floor, weakens the fabric and increases the likelihood of a puncture.
In most cases, the footprint of a tent corresponds to the floor measurements of a given tent.
Unless your tent floor has a hole or disintegrating seam tape, the puddle will soak through the fabric and into the tent.
Your camping location will determine whether you require a tent footprint or not. A good example is how many pre-existing campsites have been “dished out” and have formed an indentation in the ground where many people have previously stayed. Gravel, grit, sand, and water gather in these dished-out regions, and if you camp on them on a regular basis, they will wear down the bottom of your tent. If you only camp once or twice a year, the damage on your tent floor will be less significant. However, if you have to camp in campgrounds or established campsites and your floor is thinner and less waterproof, using a footprint may be a better option.
A footprint is not required if you are camping on an earthy mossy forest floor that is well-drained and non-abrasive, as long as you remove any sticks and pine cones from the area before you set up camp.
However, if you’re camping on sand or exposed rock that’s more abrasive, leaving a footprint may be a good idea. I am aware that my degree of care would rise if I were to use a tent with a floor made of less than 20 denier and a waterproof rating of less than 1500 mm.
Cost and Weight of Tent Footprints
In addition to being expensive and heavy, tent footprints may be difficult to transport, which can be discouraging when you’ve invested a lot of effort and money in purchasing a lightweight tent. Spending an additional $50 for a basic piece of low-cost cloth seems like a rip-off to me, especially considering the additional weight and work necessary to transport it, as well as the additional time and effort required to clean and dry it between uses. In order to demonstrate what I mean, below is a review of various popular tent styles, followed by a comparison of the weights of the footprints sold by their respective makers.
|Make / Model||Tent Weight||Test Cost||Footprint Weight||Footprint Cost|
|Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 1||2 lbs 2 oz||$380||4 oz||$60|
|MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2||3 lbs 8 oz||$450||7 oz||$35|
|NEMO Hornet 1||1 lb 10 oz||$330||5.3 oz||$40|
|REI Quarter Dome SL 2||2 lbs 8 oz||$349||6.4 oz||$55|
|REI Flash Air 2||1 lb 15 oz||$299||5.4 oz||$55|
|REI Flash Air 1||1 lb 4 oz||$249||3.5 oz||$45|
Alternative and Lower Cost Tent Footprints
When I travel with a footprint, I pack a piece of extremely lightweight plastic sheeting that weighs between 1 and 2 ounces, depending on the size of the tent I’m using as a footprint. For this reason, Gossamer Gear provides something calledPolycryo Groundcloths, which I’ve been using for several years. Despite this, whether used on sandy soil or gravel, the material is strong and will not shred or wear out. You may utilize it over and over again, and it requires no more maintenance. a cut-to-size Gossamer Gear Polycryo Plastic Sheet — the tent rainfly conceals the plastic sheet that is visible, preventing water from pooling on top of it.
- Depending on how frequently you use it, a single piece will last for one season or perhaps longer.
- Both are inexpensive and may be split into several groundsheets for a single price of less than $10.
- Despite the fact that it is lightweight, waterproof, and puncture-resistant, it is significantly heavier than Polycryo or Window Wrap.
- Its most significant benefit is that it is indestructible.
- We may (but not always) get a small portion of any sales made using the links provided above.
- Although the cost of the product remains the same for you, your purchase allows us to continue to test and create unsponsored and independent gear evaluations, beginning FAQs, and free hiking guides for you.
Do I need a tent footprint?
When you join up for Outside+ today, you’ll receive a $50 discount off an eligible $100 purchase at the Outside Shop, where you’ll discover a variety of brand-name goods handpicked by our gear editors. Lots of uncertainty exists around the proper usage of a tent footprint (does it keep out water?). Is it for the purpose of insulation?). However, here at the Gear Brain Trust, we have the ability to clear things up. A tent footprint or ground cover is simply anything that serves to protect the tent’s floor from abrasion.
- With a footprint in place, it is forced to bear the brunt of the assault.
- Footprint No.
- We used to pitch tents without leaving footprints all the time, and I don’t recall anything negative happening as a result of that.
- Although it is ineffective on uneven, rocky ground, pitching the tent in the shade and staking it out securely to prevent it from thrashing around is an effective technique to safeguard your investment.
- It is OK to use a handmade version.
- The key is to ensure that the footprint is cut such that it is slightly smaller in size than the tent floor.
Then any rain that does fall will become caught on the footprint and will roll beneath the tent. The 2006Outside Buyer’s Guide, which is currently out on newsstands, has 396 torture-tested items, including the 2006 Gear of the Year award winners and an entirely new women’s-specific review section.
What Is A Tent Footprint & Do You Need One?
For the uninitiated, a tent footprintor (tent ground cover) is a big piece of impermeable fabric that may be placed beneath your tent to keep it from getting wet. One of the primary functions of the tent floor is to act as a barrier between the tent floors and the forest floor, providing additional protection against abrasion caused by rough or rocky terrain. Most footprints have the appearance of basic tarps, and they are typically composed of the same synthetic, waterproof materials as these tarps.
Should I Buy The Tent Footprint Sold By The Manufacturer Of My Tent?
In a nutshell, the answer is probably no. Branded tent tarp sheets are typically pricey and don’t provide much—if anything—in the way of additional functionality above a standard tarp that can be purchased from a hardware or outdoor store for as low as a fourth of the cost. In addition, creating your own tent footprint is a rather simple process. All you have to do is measure the dimensions of your tent floor and then walk down to the store to have the tarp material cut to the exact measurements you specified.
You won’t have to be concerned about rain runoff pooling on the footprint and rolling beneath the tent floor.
All of these materials can be obtained at a significantly lower cost than branded footprints and, in most cases, will not fall significantly short in terms of performance as branded footprints.
Tent Footprint vs Tarp – Do I Need A Tent Footprint?
These days, the vast majority of tents on the market have bathtub-style floors made of reinforced, highly waterproof materials (typically silnylon), which provide excellent protection against abrasion and leaks. Having said that, there are a variety of reasons why using a footprint to protect your tent’s flooring is a good idea in some situations. First and foremost, using a footprint can help you extend the life of your tent by reducing the amount of wear and tear on your tent floor as well as providing additional protection against potentially corrosive elements such as sand, grit, animal feces, and tree sap that can accumulate.
Finally, a footprint can serve as an additional layer of protection against leaks.
The disadvantage of utilizing a footprint is that it requires you to carry extra weight.
What is the solution?
How To Use A Tent Footprint
Bathtub-style flooring with reinforced, extremely waterproof materials (often silnylon) are used in the great majority of tents on the market today to protect them from abrasion and leakage. In spite of this fact, there are several reasons why using a footprint to protect your tent’s flooring is a smart idea. Second, by minimizing the amount of wear and tear on your tent floor and giving additional protection from potentially corrosive materials such as sand, grit, animal droppings, and tree sap, you may help extend the life of your tent significantly.
We’re talking about as little as half a degree of additional insulation, but in really cold temperatures, every little bit helps to keep you warm and comfortable.
While your tent’s floor should be capable of withstanding ground moisture, if it’s more than a few years old, hasn’t been reproofed in a while, or has any undiscovered holes or punctures, utilizing a footprint might keep you and your belongings from being soaked if the weather is really rainy and stormy.
While the weight savings may be minimal (as little as 10.5 ounces (300 grams) depending on the tent footprint material), people who want to travel ultralight or who are planning a trip into the bush may find the addition to their load unjustifiably burdensome.
You can bring your footprint with you if you’re car camping or pitching up close to the road in order to minimize wear and tear without putting too much effort into it; if you’re going further afield, only bring the ground cloth if you don’t mind increasing the weight of your pack and/or suspect you’ll be pitching up on particularly abrasive ground.
Guide to Tent Footprints
A tent footprint, which is also known as a ground cloth or a groundsheet, is a waterproof sheet that is placed between the floor of your tent and the ground of the surrounding forest. They are intended to avoid wear and tear on the tent’s floor – a tent footprint will prevent (or at least mitigate) any scratching or punctures produced by sand, sticks, or stones when the tent is pitched on rough, gritty terrain. These items can also assist you with a variety of additional tasks like as preventing water from leaking into your tent, cushioning the ground, insulating the floor, and keeping your tent clean.
Let’s get started.
Why do I need a Tent Footprint?
Tents should be protected for the rest of their lives. It goes without saying that the most important and most common function of a footprint is to protect the floor of your tent. It is likely that the floor of your tent will be subjected to a great deal of damage – imagine your body weight tossing and turning in your sleep as you grind the floor of your tent into rocky ground. You can easily wear out and damage the cloth as a result of this operation. If the tent floor is not properly covered, it will decay much more quickly than the rest of the tent.
- Tents are costly, and I want to make the most of mine by extending its lifespan as much as possible.
- The addition of a second layer of a footprint will prevent rain from seeping into your tent and soaking your sleeping bag, clothing, and other personal belongings in the process.
- Your groundcloth will absorb a significant amount of the dirt and moisture, avoiding the growth of mold and mildew in your tent.
- Cushioning and insulation are included.
- Your body, on the other hand, will absorb and feel whatever temperature the earth is at the time.
- A tent footprint, on the other hand, may give a smidgeon of additional insulation from the ground as well as a smidgeon of additional cushion, which is very useful if you are trying to make it lightweight and reduce every ounce.
- It might be challenging to locate a suitable tent location.
- Because of the small size of a footprint, it is quite simple to lay it out on the ground and determine the size of your property.
Occasionally, before setting up, I will lay down on top of the footprint to ensure that the ground is flat and level. Painter’s Tarp (on the left) and Tyvek (on the right) (right)
What are the best Footprints?
Most of the nicest tent footprints, particularly for lightweight trekking or hiking, are made by the camper himself. Those manufacturer alternatives that were expressly developed for your tent, in my (modest) view, are subpar. Because they come with clips and buckles to attach to your tent, they tend to be on the pricier side (some are more than $50), and because they are excessively hefty because of this. We’re back to the do-it-yourself possibilities. The majority of ultralight backpackers rely on one of these.
- Sheets of Painter’s Tarp (or polycro). My personal fave. I use a 2 mm thick sheet, which is a terrific option because it just weights a few grams and is small enough to put in my pocket while still being effective. “Tyvek” is available for $2 at your local hardware shop. A brand of flashspun high-density polyethylene fibers that are frequently used to protect structures while they are being built. Among the other alternatives are “shrink” polymers, which are used to seal windows and doors during the winter months.
Don’t be concerned about attachments; the weight of your body will keep it firmly in place beneath the surface. You can place your gear (or a hefty rock) on top of your tent if you are in strong winds and are concerned that it will be blown away if you are not inside the tent.
How to Make Your Own DIY Footprint
Obtaining the Materials: Tent footprint material, a sharpie marker, and scissors Step 1: Go to a hardware shop or look online for the materials you want to use. Just make sure it’s larger than the size of the floor of your tent before starting. Consider the following example: a one-person tent may be 7 feet long and 3 feet broad. Second, lay the tarp down flat on the ground and place your tent on top of it to protect your belongings. The third step is to use a sharpie to trace the floor of your tent.
- Caution should be exercised to avoid getting sharpie on the tent!
- The goal here is to have your tent footprint be somewhat smaller than the floor of your actual tent on all sides.
- Stoveless BackpackingMeals
6 Reasons You Need To Buy A Tent Footprint
It doesn’t matter if you’re buying a tent for £150 or £1500; a tent footprint may save you time and work while, more crucially, protecting a key section of your tent from damage. The inexpensive cost of this attachment, which ranges from £10 and upwards, making it an absolute must-have to purchase with your tent or to use with an existing tent you already possess. First and foremost, it could be worthwhile for us to go over the fundamentals.
What is a tent footprint?
Do you have a clear understanding of what a tent footprint is? Most of the time, you can tell what a tent footprint is by looking at it, but in case you’re unclear, it’s a groundsheet-like piece of cloth that rests between your tent and the ground. Depending on the size of your tent, it is available in a variety of sizes. It is pinned down in the corners and is the first item you should take care of while assembling your tent. Here are six compelling reasons why you should invest in a tent footprint:
1. Prolong the life of your tent
Due to the fact that 90 percent of tents are now constructed with a sewn-in groundsheet, purchasing a footprint has become even more important. Take precautions to keep your brand new tent secure from abrasion or cuts caused by loose stones and twigs – think of it like purchasing a screen protector or cover for your brand new phone – it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Accidents may happen while camping even with the finest intentions and utmost care in the world – therefore it’s worth you in the long run to build your tent with as much safety as possible from the start.
2. Add extra warmth
Incorporating a footprint beneath your tent will add another layer, somewhat elevating you off the ground and reducing the amount of heat that escapes to the ground. When people go camping, they grossly underestimate how much body heat may be lost in this manner, which is a severe mistake. This, in conjunction with a goodsleeping matorair bed, will give an excellent foundation for a restful night’s sleep. When you’re camping, the majority of your heat is lost to the ground, thus leaving a footprint can assist keep you warm and comfortable.
3. Add extra waterproofing
Layers of protection are twice as effective as one layer. A second layer of waterproofing can not only provide you with peace of mind, but it can also help to safeguard your investment by preventing water damage. Your brand new tent is an investment, and you’ll want to make sure that it remains in the best possible condition for as long as possible after you’ve purchased it.
4. Easier, simplified pitching
You’ll have a clear picture of where your tent is going to be placed, where it will fit, and where to begin pegging from the start because most footprints are custom-made and particular to the contour of your tent’s outline. When it comes to actually pitching your tent, you will save valuable time and have less problems as a result of this.
5. Packing away is less hassle
It’s certain that the camping grounds will be wet during your stay (as is often the case in the United Kingdom), and when it comes time to pack up your tent, you will find that the sewn-in groundsheet of your tent will get quite wet and muddy – hardly the most pleasant of farewell presents. The footprint is something that will prevent the most of this from happening and will keep your tent reasonably dry and clean, which means there will be a lot less work to do once you get home.
6. Tailor-made to suit your tent
It’s inevitable that the campsite grounds will be wet during your stay (as is often the case in the United Kingdom), and when it comes time to pack up your tent, you will find that the sewn-in groundsheet of your tent will become very wet and muddy – not the most pleasant of farewell gifts to leave behind. The footprint is something that will prevent the most of this from happening and will keep your tent reasonably dry and clean, which means there will be a lot less work to do once you get back to the campsite.
Do I need a tent footprint?
Hopefully, we’ve provided you with six compelling arguments for why you should invest in a tent footprint. Our recommendation is that you use a footprint or groundsheet, just like you would with your man ropes, but ultimately it comes down to personal opinion. Although a footprint may seem unnecessary to a seasoned camper who has never used one, it can be extremely useful if you’ve ever suffered a tear in the bottom of your tent, struggle with water seeping in from beneath your tent, or simply despise packing away a muddy tent; in these cases, a footprint can be extremely beneficial.
- Interested in learning more about tent footprints?
- The following are some more questions that you may have: What should the footprint of a tent be in terms of size?
- This is done in order to prevent water from collecting between the footprint and your tent, which would completely contradict the purpose of the footprint!
- What is the composition of a tent footprint?
- However, you’ll discover that the majority of them are constructed of polyethylene, which is both sturdy and easy to clean.
- How to clean the footprint of a tent Use a clean (preferably brand new) cloth to wipe away any filth, followed by a simple rinse with water.
The best method for cleaning considerable amounts of mud that has become adhered to the footprint would be to scrub it away with a scourer, taking care not to be too harsh.
Check out ourgreat range of tent footprintsto make your camping trip that little bit smoother.
Take a look at our whole assortment of tent accessories or our entire tents collection, which includes: Tents by Size|Family Tents|Polycotton Tents|Tents by Brand Check out more articles from the Winfields Blog to get you ready for 2020. Remember to check out our camping blog for more articles like this. This year’s top ten best family camping tents include an inflatable tent. Buying an Air Tent: A Buyer’s Guide
What is a tent footprint? (And why you need one!)
What is the definition of a tent footprint? (Image courtesy of Getty) What is the definition of a tent footprint? Without wasting any time, let’s get right to it: of all the accessories you might potentially add to your camping and backpacking gear, few, if any, will provide a return on your investment as amazing as the modest tent footprint. A tent footprint is a low-cost, lightweight piece of equipment that may significantly improve your camping experience in a variety of ways. However, it is rarely given the recognition it deserves because our tents, sleeping bags, and sleeping pads, among other items, take up most of the attention.
- In essence, a tent footprint is just a layer of fabric that is placed beneath your tent to give additional weather protection and thermal insulation.
- In the case of certain tents, a footprint is included in the purchase price; but, in the majority of situations, you will need to make an additional purchase to obtain one.
- Jack Wolfskin is a writer and editor who lives in New York City.
- We’ve found that few campgrounds are nearly as smooth and lawn-like as we’d like.
- For the most part, tent footprints “take one (or many, rather) for the team” by adding an additional layer of protection between your tent and the ground – something that even the best tents require while camping in rough terrain.
- They increase the amount of waterproofing they use.
- This is due to the fact that the weight of the tent’s occupants and their gear increases the amount of water pressure imposed on the fabric when it is wet.
), this isn’t enough to prevent water from seeping through the groundsheet and into the tent.
When camping in the rain, a footprint comes in very helpful (Image credit: Getty) They help to increase insulation.
This problem can be greatly mitigated by including a footprint in your tent setup.
It may even eliminate the need for a sleeping pad altogether, saving you money.
When traveling in inclement weather, decamping at the conclusion of a journey is never a particularly pleasant experience.
A tent footprint, on the other hand, may spare you from all of that trouble by serving as a “first line of defense” that keeps the rest of your tent clean as well.
Do you want to camp in colder weather?
Even while many tent manufacturers create their own, tailored tent footprints to match the majority of the tent types in their range, the cost of doing so might be prohibitively expensive.
It’s simple to make a DIY footprint.
Kieran Cunningham is the Editor in Chief of Advnture.
Mountaineering in the Himalayas, the Alps, and the United States have been highlights of his life.
In his spare time, he climbs when he should be writing, writes when he should be sleeping, and generally has a good time.
Kieran is the author of ‘Climbing the Walls,’ a book that explores the mental health advantages of climbing, mountaineering, and being in the great outdoors, among other things. [email protected]
Tent Footprint: What It Is and Why You Need One
An explanation of what a tent footprint is is provided below. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images. ) An explanation of what a tent footprint is is provided below. Without wasting any time, let’s get right to it: of all the accessories you might potentially add to your camping and backpacking gear, few, if any, will provide a return on your investment quite like the modest tent footprint. An inexpensive and lightweight piece of camping equipment, a tent footprint can significantly improve your camping experience in a variety of ways.
- In the following section, we’ll take a closer look at what these handy little pieces of equipment can do for our camping setup, as well as why they’re well worth the (very modest) cost of purchase.
- Footprints are often constructed of strong but relatively lightweight materials such as polyethylene, oxford nylon, or polyester, and they are available in a variety of forms and sizes, allowing you to find the right fit for your tent no matter how unusual its design is.
- The second alternative, if the options offered by the tent’s manufacturer are prohibitively expensive, is to use a simple tent tarp, which you can learn more about in our buyer’s guide to the finest tarps for camping.
- Emissions from the Exolight The photo is courtesy of Jack Wolfskin.
- Very few campsites are as smooth or as lawn-like as we would like them to be.
- For the most part, tent footprints “take one (or many, rather) for the team” by adding an additional layer of protection between your tent and the ground – something that even the best tents require while camping in harsh conditions.
- In terms of waterproofing, they go above and beyond.
During rainy weather, this is due to increased water pressure on the tent’s fabric due to its weight being carried by the tent’s occupants and their equipment.
), this isn’t enough to prevent water from seeping through the groundsheets.
When camping in the rain, a footprint is extremely useful (Image credit: Getty) In addition, they help to increase insulation Even the most luxurious sleeping mats have their limitations.
It’s always possible that your feet, legs, or perhaps an arm or two can fall off your sleeping pad throughout the night, resulting in a cold wakeup.
A footprint will provide an additional layer of insulation between your body and the cold ground, reducing the amount of heat lost through conduction.
They keep the inside of your tent clean and organized.
Even if we take the time to wipe off our groundsheet before packing up, the odds are that it will have saturated and stained the rest of the tent by the time we get home, leaving us with a time-consuming and labor-intensive cleaning chore on our hands after we return home from our camping excursion.
For most footprints, a stuff sack will be included, which will allow you to keep them separate from the rest of your belongings in your backpack – this is particularly useful if you’re only camping for one night, and even more useful if you’re going on a multi-day adventure.
In order to provide adequate insulation for the floor of your tent, you should consider purchasing a tent footprint (Image credit: Getty) Moreover, they are inexpensive Even while many tent manufacturers create their own, tailored tent footprints to match the majority of the tent models in their line, the cost of doing so might be prohibitively expensive.
- It’s simple to make a DIY footprint.
- Advanture is edited by Kieran Cunningham.
- Mountaineering in the Himalayas, the Alps, and the United States have been highlights of his life.
- It seems like he climbs when he should be writing, writes when he should be sleeping, and has a good time all of the time.
Kieran is the author of ‘Climbing the Walls,’ a book that explores the mental health advantages of climbing, mountaineering, and being in the great outdoors, among other activities. [email protected]
What Is a Tent Footprint?
What is a tent footprint, and why do you need one? (Photo courtesy of Getty Images) What is a tent footprint, and why do you need one? Let’s get right to the point: of all the extras you might potentially add to your camping and backpacking gear, few – if any – will provide a return on your investment as amazing as the modest tent footprint. Let me explain. A tent footprint is a low-cost, lightweight piece of equipment that may significantly improve your camping experience in a variety of ways.
- In the next section, we’ll take a closer look at what these handy little pieces of equipment can do for our camping setup, as well as why they’re well worth the (relatively little) expenditure.
- Footprints are often composed of strong but relatively lightweight materials such as polyethylene, oxford nylon, or polyester, and are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, allowing you to find the right fit for your tent no matter how unusual its design.
- The second alternative, if the options offered from the tent’s manufacturer are prohibitively expensive, is to use a simple tent tarp, which you can learn more about in our buyer’s guide to the best tarps for camping.
- Exolight’s carbon footprint (Photo courtesy of Jack Wolfskin) They are beneficial for your tent.
Even if we accept the existence of an occasional root, rock, or twig under our sleeping area as a necessary and enjoyable aspect of the camping experience, each time we transfer our weight onto one of these, we face the danger of puncturing our tent’s groundsheet (see our guide to tent repairs ).
- If your footprint is torn or pierced by something on its underside, it will be significantly less expensive to repair than your tent.
- If your tent does not have any tears or abrasions in the walls, the underside of the tent is the most likely location for a leak.
- While most groundsheets have a better amount of waterproofing than tent walls, in exceptionally moist circumstances (or if the occupants are particularly hefty!) this is simply not enough to prevent water from seeping through the floor.
- When camping in the rain, having a footprint comes in useful (Image credit: Getty) They help to improve insulation.
- read more It’s always possible that your feet, legs, or perhaps an arm or two can fall off your sleeping pad throughout the night, resulting in a freezing wakeup.
- It may even eliminate the need for an expensive sleeping pad altogether.
- When traveling in inclement weather, decamping at the conclusion of a journey is seldom a particularly enjoyable experience.
In contrast, using a tent footprint may save you time and effort by serving as a “first line of defense” that keeps the remainder of your tent clean.
Camping in colder weather?
While many tent manufacturers create their own, tailored tent footprints to match the majority of the tent types in their range, the cost of doing so can be prohibitively expensive.
To construct a DIY footprint, all you need to do is purchase a sheet of waterproof tarpaulin, trim it to size, and get a stuff sack to store it in.
Kieran Cunningham is the Editor of Advnture.
Mountaineering in the Himalayas, the Alps, and the United States have been highlights of his life.
He climbs when he should be writing, writes when he should be sleeping, and has a good time all of the time, no matter what.
Kieran is the author of ‘Climbing the Walls,’ a book that explores the mental health advantages of climbing, mountaineering, and spending time in nature. [email protected]
What Is a Tent Footprint Used For?
Josh Larios is a writer and musician from Los Angeles, California, who lives and works in Los Angeles, California, and is a member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. ” data-descr=”” data-alt=”tent footprint”> ” data-descr=”” data-alt=”tent footprint”> Josh Larios is the photographer that took this photograph. Tent footprints are used to protect your tent’s floor from making direct touch with the ground when camping. Some of the most luxurious tents available on the market today weigh less than a pound.
The use of a tent footprint will reduce the likelihood of abrasive pebbles or sticks on the ground ripping or damaging the body of your tent body.
The fabric underneath you will be crushed into the ground by every movement you make while sleeping in a tent while sleeping on the ground.
Why Should I Buy One?
Tent footprints have the potential to significantly increase the life of your tent. Purchasing a new backpacking tent is an expensive proposition, and repairing a tent footprint is far less expensive than purchasing an entirely new tent. You can get away with not having a tent footprint, strictly speaking. The majority of tents are already built of waterproof materials, and a tent footprint isn’t actually designed for waterproofing in the first place. Although it is not required to do so, it is recommended that you use a tent footprint since your tent will wear out more rapidly if it is used frequently.
Other inventive uses for a tent footprint include the following:
- A clear area on which to arrange equipment
- A fantastic climbing tarp made of rope
- For open bivvies (when putting up a tent isn’t essential), this ground tarp is ideal. A play surface or a designated place for little campers
- The use of a protective surface when sleeping beneath the stars
- A shelter to provide protection from the rain or the sun
- There are several additional applications.
Loonyhiker” data-descr=”” data-alt=”setting up tent”> Loonyhiker” data-descr=”” data-alt=”setting up tent”> Photo courtesy of loonyhiker
Is a Tent Footprint Worth Buying?
This is ultimately determined by your requirements and financial constraints. We do, however, recommend that you purchase a tent footprint. It is a highly efficient method of significantly extending the life of your tent. The ideal option is to invest in a high-quality tent footprint that is designed particularly for your tent type. Alternatively, if the tent you already or want to purchase does not come with a carry bag, investigate whether the manufacturer offers one separately. If you’re on a tight budget and a name-brand footprint is just out of reach (footprints may cost anywhere from $30 to $80), you can make your own tent footprint out of plastic tarp or Tyvek wrap (which costs between $3 and $15).
You may also purchase a tarp square that has already been cut (if you can find one that matches the area of your tent). Simply cut the cloth of your choosing to the proportions of your tent floor, and you’ll have a low-cost tent footprint in no time!
The Best Camping Tents of 2021
Finally, it is determined by your requirements and financial constraints. A tent footprint, on the other hand, is highly recommended. A good approach to significantly increase the lifespan of your tent. In this case, purchasing a high-quality tent footprint that is particularly designed for your particular tent type is the best option. You should also check to see whether the brand of tent you own or want to purchase sells one separately if it does not come with it. It’s possible to make your own tent footprint out of cheap plastic tarporTyvek wrap ($3-15) if you’re on a tight budget and a name-brand one is simply too pricey (footprints may cost $30-80).
Simply cut the material of your choosing to the size of your tent floor, and you’ll have a low-cost tent footprint in no time at all.
The Best Backpacking Tents of 2021
You can find the finest backpacking tents of 2021 no matter how long you want to stay on the trail or how much money you have to spend. More information may be found here.
Do You Really Need a Footprint for Your Tent? — CleverHiker
You can find the finest backpacking tents of 2021 no matter how long you want to stay on the trail or how much money you have to spare. More information may be found by clicking here.
What Does A Footprint Do?
However, in contrast to common perception, footprints do not provide any additional waterproofing for the bottom of your tent; the flooring of practically all modern tents are already composed of waterproof fabrics such as silnylon or dyneema. Among the most important functions of a footprint are to protect the ground beneath your tent from abrasive things (such as twigs, roots, and pebbles), to keep your tent free of mud and tree sap, and to assist you in determining the best location to pitch your tent.
A footprint provides an additional layer of protection from abrasive items, which can help to extend the life of your tent’s floor.
Messy Stuff – When we go camping, we anticipate our gear to get a bit dirty, but having sticky tree sap all over the bottom of your tent can be a real pain.
Many of us have been in this situation: you locate the perfect site to pitch your tent, as if it were virtually made specifically for your tent.
This is frustrating. Setting a footprint initially (particularly if you need to accommodate numerous tents in a single location) eliminates the majority of the guesswork involved in spatial design.
Things To Consider Before You Buy
However, unlike what many people believe, footprints do not provide any additional waterproofing for the bottom of your tent; the flooring of practically all modern tents are already composed of waterproof fabrics such as silnylon or dyneema. Among the most important functions of a footprint are to protect the ground beneath your tent from abrasive things (such as sticks, roots, and pebbles), to keep your tent free of mud and tree sap, and to assist you in determining an appropriate location to pitch your tent.
- With a footprint, you may provide an extra layer of protection from abrasive items, perhaps increasing the lifespan of your tent.
- Messy Stuff – We all anticipate our stuff to get a bit dirty when we take it outside, but having sticky tree sap all over the bottom of your tent can be a genuine headache.
- Many of us have been in this situation: you locate the perfect site to pitch your tent, as if it was virtually made specifically for your tent.
- It eliminates the majority of the guesswork involved in spatial planning by first laying out your footprint (particularly if you need to accommodate numerous tents on the same location).
So, you’d really like to utilize a footprint, but the cost and/or weight are too expensive and/or heavy. Make one of your own! Making your own footprint is substantially less expensive and nearly always results in a lighter footprint. For groundsheets, many campers choose to use Tyvek (yep, the house wrap) cut to size and shaped to fit their needs. It is waterproof, inexpensive, and nearly unbreakable. Polycryo (also known as poly/polycro) is another popular alternative for DIY groundsheets on a tighter budget.
The following is a comparison of the approximate weights of the fabrics:
- Manufacturer footprints are commonly made of PU coated nylon (1.9 oz./ sq. yd.)
- Tyvek is 1.85 oz./ sq. yd
- Polycryo is.55 ounces/ square yard
- And other materials.
The footprint should be approximately one inch shorter than the tent floor on all four sides if you are planning to cut your own footprint to size yourself. In the event that you have fabric sticking out from under your tent or too close to the edge of your tent floor, it might collect water and cause it to pool beneath your tent.
Tent footprints are obviously not required, but they can assist to extend the life of your tent if you use them properly. If you have an ultralight tent with a low denier floor, it can be worth it to spend a few more dollars on a footprint or to create your own from scratch to protect your investment.
Irrespective of whether we have left a footprint, we always make a point of thoroughly cleaning our campsites before pitching a tent in order to avoid any disasters.
Maintaining the condition of your equipment is critical, and we hope that this advice has assisted you in determining whether or not you require a tent footprint. If you know of a wonderful footprint substitution or application that we overlooked, please share it with us in the comments section below! You may find more CleverHiker backpacking advice by visiting the following websites:
- Trail Skills, Lightweight Foundations, and Top Gear Picks are all covered in detail in the CleverHiker Gear Guide.