Do I Need to Put a Tarp Under My Tent?
Occasionally, you will carry camping equipment to the campground with you simply because your parents or friends have always done it that way. Why you should pack a tarp on your camping vacation is exactly how I felt about it. For the sake of convenience, I’ve compiled a few reasons why you should consider carrying one–some of which I’ve learned through personal experience, and others which I’ve discovered from research–in one location so that you can see everything in one place. Is it necessary to put a tarp below my tent?
It is important to have a tarp underneath your tent to protect the underside from wear and tear, to provide minimal insulation, and to prevent water from entering the tent by functioning as an effective moisture barrier.
Here are some reasons why you should consider bringing a tarp along with your tent, as well as some tips on how to keep water from accumulating in your tent.
Reasons to Put a Tarp Under Your Tent
It is possible that your campsite will feature tent sites with wonderful areas of green grass on a moderate slope, with bugs that aren’t bothered by anything. When I say “occasionally,” I’m exaggerating a little bit. On the other hand, you’ll be sleeping on gravel, roots, mud, or even plain rock (in certain Texas parks, you’ll be sleeping on limestone!) every other time. It’s fairly uncommon for automobile campsites to only let you to set up your tent on a pad or in a certain area–which means you don’t always get to select the best position for your tent to be set up.
In this way, any flaws might have unintended repercussions, such as uninvited 6- to 8-legged housemates who don’t show up on time.
That friction has the potential to pull your tent apart.
Keep Out Moisture
It’s raining water everywhere, but please do not let it get into my tent. When the air loses the energy that holds water molecules apart, water condenses from the air and becomes a liquid. As a result, water droplets will develop as heated air cools down. On a hot day, a glass of cold water is a perfect demonstration of this.
It is throughout the night that the earth maintains heat from the sun, and it is at this time that dew will develop because the warm earth is cooling off and loses the energy necessary to hold water molecules together (just before morning). In this sense, your tarp is beneficial in a number of ways.
- Your tarp stops your tent from coming into direct contact with the dew-covered ground. This is great
- The tent may function as a vapor barrier between your tent and the ground, which can aid in the prevention of condensation within the tent. The use of a tarp can protect you from rushing water while it’s raining (it’s recommended to avoid erecting your tent in areas where the land dips and water gathers), as well as saturated ground.
Keep your tent clean
When your campground doesn’t have a lot of options and the ground is muddy, keeping your tent clean is important because it makes it easier to deal with–especially if you are going to be moving from place to place. Getting your tarp dirty is preferable because it is easier to wash after your camping trip.
Reasons Not to Bring a Tarp
Because it is only really useful in some conditions, such as when it is raining, a tarp or a ground cloth is probably considered an unessential item. However, in other instances, it is considered merely a good to have. Some reasons why you might be able to do without one if you want to conserve room in your vehicle camping equipment are listed below.
- If you know your campground is a soft bed and isn’t likely to have any immovable, pokey things, you won’t need a ground cover
- Otherwise, you will be OK without one. Depending on your environment, you may not require any moisture management at all
- In other words, if you are camping somewhere where it does not get too cold or too humid, you may not want any moisture control at all. One more thing to remember to pack is another thing to fold and hide away
- Camping in the sand is a unique experience. Sand will wick away any moisture and is soft enough that it will not create any difficulties to the underside of your tent’s floor or walls. After all, sand is sand, and you will need to clean out your tent after your vacation, no matter how carefully you plan your itinerary (unless you are a post-campout-tent-shaking master). As a result of this, if you have any unpatched holes in the bottom-side of your tent, it is possible that placing a tarp over it can prevent the dreaded sand from spreading all over the interior of your tent more quickly than it would surely do. Even sand is still sand, after all
Why you Might Want to Bring One Anyway
If you aren’t intending on utilizing your tarp as a ground cloth, be sure to carry some rope along with you, since your tarp may be used in a variety of different ways, including the following:
- If you plan on sleeping in a hammock, a tarp may be your best bet for remaining dry if the weather is very bad. To shelter yourself from the rain, you may make an A shape out of your tarp and a piece of rope. I had a fantastic camping experience one night after erecting a tarp over my hammock, despite the fact that it poured numerous times throughout the night. I think I did a reasonable job considering that I was working alone and that I wasn’t particularly skilled at knotting at the time. Only one edge of my hammock was soaked
- The rest remained dry.
- Tarps may make great wind shelters
- However, they must be used properly. Parachutist. no, I’m not serious. Don’t even think about it
Summary from Personal Experience
All of the campgrounds I’ve gone to have had a variety of terrain, and I’ve always managed to keep dry (at least as far as I can recall) with my inexpensive blue tarp and the rain fly that came with my tent. I’ve been using the same tent for the past five years (it cost less than $60), and I believe that my good ol’ tarp has contributed to some of my accomplishments. The fact that I now have another piece of equipment to clean, maintain, and fold is a bother at times, but it has proven to be well worth it so far.
Don’t spend too much time pondering the ideal ground cloth treatment because, as you might imagine, many individuals have found success with a variety of approaches.
To make things as simple as possible, you may get a ground fabric that is slightly larger than the footprint of the tent. Note! Because your tarp is larger than the size of your tent, and if you do not fold it properly, you will have produced a small pond on your campsite! Make certain that the tarp is correctly folded to ensure that the water drains. Keep the tarp tucked inwards, with the edges folded below the tent so that the tarp fits the size of your tent (we’re attempting to direct water away from your tent rather than into it).
The tarp has been wrongly tucked upwards.
Does it Matter Which Type of Tarp/Ground Cloth I Use?
“Ground cloths” are available in a variety of designs. After doing some study on this subject, I discovered that there are hundreds of different materials that may be used! At the end of the day, your environment is what determines how well a given ground cloth performs. As a newbie, I recommend starting with a simple, inexpensive tarp so you can get started camping right away. For example, the following are some popular choices for ground cloths: Footprints of a Tent Tent makers will frequently create a “footprint” that is particularly intended to match the measurements of a given tent.
- It’s possible that their quality varies in tandem with that of the tent.
- Tyvek Tyvek is a material that is used to keep moisture out of dwellings.
- Some campers utilize this as a barrier between their tents and the rest of the campsite.
- Purchasing a plastic painter’s drop cloth is a good idea since it is used to catch paint, dust, and drywall debris throughout the painting process.
- Taffeta (also known as tarpaulin) (Tarp) The good ol’ tarp, how I love thee.
An all-purpose tarp in the medium thickness range will suffice for the occasional vehicle camping excursion. Unless you plan on camping on particularly harsh terrain on a frequent basis, there is no reason to invest in the thickest tarp available.
Should I Put a Tarp Down Under My Tent?
When it comes to setting up a tent, have you ever wondered why so many people use tarps? This is not an entirely new phenomena. For many years, campers have used ground cloths and tarps to protect the ground beneath their tents. Is it really necessary to use ground cloths and tarps? Is it necessary to place a tarp down under my tent? A tarp or ground cloth should be placed beneath your tent, even if it isn’t absolutely essential. When applied properly, they protect your tent from punctures and help to limit mud and water seepage into the tent inside.
Should I Put a Tarp Under My Tent?
The type of tent you have will determine whether or not you need to put down a ground cloth or tarp. Its primary function is to protect the floor of your tent against punctures, with moisture reduction serving as a secondary benefit. If the weather is fine and you aren’t concerned about ruining the tent, there isn’t much use in putting out the effort. When it comes to protecting a $20 Walmart tent, it doesn’t make sense to use a $10 tarp. In most cases, inexpensive tents are not intended to be used for more than a few brief camping excursions.
Once your tent exceeds the $100 mark, tarps and ground cloths become a practical investment.
Sharp sticks will ultimately find their way inside your tent, no matter how good you are at clearing rubbish.
How Big of A Tarp Do I Need
|Tent Size||Fold Tarp Down to Size and Use aGrommet Kitto Secure||Alps Mountaineering Tent Footprint Size|
|2-Person||6×8 Tarp||7’2″ x4’8″ Footprint|
|3-Person||8×10 Tarp||7’2″ x 6’2″ Footprint|
|4-Person||8×10 Tarp||8’2″ x 7’2″ Footprint|
|5-Person||9×12 Tarp||9’8″ x 7’8″ Footprint|
|6-Person||12×16 Tarp||9’8″ x 9’8″ Footprint|
It would be lovely if I could tell you what size tarp to buy that will work with every tent, but that is not how the system works at this time. It is necessary to get a tarp that is slightly smaller in size than the measurements of the exterior of your tent’s walls. Just keep in mind that the floor size of each tent varies. The tent sizes depicted in the chart above are based on the average size of tents for a certain number of people. It should serve as an excellent starting point, although your actual tent may be somewhat larger or smaller than this.
Customize Your Tarp So It Fits Your Tent
Unless you choose for a tailored tarp, you will most likely have to fold the sides of your tarp down and tuck them under the edge of your tent. All you have to do is fold it over and fasten the corners and edges with a cheapCoghlans Grommet Kit. The video below should guide you through the process of creating a tent footprint. Your tarp will be stronger as a result of the additional grommets, which will be useful when erecting the tent. In addition, the grommet kit is quite useful for designing clothing and other items.
Backpackers Should Use a Tent Footprint Instead of a Tarp
If you intend to backpack, you should pick a tent footprint that is specifically designed for backpacking. They are slightly more costly than tarps, but they are far easier to use. Smaller tent footprints will be significantly less expensive than larger ones. The Tent Floor Saver from myAlps Mountaineering is one of my favorites. It is somewhat more costly than a tarp, but it is far lighter and simpler to handle.
It may be folded down to be roughly the same size as an envelope if necessary. That is far smaller than a tarp. Simply make sure that whatever you purchase is a fraction of an inch or two smaller than the floor of your tent. Continue reading for assistance in determining the tent footprint size.
Benefits of Putting a Tarp Under Your Tent
There aren’t any negative consequences to putting a tarp under your tent. They are a little hefty and weigh a couple of ounces, but everything else about them is great. Tarps are useful for four different reasons.
1) Tarps Protect Your Tent From Punctures
The use of a tarp as a tent footprint helps to extend the life of your tent by reducing wear and strain. It adds an extra layer of protection from sharp surfaces, if you need it. It’s as simple as putting down a tarp and you’re done. You won’t have to be concerned about stray rocks and stones poking holes in the ground beneath your tent floor. It significantly reduces the number of those seemingly random holes that always seem to allow in moisture. Just keep in mind that a tarp won’t fix all of your difficulties on its own.
It’s only a thin layer of protection, but it can help prevent tiny punctures from occurring.
2)Tarps Fight Moisture
Tarps are useful for keeping the ground of your tent dry. It’s just one more layer of protection between your sleeping system and the muddy, damp earth beneath your feet. Simply make certain that you get the proper tarp size by reading the section below. It should be 2-3 inches smaller in circumference than the outer measurements of your tent. If your tarp is too large, the water will draw it around the exterior of your tent.
3) Adds Insulation to Your Tent
The majority of our body heat is lost through our feet and legs. Attempting to create enough heat to combat the earth’s heat is a futile endeavor. It all comes down to building more insulating layers between your body and the chilly earth beneath your feet. Despite the fact that it does not significantly increase the warmth of your tent, every little bit helps. Tarping your tent is similar to spreading a picnic blanket on the ground for the occasion. You won’t have to deal with the dampness or the cold grass, but it won’t provide much more warmth either.
4) Tarps Help Keep The Bottom of Your Tent Clean
Have you ever been stuck in a muddy field? It makes no difference what you do. You constantly wind up with muck on your clothes. That’s exactly what will happen to your tent if it rains on a weekend like this one. Is it really necessary for all of that muck to become caked on the bottom of your tent’s floor? When you consider the cost of a low-cost tarp, it just isn’t worth the trouble. Simply purchase a tarp or a tent footprint and call it a night. In the long run, it will save you a significant amount of time and money.
Nikwax Tent and Gear Solarwash is highly recommended by me.
Watch Out For Pooling
The majority of individuals use a tarp that is far too large for their tent. They go into their garage and decide that any old tarp will suffice. When the weather is beautiful, a large tarp will serve its purpose admirably; however, when it rains, you will quickly discover that it is ineffective.
During heavy rains, oversized tarps create major pooling problems. All of the water that drips from the top of your tent accumulates quickly. As a result, your tent will be submerged in a 3′′ pool of water. Even the most water-resistant tent will not be able to handle that much water.
Where Can I Buy Custom Sized Tarps?
As a result of some internet comparison shopping and playing about with the specs, I discovered that bespoke tarps were out of my financial reach. They typically range in price from $20 to $70, depending on the size you want. Take a look at coversandall.com to see what we mean for yourself. You could be pleasantly surprised with a decent bargain right now, but it’s probably best to explore what you can find locally first. I was pleasantly impressed by the number of tarps available at my local Harbor Freight store.
For around the same price, you can sometimes purchase a tent footprint that is particularly made for your tent.
Perhaps you’ll be able to locate one that is particularly designed for your tent.
How to Setup Your Tarp as A Tent Footprint
90% of the fight is won when you get the proper size tarp for your tent. Remember to go to the part above where I discuss size and customization of your tarp before we get started.
- It is important to select a tarp that is the correct size for your tent. Your tarp should be 2-3 inches smaller than the outer measurements of your tent. This will assist minimize pooling. Make sure to clean up the area where you will be setting up your tent. You want to remove all of the branches and sharp rocks. Anything that appears to be a threat to the tent’s integrity should be removed. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for setting up your tent on top of the tarp, making care to line up all of the corners and tucking any excess tarp under the border of your tent. Tent footprints that have been pre-fabricated usually come with fabric straps with grommets sticking out of the corners.All you have to do is thread the tent poles through the grommets and continue to set up your tent.Since tarps do not have grommets, you will need to find another way to secure it to the corners of your tent.I usually carry a few of those bungee balls, but they aren’t necessary
- Instead, use a couple of
Do I Need a Tarp Under My Tent?
In the bush, where sudden rain or other precipitation may seep through the tent floor and transform the entire campground into a depressed morass of mud, many campers have learnt to bring a tarp or ground cloth with them on their treks. While a properly staked-out tent footprint can keep the bottom of your tent dry and your sleeping bag and other camping gear dry, some campers who hike extensively on their camping trips and who want to pack ultralight or simply enjoy primitive camping may begin to question whether the tarp or ground cloth is as essential a piece of camping equipment as they had originally believed when they went camping with their new tent in tow.
- Groundsheets and tent footprints are two items that require careful thought.
- If you’re planning on using a 12-person tent or even a bigger one, the tarp you’d need to waterproof the floor of your tent may not be easily transportable without the use of an automobile.
- It may seem like a minor matter, but a tarp or groundsheet may provide additional protection for the floor of your tent and, in the appropriate circumstances, can make or break a whole camping trip if used properly.
- Choosing a location What happens the first time you arrive at your campground is really significant, regardless of how watertight your tent is and how sturdy the construction of yourtarpaulinroundsheet or rain cover is.
- In the same way that so many other aspects of camping are determined, the requirement of a tent footprint is determined by the sort of camping trip being undertaken and the objectives of the campers themselves.
When camping on difficult or rocky terrain, a tarp or ground cloth can help protect the bottom of your tent from abrasions.
How does a tarp help waterproof the tent floor?
A tarpaulin, or tarp, is simply a big sheet of flexible, durable, waterproof, or water-resistant material such as canvas or polyester coated with polyurethane, or else a plastic substance such as polyethylene, that is flexible, robust, and waterproof or water-resistant. The tarp that most campers and outdoor enthusiasts are familiar with is the huge blue plastic kind with grommets around the perimeter that allow a rope or other attaching mechanism to pass through and hold the tarp in place while keeping whatever it is tied to is protected by the tarp.
- Tarpaulins are available in a variety of patterns.
- A perforated tarp won’t hold up against heavy rain, but if the campground is still moist from earlier rains and there aren’t any further storms in the forecast, a perforated tarp could be sufficient to keep out the elements.
- Canvas tarps are water-resistant but not waterproof, thus they should not be used in the rain.
- However, sitting rainfall or continuous exposure to rainwater, such as that experienced after a strong downpour, would ultimately cause dripping through a canvas tarp.
- Essentially, a tarpaulin tent footprint is useful for two main objectives at the campsite: it is lightweight and easy to transport.
- The added protection and longevity of your tent will ensure that it remains completely intact and free of punctures and holes for as long as possible.
- When you come home from your camping excursion, you will have less time to spend on pointless tasks because the floor of your tent will be cleaner.
Site selection and the use of a waterproof tent with a rainfly can help to lessen the need for a tarp or groundsheet, but it’s always a good idea to have a little additional protection.
Tarps and ground cloths can protect the bottom of your tent
When you go camping for the first time with a new tent, you’re likely to get obsessed with maintaining the tent in the same perfect state it was in when you first pitched it at your campground. This is understandable. However, since many campers continue to use their tents and other camping equipment such as sleeping bags on tent camping excursions after tent camping excursion, they might lose their sense of protection for their tents and other camping gear. Get into the habit of putting a groundsheet or tent footprint below your tent site if you want to ensure good maintenance and a long life for your tent.
For many campers who choose not to use an additional tent footprint, doing so is a burden since they have never experienced the worst-case situation, in which heavy rain or snow seeps through the tent bottom and causes havoc with camping gear as well as the possibility of campers being ill.
A tent footprint should be laid out before you set up your tent.
Most significantly, especially in dry settings, a groundsheet will give an additional layer of protection between the bottom of your tent and sharp objects such as pebbles, twigs, and other sharp objects that may be found on the forest floor, desert sand, or jagged rocky surface of a mountain.
It is a good choice if you are looking for a lightweight material that can be used as a tent footprint or as a convenient porch at the entrance to your tent.
Tyvek is a material that looks and feels very much like paper, but is far more durable.
This will allow the inside of your tent to remain dry because you will be able to take off your boots on the Tyvek before heading inside to protect yourself from the elements.
DIY tarps and tent footprints
The most convenient thing about ultralight tarps and tent footprints is that those campers who consider themselves to be handy can create a DIY version of a groundsheet out of tarpaulin, Tyvek, or any other waterproof or water-resistant material that they have lying around the house or in their garage. The following are the steps to take in order to construct your own DIY tent footprint: 1. Locate the material that you intend to use to make the footprint of your tent. A hardware store or an outdoor merchant are frequently good places to look for it.
- Secondly, spread the tarp on the ground and position your tent on top of it.
- You should try to make the tent’s bottom as flat with the ground as possible in order to achieve the best border trace possible.
- However, you should avoid cutting right on the sharpie line.
- The reasoning behind removing 2 inches from the tent’s shape is because the optimal tent footprint is a fraction of an inch smaller than the base of the tent.
- Rainwater collected in this manner would flood your tent, which is the exact reverse of the purpose of a tarp or groundsheet in the first place.
Tucked beneath your tent, a piece of Tyvek may be used to create a “porch” for tying on boots and keeping mud out of the tent.
Good site selection for camping without a tarp for ground cover
Okay, just to make sure we’re covering all sides of the discussion, let’s have a look at what happens to campers who go on a camping trip without any tarpaulin, Tyvek, or canvas to serve as ground cover. Fortunately, without this piece of camping equipment, there is only one thing to concentrate on, and that is picking a suitable camping location. The surrounding area at your campground should be as high as possible in order for you to be able to pitch your tent in a location where rainfall will naturally flow down and away from your tent without soaking through the bottom of your tent.
- Once you’ve completed all of this, you’ll be able to start setting up your tent.
- If your sleeping bag is durable and well-insulated, and it prevents heat from leaking through the bottom of your tent, you should have no trouble sleeping through the entire night.
- Remember the five W’s when choosing a campground: water, waste, weather, widowmakers, and wildlife.
- We’ve previously spoken about how vital precipitation and drainage are, but it’s also crucial to remember that drinking water is as important.
- Rubbish is self-explanatory: campers will want a handy method of disposing of waste when they leave the campsite when they arrive.
- Using natural cover, such as trees and overhangs, can provide further protection against water seeping into the tent bottom.
- If you want to use trees to provide additional weather protection, make sure that none of them are dead or in danger of falling on you.
- There are several measures to take in order to avoid being attacked by larger creatures such as bears or foxes, but be certain that you are not pitching your tent on top of an ant colony or a wasp’s nest.
In general, tarps and tent footprints have a number of beneficial characteristics and few disadvantages. The selection of a site is an important step in the construction of a campground. Keep in mind the 5 W’s the next time you’re out camping!
Except for the most stubborn or lightweight backpacking enthusiasts, a tarp or groundsheet is a very useful piece of camping equipment that does not add much to the weight of the pack and takes just a few minutes to set up at the campsite. An inexpensive and simple way to protect the bottom of your tent and extend the life of your tent, a tent footprint is a must-have accessory that requires no special features or intricate installation. The only thing it is is a small layer of extra protection between you and the earth.
Rain may put a damper on an otherwise enjoyable camping trip, as any camper can attest to through experience.
In order to avoid disease and the destruction of camping equipment that contains sensitive electronics, as well as to maintain your own capacity to wake up with the energy to go hiking and engage with the great outdoors as you should on any meaningful camping vacation.
When there are so many different ways to make a durable DIY tarp out of Tyvek, canvas, or any other material, there aren’t many reasons not to add a few extra ounces to your pack in order to bring along a piece of camping gear that could mean the difference between a cold, soggy camping trip and a successful camping trip into the backcountry where, despite heavy rain or snow, all campers involved managed to make the most of it and see the great outdoors in the rain, Now that you’ve learned the ins and outs of tarps and tent bottoms, you’ll be much more prepared the next time you go camping to protect the bottom of your tent and extend the life of your tent.
As an added bonus, check out this instructional video that walks you through the process of constructing a simple DIY Tyvek tent footprint and tarp for close to nothing!
Do I need a tarp under or over my tent? benefits and alternatives
When camping, you must constantly make certain that you and your belongings are kept dry. In addition to this, you must make certain that your equipment is adequately safeguarded from harm. Your equipment might wear out considerably more quickly than it should if you do not take basic care. So, do you require a tarp to be placed over or under your tent? The use of a tarp beneath your tent is not required but is strongly recommended. In addition to keeping holes and tears from emerging on the bottom of your tent, a tarp may keep moisture from leaking into your tent.
A tarp over your tent helps keep rain from entering inside your tent while also providing additional insulation against the wind and weather. We will go through the following topics so that you will understand the advantages of utilizing tarps on your tent.
Benefits of a Tarp Over Your Tent
There are several advantages to placing a tarp over or on top of your tent. Despite the fact that many tents are already waterproof when purchased, it is nevertheless advisable to use a tarp to protect the tent from the elements. If you have a tarp over your tent, you will be protected from the elements if it rains while you are camping. While many of us do not anticipate rain in the forecast, the weather may change very fast in the blink of an eye. Always remember to bring a tarp along with you, no matter what the weather prediction predicts.
- It is possible to get chills and discomfort if you have a tent that is not water resistant since the morning dew can seep through the tent walls, especially during the colder months.
- Tents are composed of very thin material that does not provide adequate insulation.
- In addition, rain-flies on your hammock will protect the wind from entering inside your tent.
- A tarp over your tent will help to extend the life of your tent as well as the equipment inside of it, which is something that many people are not aware of.
- If the rain doesn’t stop and your tent becomes soaked, it might pose problems when it’s time to pack up your belongings.
- When it is possible that it could become little moist while packing it up in the rain, this will be far preferable to allowing it to become drenched by not using a tarp.
Benefits of a Tarp Under Your Tent
Having a tarp under your tent serves a number of important functions. While it’s primary function is to keep you dry, you’d be surprised at how many other things it can accomplish. Camping equipment is, as we all know, a significant financial commitment. Because it performs the same function as placing a cover on your smartphone, you should also place a tarp under your tent. Placing a tarp under your tent can help to keep the floor of the tent from becoming damaged. As much as we all wish for a beautiful soft dirt site to pitch our tents, this is not always the case when it comes to tenting.
- Placing a tarp under your tent will keep these objects from ripping and shredding the fabric of your shelter.
- Always make sure that the bottom of your tent and the bottom of your tarp are about the same size.
- This will be both unpleasant and perhaps harmful to the tent’s structure in the long run.
- The weather might be unpredictable while you’re on a backpacking trip and you can’t always prepare beforehand.
- If it rains while you are camping, the edges of a tarp can assist guide water away from the tent and prevent standing water from accumulating under the tent.
- When it comes to setting up a tarp, some systems give clear instructions on how to do so; however, setting up a tarp that is not built for the tent will take a little imagination.
- While you may drape the tarp over the tent, it’s preferable to hang it over the tent to keep it from blowing away.
Another excellent option for suspending your tent is to utilize the same sort of suspension system that you would use to suspend a hammock from the ceiling.
Whatever sort of material you choose to suspend your tarp, always connect a length of thread to the material between the trees and the tarp to prevent the tarp from falling.
The majority of tarps are equipped with metal grommets at the corners and along the edges of the tarp.
Always remember to hang the tarp at a modest slanting angle away from the tent while you are hanging it.
You should carefully follow the manufacturer’s directions if you’ve purchased a rainfly that is specifically designed for your tent.
While tarps are wonderful for keeping you dry and stopping the wind from blowing into your hammock, there are other choices available on the market that are designed expressly for camping.
Because these rain-flies are built into the tent’s pole system, you won’t have to worry about suspending them from above.
Despite the fact that hammock rain-flies must still be strung above the hammock, they are extremely lightweight and simple to put up.
There are various considerations to bear in mind while making your selection.
When attempting to set up their equipment, no one wants a headache, especially if they are attempting to beat the rain.
While there are numerous low-cost solutions available on the market, many of them are not long-term investments.
When selecting a tarp, the weight is also an important consideration.
Always make sure that you get a backpack that you are comfortable carrying, especially if you are going hiking. As long as you’re camping close to your vehicle, you won’t have to worry about weighing your belongings as much.
Camping in the rain is a unique experience (How to stay Dry and Warm) How to clean a moldy tent, as well as how to avoid tent mold and mildew. Can you use heaters in tents if the weather is cold? What is the purpose of having a footprint for your tent? Is it possible for lightning to hit your tent?
Do I Need a Tarp Under My Tent?
If you are an outdoorsy person who likes camping, you may already be aware of the reasons why you should put a tarp beneath your tent to protect it from the elements. Camping isn’t much fun if your gear gets wet and you have to sleep in dripping wet clothing the entire time. As a result, you must make every effort to keep yourself and your equipment as dry as possible at all times. You’ll need a tarp to put below your tent. It is the most effective method of protecting your tent since it prevents holes and tears from forming in the bottom.
It is the purpose of this essay to go into depth about the reasons why you should use a tarp under your tent.
What Is the Purpose of a Tarp Under a Tent?
While having a tarp below your tent is not absolutely necessary, it does have its advantages, which we will discuss further below.
Helps Keep You Dry
Because while you’re camping, a sudden downpour or hailstorm may transform your campground into a soggy mess in no time at all. This moisture may soak through the bottom of your tent, resulting in an unpleasant night’s sleep. A tarp or groundsheet, on the other hand, provides additional protection for your tent’s bottom by preventing moisture from soaking through. You could, of course, stake out your tent sufficiently to protect the ground, but why take the chance of having your sleeping bag and other vital stuff wet?
Because of a previous rainstorm, it not only keeps you safe from the damp, muddy ground, but it also stops pelting rain from penetrating the tent bottom.
Nonetheless, it’s important to remember that utilizing a tarp does not ensure that the floor of your tent will remain completely dry.
As a result, when choosing a camping location, always consider the following:
- Seek for an elevation place where rainfall will flow away from your tent rather of soaking into the tent’s bottom. Before erecting your tent, make sure there are no sharp sticks, stones, or garbage in the way, as this will prevent them from puncturing the bottom of your tent.
Protects Your Tent Bottom
A tarp protects the floor of your tent from abrasions and other damage. In the event that you are camping on a hard surface, such as sand or gravel, you may want to consider protecting your tent from any tears or punctures. Furthermore, the tarp provides additional protection from sharp things such as sticks, stones, and other such objects.
As a result, the easiest approach to keep your tent in good condition over time is to constantly put a tarp underneath it. This will assist you in ensuring that your tent serves you for a long period of time.
Helps Keep Your Tent Clean
If you use a tarp to cover the floor of your tent, the bottom will be considerably cleaner overall. This is due to the fact that the tarp will prevent mud or dirt from coming into touch with your tent throughout your stay. You will also save time since you will not have to spend as much time cleaning the tent. Other advantages of putting a tarp under your tent are as follows:
- Using one of these helps your tent keep its heat longer and offers another layer of insulation between you and the cold ground. If you use it often, it can help you prevent getting a cold or damaging sensitive electrical equipment. When you are sleeping on the floor of the tent, it provides some measure of comfort. If you do it well, it might be the difference between a chilly, damp camping experience and a terrific one.
Tent Footprint vs. Tarp – What’s the Difference?
Both the tent footprint and the tarp provide protection for your tent against the weather. In order to protect the tent floor from friction, a tent footprint is a polyethylene sheet that is placed under the tent. Over time, ground friction can create wear and tear on your tent, which might finally lead to its destruction. The tent footprint should be laid down before the tent is pitched as a result. The size of tent footprints varies based on the size of your tent. Ideally, you should choose one that is slightly smaller than your tent or one that is the same size as your tent.
- A tarp, which is short for tarpaulin, is a huge sheet of robust and flexible waterproof material, usually made of canvas or plastic, that may be used to cover a vast area.
- When purchasing a tarp, choose one that is somewhat smaller in size than your tent.
- You can also drape the tarp over the top of your tent to provide additional protection against the elements – including the sun – while camping.
- Once again, while a tarp may be used as a footprint, a footprint cannot be used as a tarp and vice versa.
- Because it lacks grommets, you will be unable to put up a footprint in the same manner as a tarp. A footprint is meant to be the exact same size as the tent
- As a result, it is ill-suited for covering the tent’s top.
If you are unsure which of the two alternatives to choose, the tarp is the better choice because it may serve several purposes. A footprint, on the other hand, is expensive since it is designed for a certain tent.
How Do You Put a Tarp Under a Tent?
Setting up a tarp is a simple process. As previously stated, the tarp is equipped with reinforced grommets that may be used to thread a rope through them. Nothing more complicated than sticking the tent poles into the grommets and pulling the string to attach it where it is needed, such as in the corners, to assist secure the corners. As an alternative, tent pegs may be used to anchor the four corners of your tarp to the ground. After that, follow the directions that came with your tent and set it up over the tarp.
It’s also a good idea to tuck the tarp under so that it doesn’t extend past the tent’s perimeter. If this occurs, dew and rain will trickle down the tent walls and collect beneath your tent. If this does not occur, Water may also accumulate in and around your tent. Keep in mind to:
- Choose a tarp that is 2-3 inches (5-7.6 cm) smaller in circumference than the outer measurements of your tent to avoid pooling. Prepare the area by sweeping it clear of sharp items before erecting the tent
How Thick Should a Tarp Be Under a Tent?
If your camping equipment is new, expensive, or delicate, you will want to invest in the hardest, most water-resistant tarp you can find for your needs. The perfect tarp, on the other hand, would be one that is breathable, lightweight, and constructed of tarpaulin that is somewhat thin. Folding your tarp in half is the most effective method to lay it out. Doubling up your tarp provides additional protection (against stones and sticks) for both your tarp and the floor of your tent.
Where to Buy Your Tent Tarp
Tent tarps are available from a variety of sources, including online merchants such as Amazon (check out this top seller: REDCAMP Waterproof Camping Tarp) and specialty outdoor retailers such as Backcountry and Moosejaw, among others. You may also purchase items from shopping complexes such as Walmart. Lastly, some last thoughts A tarp is a really useful piece of camping equipment that you don’t want to forget to bring with you on your camping excursion. It not only covers the tent bottom, but it also helps to extend the life of your tent.
Furthermore, the benefits of employing a ground cover greatly exceed the risks of not doing so, especially when the weather chooses to turn bad at the last minute.
That’s what’s next in camping gear.
How to Prepare a Three-Season Tent for the Winter Extra-large family camping tents are the best option for large families.
r/ElectricForest – Tarp under tent or in the bottom of tent?!?!?!
Set up your tarp under your tent, but do not allow it to protrude from the tent. That’s how it captures water and draws it beneath the tent’s awning. Having a tarp below the tent that does not protrude from the ground just serves to maintain a barrier between the tent and the moist ground. level 2Make certain that you roll the borders downward rather than upwards. By rolling the tarp’s edges upward, whatever water that does wind up on the tarp will collect in the tarp’s inside. 1st grade Under your tent, but make sure none of the poles are jutting out so that water can’t get in and collect.
- As long as it’s not already in the tent, it won’t do anything until there’s already water in it.
- 1st grade Don’t put it in the refrigerator.
- It would merely clump up and be a bother, and it would do nothing to alleviate any dampness problems.
- I used the tarp under tent approach for the first time last year, but it was a gawd darn downpour for 78914 hours straight, so it was difficult to determine if it was truly effective.
- Our camp was inundated, and the tarp didn’t do much to assist.
- a second level Please don’t let it be like that this year.
- Backpacking tents with a “footprint” (a fancy word for an extra-large-sized tarp designed specifically for that tent) are exactly the same size and shape as the tent they are intended to accompany.
Others have suggested tucking it beneath the table, but making sure that no portion of it sticks out that may gather rain water.
Level 1 is as simple as digging out some ground, putting your tarp below it, and then placing your tent on top of the tarp.
1st grade You could just bring some of those wooden pallets to set up your tent on top of to raise it off the ground if necessary.
Make certain that the tarp is tucked under the tent’s sides before starting.
If you can’t, you’re out of luck.
In certain regions, there is also a lot of horse feces, which I would prefer to have on my tarp rather than on my tent. This is the truth at level 2. We’ve never seen a reason to use a tarp, but we use it to claim space in the frantic rush to get out of the car after you’ve parked and set up camp.
Do I Need A Tarpaulin Under My Tent? Your Camping Questions Answered
In difficult circumstances, putting a tarp below your tent can give additional protection and waterproofing for your shelter while you sleep. However, you are under no need to do so, especially if the weather is pleasant enough. Whatever your reasons for using a tarp, make sure you choose one that is lightweight and portable enough for your activities. If you spend enough time outside, you’ll almost certainly come across someone laying a tarp down under their tent at some point. Is this, however, truly necessary?
It is not necessary to use this technique, but it is a popular approach to protect your shelter from harm during the nighttime hours when you are camping.
That being said, if you’ve never used a tent footprint or ground cloth before, you’re likely to have a lot of questions about how everything is supposed to function.
Following that, we’ll go over everything you need to know about utilizing a ground tarp for tent camping, including how to set up your tent.
The Tarpaulin Under Tent Debate: Do I Really Need A Ground Cloth?
The issue over whether to use a tarp under a tent is perhaps as ancient as camping itself. Despite the fact that some campers swear by ground cloths, others would never risk being caught in the mountains with them. So, what exactly is going on? Is it really necessary to put a tarp below your tent? While you are not required to use a tent footprint, there are several advantages to doing so during your outdoor activities. Here are some of them. It is true, however, that taking along an extra-large ground tarp while camping comes with certain disadvantages.
Advantages Of Using Tarps Under Tents
Adding a tarp to your camping gear list is a good idea in most cases, especially if you’re concerned about remaining dry during a thunderstorm. A tarp under your tent has several advantages, some of which are listed here.
- Tent Protection Is Important. The fact that a tarp provides a great deal of protection for your tent is perhaps the most significant advantage of employing one as a ground sheet. Consider the following: While you’re camping outside, your tent floor is subjected to a great deal of wear and tear, especially if you’re in harsh and rocky terrain. In order to protect your tent from abrasions and damage, you should use a ground cloth. As a consequence, a tent footprint may help you get more use out of your tent while saving you money in the process. Increased Waterproofing. If you’re camping during a big downpour, it’s certain that the ground surrounding you will get very wet at some time. The likelihood that water will be able to leak through the floor of your tent increases dramatically when this occurs. A ground cover placed beneath your tent can assist to prevent water from leaking through to your sleeping space as a result. It also helps to prevent excessive moisture from accumulating inside your tent. Cleaning up after a trip is less difficult. Given that a tent footprint acts as a barrier between your tent and the ground, it may also assist you in keeping your stuff clean while you’re out in the elements. However, even though your ground cloth is sure to become muddy and nasty during your camping trip, it is far quicker to rinse off your ground cloth than it is to clean a tent. As a result, utilizing a tarp can expedite and improve the efficiency of your post-trip clean-up
- Additional Insulation. However, even if tarps aren’t particularly effective insulators, placing your tent on a footprint beneath it will give a tiny bit of additional insulation between you and the ground. Last but not least, bringing a tent footprint may make pitching your tent lot simpler, especially on a chilly evening. This can result in a better night’s sleep and more energy for trekking the next day. Simplified Tent Pitching. For those who are concerned about your shelter’s ability to fit in a possible tent site, just lay out your ground cloth and measure the available area. It is far less difficult to do so than it is to pitch your complete tent just to discover that it will not fit in your selected spot.
Disadvantages Of A Camping Tarp Under A Tent
Tent footprints, like every other piece of equipment, have their perks and limitations. Here are some of the disadvantages of utilizing a camping tarp inside a tent that you should be aware of before you do so:
- Extra Pounds of Fat and Bulk. Incorporating a ground cloth into your camping checklist will result in an increase in the weight of your bag overall. Furthermore, tarps may be fairly large and unwieldy, making it difficult to load your belongings around them. Of course, for automobile camping, this isn’t likely to be a major issue. However, for lightweight hiking excursions, there is a disadvantage that should be taken into consideration: increased cost. While tarps aren’t the most expensive piece of equipment you’ll need to purchase, they are an additional cost to consider. This is especially true if you’re planning to purchase a custom-built ground cloth from a manufacturer, which may go into the thousands. Having said that, you can typically save a little money by creating your own tent footprint out of painter’s tarp or Tyvek (more on that in a minute)
- Added Hassle is another option. A tarp for your tent adds an extra step to the tent-pitching procedure, which you should consider. Setting up a ground cloth isn’t exactly a time-consuming endeavor, but it does require some effort to accomplish it correctly the first time. This is especially true if you intend to purchase a ground cloth that has been specifically designed for your needs. Many of these ground cloths are equipped with grommets, which allows you to secure them to the ground. The use of a properly staked-out tent footprint may make a significant difference in keeping you dry at night, albeit it is an additional step to consider once you get at camp.
How To Choose A Ground Tarp For Tent Camping
Following your decision on whether or not utilizing a tarp under your tent is the best answer for your needs, it’s time to figure out what type of ground cloth you’ll need to invest in. The selection of a tarp for your outdoor excursions may appear to be straightforward, but there is a great deal that goes into making this important decision. Here’s what you need to know about the situation.
Tent Footprints vs Tarps
First and foremost, we should point out that there is a significant difference between tarps and tent footprints that have been specifically designed for them. While tarps, such as the B-Air Grizzly Tarp, are inexpensive and long-lasting, they are often used for vehicle camping rather than backpacking. This is due to the fact that they are often fairly heavy and thick, making them less than ideal for backcountry adventures. Alternatively, if you’re planning a tent camping trip in more distant area, a tent footprint may be a better option.
Tent manufacturers typically offer a variety of footprint options for their tents, which they call a footprint palette.
If you are unable to locate anything that suits your needs, you might want to explore the ALPS Mountaineering Tent Floor Saver, which is available in a variety of sizes and can be used with any tent.
What Size Tarp For Tent Protection?
A tarp is only functional if it is the proper size for the tent it is covering. If you choose a model that is too tiny, it will not give the level of protection you require on the trails. If, on the other hand, you choose a model that is too large, you will find yourself lugging about far more weight and bulk than you need. Unfortunately, there is some disagreement regarding the size of tarp that is actually required for tent protection purposes. Some people believe that your ground cloth should be somewhat less in size than the size of your tent, while others believe that it should be slightly larger in size than your tent.
- It is preferable to locate a tarp that is around the same size as your shelter, even if a few inches here and there will not make a significant difference.
- Your tarp’s size may be a factor in whether or not it collects water, which may result in a pool of water forming beneath your cover.
- Having said that, if your tent has a particularly unusual form, you could be better off investing in a custom-made ground fabric.
- Uninterested in lugging about a cumbersome ground cloth or spending a lot of money on one?
- Fortunately, there is a solution to your problems in the form of a DIY tent ground fabric, which you can make yourself.
- This can also assist you in ensuring that your tent’s footprint is the proper size for your tent.
- What you need to know is as follows:
Materials for a DIY Tent Ground Cloth
If you want to manufacture your own ground cloth, the first step is to decide on the materials you will be using to construct the ground cloth. Despite the fact that you have a variety of options, there are two materials that stand out above the rest:
- Tarp for painters. Tarp sheets made of plastic, such as the Top Green Plastic Painting Drop, are a cost-effective and lightweight alternative that can be used in virtually any situation without sacrificing performance. The disadvantage of using painter’s tarp is that it is not especially durable, which means you will need to produce fresh ground sheets on a regular basis.
Plastic Drop Cloth in a TOPGREEN Pack
- Made entirely of long-lasting polythene that is both odorless and recyclable
- The material has excellent transparency and is tear-resistant. Clear plastic sheets measuring 9 ft x 12 ft (274 cm x 365 cm) are included in the package.
- Tyvek. Tyveki is a good choice if you’re ready to invest a little extra money up front on your own ground cloth. Tyvek is a synthetic fabric that is extremely durable and is used in a variety of applications ranging from express mail envelopes to kites. The fact that it is inherently water-resistant, lightweight, and abrasion-resistant makes it the ideal ground cloth fabric for construction. Naturally, it is more expensive than a painter’s tarp, but it will endure far longer
Once you’ve decided on the type of material you want to use, it’s time to cut your ground sheet to the appropriate size. The quickest and most straightforward method is to set up your tent on top of your painter’s tarp or Tyvek and then draw the contour of your tent onto the cloth. Then all you have to do is cut the tarp or Tyvek to the appropriate size and you’ve got yourself a ground sheet.
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If you want to go a step further, you can also add grommets to your ground sheet to make it more durable. If you decide to anchor your tarp to the ground, you will have more tie-down choices available to you as a result of this. It also transforms your ground cloth into a multi-purpose tarp, which you may use as an emergency shelter if the weather turns bad in the meanwhile. It may seem complex to add grommets to your tarp, but it is actually a rather simple operation once you know what you’re doing.
These small kits include a selection of 3/8-inch grommets as well as a cutting tool to assist you in attaching them firmly to your tarp or tarpaulin.
- Set of twenty brass-plated grommets, as well as a cutting tool, insert punch, and setting die are included.
Check out this video from the people at Getting There Green for some tips on how to install grommets with this kit: Grommet Installation Guide.
It should be noted that using a tarp under your tent is not required under any circumstances. A ground cloth, on the other hand, should be brought along on all camping trips in order to keep you dry in the event of a storm and to extend the life of your shelter.
When it comes to the portability and packability of your camping gear, the type of tarp or ground cloth that you choose does make a difference in the whole experience. In contrast, while purpose-built ground cloths and DIY variants tend to be lighter than traditional tarps, there is no difference in performance between the two types of materials. For this reason, if weight savings are vital to you, it may be advisable to utilize a ground fabric from your tent maker rather than making your own.
How Thick Should A Tarp Be Under A Tent?
For ground cloths, there is no minimum thickness need; however, anything thicker than around 2mm should be acceptable. It’s important to remember, though, that the thicker the tarp, the heavier and bulkier it will be in your pack. As a result, you’ll need to find a compromise between the durability of your tarp and its packability.
Where Can I Buy Custom Sized Tarps?
Tarps may be purchased in bespoke sizes online from a variety of prominent merchants, including TarpsNow. Alternatively, you may tear up a huge sheet of painter’s tarp or Tyvek, which you can get online or at a hardware shop, to create your own custom-sized tarp to fit your specific requirements. Making your own modest tent footprint is generally less expensive than purchasing a bespoke tarp, albeit it will take you approximately an hour of your time to complete the task.
Why Does My Tent Get Wet Inside?
Tents may become damp on the inside for a variety of reasons. The first explanation is that your tent was not correctly erected (or that it had ripped), allowing rain or snow to seep into it. It is necessary to ensure that your tent is clear of holes and that your rainfly is taut at all times in order to avoid this predicament.
Having said that, the most likely explanation is that your tent is moist on the inside due to condensation that has accumulated over the course of the night. It is important to ensure that your tent is properly aired in these scenarios in order to avoid moisture buildup while you are sleeping.