How To Set Up Tarp Under Tent

Essentials for Using a Ground Cover Tarp with Your Tent

If you are planning your first camping trip, or if you haven’t gone camping in a long time, there may be certain things you are curious about as you prepare for your next camping trip in a tent. You’ll almost probably be thinking about what you should place under your camping tent, as well as whether or not you require a ground cover or tarp at all. Constructing a camp is a vital aspect of the camping experience, and because the camping tent serves as a shelter for your wilderness retreat, it’s important to assemble and stake your tent correctly in order to ensure your comfort.

Some people choose not to use a ground cover, although this is not recommended.

Observe the campground and choose a place that is higher than the rest of it to set up tent.

How to Set up Your Ground Cover

Placing some form of ground cover or tarp beneath your tent is vital for ensuring the longevity of your tent as well as keeping it warm and dry throughout the winter. Different terrains need the use of different tents and ground covers, and vice versa. The following are some important considerations to bear in mind when pitching your tent and deciding on the type of ground cover you should use. Place a tarp under your tent in wooded or open areas, but make certain that it doesn’t extend over the edge of the tent while you’re not using it.

A tarp should not be placed underneath the tent when camping at the beach, but rather inside the tent.

Because water sinks fast into the sand at sandy campgrounds, you won’t need to put a cover beneath your tent unless you’re in a very shady position.

Keep the wind in mind as well, because wind makes it more difficult to keep a tarp over a tent in place and can also blow rain sideways, potentially through the side seams of your tent.

About Waterproofing

Tent walls were designed to allow for air circulation and are not waterproof; rather, they are water resistant. When you acquire the tent, make sure that the fly over the tent, as well as the floor, are coated with waterproof protection to keep water out. Make sure to put seam sealer on all of the seams of new tents, and to repeat the process once or twice a year or so before going on your first camping trip of the season.

Groundcover Options

Some tents have the option of purchasing a footprint, which is useful in some situations. These footprints, on the other hand, can be rather expensive because they are custom-made for each individual tent and provide the greatest fit possible. If you have the financial means to do so, it is a viable choice. When the weather becomes severe, you may use your tarp to provide additional shelter over your tent or surrounding your camp. Always utilize a ground cover under your tent, regardless of whatever choice you pick.

Ground cover or a tarp protects the tent from abrasive ground, which will wear down the floor of any tent, no matter how robust the material is. Thank you for informing us about this!

Using a Tarp with Your Tent – Stay Dry While Camping

The use of tarps is a low-cost approach to make camping in the British climate a little more comfortable. In fact, when you go camping, you should have at least one tarp with you. During a recent camping trip, we were soaked to the bone. There has been a lot of rain. We were fortunate in that we had constructed a huge tarp shelter, which, along with a few windbreaks, provided us with a dry place to cook and relax by the fire. Other campers were only permitted to remain in their zipped-up tents.

We also bring a huge tarp to lay down on the ground, which is very useful when it has been raining or when severe weather is expected for the day.

Practical uses of a tarp when camping

So, what is the purpose of a tarp?

  • You may use a tarp as an additional groundsheet if the ground is too muddy or damp to pitch your tent directly on it (just make sure all the tarp is tucked under the tent). Ideally, when it comes time to dismantle your tent, the floor of your tent should be nice and dry. There must be a place to cook, eat, and take cover from the weather. It’s important to remember that you shouldn’t be cooking in your tent. A tarp allows you to eat even while it’s raining
  • When erecting a tent in the rain, an improvised shelter will allow you to move your things into your tent while being completely dry
  • When it’s raining, make a bonfire and toast marshmallows. Make use of tarps and windbreaks to keep the heat trapped
  • Make a tent for your children to play in

More information about building a camp kitchen beneath a tarp may be found by clicking on the image below.

Building a Simple Shelter with a Tarp

There are several different ways to put a tarp together. The direction of the wind, the position of trees or other supports, and the purpose for which it will be utilized all impact the choice of form. Two straight tent poles, rope, pegs, and, of course, a tarp are all you need to construct a rudimentary shelter.

  • You will need to run a line between the two poles with the assistance of a few small children holding the poles. The surplus line is removed and nailed into the ground to assist in keeping the poles in place throughout the installation process. This is referred to as the ridgeline. Run a second line from each pole to the ground and pin it in place. You should have something that resembles a laundry line at this point. Besides the connecting line, which supports the two poles, two more lines are used to freely support the poles. Pull the tarp over the line to secure it. Run lines from the corners of the tarp to the ground and peg them in place.

You may adjust the peak of the shelter by repositioning the tarp. It is possible that you will require more tarp on the back of the shelter and less on the front. The front of the tarp can be placed towards the fire, allowing smoke to escape (and lowering the chance of accidents), while yet providing enough tarp to provide pleasant cover. The use of an apex can aid with rain run-off. Even if it is not raining, this configuration is effective in retaining some of the heat generated by the fire.

  • Consider what would happen if it rains severely for an extended period of time.
  • Maintain the tightness of the tarp to avoid bulges.
  • Bungee cords are used to cushion the impact of falls.
  • You will need to take down the tarp in a violent gale, of course, but depending on the wind conditions you may be able to keep your frame in place, making it quick and simple to put the tarp back up when the wind dies down.
  • Bungee cords have the potential to be exceedingly harmful.

People do have a tendency to close their eyes. Bungee cords without metal hooks have now been added to my collection. If you use bungees to spare yourself from having to tie knots, you should consider utilizing a device such as theWhat Knot instead of bungees to save yourself time.

Tarps as Groundsheets

It’s critical that you don’t pack your tent away if it’s raining. If you do, you will need to dry it out as soon as you reach home. That’s easier said than done — if not because of a shortage of drying space, it’s because it takes time when you have a busy home. However, if you can let your tent to dry out in the open air before taking it down, you will avoid this problem.with the exception of the area under the tent, which cannot be dried out by the air. A tarp or other groundsheet can save you a lot of headaches in this situation because just that will need to be dried when you come home from the job site.

  1. These allow you to cover the underside of your tent and also assist you in pitching your tent since you can position the footprint where you want the tent prior to pitching, allowing you to get the location of your tent exactly perfect.
  2. Tent footprints are particularly important for tents with unusual forms, since they allow for more accurate positioning of the tent.
  3. Even if it’s raining when you’re pitching your tent and you’ve laid down an extra tarp or groundsheet, it’s vital to avoid letting a large amount of rainfall to pool on the tarp before you pitch your tent, as you don’t want to end up pitching your tent on a pool of water.
  4. (Yes, we have had to do this in the past!) Make sure there are no’spare’ tarp pieces protruding from underneath your tent.
  5. When putting your tarp groundsheet, do the same thing you would when pitching a tent: look for stones, thorns, bumps, and depressions.

How to keep dry when Pitching or Packing Up in the Rain

Our camping equipment (as well as the rest of the family’s belongings) had accumulated to the point that we needed to purchase a trailer. When loading the trailer, tarps and other coverings are the final items to be loaded onto the roof, with polls, lines, and pegs placed beneath. Not only does the tarp give some additional protection for the contents of the trailer, but it also serves as my “emergency tarp” package. ‘Emergency tarp’ gear that I have on hand. Whenever it starts to rain, I can easily drape a tarp over the trailer and the car’s doors and boot.

Another crucial tip for pitching in the rain is to always take the inner tents out of the bag before starting the process.

Unless you remove the inner tents when you take the tent down, you run the risk of them becoming wet if you pitch your tent in the rain (or becoming wet if you have to take your tent down in the rain, or if you are at a campsite where the “departure time” is well before any tents have had a chance to dry out).

It is possible to swiftly set up the tent if you follow the two-step procedure. Any rain that does get into the tent is quickly wiped away with a damp cloth. You may then transport the inner tents inside the tent (from beneath your tarp tunnel, of course), and set up the tent in the dry.

Emergency Protection for your Tent

The weather may be really terrible at times, with horizontal rain lashing at your tent and causing it to collapse. It is possible that your tent will leak some water if the rain comes from the side, or even from beneath if you are on a hill (yes, this can happen!) since the water is not flowing from the regular direction. Having a tarp in your emergency pack can save the day by offering additional protection to vulnerable areas such as doors.

What you need to get to create your own tarp shelter

A majority of the photos in this post were taken with a do-it-yourself attitude. I purchased some inexpensive tarps, tarp poles, guy lines and paracord, as well as some bungee cords. The tarp I’ve been using is a low-cost tarp, such as a construction tarp or an old groundsheet tarp that I have lying around. Even if this is fantastic for putting beneath the tent or in emergency scenarios, you may acquire tarps that are more attractive and easier to pack if they are made of the same material as your tent.

In the video below, we demonstrate how to set-up your own tarp using a tarp kit and some basic tools.

Want to learn more?

  • Instructions on how to assemble a tarp kit in a logical sequence. More information may be found at: How to put a tarp up on your own. More information may be found here. What to do with your tarp if it starts to wind up a little. More information may be found here.

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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.

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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.

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.

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 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.

  1. Ensure that the tarp you choose is the right size for your tent. The outer measurements of your tent should be 2-3 inches less than the outside dimensions of your tarp. This will aid in the prevention of pooling. Prepare the area where you will be erecting the tent by clearing it of debris. You want to get rid of all of the branches and jagged rocks in the area. Anything that appears to have the potential to puncture the tent must be removed
  2. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for setting up your tent on top of the tarp. Make certain that all of the corners are aligned and that any excess tarp is tucked under the tent’s edge. Fabric straps with grommets protruding from the corners of prefabricated tent footprints are commonly found on these structures. All you have to do is thread the tent poles through the grommets and proceed to set up your tent as usual. Because tarps do not have grommets, you will need to devise a different method of attaching them to the corners of your tent. I generally have a couple of those bungee balls in my bag, although they aren’t absolutely required

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).

  1. Your tarp stops your tent from coming into direct contact with the dew-covered ground. This is great
  2. 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 many alternatives and the ground is muddy, it might be difficult to enjoy yourself. After your camping vacation, there isn’t a contest to see who has the cleanest tent. But keeping the outside of your tent clean is vital since it makes the tent simpler to manage–especially if you are going to be moving from one location to another. Mud and sticky pine needles may be a hassle to clean up, and getting your tarp muddy is better since it is easier to wash once it has been soiled.

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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. Keep the journey as basic as possible!

Related Questions

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.

  1. It’s possible that their quality varies in tandem with that of the tent.
  2. Tyvek Tyvek is a material that is used to keep moisture out of dwellings.
  3. Some campers utilize this as a barrier between their tents and the rest of the campsite.
  4. 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.
  5. Taffeta (also known as tarpaulin) (Tarp) The good ol’ tarp, how I love thee.
  6. An all-purpose tarp in the medium thickness range will suffice for the occasional vehicle camping excursion.

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 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.

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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.

  1. Secondly, spread the tarp on the ground and position your tent on top of it.
  2. 3.
  3. 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.
  4. 4.
  5. However, you should avoid cutting right on the sharpie line.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

  1. Once you’ve completed all of this, you’ll be able to start setting up your tent.
  2. 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.
  3. Remember the five W’s when choosing a campground: water, waste, weather, widowmakers, and wildlife.
  4. We’ve previously spoken about how vital precipitation and drainage are, but it’s also crucial to remember that drinking water is as important.
  5. Rubbish is self-explanatory: campers will want a handy method of disposing of waste when they leave the campsite when they arrive.
  6. Using natural cover, such as trees and overhangs, can provide further protection against water seeping into the tent bottom.
  7. 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.
  8. 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!

Final Verdict:

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 You Need To Put A Tarp Under Your Tent? A Detailed Guide

Have you ever questioned whether or not you should place a tarp under your tent? When I first started camping, I saw that more and more people were using tarps to protect their tents from rain and snow. I decided to look into it further to figure out why. So, do you think you’ll need to place a tarp beneath your tent? A tarp under your tent is not required, however it is recommended in order to protect the floor of your tent from damage. The use of a tarp can also assist you in keeping some moisture out of your tent during periods of severe rain.

Additionally, in order for the tarp to be successful, you must understand how to properly set it up. By the way, if you’re in the market for a new tent, you can check out the one I recommend on Amazon by clicking here.

Tarps Protect The Bottom Of Your Tent

It should be your main goal to extend the life span of your camping equipment. When camping, your tent is one of your most valuable possessions, and you should take every precaution to keep it safe. Depending on where you camp, your tent may be at danger of being damaged by the ground on which you are setting up camp. Tarps can assist in preventing this damage since they provide as a cushioned barrier against items such as pebbles, sticks, thorns, and other potentially harmful objects. Even a slight hold on the bottom of your tent’s floor might develop into a huge rip if it is not adequately covered.

It is essential that you understand the dimensions of your tent and the tarp in order to ensure that the whole bottom of your tent is protected.

Tarps Help Keep Moisture Out Of Your Tent

If you fold your tarp beneath your tent in the appropriate manner, it will tremendously assist you in keeping moisture from entering your shelter. Rain has the ability to damp the ground beneath your tent, allowing moisture to leak inside your tent. This is especially true if there is any damage beneath your tent as a result of your failure to protect it before! Even a few relatively small holes in your tent have the ability to allow a significant amount of rainfall to enter. No one likes water in their tent, so make sure you are prepared.

  • As it happens, the finest camping spots are also those in which the weather is the most unpredictably unpredictable.
  • There was no mention of rain or snow in the weather prediction; in fact, it was anticipated to be bright, clear days in the low 70s all week long.
  • You don’t want to be caught out in the rain or snow without a tarp to protect your vehicle.
  • Okay, so we know that a tarp will assist to protect your tent from the elements and will help to keep water out, but we need to make sure that we set up the tarp correctly in order for it to be as efficient as possible.

Set Up Your Tarp Properly So It Can Provide Effective Protection

It is rather simple to provide terrain protection. To do this, simply ensure that the tarp is thick and large enough to completely cover the floor of your tent. It’s not a bad idea to acquire a somewhat larger tarp just to be on the safe side, because you can always fold it down a little to make it fit. A tarp that is somewhat thicker than you would want is also recommended because you never know what might be lurking beneath your tent. If you want to keep moisture out of your tent, you should fold the tarp so that it is beneath the tent and the folds are pointing outwards.

  • To do this, your tarp folds should be folded inward to the inside of the tarp itself, which will allow the water to drain off of it.
  • Aside from that, water will flow down the sides of your tent and if the tarp is protruding too much, it will collect the water and trap it below your tent.
  • Consider putting an additional tarp on top of your tent to provide additional rain protection from the elements.
  • Wind can force rain to fall at your tent at an oblique angle, and some tents are not completely sealed in every direction, making it difficult to stay dry.
  • Make sure to carefully attach the tarp as well; you don’t want it to fly away in the middle of the night while it’s raining.
  • Plus, as an added plus, having an extra tarp on top of your tent may help to keep you a little warmer at night because the wind will not be able to penetrate it as readily as it would with thin tent material.

When it comes to purchasing a tarp for your tent, you have a few alternatives to choose from, and it is always beneficial to have a variety of options.

There Are A Few Different Tarp Options For Protecting Your Tent

The use of tent footprints is one alternative you might consider. Their purpose is to be used for camping and for sleeping in tents. As a result, they are a high-end solution that provides the most comprehensive protection available. Some tents even come with their own tent footprints that are designed specifically for that brand and model; perform a fast search on to check if your tent comes with one of its own footprints. If you don’t have one, there are some excellent options available that are designed to match standard tent measurements.

Tarp with a Classic Multi-Purpose Design The original multi-purpose tarps are a more cost-effective alternative.

The most common color is blue.

Although they are less expensive than tent footprints, I would not recommend going too cheap because, after all, you want to preserve your tent, which is a more expensive investment.

When it comes to camping, getting a tent footprint for the bottom of your tent and a basic tarp for the top of your tent may be the perfect combo to ensure that you are prepared for whatever may come your way.


While you are not required to have a tarp under your tent, it is strongly recommended that you do. In addition, you are not need to bring a tent, but sleeping on the ground is not very enjoyable. Tarps are useful for protecting your tent from damage and for keeping you dry while camping. Make certain that the tarp is correctly set up so that it may do its intended function. Remember to bring the proper tarp for your camping needs as well and you will have a wonderful experience.

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