How Big Should a Tent Footprint Be?
Next time you’re visiting a public campsite, take a look at some of the tents that have been set up. Check the bottom of the tent to check if there are any tarps or ground cloths hanging out. If you can see the footprint of the tent, it is far too large. What is the optimal size of a tent footprint? Purchase a tent footprint that is 2′′-3′′ smaller in circumference than the floor of your tent. Having a footprint that is larger than your tent can cause flooding issues if it rains heavily. When the water starts to pool on top of the tarp and run below the tent, it will cause more harm than good.
However, they have never used it in the rain because it protects their floor from tearing and helps to keep it clean.
For a time, you might be able to get away with using a large ground cloth, but it will ultimately catch up with you and bite you in the bum.
Don’t wait until it’s too late and your sleeping bag is drenched to take action!
Choosing The Right Size Tent Footprint
Before you can pick a ground cloth or tarp, you must first determine the size of your tent. Hopefully, you’ve been able to determine the product name and year of manufacture of your tent. Alternatively, if you do not have the packing, you can wish to consider where you purchased the tent. I was fortunate enough to have purchased my prior tent through Amazon, which made tracking down my previous orders a breeze. Just have a look at the specifications and then go to the section below. Don’t be concerned!
Simply put up your tent in the backyard, grab a tape measure, and start to work measuring things up.
Go 2-3 Inches Smaller Than The Tent Floor
Before purchasing a tent, it is critical that you determine the size of the tent you require. Never squander time with a tent footprint that is significantly larger than it has to be. Purchase a tent footprint that is 2-3 inches smaller in circumference than the outside measurements of the tent. Consider the area of the top of your tent’s roof, for example. A basic three-person tent will have a floor area of around 81 square feet. Water will be diverted onto the top of your tent footprint since the full surface area of your tent will divert water.
All of that water must be able to percolate down into the soil.
|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|
The table above illustrates some of the most often encountered tent sizes. Remember to check the overall dimensions of your tent and select a tarp or footprint that is appropriate for your needs.
You will need to trim down and adjust the tarps mentioned above in order to make them fit properly. You might wish to have a look at the Alps Mountaineering website for more sizes. They are available in around 20 different sizes. As a result, you should be able to locate one that is effective.
Ask The Manufacturer For Product Specific Tent Footprints
Call the tent manufacturer and see whether they provide a tent footprint that is specifically made for your tent. Investing in a tent footprint that is properly created for your tent is by far the most advantageous choice available. You will almost certainly have to pay a premium for this service, but it is well worth it. The majority of manufacturers adopt standard size so that their whole product range may be covered with the same ground cloth. Although there is no industry standard tent size, the table below should help you get a good idea of what to expect.
It’s important to remember that you’ll almost certainly need to trim down some tarp and put grommets in it (my grommet kit).
Check Out The Tarps At Harbor Freight
After visiting a total of ten stores and failing to locate anything of interest, I came upon a goldmine at Harbor Freight. It’s insane how many different tarps they offer in different sizes and styles. The whole back wall of my neighborhood business had been entirely covered with advertisements. If you can’t locate a tarp that will work for you at harbor freight, you’re not going to be able to get one anyplace else either. Before traveling to the store, you might want to look at their online collection.
Custom Tarps are Way Too Expensive
Don’t even bother attempting to locate a heavy-duty custom-made tarp of sufficient strength. Truckers, landscapers, construction workers, and other professionals virtually exclusively employ custom tarps. A tailored tarp for my 3-person tent would have cost me anything from $30 to $70, depending on the thickness of the material used. That is more expensive than simply getting the one that is specifically made for my tent.
How Thick Should a Tent Footprint Be?
Good luck with your attempt to determine the thickness of your tent’s footprint. I tried calling a few different manufacturers, but I couldn’t get a straight answer from any of the representatives. It appears that the majority of ultralight models are. The standard version is 5mm thick, while the heavy-duty version is 1.5mm thick. As a result, your footprint should fall somewhere within that range of values. Fortunately, it doesn’t really matter how large your footprint is. Any tarp or ground cloth that is less than a year old should suffice.
Make no mistake: don’t use that ratty old tarp that you found in the garage.
Making Your Own Tent Footprint Out of a Tarp
It is really simple to create a tent footprint. Please follow the procedures outlined above and refer to the video for further information.
- Determine the dimensions of your tent. If you are unable to determine the size of your tent, you will need to stand it up and measure the bottom. Simply turn the tent on its side and lay it out on the floor to use. In most cases, you shouldn’t have to put up the tent in order to collect a measurement. Obtain a tarp that is approximately 2-3 inches shorter in length and breadth than the length and width of your tent. Instead of being excessively enormous, it is preferable to be somewhat smaller. It is possible that you will have to buy a large tarp and trim it down to size if you cannot locate a close match
- Take scissors and cut your tarp down to size. Don’t be concerned about cutting out grommets
- They may be reinserted at a later time. A substantial section of the footprint should be saved for a subsequent phase. Adding grommets is optional, but it will help to strengthen the tent and provide a location to attach the tent poles. Spending a lot of money on a grommet kit is unnecessary. a low-cost Coghlan’s Grommet Kit is all you truly need
- It includes everything. This is an optional step, but I believe it is well worth the time and effort it entails. To make corner grommet straps, take the remaining piece of tarp from before and cut four 8-12 inch strips to fit around the corners. Take a look at the image below for inspiration. Fold the straps in half and tie them to the corners of the tarp with bungee cords. Simply connect the strap to your tarp with the grommet kit that came with it. This should provide a strong enough connection, but you may want to add a few stitches to ensure a secure connection. Make a mockup of your tent over the tarp and mark the spot where your poles will intersect with the straps. Install another grommet where the tent poles will be aligned, and then insert the tent poles into the grommet. If you do so, your tarp footprint should be prevented from slipping below the tent floor.
Ground Cloths : A quick overview
Ground cloths are an item that is sometimes overlooked when trekking or camping, yet they are quite important. You purchase a tent and some form of plastic to put underneath it, and that’s the end of the story. Is a ground cloth, however, required? Does your local outfitter provide any more options beyond the pricey “tent footprints” or the common blue-tarp available at hardware stores?
There are alternatives to these two standards that are lighter, less costly, and even more effective than these two standards. If there is ever a time when one is required. Continue reading to find out. This version has been updated for 2018. Painter’s Drop Cloth. Available on Amazon.com.
Is a ground cloth needed for a tent?
There are a plethora of options for the plain ground cloth that you may pick. Is one, however, absolutely necessary? According to conventional knowledge, a ground covering is required to protect the floor from sharp pebbles, twigs, and stones, as well as the possibility of Mole Men digging from beneath the tent and capturing unwary campers and their belongings. Mole Men are a type of masked assassin. In the bush, there is nothing more hazardous than grizzlies! Adapted from Wikipedia. Consider, however, that hundreds of thru-hikers log thousands of miles of trail each year, contributing to the overall total.
- They are lightweight and probably not as durable as regular tents, which supposedly require the use of cumbersome and expensive “fitting tent footprints,” which are not included in the price of the shelter.
- Simple things like carefully scouting a suitable location and cleaning away rocks and vegetation may make a world of difference.
- Although it appears that even the most meticulously fitting ground cloth (a few inches smaller than the tent floor) will ultimately allow moisture to seep between the tent floor and the ground fabric, this has not been proven.
- This is not good!
- Using geographic information systems (GIS).
- However, there are certain exceptions.
So, when is a ground cloth needed?
There are several instances in which a ground cloth is a wise purchase, as follows: A traveler who mostly “cowboy camps” and uses a tarp for shelter. A basic ground cloth is a fantastic thing to keep on hand for the hiker who prefers to sleep under the stars and only uses a tarp when the weather is very bad. Place it on the ground, place your sleeping pad and sleeping bag on top, and take in the night sky above. The ground cloth will serve to protect and keep dirt out of your sleeping bag and pad, as well as aid to organize your belongings and shield you from any dew or ground moisture that may occur while backpacking.
- Jen D’Enise created this painting.
- Some shelters, like as theMegamidd, do not have a floor because it would be too heavy to carry.
- For similar reasons, hammock campers appreciate the use of a ground cloth.
- As others have pointed out to me, the hardwood flooring of the AT-style shelters may be dusty and difficult to walk on when using inflated mats on top of them.
- If you are someone who often beats up on your equipment or camps in regions that are not ‘kind’ to tents (such as certain established vehicle campsites, particularly rocky soil, etc.), you may want to consider investing in a ground cover to protect your tent.
- A ground cloth will not be of assistance.
- Using geographic information systems (GIS).
a feeling of well-being If someone is absolutely certain that a ground cloth is required for their tent, they should most likely purchase one for their use. They are not costly, and they only add a few ounces to the final product. All of these ‘just in case’ gear items, on the other hand, cost up.
I really need or want a ground cloth. What ground cloth should I buy?
If you determine that you want or desire a ground cloth for your type of hiking or camping, there are a few common options to consider. Additionally, if you are using a ground fabric for a tent, make sure that it is approximately 2 inches shorter than the tent floor itself. If the ground fabric is overly large, it will catch any rain that falls below the tent. Trenching is not something I would recommend because it is considered unsafe in all but the most dire of circumstances. The same may be said for a more broad ground cloth and the creation of a lip.
- The Car Camping Minimum Requirement – The Tarpaulin in Blue Obtainable through Amazon The tarp in blue.
- And, after all, why not?
- They could be a little too much for the average traveller, though.
- You may use them for a variety of purposes when vehicle camping, including as a sunshade, a temporary rain shelter, and other objects about the campsite.
- A blue tarp may also be used as a dirt-bagger shelter for those who are on a tight financial budget.
- Makes a great gift for:A hiker on a tight budget, or a multipurpose item for vehicle camping or base camping.
The Patagucci standard is as follows: the custom-made footprint. It does, however, come with a really lovely stuff sack! According to REI These customized tent footprints are available for purchase at retailers such as REI and EMS to protect your tent. They are often equipped with shock cords or similar to link directly into a certain tent, but they are both expensive and time-consuming to set up (adds as much as 16 oz to an already heavy shelter). There are superior alternatives to the blue tarp, just as there are to the blue tarp.
- When to use it:For the traveller who enjoys splurging on unnecessary stuff.
From Amazon, you may get a classic: Painters Drop Cloth (Polyethylene). Another tried-and-true classic that is ideal for individuals on a tight budget who want something lightweight but still long-lasting. A t hicker 6mil is a bomber, but it’s also a heavyweight. A2mil ground cloth is incredibly light, but it is not particularly durable, which is a concern for many people. The 3mil thickness appears to be a reasonable compromise between durability and lightweight. For this grade, a 3’x7′ piece weighs around 3 oz.
If you are outfitting a large number of individuals, large rolls of fabric can be purchased (such as a Boy Scout troop). The fact that the drop cloths do not ventilate at all means that moisture can build up below them over the course of a night is a little negative.
- A extremely sturdy, lightweight, and economical option that works particularly well for big groups of people. Use for:
Tyvek is the new classic in the making. GIS was used to locate this location a long time ago. Tyvek may be described as “Goretex for homes” in a nutshell. Tyvek is a material that both keeps moisture out and allows moisture to escape. The same characteristics of Tyvek that make it an excellent building material also make it an excellent ground cloth. Sometimes available for free near building sites (ask for some scraps!) or purchased online, it is a versatile material. A portion of around 5′ by 7′ weighs approximately 7 oz (as always, cut down to make it lighter) Tyvek is a material that is both durable and light in weight.
- Tyvek is available for purchase from Flybox Gear for.99 per linear foot in 3′ widths.
- Cloth grade Tyvek, which is commonly used for kites, may also be purchased on the internet.
- It is also less loud right out of the package.
- Nonetheless, its qualities may be preferable to those of the building grade Tyvek mentioned above.
- What to use it for: Backpacking and camping in general, if you want a happy balance between price, weight, and durability
Zpacks offers an ultralight variant of Tyvek in the form of DCF (Cuben Fibre) ground cloths and DCG ground cloths. The DCF ground cloths are lightweight for their size, adaptable, allow for good air circulation, and are rather durable, especially if the site is well selected. Tyvek weighs somewhat less than half as much as this. They are, however, quite expensive! It costs $85 for a basic version, and it costs up to $170 for a hyped-up version that weights 4 oz. Although the weight is appealing, if you are looking for a simple ground cloth rather than something that can be used in a variety of situations, there are alternative solutions that are just as light and price friendly, if not quite as durable.
In the end, it’s nothing more than a piece of fabric that can be repaired with mending tape.
- Use for:A hiker who prefers lightweight mobility and is not concerned with spending a lot of money
For the ultra-light hiker, consider Polycryo / Window Shrink Wrap Insulation, which is available on Amazon. Polycryo and shrink-wrap Window Insulator are both constructed of polyolefin and are extremely similar in appearance. They are both lightweight (about a fourth the weight of Tyvek and even lighter than DCF) and affordable, making them excellent candidates for ground cloths. This option, while not quite as robust as DCF or Tyvek, is still sturdy enough for individuals who use camp primarily for sleeping and do not intend to spend a significant amount of time in camp.
The most significant difficulty is that polycryo can shrink by up to 2 inches in width and 5 inches in length when exposed to high temperatures. Hiking in extremely hot weather is NOT recommended. Most persons are unlikely to fall within this category.
- Who this ground cloth is intended for: The all-day hiker who wants the lightest ground cloth possible while yet being relatively robust and who will not be hiking in really hot circumstances
*** Depending on your requirements, budget, and trip objectives, the following are some of the most common and well-known ground cloth varieties. It’s possible that the one you choose will perform better than the others. What is the overarching summary of these options?
- Do you want something that is economical, long-lasting, and versatile? Blue tarp
- Inexpensive, available in a variety of thicknesses and weights depending on your demands for durability against lightness, or if you’re buying for a large number of people. Drop cloth for painters
- A decent combination of durability and lightweight that has been demonstrated to be useful for backpacking? Construction-grade Tyvek
- If you want many of the characteristics of Tyvek, but with a somewhat lower durability but a lighter weight, and don’t mind spending the money, try Tyvek. DCF ground cloth
- Are you looking for the lightest option that also happens to be the most affordable, and durability is not the most important consideration? Insulation made of polycryo/windowshrink
Is A Tent Footprint Worth It: Yes, and how to make your own for free
If you’ve already read our in-depth guide to buying a tent and discovered your ideal backcountry structure, you might be wondering if you’ll need to purchase a tent footprint to go with your new construction. Alternatively, if your tent comes with a sleeping bag, should you really take it on your next trip? When it comes to backpacking and camping, tent footprints, sometimes known as groundsheets, may be a source of friction for both groups. Is a tent footprint, on the other hand, worthwhile?
The straightforward answer is yes.
Find out everything you need to know about footprints and groundsheets by continuing reading this article.
Here’s what we are going to cover:
- What is a tent footprint, and how do you make one? What is the purpose of a tent footprint
- What is the purpose of using a tent footprint? What is the composition of tent footprints
- Is it really worth it to leave a footprint? Tent Footprints Made at Home
What Is A Tent Footprint?
As the name implies, a footprint (sometimes called a groundsheet) is an extremely lightweight sheet that is roughly the shape of your tent floor’s outline and that is placed beneath your tent to act as a barrier or additional layer between the ground and your tent floor. These are frequently supplemental or optional pieces of equipment. Groundsheets, on the other hand, are becoming increasingly common among tent manufacturers, who are included them in the price of their tents. Footprints are frequently constructed of the same material as your tent, but with a thicker thread—a thicker thread is referred to as a higher ‘denier.’ More on this in a moment.
What Is A Tent Footprint Used For?
Despite the fact that it is constructed of exceptionally durable nylon or polyester, the floor of your tent is subjected to a great deal of wear and tear. Some terrain can cause your tent floor to wear out considerably more quickly than others. Exposed granite and sandstone can act as sandpaper on the bottom of your tent, potentially causing thin areas or holes to appear quite rapidly on the ground surface of your tent. Minor, sharp pebbles and twigs can also create small punctures in your floor, especially if they are close together.
Even yet, if holes begin to form in your tent, the effectiveness of the tent to keep you dry and warm gets more weakened over time.
A footprint serves as a protective covering against these abrasions and as a barrier between you and the ground, which can be chilly or damp at times.
Why Use A Tent Footprint?
Tent footprints have the potential to significantly increase the useful life of your tent. When you consider that a hiking tent might cost $300 or more, a footprint that costs $40-50 or less could well be worth it.
In the event that you let your tent floor to become worn, you may as well be employing an arp shelter or a bivy bag. Unlike your tent, when the footprint wears out, it can be simply changed at a far cheaper cost than the tent itself.
Footprints Are Useful For Other Things Too
Tent footprints are also helpful for a variety of other applications, which is an added plus. As we explained in previous post, tent footprints, as well as old rain-flies, may be utilized in a variety of practical ways, including the following ones:
- The use of groundsheets for bivying or when you just don’t want to bother with putting up the tent
- They make wonderful tarps for sorting equipment. Tarps made of perfectrope for the crag
- Picnic blankets that are a good size
- Rain protection that is above and beyond
- Additional heat insulating layer/windshield is recommended. Can be used to repair various items of clothing and equipment, such as tents and backpacks.
What are tent footprints made of?
It is possible that your tent will arrive with a footprint, however most tents can be purchased with a fitted footprint. Footprints will be made of either nylon or polyester, similar to how tents are manufactured. In a recent post, we discussed the differences in the characteristics of nylon and polyester. Generally speaking, nylon is a stronger textile that is also more elastic and less water resistant than polyester. Polyester is less elastic than nylon, but it is significantly more water resistant and resistant to UV damage than nylon.
When you consider that the objective of your footprints is to protect you and your tent from moisture and abrasion, most people would agree that a polyester groundsheet is the superior choice (disregarding weight).
The ‘denier’ of the fabric will be listed in the product specs for footprints, much as it is with tent material (for double-walled tents, the denier is not as critical because the inner tent is protected by the rain fly). Denier is a unit of measure for the thickness of a thread. As an example, consider denier to be a “burliness” element in the instance of tent footprints. The greater the denier, the more hefty the product will be in terms of weight. In order to serve as a barrier, your imprints should be made of a higher denier fabric wherever possible (assuming all other factors are equivalent).
Denier By The Numbers
For example, the universal footprint for the MSR Hubba Hubba NX costs $45 when purchased from Backcountry.com. It is made of 68-denier polyester and weighs 7.0 ounces. The Nemo Hornet has a footprint that weighs 6.9 ounces and is made of 75-denier nylon. It costs $49. As a point of reference, the floor material of the Hubba Hubba is 30-denier nylon, while the top micromesh is 15-denier nylon. Nylon is much lighter than polyester. Because it is made of a higher denier material, the Nemofootprint weighs less than the Hubba Hubba footprint in terms of total weight.
Is A Tent Footprint Worth It?
All of this is in order to answer the question, “Is leaving a footprint worth it?” A tent footprint is absolutely worth the investment, especially considering how lightweight, inexpensive, and versatile they are. Let’s imagine you’ve come to a conclusion and are now looking for the ideal footprint for your tent on the internet. There is one more thing to think about, and it might end up saving you a significant amount of money.
DIY Tent Footprints
Tent footprints are quite basic objects, despite the fact that they are extremely vital. What exactly are they in the first place? You should put a sheet under your tent. Is it really necessary to spend $40-50 bucks on anything like that? The answer to this question is a resounding no.
The manufacturer-issued footprints can be replaced with a few other options that will perform better, are more versatile, and will save you money as well. Before we get into the DIY possibilities, it’s crucial to understand how to measure the footprint of your DIY tent.
How Big Should A Tent Footprint Be?
It is recommended that the footprints be cut to be around 1-2 inches smaller than the actual outline of your tent on all sides. The rationale behind this is a bit puzzling, to be honest. It is possible that a footprint that extends beyond the tent’s edge will operate as a moisture trap. In the event of a downpour, this will allow water to pool and flow between the footprint and the bottom of your tent’s floor. It is possible that more water will enter the main tent as a result of this than if the footprint had not been present in the first place.
3 Materials For A Solid DIY Footprint
A basic transparent plastic painters tarp, which is the heaviest choice here, can be obtained at any hardware shop for a few dollars. The amount of material you receive will be plenty for your needs, and you may cut it to your specifications. Pros:
- It is inexpensive
- You may choose the size. Completely impervious to water
- Big tents
- When weight is not a consideration
- Car camping or walk-in campsites
Polycro, which is available from Gossamer Gear and Six Moon Designs, is the lightest of the ultra-light polymers. Polycro is transparent, and it appears just like a plastic painter’s tarp, only it’s wayyy thinner. Its high strength to weight ratio means that, despite being a thin layer, Polycro is exceptionally durable, puncture and abrasion resistant, in addition to being water and abrasion resistant. A normal sheet of polycro, measuring 96″ by 48″, weighs just 1.6 ounces, which is nearly indistinguishable (45 grams).
You know that white paper-like material that is used to cover houses while they are being built? Because it’s practically unbreakable, it’s inexpensive, it’s waterproof, and it’s also somewhat lightweight. Tyvek has a high burliness factor, which means it is difficult to tear. It is far more puncture resistant when compared to the other choices. Tyvek is also impervious to water. However, because it is light and compact, you can simply roll up and cinch it in the top of your pack or one of the exterior straps when not in use.
Others will cut the piece to your preferred length if you ask them nicely.
In comparison to Polycro, a piece of Tyvek measuring 84″ × 84″ weights 6.5 ounces (184 grams).
- Every circumstance involving hiking or camping in which weight is not a consideration
- What Is the Footprint of a Tent? A footprint is a ground sheet that is molded to the contour of your tent and serves as a barrier between the floor of your tent and the ground. What Is the Purpose of a Footprint? A footprint is a piece of rubber that protects the bottom of your tent from damage. When placed between your tent and the ground, it works as a barrier, keeping moisture and cold from getting into your tent. Is It Really Necessary To Bring A Tent When Backpacking? When hiking, you do not need to leave a trace. A footprint, on the other hand, will extend the life of your tent by preventing moisture and cold from entering the tent and is very light in comparison. Footprints may be used for a variety of additional functions while hiking or camping, such as a rain tarp, a gear sorting station, wind protection, a picnic blanket, and other things. In Your Opinion, What Is The Best DIY Tent Footprint? Tyvek and Polycro are two inexpensive and lightweight materials that may be used to create your own imprints. Compared to Tyvek, Polycro is considerably lighter and less durable, but it is also more costly and more delicate. Tyvek is more durable and less expensive. Both variants are water-resistant.
Is it really worth it to have a tent footprint? We believe this to be true.
Why Use Tent (Ground Cloth) Footprint 2020
Tent footprints, which are occasionally provided by the manufacturer and have the same shape as the tent’s floor, are a nice touch. Ground cloths, on the other hand, are constructed of insulating material and weigh a fraction of the weight and expense of a traditional tarp. For the same reason, tent footprints and ground cloths are utilized in the same way.
They both contribute to the prevention of dirt, wetness, and sharp items from penetrating the tent’s floor. Ground cloths are our preferred method of camping since they are completely adjustable to meet your specific needs.
Do I Need a Tent Footprint?
Is it vital to have a tent footprint while going camping? The answer is a categorical no! Footprints, on the other hand, have been shown to increase the longevity of the tent’s floor. Going camping during inclement weather? Do you have a chilly night’s sleep? While sleeping, tent footprints prevent further moisture from entering the sleeping space and assist in the loss of body heat through the ground, both of which are significant advantages. People frequently choose to construct their own ground cloth in order to save money on the expense of purchasing a footprint.
How Big Should the Tent Footprint Be?
The actual volume of your tent’s footprint or ground cloth is determined by the size and form of the tent and is measured in cubic feet. Upon completion of the set-up, the footprint should be cut or tucked under the outer border of the shelter. The entire length and width should be less than the height and width of your tent floor. If it rains, the water will not flow off the cloth and onto your sleeping space, but will instead soak into the ground beneath the fabric. Ideally, the size should be a few inches less than the floor of the tent.
Which Side is Up?
The process of getting everything set up is really straightforward. People, on the other hand, are frequently perplexed by the side of the item that is set on the ground. The majority of the time, technical fabrics are used to construct tent footprints (such as Silnylon). One side of the material has been coated (shiny), while the other has been left untreated (dull). The bright side is the sky, and the dull side is the dirt. You will be able to extend the life of the fabric coating in this manner.
Make (MYOG) a Cheap Ground Cloth
Visiting the hardware shop will suffice to create a low-cost (DIY) ground cloth for your project. Simply cut a piece of Tyvek that is slightly larger than the floor of your tent and you’re ready to go. Return home and pitch your tent in the backyard. Afterwards, you put out the tyvek material on top of it and set up the tent within. Make a few marks using a pen or a pencil to indicate your location. Remove the tent and make a few cuts inside the lines you’ve drawn. As a result, the overall footprint of the ground fabric is less than the footprint of the tent floor.
Luxe Tyvek Tent Floors (also known as luxury Tyvek tent floors)
6 Reasons You Need To Buy A Tent Footprint
It doesn’t matter if you’re buying a tent for £150 or £1500; a tent footprint may save you time and work while, more crucially, protecting a key section of your tent from damage. The inexpensive cost of this attachment, which ranges from £10 and upwards, making it an absolute must-have to purchase with your tent or to use with an existing tent you already possess. First and foremost, it could be worthwhile for us to go over the fundamentals.
What is a tent footprint?
Do you have a clear understanding of what a tent footprint is? Most of the time, you can tell what a tent footprint is by looking at it, but in case you’re unclear, it’s a groundsheet-like piece of cloth that rests between your tent and the ground.
Depending on the size of your tent, it is available in a variety of sizes. It is pinned down in the corners and is the first item you should take care of while assembling your tent. Here are six compelling reasons why you should invest in a tent footprint:
1. Prolong the life of your tent
Due to the fact that 90 percent of tents are now constructed with a sewn-in groundsheet, purchasing a footprint has become even more important. Take precautions to keep your brand new tent secure from abrasion or cuts caused by loose stones and twigs – think of it like purchasing a screen protector or cover for your brand new phone – it’s better to be safe than sorry! Accidents may happen while camping even with the finest intentions and utmost care in the world – therefore it’s worth you in the long run to build your tent with as much safety as possible from the start.
2. Add extra warmth
Incorporating a footprint beneath your tent will add another layer, somewhat elevating you off the ground and reducing the amount of heat that escapes to the ground. When people go camping, they grossly underestimate how much body heat may be lost in this manner, which is a severe mistake. This, in conjunction with a goodsleeping matorair bed, will give an excellent foundation for a restful night’s sleep. When you’re camping, the majority of your heat is lost to the ground, thus leaving a footprint can assist keep you warm and comfortable.
3. Add extra waterproofing
Layers of protection are twice as effective as one layer. A second layer of waterproofing can not only provide you with peace of mind, but it can also help to safeguard your investment by preventing water damage. Your brand new tent is an investment, and you’ll want to make sure that it remains in the best possible condition for as long as possible after you’ve purchased it.
4. Easier, simplified pitching
You’ll have a clear picture of where your tent is going to be placed, where it will fit, and where to begin pegging from the start because most footprints are custom-made and particular to the contour of your tent’s outline. When it comes to actually pitching your tent, you will save valuable time and have less problems as a result of this.
5. Packing away is less hassle
It’s certain that the camping grounds will be wet during your stay (as is often the case in the United Kingdom), and when it comes time to pack up your tent, you will find that the sewn-in groundsheet of your tent will get quite wet and muddy – hardly the most pleasant of farewell presents. The footprint is something that will prevent the most of this from happening and will keep your tent reasonably dry and clean, which means there will be a lot less work to do once you get home.
6. Tailor-made to suit your tent
In most circumstances, footprints will be particular to a tent type (or in some cases, footprints will fit more than one model) and will be slightly smaller than the floorplan in order to avoid any water from collecting between the sewn-ingroundsheet and the footprint. This’made-to-measure’ approach makes finding the correct footprint for your tent a cinch thanks to its flexibility.
Do I need a tent footprint?
Hopefully, we’ve provided you with six compelling arguments for why you should invest in a tent footprint. Our recommendation is that you use a footprint or groundsheet, just like you would with your man ropes, but ultimately it comes down to personal opinion. Although a footprint may seem unnecessary to a seasoned camper who has never used one, it can be extremely useful if you’ve ever suffered a tear in the bottom of your tent, struggle with water seeping in from beneath your tent, or simply despise packing away a muddy tent; in these cases, a footprint can be extremely beneficial.
- Interested in learning more about tent footprints?
- The following are some more questions that you may have: What should the footprint of a tent be in terms of size?
- This is done in order to prevent water from collecting between the footprint and your tent, which would completely contradict the purpose of the footprint!
- What is the composition of a tent footprint?
- However, you’ll discover that the majority of them are constructed of polyethylene, which is both sturdy and easy to clean.
- How to clean the footprint of a tent Use a clean (preferably brand new) cloth to wipe away any filth, followed by a simple rinse with water.
The best method for cleaning considerable amounts of mud that has become adhered to the footprint would be to scrub it away with a scourer, taking care not to be too harsh.
Check out ourgreat range of tent footprintsto make your camping trip that little bit smoother.
Take a look at our whole assortment of tent accessories or our entire tents collection, which includes: Tents by Size|Family Tents|Polycotton Tents|Tents by Brand Check out more articles from the Winfields Blog to get you ready for 2020. Remember to check out our camping blog for more articles like this. This year’s top ten best family camping tents include an inflatable tent. Buying an Air Tent: A Buyer’s Guide
Do You Need a Tent Footprint for Backpacking?
You’ve invested in a tent with a water-resistant floor. Is it necessary to purchase a tent footprint or a groundsheet in addition to the tent? How sturdy and waterproof your tent floor is, as well as what the surface conditions are like where you want to use it, are all factors that must be considered. If you want to make a decision, you’ll need to understand how the thickness of your tent floor and the waterproof rating of your tent will affect its overall longevity. The choice of a camping spot is also an essential consideration.
What is a Tent Footprint?
It is important to understand that a tent footprint is a piece of protective fabric or material that you place under your tent to act as a moisture barrier while also protecting your tent floor from abrasion and punctures. Abrasion occurs on the bottom of your tent every time you pitch it due to the grit, small rocks, sand, and twigs that build on previously used tent sites. This weakens the fabric, which might result in a hole or puncture that allows water to seep past the waterproof layer of your tent floor and into the inside.
The majority of tent footprints are designed to correspond to the floor measurements of a certain tent.
In the event that your tent floor has a hole or has deteriorated seam tape, the puddle may soak through the fabric or seep inside the tent.
Tent Floor Durability and Waterproofing
A denier count and a waterproofing meter are frequently included in the specifications of backpacking tents. The denier count of a tent’s floor fabric refers to the thickness of the threads that make up the fabric, and it is a good indicator of the tent’s overall durability. Consider the following example: The floor of a tent that has a “70D,” or “70 denier,” construction, such as theREI Half Dome 2 Plus, will be harder and more durable than the 15 denier floor of the ultralightNEMO Hornet 2.
- For example, a tent floor with a waterproof rating of 5000 mm, such as the Hilleberg Niak, is far more waterproof than a tent floor with a waterproof rating of 1200 mm, such as theNEMO Hornet 2, which is substantially less waterproof.
- It may be used to evaluate the waterproofness of different tent flooring against one another.
- While they do not specify whether or not it is waterproof, it is unquestionably more durable than the 15 denier floor that came with the tent in question.
- It is also important to evaluate the nature and character of the campgrounds where you intend to set up your tent, as well as whether the usage of a footprint is appropriate in that particular setting.
The soil in pre-existing tent sites and established campsites is frequently sandy and abrasive, making it difficult to create a healthy garden.
Your camping location will determine whether you require a tent footprint or not. A good example is how many pre-existing campsites have been “dished out” and have formed an indentation in the ground where many people have previously stayed. Gravel, grit, sand, and water gather in these dished-out regions, and if you camp on them on a regular basis, they will wear down the bottom of your tent. If you only camp once or twice a year, the damage on your tent floor will be less significant. However, if you have to camp in campgrounds or established campsites and your floor is thinner and less waterproof, using a footprint may be a better option.
A footprint is not required if you are camping on an earthy mossy forest floor that is well-drained and non-abrasive, as long as you remove any sticks and pine cones from the area before you set up camp.
I am aware that my degree of care would rise if I were to use a tent with a floor made of less than 20 denier and a waterproof rating of less than 1500 mm.
Cost and Weight of Tent Footprints
In addition to being expensive and heavy, tent footprints may be difficult to transport, which can be discouraging when you’ve invested a lot of effort and money in purchasing a lightweight tent. Spending an additional $50 for a basic piece of low-cost cloth seems like a rip-off to me, especially considering the additional weight and work necessary to transport it, as well as the additional time and effort required to clean and dry it between uses. In order to demonstrate what I mean, below is a review of various popular tent styles, followed by a comparison of the weights of the footprints sold by their respective makers.
|Make / Model||Tent Weight||Test Cost||Footprint Weight||Footprint Cost|
|Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 1||2 lbs 2 oz||$380||4 oz||$60|
|MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2||3 lbs 8 oz||$450||7 oz||$35|
|NEMO Hornet 1||1 lb 10 oz||$330||5.3 oz||$40|
|REI Quarter Dome SL 2||2 lbs 8 oz||$349||6.4 oz||$55|
|REI Flash Air 2||1 lb 15 oz||$299||5.4 oz||$55|
|REI Flash Air 1||1 lb 4 oz||$249||3.5 oz||$45|
Alternative and Lower Cost Tent Footprints
When I travel with a footprint, I pack a piece of extremely lightweight plastic sheeting that weighs between 1 and 2 ounces, depending on the size of the tent I’m using as a footprint. For this reason, Gossamer Gear provides something calledPolycryo Groundcloths, which I’ve been using for several years. Despite this, whether used on sandy soil or gravel, the material is strong and will not shred or wear out. You may utilize it over and over again, and it requires no more maintenance. a cut-to-size Gossamer Gear Polycryo Plastic Sheet — the tent rainfly conceals the plastic sheet that is visible, preventing water from pooling on top of it.
- Depending on how frequently you use it, a single piece will last for one season or perhaps longer.
- Both are inexpensive and may be split into several groundsheets for a single price of less than $10.
- Despite the fact that it is lightweight, waterproof, and puncture-resistant, it is significantly heavier than Polycryo or Window Wrap.
- Its most significant benefit is that it is indestructible.
- We may (but not always) get a small portion of any sales made using the links provided above.
Although the cost of the product remains the same for you, your purchase allows us to continue to test and create unsponsored and independent gear evaluations, beginning FAQs, and free hiking guides for you. Thank you for your assistance, and please know that we appreciate it!
Best Tent Footprints: Choosing the Best Tent Footprint
In terms of camping equipment, tent footprints are a fantastic element that every camper should have in their arsenal of supplies. You might be asking, however, with so many various tent footprints available on the market today, what you should look for when selecting a tent footprint, what constitutes a decent tent footprint, and which tent footprints are the best. For the purpose of assisting you in selecting the most appropriate tent footprint for your specific requirements, we prepared this useful tent footprint guide to inform you on not only what to look for but also how to select a tent footprint.
Best Tent Footprints
However, while it may appear that all tent footprints are essentially the same, they really come in a variety of sizes and have a variety of characteristics that distinguish them from one another. As a result, we selected a variety of tent footprints to ensure that no matter what your requirements are, you will be able to discover the right tent footprint for you.
GEERTOP 1-4 Person Waterproof Tent Footprint
- Why It’s Outstanding: Waterproofing of the highest quality
- Size: Available in a variety of sizes
- 20D Nylon Cloth
- Weight: 5.7 ounces
- Material: Nylon Cloth
When it comes to waterproofing, most tent foot prints or groundcovers are adequate; however, this tent footprint byGEERTOP takes it to a whole new level by coating the fabric with silicone, resulting in one of the highest waterproof certifications available, PU8000MM. The fabric used for this tent footprint is 20D Nylon, which is well-known in the camping world for being a high-quality and durable material that can withstand the rigors of camping. It also has built-in grommets and straps at each of the four corners, which allow you to anchor the footprint down or use it as a shelter with trekking poles if desired (not included).
OUTAD Waterproof Camping Tarp
- Why It’s Great: It’s the cheapest. Size: Available in a variety of sizes
- Weight ranges from 11 to 17 ounces (depending on the size) and is made of 210D Oxford fabric.
It is excellent since it is the most affordable. The following sizes are available: Weight ranges from 11 to 17 ounces (depending on the size) and is made of 210D Oxford Fabric.
REDCAMP Ultralight Tent Footprint
- Why It’s Outstanding: Storage that is the smallest possible
- Size: Available in a variety of sizes
- Product Details: Material:210T Ripstop Polyester Fabric
- Weight:14 Ounces
For those searching for a lightweight and ultra-compact tent footprint to go with their ultra-lightweight tent for trekking or hiking, the REDCAMP Ultra-Lightweight Tent Footprint is a fantastic option to consider. When it comes to packing, this tent footprint is so compact that you could fit it in your pocket if you really wanted to. Despite the fact that it is lightweight and compact, the 210D ripstop polyester fabric provides ample protection from the ground, allowing you to set up your tent on a sturdy and dry barrier when camping or trekking in the great outdoors.
With that being said, the lightweight and compact design of this tent footprint makes it an excellent alternative for any backpacker or camper who prefers to keep his or her belongings as light and compact as possible while yet having a sturdy tent footprint when camping.
However, please be advised that the majority of these sizes are most suitable for a small or single-person tent. To find out how much this ultra-lightweight and ultra-compact tent footprint for backpackers and hikers costs on Amazon, visit this page.
Winis Waterproof Camping Tent Tarp Footprint
- Why It’s Outstanding: The most long-lasting
- Large, oversized throw blanket measuring 85 inches by 85 inches made of 420D Oxford fabric and weighing 16 ounces.
When it comes to cotton tent footprints, most are made of the 210D rating (also known as 210 Denier for short). This tent footprint, on the other hand, is made of the more durable 420D oxford fabric, which is extremely resistant to rips and punctures. denier (for a more in-depth description of Denier, please consult the buyer’s guide linked below) However, despite the fact that this tent groundsheet is made of extremely heavy-duty cotton, it weighs just 16 ounces, which is a decent weight. Also included are grommets at each of the four corners of the footprint, which allow you to stake down the footprint and use it as a shelter when the weather is very bad.
To see the current Amazon pricing of this Winis durable tent footprint, please visit this page.
TRIWONDER Waterproof Hammock Rain Fly Tent Tarp Footprint
- Why It’s Great: It’s the most versatile
- It’s the most affordable. Size: Available in a variety of sizes
- 16 Ounces
- 420D Oxford Fabric
- Material:420D Oxford Fabric
This tent footprint by TRIWONDER is one of the most flexible footprints on this list since it can also be used as a rain tarp or shelter owing to the numerous grommets that are strategically placed around the perimeter of the tarp. However, while it is common for tent footprints to have four grommets at each corner to allow for the tent to be staked out, the medium and large sizes of this tent footprint actually have six grommets, allowing you to raise the middle of the tarp with the use of poles (which are not included) in order to provide a shelter from the elements.
Another excellent aspect of this tent footprint is that it is made of 420D Oxford fabric, much like the one mentioned before, which provides a tremendous amount of durability and toughness, assuring that this footprint will remain in good condition no matter what you throw at it while camping.
For backpackers and hikers who want to camp light while also minimizing the weight of their tent footprint, this ultra-lightweight tent footprint from GEERTOP is definitely one you should consider purchasing.
Despite the fact that this tent groundsheet is so lightweight, it is yet sturdy and durable enough to withstand just about anything you can throw at it.
Because of the silicon waterproof coating put to the nylon fabric by the manufacturer, this footprint has a waterproof rating of PU5000MM, which means that it has the ability to hold water if you were to fill the tarp with water and leave it out overnight.
Also included are loops at each of the footprint’s four corners, which allow you to stake the footprint down or suspend it in the air as a rainfly if you so want. To find out how much this ultra-lightweight tent footprint from GEERTOP costs on Amazon, please visit this page.
How to Choose the Best Tent Footprint
In order to ensure that you select the best tent footprint or groundsheet for your needs, there are several factors that must be considered, including the footprint’s size and weight, the material used to construct the footprint, the level of waterproofing provided by the footprint, the footprint’s features, and the groundsheet’s overall versatility. For the purpose of assisting you in selecting the most appropriate tent footprint for your requirements, we will go over each of these characteristics in detail, as well as a few other often asked questions, to ensure that you are well informed about tent footprints.
Tent Footprints Size and Weight
One of the most crucial things to consider when selecting a tent footprint is the size of the footprint itself, since selecting the proper footprint size may make all the difference in how well your tent performs. In this case, you will not receive the full and adequate protection you require, and if you choose a tent footprint that is too large for your tent, you will end up adding unnecessary bulk and weight to your camping gear, as well as the possibility of water collecting around and underneath the tent if it rains.
So, in order to assist you in selecting the proper size tent footprint based on the size of your tent, we developed this useful table.
As a result, when picking a tent footprint, be sure to measure your unique tent dimensions to verify that you are selecting the optimal tent footprint for your specific tent dimensions.
|Size of Tent||Recommend Tent Footprint Dimensions|
|1 Person Tents||35 inches by 85 inches|
|2 and 3 Person Tents||65 inches by 85 inches|
|4 Person Tents||100 inches by 85 inches|
Tent Footprint Weight
The weight of the tent footprint is heavily influenced by the size and thickness of the tent footprint that you choose to use. Because larger and thicker tent footprints would weigh more than smaller and thinner ones, it is evident that larger and thicker tent footprints will weigh more. In order to reduce the weight and pack size of the tent footprint, it’s important to keep in mind the level of protection you require and choose a tent footprint that provides just the right amount of protection without being overkill in order to reduce the weight and pack size of the tent footprint.
Tent Footprint Materials
The materials used to make tent footprints are several, but the most typical are nylon, polyester, and Oxford cloth (a form of canvas). Despite the fact that each of these materials has its own unique characteristics, the common thread running through them all is that they are all synthetic. When opposed to natural materials, synthetic materials are often utilized for tent footprints because they are lighter, more durable, and more waterproof.
To be completely honest with you, there isn’t much of a difference in performance or weight between nylon, polyester, and Oxford fabric because they are all quite durable and lightweight fabrics.
Using Denier to Determine Durability
As an alternative, you could pay greater attention to the Denier number of the footprint material, which is commonly abbreviated as “D.” For example, the tent footprint material may be stated as “210D Oxford cotton or 20D nylon cloth” in the product description for a tent footprint. Denier is simply the measure of the weight and thickness of the individual threads that make up a piece of cloth. Consequently, the higher the Denier number, the heavier and thicker the threads in the material are, and the more durable and dependable the material will be as a result of this increase in density.
You may, however, compare the Denier number across various footprints that are made of the same material by comparing the material’s density.
When evaluating tent footprint materials, keep an eye out for the phrase “ripstop,” since a material that has been treated with ripstop technology will be particularly resistant to tears or rips in the field.
Waterproofing and Tent Footprints
While most tent footprint materials are naturally waterproof, they are typically treated with a chemical or silicone in order to make them more waterproof. There are two main types of waterproofing applied to tent footprints including silicone or (SIL) and polyurethane or (PU) (PU). While they both provide excellent waterproofing, there are some differences in how they are applied as well as different benefits and drawbacks for each. To better understand the different types of waterproofing coatings for tent footprints as well as their pros and cons see the below definitions of each.
- The application of silicone waterproof coatings to nylon fabrics is common, and the coatings normally permeate the fabric entirely, allowing the fabric to stretch more and become more resistant to ripping. Silicon also has a water repellent property, so it’s important to brush excess water off the footprint if it collects. On the negative side, silicon waterproof coatings often make the material less breathable, and it is also a more expensive kind of waterproofing than other methods. Waterproofing with polyurethane – Polyurethane coatings are commonly applied to the exterior of polyester and nylon fabrics to improve their waterproofing properties. This form of waterproofing is more economical and less expensive than silicone waterproofing, while also providing more breathability when compared to silicone waterproofing While it does not reduce the fabric’s strength, polyurethane waterproofing does have a propensity to wear out and break down with time.
A tent footprint with a waterproof rating of PU8000MM is twice as waterproof as a tent footprint with a waterproof rating of PU4000MM. This is because when comparing the waterproof qualities of one tent footprint to another, the higher the number in relation to waterproofing the better.
Tent Footprint Features and Versatility
While it may appear that all tent footprints have essentially the same qualities, this is not the case. There can be significant differences between tent footprints in terms of features and adaptability, and this is especially true for outdoor tents. Example: Grommets or loops or a mix of both at each corner of certain tent footprints allow you to not only stake the footprint down but also use it as a rainfly or shelter from the wind and sun by connecting ropes or poles to the grommets. In certain cases, tent footprints are designed with pockets stitched into each corner, allowing you to weigh down each corner with a rock or other heavy object when it is not possible to stake down the footprint or when you wish to use it as a beach or picnic blanket.
When attempting to pick which tent footprint to purchase, keep an eye out for any additional characteristics that might help distinguish it from other identical tent footprints.
Is It Worth Getting a Tent Footprint?
One of the most often asked concerns from campers about tent footprints or ground coverings is whether or not they are absolutely necessary. Even though there is considerable discussion in the camping community as to whether or not a tent footprint is actually essential. The majority of campers, like myself, think that a tent footprint is an essential and necessary piece of camping equipment that every camper should have. Tent footprints are recommended by most campers because of the numerous benefits they provide, such as protecting the delicate fabric on the bottom of your tent from abrasions and punctures, adding an additional layer of waterproofing to help keep you and your tent dry, and acting as a second thermal barrier between your body and the freezing ground.
How Big Should the Tent Footprint Be?
When it comes to tent footprints, some campers prefer them to be slightly larger than the tent itself because it provides them with an additional area to store wet or muddy items outside the tent that they do not want to bring inside. However, there is one major disadvantage to this, and that is rain. This is due to the fact that if the tent footprint is larger than the tent itself and it begins to rain, the tent footprint will begin to collect water, potentially allowing water to run underneath the tent, thereby eliminating one of the most significant advantages of additional waterproofing that a tent footprint provides.