How Important Is A Ground Trap For A Tent

Question: How Important Is A Ground Trap For A Tent

Always utilize a ground cover under your tent, regardless of whatever choice you pick. This will assist to prevent moisture from seeping through your tent and getting into your stuff, as well as extending the life of your tent. 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.

Does a tent need a groundsheet?

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. Protect your brand new tent 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!

Do you need a ground tarp for tent?

The use of a tarp beneath your tent is not required but is strongly recommended. In addition to keeping holes and tears from emerging on the bottom of your tent, a tarp may keep moisture from leaking into your tent.

Is a tent footprint worth it?

If you want to camp on rugged, rocky terrain with a high likelihood of sharp points and rough edges, leaving a footprint is often a good idea. Except for the expense of acquiring a footprint, if you’re vehicle camping and don’t mind a little more weight and bulk with your tent, adding a footprint offers little drawbacks other than the cost of obtaining one.

Is it worth getting a tent carpet?

If you’re just going to be camping for a few nights in the summer, a tent carpet is probably not worth the money. However, if you want to extend your camping season, camp for longer periods of time, or just improve the quality of your tent, we recommend investing in one.

Is a tent footprint the same thing as a tarp?

The Most Significant Difference Between a Tent Footprint and a Tarp The most significant difference between a tent footprint and a tarp is that a tent footprint is designed to protect only the ends of the tent where it meets the ground, whereas tarps can be used to protect the entire tent (and its contents).

What is the point of a tent footprint?

A tent footprint or ground cover is simply anything that serves to protect the tent’s floor from abrasion. For the reason that after a tent is set up, the weight of the person sleeping within it, as well as the tossing and turning they do during the night, wears away the waterproof coating and may eventually cause the fabric to fray.

Can I use a tarp as a tent footprint?

A tarp can be used as a tent footprint if necessary. As a result of the tarps’ longevity, we frequently use them to shield the tent’s outside from exposure to the weather. As a result, a tarp may be placed beneath the tent to protect the ground from the elements as well as ground debris.

How do you use a tarp for a tent?

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. Even dew will run down the tent walls and pool beneath your tent if the tarp is stretched too far out from the tent. A tarp should not be placed underneath the tent when camping at the beach, but rather inside the tent.

How do you prevent wild animals from being a problem at your campsite?

All of your food should be stored in a lockable cooler with a rope around it for additional safety to avoid attracting animals.

Hang the cooler outside at a height of at least seven feet above the ground. Another alternative is to put the cooler in the trunk of your car if it isn’t too far away from where you’re staying. Don’t forget to never store food inside your tent.

Why do tents get wet inside?

What is the source of condensation in tents? Because of the presence of people, heaters, and a lack of ventilation, the air temperature in the tent might become warm and humid. During the condensation process, moisture condenses into liquid form when the heated air within the tent comes into contact with the comparatively chilly tent fabric.

How thick should a tarp be under a 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.

Why use a tarp under your 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.

What does a three season tent mean?

Is this a restriction on the usage of a three-season tent in the winter? A three-season tent is a type of tent that may be used in the spring, summer, and fall seasons, according to the definition. These tents are meant to be lightweight while yet providing protection from the elements such as rain and wind. The structure is often constructed to allow for as much ventilation as feasible during construction.

How thick should a tent footprint be?

What size should the tent’s ground footprint be? It is preferable to get one that is approximately 2 inches smaller in circumference than the bottom of the tent. If it rains while you’re camping, you won’t have to be concerned about water seeping underneath the shelter and dampening the entire ground under you.

Does a tent footprint go inside or outside?

As a result, you want to put it OUTSIDE your tent to protect the floor, which is (or should be) already waterproof. In most cases, the footprint itself is waterproof (and in fact. some tents can be set up with just to footprint and the rain-fly as an ultra-light body-less option.)

What do you put on a tent floor?

You might want to explore any of the following tent floor padding options: Foam tent floor tiles that fit together like a puzzle. When it comes to encouraging comfort and convenience on the tent floor, interlocking foam tiles are unmatched by any other solution. Blankets that are soft and fluffy. Carpets for the floor of a tent. Tent floor mats and carpets are available.

How do I keep my tent floor dry?

Instructions for Keeping the Tent Dry Under your tent, spread a ground cloth to protect the ground. Maintain a higher elevation for your tent than the surrounding region at all times. The use of a tarp inside the tent might assist to keep the flooring more dry if the tent’s floor has begun to leak. Make certain that you have a tent with a rain fly that provides adequate protection.

Is it safe to stay in a tent during a thunderstorm?

Take shelter: During thunderstorms, a tent is not a safe haven to be in. In comparison to a vehicle, a tent is unable to function as a faradic cage, which is capable of transmitting electricity from its surface into the surrounding ground. Whenever a lightning bolt strikes a tent, the energy is dispersed unevenly through the tent’s frame and into the surrounding earth.

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. Unfortunately, the majority of individuals use a tarp that is far too large, which leads to even more complications.

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 bulky and weigh a couple of ounces, but everything else about them is positive. 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.

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It’s only a thin layer of protection, but it can help prevent tiny punctures from occurring.

2)Tarps Fight Moisture

Tarps are useful for keeping the ground of your tent dry. It’s just one more layer of protection between your sleeping system and the muddy, damp earth beneath your feet. Simply make certain that you get the proper tarp size by reading the section below. It should be 2-3 inches smaller in circumference than the outer measurements of your tent. If your tarp is too large, the water will draw it around the exterior of your tent.

3) Adds Insulation to Your Tent

The majority of our body heat is lost through our feet and legs. Attempting to create enough heat to combat the earth’s heat is a futile endeavor. It all comes down to building more insulating layers between your body and the chilly earth beneath your feet. Despite the fact that it does not significantly increase the warmth of your tent, every little bit helps. Tarping your tent is similar to spreading a picnic blanket on the ground for the occasion. You won’t have to deal with the dampness or the cold grass, but it won’t provide much more warmth either.

4) Tarps Help Keep The Bottom of Your Tent Clean

Have you ever been stuck in a muddy field? It makes no difference what you do. You constantly wind up with muck on your clothes. That’s exactly what will happen to your tent if it rains on a weekend like this one. Is it really necessary for all of that muck to become caked on the bottom of your tent’s floor? When you consider the cost of a low-cost tarp, it just isn’t worth the trouble. Simply purchase a tarp or a tent footprint and call it a night. In the long run, it will save you a significant amount of time and money.

Nikwax Tent and Gear Solarwash is highly recommended by me.

Watch Out For Pooling

The majority of individuals use a tarp that is far too large for their tent. They go into their garage and decide that any old tarp will suffice. When the weather is beautiful, a large tarp will serve its purpose admirably; however, when it rains, you will quickly discover that it is ineffective.

During heavy rains, oversized tarps create major pooling problems. All of the water that drips from the top of your tent accumulates quickly. As a result, your tent will be submerged in a 3′′ pool of water. Even the most water-resistant tent will not be able to handle that much water.

Where Can I Buy Custom Sized Tarps?

As a result of some internet comparison shopping and playing about with the specs, I discovered that bespoke tarps were out of my financial reach. They typically range in price from $20 to $70, depending on the size you want. Take a look at 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 a Tarp Under My Tent?

In the bush, where sudden rain or other precipitation may seep through the tent floor and transform the entire campground into a depressed morass of mud, many campers have learnt to bring a tarp or ground cloth with them on their treks. While a properly staked-out tent footprint can keep the bottom of your tent dry and your sleeping bag and other camping gear dry, some campers who hike extensively on their camping trips and who want to pack ultralight or simply enjoy primitive camping may begin to question whether the tarp or ground cloth is as essential a piece of camping equipment as they had originally believed when they went camping with their new tent in tow.

  • Groundsheets and tent footprints are two items that require careful thought.
  • If you’re planning on using a 12-person tent or even a bigger one, the tarp you’d need to waterproof the floor of your tent may not be easily transportable without the use of an automobile.
  • It may seem like a minor matter, but a tarp or groundsheet may provide additional protection for the floor of your tent and, in the appropriate circumstances, can make or break a whole camping trip if used properly.
  • Choosing a location What happens the first time you arrive at your campground is really significant, regardless of how watertight your tent is and how sturdy the construction of yourtarpaulinroundsheet or rain cover is.
  • In the same way that so many other aspects of camping are determined, the requirement of a tent footprint is determined by the sort of camping trip being undertaken and the objectives of the campers themselves.

When camping on difficult or rocky terrain, a tarp or ground cloth can help protect the bottom of your tent from abrasions.

How does a tarp help waterproof the tent floor?

A tarpaulin, or tarp, is simply a big sheet of flexible, durable, waterproof, or water-resistant material such as canvas or polyester coated with polyurethane, or else a plastic substance such as polyethylene, that is flexible, robust, and waterproof or water-resistant. The tarp that most campers and outdoor enthusiasts are familiar with is the huge blue plastic kind with grommets around the perimeter that allow a rope or other attaching mechanism to pass through and hold the tarp in place while keeping whatever it is tied to is protected by the tarp.

  • Tarpaulins are available in a variety of patterns.
  • A perforated tarp won’t hold up against heavy rain, but if the campground is still moist from earlier rains and there aren’t any further storms in the forecast, a perforated tarp could be sufficient to keep out the elements.
  • Canvas tarps are water-resistant but not waterproof, thus they should not be used in the rain.
  • However, sitting rainfall or continuous exposure to rainwater, such as that experienced after a strong downpour, would ultimately cause dripping through a canvas tarp.
  • Essentially, a tarpaulin tent footprint is useful for two main objectives at the campsite: it is lightweight and easy to transport.
  • The added protection and longevity of your tent will ensure that it remains completely intact and free of punctures and holes for as long as possible.
  • When you come home from your camping excursion, you will have less time to spend on pointless tasks because the floor of your tent will be cleaner.

Site selection and the use of a waterproof tent with a rainfly can help to lessen the need for a tarp or groundsheet, but it’s always a good idea to have a little additional protection.

Tarps and ground cloths can protect the bottom of your tent

When you go camping for the first time with a new tent, you’re likely to get obsessed with maintaining the tent in the same perfect state it was in when you first pitched it at your campground. This is understandable. However, since many campers continue to use their tents and other camping equipment such as sleeping bags on tent camping excursions after tent camping excursion, they might lose their sense of protection for their tents and other camping gear. Get into the habit of putting a groundsheet or tent footprint below your tent site if you want to ensure good maintenance and a long life for your tent.

For many campers who choose not to use an additional tent footprint, doing so is a burden since they have never experienced the worst-case situation, in which heavy rain or snow seeps through the tent bottom and causes havoc with camping gear as well as the possibility of campers being ill.

A tent footprint should be laid out before you set up your tent.

Most significantly, especially in dry settings, a groundsheet will give an additional layer of protection between the bottom of your tent and sharp objects such as pebbles, twigs, and other sharp objects that may be found on the forest floor, desert sand, or jagged rocky surface of a mountain.

It is a good choice if you are looking for a lightweight material that can be used as a tent footprint or as a convenient porch at the entrance to your tent.

Tyvek is a material that looks and feels very much like paper, but is far more durable.

This will allow the inside of your tent to remain dry because you will be able to take off your boots on the Tyvek before heading inside to protect yourself from the elements.

DIY tarps and tent footprints

The most convenient thing about ultralight tarps and tent footprints is that those campers who consider themselves to be handy can create a DIY version of a groundsheet out of tarpaulin, Tyvek, or any other waterproof or water-resistant material that they have lying around the house or in their garage. The following are the steps to take in order to construct your own DIY tent footprint: 1. Locate the material that you intend to use to make the footprint of your tent. A hardware store or an outdoor merchant are frequently good places to look for it.

  • Secondly, spread the tarp on the ground and position your tent on top of it.
  • 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.
  • However, you should avoid cutting right on the sharpie line.
  • The reasoning behind removing 2 inches from the tent’s shape is because the optimal tent footprint is a fraction of an inch smaller than the base of the tent.
  • Rainwater collected in this manner would flood your tent, which is the exact reverse of the purpose of a tarp or groundsheet in the first place.

Tucked beneath your tent, a piece of Tyvek may be used to create a “porch” for tying on boots and keeping mud out of the tent.

Good site selection for camping without a tarp for ground cover

Okay, just to make sure we’re covering all sides of the discussion, let’s have a look at what happens to campers who go on a camping trip without any tarpaulin, Tyvek, or canvas to serve as ground cover. Fortunately, without this piece of camping equipment, there is only one thing to concentrate on, and that is picking a suitable camping location. The surrounding area at your campground should be as high as possible in order for you to be able to pitch your tent in a location where rainfall will naturally flow down and away from your tent without soaking through the bottom of your tent.

  • Once you’ve completed all of this, you’ll be able to start setting up your tent.
  • If your sleeping bag is durable and well-insulated, and it prevents heat from leaking through the bottom of your tent, you should have no trouble sleeping through the entire night.
  • Remember the five W’s when choosing a campground: water, waste, weather, widowmakers, and wildlife.
  • We’ve previously spoken about how vital precipitation and drainage are, but it’s also crucial to remember that drinking water is as important.
  • Rubbish is self-explanatory: campers will want a handy method of disposing of waste when they leave the campsite when they arrive.
  • Using natural cover, such as trees and overhangs, can provide further protection against water seeping into the tent bottom.
  • If you want to use trees to provide additional weather protection, make sure that none of them are dead or in danger of falling on you.
  • There are several measures to take in order to avoid being attacked by larger creatures such as bears or foxes, but be certain that you are not pitching your tent on top of an ant colony or a wasp’s nest.

In general, tarps and tent footprints have a number of beneficial characteristics and few disadvantages. The selection of a site is an important step in the construction of a campground. Keep in mind the 5 W’s the next time you’re out camping!

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.

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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!

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. Furthermore, the other straightforward response is no. Find out everything you need to know about footprints and groundsheets by continuing reading this article. Allow us to assist you in determining whether or not a tent footprint is worthwhile for you.

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.

However, polyester is somewhat heavier and less abrasion resistant 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 It is made of 68-denier polyester and weighs 7.0 ounces. The Nemo Hornet has a footprint that weighs 6.9 ounces and is made of 75-denier nylon. It costs $49. As a point of reference, the floor material of the Hubba Hubba is 30-denier nylon, while the top micromesh is 15-denier nylon. Nylon is much lighter than polyester. Because it is made of a higher denier material, the Nemofootprint weighs less than the Hubba Hubba footprint in terms of total weight.

Is A Tent Footprint Worth It?

All of this is in order to answer the question, “Is leaving a footprint worth it?” A tent footprint is absolutely worth the investment, especially considering how lightweight, inexpensive, and versatile they are. Let’s imagine you’ve come to a conclusion and are now looking for the ideal footprint for your tent on the internet. There is one more thing to think about, and it might end up saving you a significant amount of money.

DIY Tent Footprints

Tent footprints are quite basic objects, despite the fact that they are extremely vital. What exactly are they in the first place? You should put a sheet under your tent. Is it really necessary to spend $40-50 bucks on anything like that? The answer to this question is a resounding no. The manufacturer-issued footprints may be replaced with a few other options that will perform better, are more adaptable, and will save you money as well. Before we get into the DIY possibilities, it’s crucial to understand how to measure the footprint of your DIY tent.

How Big Should A Tent Footprint Be?

It is recommended that the footprints be cut to be around 1-2 inches smaller than the actual outline of your tent on all sides. The rationale behind this is a bit puzzling, to be honest. It is possible that a footprint that extends beyond the tent’s edge will operate as a moisture trap. In the event of a downpour, this will allow water to pool and flow between the footprint and the bottom of your tent’s floor. It is possible that more water will enter the main tent as a result of this than if the footprint had not been present in the first place.

3 Materials For A Solid DIY Footprint

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).

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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


  1. 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.

Is a groundsheet really necessary?

YoyoBPL [email protected] Location: New York City metro area I started working on a polycryo groundsheet for my new Tarpent Rainshadow 2 last night after getting home from work. According to my understanding, the tent comes with a 30D nylon floor. In its cuben fiber stuff sack, the groundsheet weighs 2.82 oz, making it the lightest groundsheet available. But then I started to question if I actually needed a groundsheet. Are there any restrictions on camping on hard, rocky terrain and making cautious site selection that I can get away with not having one?

There are no through walks scheduled for the time being (my daughter hasn’t turned three yet!).

We are normally quite cautious while removing any twigs or pebbles that may have fallen from the trees.

The only reason I can think of is if you’re cowboy camping during a really pleasant period of weather.

David, In my opinion, there is no need for a ground sheet, and it frequently causes difficulties by accumulating water.

With the addition of only approximately 2 ounces of weight, you’ll be okay for a few more years.

Does it matter if your tent is soaked; will you still stuff it into your backpack?

I carry my down insulation and clothes in a pack liner from Gossamer Gear, but there is always the possibility that a damp tent may seep moisture into my pack liner if the weather conditions were just right at the time.

If you want to keep the tent in the main bag, just don’t place it inside the liner; otherwise, it will be damaged.

They are inexpensive, lightweight, and durable, as well as watertight and simple to assemble.

2005889 Greg has my support on this.

In fact, it’s been years since I’ve used one.

Even while cowboy camping with a closed cell full length pad, you won’t need a ground cloth because the pad is waterproof.

14th of July, 2013 11:27 a.m.

One may be replaced with reasonable care, and you won’t have to worry about rain splattering on portions of the groundsheet that have slipped out from under the tent, which then flows under the tent and produces a waterbed.

If you want to remain off damp ground beneath a tarp, a groundsheet is a smart option, especially when using an inflatable pad.

on July 14, 2013, 2005933 Yes, when I camp in the canyons of southern Utah, it helps to keep the fine “dirty sandy dust” from becoming embedded in the silicon layer of the floor.

A clear recyclable garbage bag that has been cut along the edges and opened lengthwise, as well as trimmed 2″ smaller than the footprint all around, has been utilized to construct my single tent.

I’m thinking of using painter’s cloth plastic to cover the Scarp 2 in campsites.

I have never utilized a separate groundsheet beneath any of my current tents, and I have never done so anyplace.

Despite the fact that my very first 4-man dome tents were equipped with separate plastic groundsheets inside the tent, the tent itself did not have a floor.

On fresh pine duff, a full-length broad foam pad may be sufficient.

My two cents Cheers 14th of July, 2013 at 11:14 p.m.

It is far less expensive to repair a groundsheet than it is to replace a tent floor:) YoyoBPL [email protected] is located in New York City.

Because the material seems thin, I’ve usually worn a groundsheet to protect it from abrasion, but it appears that the general view is that it isn’t actually necessary.

It’s not a good idea, in my opinion, to rely on the waterproofness of a tent floor to keep me dry when camping.

I have two shelters with net flooring that I use for my animals.

I’ve camped in them in the rain and snow a countless number of times.

I don’t have an automobile.

On thru-hikes, I’ve persuaded hikers to abandon their ground sheets, and so far, no one has condemned me or shown gratitude.

[email protected] jscottBPL [email protected] Northern California is the setting.


However, it keeps dirt and wetness off the floor of my tent.

However, it’s encouraging to hear from Buck, who has been using this tent for much longer than I have, that he hasn’t had any problems with the floor even without using a groundsheet.

Jeremiah AdamsBPL [email protected] Geographical area: Oregon and Washington I used to sleep on a groundsheet under a floored tent when I was younger.

It was customary for rain to fall straight on the groundsheet when the border of the groundsheet extended beyond the tent.

15th of July, 2013, 10:32 a.m.

I recently purchased a Cuben Fiber bottomed tent, which was rather pricey, and opted to use a Polycro (transparent) groundsheet to protect it.

2) Prevents moisture and debris from getting into the tent.

3) It simplifies the process of selecting a tent location.

This is quite useful for tents that are not freestanding.

“No” is the concise response to this question.

15th of July, 2013 at 11:55 a.m.

Assuming you have a Tarptent made of silnylon – If you discover leaks after a season or three, just prepare a mixture of silicone and mineral spirits (which should have the viscosity of hot honey) and paint the bottom of the container.

It’s difficult to comprehend how the conclusion that the wear and tear of the tent floor over a few years had resulted in the conclusion that no groundsheet was required came to be reached.

In other words, I suppose that the tents are not stored for an extended period of time.

Because the pig was unable to keep back the water, I assume it was magic.

The polycryo material, on the other hand, is incredible; I had to really see it in action in order to believe that it was effective.

The simple and reasonably durable polycryo has my vote; I’m not interested in replacing tents or coating them with 2oz of sticky sil every few years.

on July 15, 2013, 2006326 [email protected] Barry PBPL Geographical location: Eastern Idaho (moved from Midwest) “Can I get away with it as long as I don’t plan on camping on hard, rocky terrain and am selective in my site selection?” Yep.

As a result, I use the polycro groundcloth labeled “indoor.” Your kneeling pressure will wick water through the ground and soak your bedding if you are standing on wet ground.

I’ve never had an issue with a ground sheet accumulating water in it.

In addition, my ground cloth is usually drenched in the mornings due to ground condensation.

And I’m sorry for putting silnet or any other concoction on my Rainshadow a while back (I was making slip-resistant stripes).

Ignore the idea of attempting to scrub the dirt off; it is not worth your effort.

When you want to lay out your pack contents without getting them dirty, having a ground cloth with two purposes comes in helpful.

+1 -Barry- The mountains were created specifically for Tevas.

For the vast majority of the camping trips I’ve taken my children on, I’ve used a tent.

It is also far more comfy.

Ground “cloths” have always been more about protection than waterproofness, but alas, this is lost in the process of translating them into English.

People tend to forget that even the least bit of exposure to water can increase the likelihood of water getting in between the floor and the groundcloth, and I concur that I have seen more misuse of them than anything else.

a b Furthermore, if you really want to evaluate the endurance of a tent, you should hand it over to someone who is 10 years old or younger.

And, most importantly, have a great time camping with your young one!

Hello, David.

I use regular silnylon from Westmark for this project.

Yes, I, too, had my reservations at the outset!

My two cents Cheers I was under the impression that Australia had demonetized their one- and two-cent coins twenty years ago.

To get back on track, I don’t use a groundsheet when I’m out hiking.

Bob GrossBPL [email protected] b-g-2-2 Silicon Valley, California Perhaps he lacks the foresight to invest wisely in the first place.

–David Thomas et al.

The furthest reaches of the North.

Nick GatelBPL [email protected] Location: Southern California Email: ngatel “As a result, I believe the smallest piece of advise you may now provide is 5 cents.” So, taxes are rounded up to the nearest 5 cents, hmmm.

That would be a substantial sum of money.

Let’s get back on track.

I don’t use one with a floorless shelter half of the time; instead, I sleep on a water-resistant ground mat instead.

After all, the worst that may happen is that water or drops get into my 30d tent’s bottom, and I have a pad to protect me from that.

Bob GrossBPL [email protected] b-g-2-2 Silicon Valley, California Nick’s point, I believe, is that you must first define what it is that a ground sheet is expected to accomplish.

Occasionally, the ground is spongy, and you are attempting to lay a ground sheet on top of it in order to prevent moisture from seeping into the tent interior.

It does have a tendency to create air pockets within the cavity, which may be beneficial in terms of temperature insulation.

This may or may not be desirable, depending on where you live and the availability of water in your area of residence. If you don’t wish to collect water in this manner, make sure that the ground sheet is entirely hidden inside the tent and is not visible from the outside world. –B.G.–

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