How Big Should Tent Footprint Be

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 Worry!

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 phoning a few other manufacturers, but I couldn’t get a straight response from any of the representatives. It appears that the majority of lightweight models are. The standard version is 5mm thick, while the heavy-duty variant is 1.5mm thick. As a result, your footprint should fall somewhere between 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 nasty 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.

  1. 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
  2. Take scissors and cut your tarp down to size. Don’t be concerned about cutting out grommets
  3. 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
  4. 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.

Tent Footprints: The Reasons You Really Need One

This page contains information about tent camping tips.

Tent Footprints: The Reasons Why You Should Consider Using One Learn why and why a tent footprint is required, how to use it, and most importantly, how to select the proper sized groundsheet for your specific tent in this article. Read on!

When and why are tent footprints necessary?

Almost all of us forget that our tents are simply sheets of some form of polymer that have to withstand a great deal during the course of their useful life. Moisture, UV rays (does your tent have UV protection? ), water, fire (sometimes), mold, condensation– the list is endless. Nevertheless, everything said above is something that you can notice and act on right now. The difficulty arises when the damage is done to portions of the tent that are rarely seen, such as the underside of the floor of the tent.

Gritty soils, sand, and rocky terrain, on the other hand, are the most perilous of all.

The use of a tent footprint is recommended while camping on a gritty, abrasive, or rocky terrain.

  • Punctures
  • Deterioration of the waterproof covering (for example, when it comes into contact with sand)
  • And When the tent is not securely anchored and the floor is sliding over steep terrain, rips are quite likely to develop. Mold development occurs when a tent is left on moist ground for an extended period of time.

Even while the primary function of the footprint is to guard against abrasion, it may also be utilized to further waterproof the tent floor if it is put appropriately. However dense the footprint material is, it should never be employed for the purpose of providing additional insulation because it has almost no insulating properties. Learn more about tent insulation for use during the colder months. It appears that with the introduction of more costly tents and the resulting desire to safeguard their investment, people have begun to use them when camping for the first time.

When deciding whether or not you truly need a tent footprint, it’s important to understand the other criteria to consider (which are covered in greater depth later down in the article): the durability rating of the tent fabric and the waterproofing rating.

What are tent footprints and how do they work?

Essentially, a tent footprint (also known as a groundsheet) is a sheet of extremely resistant fabric, most typically made of polyester or nylon, that is placed below a camping tent’s floor to protect it from rips, wear, and tears when camping on unlevel or uneven terrain. When you step inside your tent, the floor will move/slide ever so little, and if the soil beneath the tent is hard enough, this might cause damage to the waterproofing layer or, even worse, a puncture in the tent’s waterproofing.

This is due to the fact that it is composed of a very resilient fabric that is capable of withstanding any form of abuse.

Because all of the sharp edges on the equipment will rub against the floor, the inside of the vehicle will often wear down faster than the outside.

The fact that you don’t have to wash the entire tent if it becomes soiled is another advantage of utilizing one. Learn more about what more you can do to keep your tent in good condition.

How big should the tent 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. Consider contacting the tent’s maker to see if they offer footprints for that specific model in order to make your life a little less complicated. The likelihood is that the majority of them will sell them, but you must be prepared to pay a premium for their services.

But, at the very least, you won’t have to be concerned about the sizes since you will be certain that they will fit flawlessly.

Those edges have been heavily stitched to provide additional reinforcement.

Tent floor durability and waterproofing ratings

In today’s market, almost all of the tents that you may purchase should have a denier count listed somewhere on their specs page. It is the overall thickness of the threads that make up the cloth that is represented by the denier count (in our case, the floor of the tent which is usually thicker than the body). We may use this measurement to make an educated guess about the material’s long-term durability. In general, the greater the denier of a material, the more durable the material is going to be.

  • If your tent floor material has a denier between 70 and 150, it is considered to be a very durable material, and in this case, using a tent footprint under normal camping conditions is not necessary.
  • However, these sorts of tents are far more expensive, and for an additional $30 dollars, you can likely get a universal footprint that will provide further protection (better safe than sorry).
  • A hydrostatic head measurement is what this is referred to as.
  • The use of a tent footprint is required if the hydrostatic rating of your tent floor is only about 1200-2000mm, even if the soil appears to be dry.

This is due to the fact that condensation will always occur underneath the tent, and while the soil may appear to be dry at the top, deeper water might begin to evaporate and accumulate beneath your tent.

Campsite selection determines the need for a footprint

The choice of a camping location might also influence whether or not you require a tent footprint. In the case of forest floor camping, you will very certainly find yourself pitching your tent on ground that is riddled with brambles, twigs, pebbles, roots poking out, and other such hazards. It may be vital to use a footprint in this situation if you want to be certain that you are not damage your tent. Also, even if you’re using a groundsheet, it’s a good idea to spend a few of minutes attempting to clear the ground before you start working.

See also:  What Size Tarp For Tent

The grass should be sufficient to serve as a footprint and protect the floor of your camper.

This is due to the fact that the ground where people used to sleep has changed into a “dish” over time.

Even the tiniest submerged space can have all of these characteristics, despite the fact that they are not apparent to the naked eye.

Terrain type Denier50 Denier50
Grassland Not required Not required
Sandy beach Required Required
Forest floor Required Optional
Rocky terrain Required Required
Snow Optional Not required

The requirement of tent footprints is determined by the kind of terrain encountered.

Winter camping

Is it necessary to use a tent footprint when camping in the winter? The answer is dependent on the two sorts of circumstances that you are most likely to come across:

  1. Camping on snow – if this is the case, a tent footprint is not required as long as the amount of snow covering the ground is sufficiently deep
  2. Camping on frozen ground– In this situation, it is preferable to use a tent footprint rather than a groundsheet since moisture can accumulate below the tent and cause it to freeze fast. Frost may harm the waterproofing layer on a tent and, in extreme cases, it can freeze so hard that it causes the floor to tear as you’re raising the tent from the ground.

Beach camping

Is it necessary to leave a footprint when camping on the beach? A tent footprint is almost always required while camping on the beach, regardless of the season. This is due to the fact that sandy soil is the most abrasive of all the soil types (think sandblasting). Sand may cause damage to the tent floor in a variety of ways, but the most typical issue is that the tent floor will shift ever so slightly on top of it, which is comparable to rubbing it against sandpaper. The waterproofing layer will be completely gone in a short period of time.

Best universal tent footprints that you can buy

A universal groundsheet is the most cost-effective and simple option if your tent does not come with a footprint (which, in most cases, is sold as a pricey optional item by the manufacturer). You’ll discover the most cost-effective option farther down this page.

3. Marmot Ultralight

Despite the fact that the most of us are accustomed to hefty groundsheets, if you’re looking for something lighter, this would be the best option. People normally avoid using footprints since they add extra weight to their backpacks, which is something no one wants, especially if they’re camping. However, this device is lightweight and compact enough to be carried in any backpack. Really, if you want to do something, your weight isn’t an issue. The fabric is made of featherweight nylon. Sizes:This option is only available for 4 and 6 person tents.

It may be used just as a footprint for a specified size and no other purpose. It does not come with any reinforcements, which is a disappointment. Waterproofing: It is waterproofed on both sides of the product. Price range (in dollars): HighVendor: See if there is any availability on Amazon.

2. ALPS Mountaineering

Excellent value for such a high-quality cloth. It’s also available in a variety of tent sizes, and it takes less than 5 minutes to put together. It is quite sturdy, thanks to the reinforced edge and strong sewing, and it should last you for many camping seasons to come. Polyester fabric is used in the construction of this item. Tents are available in a variety of sizes ranging from 2 to 6 people. Multipurpose:No. It may be used just as a footprint for a specified size and no other purpose. It does not come with any reinforcements, which is a disappointment.

The manufacturer does not specify if the product is coated on both sides.

Terra hiker universal footprint

A true versatile design that may be utilized for a variety of purposes other than camping. People frequently utilize these groundsheets for a variety of additional purposes, such as serving as a tarp for their vehicles. This is a multi-purpose product that will serve you well for many years to come! 210D Oxford fabric is used for this project. Sizes: 59′′ x 86′′ (150 x 220 cm), 70′′ x 86′′ (180 x 220 cm), 94′′ x 86′′ (200 x 220 cm) (240 x 220 cm). Picnic blanket, tarp, groundsheet, and rainfly are all multipurpose.

Waterproofing: It is coated on both sides with a waterproofing agent.

DIY tent footprints and lower-cost alternatives

People have spent a lot of effort making their own groundsheets, stitching grommets, and trimming sheets of Tyvek or polypropylene to fit their tents, as I’ve observed while walking around town. The results are pleasing, but I have a concern about this: what if you decide to replace your tent? Most likely, you’ll have to start from the beginning. As a result, why not spare yourself some trouble and simply get some low-cost blue polypropylene? Make no effort to trim it to the proper size; if it’s too large, simply fold it below your tent to make it smaller.

How to correctly set up a tent footprint

Time required: ten minutes. How to properly erect a tent’s ground footprint

  1. Choose a location for the tent and the groundsheet to be installed. First and foremost, you must position the groundsheet precisely where you want the tent to be. Find out which side of the goods is waterproof by looking at the label. Most of the time, the shiny side (coated) will be facing up (facing the tent), and the dull side (uncoated) should be facing down (facing the ground). Prepare the tent by putting it up on the ground. Begin erecting the tent on top of it by placing the tent poles into the grommets in the footprints. Some may have straps connected to them in order to attain a more secure fit
  2. Check to see if yours does. Check to see if the installation was done correctly. Ensure that the sheet does not protrude from the wall, and if it does not, you’re done.

In the event that you have one that you created yourself, you can simply place it below and everything will be great. Just make sure you set your tent on level ground or you may end yourself falling off.

Frequently asked questions

Is it possible to utilize a tent footprint as a tarp? It is possible to use a tarp with multifunctional footprints such as Redcamp or Terra Hiker without making any adjustments to the footprint. If the product is intended to be used exclusively as a groundsheet, you’ll most likely need to hunt for a more appropriate tarp to replace it. The bulk of footprints are narrow because they were intended to be somewhat smaller in size than the tent’s ground surface. These proportions may not be suitable for a tarp of similar size.

  • What should the thickness of a footprint be?
  • Lightweight variants have a thickness of only 0.5 millimeters, whereas heavy-duty ones have a thickness of 1.8 millimeters (see illustration).
  • All of the tent footprints have at least one side that is waterproofed, if not all of them.
  • In most cases, if you go with the one that the manufacturer recommends, you’ll end up with a footprint that has the same Hydrostatic Head rating as the tent.
  • Although their primary function is to guard against abrasion, using one will increase the waterproofing value by a factor of two, which is not a bad idea when you consider that the more pressure you apply to a tent’s floor, the more it loses its ability to withstand water.
  • You must wash the footprint with cold water and a sponge when it has dried.
  • Never wash your clothes in the washing machine since it might shred your footprint.

If you don’t have a specialized cleaning product on hand, soak the footprint in WARM water for an hour or two before beginning to remove the dirt from it.

Don’t leave it out in the direct sunshine.

Is there any insulation provided by groundsheets?

In this case, space blankets or insulated footprints might be utilized to keep the space cool.

A glossy side (which should be coated for waterproofing purposes) and a dull side (which should not have any coating at all) are common characteristics of footprints.

So that the waterproofing layer does not become destroyed, this is done.

Any dirt that is left behind will scrape the coating, since the tent will always slide a little bit over the groundsheet when it is being used.

Painter’s Tarp Sheets are also known as painter’s tarps, and while they are far lighter in weight than your typical footprint, I would not advocate utilizing them on a regular basis.

Is it necessary to tie the footprint to the tent?

However, as we all know, we are often forced to use a universal sheet, which will never be the precise size of the tent we are setting up.

With the exception of those who are camping on a steep slope where there is a risk of the tent sliding down the valley, you should be fine without attaching the pole to the tent’s floor.


The primary functions of any footprints, whether purchased or made by hand, are to protect the more expensive tent from difficult terrain, to keep water away from the tent floor, and to assist in keeping the tent clean when it is muddy. As a result, even if the durability of your tent is sufficient to avoid the need for a footprint, it is recommended that you purchase one. Because the cost of a universal footprint is so minimal, it’s always a good idea to invest in one. In the event that your budget does not allow for it, even a simple DIY groundsheet may work miracles, and you can construct one for as little as $10.

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.

This is an instance in which leaving a footprint can be beneficial. 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 backpacking tent can cost $300 or more, a footprint that costs $40-50 or less might just be worth it. In the event that you allow your tent floor to become worn, you may as well be using an arp shelter or a bivy sack. 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.

See also:  What Is A Pole Tent

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 could 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).


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). Still incredibly light, if not the lightest, it is still quite light. Pros:

  • 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.

r/CampingGear – What size of tent footprint should I buy?

You have a few of choices. The first option is to get a factory footprint that has been customized for your particular tent. These tend to be more expensive, but some enable you to have more freedom by letting you to use the fly and footprint separately from the tent; this is useful if you’re traveling in an area where there aren’t many bugs. Another alternative is to purchase low-cost, lightweight materials and trim them to fit your needs. Tyvek is usually recommended, and you can find individuals selling them in hiking groups and on eBay.

  • Another alternative is simple painter’s plastic, which can be purchased at Home Depot in a variety of thicknesses; the thinner the plastic, the less durable it is.
  • These are extremely low in weight, and several ultralight hikers swear by them.
  • Cheap plastics may be less long-lasting, but they are also more easily changed.
  • You may either trim them down to size or just fold them (under) so that they don’t gather any more moisture.
  • Wishing you the best of luck!

How Big Should A Tent Footprint Be?

With the proper equipment, camping may be a more enjoyable experience. Whether you are planning your first camping vacation or have been camping for the majority of your life, a footprint for your tent is an important product to consider. In order to achieve the best possible result with your tent, you may be thinking “How large should a tent footprint be?” The exact dimensions are determined on the size of your tent. A tent’s footprint may be measured with relative ease. If you are not planning to use grommets, it should be around 2 inches smaller than the tent’s floor; if you are planning to use grommets, it should be roughly 3 inches bigger than the tent.

Starting with a huge tarp made of a material that is simple to write on, you may go on to the next step.

Make a mark on the floor of the tent with a marking pen.

Cut the material to the proper length and width.

Depending on whether it is the same size or greater, rain may gather on the outside of the building. It is possible that water will collect beneath the tent. It is possible that the tent may be destroyed, and you will not have a good camping experience.

Why Do You Need A Tent Footprint?

There are so many advantages to tent footprints that you should not be without one at any point in your life. First and foremost, it will increase the longevity of your tent. Not only will it shield your tent from excessive dampness, but it will also shield it from any trash on the ground beneath it. While a decent footprint may survive for years with appropriate maintenance, it is far less expensive to replace it than it is to purchase a completely new tent. Second, it protects both you and your tent from the elements by providing waterproofing.

  1. A waterproof footing will also make it easier to clean the tent once it has been used.
  2. If you initially set the footprint on the ground, you will be able to determine whether or not the size you selected is accurate.
  3. Camping will be a more pleasant experience if you have a tent footprint.
  4. Even the tiniest quantity of material in the footprint will have a significant contribution to global warming.
  5. When you’re camping, a good night’s sleep is essential for having a nice time.
  6. Due to the fact that you will be elevated above the earth, your body will lose less heat.
  7. It will also be less difficult to pack up your tent when it comes time to return home after your camping trip.

There will be no need to clean up any wetness, trash, or muck.

A tent footprint will improve your camping experience, as well as the experience of your family or friends who will be joining you.

Perhaps you already have a tent, or have seen tents in stores or on the internet, and have noticed that the tent you prefer has a floor.

You want a footprint that is practical, light enough to be carried comfortably, and thick enough to be helpful in order to achieve the greatest outcomes.

You may be able to locate one that is created by the same company that manufactured your tent.

If you have already invested in a high-quality tent, you may want to create your own attachment rather than purchasing one.

You may purchase the material that best meets your requirements, preferences, and financial constraints.

A thin sheet is lightweight, practical, and convenient to carry around with you.

Tyvek is the brand name for a polyethylene fiber-based polymer that is used in a variety of applications.

The fire-resistant material, which has a Class 1 flammability rating, provides an extra layer of protection for your tent.

Basic plastic is the most cost-effective alternative available.

Alternatively, you may purchase a piece of plastic that is somewhat larger than the size of your tent and cut it down to the appropriate size afterward.

How Does A Tent Footprint Make Camping A Better Experience?

Camping is something that many people like doing on their vacations or when they have a weekend away from work or school. Camping is more enjoyable when you can put up your tent fast, sleep comfortably, and easily take down your tent when you are ready to go without exerting too much work on your part. It will be more enjoyable as well if your tent is kept clean and in good working order. When you have material below the tent, you will be able to enjoy all of these advantages. It serves to preserve the tent while also allowing you to remain comfortable during the night.

When it comes to camping, the equipment and accessories you use make a big impact in your experience.

Whether you purchase a ready-made product or create one from yourself, the size is important.

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).

See also:  How Big Is A Circus Tent

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.

Using this small and sturdy camping tarp or tent footprint when camping is an excellent alternative if you’re searching for a budget-friendly or inexpensive tent footprint to utilize when camping. Our research revealed that this tent footprint is one of the most reasonably priced tent footprints available on the market while yet maintaining a high degree of quality and durability. Never let the low price of this tent footprint fool you, because despite being one of the most affordable options available, it is still extremely well-made and includes some useful features such as 210D oxford fabric, waterproof capabilities, the ability to be purchased in a variety of colors, and a storage bag for easy transport and storage.

To find out how much this ultra-affordable and budget-friendly tent footprint costs on Amazon, please visit this page.

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 aware that the majority of these sizes are most suitable for a small or single-person tent.

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 the majority of tent footprint materials are inherently waterproof, they are generally treated with a chemical or silicone to make them even more water-resistant and durable. When it comes to waterproofing tent footprints, there are two primary varieties to choose from: silicone (SIL) and polyurethane (PU) (PU). Both offer great waterproofing, but the methods by which they are applied and the benefits and downsides of each are distinct. See the definitions of each of the numerous types of waterproofing coatings for tent footprints, as well as their advantages and disadvantages, to have a better understanding of the subject.

  • The application of silicone waterproof coatings to nylon fabrics is common, and the coatings typically penetrate the fabric completely, allowing the fabric to stretch more and become more resistant to tearing. Silicon also has a water repellent property, so it’s important to shake excess water off the footprint if it accumulates. On the negative side, silicon waterproof coatings typically make the material less breathable, and it is also a more expensive form of waterproofing than other methods. Waterproofing with polyurethane – Polyurethane coatings are typically applied to the outside of polyester and nylon fabrics to improve their waterproofing properties. This type of waterproofing is more affordable and less expensive than silicone waterproofing, while also providing greater breathability when compared to silicone waterproofing While it does not reduce the fabric’s strength, polyurethane waterproofing does have a tendency to wear off and break down over 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.

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