A tent footprint will make camping a nicer experience. This post will also teach you more details about tent footprints, as well as which ones are the best on the market. If you have to sew two pieces together, make sure you seam seal afterward to make the seam waterproof. The fabric is thin to make them lighter and easier to carry but this also has the unintended consequence of making them more prone to becoming damaged. The whole footprint usually weighs somewhere between 6 and 8 ounces (about 170-225 grams) for a one-person tent. I've used a piece of plastic in the past (actually a clear plastic tablecloth), which turned out to be really light and durable. Choosing the Right Tent Footprint Dimensions. Many times when you are out camping or backpacking, you might find that your tent does become soaking wet or muddy at the bottom and this can be avoided with a tent footprint to keep the bottom protected. Having an extra layer of fabric between you and the bottom of your tent is great for keeping your tent clean. Tents these days are expensive and fragile. A Dyneema footprint will weigh 2-4 ounces (about 55-115 grams) for a one-person tent. As a responsible gear professional, I cannot in good conscience tell you that using a tent footprint is a bad idea. Tyvek is a synthetic material made from polyethylene fibers. Dyneema weighs around 1 ounce per square yard. MSR advertise the fact that their footprints can be used instead of the inner tent to cerate a minimal, lightweight set-up. I use this Duck Extra Large Patio Door Shrink Film from Amazon. The cheaper option is to buy a package of window wrap and make your own. Tents already have a waterproof floor, on lightweight tents this is usually has a Hydrostatic Head rating of around 3-5000mm and is built into the inner tent. While this won’t necessarily cause extra wear and tear on our tent, it can damage other items you’ve brought along. If your tent manufacturer makes one for your tent, only make the purchase if it is reasonable. This site uses cookies to provide and improve your shopping experience. One package is enough to make 4 footprints for my Big Agnes Fly Creek HVUL 1 person tent if I cut it carefully. It weighs 5oz, alternatively I was hoping to just buy a knock of tyvek type material from a hardware store and cut it slightly smaller than my tent. Call up the manufacturer and ask if they sell a tent footprint designed for your tent. A tent footprint isn’t necessary for every trip. Why only keep your protected from one part of the elements, when you can ensure your tent is fully protected. A footprint is generally a good idea if you expect to camp on rough, rocky terrain with significant potential for sharp points and rough edges. Tent footprint prevents the tent from getting dirty especially in murky surroundings. Sometimes looking at the price of a footprint can take your breath away, but you have to remember these things are made from the same high-tech fabrics that the rest of your tent is made from. Given that the tent itself weighs 3 pounds 5 ounces and costs $400, a footprint is a significant addition: it adds about 15% more weight and 10% more cost to the equation. I am using a Big Agnes Fly Creek tent. In most cases tent footprints are definitely worth it. Avoiding Wild Animals, Insects, and Injury, Bear Safety Tips: How to Avoid Bears While Hiking and Camping, Quilt Vs Sleeping Bag: My Pros and Cons List. What are tent footprints? Footprint or not, we always make sure to meticulously clear twigs, rocks, and pinecones from our campsites before pitching a tent … This adds a bit of work. These are the materials that most manufacturers use to make tent footprints. I don't think you need to hem it or make eyelets, just lay it down under the groundsheet. The main drawback of this material is that it isn’t very durable. Using a tent footprint or groundsheet is very easy: simply lay the footprint out on your chosen camping spot, pitch your tent on top of it, then tuck the excess material under the tent floor to prevent any rainwater or condensation pooling on this “fringe” of the footprint. A tent footprint is used for adding a barrier between a tent and the ground below it. A tent footprint can thus save your time, effort and keep you as well as an essential part of the tent protected. The footprint goes under the tent and is intended to protect the tent floor from damage due to abrasion and thereby extend the useful life of the tent. I am making last minute preparations for my SOBO hike starting in July. Honestly it really doesn’t matter which side of the Tent Footprint Goes Up. A tent footprint makes it easier to position the tent. Lightweight tent manufacturers usually use a fabric with a higher denier for their tent floors, they know they can get away with a lower denier fabric, therefore lighter, for the flysheet as this doesn't get the abuse that a tent floor would experience. You can use ordinary cheap tarp. Let me explain…. Reasons Not To Use a Tent Footprint. If you really pushed us for an answer we would probably say save the weight, unless you know where you are going you are going to have to pitch up on slightly rocky ground. Most manufacturers recommend putting the shiny side with the logo up. The main differences are the weight, cost, durability, and protection each material offers. Minimalist polycyro footprint weighs around 1-2 ounces (28 … A footprint will prolong the life of your tent floor, adding a valuable extra layer of protection. We've listed some of the reasons why you might want to get the footprint for your tent and some reasons why you might not. Family Camping without a Tent Carpet. A tent footprint acts as a protective barrier under your tent, so it absorbs the damage and preserves your tent floor. They have even brought out a bathtub groundsheet for each of their tents that offers more protection than their normal footprints but still gives the open, airy feel of not using the inner tent. Footprints are: Budget-friendly: Footprint is a very budget friendly camping material. When you pack up your tent you pack the inner tent with your flysheet, if it was a muddy pitch this could get seriously messy. If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. A manufactured footprint will cost $100-$200. The fabric is also incredibly durable and is tear and water resistant. Your window wrap footprint will probably only last one season. Share your experience and tips in the comments below! Check out all the tents that can be pitched with just their footprint here. The dilemma is whether 25% more weight is worth the benefits that we have already outlined. We camped for years without a tent carpet. There are other options out there. You can use a sewing machine or sew by hand. Even serious ultralight campers don’t need to dish out much to get the right gear. Your tent can also break down over time due to your movement in and out of the tent that cause it to rub against the ground. The resulting tarp is inexpensive, durable, and water-resistant. This was the norm and is perfectly acceptable. I’ll also explain how to make your own tent footprint on the cheap. When it comes to cheap tents with poor design you want to have that layer between the ground and your tent bottom. When is a tent footprint worth it? Your whole footprint will weigh just 1-2 ounces (about 28-56 grams) for a one-person tent. A footprint that is designed specifically for and made by the same manufacturer as your tent will have the same properties as your tent floor. Do you use a tent footprint? Window wrap weighs around .55 ounces per square yard. Purchasing a tent footprint comes with many added benefits, including a much sturdier built design as well as grommets for attaching the footprint to your tent. This is a great footprint choice for car campers who don’t care about the weight or bulk of their gear. You could make your own for $5-$10. PU coated nylon footprints typically weight around 1.9 ounces/ square yard. Considering a backpacking tent can cost $300 or more, a $40-50 or less footprint might just be worth it. Tyvek weighs around 1.85 ounces per square yard. The one drawback of Dyneema is that it is incredibly expensive. A footprint will prolong the life of your tent floor, adding a valuable extra layer of protection. Areas with lots of downed wood and the potential for … Most manufacturers use standard sizing so their entire lineup can use the same ground … Check out all the tents that can be pitched with just their footprint here. If you didn’t use a footprint and ended up with a hole in your tent floor, there is still hope that it can be saved. They cost around $5-$10. If your tent pitch is wet when you're setting up camp, having a footprint will massively help to keep the inside dry. Here is a guide to how to use them, how to set them up and how to make your own DIY footprint out of tyvek polycro or painters tarp for ultralight backpacking. This usually only applies to free-standing tents. They are made from tightly woven together polyethylene fibers. We all know how much you can spend on a lightweight tent and whilst the majority of wear with a tent will come from the degradation of the fabrics from UV rays, it doesn't harm to look after the tent floor too. Some manufacturers will take the most common measurements and create their own footprints which are usually cheaper. Privacy Policy. Is purchasing the additional footprint for $70 worth it? A tent footprint is a piece of plastic that goes on the ground and protects your tent from being damaged. It should have at least the same, if not higher, Hydrostatic Head rating. Looking at the price of a footprint that goes with the lightweight tent you've just ordered can bring tears to your eyes. For example: Tent footprints are made with a variety of materials. You will know the size you have chosen is the correct size if you place the footprint on the ground first. Do I really need a tent footprint? To save some money, you can buy Tyvek by the yard on eBay off of a 9-foot roll and easily make your own. I like tent footprints because they work to extend the longevity of your tent. It is lightweight, durable, water-resistant, and inexpensive. I was … Is it worth buying a tent footprint? Lightweight tents these days can feel like they've been made out of paper. Ultralight Outdoor Gear Limited Registered office Unit 2 Tees Valley Court, Glenarm Road, Wynyard Business Park, Wynyard, TS22 5FE, United Kingdom. You will not lose time trying to set up a tent and finding the site is uneven or too small. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. Copyright 2020 - Where The Road Forks. This is a real help on longer trips through wetter regions like the UK, Northern Europe & North America. I recommend you attempt to patch the hole with Gear Aid Tenacious Tape. Contact. The answer of the question is absolutely yes. Window wrap is a material that is designed to add insulation to your windows during the winter. The Denier figure can be used to denote the toughness of a tent fabric. A tent footprint can also work in tandem with the rainfly flap to prevent excess water from getting inside your tent when it rains. You will need to check the measurements against the size of your tent and if you are looking for alternative pitching methods as described in point number 5 you are better off sticking with the same brand footprint as your tent just to ensure it all works seamlessly. I recommend you attempt to patch the hole with, Is Camping Safe? On average you can expect the footprint to weighs around 25% of what your tent weighs. How to use a tent footprint. However, DIY options can be easily made for much cheaper and will serve a similar purpose to manufactured footprints. You can buy pre-made window wrap footprints from several cottage manufacturers. It's constructed using the same sewing, waterproofing and other techniques that go into creating your tent so it will come out in line with the price of the tent, i.e. Knowledge Base - Are Tent Footprints Worth It? The drawbacks are that you have to carry it and if it's the wrong size or if you use it incorrectly (you basically have to be an idiot to screw it up, but people still manage) then it will funnel moisture under the tent … Most include grommets so you can stake them down. This is the result of complex ultralight designs and modern high tech fabrics. There are a few good reasons to leave your footprint at home and do without. Are tent footprint worth it? A tent footprint under $20 is worth it to add a layer of protection to your expensive tent. We all know how much you can spend on a lightweight tent and whilst the majority of wear with a tent will come from the degradation of the fabrics from UV rays, it doesn't harm to look after the tent floor too. Luckily, you can make your own tent footprint for just a few dollars if you’re on a budget. Supposedly the shiny side is coated with waterproofing, but I don’t buy that (it’s probably just so people can see the logo). Whether you're purchasing a tent that's £150 or £1500, a tent footprint can save you time, effort and, more importantly, keep an essential part of your tent protected. The tarp is a little thicker and will be less likely to leak, while the tent footprint will be the exact size that you will need to place underneath your tent and ensure that the elements do not get in from underneath. If you have an ultralight tent with a low denier floor, it might be worth it to shell out the extra dollars for a footprint or to make your own. In my mind, there is really no reason not to use a footprint. It is much easier to wash the footprint than the whole tent. My tent pitched on a blue poly tarp footprint. This isn’t the case. You can buy a pre-made Tyvek footprint from Tarptent.com for $14-$17. Footprints exactly match the shape of the tent, which minimizes the amount of fabric required for full coverage, and feature corner grommets to secure it to the tent frame, ensuring the footprint … Is it just a money spinner for the brand or do you actually need it and if you do why doesn't it come with the tent in the first place? The weight and time savings of not using a footprint add up over thousands of miles. Known as a ground cloth and groundsheet, they are waterproof sheets placed in between the floor of your tent and the forest floor. This guide outlines the purpose of a tent footprint and what to consider when buying one. Others believe they help with insulation. Tent footprints are certainly not necessary, but they can help extend the life of your tent. if you have a high-end tent expect to pay high-end prices for the footprint. You can also try cool your tent without electricity in 2021 . If you’re making a footprint for a larger tent, you may have to do some sewing. For example: Extra weight-No matter what type of footprint you choose, it adds a bit of weight to your pack. This synthetic material is one of the strongest known to man. Some people believe that they help to keep water out. You will probably have to pay a premium, but it’s so worth it. You want one that is slightly smaller than your tent. The material is also popular in the backpacking community because it is incredibly lightweight and waterproof. This material is designed for use as a house wrap but is incredibly popular in the backpacking community. To make the repair, all you need to do is clean and dry the area around the tear, cut a piece of tape off the roll, then apply it with pressure. One of the biggest drawbacks of taking a footprint with you on your trip is the extra weight. The idea of spending $30-$80 on a tent footprint right after spending $300-$600 on a new tent is a hard pill to swallow. However tent footprints are not entirely necessary. This is my favorite footprint option. Going with a tent footprint specifically designed for your tent is by far the best option available. You can pick up a poly tarp at any hardware store, cut it to size, and have a functional footprint. This is by far the cheapest and lightest footprint option available. Well, are tent carpets worth it, after all, they can just be another expense on top of the cost of buying the tent? Available in Make and Model Specific Sizes. You can grab some tent footprints on Amazon for cheap here. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below. A one-word answer: yes. We have decided to look a little deeper at the tarp and the tent footprint and show you exactly what the main benefits are of using each and how they can also be used in conjunction with one another on your camping trip. Tent footprints can greatly extend the functional life of your tent. Unfortunately like most things when going ultralight, there are too many factors to give a definitive answer. Ranging from £10 and upwards, the low cost of this accessory makes it absolutely essential to buy with your tent or for a tent your currently own. A 6 x 8 foot poly tarp weighs around 10 ounces (283 grams). A tent footprint is simply a piece of material that you place between the ground and the floor of your tent. Tent groundsheet nice and clean and dry for folding, footprint wet / muddy, much easier to dry at home. Here are some advantages a tent footprint has to offer: You are assured a piece of dry ground. The whole footprint will weigh 2-5 ounces (about 55-140 grams) for a one-person tent. They are cut a couple of inches smaller than the floor of your tent on all sides. While just a rainfly and footprint won't keep bugs out, it will protect you from rain and wind, and will be much lighter without all of the tent fabric. This material protects the underside of your tent from getting ripped apart from dirt, rocks, sand, and other debris. Hydrostatic head is basically a measure of the pressure that a fabric can withstand before letting water through, for a tent floor then it is important to be high as you can create pressure points when using your tent from areas such as your knees if you are kneeling, your elbows, hands and even your bum. As we’ve already noted, there are various shapes and sizes of tent footprints available. These tarps are also widely available. The only exception may be for a long-distance through-hike. When you're setting up camp you should be looking at your pitch and checking for sharp stones, sticks and other debris that firstly might cause you to have an uncomfortable night's sleep and in the worst case could also damage your tent floor. If you want to benefit from this improved service, please opt-in. If you don’t have the budget or don’t want to carry the extra weight of a manufactured footprint, you can always make one from polycro or Tyvek for just a few dollars. Subscribe to my Newsletter for New Posts and Exclusive Content! There are a lot of types of tent footprints but the most important feature it should have is being … A tent footprint should be seen as similar to a smartphone cover or protector, which could protect your tent against cuts and abrasions caused by loose twigs and stones. Carrying an extra 1-4 ounces to extend the life of your tent is worth it for most trips. After spending hundreds of dollars on a new tent, you want it to last as long as possible. If you didn’t use a footprint and ended up with a hole in your tent floor, there is still hope that it can be saved. We carry a few brands that have this option integrated in their designs. They offer a good level of protection for your tent floor. The manufacturer claims that it is 15x stronger than steel. If you're making a custom footprint out of tyvek or something like that, I recommend two inches less than the size of the tent. You can therefore double up on the toughness of your tent floor with a footprint. For example, when you use a footprint, you don’t want it to be larger than your tent floor and reach out past the tent rainfly, because rain will … Your tent footprint will come with its own waterproof stuffsack keeping any dirt seperate in your pack. With some tents having the correct footprint will provide extra pitching options. In the end you have to weigh up the pros and cons of taking a footprint with you and make your own decision. Below, I’ll outline each of the most commonly used tent footprint materials. If you know you will be camping on rocky or stony ground we would suggest getting a footprint for your lightweight tent. It holds a ton of benefits that you can take advantage of, making it worth the investment or extra time setting it up. If you again think that is a tent footprint worth it? These are classic utility tarps that you would use to cover a vehicle being stored outdoors. Dyneema has applications in a number of industries including medical, military, policing, maritime, aviation, mining, and of course, outdoor gear. Personally, I've found it useful to have just a footprint when backpacking or camping in mild climates to reduce the carrying weight. It will be helpful. Yes, tent footprint is definitely worth every penny you spend because it helps you to protect the tent surface from getting damaged due to rough surface. You can sew all of the above-listed materials except for polycyro. A tent footprint is basically a light waterproof material that you place underneath your tent, right above the ground where it’s going to sit on. Size, and water-resistant if not higher, Hydrostatic Head rating confusion as to actual! The life of your tent is worth the benefits that we have already outlined check. 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