Some people believe that they help to keep water out. 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. if you have a high-end tent expect to pay high-end prices for the footprint. 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. They offer a good level of protection for your tent floor. Let me explain…. Carrying an extra 1-4 ounces to extend the life of your tent is worth it for most trips. © 2020 Ultralight Outdoor Gear. It is lightweight, durable, water-resistant, and inexpensive. I recommend you attempt to patch the hole with, Is Camping Safe? The weight and time savings of not using a footprint add up over thousands of miles. How to use a tent footprint. 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. You can also buy the material by the yard and make your own PU coated nylon footprint for $15-$20. One of the biggest drawbacks of taking a footprint with you on your trip is the extra weight. The resulting tarp is inexpensive, durable, and water-resistant. 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. There are other options out there. A tent footprint isn’t necessary for every trip. 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. 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. Footprint or not, we always make sure to meticulously clear twigs, rocks, and pinecones from our campsites before pitching a tent … You can use ordinary cheap tarp. Tent groundsheet nice and clean and dry for folding, footprint wet / muddy, much easier to dry at home. With some tents having the correct footprint will provide extra pitching options. A manufactured footprint will cost $100-$200. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. Lightweight tents these days can feel like they've been made out of paper. The cheaper option is to buy a package of window wrap and make your own. Even serious ultralight campers don’t need to dish out much to get the right gear. 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. All Rights Reserved. A tent footprint can also work in tandem with the rainfly flap to prevent excess water from getting inside your tent when it rains. A 6 x 8 foot poly tarp weighs around 10 ounces (283 grams). 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. Call up the manufacturer and ask if they sell a tent footprint designed for your tent. If you know you will be camping on rocky or stony ground we would suggest getting a footprint for your lightweight tent. The whole footprint will weigh 2-5 ounces (about 55-140 grams) for a one-person tent. Share your experience and tips in the comments below! 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. What are tent footprints? 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. 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. Most include grommets so you can stake them down. These tarps are also widely available. The fabric is also incredibly durable and is tear and water resistant. It will be helpful. In my mind, there is really no reason not to use a footprint. This prevents moisture from coming up through your tent’s contact with the ground. Personally, I've found it useful to have just a footprint when backpacking or camping in mild climates to reduce the carrying weight. 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. There is some confusion as to the actual purpose of tent footprints. If you have to sew two pieces together, make sure you seam seal afterward to make the seam waterproof. A tent footprint under $20 is worth it to add a layer of protection to your expensive tent. On average you can expect the footprint to weighs around 25% of what your tent weighs. I've used a piece of plastic in the past (actually a clear plastic tablecloth), which turned out to be really light and durable. Unfortunately like most things when going ultralight, there are too many factors to give a definitive answer. This sounds a lot but makes a bit more sense if you think that your tent floor would account for approximately a quarter of the weight of your tent and with a footprint you are doubling up on that. Family Camping without a Tent Carpet. Luckily, you can make your own tent footprint for just a few dollars if you’re on a budget. A tent footprint acts as a protective barrier under your tent, so it absorbs the damage and preserves your tent floor. You could make your own for $5-$10. A tent footprint protects the underside of the tent from abrasion and moisture, helping to extend the lifespan of the tent and keep it drier on the inside. Supposedly the shiny side is coated with waterproofing, but I don’t buy that (it’s probably just so people can see the logo). I was … Ultralight Outdoor Gear Limited Registered office Unit 2 Tees Valley Court, Glenarm Road, Wynyard Business Park, Wynyard, TS22 5FE, United Kingdom. The whole footprint usually weighs somewhere between 6 and 8 ounces (about 170-225 grams) for a one-person tent. You will not lose time trying to set up a tent and finding the site is uneven or too small. Tyvek weighs around 1.85 ounces per square yard. As we’ve already noted, there are various shapes and sizes of tent footprints available. These are classic utility tarps that you would use to cover a vehicle being stored outdoors. A tent footprint is simply a piece of material that you place between the ground and the floor of your tent. These fabrics are lightweight, durable, and water-resistant. To save some money, you can buy Tyvek by the yard on eBay off of a 9-foot roll and easily make your own. A footprint will prolong the life of your tent floor, adding a valuable extra layer of protection. You can sew all of the above-listed materials except for polycyro. You will know the size you have chosen is the correct size if you place the footprint on the ground first. These are the materials that most manufacturers use to make tent footprints. Available in Make and Model Specific Sizes. There are a few good reasons to leave your footprint at home and do without. For example, the footprint for our top-rated backpacking tent, the Nemo Dagger 2P, weighs 8 ounces and costs a whopping $50. 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. Going with a tent footprint specifically designed for your tent is by far the best option available. When is a tent footprint worth it? A tent footprint makes it easier to position the tent. It should have at least the same, if not higher, Hydrostatic Head rating. 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. I am making last minute preparations for my SOBO hike starting in July. 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. Tent footprint also provides you other benefits like insulation from the earth’s surface temperature and cushioning when you lay down. You can buy a pre-made Tyvek footprint from Tarptent.com for $14-$17. A one-word answer: yes. It will certainly protect the floor of your tent over the long haul, especially if you buy a really lightweight tent that uses more delicate fabrics. After spending hundreds of dollars on a new tent, you want it to last as long as possible. If you’re making a footprint for a larger tent, you may have to do some sewing. Subscribe to my Newsletter for New Posts and Exclusive Content! You can buy pre-made window wrap footprints from several cottage manufacturers. Check out all the tents that can be pitched with just their footprint here. This material is designed for use as a house wrap but is incredibly popular in the backpacking community. Do you use a tent footprint? Considering a backpacking tent can cost $300 or more, a $40-50 or less footprint might just be worth it. 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. Tyvek is a synthetic material made from polyethylene fibers. 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 … They are made by coating a nylon or polyester fabric with polyurethane. A tent footprint is used for adding a barrier between a tent and the ground below it. Dyneema weighs around 1 ounce per square yard. To start discussing what a tent footprint is, we would need to look at how life is without one. Most manufacturers recommend putting the shiny side with the logo up. It holds a ton of benefits that you can take advantage of, making it worth the investment or extra time setting it up. Copyright 2020 - Where The Road Forks. 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. Below, I’ll outline each of the most commonly used tent footprint materials. A footprint is an important accessory when pitching your tent, but a lot of people take it for granted. 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. 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 … Is purchasing the additional footprint for $70 worth it? Minimalist polycyro footprint weighs around 1-2 ounces (28 … In most cases tent footprints are definitely worth it. One way to increase the lifespan of your tent is to use a footprint. 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. I am using a Big Agnes Fly Creek tent. 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. Your tent footprint will come with its own waterproof stuffsack keeping any dirt seperate in your pack. I’ll also explain how to make your own tent footprint on the cheap. A Dyneema footprint will weigh 2-4 ounces (about 55-115 grams) for a one-person tent. You can also try cool your tent without electricity in 2021 . If your tent pitch is wet when you're setting up camp, having a footprint will massively help to keep the inside dry. The Denier figure can be used to denote the toughness of a tent fabric. We have already discussed about the worthiness of a tent footprint. If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. It is designed for use on outdoor gear like tents, jackets, and sleeping bags. 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. Honestly it really doesn’t matter which side of the Tent Footprint Goes Up. 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. Knowledge Base - Are Tent Footprints Worth It? If you want to make a polycyro footprint for a large tent, you can simply tape two pieces together with something like duct tape or gorilla tape. Looking at the price of a footprint that goes with the lightweight tent you've just ordered can bring tears to your eyes. The material is light but most manufactured footprints include straps, grommets, and a stuff sack which adds some weight. You will probably have to pay a premium, but it’s so worth it. Tent footprints are certainly not necessary, but they can help extend the life of your tent. This is by far the cheapest and lightest footprint option available. 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? All Rights Reserved. They are made from tightly woven together polyethylene fibers. Dyneema has applications in a number of industries including medical, military, policing, maritime, aviation, mining, and of course, outdoor gear. Here are some advantages a tent footprint has to offer: You are assured a piece of dry ground. Tent footprints and tarps are essentially similar when you look at them, but they are designed for different purposes. While this won’t necessarily cause extra wear and tear on our tent, it can damage other items you’ve brought along. For example: Tent footprints are made with a variety of materials. Your whole footprint will weigh just 1-2 ounces (about 28-56 grams) for a one-person tent. This gives allows the tent to overlap the footprint by an … This was the norm and is perfectly acceptable. One package is enough to make 4 footprints for my Big Agnes Fly Creek HVUL 1 person tent if I cut it carefully. Damage to your tent can occur from sharp objects like sticks and rocks. Do I really need a tent footprint? We camped for years without a tent carpet. 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. 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. 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. Reasons Not To Use a Tent Footprint. I like tent footprints because they work to extend the longevity of your tent. 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. They usually market the material under the name Polycryo. You want one that is slightly smaller than your tent. Most tent footprints are matched to a specific tent’s floor dimensions. It is much easier to wash the footprint than the whole tent. The answer of the question is absolutely yes. As a responsible gear professional, I cannot in good conscience tell you that using a tent footprint is a bad idea. My tent pitched on a blue poly tarp footprint. Is it worth buying a tent footprint? Tent footprints can greatly extend the functional life of your tent. If your tent manufacturer makes one for your tent, only make the purchase if it is reasonable. This adds a bit of work. This is my favorite footprint option. In the end you have to weigh up the pros and cons of taking a footprint with you and make your own decision. Are tent footprint worth it? This is a real help on longer trips through wetter regions like the UK, Northern Europe & North America. If you want to benefit from this improved service, please opt-in. Footprints are: Budget-friendly: Footprint is a very budget friendly camping material. This usually only applies to free-standing tents. This is a great footprint choice for car campers who don’t care about the weight or bulk of their gear. For example: Extra weight-No matter what type of footprint you choose, it adds a bit of weight to your pack. The main differences are the weight, cost, durability, and protection each material offers. Areas with lots of downed wood and the potential for … The dilemma is whether 25% more weight is worth the benefits that we have already outlined. This synthetic material is one of the strongest known to man. 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. However tent footprints are not entirely necessary. This post will also teach you more details about tent footprints, as well as which ones are the best on the market. Window wrap weighs around .55 ounces per square yard. The main drawback of this material is that it isn’t very durable. 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