Friday, June 14, 2024

Do You Want A Tent Footprint? YES! This is Why

Whereas lots of people don’t hassle with them, most seasoned campers will agree that you simply shouldn’t overlook the footprint.

Utilizing one can lengthen the lifespan of your tent by fairly a bit, plus, you may make one your self for subsequent to nothing. So, there’s no motive to not use a footprint.

Wish to discover out extra?

Let’s get began!

What A Tent Footprint Does

A tent footprint (a.okay.a. groundsheet) is a waterproof piece of material that lays between the bottom and your tent.

Finally, a tent footprint creates an additional layer of safety and minimizes the potential for your tent ground getting broken.

They come in useful for a wide range of causes, which all boil down to 1 fundamental benefit: tent footprints shield the underside of your tent.

From what? Water runoff, grime, and sticks, common put on and tear… The checklist goes on and on!

You possibly can pitch your tenting tent straight onto the bottom, and there’s probability it’ll be nice.

However, over time, the arduous, tough floor will put on the tent cloth and waterproof coating down.

Utilizing one will lengthen the lifespan of your tent, and you may make one your self for subsequent to nothing, so there’s no motive to not use a footprint.

READTent Footprint vs Tarp – Which is best?

Benefits Of A Tent Footprint

Listed below are the primary the reason why you must at all times use a tent footprint when tenting on the path:


Tent footprints are produced from heavy-duty materials and are extra abrasion-resistant than the underside of a tent.

Plain and easy, including one other, extra sturdy layer beneath your tent protects the precise backside of your tent from getting too broken by put on and tear on the bottom.

Although the underside of your tent is fabricated from thicker materials than the remainder of the construction, it’s nonetheless taking over the brunt of the wear and tear and tear.

Over time, this put on could cause the underside of the tent to be much less efficient in protecting water and particles out.

Utilizing a tent footprint will delay the pace of this put on and tear.

Water Resistance

Tent footprints are fabricated from sturdy, waterproof supplies.

Whenever you lay the one beneath your tent construction, you’re including a further layer of safety towards water seeping via your tent.

This high quality comes significantly in helpful whenever you’re in a rainstorm and there’s rainwater operating on the bottom beneath your tent.

The footprint will make sure that the water runs beneath it, quite than straight touching the tent construction itself.


Any camper is aware of that the bottom may be extremely chilly at night time – that’s why we use sleeping pads to separate us from the bottom beneath us.

Whereas maybe not its fundamental function, an added advantage of utilizing a tent footprint is that it provides one other layer between you and the bottom and may insulate your heat.

Additionally learn: How To Insulate A Tent For Winter Tenting


One in all my favourite elements of utilizing a footprint? It retains all the mess from the bottom – together with mud, sand, particles, and grime – away from my tent!

On the path, protecting your tent clear helps hold the remainder of your gear clear. Give it some thought! Your tent, each folded and arrange, touches most of your gear.

If it’s soiled, it might simply unfold grime to the remainder of your gear, as effectively.

Plus protecting your tent as clear as doable, makes tent upkeep even simpler.

Having a cleaner tent will prevent time by making certain you don’t must deep clear your tent or reapply waterproof coating as typically.

Dangers Of Tenting With No Tent Footprint

You completely can camp and not using a tent footprint, however you’re risking potential harm to the underside of your tent when you achieve this.

You’re additionally risking the likelihood that the underside of your tent isn’t as waterproof as you thought.

Even essentially the most waterproof coating on the underside of your tent will put on down over time.

In the event you haven’t reapplied waterproof coating shortly, it’s very doable the underside of your tent may begin leaking or letting moisture seep in from the bottom.

That is just about the worst-case situation for a lot of campers. The excellent news is that it’s tremendous straightforward to keep away from – simply use a tent footprint!

Additionally Learn: How To Waterproof A Canvas Tent

Elements To Take into account When Shopping for A Tent Footprint

Some tents include their customized footprint, however more often than not you want to purchase one.

Most firms will promote a tent footprint for every of their tents. Nevertheless, some firms like Coleman don’t appear to take action, however you may sometimes discover a shut sufficient match on-line.

Nevertheless, should you can’t be bothered fiddling round with a DIY challenge and also you’ve obtained your coronary heart set on shopping for a footprint, don’t simply order the primary one you come upon.

Take these standards into consideration whenever you’re purchasing, to ensure you get a footprint that’s going to give you the results you want:


It’d go with out saying, however crucial factor is that you simply get a footprint that’s appropriate along with your particular tent.

If you need to modify the footprint to suit, chances are you’ll as effectively have simply made a DIY footprint to start with.

Examine the size of your tent ground to the size of your footprint.

You wish to be sure that the footprint is simply barely smaller than the bottom of your tent, in order that there aren’t any bits and items protruding from beneath.


Most footprints that you would be able to purchase from tent producer manufacturers are fabricated from both polyester or nylon, very similar to tents themselves.

The material your footprint is fabricated from should be waterproof and sturdy.

So far as the latter goes, checking the material’s denier score is an efficient solution to get an concept of how sturdy it’s.

The upper the denier score, the thicker the material. The thicker the material, the extra resistant it’ll be to put on and tear.

Search for a footprint with a denier score of 30 or extra, ideally.

You possibly can at all times merely purchase a tenting tarp and use that as a footprint, however we sometimes discover that to be a bit unwieldy. 


In the event you’re an ultralight backpacker making an attempt to maintain your load as gentle as doable, you’ll undoubtedly wish to take note of the load of your footprint.

Some footprints can up the full weight of your tent by as a lot as 20%. That’s a good quantity of additional weight should you’re backpacking and you want to carry your tenting gear lengthy distances.


And, after all, you wish to ensure you don’t find yourself spending an excessive amount of cash on a footprint.

In any case, you may simply make one your self grime low-cost.

So, should you can’t discover one that matches your tent at an affordable worth, it’s value placing within the tiny little bit of effort it takes to make one.

Care & Upkeep Of Tent Footprints

Tent Footprint's are Made to Fit the Size of Your TentTent Footprint's are Made to Fit the Size of Your Tent
Tent Footprint’s are Made to Match the Dimension of Your Tent

As a result of they’re fabricated from extra sturdy supplies, tent footprints don’t want fairly as a lot upkeep as tents.

Nevertheless, they nonetheless want a degree of cleansing, restore, and correct storage to remain in tip-top form!

Cleansing & Drying

For essentially the most half, the tent footprint received’t require an excessive amount of effort in the case of cleansing.

If there may be a median quantity of grime on the footprint, you may both brush it off along with your palms, or use a humid material to scrub the soiled areas.

If the tent footprint is particularly soiled, you may clear it identical to you’d deep clear your tent.

To do that, get a big bucket of heat water and add a small quantity of tent-specific cleaning soap.

Gently wash the footprint within the heat, soapy water and rinse till clear.

Tent-friendly soaps you should use for deep cleansing embrace: Nikwax Tech Wash, Grangers® Tent + Gear Wash, or GearAid® Revivex.

As soon as the footprint has been cleaned, lay it out in a sunny, dry spot till it’s fully dry. Making certain the footprint is completely dry will assist forestall mould and mildew development in storage.

Making Repairs

Since your tent footprint is your tent’s first layer of protection towards the bottom, it’s seemingly that it’ll gather tears or rips all through its lifespan.

If the tear is pretty small, you should use tent restore tape, or duct tape, to patch it up.

These are essentially the most frequent sort of tear seen in tent footprints and are pretty straightforward to deal with.

Nevertheless, if the tear is on a bigger dimension, patching it up may not be as efficient.

Bear in mind, one of many footprint’s fundamental functions is to maintain water away out of your tent.

If the tear – even when repaired – seems prefer it received’t stand as much as operating water, it’s time to get a brand new footprint.

Additionally See: How you can Patch a Tent: Fast and Simple Options for Rips and Tears


The principle aim of storage is to stop mould and mildew development in your footprint.

To do that, you’ll wish to loosely fold your footprint and place it in a cool, dry atmosphere.

The unfastened folds will guarantee that there’s area left for water or condensation to flee – even in storage.

The cool, dry atmosphere ensures that the footprint as a complete is refrained from damaging components, together with warmth, extra moisture, and daylight.

Funds-Pleasant DIY Footprint Alternate options

In the event you’ve obtained an costly tent and also you need it to final you a very long time, try to be utilizing a footprint.

Some tents include footprints included, however you may be left to determine it out by yourself.

In the event you select to purchase a footprint, you may get one particularly designed to your tent. This makes it tremendous straightforward to make use of, because it’s the proper dimension, and so they’re often pretty light-weight.

That being stated, utilizing a tenting tarp or making a footprint by yourself can work simply as effectively.

Plus, you may make one for a fraction of the value, and also you’ve most likely already obtained a tarp, which is nice information for campers on a funds.

Among the greatest issues to make use of as a footprint embrace:

  • A floor tarp
  • Polycryo
  • Tyvek
  • Shrink movie

How To Make Your Personal Footprint: Step By Step

To make your DIY tent footprint, right here’s what you’ll want to collect:

  • A chunk of material that’s bigger than the bottom of your tent
  • A marker
  • A pointy pair of scissors
  • Your tent (or the size and a ruler)

When you’ve collected all of this stuff, you’re able to get began. And that is the way you do it:

  1. Take a bit of whichever cloth you’ll be utilizing
  2. Place your tent on high of the piece of material
  3. Take a marker and hint across the edges of your tent
  4. Now, make a second line that’s round 2” narrower on either side than the primary one
  5. Subsequent, take your scissors and lower alongside the second line

And there you’ve it! Your footprint is all executed and able to go.

The true secret is simply ensuring your footprint is smaller than your tent backside.

If there are any bits of footprint protruding from beneath, it’ll gather rainwater.


Does Each Tent Come With A Footprint?

Sadly no, not each tent comes with a footprint.

In the event you want one to your tent, you should buy one from an outside store, or make one for your self with the directions included above!

Can I Use A Footprint From A Totally different Tent Model?

Sure! So long as the footprint suits the dimensions and form of your tent, it is going to be efficient!

Can A Broken Footprint Be Repaired Or Ought to It Be Changed?

It will depend on the harm. If it’s a small tear, you may seemingly patch up your footprint with restore tape and use the footprint once more.

Nevertheless, if the footprint has any giant tears or rips, it’s unlikely that it is possible for you to to patch it up so it may be used successfully once more.

On this case, it may be time to spend money on one other footprint.

Can I Use A Larger Footprint Than My Tent?

No, you don’t want to make use of a footprint that’s larger than your tent.

It’s because rain can accumulate in any puddles on the fabric that “peeks” out from beneath the tent construction.

These gathered puddles can create standing water beneath your tent, which may be worse than not having a footprint in any respect!

Can I Use A Smaller Footprint Than My Tent?

Sure! It is suggested that almost all footprints are barely smaller than the tent they’re used with.

Nevertheless, if the footprint is considerably smaller than the tent, it is going to seemingly not be efficient.

What Now?

Tent footprints are at all times a good suggestion. They’re a really helpful piece of tenting gear that gives further safety to your tent and retains it clear as effectively.

Plus, you may simply make one your self out of cheap supplies, so, there’s no excuse to not have one.

Take excellent care of your tent, and it’ll function your own home away from residence for years to return.

Extra on Tent Elements & Supplies:

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