If you’re looking a groundsheet that can withstand terrain only while you’re sleeping, then this might be the best choice for you. Anything more than that will be more durable, but it’ll also be a lot heavier and more difficult to fold. Damage to your tent can occur from sharp objects like sticks and rocks. Polycro is clear, it looks just like a plastic painter’s tarp except wayyy thinner. The vast majority of tents today have a sewn-in groundsheet to act as a barrier, which isn’t as resilient as a tarp. If you’re a beginner camper, a self-made tent footprint is the right choice. Don’t be! Paying a small amount for one or coming up with a DIY tent footprint on your own at the cost of the basic materials is also a reasonable price to pay to have it as part of your gear. It’s main purpose is to help protect your tent from punctures and tears since obviously we are not always camping on a smooth patch of dirt. Tent Footprint vs Tarp: Which Groundsheet is Best for Protecting Your Tent? After 14 days at sea, the 16-year-old Swedish climate-change activist Greta Thunberg has arrived in New York Harbor aboard the IMOCA 60 Malizia II.Now that she’s there, she plans to both continue protesting what she sees as the world’s failure to adequately address the problem of global warming and also take part in a … Considering they are ultra-light, cheap, and extremely adaptable; a tent footprint is definitely worth it. Buying a tent footprint that’s customized to your tent is definitely going to be more expensive, but it’s beneficial in the sense that you’ll never have to worry about your tent footprint not fitting properly. You need to put holes into your groundsheet because you need to stake in your footprint when you’re using it. This can cause the contents of your tent to get wet. Takeaway: You can spend $500 or more on a six-person tent for serious car camping, or you can buy this cabin-style tent and put the savings toward your next camping trip. It weighs 8.0 ounces and is 68-denier polyester. Even if you think you know how wide and long your tent is, it’s still important to measure your tent out, just to be safe. Polycro has an extremely high strength to weight ratio, meaning for such a thin layer it is puncture and abrasion-resistant as well as waterproof. After all, a tent will keep you dry and warm, whether you are chilling during the day, or sleeping at night.. With that being said, it's also best to keep your tent safe and protected from the wear and tear of rough terrains.A tent footprint … Congratulations! You’d be right to think that paying that much for a protection sheet is a little steep. But that doesn’t mean those groundsheets aren’t impossible to fold, it just all depends on how you fold it. If that’s the case, then making a window insulator groundsheet is your cheapest and best option. Sean was backpacking since he was 7. by Daniel Carraway. Tyvek is more durable and cheaper, while Polycro is much lighter but more expensive and more fragile than Tyvek. Some terrain will wear out your tent floor much quicker than others. Theirs is made of nylon taffeta with I guess rubber or plastic backing. It acts as a barrier between your tent and the ground, preventing moisture and cold from entering your tent. Example: if you measure your tent and it’s 13X13, then you’ll want to cut your fabric so that it’s 16X16. Painter’s drop cloth is incredibly durable, but that strength comes with a price. There are a few alternatives to manufacturer-issued footprints that will perform better, be more versatile, and save you money. 5 Comments. However, if you’re choosing a more durable material like a tarp or a painter’s drop cloth, you’ll be dealing with hickness issues, which means it won’t be as compact as other options. If you have both of those skills in your pocket, you’ll be a happy camper. If you already read our in-depth guide to choosing a tent and found your perfect backcountry structure you might be wondering if you need a footprint for your tent. If you’re buying a high-end, expensive tent, it might already come with a tent footprint to protect your expensive investment. All backpacking or camping situations where weight is not the priority. The material has a tendency to shrink a few inches when it’s exposed to heat. However, if you know the dimensions of your tent and you’re willing to take the risk, a generic tent footprint might be the better buying option for you. Window wrap plastic insulation makes a great tent footprint … Click below. Window insulator is made from polyolefin, and it’s definitely your lightest groundsheet option, which is important for campers who hike into their camp sites. On a backpacking or camping trip footprints can be used for a number of other purposes including as a rain tarp, a gear sorting station, wind protection, a picnic blanket, and more. A tent footprint is a single cloth that’s typically made of the same material as the base of your tent. A tent footprint, or ground sheet, is an added layer of protection placed between the bottom of your tent and the ground. View: Showing 30 results per page; show 90 results per page REI Co-op. Keep the sheet flat, and wipe off any dirt, debris or water you might see on your sheet. Nevertheless, your sheet is now compacted, and it’ll be easier to pack in your backpack or store in your garage. However, a footprint will increase the longevity of your tent, prevent moisture and cold from entering your tent, and is relatively light. The most prevalent and distinct advantage of a footprint is that it helps to protect the bottom of your tent. DO IT YOURSELF DIY Tent Footprint: Making An Affordable Footprint. The doors were on the 13' side and the tent overhung the tarp by 1' on each side of the 11' edge on the tarp. 10 min read. If you treat it right, then possibly decades. Potentially, this can allow more water to enter the main tent than if the footprint wasn’t there in the first place. Incredibly versatile and DIY friendly; tent footprints for all your adventures. A footprint is typically made from an impermeable layer which provides greater insulation and protection from water and sharp objects. For example, the universal footprint for the MSR Hubba Hubba NX runs $40 from REI. The most common type of house wrap that’s used for camping is Tyvek. This is pretty self explanatory. Some grommets have different instructions from others, so make sure to follow the instructions that came specifically with your kit. In a rainstorm, this will cause water to pool there and run in between the footprint and your tent bottom. One of the things you will need to look into would be your tent. If you just want a groundsheet size piece Six Moon Designs also sells Tyvek groundsheets. Nervous? For example, you can make an attachment on the front of your tent footprint that allows you to put your gear or shoes right outside of your tent. See our piece on how to start tarp camping for more information on this topic. Deals on gear, new blog posts, inspiring stories, and more. The tent footprint is designed to fit underneath the tent and it is usually a tough and thick cloth-like product that will protect the entire underside of the tent. There are basically two buying options for a tent footprint. It can be a little intimidating at first but you just have to get in there and give it a try. Numerous customers who bought the manufacturer-made tent footprint for the 'Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2' tent reported on Amazon that the tent footprint is poorly made and NOT AT ALL a good purchase. Seth from Next Adventure gives some useful tips on how to use tent footprints, groundsheets, & tarps to help you stay dry on your next camping adventure. Re: DIY tent footprint? Best Camping Knife: The Knife You Want When It’s Time to Head Outside, Best Waterproof Lighter: Keep Yourself Out of the Dark. It’s a good idea to use your tent footprint every time you’re camping, but it’s ideal for campers who stay at rugged and sandy terrain or places prone to harsh weather. Place the cutting tool over the marking, then simply pound with a hammer. Carrying the Backpacking Tent Footprint keeps the bottom of the tent safe from tear by sand and sharp rocks. A sheet under your tent. It’s not essential in the sense that you’ll survive without it, but it’s essential for people who want to keep their tents in great condition for years to come. A second hand groundsheet is cheap, but the cost of how much risk you run into buying a used tent footprint is too high to pay. Aside from this, many campers use it as a mat where they put their shoes to keep the inside of the tent clean. Seek proper instruction or appropriate medical advice from qualified professionals to learn the necessary skills to participate in any of the activities or regimes described herein. A footprint protects your tent floor from damage and prevents moisture from saturating the tent floor. If you choose to build a groundsheet with a house wrap or window insulator, you’ll probably be able to get away with rolling your groundsheet in with your tent. The prices vary, but you’re looking at spending anywhere from $30 to $70 on a brand new tent footprint, and sometimes even more. As we discussed in another article, tent footprints, as well as old rain-flies, can be used in a number of useful ways: Your tent may come with a footprint, but most tents have a fitted footprint available for purchase. The holes you cut into your fabric need to be the same size as your grommet, so make sure you trace the size of the grommet’s hole. A Tyvek (this is that waterproof wrap they put on houses) footprint … Considering a backpacking tent can cost $300 or more, a $40-50 or less footprint might just be worth it. Tyvek is more durable and cheaper, while Polycro is much lighter but more expensive and more fragile than Tyvek. For the most part, nylon is a stronger material, is more stretchy, and is less water-resistant. A tent footprint is traditionally made of the same material that the base of your tent is made of. Home » Blog » Is A Tent Footprint Worth It: Yes, and how to make your own for free. For example, the footprint for our top-rated backpacking tent, the Nemo Dagger 2P, weighs 8 ounces and costs a whopping $50. A tent footprint is a piece of plastic that goes on the ground and protects your tent from being damaged. Compared to Polycro, an 84”x84” piece of Tyvek weighs 6.5 ounces (184 grams). Why buy a tarp when a tent footprint is the same price and will last longer? Backpacking Mastery is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. But then again, maybe you only need your groundsheet for just one or two camping trips. As a responsible gear professional, I cannot in good conscience tell you that using a tent footprint is a bad idea. $34.95 (25) 25 reviews with an average rating of 4.75 out of 5 stars. Lastly, if you don’t want to end up shivering and miserable after a rainy night inside your tent, make sure you invest in a good tent footprint … I just bought a Eureka Spitfire tent, and they want almost $50 for a custom footprint for it. DIY Options. A tarp is one of the most popular choices for a homemade groundsheet because it’s relatively light, waterproof and durable enough to withstand virtually everything the great outdoors can throw at it. However, footprints are proven to extend the life of the floor of the tent. The first option is buying a tent footprint that’s specifically customized to your tent, the second is buying a generic tent footprint. But whether you want to buy a tent footprint or make your own is completely up to you. 99 Don’t let your tent get ruined by not putting in the extra time or care. Avoid the potential of mildew by hanging up your groundsheet and letting it dry out. As a reference, the Hubba Hubba’s floor material is 30-denier nylon and the upper micromesh is 15-denier. Backpacking tents can be expensive. A footprint (or groundsheet) is a lightweight sheet roughly the shape of your tent floor’s outline that lays beneath your tent forming a barrier or extra layer between your tent floor and the ground. Your sheet should look half its size. Tent footprints, often called groundsheets can be a point of contention among backpackers and campers alike. Also, the other simple answer is no. My latest piece of DIY gear is actually an improvement on a piece of gear I already had. More on this later. Tyvek and Polycro are two affordable and lightweight options for making your own footprints. Like we’ve mentioned before, the process is way easier than it seems. It’s durable, but not enough to keep using it after a couple of trips. A tent footprint is something that everyone going for an overnight camping need in their backpack. You will get a lot of material which you can cut to whatever dimensions you want. Please note: Some links are affiliate links which help keep this website running. Check out: How to Pitch a Tent: Understanding the Fundamentals of Setting Up Shelter. This is helpful for campers who have a small tent, but still don’t want their gear to be resting on the dirty or muddy ground. The higher the denier the more burly the product will be. Footprints should be cut to approximately 1-2 inches smaller, on all sides, than the actual outline of your tent. A grommet kit is a package that comes with circular metal or rubber pieces that are used to help reinforce the holes you’ll be making in your fabric. Make sure your measurements are precise, and don’t hesitate to measure out your tent multiple times. All images are the property of their respective owners. It’s also become an incredibly popular material to use for a homemade groundsheet. Your footprints’ purpose is to be a shield, so (all things being equal) you will want to get a higher denier fabric when available. 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