Tent Footprint vs. Tarp – Care To Know Which Extra Works The Best?

tent footprint vs. tarp

As a backpacker who usually flies solo, I don’t mind sleeping in a hammock or a tent. Both shelters are quite spacious for even a full-grown camper like me; that’s why either will work fantastically.

The only situation that can rain on my parade is rain itself. I used to not own a weatherproofed marquee, so the water leaking from all sides worries me in every trip. Thus, even now that I have one, I prefer not to leave behind the accessory that keeps the liquid outside.

The decision on which gear to bring, though, always ends up with tent footprint vs. tarp. If you tend to ask yourself that question as well, allow me to enlighten you.


Tent Footprint vs. Tarp – The Differences

Like I’ve mentioned in a separate article, a tent footprint goes in between the ground and the portable shelter. It may be made from polycryo, silnylon (silicone and nylon), or any waterproof material. What matters is that it fits the base of your canvas.

There are brands that provide a footprint as you purchase a unit. You can tie this product on the edges of the tent so that nothing can displace it. Some also stake the sheet to the earth similar to what you’re supposed to do with a marquee.

Meanwhile, a tarp is a large piece of water-resistant material that serves as a jack of all trades. I can say that because its size typically extends up to a few feet long. For that reason, you may form a teepee or an A-frame shelter out of it.

What Are The Advantages Of Using A Tent Footprint?

What are the advantages of using a tent footprint?

It Protects The Flooring From A Bare Surface.

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    Thinking about the best campsites, you’ll have the mountains, the beach, the woods, and the desert. These locations provide a cool breeze, so you can sleep comfortably anytime. Despite that, it’s essential to remember that such grounds may be too rough for the marquee’s bottom layer.
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    This is the first reason why you should obtain your personal tent footprint. The rocks, sand, or pointy twigs laying all over the surface cannot puncture its material. Furthermore, since it has been weatherproofed, it won’t absorb the water and give you a headache.

It Does Not Cost Too Much.

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    A groundsheet amounts to 1/10 or 1/16 of a high-quality instant canopy. We’re speaking of a manufactured footprint here, of course. In case you have crafting skills, you can make it yourself at a lower rate.
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    The benefit of getting or creating one early is that you’re taking away the possibility of destroying your tent. If the natural elements tear through the plain fabric of the marquee, you may need to cut your trip immediately. Hence, a ground cushion is important, especially when you want to stay in the wilderness for days.

It Adds Warmth Inside The Portable Shelter.

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    A downpour can change the temperature inside the tent in minutes. Although its seams and the roof may hold off the rain, you should secure the nethermost part as well. After all, it isn’t a crazy idea to increase the sheet protection underneath the canopy.
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    And what comes after ensuring that water won’t leak into your tent from the base? Warmth, man (or woman). The sound of the shower outside will just calm your mind then instead of bothering your slumber.

What Makes A Tarp A Likeable Camping Accessory?

What makes a tarp a likeable camping accessory?

It Is Highly Versatile.

When you need a gear that offers versatility, the tarpaulin wins the match between tent footprint vs. tarp. Unlike the groundsheet, it has not been crafted with just a single purpose. Because of that, the material can function as anything you need it to become (e.g. picnic blanket, rainfly, etc.).

If you don’t intend to spend the night outdoors, you can rope the canvas in the middle of the trees. In this manner, you have a makeshift shelter.

It Can Cover Anything.

Many tarps have a generous coating of either water-resistant or UV-protecting compound. This fact makes it more than an awesome component for creating a portable tent.

I’ve already used it before as a sunshield for food, and no casserole got spoiled even after several hours. One time I toured Asia, I saw some utilizing it to cover appliances while they’re being transported.

It Doubles As a Groundsheet.

Moreover, the abilities of a tarpaulin know no limitation, to the point that it can work like a tent footprint. Regardless whether you fold or cut the canvas, it will still prevent water from soaking the marquee. Perhaps choose a tarp that can’t be abraded too so that the stones won’t be able to scrape the surface.

Which One Should You Pick?

Concerning the tent footprint vs. tarp issue, think of how you’ll use it to come up with a solution.

Remember that the former has a single purpose – to guard the flooring. You may obtain it in case that’s your only problem. But if you need a sheet that functions as other equipment, it may be best to go with the latter.

Tent footprint vs. tarp? Let us know what you’ll personally select in the Comments section.

Tent Footprint vs. Tarp – Care To Know Which Extra Works The Best?
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About the author

Michael Everett

I am Michael, I like camping and have camped many times over the place. I'm the creator of blog rainycamping.com, through my blog I want to share my camping and travel experiences for people, there are explanations, questions and things you need.

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