For most campers or outdoor enthusiasts, a tent is one of the most common gears that they always bring. After all, it can provide a temporary shelter when you are outside. This gives you the place to sleep in peace knowing that you are protected, especially when it is raining.
However, it is not enough that you have a tent. You should complement it with what is called a tent footprint. If you are wondering what is a tent footprint, keep on reading the rest of this post and learn more about it.
What is a Tent Footprint?
Simply put, a tent footprint is a ground cloth. Before setting up the tent, this is the first thing that goes into the ground as a cover. Essentially, this is a protective barrier between the ground and the floor of the tent.
Recently, some new tent models have already incorporated a footprint. The cloth is attached to the ground. While some might think that it is convenient, such is actually not the case. In fact, we strongly advise against these tents. If you need to clean it, you need to bring with you the whole tent and this can be quite a burden on your end.
What are the Benefits of Using a Tent Footprint?
For some people, a tent footprint is basically an unnecessary expense. However, below are some of the compelling reasons to use one, which will easily convince you to purchase a tent footprint once you are done reading:
Extend the Lifespan of your Tent
The ground at which the tent is laid is usually rocky. There are often sharp objects that can be abrasive. If the ground material of the tent is too thin, the foreign objects could easily pierce through it. A tent footprint, meanwhile, is often made of a thick fabric. This serves as a protector or as a shield, providing an assurance that the ground of the tent won’t be easily prone to damage.
Camping during the cold season can be uncomfortable. Nonetheless, a tent footprint can be helpful in staying warm. This is because it adds another layer to the tent, not just a protective barrier. Especially when combined with an insulated sleeping bag or mat, it will do a lot to provide the heat that your body needs to ensure a more comfortable sleep.
Add Water Protection
While there are many tents with tub-style floors that can be safe from penetration of water, in some models, there is still a possibility that water will get in when it rains. For your peace of mind, a tent footprint can also extend a helping hand. It doubles the protection that you can receive for the water to be kept out of your tent.
Another good thing about using a tent footprint is how it effectively provides a sort of cushioning to make you more comfortable. Often, it is made using thick materials. When placed on the top of the ground cover of the tent, it is going to provide a cover from the rocks or rough terrain. If you want to save weight in your gear, this also means that you no longer need to bring a camping cot.
Choosing a Tent Footprint
When choosing a tent footprint, one of the most important considerations would be the size. You have to determine the size of the tent first so that you can find a suitable footprint. If the footprint is too large, the water can easily accumulate and it will pool at the center, which can be uncomfortable. As a rule, you can buy a large footprint and just cut it out based on the specifications of the tent.
The material that is used in the footprint will also be an important consideration. If it is too thin, rocks and other sharp objects can easily pierce it. Because of this, the durability is compromised. It will be best to settle with one that is made of a thick material but see to it that the portability is never compromised in any way.
Speaking of portability, you also have to consider the weight of the footprint. A lot of people tend to forget about it because it can be quite heavy. Choose one with minimal weight so that it won’t be a significant burden to carry it along with your other camping gears.
DIY Tent Footprint
If you do not want to spend money buying a tent footprint, the good news is that you can make one on your own. The materials needed are pretty much basic and it can be done by almost anyone. No special or technical camping knowledge is necessary!
The main material that you will be needing for this task is Tyvek. It is a lightweight and strong sheet that is often used in the construction industry. You will also need a setting tool, grommets, scissors, and a measuring tape.
Lay out the Tyvek and trace the pattern as desired. You should also take note of the measurements depending on the size of the tent at which the footprint will be used. You can now proceed to cut the sheet. If the tent comes with a vestibule, you also need to trace it to be sure that there is a footprint for such area.
After cutting the sheet, determine the exact placements of the grommets, which will depend on the tent. Create a hole and place the grommets. By now, you have the place to position the stakes, making sure that it covers the entire floor area of the tent.
In sum, a tent footprint is simply a piece of fabric or a tarp that serves as the barrier between the ground and the floor of the tent. It can help to prolong the lifespan of the tent, make the tent more comfortable, and add warmth, among other things. While you can buy ready-made footprints, you can also easily make one on your own.