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Tent Footprints

Do I really need to buy a tent footprint? Or are the newer tents tough enough that you don't need one?

Question:

Do I really need to buy a tent footprint? Or are the newer tents tough enough that you don’t need one?

Submitted by - Cory - Henderson, KY

Answer:

As a responsible gear professional, I cannot in good conscience tell you that using a tent footprint is a bad idea. 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. But as for me, I never pack them because I’m very careful about where I pitch my tent (no sharp rocks or sticks) and I’m a stickler for weight. The exception to this is if I’m planning on pitching a tent in fast-pack mode—using only the fly, poles, and floor—which actually saves weight.

If you do want to make use of a footprint for protection, consider making your own, which will save you some dollars and ounces. Check out our instructions here.

1 Comment

  1. Bak Pack, Boulder

    I use Tyvek. It is waterproof, lightweight, and durable. You can get it bulk on ebay instead of buying a full roll at home depot. I ALWAYS use a footprint. Not only does it protect the tent from rocks/sticks, but it is a nice water barrier if the ground is moist, which it is where I go most of the time.

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