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
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.