How many use tent footprints?

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HikerDennis
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How many use tent footprints?

Post by HikerDennis » Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:30 am

I was just wondering how many people here use a footprint or some type of ground cover under their tent?
I have always used one, but am beginning to look for more ways to cut weight and am thinking about doing away with the footprint.
My Concerns are not just about the tent floor, but also my Xtherm mattress getting punctured. I currently use a Tyvek footprint under my Tarptent and feel that it does offer me some extra protection. Am I being too cautious with my use of a footprint?








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AlmostThere
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Re: How many use tent footprints?

Post by AlmostThere » Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:56 am

If you set up on granite, no, it's not too cautious. Thorns and other sharp bits can also poke through a floor. You could look at polycryo (the film you put on windows) as an alternative to tyvek, it's tough and lighter, just harder to handle.

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steiny98
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Re: How many use tent footprints?

Post by steiny98 » Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:00 am

I have a tarptent as well and do not use a footprint. It is not freestanding, so chances are you are camping on some sort of grass or dirt. Also the bottoms of the tarptents have been quite durable in my experience.

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AlmostThere
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Re: How many use tent footprints?

Post by AlmostThere » Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:17 am

It depends on how much you use the tent. I had one that wore out... everything degrades eventually.

My tents aren't freestanding and I camp on granite. All tents are non freestanding -- you still need to stake them out or weigh them down, regardless. Anyone who says otherwise has never chased a tent half a mile in the alpine trying to get a guy's sleeping gear and tent back... :nod:

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Jimr
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Re: How many use tent footprints?

Post by Jimr » Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:29 am

$500 worth of equipment, a bit of Tyvek seems like a small price to pay in weight. I have an REI Trail Dome 3 from the early 1980's. It's still in great shape because I've always had a ground cover under it. I used a blue painter's drop cloth for years, but just ordered Tyvek a couple of days ago.
Anyone who says otherwise has never chased a tent half a mile in the alpine trying to get a guy's sleeping gear and tent back... :nod:
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Re: How many use tent footprints?

Post by Ashery » Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:09 am

Been using one ever since I damaged the floor of my tent a bit on a trip a year ago where I was forced to setup in less than ideal conditions.

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Re: How many use tent footprints?

Post by SSSdave » Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:17 am

{thread will be moved to the Gear forum (: } Always over decades because I am most often tenting well off trail on never before used surfaces. Well not a custom waterproof nylon footprint but rather one of the cheap blue plastic tarps that I cut to size and toss after just a few trips. Also because my experience over decades of a list of lightweight summer backpacking tents has been that tent floors eventually develop pin holes with use. The $35 Asian Walmart car camping tent I bought no matter but my current BA UL1 oh yeah. The current generation of lightweight tents has very thin material easily punctured. On the other hand my heavy decades old Moss 4-season tent I infrequently use to camp on snow is still water tight because it uses robust materials and snow surfaces tend to be safe.

A few weeks ago on a warm sunny day spent a few hours outside my townhouse on the lawn with the UL1 set up atop a large size oven broiler pan filled with water. Thus section by section while inside the tent, moved it over the pan, discovering a few expected pin holes and then marking and later after drying, sealing them with Seam Grip. Same thing every summer, the tent I used the previous year will have some leaks. The more careful one is each summer during use including using a ground sheet the less work. And far far better to discover and seal pin holes before finding out such in the middle of the night during some monsoon thunderstorm deluge.

David

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Re: How many use tent footprints?

Post by Hobbes » Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:12 am

I love to cowboy camp - even at 12k - plus I hate putting up shelter, so I always take a piece of tyvek for obvious reasons. Of course, I also take along my floorless DIY tarp 'just in case', so the tyvek works with it as well.

Last year, I finally broke down and bought a BA CS HV UL 2 during an REI blow out sale (plus I had some gift coupons). I also decided to pick up the $70 footprint for the same reason I purchased the tent in the first place: rain and/or other inclement weather.

That is, with the specialized footprint, I can ** put the fly up first **. Consider what this means; for typical Sierra afternoon showers that come and go, it's not such a big deal. But if you find yourself in monsoon conditions, or are someplace else like the Cascades, then the ability to put the fly up first becomes key. It's really a nice system, because you can get yourself out of the weather on a dry piece of fabric with cover overhead. Then, when you feel like it at your leisure ie no rush, you can then assemble the main tent ** under the fly ** without getting anything wet inside.

When you think about it, this is a killer concept. If you're going to bother taking along a tent in the first place, why not take the extra step and get the tool that enables the tent to really perform in conditions it was designed for?

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Re: How many use tent footprints?

Post by maverick » Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:19 am

Hi Dennis,

Welcome to HST!

Tyvek for years, never had a problem.
http://www.highsierratopix.com/communit ... vek#p24360
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Re: How many use tent footprints?

Post by rlown » Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:24 am

Have a couple of times (snow camping), but not for 10 years. I like to cowboy camp as well and did so most of the '90s. Nice blue tarp under us; sleeps 4 :)
I tend to look for a safe place to set the tent, not on grass and not in a hole that will become filled with water if it rains. The thermarest doubles as a flotation device i guess, at least that's my story..

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