How many use tent footprints?

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HikerDennis
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Re: How many use tent footprints?

Post by HikerDennis » Fri Jun 23, 2017 12:59 pm

Thanks everyone for all the great feedback. So, the general consensus seems to be bite the bullet and carry the few extra ounces to help protect my investment.








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mschnaidt
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Re: How many use tent footprints?

Post by mschnaidt » Fri Jun 23, 2017 2:56 pm

I like using a footprint. Along with providing a little protection it helps keep my tent cleaner in dusty conditions. I typically use Polycro under my tarptent. The smaller version. http://gossamergear.com/polycryo-tent-g ... ction.html
It's light and durable.

If I'm on a shorter trip where weight isn't an issue I toss in a Matador Blanket. 3.9 oz and although it doesn't fit the outline of my tent floor perfectly I arrange it to provide protection where my weight will be. In this configuration it also makes for a nice "front porch" area in my vestibule.

https://www.amazon.com/Matador-Pocket-B ... B00KHH98C2

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Stanley Otter
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Re: How many use tent footprints?

Post by Stanley Otter » Fri Jun 23, 2017 2:59 pm

I don't mean to hijack this thread, but I have a related question about footprints. Does anybody else put their footprint *inside* their tent? I've been doing this while canoe-camping for a couple decades after learning it from Cliff Jacobson at some BWCA/Quetico convention or other back in the day. Set your tent up on top plastic/waterproof sheeting of your choice, trace your tent with a 6-8" offset, cut/trim to fit, and make your own bathtub inside the tent where the idea is to keep the water out while you stay dry in the bathtub. Holes in your footprint can be repaired with a smidge of duct tape during the trip. If after a few trips you have more duct tape than plastic, discard and repeat. Never gotten wet inside the tent no matter the condition of its bottom. With the conventional footprint under the tent setup, I always worried about trapping water between the footprint and the tent bottom. I do get weird looks when people see me setting up though... Any thoughts from the backpacking community on this approach?
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oldranger
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Re: How many use tent footprints?

Post by oldranger » Fri Jun 23, 2017 3:57 pm

I don't use a footprint 1. because if water comes between the footprint and the floor of the tent it will get pushed thru lightweight fabric. 2. it adds weight 3. does not reduce chance of puncture that much in my opinion. Since I go through more tents than movie stars go through spouses wearing out of the tent floor is not an issue.

What I do use that probably adds about as much weight as a comparable size footprint is a 1/8" thick ezovote (sp?) foam pad. Primarily to protect my thinskinned Exped ultralight sleeping mattress. Unfortunately it does little to protect from my carelessness above the mattress.
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Re: How many use tent footprints?

Post by Dave_Ayers » Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:52 pm

I footprint, usually polycryo. It's a necessity for me so I can skip the tent if I like. Plus it puts cover under the vestibule (which BA footprints do not do sufficently). For long trips (say > 2 weeks), I'll use Tyvek instead as the polycryo gets sketchy after a while.

I have seen tent bottoms worn through. Especially the minimal bivy type things that move with your leg movements. Pops had very expensive one go out quickly about 3 decades back.

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Re: How many use tent footprints?

Post by Gazelle » Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:19 pm

polycro fro me then cowboy camp or use for rain protection will out day hiking if haven't set up tent, just extra layer of protection for everything if needed
The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before. Albert Einstein

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Re: How many use tent footprints?

Post by freestone » Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:13 pm

I only bring the footprint if I leave the inner tent at the trailhead and just pitch the fly. If I bring the inner tent, then I leave the groundcloth at the trailhead. During the heavy downpours, moisture comes up, but my air mat is the one tool that keeps my bag dry.
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Re: How many use tent footprints?

Post by wildhiker » Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:02 pm

In more than 40 years of backpacking, I have always used a "footprint" (I call it a groundsheet) under my tent. But mine is just a piece of 2 mil plastic cut about 2 inches less than the tent bottom size all the way around so any rain dripping off the tent goes into the ground and not onto the plastic and then trapped under the tent floor to squeeze up through the fabric (due to pressure from your body weight). 3 mil plastic is more durable, but 50% heavier. 1 mil plastic (the really thin painter's drop cloths) is just too flimsy. I do get nicks and punctures in the plastic groundsheet, so I assume I am saving my tent floor which otherwise would bear the brunt of sharp objects. Also, and this is important to me, all the mud ends up on the groundsheet which can be easily hosed off at home, and not on the tent bottom.

We had our Sierra Designs Omega 3-man (used for car camping) in the Florida Keys a couple of years ago. It was about 5 years old at the time, but we had always used a plastic ground sheet under it. During the night we had a terrific thunderstorm that I learned the next day had dropped 3 inches of rain in 2 hours. During the storm, I realized at one point that water was flowing in a sheet across the land and under the tent! But none got into the tent because the floor was not punctured.

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HikerDennis
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Re: How many use tent footprints?

Post by HikerDennis » Sat Jun 24, 2017 7:11 am

Thanks everyone for all the great feedback. I Think I will stick with the footprint, but I will switch to something lighter than the Tyvek.

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Re: How many use tent footprints?

Post by JeffH » Sat Jun 24, 2017 7:29 am

I use one, I have a freestanding tent (LL Bean Microlite FS1) and frequently go with just the footprint and rainfly.
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