Tent footprints are an often overlooked and misunderstood part of the camping experience.

Footprints are an essential part of any tent. They provide protection for the footprint area, which prevents water from soaking in and ruining your ground cloth or roof; they also help keep you more comfortable as it’s away from cold surfaces like ice cream on snow.

The right type can increase lifespan by protecting against wear & tear caused by repetitive walking around inside a confined space all day long (or even just standing). As well keeping poles sun baked during hot summer days.

What is a Camping footprint For Your Tent?

You may have heard the term “ footprint” thrown around when it comes to camping. What do you think this is? A lot of people don’t realize that tents need a ground sheet, also known as their own personal protection and waterproofing for any leaks or accidents in wet weather.

The tent footprint is the most important part of your camping experience. You can buy a specially designed for you and match it perfectly to any color or design preference.

A universal tent footprint can be used to protect your investment. Simply find one that closely matches the size of your own, and you’re good for years. This is an affordable way to keep up with care free camping practices in inclement weather conditions.

Waterproof Camping Tarp, 4 in 1 Multifunctional Tent Footprint

camping foot tarp

Is A tent footprint Essential?

We recommend you use a footprint unless your tent is always parked in perfectly smooth spots and it never rains or snows where you go. If that sounds like an unlikely scenario for any length of time, then these are perfect options to keep track on adventures with.

We suggest using an footprint unless you do not go inside your tent, and camp on perfectly smooth surfaces and don’t go outside in rainy or cold weather. If you’re a typical camper in a tent, you’re unlikely to will fall into one of those groups.

No matter what Tent footprints can aid in these ways:

  • A groundsheet helps you stay warm and comfortable as your sleeping. It provides an additional layer of insulation and cushions you from the ground, which helps make the easier to rest within your camper.
  • A footprint can help keep the interior of your tent dry. By helping to keep the moisture, dew and ice from the floor of your tent the floor cover will ensure that you’ll stay warm and dry throughout the night.
  • Footprints can also help in setting up and taking down your tent a lot easier. With your protective layer laid out, you will be able to see precisely where your tent will be. After that, you can take out any obstructions from the area , instead of locating them on your spine as you lay down to rest. Also your tent won’t end up wet when it’s time to clean it.
  • The ground beneath your tent can extend its lifespan. If you consistently utilize your footprint, you’re less likely to notice small tears or punctures on the floor. Tents aren’t cheap, therefore any way to ensure they last longer is an ideal.

Can footprints Help prevent holes in the tent floor?

The answer to this question lies in the fact that a footprint does not make your canvas impenetrable. However, it will prevent rips from normal wear and tear which often develop over time.

When setting up your tent on top of cacti, sticks or sharp rocks be aware that you may end up with a puncture in the floor. A ground cover cannot prevent this from happening.

It’s important to have a clear space around your tent so it doesn’t get in the way of any plants or rocks. Make sure there are no obstacles that could cause damage during inclement weather, like high winds which can flip over tents easily.

The durability of a tent floor is dependent on how well it has been cared for. Tent floors will break down over time, no matter what precautions are taken or how much patience you have.

When you sleep, your body moves around a little bit. This can cause problems for people who are sleeping in tents and their bags will rub against the bottom of it if they aren’t careful enough.

The constant rubbing of our shoes on the ground is what causes this fabric to break down and eventually wear out.

The ground cover is like having an extra layer of protection for your tent. With it, you can sleep soundly under the stars knowing that rough surfaces are not going to scratch or dig into any part on top reducing risk from things outside influences such as weather and insects.

Is It Possible To Use tarp as a tent footprint?

Sometimes, the footprint you have come up with is too expensive or exceeds your desired weight. In these instances it’s often best to make one yourself.

There’s nothing worse than a wet tent, so it’s essential that you use the right groundsheet for your camping trip. The perfect size covers are often attached with snaps or clips and can be easily set up in seconds without risk of slipping off during strong winds.

The weight of this gear is really starting to add up. You might be thinking about sacrificing the comforts on your ground cloth in order for lighterweight backpacking trips, but there are plenty alternatives that you can DIY with ease.

Most people choose a sheet of Polycryo plastic or Tyvek. Both options are lightweight, durable, and affordable.

Ultralight Tyvek Ground Cloth – Tent Footprint with Grommeted Corners

Ultralight Tyvek Ground Cloth

If you’re planning to create your own, it’s important to trim it down to the correct size. We’ll go over the reason for this in the following section. We’ll also explain ways to make it into the ideal design for your tent.

  1. The first step is to set your tent up with the tarp beneath. If you buy the sheet, ensure that it’s large enough for it to completely cover your floor that you want to cover in the tent.
  2. Then, trace the perimeter to the edge of your tent. Follow the lines and curves as closely as you can.
  3. Cut the plastic around 2 inches in the direction of your lines. This technique not only keeps the bulk of the floor of your tent safe but also helps avoid the dangers that could arise from an over-sized cover.

Does The tent footprint Have To be smaller than the tent?

At first glance it’s simple to think that you’d need a large surface covering underneath your tent. It safeguards your canvas, makes you feel in a comfortable position, and blocks the water to get inside. Why wouldn’t you want the cover to extend across the entire surface?

The best way to avoid flooding in your tent is by making sure that it’s slightly smaller than the ground. This will help keep water from seeping through and damaging everything inside.

When it rains, the water accumulates on top of ground and flows down to lower points or absorbs into our planet’s surface.

A huge ground cover provides the ideal capture of water. Rainwater flows down the sides of your tent before hitting the large tarp instead of settling on the ground. The rainwater flows toward the middle of your tent, and then sit there making a huge puddle. The last place you would want the accumulation of water to be is right underneath your sleeping space.

When the footprint of your tent is smaller than its floor, rain will simply flow across and keep moving. The water won’t pool underneath you sleeping spot because it’ll fall off edges instead.

By Anthony Paton

Anthony Paton, the outdoorsman who loves to report all sorts of interesting stories about camping in Great Britain. He's based out London and doesn't get much time for himself these days because work commitments keep him away on occasion but does what he can with what little free time there is.