Author Topic: Tent Footprint  (Read 3759 times)

Tent Footprint
« on: 15 March, 2023, 06:19:04 pm »
I just snagged a tent that was a bit thin on the ground availability wise.
Talking about thin and on the ground, the corresponding footprint wasn't available. Plus it seemed a bit pricey.
Is it something that's essential or is there something else that can be used instead?
Its for bike packing so foldy and light weight are front and centre.
Thanks.
often lost.

Re: Tent Footprint
« Reply #1 on: 15 March, 2023, 06:25:07 pm »
Tyvex, as used in your roof.  There is a company (on ebay) that markets footprints made of the stuff for a limited range of tents.  Easier to buy some yourself and cut it to suit your needs.  I have some as an extension to a footprint.

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: Tent Footprint
« Reply #2 on: 15 March, 2023, 06:32:51 pm »
If light weight is front and centre, why do you need a footprint in the first place?  I've managed triple figures nights under canvas in both of my last tents (MSR Hubba and Terra Nova Laser) and never needed one, and it hasn't been the groundsheet that has killed the tent.

Kim

  • Timelord
    • Fediverse
Re: Tent Footprint
« Reply #3 on: 15 March, 2023, 07:24:29 pm »
Footprints are primarily a convenience on muddy ground, so you can predict how useful they're likely to be on that basis.  Factor in whether you're staying pitched for more than overnight, and whether you want the porch space usable for storing things that don't like mud.

That said I had to patch some holes in the groundsheet of my Decathlon tent - which doesn't have a footprint - after using it on thistly ground.  (In anticipation of the problem, I'd laid down the tarp that lives in the boot of the car-club car I was using for protection, but it wasn't quite wide enough.)

Re: Tent Footprint
« Reply #4 on: 15 March, 2023, 08:41:39 pm »
Thanks all.
Thats encouraging thoughts Karla. Lighter on the wallet and on the bike. I'll go without.
It will be brief one night stops on this first on Kim, I'll bear your points in mind if we do a slower paced and possibly muddy trip down the road.
Thistles, urgh! Brings back PTSD of Woodbury Common a thousand years ago.
often lost.

Kim

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    • Fediverse
Re: Tent Footprint
« Reply #5 on: 15 March, 2023, 10:12:00 pm »
I've bought cheap, sturdy and not particularly lightweight groundsheets of approximately the right dimensions for both the living area of our car-camping tent-you-can-stand-up-in and the afore-mentioned Decathlon three-person dome tent, which is just about bikeable but also gets used by car.  It's a perfectly good approach as soon as weight isn't an issue.  (Indeed, as I don't care about the weight, I haven't actually got round to trimming the latter to a proper footprint shape - I just fold the corners in.)

Re: Tent Footprint
« Reply #6 on: 15 March, 2023, 10:52:23 pm »
Lighter on the wallet and on the bike
The Tyvex tatanab mentions is about £5 a meter (x1.5 mtr) and around 50g per sq meter.  A footprint made from it for my two man tent, hemmed and eyeleted, weighs 140g. Keeps the tent clean, offers a bit of protection and it's sometimes handy to have a groundsheet when the tent isn't up.
The manufacturer's one, £50 and 500g, offers a lot more protection, it's a dense weave that would be hard to puncture.  I take it if I know I'll be pitched somewhere rough, otherwise I'll save the weight and take the Tyvex.

Re: Tent Footprint
« Reply #7 on: 16 March, 2023, 06:35:10 am »
We got a footprint free with a family tent once.  Used it once then got fed up with the bulk and nuisance factor of laying it out first when pitching up on a windy day. Never used one since.

Tarp and bivvy camping I even didn't use a groundsheet at all. Bivvy bag did for that. Nice having a 4.5kg load out including water and food. Backpacking not cycle touring in that case.

Re: Tent Footprint
« Reply #8 on: 16 March, 2023, 09:40:40 am »
About half a century ago (in my teenage backpacking days) frequently given advice was to put the sleeping mat under the tent to protect the groundsheet with a lightweight tent. The mats at the time were frequently closed cell foam. (I wasn't in that league. My mat was an offcut of foam-backed carpet so it stayed in the tent!)

Re: Tent Footprint
« Reply #9 on: 16 March, 2023, 11:24:38 am »
We got a footprint free with a family tent once.  Used it once then got fed up with the bulk and nuisance factor of laying it out first when pitching up on a windy day. Never used one since.


My footprints always stayed attached to the tent and was packed up with the footprint rolled on the outside. If I happened to get moisture between footprint and inner tent groundsheet I just took down the inner and let it dry. As tent and groundsheet materials are now very light, this method has served my well for the last 25 years.
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Kim

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Re: Tent Footprint
« Reply #10 on: 16 March, 2023, 11:54:49 am »
We got a footprint free with a family tent once.  Used it once then got fed up with the bulk and nuisance factor of laying it out first when pitching up on a windy day. Never used one since.


My footprints always stayed attached to the tent and was packed up with the footprint rolled on the outside. If I happened to get moisture between footprint and inner tent groundsheet I just took down the inner and let it dry. As tent and groundsheet materials are now very light, this method has served my well for the last 25 years.

This, at least with my proper tent.  The only time I tend to detach the footprint from the outer is if it's covered in mud or slug-snot when I get home, at which point it goes for a swim in the bath.

If the tent's not dry when I pack it up, I'll detach the inner and pack it separately to keep it dry.  When I put the tent up the following evening, the footprint and outer usually dry quickly in the lower humidity.

Re: Tent Footprint
« Reply #11 on: 16 March, 2023, 04:22:30 pm »
Never had a footprint that attached to the tent just sat under the groundsheet. In later years the UL tents developed a kind of modular approach where you can go double skin or single skin with footprint attaches. To me that seems a more recent you with backpacking tents. Although I seem to recall my old cub pack had ancient cotton  tents with no groundsheet, just what is now called a footprint attached by iirc by toggles.i am a child of the 70s but those tents were probably from napoleonic time!

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Tent Footprint
« Reply #12 on: 16 March, 2023, 07:50:42 pm »
Never had a footprint that attached to the tent just sat under the groundsheet. In later years the UL tents developed a kind of modular approach where you can go double skin or single skin with footprint attaches. To me that seems a more recent you with backpacking tents. Although I seem to recall my old cub pack had ancient cotton  tents with no groundsheet, just what is now called a footprint attached by iirc by toggles.i am a child of the 70s but those tents were probably from napoleonic time!

Have never bothered with a tent footprint. Haven't knowingly worn out the bottom of a tent.

Just seems like extra weight and bulk.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
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Re: Tent Footprint
« Reply #13 on: 16 March, 2023, 07:59:59 pm »
When work installed 75” interactive screens, i acquired the metalised packaging. Cut toapprox 6’6” by 4’ sheets, it folds down almost as small as a ‘space blanket’ but is much stronger, and I use them as footprints for my one and two person tents.
If it ain't broke, fix it 'til it is...

Re: Tent Footprint
« Reply #14 on: 16 March, 2023, 08:49:27 pm »
Never had a footprint that attached to the tent just sat under the groundsheet. In later years the UL tents developed a kind of modular approach where you can go double skin or single skin with footprint attaches. To me that seems a more recent you with backpacking tents. Although I seem to recall my old cub pack had ancient cotton  tents with no groundsheet, just what is now called a footprint attached by iirc by toggles.i am a child of the 70s but those tents were probably from napoleonic time!

Have never bothered with a tent footprint. Haven't knowingly worn out the bottom of a tent.

Just seems like extra weight and bulk.

J

^^^^ This  :thumbsup:  Anyway the flysheets always seem to start leaking first!

TPMB12 I think you were a bit modern. My camping started in the 60's. We didn't have groundsheets that attached to anything. Usually there was a sort of gap between groundsheet and tent wall where the water flowed freely. If you were lucky it didn't flow over the groundsheet and into your sleeping bag (IF you were lucky >:( >:( )

Re: Tent Footprint
« Reply #15 on: 17 March, 2023, 02:08:07 pm »
It might have been attached but it didn't stop the water getting in. Half the troop woke up in water.

Those tents were fun.  We had a game with them. You had to climb out from under the tent wall,  run around the tent and back into the tent without being caught by arkela or other n cub leaders. As an adult who's helped cubs and primary school group as a parent I now feel sorry for those cub leaders.  I think we kept them up all night running them tagged!

Zed43

  • prefers UK hills over Dutch mountains
Re: Tent Footprint
« Reply #16 on: 17 March, 2023, 06:26:19 pm »
I use polycro, otherwise known as Window Insulation Film. Light, packs small, cheap, re-usable. Mostly to have something on the floor in the vestibule (reduces condensation, plus nice to have a dry floor). If you ever got wet knees from kneeling in your inner and finding that the water column of the ultra-light fabric is not up to the pressure, this helps too.

Careful with heat, it shrinks...

chopstick

  • aka "freiston" in other places
Re: Tent Footprint
« Reply #17 on: 18 March, 2023, 12:26:38 pm »
I use a cheap tarpaulin like this one.  I just weighed my small one (approx 4' x 6' - I also have a 6' x 8') and it weighs 187g.  I haven't got round to cutting and edging one to fit.  They do sometimes get mucky enough for me to hose and scrub them down after a trip (which in my mind means they've proved their worth) and they do help keep things civilised in the porch.  Can come in handy other ways too.

Re: Tent Footprint
« Reply #18 on: 22 April, 2023, 09:41:05 pm »
I had a kip in my new tent the other night as a dry run for an upcoming brevet. I ended up with a bigagnes tiger wall solution dye bikepacking UL3
I need to practice getting it erected and stashed at least once more! Its pretty intuitive but practice makes less imperfect.
I managed to root out a footprint for another tent (puppa hubba) that I'll take too. I found it really nifty for set up and de-rigging, plus it may well come in handy if I want to crash out for an hour during the day without putting the tent up.
It straps on to the bike but it does take up space and add weight! I'm actually looking forward to sleeping out as opposed to my usual cc riding.
Thanks for the input above.
often lost.