What Is A Tent Footprint

The most lightweight and long-lasting tent on the market is costly. Many people still wonder why they need a footprint since many tents do not include one in the buy price.

This article will help you answer all your queries about tent footprints. Once you grasp the benefits of tent footprints, you will buy one for your next camping trip.

What is a footprint for your tent?

A footprint is a sheet that sits beneath your tent, producing a barrier or extra layer between your tent floor and the rocky terrain. It is generally the shape of your tent floor’s outline.

A tent footprint is a waterproof sheet made to prevent sand, branches, and stones from scratching or puncturing the tent’s floor. (Read Types Of Tents)

tent footprint

A tent footprint is puncture resistant and will stop any scratching or holes produced by rough rocky terrain.

They can also assist with things like keeping your tent tidy, cushioning the ground. It also helps in insulating the tent floors and preventing water from leaking into the tent. It should be the first thing you put down before building your tent. It is more like a base layer.

Why do I need a tent footprint?

I understand why you’re asking why you need a tent footprint. Footprints, contrary to common opinion, do not waterproof your tent. Most tents include a waterproof fabric, covering the majority of the surface. A footprint serves as a protective layer between you and the chilly or damp forest floor. It provides extra protection from abrasive things like sticks, roots, and pebbles.

Your footprint will endure all the dirt and debris, keeping your tent tidy and perfect for a longer period of time. A tent footprint covers the tent bottom from damage. It also serves as a moisture barrier. It also extends the tent’s lifespan and keeps the interior dry. Another purpose of a tent footprint is to keep dirt and tree sap out of your entire tent.

Footprints are tailored to the form of the tent, reducing the quantity of fabric needed to keep your tent protected. They have corner grommets to tie it to the tent structure. So, the footprint is placed right beneath the fabric.

Although your tent may come with a footprint, most tents also sell a fitted footprint. Tent Footprint material, like tents, will be made of nylon or polyester. Nylon is a stronger, more elastic, and less waterproof material. Polyester is less elastic and more water-resistant. It is also more resistant to UV damage than nylon, although it is somewhat heavier.

Your tent and footprints are constructed of the same material but with a higher denier count.


Why should I invest in one?

You might be asking: Is a tent footprint worth it? Backpacking tents and car camping tents are expensive. So are the footprints for them. Replacing the tent footprint is an option with a lower cost. Tent footprints can also be used as mini-tarps for a variety of purposes. Other applications include using a footprint as a waterproof materials technique.

Tents can age faster as time passes if no footprint would serve as a base layer protection. Reconstructing a damaged tent is more expensive than buying a footprint. So, to save your money, I say that buying a tent footprint is worth investing in.

Besides being an extra layer in protection, a tent footprint can also be used as a makeshift tarp or tarp for a campground. Your tent may be protected from the weather by using a footprint. So, you have a multi-purpose sheet that you can use!

There are more reasons you should invest in a tent footprint for your tent floor

1. Your tent will live longer!

Since most tents have sewn-in groundsheets, purchasing a footprint has never been more important. Buying a tent footprint will keep your tent in good shape and protected from abrasion or small tear from loose stones and twigs. Think of a tent footprint as a screen protector that covers your tent.

Accidents may happen even with the best intentions and utmost care. So, this investment will be worth it in the long run. Provide your tent with as much protection as possible from the start.

2. Warmer Tent!

Putting a tent footprint to the bottom of your tent will add an extra layer, lifting you somewhat off the ground and reducing heat. When camping, people tend to fail to take into account the body heat we release. A footprint, together with a decent sleeping mat, will provide for a comfortable night’s sleep. When you’re out camping, most of your heat is lost to the ground, thus making your entire tent comfortable and warm.

3. Waterproofing your tent

With two layers, you get double the protection! Not only will an extra layer of water resistant fabric provide you peace of mind, but it will also safeguard your investment. You’ll want to preserve your brand new tent in the most pleasing possible shape for as long as possible if you’ve spent a lot of money on it. (Read Build Your Own Yurt)

4. It’s easier to pack up.

If the campgrounds are wet throughout your stay (caused by heavy rain and heavy winds), the sewn-in groundsheet of your tent may become quite damp and muddy when it’s time to pack up. The footprint will prevent most of this from happening. It will keep your tent dry and tidy, leaving you with a lot less work to do afterward.

5. Designed just for your tent

Most footprints are made to a certain tent model and are slightly smaller than the tent floor. A small footprint is made to prevent water from collecting between the sewn-in groundsheet and the footprint. This ‘made-to-measure’ technique makes finding the proper footprint a breeze.

So, yes! Buying a tent footprint is worth it!

money to buy

What should I consider before you buy a tent footprint?

Before you buy Fabric Denier, there are a few things to think about. If your tent is not constructed of a with higher denier fabric, you should consider purchasing (or making DIY footprints) that will extend the life of your tent’s floor.

The environment. If you’re camping or trekking on soft sand or in very grassy places, you probably won’t need a footprint. Mountainous settings and deep woods, on the other hand, are known for having a lot of roots, stones, and pebbles. This type of environment can wear down the fabric of your tent over time. It only takes one properly placed rock or twig to rip a hole in your floor.

The Cost. If you buy a high-end, expensive tent, it may already have a tent footprint to preserve your investment. Otherwise, you’ll almost always have to buy your tent footprint, which may be rather costly. it ranges from $40-$80.

You can buy a tent footprint in one of two ways. The first choice is to buy a tent footprint tailored to the floor of your tent, while the second is to buy a generic tent footprint. (Learn How to Pack A Tent in A Backpack?)

Purchasing a tent footprint that is made to your tent will cost extra dollars, but it is an advantage because you will never have to worry about your tent footprint not fitting right. On the other hand, a universal tent footprint made by tent manufacturers could be a better buying option for you if you are familiar with the dimensions of your tent.

Tent Footprint vs Tarp

Which one is better?

Tent Footprint

Tent footprints are sheets that go on the ground or beneath the floor of your tent. They assist in preventing unwanted harm or wear to the tent’s bottom from coming into direct touch with the raw surface ground underneath it.


Tent footprints are designed to go on your inner tent.

It keeps your tent clean and prevents water from gathering beneath your tent. It’s like your tent’s ground cloth!

It is durable gear.


It is not a lightweight sheet.

Any extra weight in your bag is inconvenient.


Tarps are pieces of resistant fabric that go on top of and below your tent. Tarps provide a lasting layer of protection for you and your tent from the elements that may come from above, whether it’s rain or snow. You can also use tarps below your tent to protect it from wear and tear.


The setup is simple. The tent is protected from the outdoor ground. Very long-lasting and durable


It can not protect your tent from water and rain. If you think your footprint is heavy, think again, tarps are heavier than a footprint.

A tarp can be used as a tent footprint. We utilize tarps to shield the tent’s outside from the elements due to their endurance. As a result, a tarp may be used to cover the tent’s bottom from the elements and ground debris.

The key difference between the two is the intended usage and level of coverage provided by each choice. Both are primarily intended to improve and raise the overall safety and comfort of your tent. Dimensions and height will influence whether you use a tent footprint or a tarp in the end.

The major goals of any footprints, whether commercial or homemade, are to protect the more expensive tent from rugged terrain, keep water off the floor of your tent, and keep the tent clean when it’s muddy.

Tent footprints are a good investment if you want to make your camping trip a comfortable one. Although it can be a bit expensive, this purchase is a good investment in the long run.

What Is A Tent Footprint (2)