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Is buying a footprint silly?
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Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Is buying a footprint silly? on 05/10/2009 16:41:13 MDT Print View

I've got a MSR Carbon Reflex 2 tent on the way ($355 on eBay) and I'm currently mulling over the decision on whether I should buy the footprint. It's not a question of price, but rather does it make sense to add this weight to a tent this light....thus kinda negating part of it's lightweight-ness. Should I pass on the footprint and just be careful when I use it to select a safe site? Or is camping without one asking for trouble?

The tent is 2 lbs, 15.8oz (trail weight)and a footprint adds 6.3oz to that (3lbs, 6.1oz total).

Is the tent going to be fine without one? I'd hate to wreck a tent this expensive because I didn't want to carry 6oz. I'm not hardcore ultralight....just trying to save as much weight as I can.

Oh...The tents floor is:
40d x 238T ripstop nylon 6, 10,000 mm PU coated

If the waterproofing is going to hold up without a fly and the floor isn't going to get wrecked unless I pitch it in a stupid spot, then I'd rather save the weight.

Edited by dandydan on 05/10/2009 16:43:02 MDT.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Is buying a footprint silly? on 05/10/2009 16:45:09 MDT Print View

Try Gossamer Gear. They have a few light weight options for groundcloths, and they are cheaper too!

Matt Lutz
(citystuckhiker) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Is buying a footprint silly? on 05/10/2009 16:50:29 MDT Print View

It is silly for all tents not made by Hilleberg. Use Tyvek to prevent punctures and abrasions. It's cheaper, too.

(Hilleberg makes their footprints so that they attach to the tent, and go under the vestibules. Freakin' amazing.)

Edited by citystuckhiker on 05/10/2009 16:52:18 MDT.

Jesse Glover
(hellbillylarry) - F

Locale: southern appalachians
yes on 05/10/2009 17:14:05 MDT Print View

yes buying a footprint is silly.

Aaron Zuniga
(gliden2) - F

Locale: Northwest
"Is buying a footprint silly?" on 05/10/2009 17:41:43 MDT Print View

Footprints are expensive and heavy. I agree with above posts and have had great success with the Polycryo Ground Cloth and Tyvek. Much lighter and they will provide enough protection for the shelter,bivy,bag, and everything else!

Buck Nelson
(Colter) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
No footprint, no Tyvek (and half the time, no floor!) on 05/10/2009 18:13:56 MDT Print View

My reasoning for believing a footprint isn't necessary is that I often backpack (thousands of miles) with no footprint, no Tyvek and no floor of any kind, just a closed cell foam pad.

So why would I need a floor AND a footprint? Obviously I don't.

The most common reason I see cited for using a footprint is to prevent abrasion or holes. My thinking on that is I don't care if the floor, if any, DOES get some abrasion or even pinholes. As a matter of fact as far as I know all of my old floored tents have them and it's done no harm whatsoever. In my opinion a person should never camp in a low spot where you need to depend on the floor to keep pooled water out.

So by my way of thinking why carry anything that I simply don't want or need?

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: No footprint, no Tyvek (and half the time, no floor!) on 05/10/2009 18:29:59 MDT Print View

Henry Shires says somewhere on his website I think that his customers never report durability problems with his floors. I don't think groundsheets are necessary unless you are planning on putting the tent on sharp gravel (and then you'd better get a pretty strong groundsheet). If you do end up getting a little hole somewhere sometime, the floor is far from "wrecked". A small patch will do the trick and your tent floor will, I'm sure, last as long as you want to use the tent (which is likely only 5-10 years). I doubt Henry ever does any floor replacements on his shelters.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: No footprint, no Tyvek (and half the time, no floor!) on 05/10/2009 19:11:10 MDT Print View

The floor of all my tents is just silnylon.
Over the years my best summer tent has acquired maybe a dozen small patches from little spikes and twigs. I don't think the patches (which work just fine) weigh nearly as much as a footprint - which would need to be 12 oz canvas to really protect the floor anyhow.


Walter Carrington
(Snowleopard) - M

Locale: Mass.
Replacing a tent floor is easy. on 05/10/2009 19:12:52 MDT Print View

Yes, it's silly. Replacing a tent floor is easy. Just cut out a rectangle with a couple of inches of old floor left, sew the new one in and seam seal. I've never had to do this though, other parts wore out first, mostly my knees from carrying a too heavy tent.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Thanks on 05/10/2009 19:48:36 MDT Print View

Thanks guys for the insight....I'll skip the footprint.

Raymond Estrella
(rayestrella) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Is buying a footprint silly? on 05/10/2009 20:47:05 MDT Print View

I guess a reason to have the footprint is to use it in fast-fly mode.

Seedhouse in fast-fly mode

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Fast Fly Mode on 05/10/2009 22:08:33 MDT Print View

True....I don't think I'd use the 'fast fly mode' that often because I normally want bug and heavy rain protection but it is good to keep in mind. Maybe if the weather forecast is excellent and it's not bug season then I'd do this.

Edited by dandydan on 05/10/2009 22:12:15 MDT.

Jeremy Greene
(tippymcstagger) - F

Locale: North Texas
Re: Is buying a footprint silly? on 05/11/2009 00:03:42 MDT Print View

Footprints and bathtub floors are great for car camping at heavily developed and heavily used campsites. Often the surface is crushed aggregate which becomes compacted and dished with use.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Footprints on 05/11/2009 09:19:46 MDT Print View

I have a footprint for each tent I own, except my Squall 2. Never carry one when backpacking, always use one when car camping.