Why floorless tents are actually better for the fastidious
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spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Why floorless tents are actually better for the fastidious on 06/19/2013 09:22:27 MDT Print View

1. If you use a groundsheet, there still IS a floor. It's just not attached to the sides.
2. The floor is packed separately so when it's muddy it doesn't get the rest of the tent dirty.
3. No setting up the tent at home and trying to sweep out the sand/dirt/crud that got inside and is now trapped in the corners.

Okay, so these are actually MY reasons, which I thought of the last time I had to pack up after a storm and realized how easy it was going to be to clean up my gear after the trip. But for those of you with friends and SOs who think a floorless tent is ucky, these might help persuade them.

kevin timm
(ktimm) - M

Locale: Colorado (SeekOutside)
Floorless on 06/19/2013 09:26:45 MDT Print View

There are a ton of reasons that floorless is good.
- If it is muddy go in with your boots on
- The ability to use a wood stove like in the seek outside tipis and Lil' bug out shelter
- Lighter weight
- Less chance of blowing away in the wind
- Often times more pitching flexibility

Plus, if you really want fully enclosed , just add a nest, or if you want protection of your sleeping area, use a bivy.

I can take a 150 sq ft shelter that will hold up in 60 - 80 MPH winds, and I can stand up in, for 5 lbs. I can take smaller shelters for a pound or two.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Why floorless tents are actually better for the fastidious on 06/19/2013 09:36:50 MDT Print View

I agree, but the one benefit of a floored tent is it's sealed off from water. Hopefully your campsite doesn't get completely flooded, but a floored tent would be better for that.

I like extra large groundsheets so I can set out all of my gear without getting it dirty.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Why floorless tents are actually better for the fastidious on 06/19/2013 09:39:53 MDT Print View

+1

If it's raining I can get tent out of pack without getting much water on other stuff, set up tent, get inside with pack, works much better. And reverse order when packing up.

The worst is a floored tent with fly. Set up tent, rain falls on it getting everything wet before fly is up.

Pyramid is good because there's enough head room to sit, kneel, move around a little. Leave door open and you can watch the rain falling on the wilderness.

Only problem is if it's windy stuff can blow in under the edges. Sometimes I'll set up branches around the outside perimeter to intercept dust and leaves blowing in.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Why floorless tents are actually better for the fastidious on 06/19/2013 09:42:17 MDT Print View

If site is flooded with floored tent, water tends to get inside floor and then puddle up there. I occasionally screw up and set up in what becomes a puddle, but then maybe next time I'll be smarter.

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
All good reasons..BUT on 06/19/2013 09:54:43 MDT Print View

Trying convincing Mrs Mags to not use a tent with a "real" floor. :)

She'll backpack with me only if we have, what she calls, a real tent.

So we happily (? :) ) backpack together with a Lunar Duo that has a floor. I get her out backpacking, my German born wife sees things as clean, neat and organized.

Win!

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Why floorless tents are actually better for the fastidious on 06/19/2013 10:29:10 MDT Print View

4. The floor can also be your poncho. Double duty. Less weight.

kevin campbell
(rockymtbiker) - F

Locale: Michigan
f on 06/19/2013 10:37:48 MDT Print View

When I made my own tent last summer, the biggest thing that I wanted and needed was a floor that would not allow rain OR bugs in. Bugs suck! I'll go hardcore UL anything. anywhere, but I need my privacy from the critters and bugs while sleeping...

Enjoy those floorless non attached thingys!

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: All good reasons..BUT on 06/19/2013 10:52:11 MDT Print View

Paul, I once had a German SO and she was much was the same. I get your compromise. :)

Marty Cochran
(mcochran77) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
Better sleep on 06/19/2013 11:05:04 MDT Print View

I like to sleep with my tailbone in a slight divot.
With a floorless tent it is easier to dig out a hole for my tailbone or hip while in the tent.
I can also shift my ground cloth to avoid blowing snow and rain and surface runoff.

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
"Why floorless tents are actually better for the fastidious" on 06/19/2013 12:21:57 MDT Print View

I like the idea of a floorless tent, but in the buggy areas I camp in I don't see it as practical. Plus in every photo I've seen of them set up, there is a significant gap at the bottom and I camp in tree less alpine areas that often have pretty good winds and it just looks like the wind would come right in, which isn't a problem with my Fly Creek because the inner walls come up pretty high.

So far as cleaning a regular fully enclosed tent, I just un-stake it, crawl in, leave my feet outside and stand up, raising the tent over my head. And shake. All the the debris falls right out the door. Then I set it down, and dismantle it and put it away. No setting up at home or sweeping required.

Joel Benford
(Morte66) - F - M

Locale: Surrey flatlands, England
Bathtub on 06/19/2013 12:27:07 MDT Print View

So long as your separate groundsheet is a bathtub, and will stay that way in a flood, I can dig it.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: "Why floorless tents are actually better for the fastidious" on 06/19/2013 13:05:08 MDT Print View

"So far as cleaning a regular fully enclosed tent, I just un-stake it, crawl in, leave my feet outside and stand up, raising the tent over my head. And shake."

video?

Tipi Walter
(TipiWalter) - F
Floorless on 06/19/2013 13:14:06 MDT Print View

Here are some points made---

** Kevin Timm says there's "less chance of blowing away in the wind" with a floorless shelter. Can't quite figure this one out as all shelters must be pegged. People who have a self-supporting tent with a floor and leave it unpegged just haven't learned enough yet.

** Justin Baker says " . . . one benefit of a floored tent is it's sealed off from water". This is a very important point---vital in fact. See below comments.

** Jerry Adams says "Set up tent, rain falls on it getting everything wet before fly is up." This is one advantage of the Hillebergs as they can be set up fly first with a hanging interior.

** But Jerry is right about one thing---"Only problem (with a pyramid tent) is if it's windy stuff can blow in under the edges." This happens with tarps too. This is especially true in open bald blizzards with 60mph winds and spindrift going everywhere and into everything---it stays out of a floored tent.

** Jerry Adams says, "If a site is flooded with a floored tent, water tends to get inside floor and then puddle . . . ." This all depends on floor denier weight and hydrostatic head along with the age of the tent. A good tent with a 70 to 100 denier floor(properly coated)---and a high hydrostatic number (7000mm or 10,000mm) will keep out this ground water and pooling.

Here's a test to do at home---Floorless folks don't have to do it unless they want to run this test with their ground cloths---

** Get a water hose and saturate a spot in your yard with water, making a small one-inch deep pool. Now, place the tent floor on top of this pool and sit on it for several minutes. If any water is coming thru then the floor is "inadequate". It could even be a new tent with a low denier floor (30 denier is common for UL tents).

This duplicates the real-world conditions of a deluge and finding your campsite swamped, which will happen on occasion if the rain is heavy enough no matter how careful your site selection.

Plus, this test can also be run on slushy snow and ice. Check the ground cloth too. Just some thoughts.

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
"Why floorless tents are actually better for the fastidious" on 06/19/2013 14:01:57 MDT Print View

@Jerry Adams-

No video, but it should not be hard to envision. I learned the "hold it up in the air and shake trick" from an ex-boyfriend. I've used it on every tent I've owned since, it doesn't seem to matter what design they are. If the tent is really small, you can pick it up and hold and shake it it from outside, but if it's a 2 man or bigger it's easier for me to just stand up inside it with the tent all around you and the door down around your feet (feet outside the tent, on the ground) and then shake. Unless it has wet leaves in it or something, any debris just falls right out. Then set the tent back down and pull the poles and put it away. It's also a great way to shake of excess moisture from rain, although in that case I always do pull it back out at home and hang it to fully dry it before I store it.

Nathan Coleman
(RockChucker30) - M
Floorless on 06/19/2013 14:58:31 MDT Print View

@ Tipi Walter...

Kevin Timm is the owner of Seek Outside, and was probably referring specifically to a tipi's ability to shed wind.

The biggest hangups on floorless shelters are bugs, mud or water in general, and condensation.

Bugs can be dealt with through chemicals or nests, bivies, or other netting. Mud can be overcome with a good groundcloth and good site selection. Condensation is easy to deal with if you have a wood stove capable shelter, otherwise it is endured.

Overall I think floorless shelters offer a great space to weight ratio and are more livable in my experience because of not worrying about tracking stuff inside.

If I'm not in a hammock, I'll be in a floorless shelter.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: "Why floorless tents are actually better for the fastidious" on 06/19/2013 15:07:56 MDT Print View

I want to see video

just for entertainment : )

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: floorless on 06/19/2013 15:14:17 MDT Print View

Floorless 'mid are the obvious choice of the evolved. SOs, friends and family who have mental blocks about them need some tough love. One trip in rainy conditions enjoying the freedom if just ducking in and they'll come around.

Like anything, they have limitations.

Truly nasty skeeters, as well as the height of tick season, deserve an inner net. In mild buggy conditions what few get in just migrate to the top and hang out in confusion. Get a partially solid fabric inner and you just made a double wall tent with a huge, modular vestibule.

It's conceiveable you might find yourself in wet enough camping conditions that you'll need a bomber bathtub floor. I never have. If you need one, bring one, but my sense is 98% of backpackers won't.

With practice a good 'mid can be almost welded to the ground. If cold wind is a huge concern add sod clothes. Spindrift is a red herring, as snow on the ground makes it easy to seal the edges.

kevin timm
(ktimm) - M

Locale: Colorado (SeekOutside)
Wind and floorled tents on 06/19/2013 15:29:18 MDT Print View

They often handle wind better, because a floor is often the catch that wind gets. I had a floored tent blow away with 100 lbs of gear inside it once. Yes a floorless tent needs to be staked well, but once staked well they do very well. I've has trees coming down within 5 ft of a 12 man tipi. That is a tent that is 9'8 tall and covers 280 sq feet of space and winds were reported in the mid 70's that day.
Yes some stakes bent in the ground, but nothing failed.

As stated floored tents can get water in them in the form of a puddle if pitched in the wrong spot.

The gap at the bottom of a floorless tent is if you do not have a sod skirt. In our tipi's there is a sod skirt that hangs down 6" and effectively removes any gap from staking or ground irregularity.

Here is me and my boys last weekend in Ice Lake BasinBoys camping

Phillip Asby
(PGAsby) - M

Locale: North Carolina
Good arguments on 06/19/2013 15:30:38 MDT Print View

but I'm not swayed... living in the SE I am more compelled by these helpful site mates...

Asian tiger mosquito