Camping Tent Footprints ? What Are They and How Do You Select the Right One?

Posted by Nick Niesen on October 27th, 2010

Most people who camp frequently know they need a weather resistant floor in their tents. Usually, this knowledge is learned the hard way through experience. What are tent footprints and how to select the right one?

One might assume that a tent they just purchased comes with a built-in floor. In fact, many tents do not come with a tent floor. For those that do, they may not have a weather resistant floor. That's where tent footprints come into the picture.

Not only does a tent footprint provide you with protection from the elements such as water penetration into your sleeping surface, they also prolong the life of tents that come with their own tent floor. Footprints are designed to take punishment and much wear and tear.

This all leads to the next question: How does one select the right tent footprint? Actually, it is very simple in many cases. This is because most tent manufacturers make tent footprints as accessories to each of the tents in their lineup. Because of this, you can usually find a footprint custom made for your tent. Just search for the footprint made for the tent you own or are purchasing and it will match perfectly.

In other cases where you need a specifically sized tent footprint for your tent there are many selections available for general tent use. Models such the Eureka Floor Saver line are an example of general purpose tent footprints that you can purchase.

When fitting a footprint to your tent you want to make sure it meets the following criteria. 1) The footprint must have the correct dimensions to cover the entire floor size or your tent. You want it to be large enough so that when you fasten it to the ground, it protrudes slightly from the tent floor outline. 2) The footprint must have a rugged and easy-to-use fastening system. Usually, you'll find a stake and ring system. 3) This is a personal preference item, but make sure the footprint has a color that compliments the tent interior.

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Nick Niesen

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Nick Niesen
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