View Full Version : Tarptent Footprints...

05-04-2011, 17:19
I recently got my rainbow and have the tyvek sheet. Wondering what people use as a footprint for their TT. Tyvek is a little bulky. Also have read that some poeple use nothing as a footprint. So what do you guys use/do?

05-04-2011, 17:45
I use a Poloycryo sheet from Gossamer Gear. I believe it's the same as that window heat shrink film sold at hardware stores

05-04-2011, 18:50
My tarptent goes naked, sans footprint. The way I figure it, by the time I wear out the floor, I'll want something new & different anyway. With a little care & careful site selection, it should last a good long time.

05-04-2011, 19:04
No footprint here either. I used to carry a sheet of tyvek for various reasons but noted it weighed 10 ozs so I started leaving it at home. :)

05-04-2011, 19:13
This popped into my head as I was reading the Op's comments..
Try this and see if it works for you.
With my Rainbow I can roll up the Tyvek groundcloth inside the fly and it still fits inside the original stuff sack.
(fold it so that the dirty side does not come into contact with the fabric)
A bit tight but the groundcloth helps in compressing the fly (as the pole also does) when you roll it up.
A quick way to soften the Tyvek is just to roll it up (like a newspaper) and twist it a few times.
BTW, I do not use one myself, the one in the pic is used for experiments .

05-04-2011, 19:27
I don't use a groundcloth/footprint either. My Contrail has 6000 trail miles, quite a few of those in rocky desert, and shows no wear on the floor. Henry's website has a comment somewhere about this. He says he virtually never gets tents back for floor replacement. The comment above is correct--either something else will wear out or you'll want a newer design first.

Leaving the tyvek behind was one of the easiest 6 ounces I've lost from my pack. (Mine must be smaller than 10K's--tyvek, I mean.)

05-04-2011, 19:38
No footprint for our tarptent here either.

Rocket Jones
05-04-2011, 20:08
Nope. No footprint.

05-04-2011, 23:39
NEver had a footprint on my Cloudburst or Sublite, and never got any holes in the floor. Even on AZT and PCT where the ground is just a little rocky at times.

05-05-2011, 21:10
I own a rainbow. I got some 0.8mil painters plastic from Walmart ($1.29). Trim it, and it weighs about an ounce. One sheet lasted an entire thru.

I used tyvek on a previous thru, but at 4oz, it wasn't worth it.

I like the groundsheet because it allows me to put my tent on some crappy ground (muddy, twiggy, etc). This makes it a little lighter and cleaner when I pack it up in the morning.

05-06-2011, 01:02
I use a half of a really light tarp, but my tarptent doesn't have a floor.

05-06-2011, 07:43
No footprint. Have used various Tarptents since 2003 with no issues.

05-06-2011, 09:49
No footprint for my Moment.

05-06-2011, 09:58
No footprint here as well. Never had a problem. hopefully never will.

Its just not worth it to me. I rather have a tent with a hole in the floor that's patched with duct tape before I carry a heavy ground cloth. Just my .02

05-13-2011, 14:39
So I took my Rainbow out for a night. Didnt bring a footprint but ended up using a couple of cardboard boxes underneath cause setting up in an ideal spot wasnt possible. Heres what I did notice. I slipped around like a skating ring. The boxes prob didnt help too much but they were worn a bit so I know they werent the full problem. On the floor of my tent it looks like they put some lines, horizontal, so that would stop some of the sliding. What have you guys used to help with this issue? I looked up some topics but it seems people have a difference of opinion. Thanks.

Rocket Jones
05-13-2011, 17:02
I painted a grid of dots on my floor with seam sealer that was slightly thicker than the stuff I used to seal the seams.

05-13-2011, 17:15
I bring one cause I use it in the shelters under my air mattress when I don't feel like setting up the tent.

05-13-2011, 21:32
Hey Rocket- what was the stuff called? Do you remember how long it took to dry. I live in an apt and I dont have a yard. I can make the time just wondering.

05-13-2011, 22:23
u can mix clear silicon and mineral sprits to make seam sealer. people adjust the ratio for different purposes.

Just add mineral spirits till it gets thin enough to pain on.

05-14-2011, 00:43
It seems that making dots or rows could make pressure points. Even apply something rubberlike to the pad.

05-14-2011, 11:13
oh it comes out way to thin to feel. like paper thick. you can put them on the tent or the pad. some pads have them on top and bottom to keep them from slipping (like POE)

Big Dawg
05-14-2011, 19:33
for just a few ounces, I treat my floors with this (http://jwbasecamp.com/Articles/Silnylon1/index.html).

05-14-2011, 19:58
Oh my. Seems like a lot of work. Did you do both sides of your floor? How long do you have to let it dry?

05-14-2011, 20:46
over night
have you had your tent out yet?

Ol Mole
05-14-2011, 20:51
It seems that making dots or rows could make pressure points. Even apply something rubberlike to the pad.


Did ya find the spider mat. It is in the 1-2 dollar range and needs no mixing or applying.

Happy trails.

05-15-2011, 13:28
For me, I like a piece of Tyvek... when new I fold it VERY precisely to fit the tent stuf sack perfectly. The Tyvek always gets re-folded the same way for each use and the ground side always (I put the lettering to the ground) gets folded against itself to keep dirt together. When packing the tent, the folded Tyvek goes in the stuff sack first, then the tent it stuffed (not folded or rolled as many do) alongside the Tyvek in the sack.


I see no benefit not having along a footprint for the small weight... if the weather is nice I don't like being cooped up in a tent and love sleeping under the stars... a footprint then becomes a ground sheet.

Big Dawg
05-15-2011, 15:30
Oh my. Seems like a lot of work. Did you do both sides of your floor? How long do you have to let it dry?

It's really no big deal,,, definitely not a lot of work. I do the bottom side completely, and then just a few small stripes on the inside, to keep my pad from slipping. Dry time was about an hour, but I didn't pack it up in it's stuff sack for 1/2 a day. I love having the extra protection at a small weight penalty w/o having to worry about dealing w/ an extra groundcloth/footprint.

05-17-2011, 02:53
Big Dawg- It sounds easy but I live in an apt and I have cats and hardwood floors. So setting it up somewhere is tough cause of nails and then if I do get it set up (highly unlikely cause of possible damage) I have to leave it closed of for up to 48 hrs Im hearing. Very tough for me to do as of now. What I am going to try is the dish thing and I also have a Gossmer pad that may make everything better. This was one of the main reasons I had them seam seal it for me.

05-17-2011, 05:00
Not necessarily applicable to you but to do the floor you do not need to pitch the tent, just turn it inside out so the floor is flat on top. Paint it and shove it under the bed for a couple of days.

05-29-2011, 11:48
I have found a great groundsheet for my Rainbow. Its much smaller than the one TT sends you.


05-29-2011, 16:45
Its the same price as Henry's. If you allready have one just cut it to the sizeyou want

05-31-2011, 12:05
I wrote this (biased) view :)

05-31-2011, 12:36
I actually have a few of these things you posted Mags. I liked the one I posted from Amazon cause it has loops at the 4 corners that you can attach to your tent.

06-17-2011, 15:45

I recently got a bottle of this. I need to put some
"dots" on the floor of my tent so I dont slip and slide. Will this stuff work? How big of a dot do I need? I assume I should spread it out? Anything that could help would be greatly appreciated. Going camping for a few days and think I can set up 2 tents and "dot" my TT and sleep in my other. I thank you for your help.

06-17-2011, 16:25
Even though we don't need anything under the Lunar Duo, we bring the Tyvek sheet. It comes in handy for nights without setting up the tent and for having something to sit on and it keeps the bottom of the tent clean. It has writing on it so that if you fold it just right, it reads "Hiker to Town" or "Hiker to Trail". If yours is too bulky, you can soften it up in the washer (no soap, no dryer) and that'll make it more flexible.

We put seam sealer in stripes on the floor inside to minimize slipping but in my opinion, it doesn't do much. My BF also put dots of seam sealer on his Neo Air.

06-17-2011, 17:27
slippery tent floor fix