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  1. #1
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    Default Do I need to buy/carry a footprint for my tent (Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1)?

    It's $35/4oz.

    I understand it's supposed to protect the tent but won't do much for water resistance. Will I need this for the AT? I'm trying to pack as light as possible, but don't want to skimp on things that matter.

  2. #2

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    I would recommend it. I previously use Seedhouse SL2, and now Fly Creek UL1, and always used the footprint.
    The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
    Richard Ewell, CSA General


  3. #3
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    I'll give the opposite perspective. I haven't used a footprint in more than ten years. Lately we've been using very light tarptents with silnylon floors, and even those hold up well. Just keep an eye out for sticks and small rocks and any other sharp things before setting up the tent. And don't set up in muddy sites.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  4. #4
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    I have used a Fly Creek UL2 extensively and the footprint really helped protect the floor. I did my tenting mostly here in NH - lots of rocky ground and tent platforms. It adds some weight, but extends the life of your tent...


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Registered User rusty bumper's Avatar
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    Over 150 nights on the trail with my Tarptent Moment...no footprint...no problems.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Never used one.

  7. #7
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rusty bumper View Post
    Over 150 nights on the trail with my Tarptent Moment...no footprint...no problems.
    Same experience here: 45 years of backpacking, maybe 1000 nights in a tent, never ever used an extra footprint, never got a hole in my tent floor. My most recent tent is a BA fly creek 2, 100+ nights, no problem.

  8. #8
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    I use the Fly Creek UL1 also, don't use the Big Agnes footprint, too expensive and too many extra ounces. The tent floor should be fine without a footprint, but a piece of polycro ground cloth will give extra protection for fraction of the weight of the silnylon footprint. Gossamer Gear website has the polycro ground cloth.

  9. #9
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Praha4 View Post
    I use the Fly Creek UL1 also, don't use the Big Agnes footprint, too expensive and too many extra ounces. The tent floor should be fine without a footprint, but a piece of polycro ground cloth will give extra protection for fraction of the weight of the silnylon footprint. Gossamer Gear website has the polycro ground cloth.
    That GG Polycro stuff is absolutely amazing; so strong for it's feather-weight. I use it as my tent floor in my zpacks-hexamid tent; one sheet as big as the tent floor lasted 400 miles on the AT, still looks like new. If you have to have a "footprint", follow this advice and get some of this stuff. Cheaper and lighter.

  10. #10
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    Tyvek works too...


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  11. #11
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magneto View Post
    Tyvek works too...
    Too heavy.

  12. #12
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    I like using a ground cloth because it not only helps protect the underside of the tent from start sticks (and seeds) but it also keeps the bottom of the tent clean and dry.

    I don't know what the bulk of the AT is like, but in the GSMNP, the camp spots are just bare dirt. The ground cloth gives me a clean dry spot to roll up my tent, and then as I pick up the ground cloth, I can fold the dirty side in on itself and roll it around the tent before stuffing it back inside the tent bag.

  13. #13
    Registered User canoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    That GG Polycro stuff is absolutely amazing; so strong for it's feather-weight. I use it as my tent floor in my zpacks-hexamid tent; one sheet as big as the tent floor lasted 400 miles on the AT, still looks like new. If you have to have a "footprint", follow this advice and get some of this stuff. Cheaper and lighter.
    Never heard of this stuff. I always used tyvek. After doing research I see that tyvek is like twice as heavy as this polycro stuff. Is it really as tough as you say?

  14. #14
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by canoe View Post
    Never heard of this stuff. I always used tyvek. After doing research I see that tyvek is like twice as heavy as this polycro stuff. Is it really as tough as you say?
    Not sure how to quantify "tough", so I guess you just have to try it and see.

  15. #15
    Registered User ChinMusic's Avatar
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    Never use a footprint. No issues.
    Fear ridges that are depicted as flat lines on a profile map.

  16. #16
    Registered User canoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    Not sure how to quantify "tough", so I guess you just have to try it and see.
    Well you are the one that made the statement how well it held up. So according to your description is how I am defining tough. Why dont you send me some so I can try it out and see

  17. #17
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by canoe View Post
    Well you are the one that made the statement how well it held up. So according to your description is how I am defining tough. Why dont you send me some so I can try it out and see
    Well, see my post #9 below, not a completely thorough test though, but I'd feel good about using two for an entire thru hike (meaning I would expect at least 1000 miles out of one). Here's one review:

    http://sectionhiker.com/gossamer-gea...-ground-cloth/

    and here's the actual product (2-pack for $10):

    http://gossamergear.com/shelters/she...th-medium.html

    But again I stress, as many have said, no footprint required on any floored-tents I've ever used. (I use this GG polycro as my actual tent floor, one layer; my hexamid tent only has a bug-screen floor).

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    Too heavy.
    I've used the same piece of tyvek for 12 years. It weighs 3 ounces. It is not cut for the entire tent just the middle where I put my weight.
    Everything is in Walking Distance

  19. #19
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bamboo bob View Post
    I've used the same piece of tyvek for 12 years. It weighs 3 ounces.
    I know, that's why I said it was too heavy. The same size piece of polycro would be about an ounce. I understand most, on WB especially, don't see the significance of 2 ounces. I do. Some others do. That's why some have fully equipped base weights of 10 lbs or less. Every ounce counts. Make each ounce count. I know, I'm being preachy. Forgive.

  20. #20
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    I tend to think that a base weight of 10 or 12 or 16 makes no difference. I'll try anything at all if it actually works better. But will polycro lie flat without being babied. Isn't it a bit like trying to spread out a piece of saran wrap?
    Everything is in Walking Distance

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