May 10, 2009 at 3:41 pm #1236228
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.May 10, 2009 at 3:45 pm #1500397
@kennyhel77Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Try Gossamer Gear. They have a few light weight options for groundcloths, and they are cheaper too!May 10, 2009 at 3:50 pm #1500400
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.)May 10, 2009 at 4:14 pm #1500402
@hellbillylarryLocale: southern appalachians
yes buying a footprint is silly.May 10, 2009 at 4:41 pm #1500408
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!May 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm #1500410
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?May 10, 2009 at 5:29 pm #1500412
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.May 10, 2009 at 6:11 pm #1500418
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
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.
CheersMay 10, 2009 at 6:12 pm #1500421
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.May 10, 2009 at 6:48 pm #1500427
Thanks guys for the insight….I'll skip the footprint.May 10, 2009 at 7:47 pm #1500434
@rayestrellaLocale: Northern Minnesota
I guess a reason to have the footprint is to use it in fast-fly mode.May 10, 2009 at 9:08 pm #1500446
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.May 10, 2009 at 11:03 pm #1500469
@tippymcstaggerLocale: North Texas
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.May 11, 2009 at 8:19 am #1500508
I have a footprint for each tent I own, except my Squall 2. Never carry one when backpacking, always use one when car camping.
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