What Is A Tent Footprint? What You Need To Know

Have you ever struggled to understand what a tent footprint is? Or have you ever struggled to understand why people need tent foots? We’ll I’m here to answer that. I think that it is important to know what a tent foot is because it is such a useful tool when camping, that it can save the underneath of your tent from damage while you are camping.



​So what is a tent footprint, really?

​Think of a tent footprint like the foundation of the tent. What this tent foot does is it protects the underneath of your tent from any wear and tear.

Normally, tent foots come attached to the tent itself so you don’t necessarily have to worry about buying a new one. However, many tents are waterproof underneath.

If you want to know more about what a tent foot is, then check out this YouTube video.


Why do I need a tent foot?

​When you are in the tent at night, you will be doing a lot of tossing and turning around in your sleep. Believe it or not, when you are doing the tossing and turning, you are causing abrasions on the ground material of the tent.

Over time, the friction from those abrasions will tear the underneath of the tent apart.

​Are there any other uses for the tent foot?

​Tent footprints can be used as a form of insulation underneath your tent. When the tent foot is underneath your tent, the tent foot will trap warm air underneath your tent to provide you warmth for as long as possible.

The tent footprint also makes sure that packing up the tent is as easy as possible. Since the tent itself will be on top of the tent footprint, the tent will stay dry underneath. That means that you don’t have to spend as much time cleaning the tent before packing up.

​One other way that tent footprints can help, other than protecting the tent from damage, is by helping you place your corners of the tent. When you buy your tent, the tent foot will nearly be the exact dimension as the tent footprint.

​As for the waterproofing; just because some tents are waterproof, doesn’t mean that a tent footprint cannot add an extra waterproofing layer underneath the tent. It is generally a good idea to have as many extra layers of water proofing.

​How much do they cost?

​Depends on what you buy and where you buy.However, it is possible to create your very own tent footprint without having to pay for an exorbitant amount for a tent footprint.

You should avoid buying tent footprints directly from the manufacturer of your tent because the manufacturer is likely to charge extraordinary amounts for a tent footprint.Some tent footprints can be made out of cheap table cloth. Other tent footprints can be made of plastics.​

​One popular material that has been used as a tent foot is Tyvek. This is a material that is inexpensive, lightweight and durable to use. Most importantly, it is a waterproof material which means that you can create your own tent foots for a fraction of the costs.

​Either way, when it comes to having your own tent footprint, you have choices in terms of how you get your tent footprint. Buying your own tent footprint can save you time but making your own tent footprint is cheaper.

​If I don’t use a tent footprint, how long can I expect before the tent begins to break down?

​In order for your tent to suffer damage from the abrasions of your back while you are sleeping, you will have to camp as often as possible for the next few years before the tent begins to show signs of damage.

​Are there alternatives to not using a tent footprint?

​If you are not interested in using a tent footprint, then it is best to find a tent with a water proof material underneath.

Many tents these days are made out of the material, silnylon, which is a material that can only leak water if you deliberately poke a needle through the material. The material can easily be fixed up with duct tape that covers the holes and tears from the tent.​


​Overall conclusion

​I hope that you have enjoyed reading this article on what is a tent footprint. It has been great writing to you guys about what tent foots are, what they can be used for, where you can get them and whether you need to have a tent foot.

If you want to ask any questions, or you want to make a comment about the article, then please write below in the comments section underneath this article.​

Lucy Gomez

Hi there, I'm Lucy Gomez, camp editor at Getcampingwild.com. I grew up in a suburb of Oklahoma and I have been camping my entire life. Camping in the wild is a way of life for me.

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