Tent Footprint vs Tarp: Which One Is a Better Choice?
There are no questions about the need for a tent while camping. However, the tent might be prone to wear and tear. When you sleep on it, the wiggling against the ground might cause it to be torn.
Also if you are in the desert or beach sand, the ground surface of the tent could be prone to wear and tear.
Due to this people have come up with ingenious ways of protecting the ground surface of a tent. One such way employs the use of Tent footprints and Tarp. But there is an ongoing debate on tent footprint vs. tarp – Which one is a better choice? This post is out to give you answers.
The tent is made of a lightweight material that is easy for backpacking. It does not take a lot of space in your backpack. However, a tarp is made of a heavy-weight material. It is heavy and takes a lot of space in the backpack.
Therefore, on packing space the tent gets one point and the tarp score a zero. It is
The tarp is made up of clothing e.g. polyester or canvas imprinted with a waterproof screen such as urethane or polyethylene. This offers additional protective features that enhance the durability of the tarp. It can withstand harsher conditions better.
The tent, on the other hand, can be made from any material that can even be found at home. It is lightweight and not long-lasting. Therefore on durability, it’s one point for the tarp and zeroes for the tent footprint. It is, therefore, one: one
Ease of Use and Making
A tent footprint can be made from any large piece of material that is flexible and water-resistant or repellant. It is easy to make and install when camping. You can make it out of any material that has the above-stated characteristics.
A tarp, on the other hand, must be professionally made with impregnated waterproof layers. It takes an experienced camper to install it appropriately. Though its benefits are larger, it fails on the ease to use and make. Therefore a tent footprint scores two against one of a tarp.
Other Outdoor Applications
A tarp can serve effectively as an emergency blanket due to its highly waterproof capabilities. It can also be used effectively to trap rainwater. And can protect better from solar heat. A tent footprint can perform the same duties just like a tarp but with limits. Soon another outdoor application, the tarp gets a point making it two-all.
Tent Protection Abilities
The tarp is strong, firm, and durable. It will thus protect the tent better and for longer. The tent footprint, on the other hand, is light and less durable. It will, therefore, protect the tent but not as long as the tarp. So, on tent protection abilities, the point goes to the tarp, making it lead with three points against two points of the tent footprint.
Price and variety
Definitely, the tent footprint is cheaper and comes in a variety of colors and materials. A tarp is not very flexible material-wise and it is very expensive compared to a tent footprint. Therefore the points on price and variety go to the tent footprint. It is, therefore, a tie of three-all.
Check out this video to see the waterproofing ability of a tarp:
Now tent footprint vs. tarp – Which one is a better choice? I will say it depends on you. You can look at the above-discussed parameters and see which one suits you best. But as for now, it is a tie until you choose where to lean.
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When planning a camping trip, choosing the right camping gear should be at the top of your priority list. Your camping gear should guarantee you safety and comfort regardless of your location. Are you wondering whether to use tent footprint or tarp as your camping gear?
Here, we’ll take a closer look at both and answer any questions you may have so that you can make an informed decision the next time you decide to go outdoors.
Is Tent Footprint Worth it?
A tent footprint can be your go-to camping gear due to several reasons. When using a tent footprint, you’re guaranteed dry and clean ground. You don’t have to worry about the wet and muddy ground. If you’re camping during cold nights, your tent footprint will prevent heat loss and offer your warmer nights. Your tent footprint will also protect the bottom of your tent from unnecessary damage.
Is a Tent Footprint Better Than a Tarp?
A tent footprint is placed underneath your tent to protect the bottom of your tent from damage. If you’re planning to set up your tent on rocky or bushy areas, tent footprints can come in handy.
Your tent won’t wear or get damaged due to the direct contact with the rough ground. On the other hand, a tarp is placed on top or underneath to provide your camping tent with an extra layer. This additional layer is durable and protects the tent against any damage. The layer is also waterproof, so you’ll be protected from rainwater.
Your choice will depend on what you intend to have. Do you want to cover the ground where you set up your tent or want a tent covered with an extra layer of durable waterproof material?
Should the Tent Footprint Be Smaller Than the Tent?
When pitching your tent, you need to check the size of your net and that of your tent footprint. Your tent footprint should always be the same size as your tent or even larger. If the tent footprint is smaller, you won’t provide enough protection for your tent at the bottom. The tent footprint should cover the whole floor where you pitch your tent.
What Can I Use Instead of a Tent Footprint?
Tent footprints provide an ideal groundsheet to protect your tent and offer you comfort while inside. However, if you don’t have access to a tent footprint, you can use Window Wraps or Tyvek Homewrap. Only make sure you tuck the groundsheet to cover your entire tent.
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Can I Use a Tarp as a Tent Footprint?
Luckily, you don’t have to worry about a tent footprint if you have a tarp. The good thing about tarps is that they are versatile. You can use your tarp to provide an extra durable layer for your tent or as a groundsheet. Tarps are made of strong waterproof and durable material. When using your tarp as a tent footprint, you only need to tuck all your tarp under your tent.
Why Use a Tarp Under Your Tent?
You can use a tarp under your tent if you’re operating under a tight budget. Tarps are less expensive and when used as tent footprints, they provide similar services. Tarps are also durable, so you won’t have to buy new groundsheets every time you want to go outdoors.
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