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Thread: Tents and footprints???

  1. #1

    Default Tents and footprints???

    So I just picked up my tent yesterday (Nallo GT 3) from Barney's. I know been over 24 hours and haven't set it up...I know shame on me right . Anyways, they asked me if I wanted to buy a footprint for my tent at Barney's. I opted to not order the footprint. I never have instead just check out my tent site very well to ensure nothing super pointy is going to put a hole in the floor of my previous tents. That said none of my previous tents cost 700 bones and I'd hate to get a hole in this one. I just have a hard time justifying the extra cost and weight of a footprint. So is anyone using footprints?? Am I making a mistake by foregoing the footprint?? Experience says that a little common sense goes a long way to save a tent floor but I'd hate to go wrong on this.

    Thanks
    Last edited by Alaska_Lanche; 02-26-2009 at 17:56.

  2. #2
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    If you have to have a footprint, don't bother with the factory ones - cut a piece of tyvek to a shape that's slightly smaller than your tent floor's footprint.

  3. #3
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    Footprint... I just went through the same thing. When I called Hilleberg to order my Tarra I talked with the guy about it. His exact words were "we never use them".

  4. #4

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    I have only had bad luck with footprints. Always seems to collect water and funnel it under the tent. I think you are just better off making sure your tent site is good. I have the nallo 4 gt and will be footprint free based on past experience. But I do understand your reluctance give the big $$$.

  5. #5
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    A foot print is cheap insurance. Why not use a foot print is the question you should ask. I see no cons to using one. And if you find yourself camping on a gravel river bar, the footprint could very well save you $700 investment. Guess it depends on where you will be using the tent. But again I must ask, why not use a foot print?
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    A foot print is cheap insurance. Why not use a foot print is the question you should ask. I see no cons to using one. And if you find yourself camping on a gravel river bar, the footprint could very well save you $700 investment. Guess it depends on where you will be using the tent. But again I must ask, why not use a foot print?

    I guess the two main reasons for not using one would be the additional cost & weight. I have never had a problem in the past without a footprint, but it is relatively cheap insurance when compared to the cost of the tent, but the reason I bought the tent was the relatively lightweight and the need for a foot print adding at a minimum 1 lb kind of defeats the purpose of a lightweight tent.

    I should add that my purpose for this tent in particular is backpack hunting were ounces count. If float hunting then sure I see no problem hauling the footprint along, but honestly this tent wouldn't be my first choice for a float hunt, unless packrafting, in which case I'll still be packing in addition to rafting so weight is again still an issue.

  7. #7
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    Hey guys! My first post! Gotta start somewhere.

    I am the equipment manager for NOLS Alaska. We send tents out into the field for 30-90 day expeditions and we don't use footprints. Our tents spend more time in the field in one summer than most do in a lifetime. We do our fair share of tent floor repairs, but it is not that substantial, and the weight and space savings outweigh the risk of damage. We have traditionaly used Mountain Hardwear trango tents but are currently switching over a lot of our tents to Hillebergs.

    That said, if weight is not a factor, I would definitely bring a foot print, it does add substantial protection to the floor of your tent. But I also agree with Vek. A simple piece of extra material will work fine.

    Like you said, if you are careful about your site selection, you should be fine. And in the case that you do get a few pin holes in the floor, a small piece of ripstop repair tape and some seam grip and you are good to go.

  8. #8
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    I agree no need for a footprint... If the ground is super wet I may take a tyvek groundcloth with me but I always use it inside the tent that way no water gets funneled between the tent floor and the groundcloth and with it inside it is extra insurance incase the floor wets out.

    jason B

  9. #9

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    I passed on the footprint too on my Nallo 3 GT, just not worth another 1lb plus for something I have never needed. Couldn't hurt to cut up some Tyvek or even some painters plastic sheeting for extra insurance when camping in river or creek bed areas but I dont do footprints.

  10. #10

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    Where do you get the Tyvek for cutting up? Sounds interesting given the lightweight of Tyvek.

  11. #11
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    The Nallo has one of the tougher floors I have seen. I also passed on the footprint. I have put it up in a dozen raw campsites and have had no issues, nor do I forsee any any time soon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stratofisher View Post
    Where do you get the Tyvek for cutting up? Sounds interesting given the lightweight of Tyvek.
    SBS, Home Depot, etc. I'm sure you'd be able to snag some scraps if you know of a home that is being built nearby.

    Cub, are you and Alaska_Lanche gear twins?!

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    another vote for tyvek. instead of investing in a huge roll, get on ebay and buy a 10x 9 ft (for example) piece. they mail it to you. it is crinkly when you get it, take it to a laurdromat and wash it in a side loader (or yours if you have a side loader). wash it several times, that will get it soft, and as it gets used and dirty, it will get softer. the reason for the side loader is that it can break your top loader center piece. have used it for years, and is very lightweight and works great, and dries very quickly. way lighter then a manufactured foot print.

  14. #14
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    i foot print everything! when i give a tent to a client there'll be a foot print either under it or in it. If you were buying a backpack tent for just weight i doubt you'd have bought the hallo...thats not excatly a light weight backpacking tent. There are cheaper models that weight less but not built the same and that are free standing...so i'm getting at you bought it for more than just the weight....(quality...)
    that being said and extra 1lb for me is wayyy worth it, should my tent spring a hole, i've got something there to keep me dry. a wet inside of a tent is the second worse, next to a wet sleeping bag, which usually follows a wet tent...
    the plastic sheet is an awesome idea, you can use the plastic for a handfull of other uses as well....i'll leave my extra headlamp and take the plastic.however duct tape and aqua seal can fix those little tent rips and cuts and if you need it.
    But i'm in a tent around 175+/- days a year so it might be different than most tent users.
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  15. #15

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    Well I bit the bullet and got the extra tent footprint from Hilleberg. Figure I should protect my investment. I can carry the weight.

  16. #16
    Member Buck Nelson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska_Lanche View Post
    I guess the two main reasons for not using one would be the additional cost & weight. I have never had a problem in the past without a footprint
    That about sums it up. I've never needed one. As others have said it's all about site selection. I don't set up in places where water may pool. If you've chosen a good spot it won't matter if you DO have pinholes in the floor. Some of my old tents have pinholes in the floors and I don't even bother to repair them and I never get wet because of it. Heck, one of my most-used shelters has no floor at all!

    I have seen many people get soaked because they used a footprint/ground cloth that extended beyond the edges of the rain fly, something that won't happen if you use one properly, of course.

  17. #17
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    if you cut some tyvek for a footprint, it should come just to the edge of the tent, and almost be a shade too small. any bigger and you may get water collecting and then running under the tent.

  18. #18
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    My tents aren't as high dollar, but I use a thin sheet of painters plastic that's cut to be just smaller than the tents footprint. When I take our church youth group on trips they get one on the outside & one on the inside. Makes the tent floor last longer with teens.
    Vance in AK.

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  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    But i'm in a tent around 175+/- days a year so it might be different than most tent users.
    Yeah I am sure that has A LOT to do with it. Heck I'm lucky if I get to spend 60 days a year out and even that is split up between my Arctic Oven, Cabelas Guide Model, Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2, and various wall tents. So due to the fact that I am likely not going to be using my tent 100+ days a year through site selection and careful planning I'm thinking I am good to go on no footprint.

  20. #20

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    REI sells cut to size footprints for around $10, and a full size one for a 2 man tent weights about 8 oz on my scale. When you trim it, make sure to trim it 2-3 inches smaller than the floor of your tent, otherwise water will run down the side of your tent, hit the footprint, and collect under the floor of your tent.

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