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Wick
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01/14/2018 06:26PM
Trying to cut weight. I was wondering if the footprint for the tent is needed in the BW?
 
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SevenofNine
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01/14/2018 07:09PM
Lots of rocks and sharp items in the BWCA. I like protecting my tent/investment. You could try house wrap in place of your standard footprint. They tend to be lighter than the footprint.
01/14/2018 07:20PM

SevenofNine: "Lots of rocks and sharp items in the BWCA. I like protecting my tent/investment. You could try house wrap in place of your standard footprint. They tend to be lighter than the footprint."

I completely agree with SevenofNine!

I know many canoe camping experts like Cliff Jacobson disdain the use of footprints for water protection. But much like SevenofNine, I like to use a footprint to lessen the wear and tear on the base of my tent(s).

When I haven't used a footprint, wear and potential for pin-holing of the base of the tent seems inevitable. It's worth taking IMHO.

Hans Solo
01/14/2018 07:51PM
Hell my solo tents are so small the protection is not needed.I'll be hard pressed to find the floor under my sleeping bag/mattress pad.

When I do spread out in the luxury of a backpacking mansion (2 person or more capacity), my footprint/outie/innie whatever used is most often cut from Tyvek a bit oversized (say 3 inches on all borders), washed in cold and tumble dried. This will crinkle it up( hence the oversizing), and make it much quieter. About 1/2 the weight of a polyester factory footprint/floor-saver and less expensive also.

butthead
01/14/2018 08:23PM
The footprint on my Big Agnus Seed House 2 weighs next to nothing. How much does your footprint weigh?
mschi772
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01/14/2018 08:48PM
I generally do not use footprints, and this article explains why better than I could.

LINK
01/14/2018 08:49PM
Blatz: "The footprint on my Big Agnus Seed House 2 weighs next to nothing. How much does your footprint weigh?"

Not sure who you asked but I have a FlyCreek Platium2 same floor dimensions as SeedHouse SL 2, weighs 6 oz on my scale. The Tyvek I cut for the FCP weighs 4 oz.
Also did a polycro oversized innie at under 2 oz.

butthead
Northwoodsman
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01/14/2018 09:08PM
It depends on your tent floor also. If you have a super lightweight tent, normally the materials are often thinner and more delicate. For my 1990 Eureka Timberline and my Nemo Galaxy, I don't need a foot print unless there are roots and rocks (and there normally are). For my BA Copper Spur, I need a footprint no matter what. I always use a footprint because it is lightweight insurance for keeping your gear dry and your floor in good condition. If you are going to be using a cot, wearing shoes in the tent, or crawling around a lot, a footprint is a good idea. If you are just going to crawl in your tent to sleep, you may be okay without one. I would look at cutting the 10 - 12 oz. someplace else.
Savage Voyageur
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01/14/2018 09:55PM
I like using a tent footprint with my tent. It saves the bottom of my tent from rocks, roots and sharp sticks from poking through the floor. They are not for water protection, they are for floor protection.
Minnesotian
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01/14/2018 10:14PM

I’ve never used a manufactured footprint. Always made mine out of 4 mil plastic or Tyvack. But, I have stopped using even those items, even with my TarpTent.
Wick
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01/15/2018 04:32AM
The first thing i bought was a Mountainsmith 3 person tent. It has rainfly and footprint. It weighs 8 lbs with stakes and everything. i bought it before i was educated on light weight being important. It is the heaviest thing in my pack.

I was dreaming of just sleeping under a tarp,,,,,but i mentioned that to my wife. She wants a tent.

01/15/2018 06:19AM
Wick,

Just note, when he talks about TarpTent, he's talking about a brand of tent, not just a tarp.

TarpTent

I wouldn't dream of trying to sleep just under a tarp, although it has been done. The bugs would eat you alive without a bug bivy, to say nothing of the weather . . .

Take the tent and leave the footprint behind if you need to, or get some Tyvek, or plastic drop cloth or polycro for a replacement.

And don't forget the bug juice and head nets anyway . . . ;).
01/15/2018 08:05AM
Minnesotian: "
I’ve never used a manufactured footprint. Always made mine out of 4 mil plastic or Tyvack. But, I have stopped using even those items, even with my TarpTent. "


I've never used a footprint with either of my tarptents. My double rainbow has been through just about anything north America will throw at a tent and still no issues. That 30d silnylon is tough stuff.

I'll never use a footprint because I'll never buy a tent that needs one. IMO if your tent needs a footprint it was poorly designed or the manufacturer just wants to upsell you the rest of your floor so they can make more money and list the tent at a lower weight.
TominMpls
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01/15/2018 03:04PM
I'll agree with Northwoodsman, it depends on your tent. I have a Mountain Hardwear with a 70d polyester floor and a Hilleberg with a 50d kerlon floor, and neither of these need a footprint. If your tent has some featherweight floor, you need a footprint.

This is a gripe of mine though, what the heck is the point of these ultralight tents using floor fabric so thin you need a footprint? A 50d floor isn't going to be heavier than a 15d floor plus a 30d footprint, why not just make the floor not suck in the first place? But for some reason none of the US West oriented makers get this. All the tents with beefy floors also have heavy fabric elsewhere, while all the light tents have stupid light floors. Everything else can be 10d, but give me at least 40d on the floor.
GraniteCliffs
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01/15/2018 06:30PM
I use a footprint on most of my tents. I think they do provide some level of protection for the floor and the weight is negligible to me.
With that said I have had a couple of times where pooling water under the tent between the floor and the foot print were a minor problem. Once, I felt like I was sleeping on a water bed.
Being a tad anal, I now also carry a lightweight sheet of plastic that I put on the inside of the tent. I sleep much better knowing I have that little bit of extra protection. Because it is quite thin I have to replace them every so often but a lifetime supply from Lowes is next to nothing.
If I had to choose between the footprint and plastic liner I would take the plastic liner.
OldFingers57
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01/15/2018 06:42PM
TominMpls: "I'll agree with Northwoodsman, it depends on your tent. I have a Mountain Hardwear with a 70d polyester floor and a Hilleberg with a 50d kerlon floor, and neither of these need a footprint. If your tent has some featherweight floor, you need a footprint.


This is a gripe of mine though, what the heck is the point of these ultralight tents using floor fabric so thin you need a footprint? A 50d floor isn't going to be heavier than a 15d floor plus a 30d footprint, why not just make the floor not suck in the first place? But for some reason none of the US West oriented makers get this. All the tents with beefy floors also have heavy fabric elsewhere, while all the light tents have stupid light floors. Everything else can be 10d, but give me at least 40d on the floor."


Because that way they can make more money by selling a footprint for the tent. Plus some people still want Light weight no matter what like backpackers. Remember tent manufacturers are in business to make money.
andym
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01/15/2018 09:33PM
We use a 2 mil plastic sheet as an innie liner. Very light, cheap, and a bit of extra protection against any possible water coming through the floor under pressure. I accept that it isn’t needed with our tarptent but I do it anyway.
pamonster
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01/16/2018 08:22AM
Yeah mine is a 3 or 4mil garbage bag cut down to the approximate size where the sleeping pads will be. I did weigh it when it was full sized and it was 11oz, havn't weighed it since cutting it down though. I'd guess maybe 5-7oz. I do often ultralight pack and even with the 11oz I could keep weight under 20lbs....
In truth they're probably not necessary but I roll my tent up in it (don't use the tent bag to save weight :p) so it's not only protection from the ground but from all the branches and crap that scrape it when I'm on the trail/portage. If I'm canoeing in the BWCA my tent is more than likely in a pack, but most often when out of canoe country it's out of my pack, strapped underneath.
01/16/2018 08:52PM
boonie: "Wick,


Just note, when he talks about TarpTent, he's talking about a brand of tent, not just a tarp.


TarpTent


I wouldn't dream of trying to sleep just under a tarp, although it has been done. The bugs would eat you alive without a bug bivy, to say nothing of the weather . . .


Take the tent and leave the footprint behind if you need to, or get some Tyvek, or plastic drop cloth or polycro for a replacement.


And don't forget the bug juice and head nets anyway . . . ;). "

Tarp Tent is also a type of set up using only the tent footprint and rain fly. I can do this with my BA Seedhouse SL. This is very common in places like Colorado where the bug thing isn't an issue
01/16/2018 11:37PM
Wick: "Trying to cut weight. I was wondering if the footprint for the tent is needed in the BW? "
No.
Hank
distinguished member (199)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/18/2018 11:05AM
I use a piece of Tyvek for a groundsheet. It doesn't weigh much and keeps most the mud and pine sap off the bottom of my tents.

I used to use an innie, but I hate the feel and the sound of crinkly plastic. So now I just use the Tyvek groundsheet.
Outlander99
member (5)member
 
01/18/2018 02:28PM
Northwoodsman: "It depends on your tent floor also. If you have a super lightweight tent, normally the materials are often thinner and more delicate. For my 1990 Eureka Timberline and my Nemo Galaxy, I don't need a foot print unless there are roots and rocks (and there normally are). For my BA Copper Spur, I need a footprint no matter what. I always use a footprint because it is lightweight insurance for keeping your gear dry and your floor in good condition. If you are going to be using a cot, wearing shoes in the tent, or crawling around a lot, a footprint is a good idea. If you are just going to crawl in your tent to sleep, you may be okay without one. I would look at cutting the 10 - 12 oz. someplace else."


Currently trying to decide which tent to purchase. Looking at a 2 person tent since I'm bigger than average size and prefer some room. How do you like you BA Copper Spur?
Northwoodsman
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01/18/2018 05:17PM
Currently trying to decide which tent to purchase. Looking at a 2 person tent since I'm bigger than average size and prefer some room. How do you like you BA Copper Spur?"

I love the Copper Spur. If you only need a 1 or 2 person, REI currently has the BA Fly Creek 1, 2, or 3 on sale for 50% off.
Outlander99
member (5)member
 
01/19/2018 08:24AM
Northwoodsman: "Currently trying to decide which tent to purchase. Looking at a 2 person tent since I'm bigger than average size and prefer some room. How do you like you BA Copper Spur?"


I love the Copper Spur. If you only need a 1 or 2 person, REI currently has the BA Fly Creek 1, 2, or 3 on sale for 50% off."


Appreciate the heads up. Still researching. So many choices.
OCDave
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01/19/2018 11:07AM
Wick: "Trying to cut weight. I was wondering if the footprint for the tent is needed in the BW? "

I carry a piece of TYVEK sized appropriately to serve as my tent footprint. I carry this TYVEK piece religiously even when I don't carry the tent (I hammock most trips).

My TYVEK footprint is my most used piece of gear, easily worth its weight.

BONUS: it also protects the floor of my tent. For those who espouse that it is not necessary, that may be true for their gear but, not for mine
scramble4a5
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01/19/2018 04:59PM
Outlander99: "Northwoodsman: "It depends on your tent floor also. If you have a super lightweight tent, normally the materials are often thinner and more delicate. For my 1990 Eureka Timberline and my Nemo Galaxy, I don't need a foot print unless there are roots and rocks (and there normally are). For my BA Copper Spur, I need a footprint no matter what. I always use a footprint because it is lightweight insurance for keeping your gear dry and your floor in good condition. If you are going to be using a cot, wearing shoes in the tent, or crawling around a lot, a footprint is a good idea. If you are just going to crawl in your tent to sleep, you may be okay without one. I would look at cutting the 10 - 12 oz. someplace else."



Currently trying to decide which tent to purchase. Looking at a 2 person tent since I'm bigger than average size and prefer some room. How do you like you BA Copper Spur?"
01/20/2018 12:32AM

keth0601: "I'll never use a footprint because I'll never buy a tent that needs one. IMO if your tent needs a footprint it was poorly designed or the manufacturer just wants to upsell you the rest of your floor so they can make more money and list the tent at a lower weight."

I must respectfully disagree with you keth0601.

Case in point; back in the mid-80’s I purchased a North Face VE-25 tent through an employee purchase program at 15% below cost. I worked at an outdoor retailer that was a dealer of North Face products and it was a tent I coveted for years. Even at that discount, the Berkeley made VE-25 was an expensive tent. It was also a highly coveted tent and considered by many to be the Rolls-Royce of mountaineering and four-season tents.

At that time, North Face was a highly respected manufacturer of outdoor equipment and clothing, unlike the North Face of today that has focused its marketing on selling trendy sportswear. North Face is not the company they used to be, but throughout most the 1980’s and before they were the cat’s meow.

The construction of the VE-25 was impeccable! I also loved the stainless steel zippers, because I was tired of burning out the nylon zippers in my Eureka Timberline 4 tents. The VE-25 was built for extreme conditions and heavy use.

Does a well made like an original North Face VE-25 need a footprint? Maybe, maybe not! Nevertheless, this is a tent that I still own and hope to use until my dying days. So I purchased and use a footprint to use whenever the terrain I’m pitching it on could cause abrasion or damage to the base. So it’s not a matter of compensating for poor tent design or construction, but rather as protection for my investment. I consider a footprint for a tent the Kevlar skid plate equivalent for a canoe.

If I truly felt I was being conned by a manufacturer to needlessly spend money on a frivolous product, then I would create a DYI footprint made from Tyvek or some other similar material instead. Protecting the integrity of a tent that’s over thirty-years old is worth the additional weight and expense, at least it is for me.

Hans Solo

Wick
distinguished member (283)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/20/2018 07:32AM
You guys using tyvek, do you buy the glue on loops too? I see ebay has tyvek and loops. Everybody claiming their loops are the best and the lightest!

I do have a construction friend to check with next time i see him about the tyvek. Should i buy a qty, or will one piece last a long time? Is there different tyvek, or is it all the same weight?
01/20/2018 08:12AM
HansSolo: "
keth0601: "I'll never use a footprint because I'll never buy a tent that needs one. IMO if your tent needs a footprint it was poorly designed or the manufacturer just wants to upsell you the rest of your floor so they can make more money and list the tent at a lower weight."

I must respectfully disagree with you keth0601.

Case in point; back in the mid-80’s I purchased a North Face VE-25 tent through an employee purchase program at 15% below cost. I worked at an outdoor retailer that was a dealer of North Face products and it was a tent I coveted for years. Even at that discount, the Berkeley made VE-25 was an expensive tent. It was also a highly coveted tent and considered by many to be the Rolls-Royce of mountaineering and four-season tents.

At that time, North Face was a highly respected manufacturer of outdoor equipment and clothing, unlike the North Face of today that has focused its marketing on selling trendy sportswear. North Face is not the company they used to be, but throughout most the 1980’s and before they were the cat’s meow.

The construction of the VE-25 was impeccable! I also loved the stainless steel zippers, because I was tired of burning out the nylon zippers in my Eureka Timberline 4 tents. The VE-25 was built for extreme conditions and heavy use.

Does a well made like an original North Face VE-25 need a footprint? Maybe, maybe not! Nevertheless, this is a tent that I still own and hope to use until my dying days. So I purchased and use a footprint to use whenever the terrain I’m pitching it on could cause abrasion or damage to the base. So it’s not a matter of compensating for poor tent design or construction, but rather as protection for my investment. I consider a footprint for a tent the Kevlar skid plate equivalent for a canoe.

If I truly felt I was being conned by a manufacturer to needlessly spend money on a frivolous product, then I would create a DYI footprint made from Tyvek or some other similar material instead. Protecting the integrity of a tent that’s over thirty-years old is worth the additional weight and expense, at least it is for me.

Hans Solo

"






Well I don't think we actually have a disagreement here. My point was that I will never buy a tent that NEEDS a footprint. I wouldn't consider the ve25 fitting into this category as it has a good floor. You choose to use a footprint with it where I wouldn't, but at least with your tent you have a choice.

My point was more about tents that really carry a significant chance of floor damage under normal conditions without some sort of supplemental protection. The BA Copper Spur UL I had was an example. Very light (20d?) Sil/urethane nylon floor- in my opinion far too flimsy on its own to be used as a tent floor.
01/20/2018 03:07PM

Gotcha' keth0601! You make some very valid points. :-)

Hans Solo
01/20/2018 03:46PM
Wick: "You guys using tyvek, do you buy the glue on loops too? I see ebay has tyvek and loops. Everybody claiming their loops are the best and the lightest!


I do have a construction friend to check with next time i see him about the tyvek. Should i buy a qty, or will one piece last a long time? Is there different tyvek, or is it all the same weight?"


I have not worn out a Tyvek innie/outie/footprint since making them. And yes there are different weights. I have not explored but have looked. The loops and tape work very well and I use them often. Tyvek footprint for Chinook sool and innie for Mountain Hardware Wing solo, poly tap footprint for BA BigHouse 4, and 1.9 ripstop 3x7 foot innie.

butthead
bwcasolo
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01/20/2018 04:01PM
i have plastic footprints on the tents that don't come with them, it packs small, protects the tent floor, a no brainer. the tents are for my wife since i hammock it.
Wick
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01/20/2018 05:41PM
Does tyvek have a top and bottom? Do you use it with the lettering up or down?
OCDave
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01/20/2018 07:53PM
Wick: "Does tyvek have a top and bottom? Do you use it with the lettering up or down?"

Just pick a side and stick with it. For me, print-side is down.
Wick
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01/21/2018 07:23AM
OCDave: "Wick: "Does tyvek have a top and bottom? Do you use it with the lettering up or down?"


Just pick a side and stick with it. For me, print-side is down.
"

I am thinking it lets water thru one way, and not the other. They face the lettering out on houses. I would think they want the house to breath and let moisture out, but let none in? That would support print down.

Anyone ever notice any difference? Over thinking it? It does not matter?

mastertangler
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01/21/2018 08:39AM
As per Cliff Jacobsons wisdom I use an "innie" which laps a couple of inches up the sides of the tent. This is for water protection in the event of a monsoon event. Don't worry about the floor of your tent which will end up with small pinholes no matter what.

Ground cloths places under a tent are not particularly helpful and according to Jacobson actually contribute to transferring water to inside of a tent. Naysayers please direct all incoming to Cliff Jacobson, I am merely the messenger.
01/21/2018 10:10AM
Wick: "OCDave: "Wick: "Does tyvek have a top and bottom? Do you use it with the lettering up or down?"



Just pick a side and stick with it. For me, print-side is down.
"

I am thinking it lets water thru one way, and not the other. They face the lettering out on houses. I would think they want the house to breath and let moisture out, but let none in? That would support print down.


Anyone ever notice any difference? Over thinking it? It does not matter?


"


I never noticed a difference, and Tyvek is available un-marked and in different fabric weights. Overthinking, yes, it does not matter. Consider, the makings are advertisement and displayed for that reason.

butthead
01/21/2018 10:10AM
OOOPS hit the key too often, DP!
So may as well use the space, Material Concepts different types. The metallised soft side is very interesting, a heat reflective innie?

butthead
zski
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01/21/2018 11:37AM
mastertangler: "As per Cliff Jacobsons wisdom I use an "innie" which laps a couple of inches up the sides of the tent. This is for water protection in the event of a monsoon event. Don't worry about the floor of your tent which will end up with small pinholes no matter what.
Ground cloths places under a tent are not particularly helpful and according to Jacobson actually contribute to transferring water to inside of a tent. Naysayers please direct all incoming to Cliff Jacobson, I am merely the messenger. "
Yes. If the groundcloth, or footprint extends past the outside of the tent it can direct water under the tent (footprint should be slightly smaller than the actual tent bottom).
mastertangler
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01/21/2018 12:06PM
Well Zski things are a bit fuzzy but according to Cliff water can get trapped between the ground cloth and the tent bottom and then the movement of the occupant can actually compress and force water through the tent floor.

Tent floors develop microscopic holes regardless........how many times per trip do we drag in pine needles etc. and actually put holes from inside?

The "innie" physics just makes better sense to me. Add in the wisdom of trippers far more experienced than myself advocating for the method and my own positive results and I will continue doing as much. Bear in mind for an "innie" ground cloth to be effective it needs to lap up the side of the tent for about 2".
01/21/2018 12:08PM
zski: "mastertangler: "As per Cliff Jacobsons wisdom I use an "innie" which laps a couple of inches up the sides of the tent. This is for water protection in the event of a monsoon event. Don't worry about the floor of your tent which will end up with small pinholes no matter what.
Ground cloths places under a tent are not particularly helpful and according to Jacobson actually contribute to transferring water to inside of a tent. Naysayers please direct all incoming to Cliff Jacobson, I am merely the messenger. "
Yes. If the groundcloth, or footprint extends past the outside of the tent it can direct water under the tent (footprint should be slightly smaller than the actual tent bottom).
"


And an "innie" should be slightly bigger ;)
01/21/2018 12:09PM
butthead: "OOOPS hit the key too often, DP!
So may as well use the space, Material Concepts different types. The metallised soft side is very interesting, a heat reflective innie?

butthead"


I have used the mylar emergency blankets and you do notice a difference - keeps your elbows from getting so cold if they are over the edge! :).
mastertangler
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01/21/2018 12:18PM
Well Zski things are a bit fuzzy but according to Cliff water can get trapped between the ground cloth and the tent bottom and then the movement of the occupant can actually compress and force water through the tent floor.

Tent floors develop microscopic holes regardless........how many times per trip do we drag in pine needles etc. and actually put holes from inside?

The "innie" physics just makes better sense to me. Add in the wisdom of trippers far more experienced than myself advocating for the method and my own positive results and I will continue doing as much. Bear in mind for an "innie" ground cloth to be effective it needs to lap up the side of the tent for about 2".
01/21/2018 01:45PM

mastertangler: "As per Cliff Jacobsons wisdom I use an "innie" which laps a couple of inches up the sides of the tent. This is for water protection in the event of a monsoon event. Don't worry about the floor of your tent which will end up with small pinholes no matter what.

Ground cloths places under a tent are not particularly helpful and according to Jacobson actually contribute to transferring water to inside of a tent. Naysayers please direct all incoming to Cliff Jacobson, I am merely the messenger. "


I respect Cliff Jacobson's experience and agree with his advice for the most part, but not all. Using a tent footprint is one of them. Although Cliff is very experienced and knowledgeable, he's also not infallible either in my opinion.

Campers that are familiar with the tent footprints know, the footprint does not fully extend to the edge of the tent floor. If the tent is properly placed, (i.e., not in a low lying area), pooling of water between the footprint and the actual tent floor should not be a problem. I can honestly say it hasn't been an issue for me.

Depending on conditions, I don't always use a footprint, but when I do it's for fabric protection, not to enhance water resistance . That said, I'll often use an "innie" as well, especially when camping with my Golden Retriever.

I do a lot of canoe-tripping on the lower Wisconsin River, pictured below. When we camp on the lower Wisconsin River, we don't use footprints. Reason being, the camping conditions on the lower Wisconsin River is on sand beaches and sandbars. It's pure sand that's very fine for the most part, and the drainage is excellent. This can also be said of the camping conditions on parts of the upper Kickapoo River and the Black River below Black River Falls. Under those conditions, I don't use a footprint.

I'm sure everyone has a justification for doing what they do, but until a tent footprint becomes a liability I'll continue to use them.

Just my additional two-cents. :-)

Hans Solo

 
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