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07/10/2020 06:58AM
I was thinking of getting thick plastic sheeting and cut to size for under the tent. Do I want it slightly bigger or smaller than the tent floor?

Is there something better than clear plastic? Thanks. Also, I don't mean to start an over/under debate. I want to protect the bottom tent fabric from stones and roots so will use under.
 
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jillpine
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07/10/2020 07:21AM
If you're protecting from stones and roots, you're talking puncture? As opposed to dirt, mud or moisture barrier? Tyvek.
 
07/10/2020 07:40AM
Re size: you want it to be smaller than the floor perimeter, maybe about an inch on all sides. You want to minimize the possibility of rain splashing or dripping onto the ground sheet and then pooling between the sheet and the tent floor.
 
07/10/2020 08:22AM
I've made them from Polycro which is very light but prone to splits, averaged about 2 weeks of field use before replacing. Plastic poly sheet or visqueen would work well with the same stick on loops, a bit heavier material.
And Tyvek a bit heavier but much longer lasting. The stick on loops were the same and function very well.
For a footprint or outie, cut to slightly smaller than tent bottom, keeps any side runoff from landing on top of the footprint and wetting the tent floor. Innies are cut large to run up the tent walls a bit.
Plastic footprints do not last as long as Tyvek. My Tyvek have yet to fail, the plastic only last a season or less.

butthead
 
Grandma L
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07/10/2020 08:37PM
I use the super cheat blue plastic tarps, cut off the grommets and make it just a little smaller than the tent so it doesn't catch water off of the tent. Aaah, this thread could have the makings of a good innie/outtie discussion.
 
07/10/2020 08:58PM
I have used clear plastic sheeting 6 mil thickness. I have found it holds up well, punctures can be easily repaired with duct tape and it seems to last for many years. Probably somewhat heavier than other newer materials but I have never been overly concerned trying to be ultra light wt with all my gear. If I still backpacked I would probably be more concerned about overall kit wt but canoe camping allows me to be less concerned.
 
Jaywalker
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07/11/2020 10:59PM
I just took two Duluth pack liners from REI or Midwest Mountaineering, slit them open, taped the middle top and bottom, and then cut down to size. Easy to get, about $6.00, and took maybe 10 minutes. They last me several years on average.

If the footprint is larger than the tent, it can be folded under to prevent water running dow the tent and pooling, but I found that a bother and prefer the footprint to be just an inch or so smaller. That protects for nearly all the wear and tear on the bottom.
 
Savage Voyageur
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07/11/2020 11:32PM
Make you foot print an inch or two smaller than the tent floor to prevent pooling of water under the tent. Plastic roll sheeting is a cheap way to make one. Just toss it after the trip.
 
07/12/2020 07:48AM
Thanks for all the replies. This group is a very helpful bunch. I've hammocked recently and still deciding if I want to tent or hammock this year.
 
Savage Voyageur
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07/12/2020 08:03AM
Just pull the trigger and go with a hammock. Best nights sleep in the woods you will have. My one bit of advice is to test it out in your yard or somewhere for an entire night before the trip to get it dialed in.
 
mgraber
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07/12/2020 09:15PM
Tyvek all the way, a couple of inches smaller than tent.
 
07/13/2020 06:40AM
Savage Voyageur: "Just pull the trigger and go with a hammock. Best nights sleep in the woods you will have. My one bit of advice is to test it out in your yard or somewhere for an entire night before the trip to get it dialed in. "

I've been a hammock sleeper since 2009 but have an irrational fear of a wolf pack coming into my camp at night and taking my dog who sleeps beneath me in her own tiny tent. I'm going to an area known for its large wolfpack and my tripping partner related a story of having wolves howling in his camp one night presumably trying to get his dog to come out of their tent. His dog was trembling with fear. You can understand mine. But, I'm realizing it's irrational so have made the decision to hang again. I'll be sleeping with my k-bar. :)
 
07/14/2020 12:01PM
Cut the tyvek 2 feet longer and wider than the size of your tent floor. Fold it under if you're an outie, and if you convert to an innie, you can move it inside and make it a bathtub.
 
bri
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07/22/2020 02:19PM
I use plastic window film. Cheap, super compact, super light.
 
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