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2NDpaddlers
senior member (65)senior membersenior member
 
02/24/2021 09:40AM  
I can only look at my gear so long, and am now coming up with things to occupy my craving for the BWCA as spring can't get here fast enough. I am curious what others do.

I have a footprint for my tent that I put down, then set my tent up on that. I have spent nights in light rain and heavy downpours and so far have been lucky and my tent has stayed dry.

What I am curious about is how many of you put down a sheet of plastic on the inside of your tent floor? Is this added protection worth it? It looks like a smart idea to have a larger plastic sheet to cover the entire floor and then some to protect from water coming in thru the bottom of the tent. Has this trick saved you? Is this the best protection on keeping a tent dry, with little cost involved?

Am I just looking to scratch my BWCA itch, or is this a worthwhile addition to my tent?
 
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02/24/2021 11:18AM  
I think you are opening up the innie vs outie can of worms.

Cliff Jacobson and Kevin Callan cover some of the history in this chat.
 
andym
distinguished member(4992)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
02/24/2021 01:45PM  
Except in very dry and dusty conditions, we use only an innie liner. We have stayed dry through some torrential, flooding rains.
 
mschi772
distinguished member(588)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/24/2021 02:06PM  
You'll get every answer.

My answer is that I use neither. I've never had a tent floor fail from not using either. If a tent has a floor so vulnerable during careful/responsible use that it needs a footprint, that is a design/manufacturing failure.
 
02/24/2021 02:22PM  
I don't use one, but my tent is better than average in that regard.
 
02/24/2021 02:24PM  
mschi772: "You'll get every answer.


My answer is that I use neither. I've never had a tent floor fail from not using either. If a tent has a floor so vulnerable during careful/responsible use that it needs a footprint, that is a design/manufacturing failure."


I agree, kind of.

I agree that your tent's bathtub floor should keep you dry under any condition. If it doesn't, you need to seam seal or get a new tent.

I'll add that imo a footprint gives this valuable bathtub floor just a little more protection from abrasion and punctures. I think of it as a floor life extender.

If you'd rather put that second layer inside your tent, you're not wrong, you're just crazy ;)
 
mschi772
distinguished member(588)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/24/2021 03:43PM  
fadersup: "I'll add that imo a footprint gives this valuable bathtub floor just a little more protection from abrasion and punctures. I think of it as a floor life extender. "

My point is that I've never had a tent floor fail before other parts of the tent. Why should it be necessary to extend the life of a floor if the tent is designed properly? Do you pitch an auxiliary tarp over your tent to prolong the life of its rainfly or put your tent inside a bug shelter to prolong the life of its screens? Do you wrap your tie-out cordage in a protective layer to prolong its life or pre-drill holes in the ground and install liners in them to protect the tent stakes?

A tent floor should last as long as any other part of the tent under normal use, and with decent tents, that has been exactly my experience.

It's super silly to me that people will spend so much money on "ultralight" tents with compromised floors then cancel-out the weight savings they just paid a premium for by buying a footprint which just adds the weight right back to their kit. Either the tent is designed and made well and it will do all the jobs required of it, or it isn't...and you should buy a different tent.

Alternatively, if one really wants to use a footprint, then use a floorless tent.
 
andym
distinguished member(4992)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
02/24/2021 03:57PM  
In terms of ultralight tents and floors, it may be worth pointing out that TarpTent recommends neither a footprint or an innie. We use a 2 mil plastic sheet in our tents, including a TarpTent and while it might not be necessary it adds very little weight.

Andy
 
02/24/2021 03:59PM  
mschi772: "fadersup: "I'll add that imo a footprint gives this valuable bathtub floor just a little more protection from abrasion and punctures. I think of it as a floor life extender. "


My point is that I've never had a tent floor fail before other parts of the tent. Why should it be necessary to extend the life of a floor if the tent is designed properly? ...."


Well said.
 
OCDave
distinguished member(577)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/24/2021 04:31PM  
2NDpaddlers: "I can only look at my gear so long, and am now coming up with things to occupy my craving for the BWCA as spring can't get here fast enough. I am curious what others do. ... "

Hammock under a well deployed tarp.

If you have become tired of your current gear, I believe exploring the world of hammocks will invigorate you. Also, you can avoid all those crazy "Innie" peoples.

Good Luck
 
02/24/2021 04:36PM  
Neither; go commando!
 
02/24/2021 05:14PM  
mschi772:
My point is that I've never had a tent floor fail before other parts of the tent. Why should it be necessary to extend the life of a floor if the tent is designed properly? Do you pitch an auxiliary tarp over your tent to prolong the life of its rainfly or put your tent inside a bug shelter to prolong the life of its screens? Do you wrap your tie-out cordage in a protective layer to prolong its life or pre-drill holes in the ground and install liners in them to protect the tent stakes?


I have to admit, I'm getting tired of pre-drilling my stake holes.
 
02/24/2021 05:22PM  
Long time tent camper and yes used either an innie or an outie sometimes both often to prevent noticed water intrusion and floor protection. I have noticed a marked improvement in the floor coating and sealing over time to where now on my newer (relative term) tents I do neither. I feel current floors on mid to upper level tents quite good, seldom needing any backup. A footprint on the other hand does increase the versatility allow many tents to be used without an inner body saving weight. I have gone this route often when the bug problem is not there, and a lighter load is desired.

butthead
 
dschult2
senior member (71)senior membersenior member
 
02/24/2021 05:58PM  
I don't use one and have never had an issue even when being stuck in a tent through 15 straight hours of rain. But I think the more important thing is to buy a quality tent.
 
02/24/2021 09:50PM  
Innie vs Outie.

An innie protects you if you tent floor fails. An outie protects your tent floor from failing. Up to you to figure out what’s best.
 
jhb8426
distinguished member(1291)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/25/2021 12:21AM  
Jaywalker: "Innie vs Outie.


An innie protects you if you tent floor fails. An outie protects your tent floor from failing. Up to you to figure out what’s best. "

Never used an innie. use an outie to protect the floor from needing an innie. Note that the outie CANNOT extend beyond the tent floor or you may have serious water problems that an innie will not solve.
 
lindylair
distinguished member(2492)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/25/2021 05:57AM  
It seems obvious to me that a tent floor is subject to more wear and tear than any other part of the tent. Setting it up directly on a hard surface that is often littered with potentially sharp pebbles, twigs, etc. and then lying on top of it and shifting around in the tent - no other part of the tent receives that kind of stress.

I always use an outie or footprint to prolong the life of the floor and add an element of water protection as well. I have never used an innie nor have I needed to.

Buying something of higher quality does not necessarily mean that you don't need to take practical steps to preserve and protect it - just sayin.
 
02/25/2021 10:34AM  
andym: "In terms of ultralight tents and floors, it may be worth pointing out that TarpTent recommends neither a footprint or an innie. We use a 2 mil plastic sheet in our tents, including a TarpTent and while it might not be necessary it adds very little weight.


Andy"


Not to pull this discussion off the OP topic, but which one did you decide on? I've been looking at this option for awhile. FWIW, I changed over to placing my 2mil plastic sheet inside the tent. It has something to do with the thickness of the tent floor that you use.
 
Wharfrat63
senior member (97)senior membersenior member
 
02/26/2021 08:07AM  
I seem to recall, that the tent footprint's intent is to keep water under the footprint and not next to the tent floor.

The plastic sheet serves two purposes: 1. keep your expensive down bag/quilt dry should your tent floor spring a leak. 2. To minimize abrasion to the tent floor, from your movement inside.

Most tent floors develop holes from the inside. Just like canvass packs. Only took two trips with my first Duluth pack to develop small holes from the abrasion of gear on the inside. Pack liners are a must...

I always use both. Two is one and one is none.

Wharfrat63
 
straighthairedcurly
distinguished member(885)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/27/2021 07:04PM  
I prefer a liner on the inside, not so much from a moisture standpoint, but from a "make it easy to remove the dirt in the morning". I just roll up the thin plastic liner and once out of the tent shake it off. This is especially helpful with odd door configuration tents like my Tarptent Bowfin.
 
02/27/2021 09:04PM  
lindylair: "It seems obvious to me that a tent floor is subject to more wear and tear than any other part of the tent. Setting it up directly on a hard surface that is often littered with potentially sharp pebbles, twigs, etc. and then lying on top of it and shifting around in the tent - no other part of the tent receives that kind of stress.


I always use an outie or footprint to prolong the life of the floor and add an element of water protection as well. I have never used an innie nor have I needed to.


Buying something of higher quality does not necessarily mean that you don't need to take practical steps to preserve and protect it - just sayin. "



Wisest statement so far
 
02/27/2021 09:19PM  
rdgbwca: "I think you are opening up the innie vs outie can of worms.


Cliff Jacobson and Kevin Callan cover some of the history in this chat."


Yes that was my first thought
 
EddyTurn
senior member (76)senior membersenior member
 
02/28/2021 05:20PM  
Obviously, the innie doesn't properly protect the floor from damage and the outie can't protect the tent if the floor is damaged (or sips water). While the outie can't fully guarantee against a damage, and no tent floor is totally fail-proof, the proper innie will guarantee you stay dry no matter what. Also, the good performing innie could be much thinner and ligther than the outie. As a safety measure, especially on linger trips away from civilization, innie would be my first choice. When I travel with kids I bring both.
 
mschi772
distinguished member(588)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/28/2021 09:59PM  
How long before footprints to protect your footprints start getting sold? "You don't use an innie on too of your innie to keep your innie in good shape?!" "You just lay your outtie on the ground without putting anything else down first?!"
 
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