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Destroyer of Karen
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Tarps are fine but can be bulky unless you custom make one for your tent. What tent do you have? Lastly you do not "need" a footprint it just helps lengthen the life of your tent
 

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Subculture
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I use a cheap blue tarp. If your backpacking and weight is a concern, they sell lighter actual footprints at places like REI. They are specific to each tent, but you can find the right size if you take measurements. When I tent camp, I always use a tarp under it.
 

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I agree with the blue tarp thing. Even when we go backpacking we always carry a couple and in the grand scheme of things the uses and possibilities far outweigh the weight added.
 

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I use a heavy shrink wrap plastic used for shrink wraping boats for storage .
It lasts much longer than any other material and is repairable wit a small torch or a lighter it will marry to it's self perminantly and better than any glue I guarentee.
It slides in snow like nothing else, perfect for many different appplications .
Using a ground cloth has always paid off , not using one has reenforced the need.
 

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RESET CONGRESS!!
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Another vote for a cheap blue/OD tarp.
Lots of other uses for the tarp in a pinch.
I also bought a tarp that's woodland camo on one side.
 

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Subculture
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I guess Ill see if I have a spare tarp for the trip! thnx

how do u keep it in place?
I fold mine to fit the bottom of the tent. The tent will keep it in place. No need to stake the tarp itself down.
 

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Maximus
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Just remember if you use a tarp to make fold it a little smaller than the tent bottom on all sides. If you have it longer than the tent bottom, if it rains, water will collect underneath your tent. The water can not drain because it would be in-between the tent and the tarp.
 

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you should use some type of ground cover under your tent, it will help your tent last longer and help keep moisture out.

i use a tarp or a cheap shower curtain. if you are worried about weight, you can use a 2 mil plastic dropcloth. super cheap at the hardware store and only 2 or 3 ounces.
 

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if you are worried about weight, you can use a 2 mil plastic dropcloth. super cheap at the hardware store and only 2 or 3 ounces.
We've started doing this. The tent goes on the ground, the dropcloth inside. It provides a nice barrier against water, is almost weightless, and can be disposed of if it gets all mangled.
 

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The end is,,,,,
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I use a roll of plastic sheet, used as a painting dropcloth. costs about a buck a roll. Reuse or throw away. Small light and has alot of other uses.

And if you got a tent with the roof vent mesh in the top, it works good for covering it in cold weather to keep in heat.
 

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I have used the same black plastic gardening ground cloth for 15 years. Make sure you cut it to the size of your tent floor. If you don't when it rains it defeats the purpose, water will get under your tent and settle then what is the point. If you really want to make your tent last take the extra effort to clean up the area where you are going to pitch it clear it of rocks sticks roots that kind of stuff. I stopped using the tent and just use the ground sheet. good luck!
 
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