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Thread: footprints

  1. #1
    Goon rowan's Avatar
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    is there any point in spending big bucks (about £40) on a 'footprint' for a Hilleberg Nallo?

    a

  2. #2
    ‹bermensch Frank's Avatar
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    No buy a cheap groundsheet for £5 and cut to size

  3. #3
    Mini Goon
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    Andrew,

    I was pleased with the Nallo 2 GT footprint , it is the size of the whole tent i.e. not just a groudsheet protector and as it hooks into the tent it means that you can put the whole thing up in one go , Footprint/Inner & Fly , it makes it really quick !

  4. #4
    Ultra King Matt C's Avatar
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    I've made groundsheet protectors in the past by slicing open an old orange survival bag and cutting to size - works fine. (Or use the whole thing if you planned on carrying one anyway. It might not fit the tent footprint exactly but it'll protect the main pressure areas where you'll be lying, which in my view is good enough).

    I've never understood the notion of a footprint for the tent porch - if your kit is wet and muddy it'll get wet and muddy too, or at least wet when you open the porch doors, so what's the point? And if it's dry you don't need it anyway. Besides most of the kit you're likely to store in the porch won't harm for the sake of a bit of damp ground (boots, sac, trekking poles, cooking stuff, anything else?). If you need a bit of the porch floor to be clean/dry then improvise with a plastic bag or rucsac liner, or even the rucsac itself. Just my opinion, but it's worked for me for 25 years.

  5. #5
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
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    I do what Matt does - just pop the orange bivvy bag on the ground and put the tent on top of it. Bivvy bags are usually dead weight and never get used, so using it as a footprint allows it to earn its keep in my pack.

  6. #6
    ‹bermensch philip newing's Avatar
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    I also use an old groundsheet as a protector when valley or car camping but wouldn't carry one on a backpacking trip. The trim to size and old survival bag ideas sound great and I reckon that with an eyelet punch and a bit of bungy cord I could knock something up to rival Hilleberg or Terra Nova for a few pence. (Disappears into garage talking to himself).

  7. #7
    Mini Goon Rrorry's Avatar
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    I thought that Hilleberg were top notch quality tents which for their price should feature robust waterproof bases and as such shouldn't need a footprint.
    I can see the point to prolong life of tent when not backpacking but a sheet of heavy duty polyurethane would do.

  8. #8
    Goon Alex Roddie's Avatar
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    I have a fitted footprint for my Particle 13, and I still end up using a survival bag between the footprint and the groundsheet. Astonishingly, moisture can still creep through both layers in very wet conditions.

    Surely it isn't too hard to make completely waterproof fabric without mucking around with "nylon taffeta matrices" (whatever the hell that means) and PU coatings?

  9. #9
    Initiate Colonel Blimp's Avatar
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    Damn it! I've just ordered a footprint for my MSR Zoid 2. Wish I hadn't bothered now...

  10. #10
    Goon Alex Roddie's Avatar
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    I think they're a good idea, once you learn to live with their limitations. When I tried using a poly sheet cut to size as a footprint, water ran between the poly and the groundsheet, and it's hard to get the thing in the right position if you're pitching in bad weather.

    I think my system is best. Use a fitted footprint designed for the tent, but slide an old survival bag between it and the groundsheet, corresponding with where your sleeping mat will be. This is the point of highest pressure on the groundsheet, so the addition of a third waterproof layer here will stop moisture coming through.

    Generally, though, I've learned to accept that nothing will ever be completely waterproof. *sigh*

  11. #11
    Mini Goon Rrorry's Avatar
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    My experience with Macpac tunnel tents (olympus & minaret) is that the floor will keep the inside dry in a puddle about 100mm deep. The floor is fairly robust so no need for the unnecessary weight of a footprint.
    The heavy duty floor keeps these tents out of the lightweight category but they are made to go places where lightweight kit would fail. They would still be lighter than a tent & footprint combined.

  12. #12
    Ultra King Matt C's Avatar
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    Alex,

    I've found that in bad (i.e. windy) weather it's easier to slide the poly sheet under the groundsheet after the tent is pitched and at least nailed down at the corners!

    Also I'd cut the sheet a few cm smaller than the groundsheet so that even if it moves a bit there's no chance of an edge of it protruding out of the flysheet and channeling water in - as you've identified the pressure points such as under your sleeping mat are the main areas for adding protection, the edge isn't so crucial.

    As for "I think my system is best" - well, sorry mate but a groundsheet, a footprint AND a poly sheet - for anything other than car-camping I really couldn't call that best! ;-)

  13. #13
    Super Moderator captain paranoia's Avatar
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    The most common claim that water gets through the groundsheet can usually be traced to condensation.

    One cheap and cheerful way to counter this is to use a sheet of aerated polythene as a footprint. It protects, cushions and insulates.

    Use the laminate floor underlay version for car camping (as it's pretty bulky), but salvage thinner grades from packaging for backpacking.

  14. #14
    Goon Alex Roddie's Avatar
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    One of the reasons I use the three-ply technique is that I hate having to stuff a large, muddy sheet of polythene in my backpack. There's no easy way of folding it up, so it tends to get awkwardly strapped to the outside. I've found that, although the fitted footprint isn't perfect, it at least allows me to carry a smaller chunk of orange poly around with me. :-)

    I make no claims to my system being lightweight, but it seems to work in all but the wettest weather. Whenever I'm doing "proper" backpacking (ie. moving between campsites with the large pack), I ditch the footprint and hope it won't get too wet.

    "The most common claim that water gets through the groundsheet can usually be traced to condensation."

    I can see where you're coming from, but that isn't so in my case. Typically, if I've pitched on some soft ground, the groundsheet will appear dry until I press down on it. This seems to draw water through the fabric. For example, when I'm not using a footprint or poly sheet, the underneath of my sleeping mat is usually quite damp after one night, and there's often a dark patch under my pack, too (when I haven't left it in the porch).

    There's no visible water. It just seems to be slight dampness creeping through the fabric, and although it isn't enough to make anything actually wet (not yet anyway, touch wood), it's unpleasant.

  15. #15
    Initiate Colonel Blimp's Avatar
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    Alex, just how much of a problem is this? You say that it's unpleasant and that nothing gets wet but how does it occur? When I've slept in a tent in the past, I've had no such problems. Mind you, I've never been in a tent in the pouring rain so perhaps I have yet to have that pleasure?

    Just how much weight does a footprint add? How do you pack a wet tent and a muddy/wet footprint into your rucksack without soaking everything else that's in it? Did I waste my money buying a footprint? So many questions...

  16. #16
    Widdler
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    Hi chaps,
    Im new to the forum. Im looking for some pointers as im loosing the will to live with North face.
    Im looking for a replacement footprint for a TNF Moraine 23 can anyone point me in the right direction please.
    Cheers
    Baz

  17. #17
    Mini Goon
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    I've used a silver emergency blanket about 15-20 times that barely weighs anything, sometimes on rough ground. It cost me 50p about 10-15 years ago.

  18. #18
    Goon
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    The NF 23 is impossible to find a footprint for as far as I can see. Mine is most definitely permeable! I have seen somewhere that this is characteristic of this tent.

    Its solved with a bit of thin plastic, just big enough to fold up around the tent which stops water getting between it and the groundsheet. Light and disposable

    Equally, there are plenty of other tents that have the same shape and size, or as near as damn it, to the 23. Even GO make one.

  19. #19
    ‹bermensch
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    I've done the same as Alex, but it can be a little noisy moving around on it, but needs must sometimes

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