A tent footprint is an important piece of camping kit, whether your tent is a state-of-the-art model with spare bedrooms, or a cheap and cheerful one-man.

While camping is perfectly doable without a tent footprint, investing in this simple piece of equipment will prolong the life of your tent, as well as making the whole experience more comfortable.

Here’s all you need to know about tent footprints.

What is a Tent Footprint?

A tent footprint is a piece of material that sits between your tent and the ground. They are available in an array of sizes depending on the size of your tent, and they are pegged down in the corners to prevent them slipping.

While the fabric can vary, tent footprints are usually made from polyethylene, which is both durable and easy to clean.

Why do I Need One?

Tent footprints are an extremely useful piece of camping kit, saving you both time and money. Here’s why you need one.

1. Prolong the Life of your Tent

Tent footprints will prolong the life of your tent considerably. The bottom of your tent can easily become damaged by twigs and stones on the ground, as well as just general friction.

Tent footprints will protect the bottom of your tent from damage, ensuring it doesn’t need to be replaced sooner rather than later.

2. Extra Warmth

Tent footprints can also add an extra layer of warmth and waterproofing to your tent.

While investing in a good quality tent and sleeping equipment will keep you warm in frosty conditions, a tent footprint will give you that extra layer – raising you off the ground to reduce the amount of heat lost into the ground and stop any water seeping in.

3. Easier to Pitch and Pack-Up

Finally, tent footprints make both pitching and packing away easier. Laying the tent footprint on the ground will give you an outline of the shape of your tent, making it quicker and easier to start pitching – perfect when the weather is bad and you need to pitch up as quick as you can.

Packing away is also easier. While bad weather can cause the bottom of your tent to get muddy and wet, a tent footprint will keep it clean and dry, meaning there’s a lot less work to do when you get back home.

While tent footprints are, of course, a matter of personal preference, they do offer a low-cost solution to many common camping problems, especially for those with older or slightly less quality tents.