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#151617 - 06/18/11 01:45 AM Tent footprints - other uses
Narf Offline
member

Registered: 12/25/06
Posts: 76
Loc: Missouri
Last trip I did we got rained on a bit, were using friend's hubba hubba and for some reason he packed the footprint (never have used it in the past). Anywho, the footprint strung up - while was not very big - made for a decent out of the rain kitchen space for the nights meal.

Got me thinking....I ALWAYS see tent footprints in clearance and closeouts for rather cheap. Was thinking about picking one up to play with as they usually are of decent construction. Usually have corner reinforced grommets, folded/lined edges, durable materials. Not the lightest of weight tarps either, but it could serve it's purpose.

Anyone fool around with repurposing tent footprints?

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#151622 - 06/18/11 09:17 AM Re: Tent footprints - other uses [Re: Narf]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Nope! Tent footprints of the kind made for the tent are too heavy.

I do however use 2mm - 10mm plastic for footprints. The primary purpose for the plastic is as sit pad, rain skirt (duct tape and a trash bag work surprisingly well), or a groundsheet while tarping. Having something that's lighter than a tent footprint and also larger gives one a great deal of versatility.
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#151635 - 06/18/11 05:11 PM Re: Tent footprints - other uses [Re: lori]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6401
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
A silnylon tarp (such as the Equinox tarps sold by Campmor) will be lighter (for the size) and more versatile. I can't see any reason for buying one of those ultra-heavy tent footprints. Strictly a sales gimmick to lighten your wallet, IMHO!
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#151640 - 06/18/11 07:55 PM Re: Tent footprints - other uses [Re: OregonMouse]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

I concur - too heavy! I use a piece of tyvek - which does dual duty as a sit pad and hitchiking device (it has "HIKER TO CAR" in huge letters in sharpie on it) - it works wink

Normally this thing gets used as a groundsheet when tarping, or a footprint under my tent if I'm using a solo tent on nasty terrain. I don't take it if I'm using the tent in not "rocky sharp" terrain.

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#151645 - 06/19/11 02:43 AM Re: Tent footprints - other uses [Re: lori]
james__12345 Offline
member

Registered: 10/06/10
Posts: 189
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By lori
I do however use 2mm - 10mm plastic for footprints.


I'm fairly sure you mean mil here. 10mm would be over a third of an inch thick. That is a mistake that can be easily made though. Mililiter is abbreviated mL, and often shortened verbally to mil (especially if you spend alot of time in a chemistry lab). Because of that its easy to see mil on a plastic sheeting materal and convert that mil to mm. Not trying to be smart or anything, just wanting to make sure no beginners see that and get confused by it. I like the stuff too, Its usually sold as painters drop cloth for anyone interested in picking some up.

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#151648 - 06/19/11 03:30 AM Re: Tent footprints - other uses [Re: james__12345]
frenchie Offline
member

Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 461
Loc: Lyon, France
I also use a piece of tyvek, about 2X1.5m (or 6.5X5 ft, for uncivilized non metric users :/).
I have doubled the fabric where I installed six small grommets, and ultra thin dyneema lines, and use this as sit pad, lunch pause or beach "blanket", emergency poncho, small kitchen /pause tarp, and eventually footprint on nasty ground (rarely!)
It stays in an external pocket of my pack, just in case.
I don't know what kind of tyvek it is (got it from a kite shop), it's waterproof, very thin and soft...but I have no idea of the weight!

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#151666 - 06/19/11 05:21 PM Re: Tent footprints - other uses [Re: frenchie]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6401
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Polycro plastic--the kind sold for shrink-to-fit storm windows and doors--is more durable than plastic painters' drop cloths, and about the same weight. Gossamer Gear and Mountain Laurel Designs both sell polycro ground sheets, but because of shipping cost you can probably get polycro cheaper at your local big box hardware store, unless you're already ordering something from the above two firms.

I don't use a ground sheet under my tent, and haven't missed it, either. I would use one if I were going to camp on snow, though.

Frenchie, I've also heard that kite Tyvek is lighter and more waterproof than the house wrap kind.


Edited by OregonMouse (06/19/11 05:22 PM)
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#151668 - 06/19/11 06:04 PM Re: Tent footprints - other uses [Re: james__12345]
squark Offline
member

Registered: 03/14/11
Posts: 66
Loc: SF bay area, CA
Ok, now I am confused - mL is a unit of volume, so how does it translate to thickness?

Quote:
I'm fairly sure you mean mil here. 10mm would be over a third of an inch thick. That is a mistake that can be easily made though. Mililiter is abbreviated mL, and often shortened verbally to mil (especially if you spend alot of time in a chemistry lab). Because of that its easy to see mil on a plastic sheeting materal and convert that mil to mm. Not trying to be smart or anything, just wanting to make sure no beginners see that and get confused by it. I like the stuff too, Its usually sold as painters drop cloth for anyone interested in picking some up.

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#151671 - 06/19/11 07:14 PM Re: Tent footprints - other uses [Re: squark]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6401
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
From The Free Online Dictionary:
Quote:
mil (ml)
A unit of length in the US Customary System equal to 1/1000 of an inch (0.03 millimeter), used chiefly to measure the diameter of wires.


This measurement, also used to measure thickness of plastic, has nothing to do with the metric system!
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#151683 - 06/20/11 12:59 AM Re: Tent footprints - other uses [Re: squark]
james__12345 Offline
member

Registered: 10/06/10
Posts: 189
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By squark
Ok, now I am confused - mL is a unit of volume, so how does it translate to thickness?


It doesn't translate to thickness at all. Its just that the mL thing causes "mil" to be associated with the metric prefix "mili". Than can then be wrongly applied to thickness when people see "mil" related to thickness, they see "mil" and they think "mili" and they know they're dealing with thickness so they go to milimeter. Might not have been less confusing this time, but if not, maybe someone else gets it and can put it differently.

OregonMouse, thanks for looking that up. I've often wondered about that, but never got around to looking it up. I knew it had to be a non metric unit, because the metric unit used on the packages is micrometers (that funny shaped u thing)m.

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#151691 - 06/20/11 10:15 AM Re: Tent footprints - other uses [Re: james__12345]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
That was one thing that confused the heck out of me when I got out of school and into the real world. Everyone at work would interchange the term "mil" and "thousandth". So, a "mil" used in thickness measurements of films is a thousandth of an inch, or .001 inches.

Crazy Americans..... laugh


Edited by finallyME (06/20/11 10:17 AM)
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#151694 - 06/20/11 11:04 AM Re: Tent footprints - other uses [Re: OregonMouse]
CamperMom Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1186
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
OM-

What a great knowledge nugget! Having never purchased shrink-to-fit window plastic, I had no idea this was the same stuff as the polycro sheets sold as lightweight ground cloths. Yes, buying window insulation plastic at end-of-season-clearance prices would be a large saving VS purchase and shipping from other sources.

Thanks!

CM

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