niche footprints

5:38 p.m. on May 14, 2006 (EDT)
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2 forum posts

I have a Eureka K2-XT that Eureka dosen't have a quality footprint for.(any tent from Eureka for that matter)
My M.H. mountain jet has a great f.p. that is a correct size for the said tent. Does anyone know of a custom shop that will cut and sew a polyester coated fabric to my specs.? Or do I make my first million on a start-up basement L.L.C.?

6:08 a.m. on May 15, 2006 (EDT)
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1,261 forum posts

what's wrong with a thick sheet of plastic from a hardware store?

It is strong enough to repel sticks and pine cones.

11:09 a.m. on May 15, 2006 (EDT)
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58 forum posts

Another option is to use some of the blue tarp you can get from a hardware store

5:38 p.m. on May 15, 2006 (EDT)
Why not

Have a footprint that's grommeted to the poles?
according a size that's right for the tent, not a chunk of plastic, but a real footprint that is custom?
I found poly-backed nylon thats LIGHT and sew-able I'll use,
I think some brite minded person could start a company for 'lost, worn ' FOOTPRINTS

8:38 p.m. on May 15, 2006 (EDT)
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6,036 forum posts

You have 3 choices for protecting the bottom of your tent from early wear-out:

1. spend mucho bucks for a custom footprint made by the tent manufacturer. They work, but wear out fast enough that you will go through 2 or 3 of them in the time you would wear out an unprotected tent floor (in other words, you get double or triple the tent floor life).

2. Buy a plain old "ground cloth", meaning some kind of tarp, like the blue nylon-reinforced plastic tarps that cost $10-15 at OSH, Lowes, etc. These will wear much longer than the custom fitted ones from the tent manufacturer. But they weigh a fair amount more, and you have to remember to tuck them under the edges of the tent. Anything extending beyond the tent will tend to funnel water under the floor of the tent, which will produce condensation, or may let the water leak in. Tucking all parts under the tent will prevent this.

3. Stop in the paint department and buy a plastic dropcloth, preferably 3 mil. The 12x12 size is $2-3. You now have two options -
3a. Split it in half. Use one half as a tarp (see (2) above) until it wears out (almost as long as the custom footprints, in my experience and a lot of other people's as well), then use the other half. Lighter than the custom one, much lighter than the blue tarp, and for the same price you can get dozens of them.
3b. Pitch your tent in the back yard or garage (don't try this in the living room) with the plastic drop cloth under it. Do a bit of shifting until you completely cover the bottom with the most extending to the side (should be about half of a 12x12). Use a magic marker to outline your tent's floor. Take the plastic out and trim a couple inches inside the outline (idea is to have the footprint completely under the tent to avoid the water collection problem that all poorly aligned footprints and ground cloths will have). Again, much cheaper and lighter than the custom ones, and lasts an amazingly long time (I have had them last me 3 or 4 years). If 3 mil wears out too fast, you can get 4, 5, or 6 mil.

Actually, I'm lazy and use 3a most of the time.

You don't really need a footprint when camping on snow.

Some people advocate using Tyvek and have suggested ways to scrounge it for free (go to a housing tract and beg the scrap from the builders, for example). Problem is that Tyvek is not made for contact with the ground, is 1-way water repellent (not really waterproof, so you have to watch which side is up), and when it gets damp, it gets much weaker and can tear easily - all conditions that are not encountered in its intended use in construction. The only people I know who have used it for any length of time used it in places like the Sierra in summer, where there is very little rain, and what there is evaporates quickly in the dry air.

9:09 p.m. on May 15, 2006 (EDT)
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20 forum posts

I would think a seamstress shop can do it; however, I think you would get a better deal simply at a shoe repair shop or a tent repair shop. I had my tent zipper replaced at a tent repair shop.

All that needs to be done is gromlets put in the corners of the material cut& hemmed to your specs, right?

9:44 p.m. on May 15, 2006 (EDT)
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1,009 forum posts

No need for sewing if you go the 3-mil poly route as suggested above. It's pretty rugged stuff and, since it's non-woven, it doesn't need to be hemmed to prevent unravelling. Just cut it to size and go.

I have an inexpensive grommet kit that I use to put grommets in poly footprints and tarps, and even into backpacks as hydration ports in a couple cases. It's super easy to use. The only downside is that the grommets I have aren't exactly the same size as the pole ends on my tents, but they're close enough for most purposes. (I could get a different size grommet kit, but haven't bothered.)

11:18 a.m. on May 16, 2006 (EDT)

Sewing your own wouldn't be very hard, if you have access to a sewing machine. The only real sewing would be the edges of the nylon and possibly some reinforcement at the grommets.

You can buy a grommet tool and grommets at any sewing supply place (JoAnn Fabrics is a good source in many parts of the USA). Buy the nylon at your local xMart (or the same place you get the grommets & tool). Set up the tent, make a pattern and sew away...

Good Luck,

February 29, 2020
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