Tent Footprint vs. Tarp: Which is The Best?

If you’re into camping, chances are you’ll understand that bad quality material can be costly in your experience. This is true, especially since mother nature doesn’t give any exceptions.

The number one thing that you should be looking for when it comes to outdoor equipment is durability. If you have a durable item, that should translate well to your safety. One of the examples of outdoor gear is tent footprints and tarps.

There has been an ongoing battle between the tent footprint vs. tarp, and that’s because both offer some pros and cons when you use them in the outdoors.

​Ideally, you’d want to know every single item out there and judge which is the best. Not only will this give you more leverage in your safety, but it can also save you some money. Remember, durable things are great for the wallet as well.

​Hence, for today, we will be discussing and comparing the tent footprint and the tarp. We will show you the advantages and disadvantages while explaining their proper use as well. So if you’re looking to know which one will win, then stick around to find out!

The Tent Footprint​

the tent footprint

Via Amazon.com

Before we jump into the details, let’s first discuss the nature of these two outdoor items.

First, let’s begin with the tent footprint. Tent footprints go hand-in-hand with a tent’s purpose. When you go camping, it’s obvious that a tent is a necessary item. Now, some campers out there might think that having a tent is good enough.

​While that may be true in some cases, there are instances where your tent might not suffice when it comes to supporting. So what does this mean? Well, it means that depending on where you are, there are cases where your tent can break or get damaged.

​One of the most vulnerable parts of the tent is its base. That’s because the base of the tent is always exposed to surfaces that might damage it.

Here’s an example, if you try to camp on a rocky field, there’s a possibility that your tent’s base might get torn by sharp rocks.

camp on a rocky field

​That’s also the case when it comes to camping on a beach. As fine as sand is, it can still damage your beach tent. A damaged base means trouble because that’s where you lie down.

This is where the tent footprint comes in. The tent footprint acts as another layer of protection for your tent’s base. It keeps it away from all those rough objects and surfaces.

However, keep in mind that some tent footprints don’t shield your tent from water or moisture. Thus, it can still get wet despite the added resistance.

The Tarp​

The Tarp​

Next would be the tarp. Tarps have been known as a long-lasting material that’s been used in many ways. Like the tent footprint, a tarp can also shield your tent’s base from abrasions and harmful frictions.

​What’s great about the tarp is its versatility. Unlike the tent footprint, the tarp isn’t necessarily made to be an extra coating for your tent’s base.

​As previously mentioned, tarps are used in so many ways. One of the famous ways of using tarps is to use it as a roof.

using tarps is to use it as a roof

In Southeast Asia for example, it’s pretty standard for the people in the rural area to use a tarp to cover up anything. From tables, business, to even funerals, tarps are a great and waterproof material that can also resist harsh abrasions.

​You can trace this strong feature because it’s typically made from polyester and finished off in urethane coating.

​Finally, tarps are much more affordable than a tent footprint. Although a tarp isn’t as specific as a tent footprint in function, it can still act as one and still get the job done for a lower price.

This and many other uses of the tarp is a big reason why campers find it as an essential commodity.

So, Who’s The Winner?​

tent footprint

If you’re into items that are specifically built to accomplish one task, then you’ll be satisfied with a tent footprint. However, for this round, we’ll be giving the tarp the edge which makes it our winner.

​The main reason why the tarp outlasts the tent footprint is that you just get a better bargain value-wise. Sure, tarps used as tent footprints doesn’t look as pleasing as it seems, but it does more since it makes the base waterproof.

Not protecting yourself from the water can be costly. You’ll never know when it might rain and flood while you’re sleeping. Moreover, you can get sick by getting wet while you’re in the outdoors.

Simply put, the tarp simply does more at an affordable price. It’s not a specialist, but it’s a jack of all trades that does everything well for a camper. You can’t go wrong with this one.

After all, you can still bring it with you even if you’re not going to use it as a shield for your tent’s base. With all that said, happy camping and stay safe!​

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