Yes, you can sew a groundsheet into your tent to make it better. Groundsheets, also known as floor savers or footprints, are an important part of camping gear. The main purpose of groundsheets is to protect the tent floor against the jagged, possibly wet ground.
More recently, the talks about groundsheets for camping tents have increased on the internet. That is because you can use them to accessorize almost any tent in the market.
Sew-in groundsheets are a recent development in the world of tents. For hundreds of years, the absence of groundsheets meant that people would roll up the sides of their tents for ventilation during the day.
But after people started taking camping as a recreation, they started sewing groundsheets into the sides of their tents to create insect-proof shelters that would also protect them from harsh drafts.
Groundsheets might leak after a short or long time, depending on the used material and they are more vulnerable to wear and tear. As manufacturers work hard to improve the weights of tents, their quality continues to suffer because they are not only light but also less durable.
And each time the user packs a tent away, including on the drying days, the mud, damp and dying grass below the groundsheet might damage the fabric of the tent if they fail to dry it properly at home.
You can protect your tent from damage by using a footprint groundsheet. The groundsheet will increase the useful life of the tent and make its packing easy.
Carpets for the living area of your tent will form a great underfoot during the cold nights and protect the waterproof coating. Groundsheets offer more comfort and protection, but you do not have to spend a lot of money on customized options.
Large cheap plastic tarps might serve as footprint groundsheets but finding a lightweight carpet to match your needs is hard. Instead of choosing a carpet, go for cheap fleece. You will find one to match the size of your tent. A picnic rug is another good choice.
Why You Should Sew a Groundsheet Into a Tent
Most tents in the market today are sold fully complete and they come with zipped-in or sew-in groundsheet. Some of them will also come with additional bathtub style groundsheets for living and porch areas. If your tent is already waterproof, groundsheet will provide you with additional waterproofing.
Here are some of the other reasons you will have to consider investing in footprint groundsheet:
1. Offers a dry ground patch
Groundsheet sewn in your tent will allow you to bring some dry ground, therefore, allow pitching of your tent a doddle. Footprint groundsheets will keep the bottom of your tents dry and clean, which means that the packing will be easy.
For any tent with a sewn-in groundsheet, there will be no need for drying or airing after you get to your home. In other words, you should expect reduced hassles.
2. A Perfect Pitch Each Time
A groundsheet sewn into the tent will help you avoid pitching problems by knowing where to place each corner of your tent.
With the many modular style and large tents, it can be painfully hard to work out where to put the corner pegs of your tent before getting its frame-up.
It will be worse if you have to move them again. Footprint groundsheets show exactly where to peg the tent so that you can use the least amount of time possible.
3. More Warmth
When camping, people lose more heat to the ground. A groundsheet will add an extra insulation layer to trap the warm air and reduce the chances of heat loss.
That means you will sleep comfortably throughout the night.
4. Protection of Investment
Tents are expensive and you will, therefore, want to maintain them in the best condition possible for a long time. Just as you guard your new sofa, you should use a footprint groundsheet to prevent damages to the new tent.
A sewn-in groundsheet will prevent rips, damage and tears to the underside of your tent. Unseen stones and sticks lying on the chosen campsite might damage the tent if it is unprotected.
Repairing or replacing the damaged footprint groundsheet is easier than it is to repair the integral groundsheet of the tent.
5. Doubles Waterproofing
Most groundsheets have a 10,000mm hydrostatic string, which means that you are unlikely to get wet when sleeping in the tent. However, water can still find its way through the high spec barrier.
The second layer of footprint groundsheet will increase your protection and therefore provide you with the peace of mind you need when camping – including for the longest trips.
Some trekking and expedition tents have 5,000mm hydrostatic groundsheets. So, for any long trip, you will need to consider footprint groundsheet sew-in tents.
Available Types of Groundsheets
Groundsheets are not made equally. You can keep the floor of your tent dry, keep the campsite tidy, stop condensation and make packing away the tent in wet or muddy conditions easy by choosing the right groundsheet.
A good groundsheet will allow the ground to breathe and protect it (important in some camping grounds). It will work as an emergency stretcher or shelter when necessary. The market offers two primary types of groundsheets – the mesh and solid.
Here are the two types and the benefits each of them provides:
1. Solid tarp-style groundsheets
This style of groundsheet offers an extra level of waterproofness and it is inexpensive. It will keep your tent clean and in the right condition throughout.
The groundsheets are easy to clean – you just need to hose them and wipe the water. They will provide insulation against the cold ground but they tend to get dirty.
A large one will channel the mud and water under the tent. That will encourage condensation.
3. Mesh shade cloth-style groundsheets
With this type of groundsheet, the water will fall straight through – there will be no flooding or cleaning the campsite. They allow the grass and ground beneath to breathe.
You will feel comfortable when walking on them and they are ideal for the awning. You can use it in place of shade cloth. Unfortunately, any sharp object will poke through. They are hard to clean and expensive.
Most popular tent brands produce floor guards and footprints that match their tents. So, most of the serious hiking and touring tents will have groundsheets to match them.
They will fit perfectly without overhanging. Some other items that you can use as makeshift groundsheets include shade cloth, old tent floor or fly, closed-cell foam or emergency blanket.