Footprints

Footprints are essentially fitted tarps that go under your tent to protect its floor. As tent floors got lighter weight, footprints became more popular and for non-backpacking use it’s certainly a fine enough idea if you like. BUT (and it’s a big but) unless you have a 20D or lighter tent floor (MoonLights have 30D floors), they are almost entirely sold based on FEAR, UNCERTAINTY, and DOUBT. I believe that most sales of footprints are made with thinly veiled attempts to scare customers into buying them. There, I said it.

If you’re backpacking, please don’t bring a footprint unless it’s to use as a tarp. Other campers might bring one for protection, but unless the campsite is outright poke-y, it’s a waste of money and, well, it's kind of a big weight budget violation. If you’re worried about punctures, bring along some of the truly excellent repair tapes available. They are much lighter, cheaper and they work on all your gear that might get holes.

Here’s a link to McNett’s “
Tenacious Tape” under their Gear Aid brand
Here’s a link to Kenyon’s “
K-Tape
But some swear that this is the best one of all: “
Tear-Aid Type A
By the way, tape repairs in the floor are VERY waterproof; probably more waterproof than any other part of the floor.

Now that I got that out of my system I can (and must) admit that there are places and times where a footprint
is sensible. If any TWO of these things apply, you should probably consider a footprint:
• When camp is in the same place for a while.
• When the ground has hard lumps. Lumps concentrate wear.
• When the occupants are particularly active - like playing kids.
• When the ground IS rocky and sharp.
• When you plan to bring a tarp anyway. At least if it’s a footprint, it can be used two ways.

For general information I should also point out that many people use footprints that aren’t fitted and they let them
stick out well past the edge of the tent floor. This is bad because rain gets on top of it and is channeled and held under your tent. Once there, it has a good chance of finding a hole somewhere to come in through. Water on top of a footprint also increases the interior humidity of the tent because water vapor comes up through the floor (waterproof fabrics aren't terribly vapor proof - they breath a little). Anyhow, protectors work best if they're kept tucked well under the tent out of the splash and drip zone: about 2-4” in from the edge of the tent floor.


Footprint specs
— Corners have 4” (11cm) cord loops with small hooks
35 x 10 pixel blank• loop the cord over the tent’s corner hardware to hold the footprint in place under the tent
35 x 10 pixel blank• hook attaches to cord on fly corner webs when the fly is being pitched without the tent
35 x 10 pixel blank• cord is gold, reflective, 1.5mm, with Dyneema core
— Reinforced corners
— 1“ hem
— Midway pullouts on edges for pitching as a tarp

MoonLight 2 footprint: 48” x 81”, 6.6oz
MoonLight 3 footprint: 67” x 89”, 8.4oz
MoonLight 4 footprint: 90” x 90”,11.8oz

How the footprints attach to the tents
footprint corners IMG_6194 772


What the footprints look like, what that tiny clip looks like.
footprints - MoonLight drawing  772