How to Make a Tent Footprint for Camping

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A tent footprint is a piece of fabric that protects your tent floor from wear and tear. When you are camping in a place full of gravel and debris, taking your tent footprint with you is a good note. In addition, if you are using a waterproof footprint, it also separates your tent from the wet ground to prevent water from entering the tent from the tent floor.

Common fabrics used to make tent footprints


A tarp is versatile outdoor equipment and an ideal material for making tent footprints. It is relatively lightweight and durable, and it is not expensive. You only need to spend about $15 to get a good quality tarp. Compared to other materials, though, it may take up more space for the same area, even if you fold it up.

House Wrap

Tyvek is the most common house wrap material used to wrap a house during construction. They protect the house from weather and other elements, so many people will use this material to make tent footprints. They are inexpensive, lightweight, durable, and easy to purchase.

Window Insulators

Window insulators are usually made of lightweight polyolefin material. If you are a hiker, then using this material to make your tent footprint is also a good choice. You can also use it as a floor mat when you sleep. But it’s not as durable as other materials, and you may need to make new tent footprints after a few camping trips.

Painter’s drop cloth

Because the painter’s drop cloth is thicker, so it is also very durable. But the cost of this is that you will get a heavier and more difficult to fold and space-consuming tent footprint. Drop cloth is relatively cheap, we recommend that you use a drop cloth that is no more than 3 mm thick. It is waterproof, but has very little breathability.

Recommended tarpaulin or house wrap

Tarpaulin and house wrap are ideal fabrics for making tent footprints, and tarpaulin works better. If you have some extra house wraps at home, then it is also good that you have them to make your tent footprint because you don’t have to buy any more materials.

Making your tent footprint

Purchase materials and tools

First, you need to buy the fabric used to make your tent footprint. If you already have enough fabric at home, then you just need to get the tools to make your tent footprint. Purchase some rope ring kits to reinforce the holes in your fabric. They are either metal rings or rubber rings.


Although you can check the dimensions of your tent from the tent label, I recommend that you measure your tent yourself to be safe. Then cut the right size fabric according to the size of your tent. Usually, it needs to be 3 feet longer than the size of your tent.

Punching the holes

After cutting the fabric, you will need to punch holes in the fabric. This helps to secure your footprint so that it does not move and your tent is not well protected. Make a hole in each corner of the fabric according to the size of the loop.

Put in the grommets

Follow the instructions that came with the loop kit and put grommets in all the holes of the footprint. This way, you are done with the tent footprint. Take it with you on your camping trip.


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