Difference Between Camping Footprint and Tarp

Camping denotes to live alfresco and relish yourself with your family and friends. Camping under the sky full of stars with a cool wind passing by.

People love to go camping wherever they desire to go and more memories in their life. Camping with your family and friends for one day or two days turns to be a stress palliator and boosts the mood of each person on the journey.

This needs a setup that should consist of a tent footprint or tarp. The shelter is the main part of every camping. The shelter should be durable, comfortable, and efficient. It is always the heaviest, bulkiest, and expensive.

The Right Choice of the tent requires many considerations for the protection of you, your family and friends, and all the stuff you brought on the trip. It must ensure security. The question lies here: “ Which to choose?”

Camping Footprint vs Tarp

The main difference between camping footprint and tarp is that footprint is a groundsheet made up of fabric and tarp is more versatile in nature made up of plastic and vinyl and an effective moisture barrier.

The tarp is thinner in nature so the people will be uncomfortable.

Camping Footprint vs Tarp

Camping footprint is also known as tent footprint. It is a groundsheet that is made of protective fabric. The design of the tent is made so strong that it can protect you from any severe outdoor problems.

Camping footprint and tarp are made available in various sizes. The Tent footprint protects the floor of the tent as a protective layer between the tent’s bottom and the ground.

The Tarp is a versatile sheet of waterproof material. It is made up of plastics like polyethylene which has protective capabilities and extending its lifetime.

It is found in different sizes as per your requirement. Tarp requires more skill to build the roof. The experienced campers just buy few poles to put a tarp tent which saves them cost spent on a pre-made tent.

Comparison Table Between Camping Footprint and Tarp

Parameter of ComparisonCamping FootprintTarp
DefinitionWaterproof groundsheetA large sheet made of plactics such as polyethylene.
WeightLightweightRelatively lightweight
BackpackingIt takes less spaceIt takes more space
DurabilityLess durableMore durable

What is Camping Footprint?

The Camping footprint is more immensely colossal than the tent itself. It is waterproof and resistant in nature. Most camping footprint is composed of Tyvek, a cumulation of nylon and silicone or reinforced aluminum foil.

It acts as a shield between the tent’s bottom and the ground which protects the floor of the tent. It is usually made from a lightweight waterproof material.

There are many types of camping footprints available. The most important feature is its ability to protect the tent from water entering inside the tent.

A tent footprint can be composed of any material as long as its waterproof facility is secured. The fixtures and weight of the tent keep the footprint fine-tuned to the ground. The main reason to make footprints is to keep the tent safe from wear by elongating its life. This setup takes an abundance of space in the backpack.

 One of the primary reasons why a tent’s bottom deteriorates so expeditiously is because it is laid out on rough and rocky ground.

As people toss and turn while they sleep, it leads to friction and abrasion which leads to ripping and tears in the fabric.

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What is Tarp?

Tarp is a woven blend of polyethylene which is extremely waterproof and lightweight. It acts as a flooring protector and moisture barrier to the tent.

Tarps are additionally great to provide some degree of shelter against the rain, snow, heat and wind.

It is an astronomically immense cloth that can accommodate many protective purposes in a campsite, and its usefulness goes much beyond that of a tent footprint.

A tarp cloth, if immensely colossal enough, can be utilized as a roofing, groundsheet, and for wind auspice.

Mostly, tarps are not available pre-fabricated to use as a floor barrier for the tent. The Tarp is usually large from which you can craft two from a single piece of material.

Campers prefer it a lot as it is large. A tarp can cover the whole area where you are going to pitch the tent. Tarps are also susceptible to rainwater.

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Main Differences Between Camping Footprint and Tarp

  1. The tarp is more resistant as compared to a tent footprint.
  2. The tarp can sustain more than the tent footprint.
  3. The tarp is too bulky for backpacking whereas camping footprint is not bulky for backpacking.
  4. The tent footprint is less sturdier than camping footprint.
  5. Camping footprint is much more comfortable than tarp.
  6. A tarp is more useful to cover the whole area where you are going to pitch the tent.
  7. A tarp will always do when your recreation funds are little short.
Difference Between Camping Footprint and Tarp


Some type of protector for the tent’s floor is always a good idea. If comfort is the concern then you should always prefer camping footprint. If you are on a hike and want to halt somewhere just go for a tarp.

Camping footprints come in sundry sizes and are composed of different materials. The tarp is the modern camping footprint which is cheaper, lighter, and takes less space in backpacking.

The camping footprint provides less protection as compared to the tarp.

Overall, there are pros and cons of each and everything and solely depends on the person that how he wants to utilize. This all depends on personal preference.

If a person prefers to keep the tent in good condition then the choice will be camping footprint otherwise if the person wants to use a tarp then it can be used for other purposes even.



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Last update on 2022-09-27 / Amazon Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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